Beware Free Website Offers

Some businesses make “FREE” website offers.

Someone offering your business a free website?Reading their ads, it sounds like the client gets a free website, and pays a small monthly fee to get online visibility and high ranking in search results.

The truth is, “There is no such thing as a free lunch.” – Milton Friedman

And there is no such thing as a free website.

The company offering a free website to new clients frequently retains the domain name, so if the client ever decides to try to take their business to a different online marketing company, they will lose any online ranking they had; all of that stays with the “free” website that belongs to the original marketing company.

And the major search engines, Google, Bing, and Yahoo, have shared numerous articles, explaining that ranking well in their search results means having easy to use websites with original, interesting information. If people like the website and come to that website for that keyword or keyword phrase, then the site will rank better.

Your local small business marketing focus should be on your business, your brand, and your service area, and what people see when they search for your business on the internet.

free website - templated contentRecently we looked at a free website that a friend had gotten from a company who said they would help them get more business.

  • The evidence that the company was using a content template was clear.
  • And using basically the same words again and again, and just changing the business name and service area doesn’t fool people or search engine robots any more.
  • If you want to get clients, you have to give them good, original information and interesting photos and videos of your work to get and keep their attention.

If you have a small local business and would like to get started with a website for your business, or for help improving your small business website, or your digital marketing, please Contact Jax SEO Works.

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Buy American – Buy Local

Support your community when you Buy American, and Buy Local.

Flag of the United States of AmericaThere are so many good products and services that are Made In America, and in our community.  You can help fellow Americans, and do something that really makes a difference.

Many American entrepreneurs have started small, local businesses to provide quality products that are made in America.  No need to be feel limited to the poorly made, easily breakable, and sometimes downright dangerous gifts that have been mass produced in foreign countries.  Now is a great time for you to Buy American and Buy Local, and support local small businesses in our communities. Another positive, Win/Win idea is to cross promote with other small, local businesses.  The goodness you do in helping to promote other small, local businesses will come back to you.

Here are some Great small, local businesses we have worked with:

Visit these websites, and leave a helpful comment on an article you like, Contact them for an appointment, or buy one of the products and services they offer; buy local.

  • They are all good people, too!

Arbus Magazine – northeast Florida’s only art and business magazine

Black Creek Services – small engine maintenance and repair for lawn mowers, lawn tractors, portable generators, and pressure washers

Black Creek Moto Camper Supply – motorcycle accessories and motorcycle camping gear

Bonnie’s Floral Designs – creating beautiful floral arrangements in fresh cut flowers and silk

Borders Woodworks – designs and builds custom cabinets, furniture, and built-ins

Dan’s Floor Store – installs high quality, durable wood flooring, refinishes wood floors, and sells and installs tiles on floors and walls in local homes and businesses

Dixie Supply Bakery & Cafe – serving up Great Southern food in Charleston, South Carolina

Derrick Hayes – internationally known encouragement speaker

First Coast Focus – marketing and management solutions to small businesses on the First Coast

iMakeThat – digital meets art – digital marketing, photography, video, social

Jacqueline A B Davis – Miz Jackie’s catering and promotions

Jacksonville Yoga – offering Yoga classes, MELT classes, and massage therapy to help you feel and look Great

K Bart Photography – a photographer who loves playing with light and images, to draw some emotion from viewers

Key Theory – helping people succeed on the web, using strategy, design, and social media

Rock My Image – the strategic marketing team to make your brand Rock!

Shannon Miller Lifestyle – health and fitness for women

Spectrum Creative – including films, video, and interactive – where imagination meets reality

The Old Maid Cat Lady – Providing a carefully selected variety of cat accessories, cat supplies, cat lover gifts, and even cat books

Tom Trotta – Ameriprise financial advisor

Top Tier Seamless Gutters – Residential and commercial gutters, screen guards, gutter cleaning, and underground drainage piping to protect property from moisture damage

Your Etiquette Style – providing business etiquette training to help you polish up, move up, and stay on top

Support other small, local businesses in your community, not just during the Christmas holidays, but all year long.  Cross promote with other small, local businesses in your community.  And every opportunity you get, remind people to Buy American!  HooRah for the USA!

