Category Archives: Blog

SEO Basics For Small Business Owners

SEO flow chart on chalkboardEvery small business should have a basic knowledge of search engine optimization. In fact, you should almost be exhausted by the term “SEO” at this point, as you’ve been undoubtedly told time and time again just how important it is. But unlike many trending industry buzzwords, SEO is here to stay. Why? In our web-facing world, the (already) dominant search engines are becoming the cornerstone of the internet. Standard procedure for individuals looking for information is to search first.

Understanding the basic tenets of SEO will keep your business relevant and searchable, which will amount to added business and web traffic. There will be hoards of digital marketers that will tell you your organization needs a professional (and oftentimes expensive) SEO strategy, but understanding a few basics will keep your business in the conversation.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • What is SEO?

For starters, don’t be intimidated by ‘SEO’ – it sounds much more complicated than it actually is! The acronym stands for ‘search engine optimization’ and it’s the process of aligning your website to the standards and recommendations of search engines in order to get increased traffic and visibility from search engine results.

Web pages, videos, listings, etc. are shown based on what the search engine considers most relevant to users. “Relevancy” is determined by search engine algorithms. The exact algorithms are not made publicly available, but in attempt to create a stronger, safer, more legitimate user experience, search engines are pretty open about what will help or hurt rankings.

  • What is SERP?

The lesser known but equally important term “SERP” or Search Engine Results Page describes the actual listing or ranking order that an end user is presented with after a search. This is closely connected with SEO because if you’re practicing good SEO practices, your SERP score should also be considerably strong. Small businesses should be especially focused on SERP and aim to be as high as possible on various search engine results pages.

  • What role do ‘keywords’ play in SEO?

While keywords remain a prominent component of SEO, their importance is waning. It used to be you could simply slap up a page and jam it with the terms users commonly search for, but search engines are growing smarter. Keywords and phrases are still important, but they must be surrounded by impactful content and placed intelligently with end usability in mind.

  • How does social media impact SEO?

Your business should cultivate a strong social media presence and create a profile on all channels that are appropriate for your industry. Promoting web content on Twitter, Facebook, Vine or other social media avenues will help your business rise through the search engine ranks.

  • What is the importance of quality content?

At this point, you should know that producing high-quality content is the essence of SEO. Create pages with end users in mind and avoid tricks intended to fool search engine algorithms (keyword jamming). Focus on creating content that is valuable and engaging, and differentiate yourself from your competitors.


Search standards are ever evolving. While this can cause headaches, it’s ultimately to the benefit of us all. Continue to stay up to date with the latest search engine principles and their suggestions on how to maintain a strong organic search presence.

Use Technology to Improve Customer Service

Bulter with Call BellThe internet has afforded us the ability to connect with customers and clients like never before. Your business should be wielding the power of web-based resources for opportunities to connect with patrons and to improve customer service. The following internet-based practices will help create excellent service experiences, which will result in loyal and satisfied customers.

  • Be Available – If a customer is not able to get ahold of a company representative when they attempt to make contact, kiss them goodbye. We understand that many small businesses do not have the ability to man a dedicated, 24/7 chat queue or an around-the-clock call center, but free services – like Gmail, Twitter – are all you need. Create a dedicated avenue for customer contact, and commit to checking it daily (or more) to stay on top of customer interactions.

Show ‘Em You Care: PCI Compliance and Your Small Business

PCI ComplianceIf you’re a business that accepts credit card payments, you’ve become familiar with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard for protecting cardholder information, commonly referred to as “PCI”. As credit card processors, banks, and businesses get more serious about credit card data security, you owe it to your customers to choose compliance every time.

In just the past year, we’ve seen data breach, after data breach, on top of data breaches across all industry sectors. Your customers want to know that you value their security and are serious about protecting their information. Showing your customers and clients that your organization is serious about data security will not only increase the legitimacy of your business, but you will be rewarded with satisfied lifelong customers who will spread the word about your solid business practices.

