We get it — when it comes to getting listed online, the
process can be overwhelming. The first
step is understanding what terms such as “local search” and “organic search”
mean, and how they relate to your site.
: The basic definition
revolves around geography. Results are displayed when a potential customer
searches online for a product or service within a specific geographic location.
For example, if you type “landscaping, Boston” into Google
it will return Local Search results for landscaping businesses in Boston.
: According to Merriam-Webster
Social Media includes “forms of electronic communication (as
Web sites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create
online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other
content (as videos).” Whether or not you use Social Media in your
personal life, utilizing it as a marketing tool for your business can have big
benefits. Popular sites such as Facebook
make it easy to engage with
existing customers and connect with new ones.
Organic Search: The original type of results in a search engine that include a list of
websites. Major search engines such as Google evaluate websites based on
credibility and relevancy so that searchers find the best matches for their
Search Engine Optimization: Otherwise
known as SEO, it is the process of optimizing your website so it shows up in
organic search. One specific way to do this is to think about various keywords that you use within your
Keywords: Think for a moment about what words you type in to your
preferred search engine when you’re looking for something specific. For
instance, if you were searching online for a restaurant that served a
particular dish, but you couldn’t recall the name of the restaurant, you would
likely type in keywords such as your location, the dish’s name, or perhaps even
the main elements of the dish.
Paid Search: Results are
advertisements or "sponsored links" in search engines that businesses
can purchase from sites such as Google. Paid Search is a useful form of online
marketing for some businesses because one can see results immediately, however,
unlike other more gradual types of online marketing, it does cost money.
Over the next few months, we’ll be posting specific content
about how you can utilize these key digital marketing terms. Can’t wait for the
post? Keep in mind that we have an extensive Online Guide that can be found on
This post originally appeared on Vistaprint's Micro Business Perspectives Blog.
Here is a general overview of group buying and how small businesses are using it.
If you type “group buying” into Google, you’ll get over 44,500,000 results. The most recognized player however, is probably Groupon
, a Chicago-based company that has enjoyed explosive growth over the past few years. The business model is simple: Groupon typically keeps half of the money generated from the deal, and the other half goes to the featured retailer. If, for instance, a $160 dinner is offered for $80 on the site, Groupon and the restaurant split the $80. As we mentioned, Groupon is just one of many group buying sites. Others in the space include LivingSocial
, Google Offers
What about my business?
The big question, of course, is how does (or doesn’t) group buying fit into the world of a micro business owner? The first step might be looking at a few pros and cons. Although there are a number of advantages to consider when it comes to group buying, the biggest is likely the opportunity to generate buzz and in the end, reach a deep pool of new consumers you might not have been able to before. According to a Financial Times piece
, Groupon CEO Andrew Mason thinks his company is the perfect way for small businesses to do just that: “We’re hands down the best way to get customers through the door,” he says. “Which for small businesses is the difference between success and failure.” And while customer procurement is undoubtedly vital, small business owners also have to weigh a number of important risk factors like potential financial impact, and whether or not they’ll be able to honor the deal if it takes off.
ToMuse takes a hard look
at whether or not group buying is cost effective, and ultimately comes to the conclusion that it really depends on the offer. And as for delivering on the deal, one cautionary tale comes in the form of a cupcake
. Rachel Brown, who runs a small bakery outside of London, featured what she thought was a simple deal on Groupon (a 75 percent discount on a dozen cupcakes) that would maybe generate a few hundred orders. Instead, she was flooded, finally cutting the orders off at a staggering 8,500 — which, for the record, is a lot of cupcakes. According to the Daily Mail
, her business took a massive hit. “Because [Brown’s] deal had been so generous and the demand so huge, she made a loss on every order – wiping out her profits for the entire year,” the publication reports.
In the end, not all businesses are the same, and the decision comes down to you as a small business owner asking the right questions, such as: Is the risk worth the potential gain? Can I afford to offer such a deep discount? Am I prepared to honor the terms of the offer if there’s no limit? We’ve only scratched the surface of group buying, but hopefully you’ve gained a little insight.
Tell us in the comments section: Do you think you’ll consider group buying or will you stick to more traditional methods?
One question we get a lot is,“How can
I add social media buttons to my Vistaprint website or email marketing campaign?” And the answer is: It’s easy! (Not to mention a great way for customers to share your content with their contacts, and grow your business.)
So what are social media widgets, anyway? If you’ve ever browsed the Web (which we are assuming you have) chances are, you’ve come across these handy applications on a number of occasions, and you might have even used them. Widgets are buttons that can be added to your website, email marketing campaign, blog or social media page; you can use widgets from social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to engage your site’s visitors, to increase brand awareness and attract more customers. You can checkout examples on sites such as Boston.com, and even right here on our blog to see how these versatile buttons are typically used.
How do I add them to my site?
Incorporating widgets is a simple process, with just a few steps once you’re logged in:
1. Go to your “Extras” menu in the Site Builder.
2. Click the “Add Social Media” icon.
3. Select the type of social media you’d like to add to your website. You can choose among “Like” and “Share” buttons from Facebook, Twitter extras like “Follow” and “Tweet” or a host of other social media widgets.
4. Once you choose the widget you want, set up the options for the given widget, and add it to your Website or Email Marketing Campaign!
Hopefully this quick how-to inspires you to get social with your site or campaign! Do you think you’ll be socializing your site or campaign anytime soon? Let us know in the comments section!