There have been some great blog posts in 2008 that every small business owner could learn from and I am going to present 7 that I am certain would give you a leg up in 2009. If you think all blog posts are short, to general to be meaningful and mostly for the self gratification of the writer be prepared to have your socks knocked off with these 7. Where will you put your marketing dollars in 2009? Janet Meiners Thaeler of Small Business Trends has some helpful numbers. “In the past, people went to the Yellow Pages to find local businesses. If you wanted someone to cut your hair, you look under “beauty shops” and call a salon. Yes, businesses still get leads from the Yellow Pages, but it’s no longer the first place they look.”
Now that you know where people will be looking for you, the next question has to be how do you get there. David Mihm did an excellent post in April titled The Ten Commandments of Online Marketing for Small Local Businesses. He has a list of “local search engines” to get your company listed in and a list of Websites where you should go to verify your business information, because these are the companies where search engines pull their local data from.
There’s no question in my mind that pay per click marketing is one of if not the most cost effective marketing strategies for small businesses. Whether or not you’re already using PPC marketing you may not realize that your Quality Score has an impact on everything from how highly placed your ad is to how much you pay per click. You need to improve your ad quality score and Search Engine Land has a good post on this.
Recently Google removed from Its Webmaster Guidelines submitting your site to the granddaddy of all directories DMOZ and Yahoo!. Specifically they removed the line “Submit your site to relevant directories such as the Open Directory Project and Yahoo!, as well as to other industry-specific expert sites.” This calls into question the value of submitting to directories at all for ranking in Google. They have not come out and said they are not counting links from these directories or others, they may even continue to count these links without giving them the same importance they once did. One thing is for certain, Yahoo! continues to place a fair amount of value on all links and you may want to spend some time getting links from directories for this reason alone. But if you’re going to be seeking listings and links from directories in 2009 you should read 8 Directory Submission Red Flags.
From Duct Tape Marketing, “Low overhead is one of the competitive advantages of small businesses and each new online technology that supports getting work done without employees makes this even more so.” Here’s a nifty list of collaboration tools.
One mistake many small businesses make in their advertising efforts is being too self focused. What do they really want to know about you. 3 Questions Your Customers Are Dying For You To Ask
Whether or not you’re going to launch a blog in 2009 you should read Brian Clark’s “How to Get 6,312 Subscribers to Your Business Blog in One Day” The techniques Brian talks about can be applied to any launch be it a blog, newsletter, product or even a service.
Use the comment section to nominate your favorite small business blog post of 2008.