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Ashley Zeckman

7 Ways to Improve Your Online Reputation Management Strategy

Ashley Zeckman on Dec 19th, 2011     Online Marketing, Search Marketing, Small Business, Social Media, Social Networking, User Generated Content
Effectively Manage Your Online Reputation

Is your reputation management strategy a turn off to your customers and critics?

Should we respond, get angry, fire back, ignore the situation, censor comments, or just see what happens?  Those are some of the many questions that marketers are faced with today.  With more and more consumers and customers turning online to share what they think of a particular brand or company it has become increasingly difficult to capture everything that is being shared.

In April of this year Yelp.com reached 50 million users with over 17 million reviews on their database.  If you are a professional responsible for online reputation management it makes you wonder how many other means are there for your customers and critics to share their opinion about your company.

Lee Odden

17 Location-Based Marketing Tips To Drive Word of Mouth & Referrals

Lee Odden on Sep 16th, 2011     Book Reviews, Guest Posts, Online Marketing, Small Business, Social Media

location based marketingNote from Lee: When I heard from Aaron Strout that he and Mike Schneider were writing a book, Location-Based Marketing for Dummies, I knew it would be a great resource. We often do book reviews here on Online Marketing Blog but Aaron and I decided on this format instead, focusing on specific tips and tactics you can use today.

Writing a book takes a lot of work, but with the work is done, it’s satisfying to look back and read all the content that got created. One downside to writing a physical book, however, is trapping all that content between two covers, especially for anyone that decides not to read the book. Rather than let that happen, we are unlocking 17 of the best tips from Location-Based Marketing from Dummies.

Lee Odden

How Small Business Can Get BIG Online with Content Marketing

Lee Odden on Feb 3rd, 2011     Content Marketing, Online Marketing, Small Business

small business online marketingFor small businesses, looking “big” online isn’t so much about appearing as a large company when they’re not. Its about being a big resource for prospects and customers.  As the popularity of content marketing and brands as publishers heats up with large companies, many small businesses still have the advantage of being nimble and adaptive to new ways of engaging customers.  That ability to experiment and implement quickly as well as creatively can be a big advantage.

Here are a few ways small businesses can use content marketing in combination with some SEO and Social Media Smarts to be a “bigger” resource for their  online customers.

Dave Folkens

How Social Media Really Works for Small Business

Dave Folkens on Jan 20th, 2011     B2C, Online Marketing, Small Business, Social Media

SMB social media marketing

One of the most common questions small business marketers are seeking to answer is, “How can I really benefit from social media?” Social media has certainly changed and improved how small to mid-size businesses can carve out space and connect in an extremely crowded marketplace. When companies participate on the social web in a meaningful way, it helps create a personal connection between customers and the brand.

One of the greatest benefits specifically for small businesses is that access to potential customers has increased tremendously. Rather than strictly focusing on paid advertising, word-of-mouth referrals, and in-store promotions (or a wacky mascot standing outside) businesses can now directly find customers  that may be interested in their products based on profiles, active discussions, keywords or expressed interests. This is especially key in the early stages of a business life-cycle when cash is at a premium.

Lee Odden

3 Essential Small Business Search Marketing Trends

Lee Odden on Jun 30th, 2010     Online Marketing, Search Marketing, SEO, Small Business

search marketing trends“Qualified”, “showing intent to buy”, “high conversion rate” and many other phrases are used to describe search engine marketing.  As a $16 billion industry, Search Marketing including SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC ads (pay per click) represent a substantial opportunity for small businesses to connect with customers at the moment they are looking for products and services to buy.

Even though Search Marketing presents an attractive opportunity to grow online sales, many businesses are too busy running their companies to stay on top of future trends. To that end, here are three search marketing trends worth paying attention to:

Glen

7 Essential SEO Tips for Small Businesses

Glen on May 21st, 2010     Online Marketing, SEO, SEO Tips, Small Business

search engine optimizationWhen it comes to marketing in the current economy, small businesses need all the help they can get. They don’t have the ad budgets, the personnel or the time that the bigger competition has. But none of those factors really matter to search engines, and SEO is a great way to both level the playing field and steal marketshare.

Here are a few tips that small businesses can use to improve their SEO and user experience.

1. Turn everything into content

Content is still King. Search engines still love unique content, and the more useful content there is on your website, the more opportunities you give searchers to find your products and services. Rob Snell gave a fabulous presentation at PUBCON South, and one of the main takeaways was how to turn everything on an e-commerce site into content. Here are some ways to “free” extra content on your site. Here were some of his tips:

TopRank Online Marketing

10 Easy Local SEO & Online Marketing Tips

TopRank Online Marketing on May 20th, 2010     Google, Local SEO, Microsoft Bing, Online Marketing, SEO, Small Business, Yahoo

Google Places Pin There are currently 29.6 million small businesses in the U.S. (SCORE). 63% of consumers and small business owners use the Internet to find information about local companies and 82% use search engines (Webvisible & Nielsen).  That means there’s a lot of opportunity for local SEO.

Recently I attended GetListed.org’s Local University in Minneapolis which focused on how to optimize web sites for local search.  Out of all the good information that came out of the event, here are 10 easy things you can do today to optimize sites and content to attract local customers.

1. Claim your profile.
It’s as simple as logging into Google Places, Bing Local and Yahoo Local and walking through the verification steps which include a phone call or post card to verify your address.

TopRank Online Marketing

Small Business Tips For Reporting Web Metrics

TopRank Online Marketing on Feb 23rd, 2010     Online Marketing, SEO, Small Business, Web Analytics

web analytics reporting[Last week, we shared some web analytics basics for small businesses or web site owners new to tracking website visitor data. Building on that, this post explores what you should do next to report that data.]

It’s an exciting time to be a small business owner or communications professional. Why? We’ve never had more data and metrics at our fingertips. Actually, we flew past merely having data to having real-time data.

Surprisingly some don’t initially like web metrics. Common concerns I’ve heard over the years include:

  • It’s too confusing
  • Information overload
  • What am I supposed to do with all this data?
  • Won’t all this tracking be expensive?
TopRank Online Marketing

Basic Tips on Web Analytics

TopRank Online Marketing on Feb 17th, 2010     Online Marketing, Small Business, Web Analytics

Just about every business with a web site does something to market and promote it. When those companies are asked about web analytics, it’s surprising how many look back with a blank stare.  This isn’t the case with mature online marketers but it does happen a lot with new business web sites and blogs.

For many companies that are new to web analytics the idea of digging in and finding useful information can be daunting.  It’s common marketing sense to measure what you’re marketing, but making sense of analytics data doesn’t always find time in the mix of duties a small business or new web site owner is responsible for.

Lee Odden

Ten Must Read Tips to Start a Small Business Blog

Lee Odden on Feb 15th, 2010     Blog Marketing, Blog Optimization, Blogging, Small Business

A friend of mine who is an experienced corporate marketer started a new business. The store just opened and being the good pal that I am, I was able to provide some advice regarding marketing on the web – specifically regarding blog marketing.

This is a new small business, so considerations for what to do about a web site included: cost, functionality, flexibility, ease of maintenance and marketability. The web site needed to serve as both an online representation of the business, but without transactional functionality, as well as a host for landing pages used with email and PPC campaigns.

My recommendation for a low cost, easy to use and search engine friendly content mangagement system? Blog software.

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