Fake Google Phone Calls?

sleazy sales agentIn this episode of the ‘In The Trenches Small Business Marketing Podcast” I do an “Ask Kyle” episode and let you know if Google is really calling your business multiple times a week or if it is something else.

Debbie asks: “Hi Kyle quick question, should I be getting any kind of phone calls from Google+ account. When I call back they say I can be removed from the list? Any clue? Thanks -Deb”

Here is Kyle’s Answer about these Fake Google Calls:  


Here is the section on Google’s Website talking about these Fake Calls

Here is the section of interest from Google’s Help page:

Google telemarketing calls

Watch out for parties calling and selling services claiming to have a special relationship with or claiming to be Google. Often, these parties are telemarketers that are not affiliated with Google and are trying to leverage the Google brand to sell your business some type of online service. Keep in the mind the following:

Google does not place robocalls.
Google does not call to “update your front page listing” or ask you to “claim your free website.”
Google does not charge for inclusion in Google Search or Google My Business.
Resources:

If you are continually being contacted by a telemarketer claiming these things and are on the do not call list, you can file a complaint at the National Do Not Call Registry.

—-

I hope that helps you avoid getting led astray.

Have a question you want to ask Kyle – click here to ask

To your business success,

Kyle Battis signature

 

 

 

What Type of Advertising is Best for a Small Business?

How to Invest Your Small Business Ad Budget WiselyInternet Ads

Many times a small business owner draws a blank when it comes to determining how to spend their advertising budget. They often have never purchased ads before, have a small budget to work with, and haven’t a clue as to what’s available to them.

The fact is advertising is essential for a business to prosper, and for small businesses there are many more options than you might imagine.

Let’ get familiar with some of these, and why they might be a good source of leads for your business.

7 Places to spend your small business ad budget

Newspaper and Magazine Ads – While not the most economical type of advertising. A well-placed local ad can still be a lead generator even at a cost of $20-32 per 1000 people reached. These are however, highly targeted leads.

Cable television ads – Costing around $8 per 1000 people reached, if you have a product or service that would lend itself to being showcased in a more visual fashion, this could be for you.

Radio – At $7 per 1000 people reached, a radio ad or interview can bring in many new leads, especially if combined with another promotion.

Facebook Advertising – A terrific bargain at roughly $0.25 per 1000 people reached, Facebook ads can give your business a reach that it wouldn’t be able to generate elsewhere.

Email – For those who have an existing email list, make sure you are using that list to generate income. Giving your list a heads-up on coming sales or promotions is an excellent way to get more sales from customers you already have a relationship with.

Local online ads – An economical way to generate local leads is by advertising on local business directories and on local sites that get a lot of traffic. These are easy to find in your local area.

Search Marketing – While this might seem the most for foreign to local small business owners, it is far and away the best converting source there is. Outbound leads, like those who come from print or direct mail, convert at 1.7%, while search marketing leads convert at around 14.6%.

7 Hot Website Design Trends to Look for in 2015

What’s Trending in Website DesignWeb Design

If you are due for a refresh or a complete redesign of your site, it’s a great idea to have an idea not only what’s considered new and exciting in website design, but also what just works better technologically.

For 2015 there are some holdovers, and also a lot of evolvers, as what we are able to do technologically catches up with the ideas. An example would be how the concept of Flat Design evolved into Material Design.

Let’s take a look at what’s trending for website design in 2015.

5 Web design trends you will see a lot of in 2015

Responsive design – While this may be viewed as an old trend, the reality is that it’s now become the norm, and what’s more, with Google announcing that on April 21st, 2105 they will begin penalizing sites that aren’t mobile optimized in the search results there is a great incentive.

Huge images – Having large, evocative images adorn our pages has never been easier to do. With better bandwidth availability and image compression it doesn’t have to slow your pages loads down. This is helping to make the visual component of your pages so much more interesting!

Choose scrolling over clicking – The trend toward longer pages, especially in mobile, continues to make inroads. Eliminating the need for the user to constantly click away to find the content they want makes for a better experience, decreases page load time, and encourages interaction.

More choice in typography – It wasn’t so long ago that if you wanted a custom font for your web pages you were required to pay a hefty price. No longer. Many more choices are available now, with the free Google fonts leading the way here.

