Small Business Information Goldmine

Small business gold

The hidden treasure for small business owners

If there’s one constant that comes from the conversations we have with small business owners it’s the uncertainty they feel when it comes to creating and managing their online presence. Too much conflicting advice and too many fork-tongued gurus offering their latest snake oil (guaranteed to make your website shine!).

Well, help is at hand thanks to the caring, sharing community that can be found on Google+.

There are some key points that come through to ensure you are starting from a strong foundation.

Be clear about what you want from your website - business goals.

Understand your customers and their needs.

Do the things that work towards achieving your goals and meeting your customers' needs - anything else is wasting resources.

This is just a small cross-section of the good advice available on Google+. Do take the time to take a look at the posts from the individuals as well as the events (click on their images or their name). You will find they post and share some valuable information that will help you get the most from you online presence.

The Small Business Webtech Show

Two people with a passion for helping Small Businesses, John and Marilyn Moore, manage to draw together people with the knowledge and experience to provide practical guidance for all business owners in this Hangout on Air (HOA) series.

Your hosts

John Moore
John has been programming in a variety of languages for more than 25 years and currently employs those skills helping small businesses with all the technical aspects of their websites.
Marilyn Moore
Marilyn's goal is to make the changes occurring in search and the impact that is having on business, accessible and understandable to the small business person. Watch for her insightful commenting on Google+.

In the three shows listed below John and Marilyn are joined by guest host

Gina Fiedel
Owner of , Gina has a gift for creative writing that draws in the reader. You’ll find many tips and a great deal of inspiration in her posts.

and the special studio guest

Bill Slawski
Bill modestly describes himself as interested in seo, search engines, searchers' behaviours, the future of search, the semantic web, music, the environment, and how the Web works. His knowledge is extensive and he reads Google patents for fun!

The shows

Special guests

Mike Bayes
Mike is a life time entrepreneur with a wealth of experience who is currently offering sales acceleration and business development services as Managing Partner of .
Mary Iannotti
Mary is an Internet Marketing specialist with over ten years' experience of developing successful marketing strategies for technology, alternative energy and healthcare organizations.
Ammon Johns
Ammon (aka The Black Knight) is well respected in the online world. He has been in the business since it was a business and his knowledge and experience shine through in any encounter. Always take the opportunity to listen to, and engage with, Ammon.

Topics covered:

Is your website an asset? A scene-setting discussion. Your website has the potential to be a major element of your business but without the right investment it can be a liability.

Integrating your website and business processes. Your website as an employee, a global conversation with your potential customers.

What does it take? Level of investment. Clearly defined goals. Knowledge of your business and your customers.

How? Problems with proprietary systems (e.g. your business website for $5 per month). Content Management Systems. Working with web developers. The cost/skills equation: lower initial cost equates to more time/skills investment from the business.

What happens after your website is launched? Keeping your site relevant. Allocating resources.

Where to watch?

Original Google+ Event - always valuable to read through the comments on the event page for extra insights.

Timestamp Post - a common practice on Google+. Lists the flow of the event with links that take you directly to that part of the video.

The YouTube Recording

 

Special guests

Stephan Hovnanian
Owner of web strategy and email marketing firm , Stephan is an advocate of the web presence as an employee with a purpose approach. Yep, makes sense.
David Kutcher
David is the co-owner of boutique web development firm . He has a demonstrable expertise in creating websites that make a positive contribution to their owner's business.
MaAnna Stephenson
A geek who can still speak in plain English, helping small businesses and solopreneurs be successful and profitable through comprehensive site consultation and training including WordPress, SEO, performance, and security. Owner of the much respected BlogAid.

Topics covered:

What is web centric? Your website as a hub, connecting all your business activities. The website as a multiplier for your efforts.

The need for a comprehensive business strategy, unique to the circumstances of that business.

Customer intent - the rise of mobile and local searches.

Content ideas - being innovative with your content to keep visitors engaged.

The power of reviews. The importance of a Google My Business page and customer reviews for a local business.

Live Chat - easier to implement than you might think and a great way to make an immediate connection with potential customers.

Where to watch?

