You took the time to find a talented website designer and invested in a professional web design. You poured your soul into writing high-quality content ready to inspire, motivate, teach and entertain your website visitors. You looked all over for the perfect images to create the perfect look and feel for each page of your site. You are now proud of what you have created, but there is a big problem: no one else seems proud of your site.

This is a problem many website owners encounter, but there are creative actions you can take to bring more visitors to your site. If you haven’t already started a marketing plan, right now is the time to change that. If you have been marketing your website but haven’t received the results you wanted, the following tips will help you develop a more efficient, results-driven plan. Get ready to unveil your beautiful creation on the rest of the world.

Spill Your Heart in a Blog

Do you have a blog for your website? If not, your goal is to change that this year. If you do, your goal is to change the way you think about your blog. This is not a space for stuffy declarations of your worth or heavy advertisements. Blogs are not meant to be updated once a month or only when you have a new product to push. Your blog is your space to tell the world what makes you tick, why you are special, and how you see your industry and the world at large.

Write tightly-focused blog posts that drill home one central idea in a personal manner. Speak directly to your readers so that they see you as a person to whom they can relate. Ask questions and take the time to read the comments when they start coming in. This is hard because you are revealing your true self in a vulnerable manner. Go there, and you will be rewarded.

Give Your Heart Away

Do you have an eBook, long report or other digital product that you know would help millions of people if they gave it a chance? Instead of pedaling it for what it is worth, give part or all of it away for free. This may make you squirm a little, but that only tells you that it is something of value that will work. The goal is to have other products to offer when people realize the value of your freebie and come back for more.

You can also write brilliant blog posts and give them to other bloggers. Why would you do that when you are starting your own blog? You do it because giving away that top-notch post allows you to tap into the audience already secured by other bloggers.

You will need to make updates to your website to make these ideas work. You may need to add an opt-in for visitors to receive your freebie in exchange for their name and email address, and the blog will take some time to setup. It will be worth it in the end as you get more for your marketing time and dollars.

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onlinereviews_thumbsOnline Reviews are promotions for your business written by your current or past customers. Some reviews are delivered through online video, but most are written and presented through websites, blogs and social media accounts. Your customers share their experiences with your products and services in order to help other consumers make educated buying decisions.

Online reviews are powerful promotional tools because they backup the claims you make about your own business. You can tell potential customers how great your products are and how reliable your services are, but they are going to listen to the experience of another consumer before they take your word for it. This is because you have something to sell them, but your customers have nothing to gain by telling the truth about their experiences.

What about Negative Reviews?

Even if you have an excellent product or service, you may run into a dissatisfied customer or two. You may not know that they are dissatisfied until you convince them to write a review, and you won’t like what you read in that review. Rather than getting mad or acting defensive, use this as an opportunity to correct your mistakes and win them over.

Consider the validity of the negative review and offer complimentary products or services. Open a dialogue with the customer by asking what you can do to correct their experience with your business. You may turn that negative review into a review that glows with positivity if you react in a professional manner.

Promoting Reviews for Business Growth

Encourage your current and previous customers to write out a review regarding their experiences with your company. Even if they only write a few words or a couple sentences, their support for your business is valuable when new customers come along and wonder about the legitimacy of your business. You can give incentives to those who write reviews, but never withhold that incentive if you receive a negative review.

Promoting reviews from your customers is easy. Display the reviews on your website or allow customers to enter their reviews directly onto your website. Promote the reviews further by using them in social media and blog posts. This gets the word out that your business is legitimate and has a lot to offer customers.

Consumer reviews are excellent market research tools. If you find customers routinely complaining about the same thing, you know that area of your business needs improvement. When you receive compliments on one area of your business on a routine basis, then you know that area is one of your strengths.

If you pay attention to the opinions expressed in these reviews, you can use this insight to make important decisions regarding your business. For instance, you may go ahead with a new product because a similar product was wildly popular with your customers and you see that demand is high. You may also decide to invest more money in customer service or packaging if those areas are routinely criticized in customer reviews.