The arrival of Semi-flat design – It seems as if flat design has now grown up and is now become known as “semi-flat”, or “Material design”. (Google’s term) This has come to pass through the use of subtle gradients, layering, and sometimes animation, making for a rich user experience.

How to Avoid making These 5 Crucial Sales Mistakes

mistakesSee These 5 Sales Mistakes that Can Sink Your Sales

It’s hard enough to get sales conversion without shooting yourself in the foot, so it’s often useful to take a look at mistakes that are easy to make in this area. Even though we all possess different skill levels and abilities, the majority of these apply universally, and we can all benefit by keeping them in mind.

5 Easy to make mistakes that can ruin the sales process

Are you listening? – As crazy as it seems, most people are not all that interested in you or your product. They are primarily interested in what you can do for them. Far more important is the chance you are getting to hear exactly what they need, and then proceed to fulfill that.

Not providing a solution – Concentrate on providing a solution for the problem the person is looking to solve, rather than selling your product. If you demonstrate how your product or service can solve their most pressing problems, you’ll be far more successful.

Not being prepared – If you don’t do as much homework as you can prior to the meeting, you may find yourself woefully unprepared. Take a little time to research the company, the people, and whatever else you can find to determine the landscape you’re walking into. A little familiarity goes a long way.

Not staying focused – While it’s always a good idea to do a bit of relationship building in a sales call, this can backfire if you don’t remember why you’re actually there. Stay focused on the reason for being there, and don’t use up their available time without getting your pitch across without a rush at the end.

Ask for the sale – The biggest reason many sales calls don’t convert is because they didn’t ask for the sale. Fully understand why you’re there, and don’t be shy about asking for a decision. You just might get a yes!

5 Killer Ways to Promote your New Content

Use These 5 Tips for Promoting your Contentpromote content

As you probably are aware, millions of new pieces of content hit the Web every single day, and the chances of people rushing to yours simply because it’s wonderful are slim to none.

That’s where a content promotion plan for each piece of content you create comes into play. Getting your content out in front of people who are actually looking for it will pay large dividends!

So before you run screaming into the might because you don’t know how to make this happen, let’s look at 5 simple ways you can cheaply and effectively get your content promoted.

5 Tips for promoting your content

Make visual content – Creating a meme you can share socially, a slideshow video of your content, or even an infographic can lead to numerous shares and traffic to your page. We are a visual mob, and love to look at new things!

Announce to your email list – Long a favorite tactic among top marketers, giving your subscribers a heads-up about your new content works extremely well. It also serves a purpose in your email marketing, by delivering high-value content without a sales pitch.

Document sharing sites – Some of the most-trafficked and highly ranked sites on the Web are document sharing sites like SlideShare, DocStoc, Scribd and Issuu, among many others. If your content is good, anticipate seeing a lot of traffic coming from sites like these.

Utilize social media – Without question you need to promote your new content via your social media channels. Much like notice by email, simply announce and encourage visitors to visit, share and like. You may find someone with tons of followers and fans passes this on to their peeps as well!

Paid sources – Sometimes it’s worth it to apply paid ads to get a particular piece of content noticed. This is especially true of content used to warm up your audience for a product launch. Sources like Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads, and Outbrain work well for this.

56 Birthday Marketing Ideas For Small Business Owners

happy birthday marketing

Below is a collection of Birthday marketing ideas for small business owners…

Birthdays are a great reason to create a marketing message to your prospects and customers.  Birthdays are meant to be celebrated with people you care about and as a small business owner and marketer, what’s important is getting your customers engaged while providing them with an incentive to shop with you, or at the very least, have some ‘good feelings’ about you and your business.  If they think of your business around their ‘special day’ they may be more likely to spend their Birthday card money with you.  ;-)

In this “list-icle” (list article) I pulled together a vast collection of Birthday Marketing ideas to help you promote your business.  I encourage you to scan through these and find one or more that you can incorporate into your small business marketing plan.

1.  Facebook Birthday Ads – This is one of the most powerful Facebook marketing tactics I have ever come across. We all have probably seen a direct mailing over the years offering us something free on our birthday, like a free meal. This is why businesses often times offer Birthday clubs, so they can send users a special Happy Birthday card or something on their Birthday.

