5 Free Tools to Boost Your Online Marketing Results

online marketing toolsThe 2009 business world is competitive, and consumer expectations are high. As costs rise and marketing budgets shrink, small businesses are looking for ways to improve their ROI with every dollar spent.

While many businesses have realized search engine marketing is a smart way to grow a business, some launch a website, start-up a PPC campaign, or invest in professional SEO, and neglect to spend time optimizing their efforts, leading to low conversion rates to less than stellar search engine rankings.

The good news? A variety of tools are available to help you boost your online marketing results. Here is a breakdown of five of the best to help you get started.…

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27 Twitter Applications Your Small Business Can Use Today

twitter small business appsTwitter is growing in popularity by leaps and bounds lately.   It seems like everyone is talking about Twitter.   The neat thing is that everyone seems to use Twitter in their own unique way.   Hundreds of Twitter applications can be found on numerous sites that offer cool tools to help you manage the way you use Twitter.   If you use Twitter for marketing your small business, I sorted thru tons of apps to bring you the most helpful.   Feel free to suggest other Twitter apps, for business owners, below in the comments.

Twitter Toolbar – Downloading this free toolbar gives you instant access to Twitter.  …

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10 Valuable Small Business Management & Leadership Articles

leadership & management articlesAs small business owners, we want to be the best leaders possible.   If you’re new to business management, you may not know how to go about just that.   I’ve found 10 very useful articles that may give you some new insight into managing your small business better.   Each article has something different to offer readers so be sure to see them all.   Enjoy!

Kicking Them When They’re Down: How Not To Fire An EmployeeSkip Anderson pleads with managers to act professionally when terminating an employee.

Hiring From Outside The Company: How New People Can Bring Unexpected ProblemsKnowledge@Wharton weighs the pros and cons of hiring employees without prior experience in your business’ industry.…

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Credit Card Options Limited For Small Business Financing

small business credit cardsIt used to be that even upstart businesses with no credit history could secure $50,000 lines of credit with no documentation. Bank of America began such a program in 2006. And since then, other banks followed suit offering $50,000 and $100,000 loans to new and un-proven businesses. In a press release at the time, Bank of America stated that even “a small business owner in business for only one day could qualify” for its $100,000 line of credit program.

Until recently, credit cards had always been a reliable source of financing for entrepreneurs as well. Ease of credit card access gave small business owners an important, cost effective, and highly flexible means for managing cash flow, purchasing inventory, and expanding operations.…

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Small Business Tips For Staying Organized With Your Online Efforts

Staying organized while running your online business at home can feel like there are just never enough hours in the day to achieve anything. And then when 6pm comes along and it’s “time to go home”, you think that nothing has happened to move your business forward.

You know you get the calls to help with the kids, go shopping or just “do this because it’s only going to take you 5 minutes” when actually you know it’s going to take more like 5 hours.

Or that “you can get this done now because you’re only surfing the net” *sigh*

So what can you do?…

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Email Marketing – 7 Methods For Connecting And Keeping Subscribers

You have conducted the preliminary research and built a thorough direct email marketing list. Each entry represents a potential buyer and future opportunity for your business. A proven autoresponder service has been employed and is in position to follow through with the direct email marketing of your product. You wonder, Is this the right campaign? Will the recipients bite? How can I be sure the campaign will make buyers out of readers? The following list of 7 methods for capitalizing on direct email marketing will guide you through the process from list construction to list activation.

1.) From Friendly to Familiar

For many businesses, customers are drawn to a recognizable trade name or a well-known endorser.…

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Optimize Your Business’ Website for Search Engines

Writing to ensure your business’ website is optimized for search engines is a valuable skill in today’s business world.  Gabriel Shaoolian of Blue Fountain Media, a leading web design company, has several suggestions to ensure you do it right. Shaoolian says “The goal of Google is to show the most relevant results for every query, giving users the most satisfaction when searching. To do so, the search engine has begun taking into account certain factors. To capture its attention you need to write in a way that blends your own intent with an eye for how search engines search.” Here are some simple rules that will help any copywriter write more effectively.…

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The Blackberry Storm – A Small Business Perspective

blackberry stormThe Storm phone is an interesting combination of Blackberry functionality with touch screen capability, and a large, clear screen. For those other small business owners without their own dedicated email server, Blackberry runs circles around Windows phones, at least on the Verizon network.

When it comes to technology, I’m not normally an early adopter. Putting up with my Windows-based Treo for the last couple years, coupled with Verizon’s release of the new Blackberry Storm sent me over the edge, running out first thing to find a store with a Storm. I have now had the phone for almost two months.

The good news:

My business and personal email boxes are now separate and I can reply from either.…

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Building Up Your Customer Base During the Holidays

The holiday shopping season is in full swing, and although the economy isn’t everything we as business owners had hoped for, people are still out spending their hard-earned money. One main difference, however, is where they are spending it.

Shoppers this holiday season are looking for exceptional values, this is certainly true. Saving money during these times is of vital importance for many people, so it is very important to maintain a competitive edge when it comes to pricing.

More important, however is what you can do for your customer base if you keep a few key components in place for the holiday season.…

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Simple Ways To Increase Your Online Sales This Holiday Season

increase holiday salesWith the holiday shopping season fast approaching, I have read and heard many predictions of customers doing most of their shopping online this year.   So to take advantage of this opportunity, now is the time to put some extra focus into developing your online sales strategies.   David Kam, of MarketingDeviant.com, has listed some easy to implement and budget friendly tips to  increasing your sales in his article “How To Increase Online Sales“.

One suggestion he makes is to increase the security of your online store checkout.   This is a highly important tip to consider.   The last thing you want  is for your customers information to fall into the wrong hands.  …

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