Yes, there are some fake reviews floating around online. That does not mean that reviews are not powerful resources for your business. Embrace real online reviews, listen to your customers, and watch your business grow.

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Linked In is often grouped with Facebook and Twitter as a social media website, but it is quite different from most sites within that category. While you can connect with past, current and future customers through Facebook and conduct valuable market research, you can use Linked In for your business in many other ways:

  • Perform competitor research by connecting with professionals from competing businesses.
  • Learn more about job applicants before you interview them.
  • Connect with talented people from around the world who might become investors, employees, partners or simply inspirations for your business.
  • Listen to viewpoints from professionals around the world concerning critical aspects of your industry.
  • Expand brand awareness through effective online marketing.
  • Get your company name in the minds of influential people within your industry.

In order to get these benefits from Linked In for your business, you need to actively participate on the site. This takes time, but if you dedicate even 30 minutes several days a week, it will help your business over time. It all starts when you setup your profile. Complete it thoroughly, including a professional, recent picture of yourself or someone who represents your business well. Your profile should share recent or upcoming events that are newsworthy. All information should remain up-to-date and accurate. Pay attention to the description of your business because the beginning of that section will show up in search engines when your Linked In page is displayed in search results. Make every word say something substantial about your company. Add links to your business website and blog along with compelling descriptions for those sites. Use the space for descriptions and resumes to present samples of your work and highlight the strengths your business has to offer. If you’re going to mention your weaknesses, turn them into strengths. Imagine this profile will become your first impression to millions of people around the world. What do you want them to know about your business? That is what should be the central focus of your profile. Time to Integrate Into the Community Once you have a powerful profile ready to present your business to the world, it is time to become an active member of the community. Start with the following actions:

  • Search for professionals you already know and invite them into your network. Do not include friends and family members unless they work within your industry or are somehow connected to your business.
  • Seek out other professionals you may want to get to know and invite them into your network.
  • Explore Linked In groups and join those that catch your interest. Look for discussion and networking groups dedicated to your industry, professional organizations and regional networking groups. Actively engage in these groups so you become known.
  • Start updating your status with exciting or interesting news related to your business or industry.
  • As people join your network, look at their connections and invite some of them to join your network.

Once you become active on Linked In, you will start to receive invites to connect with other networks. Don’t get desperate and connect with everyone. Select those that will help you benefit from Linked In for your business. As you speak out in forums and engage other professionals, you will receive higher quality invitations. You never know when one invite could become a positive turning point for your business.

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One Today by Google

We love Google but we love supporting non-profits even more. Here are 2 links to posts that can help you engage or get started with One Today by Google.


Google One Today, Where Social Networking and Environmental and Social Responsibility Meet

Today with so many good causes and so many things that require our attention, finding the best non profit to which we’d like to donate is becoming more difficult. Information overload is the order of the day if you simply search out a non profit or a cause online.In many cases the information is not entirely correct and we may end up donating to causes which are not as legitimate as we might wish them to be.

Getting Started With Google One Today – Social Networking for Non-Profits from Google

Google Non Profits has recently opened a new way to get noticed and a innovative way with which to raise funding for your non profit. With some minor restrictions as to which non profits may become involved, Google is now inviting new or aged nonprofit companies to create their own projects and to register to use One Today. One today is the ultimate in fund raising by the use of social media and social networking campaigns.

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Local AdvertisingMany small businesses or single party sellers believe that a website is an expense that they don’t need and that advertising or SEO is a service which won’t assist them in increasing their sales.

Local vs Global-Can SEO Really Help?

One of the most common myths about the small or mid-sized business is that because they are only doing business in a small local area, that online advertising is not necessary or desirable. The small business owner is often taken in by this myth and doesn’t promote the website or use local SEO or SEM to locally market their business. This is detrimental to the business owner in that they are not well branded and it is detrimental to their bottom line as well. In this climate, who can afford to give away sales?

