Archive for December, 2012

Holiday Small Business Marketing Ideas

by Ryan Grassie - Dec. 13, 2012 at 4:17pm

Bundle Services or Products

As the holidays approach, customers look for great bargains and gift ideas. Bundle complementary services and products for the holiday season and offer discounts. For example, you could bring in a photographer to take holiday pictures and offer a discount on a picture frame to go with the purchase of any picture package.

Give Out Free Gifts

Retail sales peak between Nov 15 and Dec 27. Buyers are prepared to spend their money, so it is sometimes just a matter of offering them more incentive to come spend money at your business. Give out free gifts to customers who spend a set amount at your business. Offer different levels of gifts for the people that purchase more products and the chance to be entered into a drawing to win a prize.

Have Multiple Promotion Days

You need to create several promotional days during the holiday season to keep the sales momentum going. Do not rely on just one day to generate your holiday sales. Use the month after Black Friday to create as promotional buying days to keep the momentum going.

Special Services

If you can add value to your store’s offering beyond the promotional savings, then you may be able to grab more business. Offer customers free gift wrapping or free shipping. Offer a service that helps people to think of gift ideas and points shoppers to the correct part of the store to find suggested gifts. If you can help make people’s holiday shopping experience easier, and they may spend more money with your small or medium business.

Partner with Other Businesses

You can increase your company’s visibility if you partner with complimentary sellers and develop a network that customers can use to get what they need. For example, if you own a record and CD store, team up with the stereo store. Send them customers looking for stereo equipment, and they can send you customers looking for music. Share in advertising costs with your partners and lower your marketing costs for the season.

 

Have a Safe and Merry Christmas Holidays

by Ryan Grassie - Dec. 7, 2012 at 3:14pm

Wishing all of our clients, friends and family in Ottawa, across Canada and in the United States a happy and safe christmas holidays. We are open for business over most of the holidays, getting ready for the new year rush. Cheers,  – The ForceFive Media team.

How Much Can You Make on Youtube?

by Ryan Grassie - Dec. 4, 2012 at 3:47pm

Did you realize that you make a cut of the ad revenues on youtube if you allow ads to be placed on your video? Everyone has seen the Gagnam Style video.

Number of YouTube views of the “Gangnam Style” video (as of 1 p.m., November 30): 853,942,076

Standard rate that YouTube pays to video publishers for every 1,000 views: Approx $2

Estimated total YouTube revenue received by Team Psy: $1,707,884.15

YouTube’s estimated cut: $1,366,307.32 (Based on rates provided by Jason Calacanis, CEO of Mahalo, a top YouTube partner.)

Psy’s estimated revenues from U.S. digital music sales of “Gangnam Style”: $243,720 (Per a calculation by entertainment lawyer Steve Gordon, applying standard American royalties to the 2.7 million copies the song has sold.)

10 Ways to Improve Your Local Search Engine Results

by Ryan Grassie - Dec. 4, 2012 at 2:33pm

There are many things you can be doing with your website to help you gain more traction in your local search results. For example, we always want to be first in the “Ottawa Website Design”, “Kanata Web Design”, “Stittsville Web Design”, etc. Here are some great tips on how you can make this happen.

Make sure that you have a crawler friendly web site
The very first step in improving your performance in local search engines is to make sure that the search engines can easily crawl your site. Minimize the use of tables, and avoid deeply nested tables. Make sure that your business name, address, and contact information is featured prominently on the page as text, and not hidden from the crawlers in an image file. Your homepage title should include your business name, address and key words. Place a “H1” header near the top of the page that also has your business name, address, and local keywords in it.

Include your business address twice on the page
In addition to placing your business address prominently on the page, also include it in the footer. Abbreviate the business province in one of the addresses, and spell it out in the second iteration. Abbreviated provinces are sometimes misinterpreted by the crawlers.

Local blog articles
Write blog articles that include content that is written for your local followers. Using local keywords will be adding valuable content to your site.

Check out your business listing on the major search engines
Check out your business listings on Google, Yahoo Local, and MSN Live Search. If your business is not found, you should submit a listing at Google, Yahoo, and Superpages (for Microsoft Live Search).

For each listing, make sure that your contact info is correct, your business description is complete, and that it uses the same keywords that you are using on your web site. Make sure that your description has all the info that your potential customers will need to contact you. Include the county in addition to the city on your business listing. Finally, check out any photos of your business on the business directories, and provide better photos when you can.

Get your business rated
Ask your satisfied customers to write reviews and rate your business at Google, Yahoo, and MSN. Ask them to use the same keywords that you use in the business description and on your web site as part of their review. Don’t add too many reviews over a short period of time, and make sure that the reviews are very unique.

Solicit local links
Find a bunch of web directories that are local to your area, and ask them to link to your web site. Contact your local chambers of commerce (there are 2 in Ottawa) and ask them to link to your business from their web site.

Check out your competition
Do a local search for your business keywords (i.e. Web Design, Ottawa, ON) and see who your competition is. Find out who is linking to your competitors and investigate whether you can get the same sites to link to your business website. The links can be determined by going to Yahoo and typing “linkdomain:” and then your competitor’s web site (i.e. linkdomain:www.yourcompetitorssite.com). Click on “inlinks” in the results page.

Check inlinks for your site as well, and see who is linking to you. Make sure that the information on those sites is correct, and contact them if it isn’t.

Verify directory information
Check out your business listing on your local phone company site and other local phone directory sites. Make sure that your business information and description are what you want. Also, make sure that your information is correct at InfoUSA, Amacai, and Acxiom, which are major sources of local business data licensed by many directories.

Create separate web pages for different cities/regions
If your business serves multiple cities or regions, consider creating separate web pages for the different locals. It will take some time, but can really pay off in the end. To avoid duplicate content issues, be sure to have very unique, relevant content on each of the local specific pages. You can use online plagiarism tools to be sure your not content stealing. Be sure to include the county in addition to the city in describing your business.