If you have suggestions for promoting small, local businesses, please share.  Sharing is good!

If you would like help improving your small business website, or your digital marketing, please Contact Jax SEO Works.

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Social Media for Business

Based on our research and experience, the first thing you should do for your small business is create a brand, figure out your target audience, and get your website created and launched. These fundamental steps put you ahead of many of your small business competitors.

  • You will need to keep actively feeding new, interesting, and helpful information to your website.

social interaction via social mediaTell people about your services – what you do and a little about the way you do it that makes your service stand out from your competitors. Do you wear booties to go into people’s homes? Are you and your technicians trained and certified by a well known resource in the industry? Do you have a special Quality Assurance team that follows up and checks every job? Your potential clients will not know all the bonuses that your service provides unless YOU tell them.

Tell about your products, or the products you use to perform your services, and be sure to let people know why you have found these products to do the best job. Does this product last for 50 washing cycles? Does your product provide a shiny surface without buffing? Write your descriptions as factual statements, adding data when possible for more credibility. Don’t write to sound like those annoying commercials that you don’t like to hear on the radio or television. You don’t like to hear those obvious sales pitches, and most of your website visitors don’t either.

The next step is to add social media for your business.

Social media for business is just that – people getting social on different media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Snapchat.

Each social media platform has its own personality.  Some messages are better shared on one platform than on others. But the most important thing is to start.

On Facebook, you should start a personal profile about yourself, and a business page.  You can also create a personal profile and business page on LinkedIn. Twitter does not have business pages, so your Twitter profile should be a combination of your name and your business – for example, Ann Smarty has her website name as her Twitter handle – @seosmarty, and Angela Dunn also uses her blog name as her Twitter handle – @blogbrevity.

Please, don’t try setting up as many social media for business profiles and pages as you can. To be worthwhile, each social media account will need a regular visit and some interaction, so the more accounts you set up, the more you will have to keep up with. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are great for getting started.

It’s good to friend, contact and follow some other people and businesses that you do business with; they may share some good information that you would like to share too, and sharing like that is good for both of you.

Before you start posting status updates and Tweets, take a look at some of the messages shared by your peers, to get an idea of what is good to post.  If you see a post by one of your friends that really impresses you, sharing or re-Tweeting it is OK. Just don’t always post information about your business, and don’t like or share EVERYTHING that’s posted by a friend or another business; too much is just too much. Share something funny, interesting, positive, or helpful most of the time. And you don’t have to post more than one or two messages. Every 4th or 5th time, you can share something interesting about your business.

In a recent article, Entrepreneur shared some helpful Social Media tips for local business that provides some more perspectives.

If you have questions about helping market your small business, please Contact me at Jax SEO Works.

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Building Your Network

Part of growing your business is growing the network of people you know and work with.

People enjoying a meetingYou can socially network with others in your trade or profession as well as networking with clients and potential customers.  Sometimes one sort of relationship (social) leads to another (business), but don’t push your business/sales – focus on building relationships. The important thing at social meetings is to be yourself; friendly, helpful, and fun.  Don’t try to create an image to impress others; let your own qualities shine.

Find organizations in your local area that you are interested in.

Visit their meetings.  Get involved with the groups you enjoy.  (If you don’t enjoy what you are doing, it will just stress you and your unhappiness will be obvious to others.)

For example, we enjoy going to the Jacksonville Online Marketing Meetups with our son Kenny Harper. The JOMM meets at various business locations in Jacksonville, such as CoWork Jax and Discover Tec. Our group meets on a monthly basis; a gathering of people interested in marketing and advertising, small business owners, entrepreneurs, web designers, website search engine optimizers, graphic designers, and others just interested in finding out more about marketing and advertising online.  We enjoy the positive, sharing atmosphere of the meetings. The group has evolved from the Jacksonville Search Engine Optimization Meetup, which shared many similar interests, and which was founded by Michelle Chance-Sangthong.

Try this out yourself.

Think about some groups that you’d like to find out more about. Go visit them and get to know them. Start building your network!

Need help getting started building your online presence? Contact Jax SEO Works; we like helping people improve their business visibility online.

