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Small Biz Considerations Archive

The Value of the Yellow Pages for Small Businesses Today

No. 122 • September 15th, 2008 • 28 Comments

I wish people would stop thinking that I somehow 'have it in' for the Yellow Pages. Certain Sphinn commenters and a few responses to previous posts I've written on this blog seem to imply that I am starting from a "gut reaction" when I criticize their value. This is just not the case. I'm going on hard data from my own clients, and analysis of their business models in comparison to their online competitors'. This article dispels some recent arguments from a YP Association rep, and offers my opinion on the true value of Yellow Pages for small businesses.

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Why Snake Oil SEO Still Sells

No. 119 • August 31st, 2008 • 13 Comments

Hidden in the middle of Will Scott's excellent piece on Yelp last month was the following insight, which certainly rings true in my experience with small business owners: "For me it all leads back to a central frustration I feel from small businesses: they understood the Yellow Pages. You pay more, you get a bigger ad, you get more calls. How hard is that?" As skeptical as I am of the print Yellow Pages, Will is absolutely spot-on with that comment. It is an incredibly easy-to-understand business, and has been around long enough where pretty much everyone understands how it works. Search engine optimization, even for the rare small business owner who has heard of it, is much more complicated and is inherently somewhat opaque.

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Links of Local Interest (™) Inaugural Edition

No. 118 • August 25th, 2008 • 7 Comments

Local Search aficionados will of course immediately recognize the eerie similarity between the title of this post and the title of a famous series by Local Search guru Mike Blumenthal. They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery so, Mike, I hope you approve. At any rate, I've read a couple of exceptional posts in the last few weeks (in addition to my small business reputation management roundup) that I haven't had a chance to highlight just yet. And I also wanted to make a few announcements of my own.

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2008 SEOmoz Expert Seminar Recap

No. 116 • August 24th, 2008 • 8 Comments

Having just returned from the SEOmoz Expert Seminar, it's safe to say the conference offered an incredible value. I learned from Brian Carter's Recap that SEOmoz would like to keep the bulk of the sessions confidential since they'll be selling the content on an upcoming DVD, but I got the go-ahead from Rand to post just a few teasers.

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5 Steps for 5 Stars: Reputation Management for Small Businesses

No. 115 • August 12th, 2008 • 13 Comments

25% of the questions Todd Mintz asked me in his excellent interview last month had to do with reputation management for small businesses. So, with this post, I thought I would try to make things a little easier for small businesses by compiling a list of truly exceptional posts related to this topic written in the last couple of months, and summarizing their findings.

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Now Is the Time: Get on the BOTW Local Bandwagon

No. 114 • August 11th, 2008 • 4 Comments

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a quick post about Best of the Web's launch of BOTW Local, and my initial impressions of the site. The date of that post, and of the submission of my business to BOTW Local, was June 24th. On August 1st, less than six weeks after submitting my business to BOTW Local, my BOTW Local listing was already showing up as a citation in my Google Local profile.

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A Few Thoughts on Real Estate Web Marketing

No. 110 • July 16th, 2008 • 11 Comments

In case you missed the announcement last week, ActiveRain, a popular blogging community for Realtors, is launching (or re-launching, I can't quite figure it out) a subsidiary social news/networking site called Almost on cue from Matt McGee, ActiveRain's goal is to make this the HyperLocal hub for a vast number of communities around the country. Should Realtors leverage this new opportunity or find other ways of making a name for themselves online?

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Highlights of Eric Enge’s Interview with Google Local Director Carter Maslan

No. 109 • July 14th, 2008 • 8 Comments

Eric Enge just posted a remarkably thorough interview with Carter Maslan of Google Local. I'm going to run through the highlights here, but please, please, please read the interview in its entirety. What a fabulous interview. I applaud Carter for his open-ness in talking about the factors their algorithm is looking at, and I applaud Eric, for being so thorough with his questions.

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Quality Service in Abundance Among Portland Photographers

No. 107 • July 6th, 2008 • 2 Comments

I've said on this blog before that customer service is one of the most effective marketing strategies that a small business can use. Well, here's some more proof.

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2008 SMX Advanced Recap for Small Businesses

No. 106 • July 5th, 2008 • 4 Comments

The Top Small Business Takeaways from SMX Advanced -- So apparently the ban on revealing secrets from the “Give It Up” session was lifted this weekend, so I thought it was about damned time for me to publish my recap of what is turning into my favorite search engine marketing conference.

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