Promotion, one element of your marketing mix, is the set of tactics business owners and marketers use to achieve a defined goal for the business or brand. And whether your next promotion is digital (a contest, a landing page on your website, an email) or print (brochures, a postcard mailing, your business cards) there are number of pitfalls to watch out for. Here are 10 of the big ones that can really tank your next promotion:

1. Failing to identify your goals. A personal trainer once told me, “fail to plan, plan to fail.” This also rings true in marketing. Without defining what you hope to achieve with your promotion, your effort is doomed from the start. Wikipedia identifies 3 possible objectives for promotions as

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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.

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In last week’s post about analytics tools for small business owners, we talked about how Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools can help you figure out where your traffic is coming from and how to get more of it. So what happens after you’re gotten those visitors to your page? Are they clicking and converting, or leaving without interacting the way you’d like them to?

To take your analytics to the next level and start making changes to your pages that will directly affect your conversion numbers, consider a heatmapping service. One popular choice in this industry is Crazy Egg.

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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.

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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.

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Our Small Business Toolkit series continues today with a look at the most important tool in your arsenal: your website! If you missed our kickoff post, learn about online resources for small businesses here.

If you have found your way to this blog, you are most likely already aware of the importance of having a great small business website to market your business. If you’re not already aware of that, here are 5 reasons to create a website for your small business. If you’re not sold right now, please read that post and come right back here so we can all move on together.

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We’re excited to announce that throughout the month of March we’re going to be devoting the Webs blog to helping small business owners get the tools they need to succeed. When you’re first starting out, sometimes is hard to find the time to scour the internet finding and comparing all of the resources available to entrepreneurs — so we’re going to do it for you!

We’ll kick off the series today with a roundup of great online resources — aside from the Webs Blog, of course — where you can get tools and information crucial to a successful business strategy.

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Now that you’re familiar with the concept of SEO and what it does, it’s time to build upon that foundation. Part two of this series aims to show you just how critical SEO is to your online success by discussing its benefits.

If you didn’t get the opportunity to read the first post in this series, Search Engine Optimization 101, I highly recommend giving it a quick read. It will give you a very basic foundation for what people mean when they use the acronym SEO and why it’s important to your business.

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As the proud owner of a small business website, you’ve done your best to make your website attractive and easy to use. You’ve set up a welcoming homepage, made sure to have user-friendly navigation, and even optimized your contact page. Yep, any potential customer sitting at their computer would be happy to browse your site. But what about the ones who aren’t at home?

You’ve likely heard a lot by now about the importance of having a mobile version of your website. You’re well aware that smartphones are now approaching the audience size of PC, (eMarketer) and that mobile users browse your site under totally different conditions, requiring a different set of design rules. If you’re a Webs user, you’re in luck — a mobile version of your site is automatically generated in your account. For tips on making the most of this version, check out this post on how to optimize your mobile site.

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There was a time not too long ago when people thought of blogs and websites as two distinctly different things. The purpose of a website was to promote products and services and provide static information. A blog was a type of website that featured articles or journal-like entries that people would bookmark or subscribe to and read periodically.

Today, websites and blogs have a much closer relationship, and frequently occupy the same space. A blog has become an invaluable tool for driving traffic, and therefore has become a permanent fixture of an increasing number of small business websites.

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