We, did you know you can run a Facebook ad that specifically targets users whose Birthday is within one week? If you were a restaurant owner, you can run a special ad that offers users a special coupon for something. And this is just the tip of the iceberg!

  • A local restaurant could target users with Birthdays and offer them a free meal with another meal purchase.
  • A local clothing shop could target users that are engaged with ads for tuxedo rentals.
  • A local daycare could target users that are expecting with ads for childcare.
  • A local fitness club could target people who have recently moved to town with a free one month trial coupon.

facebook birthday ad

 

Here is an example of a Facebook ad from the Walking Dead brand (which I am a fan of):

Walking Dead Facebook Birthday Ad

Here is a video that shows you how to set up a Facebook Birthday ad

 

 

2.  Customized Email Marketing

I also received emails from marketers I frequently shop at or am on their newsletters. These companies such as Banana Republic, JCREW, and even Alaska Airlines sent me discounts for my birthday. Alaska Airlines sent a 5% off coupon- and within a day, I booked a $600 flight.

 

Birthday Marketing email from Dunkin Donuts

 

Here is another example:

happy birthday email

 

 

 

3.  Customized Birthday Mailers Sent Automatically To People Within Your Geographic Area

Birthday Mailer promotion

Over the years I have worked with various Restaurant clients and Birthday direct mailers are a HUGE piece of the strategy many restaurants use as part of their marketing.  It allows them to take a fairly unpredictable business and make it more predictable.

Here is how they do it.  They know that 70% of adults dine out on their special day AND usually the have 6-10 friends or family members that dine and drink with them.  The restaurant owners know that if they can get someone to come to their restaurant around their Birthday they will bring people with them.  Having multiple birthday parties coming into their restaurant every week helps to stabilize a fairly unpredictable business.

One of the Vendors I have recommend restaurant owners use is a company called Moving Targets.

Here is a Video about their program and how it works: 

 

Here is some information from the Moving Targets website:

“Direct mail, the backbone of your brand, leverages trigger events like birthdays and moving which naturally produce high levels of response and conversion. Our Birthday Connections direct mail service brings you new customers every month and keeps them coming back.

bday_dineout2

Include Birthday Connections direct mail service in your marketing campaign and generate business from people celebrating a birthday in your town.

We do all the work by mailing personalized letters, designed by our experts, to your ideal prospects. All mailers include your logo, branding, company information and a birthday gift certificate.”

Further, this is how their Birthday Connections direct mail service works:

  • Use the most accurate database available—we know your neighbors’ birthdays—to target your ideal customers by age, gender, income, home or apartment and distance from your business
  • Specify geographic restrictions such as non-delivery areas or boundaries that may affect travel
  • New ideal customers will contact you, redeem your gift certificate and experience your business
  • Enjoy a steady stream of new customers with automatic mailings”

Here is a tool on the Moving Targets Website that shows you how to see how many people you could have direct mail automatically sent to people within your geographic area:  

http://movingtargets.com/resources/prospect-counts/

birthday connections mailer

4.   Mail customers a handwritten birthday Card

Mailing a hand written card to past and current clients, valued partners, vendors in your referral network, connections who have helped you–everyone you can think of.

This is a low-cost and unique marketing idea for small business, but many small business owners have reported that this is very effective.

Here is an example of a hand written postcard from my local chiropractor that I got in the mail the week of my birthday:

chiropractor birthday marketing

5.  SMS Marketing – Text customers a coupon. Text messages have a 90% Open rate (I personally open 100% of all the text messages I get).  Text messages break through and it’s a good reason to communicate with your house list.

6.  Mail your in house mailing list of customers having a birthday a catalog. It ‘old school’ but it works.

7.  Send customers a gift post card. The goal is to entice them to shop in your retail stores

Starbucks birthday marketing postcard

 

8.  Make customers an offer on a social media network like Twitter, Facebook, Google +, Snapchat, or Instagram. If you know your customer’s birthday you can post a message on their social media page wishing them a Happy birthday.  With customers that are friends of mine (and who I know have a good sense of humor), I post something like this on their Facebook Wall with a funny message.  ;-)

happy birthday message

Sample Happy B-Day Message I post on
Social Media
to Friends and Customers

9.  Tweet customers a special offer. Make sure the incentive is good enough to get prospects and customers to follow you on Twitter.  If they are connected to you on Twitter, you can send them a ‘Birthday Tweet’ with a special offer.