How People Find New Venders

Whether you are local or global, people are looking for you. Most of those people, statistically are looking for you online. Consider how you and your family may search. If you’re looking for a new product or service, chances are that you’re using local search online to find that product.

Even something as small as a pizza restaurant is being searched in local areas more than a thousand times a day. Many searches take place while people are on the road actively ready to spend money on a local business.

Making sure that you’re online and able to be found means making sure that part of that business comes to you and your company.

Why Advertise Online?

Local people have the idea that the internet is global in nature and local businesses are overlooked. In fact, if you are using the right text and the right keywords local advertising will increase their business in a big way.

Very often searches take the form of –for example–“Omaha fast food.”

Your competition is–by and large–online and working to attain that local traffic and to edge out their competition. Statistics from the marketing industry, specifically from Marketing Land tell us that:

  • The retail industry will spend more than 9 billion dollars on digital advertising this year.

  • Most of that advertising and targeting will take place online.

  • More than 60% of people look for a business online, even if that business is locally owned and operated.

  • If you’re not online, you are leaving nearly sixty percent of the new business on the table.

  • Local SEO is necessary in order to compete with the other businesses in your area.

  • Local business marketing brings in more than 25 billion dollars in new businesses per year.

How much of that business can you afford to pass up before your business is overshadowed by those who are using online and digital advertising?

Advertising Methods

Local SEO and local business marketing using your own website, social media venues such as Facebook, Twitter, Wooxie.com and Pinterest are going to help to improve your visibility and to brand your business.

More than one method of advertising is necessary for your business growth. This is true even if you own and operate a very small business. Your competition is marketing to the local area. The trend is to advertise locally and that is a trend that can be expected to continue and to grow. The internet, social media marketing and online marketing is the wave of the present and certainly of the future. Those of us who are in business today either ride the wave or sink.


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Local Business AdvertisingThe business world has been a little shaky for several years. Beginning to pick up slightly, the economy is still slightly turbulent for small business. We’re all looking for ways to run our business with the lowest costs vs the highest efficiency that we can get. Today, with so much up for grabs, it’s certainly not the time to be cutting back on your budget for advertising, but it is a good time to reevaluate it to ensure that the budget that you do have is being used to your best advantage.

Local business advertising is done the best and cost effectively online. It is considerably cheaper-even if you have to hire someone to write your copy or content for you–to advertise online using content to help you to become more visible. In fact, in many cases online advertising is free of charge. The right content and social media copy will go a long way toward helping your company and your products to become more visible and more profitable.

The reality is that local businesses in particular need to advertise online. If your prospective customer can’t find you, they are going to find your competition.

Your small business website is in place, but is it working for you? Does your local business website help to increase the volume of your sales or to broaden the scope of your business? Is it visible, easy to find and does it reflect well on your company?

If it doesn’t then maybe it’s time for a few changes. Even if you’re only doing business in a small local area, your prospective customers are online and actively looking for someone who is in your business. If they can’t find you, it stands to reason then, they are going to find your competition.

The Right Content and Keywords

Ensuring that they can find you means taking a few steps to make that more easily accomplished.Using some localization, adding some local keywords to your content is a good start. People don’t typically search for a local business by using global keywords. For example, if you were seeking a Nottingham carpet cleaner, you would type in just that. Using keywords such as those in your online content will make you easier to find.

Consistency in Advertising

One of the things that you can offer is a consistent business listing that sees every website reflecting your business address and phone number updated and current. No matter how you have them listed, every website should list them exactly the same in every instance. One of the reasons for that is that it is a distinct red flag for a prospective customer to see a website listing that gives two or three different addresses or phone numbers for the same business in various places.

Small businesses who move a great deal or who change their information frequently may be businesses who are not above board. They tend to make companies or individuals think twice before hiring them.