Original Google+ Event

Timestamp Post

The YouTube Recording

 

Special guests

David Amerland
Author, Speaker, Analyst. David is at the forefront of changes in search and how these changes affect business. A prolific writer and commenter on Google+. Watch out for his Sunday Read - rabbit holes a-plenty!
Ammon Johns
Ammon (aka The Black Knight) is well res... wait... haven't we been here before? Yes, back for a second time in this series. Actually Ammon pops up several times in this resource list - he is that good!
Mark Traphagen
Mark is Senior Director of Online Marketing for . Renowned for his well-reasoned postings on any aspect of marketing and a contributor to many leading marketing websites. You can rely on Mark to share the best information and research currently available.

Topics covered:

Having the right mindset - breaking away from the allure of the quick fix.

Being clear about how you want to be perceived. Do the things for which you want to be known. Connect with the right people.

Marketing is all Word of Mouth.

Technical SEO - getting the basics right.

Putting the real value into your website. Listening to customers, providing answers and showcasing your expertise.

The 4 Es and the 4 Ps and their relevance to your website.

Standing out - Being memorable and being top of mind.

Being thoughtful about perceived wisdom - does the advice fit your business model.

Persistence and focus - taking control of things you can change for the better.

Finding the support you need.

Where to watch?

Original Google+ Event

Timestamp Post

The YouTube Recording

Fundamentals of Online Marketing Series

A series of six Hangout on Air shows that explores, in some detail, how businesses can make the most of the opportunities presented by the connected world. The one-to-one conversation format enables these shows to go into a little more depth. There are a lot of useful thoughts and ideas presented here, often too much to absorb in one viewing. Get a notepad ready, take your time and give them the attention they deserve.

Your guides

Vincent Messina
Vincent is a sales and marketing consultant serving the needs of professional service providers including Dentists, Lawyers and Accountants. He has a healthy aversion to confirmation bias.
Ammon Johns
Ammon's third entry on this list. You shouldn't really need any more recommendation than that!

The shows

A scene-setting discussion looking at marketing, strategy and implementation - i.e. sorting out the most misunderstood word in the English language. The difference between marketing strategy and tactics. Understanding your brand and your offer. Finding the frustrations. The importance of not trying to do everything. The importance of the Ws - who, what, when, where and most importantly why. Don't join in the race to the bottom - if you compete on price you've already lost!

Where to watch?

Original Google+ Event

The YouTube Recording

Know who you are selling to, and why they want to buy from you. Without a market you have no business. The opportunity in dissatisfaction. Supply and demand. The difficulty of breaking into established markets. Differentiation. Want and need - appealing to emotions. Discovering the real buyer. A day in the life of your buyer. Developing personas and telling the story that speaks to their needs. Understanding customer intent at any given moment. Using social networks for listening.

Where to watch?

Original Google+ Event

The YouTube Recording

How the internet changed the landscape forever. The inevitability of your online presence - people are talking about you even if you're not. Effective use of Social Media. It's not what you say about you, it's what they say about you - the power of word of mouth. The key components of an online presence. Findability, Discoverability, Topicality, Local Landmark, Internet Landmark.

Where to watch?

Original Google+ Event

The YouTube Recording

The balance between utility and elegance. Defining the role of the website - how it fits with the business goals. The website budget -your website is effectively a 24/7 sales, customer support and public relations machine. It can save staff time and costs - set your budget accordingly. What a template site says about your business. Satisfying a customer's buying process. Choosing a domain and structuring your website. Navigation scent. Less is more - avoiding too much choice on a page.

Where to watch?

Original Google+ Event

The YouTube Recording

What is content marketing? Sharing your expertise with a soft sell. Overcoming the obstacles to being known, chosen and referred. Keeping the audience moving towards your business goals. Allocating appropriate resources. Creating evergreen content that will stand the test of time - i.e. avoid filler! Storytelling in your content marketing. The things to avoid. Understanding why someone would want to read your content.

Where to watch?

Original Google+ Event

The YouTube Recording

The evolution of Social Media. Social Media Marketing needs to make sense for your business model - dovetailing with a thought out strategy. Finding the right communities i.e. the right audience. Social Networks are the place for networking socially - it has to follow the same approach as real life networking. Keeping yourself top of mind for when they are ready to engage with your business. Don't do social unless it is the best tool to achieve your objective. Social listening. Best party behaviour. Vanity metrics.

Where to watch?

Original Google+ Event

The YouTube Recording

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