10.  Make a special location-based services offer. Use Facebook, Foursquare or other location-based services platform to get customers involved.  Facebook has been constantly improving their location targeting and offer some interesting targeting options.

11.  Create a fun press release. Incorporate a special offer to entice new customers.

12.  Have a good old fashioned Birthday sale to celebrate your own birthday. This option’s a classic and I have used it in my online and offline businesses in the past. I schedule a special promotion as part of my own Birthday celebration as an excuse to drum up some more business.  You can do the same no matter what kind of business you have.

13.  Give your customers a gift on Your Birthday.  Hand out a company promotional gift. Make sure that it’s something customers will keep around and coordinates with your offering.

14.  Offer your subscribers, social media followers, and customers a “Virtual Gift.” This works well for B2B offerings. Give away an e-book, research, or even a webinar.

15.  Create a Birthday “Training Video” – Video is becoming more and more powerful every day so creating a short birthday training video that you can share with your customers, followers, and email subscribers is a great idea.  You can create a great piece of valuable and useful content that helps your audience and then email that out, post it on your Facebook Fan page, and upload it to your You Tube Channel.

16.  Have a Facebook contest. Get people excited about your birthday, or heck, even your company’s birthday. Make it easy for lots of people to participate. You could do a simple Facebook giveaway contest (like a caption contest, guess the number of presents I got, etc) OR you could use some sophisticated Facebook Contest software like we us to generate leads for our businesses.  I talk about that in one of my In the Trenches Small Business Marketing episodes which you can watch here.

17.  Serve them a ‘before work’ breakfast. Open early for a special party. Get customers powered for the day with caffeine and muffins. Limit your invitations to make customers feel special.

18.  Throw an in-store birthday party and feed them. Invite customers to your store or business for some free food such as snacks and even birthday cake. Knitty City, a NYC knitting store, does this every January.

19.  Throw a HUGE birthday party event and publicize the heck out of it.  I know of a Record Store in Australia that throws a big in-store event

20.  Celebrate the Birthday of a Popular Celebrity.  A lot of small businesses already have special sales and offers attached to specific Holidays but have you ever thought of doing a special promotion built around the Birthday of a Celebrity?  You would want to pick a celebrity that ‘vibes’ with your target customer base.

For example, a record store in Oklahoma does an Elvis Presley birthday party promotion.  Their headline of their ad, “He may be gone but Elvis Presley is not forgotten. A birthday party for the rock ’n’ roll legend will be at the Trolley Stop Record Shop from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday”

You can submit a press release to the local press in hopes of getting some media coverage, you can do Facebook ads to promote it, and even email your subscribers to promote it.

Elvis Presley Birthday Party promotion

Consider a Celebrity Birthday Promotion for a fun way to attract
new business – This record store owner has an Elvis-Themed
Birthday promo to promote his business…

21.  Drink to your customers. Have post-hours party with some grownup adult beverages. (Now we’re talking)  ;-)

22.  Have a special Birthday Raffle. To celebrate your own Birthday (or the Birthday of your business) run a special Raffle.  You can have a lot of little prizes with one big one, or just have a lot of small prizes to give away.

23.  Throw a virtual birthday event. Take Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting, or even Meerkat for a test drive to engage with your customers in a virtual manner.  You can then post the recorded video of the event to your social media profiles and even YouTube.

24.  Use QR codes and host a scavenger hunt in your store. Get customers involved by getting them to work around your store using information connected with the QR codes.

25.  Create a full day event around one of your products. This is useful to keep people coming into your store all day. For example, a local catering company could offer a series of mini-cooking lessons.

26.  Send a Personalized Email wishing your customer a birthday. Simply taking the time to send a personalized email can go a long way.  A simple way to do this is to ‘friend them on Facebook’ and when you see its their Birthday you can send them an email.  There are various P.O.S. and CRM systems that will automate this process for you too.

27. Highlight your customers’ birthdays on your social media executions. Have a special birthday widget that highlights customers every day.

28. Give customers a special birthday promotion. Have a special birthday deal that everyone can take advantage of. For example: Loehmann’s, a discount retailer, emails a promotion that’s good for one week.

