When you run a small business, you and a select number of your colleagues will wear more than one hat. This means you will be trying your hand at accountants, HR, sales... and maybe even tea making!

As the business grows you will be aware of the need to obtain specialist skills in certain areas such as online marketing. This will mean learning certain skills yourself, outsourcing or even employing someone in-house. The problem is knowing what skills are needed and how best to obtain them...

There are two reasons why gaining inbound links to your website is important: links are a ranking factor and they generate traffic.

The number of quality links pointing to your website is one of the factors a search engine - Google, Bing, etc. - takes into consideration when deciding where your site should rank for a particular search term. And - according to SEO experts - it is still the most the important factor. This is because a site which attracts links from high authority websites is seen as trustworthy.

Having links from other websites also boosts the volume of traffic coming to your site. Depending on where your customer or clients are in the buying process, they may be using other sites - such as local directories - to find particular businesses. Being listed on resource pages listing the top businesses in your area means that your customers can find you through multiple avenues.

But as links are so important it's no surprise that they can be difficult to obtain. It used to be the case that some SEO companies would attempt to 'game the system' by using 'black hat' link building tactics that no longer work. Search engines have got wise to these shady tactics, such as buying links, submitting to spurious directories, and spamming blog comment sections and online forums with links back to your site.

But this doesn't mean that you can't find ways of improving the quality and quantity of links pointing to your site...

With customers relying less-and-less on traditional advertising and more on social media channels for information about restaurants, having a regularly updated profile is crucial. But this can take your time away from running your restaurant. That's why we've put together these quick and easy tips to making the most of your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts...

You'll already know the importance of maintaining a strong social media presence for your brand or business. While social media platforms may not lead directly to conversions for your business, they are crucial for raising awareness and allowing for direct contact with your customers.

You'll also know that scheduling updates and managing your social channels takes time. But before even thinking about content, many businesses need to ensure that their social profiles are optimised properly and completed fully.

This doesn't have to take too much time. We've put together this checklist that you can use to guide you through the process of giving your social profiles a much-needed health check...

Reducing the cost of visual content creation

Visual marketing is becoming ever more important; a crucial aspect of your overall content marketing strategy in 2016. Not all content is king; it's visual content that is poised to take the throne. But producing visuals, creating engaging content for social media and making sure your branding is on point all take time and cost money. And these are resources that small businesses do not necessarily have. There are some simple tools that can reduce these costs. Visuals needn't be time-consuming. Nor do you need to shell out on expensive graphic design software to acheive this. Instead - with a little planning - you can build a suite of tools to help you create visual content more easily.