Elements of Organic Search 2014

organic searchOrganic search elements change often. To stay ahead of your competition, your company and/or digital marketing firm should be staying on top of the newest search guidelines set forth by the search engines.  These guidelines provide you with “best practices” you should adopt right now to increase and improve your visibility within search engines.  Here are the latest elements search engines are targeting; the inclusion of the following (or lack thereof) will have considerable impact on search ranking positions. These elements will also continue to be important moving into 2015.

Introduction to Digital Marketing

digital marketingFor a business to succeed in today’s world, it is important to have a strong digital footprint within the internet. Therefore, when a business is defining its marketing plan, it must incorporate a solid digital strategy. Without a digital marketing strategy in place, new client acquisitions, brand visibility, and impactful revenue generating opportunities will likely be damaged.

Five Important Digital Marketing Elements To Consider

The five most important elements of a digital campaign consist of mobile considerations, organic search, social media marketing, content marketing and lead nurturing. All of these elements combined make up a cohesive digital marketing strategy. How you define these elements have a direct correlation on a successful campaign.

Responsive Design v. Mobile Website: What’s The Difference?

Mobile website_responsive designShould you have a mobile website or a responsive website?

This is a debate among website developers, SEO companies, and business owners alike. As a decision maker within your company, how do you determine which is the best platform for your business?

What is the difference between the two platforms?

A mobile site is a replica of your website, optimized to be viewed on smaller screens such as phones and tablets. In this instance, the server does the work to deliver a page that is smaller, easier to navigate, and loads quickly. It is important to point out that having a dedicated mobile app created for your website is not the same as having a website that is optimized for mobile.

Responsive Design: An Industry Buzz Term or A Necessity For Your Business?

responsiveOver the past year and a half, the concept of responsive design has played a prominent part in discussions regarding website design and development. While there are countless blogs, webinars, etc. discussing this topic, many people are still uncertain of the benefits. Is responsive design an industry buzz term that will fade out, or a necessity you need to consider for your business’ website? There are many reasons why adopting a responsive platform for your website is a progressive business decision. The following provides proof that this web movement is indeed a business necessity:

Mobile Usage Is Increasing

What Happens When OSHA Comes Calling?

osha-hazcom-1110x400_0OSHA – the Occupational Safety and Health Administration – is a federal agency charged with creating and enforcing safe and healthy work conditions in businesses across the U.S. OSHA standards focus on emergency communications and response, fire prevention, safety notices, and education. They are charged with upholding the requirement that all employers to keep records of workplace illnesses and injuries. (These records don’t have to be submitted to OSHA but employers must keep them on-site for five years in the event of an OSHA inspection.)

According to “OSHA Fact Sheet: OSHA Inspections,” the agency prioritizes its inspection resources on the most hazardous workplaces in this order:

White House Fence-Jumper More Dangerous Than Previously Thought

Security at the White HouseThe recent security breach at the White House was much more serious than previously reported.

Last week, Omar Gonzalez was charged with unlawfully entering a restricted area while carrying a deadly or dangerous weapon. Secret Service officials originally reported that Gonzalez was quickly detained at the main entrance after scaling a wall at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. However, The Washington Post broke the latest details on Monday that Gonzalez actually made it much deeper into the building.

Upon clearing a fence outside the White House, the accused overpowered a Secret Service officer at the front door and barreled along through the 80-foot-long East Room, reaching the door of the Green Room where he was eventually detained, knife in hand.

The iPhone 6 is here!


Apple Inc. Reveals Bigger-Screen iPhones Alongside WearablesIt’s been a week since the release of Apple’s newest baby, or should we say babies: The iPhone 6, iPhone 6+. Meaning regular people (those that don’t have 18 hours to stand in line outside the Apple Store, or thousands of dollars to buy it on Amazon) have easy access to the new hardware.

These two phones are slim and large. The iPhone 6, 4.7 inch screen and the 6 Plus, a 5.5 inch screen, almost as big as Apple’s iPad Mini. But the biggest selling points for this sleek thin new device are not just in its outer shell but its interior.