Strategy Plus

This is the first part in our series about blogging for small businesses. Continue reading if you're not yet convinced of the importance of blogging for your business, or skip ahead straight to the second article in the series…

Has everyone been telling you that your business needs to be creating great content? Probably. But are you still to be convinced? For the first part of our four-part series on blogging for small businesses, we've put together the 8 benefits of blogging on a regular and consistent basis...

get set for growth expo 2016 We're pleased to announce that Daniel Ricardo will be holding a seminar about creating a successful website as part of the GetSet for Growth Expo 2016 on Tuesday 17th May in Birmingham. The Expo is designed to attract like-minded business people who have the want and desire to grow their businesses using the tips, tools and resources available on the day including marketing and access to finance.

Some small businesses will never compete with the national market leaders. But this doesn't mean that you shouldn't be investing in online marketing. Instead, you should be concentrating on local SEO; ensuring that your business can be found by people in the specific areas that you cover. Assuming that you already have a fully-responsive website that works well across multiple devices, there are a number of tactics you can put in place to improve your online visibility. We've put together this local SEO checklist so you can focus on the most important areas...

It’s commonplace for small businesses to try their hand at various different roles within a business rather than outsource to costly suppliers. However, there are some areas that remain outsourced because the subject matter makes them nervous; accountancy, IT and maybe even online marketing. Now, there may be areas SMEs will never be able to get stuck in to such as website programming and coding. But a large proportion could - in fact - be done in house. Here are just a few lists of tasks you can carry out in various different departments when marketing your business online...

There is a lot of data floating around the internet that tells us quality content is what drives search results. However, not all businesses are taking full advantage of this opportunity. Some businesses will be paying for ‘search only’ content, which is not fit for human consumption (so to speak!). These are ‘technical’ posts designed with one goal: getting ranked higher in searches.

This article is a guest post by Jezz Gobran of specialist online security company i-Secured. Would you give your personal details to a complete stranger? Probably not. But when you have a website that operates with cookies or captures personal data (such as through a contact form), that's exactly what happens. A privacy policy is the one thing that gives visitors assurance that their personal data will be collected and managed in line with legal obligations. That assurance helps build trust.

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...