29.  Make your customer a star. Put a photo of your customer or their handiwork on view in your store the month of their birthday.

30.  Make a donation in your customer’s honor. Customers like businesses that support charities, so integrate your birthday promotions with a charity that’s related to your business.  This can create great goodwill and help support a great cause.

happy birthday donaation

31.  Record a Celebrity Video that you can use to post on all your customers Social Media profiles.  A very smart marketer by the name of Joe Polish recorded himself and the notorious Richard Branson wishing a Happy Birthday.  Joe has one of his staff members login to Facebook every day and post this video to people he is connected with.  This is smart for a lot of reasons.  Joe is associating himself with a known celebrity which makes him look like even more of a rockstar, his video is being viewed not only by the Birthday boy or girl BUT also their hundreds of friends and family.

Check out Joe and Richard’s video here:

32.  Record a personalized ‘Selfie’ Happy Birthday Video for your customer.  Simply grab your smart phone and shoot a ‘selfie video.’  You can upload it to their Facebook profile and even email it to them.

33. Create a Happy Birthday video from your office/business.  A Dentist office created a simple Happy Birthday video using a simple software like Animoto to create a Happy Birthday video comprised of photos of their customers and staff wishing the client a Happy Birthday.  They then email and share this on social media with their client who is celebrating a birthday.

34.  Have a breakfast for customers. Open your establishment early to catch people on their way to work.  Server coffee cake (with candles), coffee, and maybe have some special offers for those early bird customers.

35.  Throw customers a party. Once a month have a party in your store to celebrate the customers with birthdays that month. Have cake or other refreshments to get customers in. Think about how to entice people to come on less busy days.  Make this fun and interesting and they will come!

36.  Have a Summer Birthday Cookout at your office.  Bring a Grill to your office and on a nice summer afternoon have a birthday cookout.  Consider having entertainment like a Band to make it a fun event that people will want to stick around and enjoy.

37.  Have a potluck dinner after hours. This is a great option for small businesses where a lot of the customers are friends. It gives people space to get together (and show up at your establishment.)

38.  Celebrate the birthday of a President and build a promotion around it.  Here is a list of US Presidents and their birthdays and you can come up with some creative promotions for your business by tying into their Birthdays.

39.  Create a fun Birthday sale. Of course, an option always on the table is to create a fun Birthday sale built around your birthday or the birthday of your business.

40.  Tell the world. If the costs make sense, use old-fashioned direct mail to announce a special birthday promotion associated with your business.  Its a great ‘reason-why’ to build a promotion around.

41.  Hold a special ‘invite only’ sale. There’s nothing that gets people’s attention more than velvet rope appeal.

42.  Have a special live event with a celebrity guest. Invite someone well known in your niche to come to your store or business where they can interact with prospects and the public. Bookstores have done this for years with readings.

43.  Make a charity donation in honor of your Birthday. Match a percentage of customer purchases or donations and to celebrate your birthday donate some money for a worthy charity.

44.  Create a charity tie-in. Work with a not-for-profit organization to get your customers involved and have fun at the same time. Get everyone to go to a local hospital to have a knit-in or renovate a home for Habitat for Humanity.

45.  Use Fiverr.com to get a “Birthday Cartoon” made for your customer.  There is a great website called Fiverr.com where you can pay people $5 to do all kinds of off little projects.  One of which is a Birthday Cartoon

birthday cartoon

46.  Pay a Fiverr.com designer to make a special Birthday Fan Page graphic.  You can commission a Fiverr.com designer to create a special Birthday-themed Fan Page graphic that your team swaps out for your special day.

47.  Order a ‘Birthday Signing Telegram’ for your birthday customer.  Another ‘gig’ you can order from Fiverr.com is to pay someone $5 to call your customer and sing them a happy birthday song.  (I have paid to have a birthday Hip Hop song created

48.  Treat them like a king.  I have seen businesses that have higher-end clients (such as Financial planners) invest in some really nice birthday presents for their valued clients celebrating a birthday.

49.  Launch a new product on your birthday.  What better day to give birth to a New product or service than your own birthday?

