Category: Business

Boost Your Small Business Reputation with Customer Testimonials

If you haven’t set aside some space on your small business website for customer testimonials, now’s the time to consider making room. People feel comfortable when they can read what others feel about your product or service. If you’re ready to incorporate customer testimonials into your small business website design, here are a few easy tips.

Consider sending out surveys via e-mail or snail mail and request that your previous customers write a little bit about their experience with your company. Let them know that their words may be published on your website for others to read. Also, let them chose whether or not to include their name and location. Then, it’s your choice which testimonials to use on your website, but know that both good and bad testimonials can be highly effective marketing tools for your business.

Superb customer testimonials look great on a website, but what happens when you get a response that was less than satisfactory? It’s ok! You can implement the negative feedback onto your website; it will make your business look more realistic. We all know that not every customer can have an exceptional experience, but it’s how your business handles the experience that will prove valuable to potential clients. Go ahead and feel free to post that negative feedback, along with what you did to try and resolve the issue. Then, allow that customer to reply to the resolution. Hopefully, you’ll have solved a problem that will help your business in the future and change an unhappy customer into a potential repeat. No room on your website for customer testimonials? Consider expanding your website, but in the meantime, use social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter. Invite friends and fans of your page to comment on their experience with your small business. The great thing is, you can easily reply to their responses.

Customer testimonials are one of the best and easiest marketing strategies’ to implement into your small business design. You’ll learn exactly how clients feel about your services and you may even learn some problem solving techniques in the process.

Affiliate Marketing for Small Business Success

A lot of people have yet to learn what affiliate marketing is, let alone apply it to promoting their product or service on the internet. If you’re not quite sure what affiliate marketing is, a simple way to put it is:

A way for one website to make money online while promoting another. Website or blog owners get money for helping businesses by promoting the products or services they have to sell.

Basically, a person gets a commission when someone follows a link on their website, blog, Facebook page, Twitter feed…etc. However, that is just one way of many variations people can get paid. They may get compensated if someone signs up for the company’s newsletter or only if they make a purchase. Payments are usually based on a percentage, but fixed rates aren’t out of the question.

When you apply affiliate marketing techniques to your small business website design, and do so correctly, it can produce favorable results for your small business. In fact even when it’s done wrong, it does very little harm to your company.

How Do I Get Started?
You need to gather a collection of people who own websites, blogs or social media pages. You can get as professional as designing and ad that people can see on other websites to encourage them to click, or simply have a link ready to offer for status update feeds and external link pages for other websites. You pay your affiliate website based on a percentage or fixed rate agreed upon at the beginning of the marketing campaign. Look for websites in your community that aren’t direct competitors and ask if they’re interested. You can approach competition if they are located far away and their services or products can’t be obtained online. You should always be looking for affiliates who have something in common with what you have to sell. For instance, if you sell pet leashes, it would be best to try and set up an affiliate marketing program with companies that sell pet food, grooming services or sites where you purchase pet medicines. You want to approach affiliates who already have high traffic to their websites, as this will yield the best results.

As for how to negotiate the compensation for your affiliates, that’s up to you. Though pay per lead campaigns tend to give the affiliate money more often, it is the pay per sale program that offers them more money in general. Affiliate marketing is a strategy that you can easily design and apply to your small business website in a way that works for you. Don’t confuse affiliate marketing with link exchanging, though it’s similar, it’s not the same and does not work as well.

Keys to Using YouTube for Your Small Business is best known for its videos showcasing laughing babies and extreme sports mishaps. Did you ever think that you can use YouTube as part of your small business design to promote your business? From video client testimonials to video podcasts, you can reach a larger demographic when you properly use YouTube to enhance your small business marketing strategies.

Be Real
YouTube lets you share your videos with the world. Why not upload helpful video footage of you doing your job? Take a video of you or your employees in action, offering the services your website talks about. Always ask permission if a customer or customer’s property (house, car..etc) will be featured in the film.

Free Commercials
Maybe your company doesn’t have the funding to buy some television time to broadcast your commercials, but YouTube can do it for free. Ask a few satisfied customers to talk about their experiences with your company. Not only can you upload this video to your YouTube account, but you can also put the video directly on your small business website to show off your happy clients.