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Top Tier Seamless Gutters

Top Tier Seamless Gutters logoEarlier this year,  Nathan Littlefield, the owner of Top Tier Seamless Gutters, had a basic website designed by Key Theory. We worked with Key Theory in the final stages of completing the web design project.

Recently we began assisting a Top Tier Seamless Gutters representative in getting started adding content to their website. They install seamless gutters and underground drainage, and clean and repair gutters in the Jacksonville, Florida and southern Georgia area, to both residential and commercial clients.

Top Tier Seamless Gutters installed on a homeA basic website gives a small business an initial presence on the internet, but by developing their website by adding interesting, unique, and useful content, a business begins to reach out to provide information about the products or services it provides to potential clients.

And as more prospective customers find the new Top Tier Seamless Gutters website on the internet, the social interaction that helps a business stand out from others will develop.

Top Tier Seamless gutter installation on a homeIn our session, Top Tier Seamless Gutters added a gallery page showing completed Seamless Gutter Projects to the website, and will add more content with articles and photos from their recent projects, to make visiting their website a more informative and rewarding experience.

And if you need help getting your small business on the internet, Contact Jax SEO Works; we like to help small businesses.

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Craigslist for Improved Local Business Visibility

researching on her laptopMost people have heard of and even used Craigslist. It’s a huge, free access website that provides local classifieds and forums with all sorts of items for sale, jobs, housing listings, services, local community ads, and events, and many can be posted for free.

Many small, local businesses marketing are focused on getting local clients; they cannot provide their service to people living in, say, South America and their content is all written in American English, anyway. Or the cost of shipping their products overseas would be prohibitive.

Local listing for their business, on sites such as on Google My Business (which is tied in with Google Maps and Google+) can help.

To find your clients where they look, we have found that some small businesses are successful with optimized Craigslist ads.

  • Interesting and useful ad content
  • Adding links from their ad back to appropriate pages of their business website
  • Adding focused, topic-related eye-catching photos

Each of these steps can help to optimize your business ad.

While Craigslist users do have to watch out for Scammers and other miscreants, the site has established a reputation as a friendly, helpful site, providing a wealth of helpful information in a vast selection of localities, and as such it remains a resource for helping small, local businesses increase local visibility of their products or services.

If you want to suggest another good online visibility platform for local small businesses, please add a Comment or Contact us.

And if you need help getting your small business on the internet, Contact Jax SEO Works; we like to help small businesses.

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Black Creek Motorcycle Camper Supply

My buddy Jimmy Stockton has enjoyed riding motorcycles for over 20 years. During that time he raced some motorcycles and enjoyed motorcycle camping (also known as moto camping) during some of his travels. Jimmy finds camping out in the great outdoors “very peaceful and relaxing”.

Camper Supply - a motorcycle loaded with camping gear.Over the years of motorcycle camping, Jimmy tried a variety of camping gear and found items that he considers the best combinations of being handy, light and durable. He offers his selection of moto camping gear on Black Creek Moto Camper Supply.

Jax SEO Works helped develop the Black Creek Motorcycle Camper Supply website to add internet visibility of the selection of gear, and share updates about motorcycle Rallies and Meets that Jimmy attends, to demonstrate and sell the camping equipment, including the TomTom Rider Motorcycle GPS.

So if you are interested in some reasonably priced motorcycle camping gear, take a look at Black Creek Moto Camper Supply.

And if you need help getting your small business on the internet, Contact Jax SEO Works; we like to help small businesses.

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A Lint Free Vent

A Lint Free Vent - mobile clothes dryer exhaust cleaning service.A Lint Free Vent is a mobile clothes dryer vent cleaning service, serving homes in the Jacksonville, Florida area.

Every day you use your clothes dryer, your dryer vent collects little pieces of flammable lint in the dryer and the exhaust ductwork. In addition to being a growing fire hazard, the collected lint increases the time it takes to dry items, and decreases the efficiency of your dryer. Getting an annual dryer vent cleaning by a mobile service like A Lint Free Vent will eliminate this hazard.