Know Your Competition in the Local Area

The chances are good that you have some local competition who is vying for the same business that you are. Know who they are. The best way to do that is to have a marketing expert in your corner who can help to research not just the main competitors but those who are up and coming and may be more competition in the near future.

Get Help With Your Marketing

While we all hear that SEO and SEM isn’t rocket science, if you’re consistently being beaten out in the SERPs by your competition, it’s time to get some help with local business seo and your local business website in order to create a more visible and more profitable future for your company.


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Google One Today

Getting Started with Google One Today

Google Non Profits has recently opened a new way to get noticed and a innovative way with which to raise funding for your non profit. With some minor restrictions as to which non profits may become involved, Google is now inviting new or aged nonprofit companies to create their own projects and to register to use One Today. One today is the ultimate in fund raising by the use of social media and social networking campaigns.

Social networking, as we all know, is a very powerful way to make a statement today about your products and services. It can be equally as helpful for those things which you want to promote and to ensure that people who will donate can find and view the things that you have done and desire to do for the world around you. One Today makes it easier to accomplish those things by putting your non profit in front of the people who will help you to accomplish your goals.

What is Google One Today and How Can it be Useful to You?

One today is a mobile application that permits your non profit group to build and to feature different campaigns or projects for which you need funds.

The idea behind One Today is that your company can benefit greatly and your customers and those who donate can make a vast impact by just donating one dollar a day.. which is where the name, One Today comes from. Whether your non profit provides laptops for children or nursing care for adults, you can use One Today to help spread the word about your non profit and to find ways to fund your activities or services.

How Does it Work for Those Who Donate?

One Today is only available on Android and the parties who use it to donate to your project or service will be sent a receipt after their donation is made. Those who donate more than 250 USD will even be credited with a tax deduction via the certificate that they get from Network for Good at the end of the year.

Getting Started with One Today

In order to use One Today for your own nonprofit, just a few simple steps will get you started on your way to receiving funding and notice by the use of the application. Getting started is as easy as filling out the application and setting up projects in the One Today area.

Filling out an application to be included in the One Today app is easy. Typically just your non profit designation and your number can be used to find out whether or not you qualify for adding your project to Google for Nonprofits and hence to One Today.

Fundraising is easier with One Today. For non profits to get started you must be a member of Google for Non profits. You’ll have access not just to One Today, but also to Google Grants and many other perks for non profit groups.

Your approval normally comes to you in a day or two and allows you to connect with the people who are most intersted in your projects and your causes. One dollar can make a big difference in your world, particularly when those one dollar donations come to you by way of social networking users who are spreading the news about your cause. Lower the cost of your nonprofit advertising and reach the people who can help you most with One Today for Google nonprofits.

Sign up today and find out what One Today can do for you!


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Google One TodayToday with so many good causes and so many things that require our attention, finding the best non profit to which we’d like to donate is becoming more difficult. Information overload is the order of the day if you simply search out a non profit or a cause online.In many cases the information is not entirely correct and we may end up donating to causes which are not as legitimate as we might wish them to be.

Non profits usually enter the field because the owner or developer of the group or organization feels a sense of social responsibility that compels them to make a change in the world. The combination of social responsibility and social netoworking is one that could be a powerful force for good in the world. Google, recognizing this, has developed a new application that combines the two.

Today, social networking is one way in which you can use your online presence to raise awareness and to raise funds. Google One Today is a new mobile application that can assist you in the promotion of your cause and help your company to raise money for your non profit in new and very innovative ways.

What is the Cost?

Your membership in One Today is free and the registration process is rapidly accomplished. Users of the One Today application are offered new causes every day that will help them to find non-profits in which they are interested and which address causes dear to their heart. Users invite friends into One Today donations by the use of social media. The Google user can then promote their causes via other social networking sites and invite their friends or family to donate as well.

Who Is Eligible?