50.  Birthday Flavor of the month.  Offer a flavour or special of the month. This doesn’t just work for food products.  For example, a graphic design firm could offer a “Logo Beautification Month” which offers specials discounts to any business that purchases a new logo.

Are there any other birthday suggestions that you’d add to this list? If so, what are they?

51.  Large Purchase promotion.  Offer a discount, reward, or prize if the customer spends over $X.

52.  Bring a Friend Birthday Celebration.  Throw a party at your business where you invite your existing customers and contacts to ‘bring a friend.’  This can be a great way to have new customers discover your business in a fun way.

53.  Two for One days.  Offer a two for one day to encourage your customers to introduce a friend to your business.  This is similar to Buy One Get One Free promotions, but with the stipulation that the freebie must be for a friend, which helps generate referrals.

54.  Launch a New Website on the Birthday of your business.  Do it like the world is watching.

55.  Pitch a magazine.  Pitch a magazine to run your article or do a story on you, even if you know you won’t get picked up, just to work your self-promotion muscle and survive rejection.

56.  Have a crowdsource contest for designing your new logo, packaging, or book cover.  You can use a service like 99 Designs to run your graphics contest.

There you have it.  A big birthday box full of marketing ideas.  Got any other birthday marketing ideas that you have used to promote your business?

By all means email me and I will add them to the list.

Happy birthday marketing,

Kyle Battis signature

 

Sources: 

http://movingtargets.com/what-we-do/birthday-mail/

http://heidicohen.com/birthdays-50-ways-marketers-celebrate/

http://blog.marketo.com/2013/07/my-birthday-brings-all-the-marketers-to-the-yard.html

http://www.mnwebco.com/blog/how-target-facebook-birthdays-facebook-ads

10 SEO Tips for Small Business

10 SEO Tips for Small Business10 Tips

Competing in the small business landscape these days is hard enough, but to do it with an un-optimized website is like choosing to come to the fight unarmed.

Luckily for us, there are clear guidelines that can help you rank your pages better, and most of them are doable without being the head geek at Google.

Let’s look at 10 small business SEO tips that can help you rank your pages and sites better.

10 SEO tips for small businesses

Create substantial content – Making sure that you give your readers meaty, compelling content that they can use is job #1. Google favors longer text, so aim for at least 750-1250 words per page.

Simplify your URLs – Crafting simple and descriptive URLs make it easy for people to understand the content of your page just by looking at the URL. It helps to have primary page keyword in there too.

Know your keywords – Make each page focus on one primary keyword, and having said that, don’t overdo the use of that phrase. Aim for a 1-3% keyword density on the page.

Create your Google My Business listing – Google’s latest local business incarnation is a suite of all things local business: Google+, Maps and more. It’s essential you have an optimized Google My Business presence if you plan to do well in local rankings.

Have a mobile ready site – Recently Google announced that starting on April 21st, 2015, not having a mobile friendly site will cost you in the search results, which at this point account for about half of all search traffic! Time to pay attention!

Optimize visual content – Another search rank signal important to Google is that your visual content, especially images are optimized for search. This involves image size, ALT tags and a few other items.

Mind your NAP data – Make certain that the information you present to the world is consistent across all your web platforms. Get all names, addresses and phones, and any other identifying info straight.

Encourage reviews – Do your best to encourage your visitors to leave reviews for your products or services, particularly on Google+. These will make a large difference in your local rankings.

Don’t neglect your Meta data – Your title tags and description have to be filled out properly, and make sure you have only one H1 tag on page.

Take advantage of Google Analytics – As well as Google Webmaster Tools! They are an excellent way to get intelligence on how your site is performing and where you can do better.

Ways to Effectively Utilize Tumblr in Your Business

Check Out These Tips for Using Tumblr for your Businesshttps://www.tumblr.com/

What would you say if I told you that you can build your own Web presence on a site that has north of 300 million unique visitors each month, is fantastic for SEO, and is a unique social media platform at the same time, and all for free?

That site would be Tumblr. This gem receives more than 300 million unique visitors a month, and it’s free to use! (There are paid options if you desire)

Not too many marketers focus on Tumblr for business yet, either because they really don’t know how to reach their audience there, or feel that they are already stretched socially with Facebook, Google+, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest. Let’s take the veil off of Tumblr and look at 3 ways to market there.

