Washivore Header

In honor of National Small Business Week, we’re taking a look at a Webs user website that highlights a whole industry of small business owners that most people don’t think about interacting with, but who touch our lives every day: farmers!

Washivore.org is a hub for all things farming in Washington State. Their well-branded, professional website has a lot going for it, but it succeeds in three key areas specifically. Let’s take a look:

Visual Presentation
Upon arriving at Washivore.org, you are greeted by colorful imagery that really draws you in. There’s a perfectly-sized header image carousel, images for the links to their highest-value landing pages, a rotating image gallery further down the page, and even some video embeds. But despite the volume of visual content on this website, good layout and tasteful color choices keep it from feeling overwhelming or cluttered.

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driving website traffic icons

If you run a business with an online presence, your success is likely limited by the traffic your website generates and the leads you acquire. And while driving traffic to your web pages isn’t always easy, there are a number of tools and resources available to you. You simply need to know how and when to use them for optimal results.

While there used to be a time when you could separate yourself from the competition by simply paying a little extra to develop an aesthetically pleasing website, that’s no longer the case. Having a sleek, well-designed website is pretty much the norm for competitive small businesses these days. It takes much more than good-looking pages; you have to attract the right traffic to them. You have to be capable of weeding through irrelevant traffic to find potential customers that will actually be interested in what you have to offer. Typically, you can accomplish this by focusing on five important areas:

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Map Pinpoints - Local Listings - Cover Photo

Late last year, we released Local Listings, a tool that helps your business or group get listed in over 100 online directories with just a few clicks.

Limited time: Save 20% on Local Listings with the code LOCAL20 at checkout! Click here.

Recently, we’ve talked about the importance of local search for small businesses and how local search differs from Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

So by now you know that showing up in local searches is incredibly important for your business. But do you know what to include in your local search listings?

To help you cover all your bases, we’ve put together these 10 best practices to help ensure that not only will you show up in local searches, you’ll show up first!

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Puzzle Pieces

Search engine optimization (SEO) and social media go together in the digital world like smartphones and teenagers. You really can’t have one without the other, but a lot of people avoid SEO completely for their websites – not to mention their social media content – because they don’t know where to start.

SEO can certainly be confusing, and it’s changing constantly. However, knowing the basics of SEO and keeping up with trends is a good way to grow your business’ exposure. SEO is a means of boosting your web presence’s rankings in search engine results when people query ‘your’ keywords. Oftentimes the phrase “web presence” is used interchangeably with “website,” but that’s just because it’s most common. You can actually use SEO best practices, such as those detailed by Moz, anywhere you have control of content online. Here are just a few reasons why your social media presence should be part of your overall SEO strategy:

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How Google Works Screenshot Infographic QuickSprout

In October 2014, Google improved their search experience with less spam and more procured content in their algorithm updates named Panda and Penguin.

While most of us like to pretend we know exactly what these algorithms do and how they affect us, the formula that runs behind the scenes on Google can truly be complex and confusing.

For small business owners and entrepreneurs, Google is important for website discovery with local listings and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) efforts. But to excel in these areas, it is essential to take the time to learn how Google works.

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Lead generation ideas

Online marketing is a whole arena encompassing many effective forms of promotion. At every turn you come face to face with a new development, strategy, or platform. Keeping up with this world of digital marketing may sound daunting at first, but having spot-on information about the different ways of generating leads online certainly makes it easier.

Just like the inner workings of businesses differ according to their industry, so too do their online marketing efforts. Knowing how to navigate the different techniques and what to focus on is the root of the strategy. What works for a retail company does not necessarily work for a marketing firm. To help you identify what is out there and what works for your business, I’ve compiled a list of effective methods of generating leads online. Diving into the “what,” “how,” and “why” will give you a better understanding of the different techniques available to attract valuable customers.

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Amazon search bar

Technically, search engine optimization (SEO) is a means of optimizing your website’s ranking in just about any search engine. However, since Google is by far the most popular search engine in the US, most SEO agencies and gurus abide by Google’s standards of SEO best practices. Although the search engine giant is notoriously secretive about the details of their algorithm, they’re open about general best practices such as producing high quality content, good link building, avoid black hat tactics and the like.

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Top posts on LinkedIn Pulse

We could go on and on about how important content marketing is to any small business marketing plan (and we have). Not only is it a great way to establish yourself/your brand as a thought leader in your industry, it’s also a very effective SEO strategy for boosting your rank on search engines. One of the big reasons content marketing is great for SEO is that it creates links back to your website from other places – social media, other people writing and referencing you, etc. These inbound links from other domains are very valuable for signaling to Google that your website is legitimate and important.

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Work Station Vector

Yesterday, I attended the webinar Everybody Writes, sponsored by Marketo and given by Ann Handley from Marketing Profs.

If you couldn’t guess by the title, Everybody Writes was a webinar focused on content marketing. Handley has recently written a book on the subject and decided to share her knowledge with the Marketo community.

I received so much great information from the session that I decided to share a brief summary of the webinar with you all so you can take some tips back to your own content marketing strategies!

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Many Browser Windows

Often we find ourselves discussing how small business owners and entrepreneurs can be more productive. Does this mean we are trying to imply that these professionals have difficulty with time management?

No way!

We just understand that time is a limited resource, and that a few productivity hacks are appreciated when trying to tackle a busy day.

Today we thought we would focus on one of the most time-consuming facets of a business: content curation. To have an impactful content market strategy, you must be up to date on all of the latest news in your industry. This way, when updating your small business blog or posting timely content to social media, you are providing engaging, share-worthy content to your consumers.

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