Hi everyone–this is Rochelle from the Webs marketing team.  Sarah is giving me guest blogging privileges today to tell you about a new product development I’m really excited about: our Webs SEO Booster.

For the uninitiated, SEO stands for search engine optimization and it refers to the practice of making your website available for search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing to include in their results when someone submits a search. When you simply publish a site, these search engines will generally find it and include it in their massive index of content.  But you want to do more than get indexed–you want to make sure that the search engines associate your site with the terms that your customers and potential customers are typing into search engines, hoping to find a site or business like yours. READ MORE

Being that it’s Friday, and it’s a warm spring afternoon here in Maryland, it seems appropriate to post an article about a tool that can help eliminate distractions and keep you focused.

As you may have already heard, Google recently threw its hat in the note-taking app ring with a new app called Google Keep. Warning: This app is currently only available on Android devices, so if you’re an iPhone user, you may not want to get attached.

The intent of this new offering is the “Save What’s On Your Mind” by providing a mobile platform on which to keep notes, checklists, inspiring photos, and organize them by priority. So, there you are, out in the world, and you think of something you need to do, see something that inspires you, or are reminded of something to add to your grocery list. You can open up Google Keep, stash it away, and move on with your day. Then later, it’s all collected for you and stored securely in Google Drive, where it syncs across all of your devices. READ MORE

Throughout the month of March on the Webs blog, we’ve been talking about the tools small business owners need to succeed. From email marketing to promotional materials to ecommerce tools, we’ve covered a lot of ground.

Below you’ll find a quick reference guide to the kinds of tools every small business owner should have in their toolkit, along with some examples in each category to get you thinking. If you have other suggestions of great tools you find helpful, please share them in the comments below or on our Webs Facebook Page! READ MORE

No small business tools series would be complete without mentioning our friends at Vistaprint. Possibly best known for their business card services, Vistaprint’s specialty is really communication, in many forms, between small businesses and their present and future customers. While Vistaprint also offers a number digital services, today we’re going to focus on the uses of their wide variety of printed materials. These include tools to:

Communicate your brand.
Once you’ve decided on an identity for your business — a logo, tagline, colors, etc. — you need to make sure that all of your materials share that look. From the business cards you hand out when networking, to the stationery you write business letters on, everything that people associate with you should display the elements of your brand. READ MORE

It’s hard to overstate the importance of Google for small businesses. While big brands are using their big budgets on flashy advertising strategies, Google provides an avenue for the underdogs to get their content out there by optimizing their sites for organic search. It doesn’t matter how big your budget is if your site isn’t coming up in your customers’ Google searches!

Google offers a number of helpful tools to help small business owners turn their sites into well-oiled traffic machines. Two we’d like to recommend that you look into are: READ MORE

Our roundup of useful tools for your small business toolkit continues today with a walk on the practical side.

If there are two things that small businesses are short on — almost by definition — it’s time and space. That’s why it’s important to have great tools on hand to help keep all of your files organized and out of the way. Enter: The Cloud.

Why store your important documents in bulky file cabinets and on breakable, scratchable CDs when you could store them in a magical place in the sky? Sure there are some documents you need to keep paper copies of. But for everything else, going digital can save you lots of time and space in your office (read: kitchen table) READ MORE

Our series on tools for small business owners continues this fine Monday with some options for editing your own images.

The importance of great imagery for your website and printed materials can’t be overstated. Images are a great way to draw visitors and prospective customers in and show them something about your business’s personality. But not all images are created equal. If your images are too dark, distorted from resizing, or show things that should be cropped out, they can have a detrimental effect on your brand. READ MORE

Planning how you’ll communicate and find customers for your small business is an important first step. But once you’re all set with tools for your small business website, your social media profiles, and your email marketing campaigns, it’s time to get down to step number two: selling stuff!

This is a great time to be a small business owner offering a product or service. Technology has made leaps and bounds toward allowing smaller operations to compete with big brands that can afford big brick and mortar locations. There are lots of tools out there to help you market and collect payment for whatever you have to sell. Today we’ll talk about two popular solutions: Etsy and Square. READ MORE

Here in week two of our series on helpful tools for small business owners, we’re going to talk about a new tool from our friends at Pagemodo that is really two tools in one. Pagemodo Posts is an exciting tool for social media content posting, but it’s really also a time management tool.

Any small business owner who has genuinely managed a social media presence (as opposed to the ‘set it and forget it’ approach of creating a profile and never interacting with it) knows how time consuming it can be to search the internet for engaging and relevant content to share with their followers. Not only finding it, but also remembering to log in periodically throughout the day to post multiple times (2-3 posts per day is recommended for best engagement). READ MORE

Today’s post in our Small Business Toolkit series will address how you, the small business owner, can create your own engaging infographics.

We talked here on the blog last month about how sharing great content through social media can be a powerful way to drive traffic to your website. It gives your followers something to share with their network — getting your brand and your links in front of many more sets of eyeballs without you having to spend a dime. Brilliant.

But social media sharing doesn’t happen all by itself (unfortunately). You have to give your followers something cool/useful/funny enough that they’ll feel compelled to share it in the first place. What options do you have? Here are some popular choices: READ MORE

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