3 Suggestions for marketing your business with Tumblr

Create content your audience loves – Even though this may see obvious, with Tumblr there is a certain style, or rather an accommodation for style that makes the best blogs. Reposting your latest Facebook status update will generally get a yawn here, whereas the edgy, bold posts or images you might be reluctant to use elsewhere can find an audience on Tumblr.

Use your own memes – Tumblr is a visual content powerhouse, and creating innovative memes that deliver a bold message is going to do well for you here. Intersperse this with regular posts and you’ll find they’ll become more popular as well. The age demographic on Tumblr is youngish, and these folks love their visuals.

Connect socially with your account – Building a following on Tumblr requires a few steps, among them following other relevant blogs on Tumblr, (use a keyword search on the site to find them) commenting favoriting, and reblogging interesting posts, along with making sure you link to your Tumblr blog from your other social media channels.

If you haven’t looked at Tumblr yet, we’re here to tell you that there is a wealth of opportunity there, with a built-in, enthusiastic crowd that loves to share. Sounds like a recipe for success to me!

What to Do When Your Business is a Victim of Negative SEO

How to Handle Negative SEOnegative seo

Negative SEO is a very real problem for those who’ve been victimized by it. Watching your website rankings that you’ve fought so hard for tank virtually overnight is not only heartbreaking, but a real financial pain as well.

So what form do these negative SEO attacks take? It can from a variety of techniques, such as spamming the Web with tons of highly suspect anchor text keywords pointing to your pages, such as for Viagra, gambling, and porn. They may even go so far as to impersonate you and ask other webmasters to take down links for your best performing keywords. How can you protect your site from this kind of attack? Here are some tips you’ll want to make sure you’re using to help keep this at bay.

5 Ways to prevent Negative SEO

Use alerts – One of the best features of Google Webmaster tools is it can send you email alerts whenever your site is under various types of attacks, such as if you have a malware problem, pages are not indexed and more.

Keep an eye on your backlinks – If out of the blue you notice a huge spike in backlinks, especially if you haven’t actively been seeking them, suspect something is afoot. Sites like Monitor Backlinks can be a huge help here.

Keep an ear open for social media mentions – Track any mentions of you or your brand in social media, as you can be getting trashed and before long, are in full reputation management mode. Sites like Mention.net can send alerts for these.

Kill any duplicate content – One of the ways you can be a victim of negative SEO is by having people simply copy your pages and paste duplicates of them all over the Web. Google will not be happy, and you’ll get a penalty.

Secure your site – Make sure you have a secure installation. This is partly your host’s and partly your responsibility, but you really don’t want someone getting access. If you are running WordPress, this is doubly true, as it is a hacker’s playground.

5 Ways to Employ Social Proof in Your Marketing

Using Social Proof to Help Generate More Salesbusiness stats

Let’s face it, we’ve all used the recommendation of others to help us decide whether or not to buy a product or service. It’s basic human nature. Jonathan Swift said “It was a brave man that first ate an oyster.” We like to know it’s safe to buy before pulling the trigger!

How to work social proof into our marketing is where it can get tricky, as we need to create the atmosphere of trust without appearing to be overly hypey. To help with this task we’ve unearthed 5 great ways to get social proof to work for you in creating more sales and revenue.

5 Social proof practices to use in your marketing

Blog comments – Nothing speaks more to the integrity and worth of a product or service like an owner willing to stand behind it honestly and promptly. Answering blog comments, questions and yes complaints will move you to the status of stand-up person when people view this publicly.

User Reviews and Testimonials – Having your satisfied customers to review your products, and even better, leave a testimonial is a superb way to provide undeniable social roof that helps drive sales. It will also help you rank in Google local search.

Stats – If you’ve generated impressive numbers, don’t be shy about sharing. “7,354 people used our service last month!” Combining this with the logo or name of a brand people know is very effective.

Social shares – Getting people to share your content and posts works very well, especially if you have an established following. This may take some time to develop, but it is well worth the effort. You never know how many followers and fans a person who shares your content may have.

Badges – Displaying the icons of well-known companies you do business with, and also site trust badges, Like BBB, site security and others can give your site an aura of trust with very little effort on your part. Just make sure you honestly have the accreditation you’re displaying, or you may find yourself doing some emergency reputation management!