Create Video Blogs
Do you have a lot to talk about? Make video podcasts and post them routinely to your YouTube account. Perhaps your company offers carpet cleaning services; why not upload a video once a month showing potential customers how to take care of their rugs between cleanings? Stain removal tips would be a great idea for a video blog. Heath food supplier? Showcase your products with 10 minute recipe ideas. Make sure to post your video links on websites outside of just your business website to increase Search Engine Optimization. This is where Twitter and Facebook pages for your small business come in handy. Cross-posting links are a sure way to drive internet search traffic towards what you’ve got to sell.

A Deeper Look at SEO vs. YouTube
Just as you would apply basic SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques to your website written content, you want to do the same on your YouTube account. You have the ability to name the title of the video and to write a small description of the content. Make it count by using a relevant headline for your video title that is sure to show up in Google. Keep it simple. If you want help on learning how to write attention grabbing SEOed headlines, check out a previous post that discusses it in depth. Basically, give it a title that someone would search for. If you’re a cosmetologist publishing a video on YouTube about makeup techniques, name the title exactly what you’re showing your audience: Tips for Smokey Eye Shadow or At-Home Waxing Techniques. Those terms are realisticly what someone wanting to know more about makeup or waxing will plug into their search engine.

As far as your description goes, make sure to use a keyword/phrase here and there. It’s the same principal as picking a good SEO title, but now you’ve got to weave the search term into your written content. Always make it look natural and do not overstuff your paragraph with key phrases. One paragraph of written content should have no more than 3 keywords/phrases.

YouTube is free and free is good! Take advantage of YouTube to enhance your searchability and profitability for your small business.

Make Your Small Business Website Mobile Phone Friendly

If you have a website, the odds are pretty good that someone is viewing it using their mobile phone. That’s why it is so important to make sure your small business website is mobile phone friendly. Here are some tips you can apply to make your web pages look good on various mobile phone screens.

Think Small
When your web pages are big, wordy and filled with images, it makes it hard for mobile phones to load them quickly. Keep your pages short and sweet. Potential clients aren’t likely to stick around and wait very long for your pages to download, so make sure you’ve compressed your website to maximize mobile phone viewing potential. This also means to minimize or completely rid advertisements from your website. When ads are allowed to roam free on your website, people are spending more time dealing with them than looking at your content. Advertising on your small business website will distort the layout of the page; it’s one of the biggest problems with mobile phone internet usage. Remember to keep your visual media to a minimum, as graphics will slow the page load.

Add Shortcuts
Make your website mobile phone friendly by making sure you’re offering viewers shortcuts easily to access the various pages within your website. Have links that get people to the top of the page, the bottom and easily back to the home page to avoid scrolling and shorten the time it takes to navigate to the content they’re looking for.

Finally, test your small business website for mobile readiness by checking it on your own mobile phone. Check it on a few different mobile phones if you can and work on the problem areas that you find. Make a mobile phone ready website part of your small business design as soon as you can, as more phones are hitting the market with great web-surfing technologies. Don’t lose out on potential revenue for your business because your website isn’t ready for the 21st century style to surf the internet.

QR Codes are the Future of Small Business Marketing

A QR Code (aka: Quick Response Code) is a two-dimensional barcode that can be read by specific QR readers, which are available as convenient applications for download on your smart phone. It’s the 21st century way to get all of your contact and networking information to interested persons with just a button push from your iPhone.

Created in 1994 by Toyota, QR codes were the efficient way to log vehicle information, but these trendy and even “artistic” blocks of black and white have become a great way for a small business to get information into the hands of potential clients with very little effort. How do you get your very own QR code? Simple, go to a generator website like: and enter in all the information you want contained in your code. Within seconds and completely free of charge, you’ll have your very own small business QR code to download on to anything you’d like. Put it on your website’s contact page, print it out on business cards, postcards and newsletters. So many people are making the switch right now to smart phones, QR codes are the hot new way to get your information to potential clients correctly and completely. Verizon is going to be releasing their iPhone on February 10th, 2011. You can even program your code to have them following your Twitter page or whatever social networking website you choose. It’s the perfect marketing scheme for your small business design. Companies are even putting them on t-shirts.

With QR codes, there is nothing you can’t do. Beyond basic contact information, social networking information and even your logo, you can implement coupons, maps and even simplify online ordering with price lists, menus and easy checkouts. The marketing world is catching on to the simplicity and creativity of QR codes, so if your small business marketing plan doesn’t have one yet, what are you waiting for?