Archive for category Getting Started

Better Business and Charity

It’s just better business practice to support your community and support charity.

How can you benefit your business and do something good for your community?  Get involved in your community and help to support a local charity.

For example, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month; there are many local charities that you could volunteer your time and your services to help.

Here in Jacksonville, there are several annual events to help raise Breast Cancer Awareness on the First Coast:

Pink Ribbon Symposium1. The Pink Ribbon Symposium

It’s a free event that offers multiple breakout sessions for your questions with answers from medical experts.  You can join others in volunteering to help to promote learning about breast cancer, survivorship, good health and wellness issues.

Victory in Pink2. Victory In Pink is a Celebration of Women Who have Fought Against Breast Cancer by St. Vincent’s Healthcare.

Bands Against Breast Cancer - Guitar logo3. Bands Against Breast Cancer, a group currently conducting educational and informational activities throughout the First Coast area, hold their Annual Boobsapalooza, their major fundraiser, with great local bands playing on two stages. The event is often held at Lynch’s Irish Pub in Jacksonville Beach.  Founder Henrietta “Hank” Watson has led a group of dedicated volunteers to help educate and empower women to save their own lives in the battle against breast cancer.

Think about a cause you believe in.  Give some of yourself, your time, your services to help.  You’ll feel good for what you do and you will get good back for what you do, just like the motto of Business Networking International, “Givers Gain”.

Do you have a story about how you have helped out with a charity in your community that you’d like to share?  Please send it to us via our Contact form.  We’d like to share your positive story to inspire others.

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How to Improve Your Business

SearchingA good business owner is always looking for ways to improve their business.

1.  Get new ideas is to keep learning; reading articles online and in magazines and books, follow other successful entrepreneurs on Twitter and Facebook, and their website blogs.

2.  Set goals for your changes and improvements, and then make small, manageable, incremental improvements.  You can get to your goal with this approach.

3.  Measure and track your efforts and your results.

  • How much did you spend for your advertising last month?
  • How many new visitors did your business see as a result of that advertising?   (And ask your visitors which advertisement brought them to you.)
  • How many of those visitors made a purchase?   (Did you make a profit from their purchases, or did you pay more for advertising than you made in sales that resulted from that advertising?)

Professional Speaker, Author, and Entrepreneur Michelle Chance-Santhong, the Online Marketing Goddess, shares her inspiring progress to improvement, applying some of these concepts in one of her recent videos.

If you have some more suggestions, proven ways you have used to improve your business, that you’d like to share, please

  • add your Comment below,

  • or send us your suggestions to share via our Contact form.

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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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Business Plan for your small business.

Before you go any further with your small business, gather your ideas and aspirations and make a business plan.

Business Plan for a small businessBasically a plan for any business covers where are you now with your business, and what do you want to do ?

Your plan can be as short as one page; see : How to Write a Business Plan, shared by the Small Business Administration.

If you will need a loan to get your business started, you should have a more detailed plan for your business, such as following the SCORE template guide.

A business plan helps you organize your thoughts about your business.

If you are just getting started with your small business, and want to find out more about getting started, Contact Jax SEO Works. We’re here to help.

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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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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 400 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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Endorsement Disclosure Statement

– – – – – – – – – Originally posted in 2010 – – – Updated May, 2015 – – – – – – –

On your website, do you endorse products or services provided by other businesses?  You website needs an endorsement disclosure statement.

endorsing a product or serviceThe Federal Trade Commission established Guidelines for Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. The intent is to make it clear to readers of your website if you are receiving compensation for your endorsements or testimonials. Whether you get money or even free samples in return for your thoughts, you now need to let your readers know.

To help individuals and businesses avoid problems, the Disclosure Policy organization has provided a quick and painless way to draft a simple disclosure policy for your website. First go to http://www.disclosurepolicy.org. Then fill in your information and answer simple questions. Next you copy and paste the resulting policy statement on an easy to find page on your website. You may need to alter some portions of the policy statement, to make it fit your business and your website better, but they give you a good start. And make your policy easy for your readers to find, in your sitemap or on a navigation tab.

Does your website have an endorsement disclosure statement?

We can help your website market your business better! Contact Jax SEO Works today!

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Basic SEO

searching on the internetWho hasn’t searched the internet for a business website, but then when they found the site, they left un-satisfied because they couldn’t find the information they needed?

And many business owners are frustrated to have a website but get very few website visitors and even less conversions (business from the website).

Basic SEO (Search Engine Optimization) helps your website to get a better ranking from search engines and to get more website visitors than websites which have not been optimized.

