Digital Trends for SMB’s in 2014

Looking back on the past year, the importance of maintaining your business in the digital realm is readily apparent. Gone are the days of thumbing through a phone book, reorganizing your Rolodex, and coupon-clipping apart your local paper. Real-time information, mapping, and customer reviews are ubiquitous in local search. A wealth of information is at the click of a button - at least it’s expected to be -- if you’re a consumer. Consider some of this data. According to a Cisco update, global mobile data traffic grew an overall 81 percent last year. To help put that in perspective, consider that mobile data traffic this year was almost 18 times the size of the entire global internet data traffic in 2000, and more than 500 million new mobile device connections were accounted for in the last year. The growth is exponential. At the end of 2013, a Business Insider... [More]

Competing for Visibility: Google+ Local Ranking Factors

The shift to social (Google+) has been indicative of a more democratized local algorithm. Further evidence is Google Map Maker being increasingly relied on as the back-end for Google+ Local. Looking ahead, the Google Local Business Center used for edits/updates/reporting will likely be wholly integrated into Google+ Local with Map Maker serving as the back-end “mapper-driven” verification tool. We've just put out a 2012/2013 Google+ Local SEO Guide which points out a few things SMB Marketers should be aware regarding some updates to Google+ Local, including some tips to improve visibility in local search.   [More]

Think of Moms This Summer: Make Your Business Kid-Friendly

For children, summer break inspires excitement. Three months of freedom for playing, planning adventures and plotting assorted mischief. For mothers, on the other hand, summer break may provoke slightly different sentiments. The errands of everyday life remain the same, but during summer break, mothers often acquire a posse of high-maintenance, low-patience helpers. Suffice it to say, accomplishing these tasks becomes a much more burdensome chore. However, a savvy mom will plan ahead, choosing businesses and shops that will keep her children entertained and content while she works her way down the to-do list. Therefore, a savvy business owner’s job is twofold: create a kid-friendly environment and then spread the word that you run a child-friendly business. Here are a few tips on how to accomplish both: Provide Toys, Activities or Entertainment for Children While they Wait. Does your business have a waiting room? Stock it with toys and kid’s magazines.... [More]