Eddie Kyles - Owner of A Lint Free Vent.Owner Eddie Kyles had a website built for his business, but then the company who built the site went out of business without letting Eddie know, and didn’t send him any information to access his website. When the domain became available again, Jax SEO Works helped Eddie secure his business domain name, and reliable GoDaddy hosting, and then built him a business website.

Now Eddie’s clients can read about his business online, and contact him with a message, whenever they choose to.

Protect your home from a dryer vent fire by getting your clothes dryer vent cleaned annually. Get convenient, mobile service. Just Call A Lint Free Vent – 904.537.1483.

And if you need help getting your small business on the internet, Contact Jax SEO Works; we like to help small businesses.

 

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One Spark AMP Creator #21804 – Rock My Image!

One Spark - Crowdfunding for Entrepreneurs and Creatives.The Rock My Image crew – Jen DeVore Richter, Manny Torres, and Kenny Harper – are taking AMP (the Action Marketing Program) to One Spark 2015, in Jacksonville, Florida.

Located in CoWork Jax, AMP (Creator #21804) will be letting entrepreneurs, DIY and Small and Medium Business Owners, and Marketing Managers get a better understanding of their system for an easy to follow method to achieve their marketing goals.

Stop by CoWork Jax at 5 W Forsyth Street in downtown Jacksonville, during One Spark (April 7 through 12, 2015) to find out how AMP can help improve your business marketing.

This will be the 3rd annual One Spark event, a fantastically fun event that promotes entrepreneurs and small business while showcasing creativity as they encourage growth via crowdfunding.

CoWork Jax in downtown Jacksonville, Florida logoCoWork Jax provides convenient, affordable office space in downtown Jacksonville, a venue for meetups and workshops, designed to encourage collaboration. Many CoWork Jax members meet new people, get referrals, and get business in this friendly business community.

If you would like some help setting up a website for your small business and getting more visibility for your business on the internet, please contact Jax SEO Works. We like to help!

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Recognizing Women in Business

business meetingMost people appreciate when their hard work and dedication is recognized.

Networking with others in business, especially in businesses that relate to your own can help you gain new insights, which can improve your business.

Many women in business have excelled in leadership, vision, networking, and contributions to their businesses and their community, but their accomplishments are not shared in the media as often as for their male counterparts.

Here are a few, current opportunities to help these ladies in business who have inspired and encouraged others, to be recognized for their accomplishments.


Women Business Owners of North Florida Women in Business Awards - 20151. The Women Business Owners of North Florida, 2015 Women in Business Awards.

The Awards event will be held on March 31, 2015, but don’t wait to submit your nominees.

Categories include “ESTABLISHED ENTREPRENEUR of the Year”, “UP & COMING ENTREPRENEUR of the Year”, “CORPORATE LEADER of the Year”, and “PIONEER of the Year”, each of which is defined on their Women In Business Awards web page.

 


Southeastern Small Business Magazine 2015 Top Women of Influence2. The SouthEastern Small Business Magazine Top Women of Influence Awards.

The Awards look for women in business who are bold, energetic women, capturing the spirit of progress, helping shape a vibrant, inclusive economic and social future, throughout the Southeastern United States. More information and access to the Nomination form is available by visiting the Southeastern Small Business Magazine’s Women Of Influence webpage.

 


Derrick "Headlines" Hayes making a presentation to Shaq in 20133. A “Derrick Interview” by Encouragement Speaker, Derrick “Headlines” Hayes.

Derrick “Headlines” Hayes is a professional encouragement speaker, who has interviewed and written stirring articles about experts, entrepreneurs, celebrities and up and coming super stars from all over. Based on your recommendation and the information provided about your nominee for the Derrick Interview, Mr. Hayes will develop a very personal and impressive article about your woman in business, and share it on his website. Please note that the subject of Derrick’s articles are not solely to recognize women in business; men may be nominated for a Derrick Interview as well. To nominate someone, please visit the Derrick Interview page on his website.


By recognizing and encouraging others, we are helping to lift them up, and making our community a little bit better.

If you have questions about any of these programs, please Contact them directly for more information.

If you would like some help setting up a website for your small business and getting more visibility for your business on the internet, please contact Jax SEO Works. We like to help!

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