Small Business

Going Above & Beyond – Providing Value Added Services to Your Customers

Want to give your customers a little something extra to ensure their experience with you is memorable? Build loyalty by improving your customer’s shopping and buying experience. Introduce small Value Added services into your regular operations to ensure you stand out from the crowd and are far superior than big box stores!
This presentation was originally given to members of the Southern Georgian Bay Chamber of Commerce on February 19th, 2015 at their Business Before 9:00am speaker series.  You can find the original PowerPoint presentation or PDF file below.

Why Go Above & Beyond?

  • Gain a Competitive Advantage over:
    • Online / Worldwide Competitors
    • Big Box Stores
    • Other Small Businesses
  • Create loyalty
  • Generate new marketing opportunities
Going Above & Beyond – Providing Value Added Services to Your Customers
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Connecting the words – Content Marketing & Keyword Optimization

An Infographic for all us visual learners.

Content Marketing is gaining in popularity and those that once said, “I don’t have time”, are now weighing the time commitment against the benefits.  All for good reason, Content Marketing works, but you need to start with an organized foundation.  This brings us back to the overly discussed and often misunderstood, Search Engine Optimization, more specifically, keyword optimization.

Before you spread your valuable content all over the internet, understand that Google Search’s sole focus is to bring the best possible results to its users.  Google doesn’t comprehend your content, it simply connects the words, and all words are not created equal. If a searcher is looking for cereal, Google will bring back results that contain the word cereal, not oatmeal, cheerios, formula or Kellog’s, just cereal.

When planning and preparing your content, know your keywords and work to provide Google with a clear and concise path to your website’s content, blogs, images, videos, etc.

Collaborative Haus Marketing is a full-service marketing company in Ontario serving Midland, Penetanguishene, Barrie, Orillia, Parry Sound, Toronto, and surrounding areas. We’re a group of committed, honest, creative and knowledgeable professionals determined to build solutions that help your business succeed. We believe small, medium and big businesses deserve the same caliber of professionalism, quality of service and exceptional results.
Contact us today! Our first meeting is always free!

Connecting the words – Content Marketing & Keyword Optimization
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Small Businesses – Do Not Start an Externally Hosted Blog

Warning: If you have a blog address similar to blogname.blogspot.com, blogname.wordpress.com or other, you may not want to read this. This also applies to anyone that has pointed a custom domain at these services.

Small businesses usually use blogs for three reasons: gaining attention, adding keywords for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and as a platform for Content Marketing.  The hope is to grow your business using these great online tools and it’s true, you should start a blog, just not an externally hosted one.

There are significant roadblocks in your path to SEO and Content Marketing success when using externally hosted blogs. These limitations so badly injure your efforts that those who have implemented different platforms to correct these problems report significant and sometimes immediate jumps in website traffic.

Here are the main problems.

Growth 

External blogs are not designed to grow with your business. All your hard work to create valuable content to build a tiny space online that is all yours and that garners you attention is limited. Your business will grow and one day you will find yourself needing a full website. A blog is not a website and it is very frustrating to try and fit your business into the limited space allocated by these external blog platforms. This is especially true if you are trying to implement Content Marketing strategies.

Purchasing your own domain name and hosting your own blog is not difficult or expensive. This choice will relieve much frustration later when your business is ready to expand online.

Flexibility

External blog platforms are often completely free and do offer some great features but there is no compromising when it comes to moving them in with you. As your business grows and you see value in creating your own website, you’ll want your content-filled blog to join forces with that new website. Since 2010 Blogger/BlogSpot and WordPress Blog removed the ability to truly do this for security reasons. This means, all that hard work and valuable content you created, never gets to do the SEO job it was really intended to do. Your blog content will never help to show Google a clear path to your website, because it will never actually be on your website.

A self-hosted blog can move freely and your growing business needs this type of flexibility.

If you are a small business with an externally hosted blog, it’s not the end of the world. The process of migrating all your content to a self-hosted blog platform is fairly straightforward. However, it’s definitely worth having someone that knows what they’re doing assist you to ensure everything is done properly to maintain your SEO rankings.

So, what’s the best way for a small business to start a blog? Here’s what we recommend:

  • Purchase a domain name.
  • Purchase hosting.
  • Install the self-hosted version of WordPress (Free) or other content management system.
  • Pick a free theme.
  • Start blogging!

Later, if your business is as successful as we hope it is, you’ll be laughing at how easy it is to expand online.

 

Collaborative Haus Marketing is a full-service marketing company in Ontario serving Midland, Penetanguishene, Barrie, Orillia, Parry Sound, Toronto, and surrounding areas. We’re a group of committed, honest, creative and knowledgeable professionals determined to build solutions that help your business succeed. We believe small, medium and big businesses deserve the same caliber of professionalism, quality of service and exceptional results.
Contact us today! Our first meeting is always free!

Small Businesses – Do Not Start an Externally Hosted Blog
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Small Business – A Local & Collaborative Approach to Social Media

“Stop waiting for interactions, become the initiator!”

A-collaborative-approach-to-Social-Media

Small business owners know the importance of social media. You’ve attended seminars, read numerous articles and have been approached by multiple professionals convincing you to get on board. Whether you like it or not, you’re signing up and attempting to follow the rules as passed down by social media gurus everywhere.

You take technical lessons on how to use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to feel more comfortable with their platforms. You research similar businesses to see what your competition is posting online. You do everything in your power to understand what all the fuss is about, but in the end, you realize you’ve really only found a new outlet to waste a ton of time without fully understanding the benefits and without having a sound and logical strategy to help you use these new tools.

Before you give up completely and leave all your new social media pages stagnant or hire a company to push post after post out to the world, take a new logical and strategic approach to your efforts.

You already know the importance and benefits of networking, word-of-mouth advertising, and forming relationships with other local businesses. It’s time to apply these tried and true marketing strategies to your own social media.

The big three, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, all have systems in place to notify page administrators when someone follows, likes, comments, and shares information. Usually, you sit back and wait for a user to interact with you via one of these methods. You rely on this to measure the success of your efforts. Most people fail to see that these are not measurement tools but rather communication, networking and relationship building tools.

Stop waiting for interactions, become the initiator!

Follow other businesses, share their information, support their efforts, and spread the word both personally and through your business. Take it a step further and connect with your community via non-profit, charity and community pages. You will quickly find that as you support others, they will support you online too.

Our clients that have embraced this strategy, and I hate to call it a strategy as it’s truly just being a good locally involved business, continually come back to us with testimonials of success. They describe how rewarding it is to form relationships with other local businesses that they have never met face-to-face. They describe the great feeling when they can actually see word-of-mouth advertising as other local businesses suggest their service offerings. And, they describe how fulfilling it is to now feel part of an online community.

You know how to network, it’s probably the foundation of your business’ marketing success; start embracing it online and your social media efforts will begin to feel worthwhile.

Nicole French is a Marketing Consultant focused on helping small businesses succeed online.

Collaborative Haus Marketing is a full-service marketing company in Ontario serving Midland, Penetanguishene, Barrie, Orillia, Parry Sound, Toronto, and surrounding areas. We’re a group of committed, honest, creative and knowledgeable professionals determined to build solutions that help your business succeed. We believe small, medium and big businesses deserve the same caliber of professionalism, quality of service and exceptional results.
Contact us today! Our first meeting is always free!

Small Business – A Local & Collaborative Approach to Social Media
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