What helps optimize your website for search engines and visitors?

  • Use good long-tailed keywords.
  • Good, helpful, interesting content.
  • Easy to use navigation, so your website visitors can easily find what they came to your website looking for.
  • Website design to create interest in your website (and your product or service).

With millions of websites on the internet, each search engine (e.g., Google, Bing, Yahoo!, About, etc.) uses their own set of algorithms (calculations) to evaluate each website, and then arranges them according to best in their opinion, first, in their search results based on each user’s query.

“Content is King.” Has been the motto of many people who help optimize websites to rank better in search results. Original, interesting, focused, content will rank better than rambling content that makes no sense. Photographs related to the web page topic, with appropriate optimization, will help improve ranking, too. Related videos also help ranking, as can links from and to the various website pages.

And Search Engine Optimization guidelines continue to develop and change as search engines try to provide desired results for internet users.

Often, some professional insight can help you get started in the right direction to your website goals.

Contact Jax SEO Works for help to improve your internet presence.

 

 

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Prepare your website for your target audience.

The prospective clients, the group of people that you want to reach through your website, are your target audience.

a Target Audience for your WebsiteWho is your target audience ?

Depending on the topic of your website, your target audience could be

  • world wide, or for a certain area of a specific city,
  • for people of any age, or of  a determined age  group,
  • for e-commerce, or for sharing information about a hobby or common interest, etc.

How will your target audience find your website ?

Consider the topic you selected for your website, then define what the people in your target audience would search the Internet for in order to find your website.  Make a list of words and short phrases you think your target audience would use to search for your website.

Google Trends can help your website.

Here is where it would be helpful to have some idea what words and short phrases your target audience would use to search for your website, if you could just ask them.  Google features Google Trends, which you can use to determine how many people search for a word or short phrase.  Google Trends even allows you to compare words and short phrases (from the list that you made) to see which ones more people are searching for. If your website is primarily for local interest, you can refine your Google Trends response for a country and city.

Less searched words and phrases.

  • What if some of the words and short phrases you know significantly help describe your website don’t appear to be as popular on Google Trends ?
  • What if some of your words or short phrases haven’t been searched for enough for Google Trends to have any data to respond to your request ?

Your list should include some more popular words and short phrases, to increase the probability of your website being found by your target audience. But you can also include words and short phrases on your website that you know significantly help describe your website even if they don’t appear to be as popular on Google Trends. If a member of your target audience is as familiar with the topic of your website as you are, they may search for that same word or phrase, and that could help them find your website

Borders Woodworks of Jacksonville, Florida - logoFor example, looking at words for a client’s website, Borders Woodworks, a local Jacksonville, Florida woodworking shop, talented in design, crafting, and installation of custom cabinets, furniture, and built-ins,

we compared:

  • woodworking
  • custom cabinets
  • custom furniture

and Google trends showed us that woodworking is more frequently searched for.  We use the less frequently searched phrases in the content text on the website.

But search word trends are always changing, so you should periodically check how your search words are trending for your target audience in you analytic data, and adjust them accordingly.

“A and B” testing, that is to say trying similar but different approaches to the same goal can also help you find out what works best for attracting your target audience to the website, but that will be another Jax SEO Works article.

If you would like to get better results with your small business website, Contact Jax SEO Works. We enjoy helping others.

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What is Google+ ?

The top search engine on the planet, Google, has launched a new social media platform that they call Google+.

Google +You can use it to connect with people socially.  It’s kinda like Facebook, but not exactly.  It’s kinda like Twitter, but not exactly.  This is still a relatively new platform and is growing in popularity as an online social community.

Thinking about getting into Google+ ?  

Google+ is one of the many marketing topics that has been discussed by the friendly group of business people, web designers, developers, optimizers, programmers and more, who meet monthly to share knowledge and experiences, and make new friends in a postive Meetup group, the Jacksonville Online Marketing Meetup (JOMM).

The Jacksonville Online Marketing Meetup is hosted by Kenny Harper, and usually meets on the second Tuesday of each month, at the friendly and popular shared office space, CoWork Jax in downtown Jacksonville.

This friendly, growing group was previously known as the Jacksonville SEO Meetup, hosted by experienced e-commerce entrepreneur, writer, and public speaker, the talented Michelle Chance-Sangthong.

To keep up with events, and find other friends who’ve already joined the group, and to sign up, visit the  Jacksonville Online Marketing Meetup Facebook page and the Jacksonville Online Marketing page on Meetup.com.

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