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We’ve talked a lot about web design and best practices for setting up a professional business website, but once that’s complete, what do you do next? Generating traffic to your beautifully crafted website is the next hurdle to overcome. This is where backlinks come into play. Simply put, backlinks are inbound hyperlinks from one website to another website.

You may be thinking, “How is this relevant to my business?” Well, every backlink to your website increases your site’s popularity and pushes it higher in SEO rankings for your industry or niche; they improve your credibility and authority within the marketplace.

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Congratulations! You’ve successfully set up social media accounts for your business and are gaining followers and increasing engagement daily. Your hard work is paying off, but do you feel like social media management is becoming a full-time job, on top of running your small business? With the numerous platforms available, all which have different functionalities and requirements – cue Twitter’s 140 character limit for tweets – it can be a cumbersome undertaking. You may find that you spend a shocking amount of time on this one piece of your business. If you’re nodding your head in agreement, then keep reading!

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When it comes to email marketing, a good subject line makes all the difference. In fact, one study found that 33 percent of email recipients open an email based solely on its subject line. As consumers have grown more spam savvy over the years, they’ve learned to quickly scan their inboxes and single out the messages they want to read.

For businesses, this means old email marketing rules no longer apply. It isn’t enough to deploy a single message to tens of thousands of customers and hope some of them buy in. The vast majority of those emails will hit the trash folder without ever having been opened. The first step to creating email marketing messages that convert is to make sure your subject line grabs attention and convinces recipients to open it.

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As a website owner, you know the importance of having quality, eye-catching imagery to draw people in to your site and keep them engaged. When you’re ready to add a blog to your content marketing strategy, remember that the same rules apply!

When you’re passionate about what you do or what you create, it’s easy to write about it at length. You have lots of expertise to share, and your blog is a great place to share it. Just remember that your reader needs more than just your words to stay engaged with what you have to say; they need great imagery too.

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Small Business Saturday Promo Page

Small Business Saturday 2015 is Saturday, November 28th! If you are unfamiliar with the event, think of it as the Black Friday for your small business. In other words, it is a day for communities all around the nation to show their love for small businesses, just like yours!

In 2014, 88 million people shopped small on Small Business Saturday. To prepare for a monumental day of traffic and sales for your small business, there are three ways you can participate and make the most out of the occasion:

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With Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope and more eating up all the virtual column inches these days, good old email marketing doesn’t get a lot of attention anymore. Everyone is so worried about whether or not they’re live-tweeting, self-broadcasting, and keeping up with all the other ‘shoulds’ of modern marketing that they forget to perfect their strategy on what remains one of the most effective platforms – email!

With the holidays just around the corner, now is an incredibly important time to optimize your marketing efforts – especially if you sell things online. Even if you don’t, email is a great way to bring people in to your physical store and keep your brand top of mind as people are filling out their holiday gift lists.

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Small Business Exposure Vector

Getting off the ground as a new small business is a challenge all its own. Sure, you’ve got great products and a solid business plan. You’ve got the passion and the drive to succeed. But marketing your small business is absolutely vital for sustained growth, and especially when you are just starting out. You simply can’t expect customers or clients to find you unless you’re getting your business in front of them.

Here are a few tips each new business should consider for getting that exposure:

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While big box brands may have the budget to reach a national audience, small businesses have a distinct advantage on the local stage. Not only are people gravitating more and more toward local businesses (48% plan to increase local patronage), these smaller brands are able to leverage local search listings more effectively if they know what to do.

If the hipster movement has taught us nothing else, it’s that people want the things they eat, the clothes they wear, and the places they shop to say something about them as individuals. In that environment, the local business will beat out a national chain in local search results any day. Take advantage of that starting point by making the most of your local listing. How? Check out this research and infographic from Google:

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If you’ve gotten your website to the top of Google or other search engines, you’re likely focused on maintaining those rankings. With the arrival of Mobilegeddon, business owners are more nervous about keeping their Google rankings in place than ever. However, there’s no need to fret. Knowledge can eradicate fear. Follow these five tips, and you can rest easier knowing you’re doing everything in your power to maintain search rankings.

1. Monitor Search Results

First, you need to know if you’re in or out. Perform a site search by typing “site:” then your domain name into Google as shown in the example below:

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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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