There are some restrictions as to what kind of entities are eligible for inclusion in Google One Today. Those non profits which are involved in schooling,such as nursery schools and day care, as well as private schools, along with most medical or health care facilities and nursing or home health care services may not apply to become involved in One Today. Most other non profit entities are eligible to become involved in One Today to increase the awareness of what they do and why they do it.

How Do You Apply?

Application is easily accomplished. In most cases, the approval is done in hours rather than in days or weeks, which may be the case in some online venues.

What Do You Gain?

Social Networking can help you to gain ground and to support the cause that you have chosen to make your own. Promotion of your non profit is far easier when it is part of an application that is downloaded thousands, if not millions of times and shared across a wide range of social networking sites. Your time online will be better spent and your fund raising dollars will go further when you raise funds and using methods which are free of charge.

You can see a broad and rapid expansion of your user base and increase your donations more rapidly when you usesocial networking methods. Your product and your project will be seen by more people in more areas when you use One Today.

In a world where social networking is used more than five times a day by people of all ages, engaging your target audience through an exciting new social media application makes good sense for you and your non profit.


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Now that 2013 is coming to an end, what have you done to improve your social media marketing in 2013? Social Media Marketing Review

It’s never too late to implement new strategies, and with 2014 on the horizon, here are 5 easy things you can do to get ahead of the curve as this year ends:

1. Review what you did this year. Whether it was just a little or a whole lot, give your strategy a full review. Look at your posts and follower engagement to see where there is room for improvement.

2. Set new targets for 2014. If you got 100 new followers in 2013, set loftier goals in 2014. Push to put out better content and engage followers in new ways. Set real, measurable goals and strive to meet them.

3. Humanize your posts. It still holds true, a picture is worth a thousand words. Video is worth even more. Use real images and videos on your posts created by your staff and see how well your followers react. It is a great way to engage followers and get them to resonate with your brand.

4. Get consistent. Make sure all of your online and offline marketing is consistent – even when it comes to your social media posts and images. If you have been out of line, it will only confuse your followers. Brand consistency is still important.

5. Get viral! Try to be creative and get your team together to create images or video that will go viral online. This will get you the most exposure and drive traffic and engagement (even if short lived). Viral content will boost the amount of followers you have and get people talking.

There are many easy things you can do in your social media strategy but the important thing is that you remain consistent in all channels. Your social media marketing review for this year should be thorough so that when the new year begins, you know where you can be most effective.

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marketing strategies for startupsWhen you’re a start-up, the thing that is probably at the top of your mind is how to get to the top of your potential customer’s minds – or rather, how to set your business apart in such a competitive market. While start-ups are vying for attention, you can count on these three tips to get your marketing off to a great start.

1. Stay Focused

First and foremost, stay focused on your target market. Don’t be tempted to advertise to everyone. If you focus your marketing content to those who are more likely to convert into customers, your efforts will be more profitable.

2. Give Your Clients An Incentive To Share

Give referral bonuses, discounts or recognition for sharing your brand with their friends and connections. A little effort on your clients’ part can go a long way in getting your company’s name out there, especially if your clients have some positive things to say about your brand/products/services. If you offer people something of value, they are likely to help you spread the word – people like perks.

3. Use Social Media

It’s there. Use it. Show people what your company is all about, put your brand’s personality on the map. Invest a bit of time and effort and it will provide a great return on investment. Engage people with valuable content, unique content your company has created, and you’ll find that it’s easy to start a conversation. Videos go viral every day and a picture is still worth a thousand words. Social media is NOT the place to make a sales pitch, it is a place to make raving fans of your brand by making an emotional connection. Just keep in mind that social media is not for every business. If you are not going to commit to it and stick with it, don’t do it at all. The last thing your followers want is to see you “here today and gone tomorrow”. That makes you seem untrustworthy.

For more great marketing strategies for startups and small businesses follow us on Twitter @bmgcreative or Like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/webdesignfortlauderdale

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