Categories: Doing Business Online

Pay More Attention to Your Website Users

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on August 05

When it comes to customer engagement, many big-name brands do just enough to stay one step ahead of their competition, and because of their past momentum they are able to...

Get More Business by Choosing the Right Keywords

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on March 30

Are you speaking the same language as your customers? You may use the phrase "pest control" to describe your services, but someone who just found bedbugs and turns to the...

Update Your "Contact Us" Page

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on September 22

One element of website design that hasn't evolved much over the years is the "Contact Us" page. Typically it's just an address, phone number, and e-mail address accompanied by a...

Three Benefits of Adding Video to Your Website

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on July 29

Video used to be a nice add-on for an e-commerce site, a frill that companies could feature or not without obvious repercussions. That is no longer the case. Today, video...

The Case for A/B Testing

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on July 12

You have a small business. You don't have deep resources for marketing research, but you do have good ideas, an eagerness to experiment, and a website. That means you have...

Video: Google's SEO Loophole

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on June 07

As small business owners know, getting a first-page Google result is harder than ever due to the growing complexity of Google's search algorithms and the company's preference for blended search...

Get "Social" to Grow Your Business

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on May 21

The majority of consumers these days get information from social network sources. According to a January 2010 Forrester Research report titled Introducing the New Social Technographics, 70 percent of online...

Use Online Service to Stand Out from the Crowd

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on May 14

A customer's support experience is a key factor in determining loyalty to your small business. Today's customers increasingly prefer to find information online or seek out others' experiences in real...

The Case for Expanding Your Online Sales Presence

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on January 30

It may be easy to cut back on all cost-related operations, but just as consumers become wiser with their spending during slowdowns, as a small business owner you too should...

Increase the Return on Your Search Engine Marketing Investment

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on January 29

For most small businesses, surviving in a challenging economy requires a greater investment in marketing and promotion. Online marketing and advertising can be a cost-effective way to reach your customers,...

Making the Most of Your Web Site's Traffic

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on January 23

If you're a small-business owner who has spent money to drive traffic to your Web site, you can't afford to ignore those who actually visit. Luckily, online marketing has effectively...

Don't Overlook Search Engine Marketing Fundamentals

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on January 16

If you are looking to get more from your search engine marketing investment, take the time to evaluate and fine-tune your campaigns. You may have overlooked some fundamental tactics that...

Brand Your Business Online

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on December 30

Here are some ideas for branding your business online: 1. Protect Your Name. As an entrepreneur, your name is vital to your brand and the identity of your business. Be...

Defending Your Internet Presence

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on December 01

Your Web site is your company's online fingerprint and the most valuable information-sharing tool that you have. But just as it enables you to reach millions of online users, it...

Your Customer's Experience on Your Web Site

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on November 21

To truly understand a customer's experience with your Web site or Web-based application, you need to know exactly what end-users are seeing at all times. For this purpose, Web performance...

Determine Your Web Site's Breaking Point

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on November 20

Few things are more frustrating to a consumer than trying to visit a Web page only to be greeted with an error message—or worse, no message at all. Web site...

Monitoring Your Web Site

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on November 17

If the performance monitoring tool you use only tells you what's happening on your Web site when users are there, your site could go unmonitored for a significant portion of...

Building A Good Web Page

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on September 12

If you want to give your Web site a quick marketing check-up, follow these tips: • Give your visitors reasons to return. Update your site often by offering new products...

Tune In to Your Online Video Opportunity

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on September 11

There's a lot of buzz these days around small businesses using online video for promotion. There appears to be some justification for all the hype. If you haven't jumped into...

Make Your Web Site More Visible to Offline Customers

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on July 16

Online contests in which consumers vote for their favorite local businesses give business owners a great opportunity to market their Web sites by asking their customers to go home, log...

Social Networks and Your Business Goals

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on June 12

By now most people are familiar with some form of social network or another, whether it is LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, or the new FriendFeed. Nevertheless, navigating them can still...

How to Improve Search Results

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 23

Appearing in search engine results is increasingly important for growing your small business—whether your business is online or offline. You can improve the way search engines display information about your...

Multilingual Support for Your Web Site

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 22

As U.S. companies seek to expand their revenue from a broader range of markets and geographies, there has been a big uptick in the number of languages on Web sites....

Increase Engagement with Virtual Worlds

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 15

In any advertising or marketing campaign, success boils down to engagement. This is particularly true for small businesses, which lack the huge marketing budgets of more established brands. If your...

Use Caution When Relying on Personas

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 02

When you develop a persona for use in Web site design, you create a fictionalized customer with a personality and a list of goals. Then you pretend to be this...

Picture Yourself in Local Search Results

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on April 07

Consumers are increasingly searching for information about local small businesses online, so it makes sense for you to think about your search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. At the same time,...

Optimize for Global Search Engines

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on January 14

Did you know Google () now covers about 170 languages and the list is expanding every day through volunteer translation efforts? This means more and more of your target consumers...

Ensuring Consumer Privacy and Security Online

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on December 18

Forrester Research reports that 86% of consumers are worried about giving information to marketers because of privacy and security concerns. It is also estimated that half of North American households...

How to Interact with Customers Using Social Networks

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on December 11

Here are some tips to getting the most traction in reaching out and connecting with your customers via social networks: •Send individual e-mails. Every social network has a personal inbox...

The Web 2.0 Way to Get Close to Your Customers

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on December 06

In today's online world, customers have all the power. They can now shop online to find the products they want, and search from Tennessee to Tokyo. Communication between companies and...

Social Networking 101

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on December 04

For those who don't know what social networking is, let me take a moment to clarify. It's the new catch phrase for what used to be called word-of-mouth advertising. A...

A New Approach to Marketing Your Business Online

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on October 23

When examining ways to market their businesses online, many companies look no further than the ubiquitous click. For budget-conscious businesses that require a dollar spent to equal a customer gained,...

Going Virtual

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on October 09

With experts predicting that 80% of Internet users will be members of virtual worlds by 2011, now is a good time to start thinking about your business's foray into digital...

Use E-Coupons to Increase Online Sales

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on September 14

Coupons are a proven way to increase sales for small businesses. E-coupons offer online small businesses the same advantage, and are easy to implement. All you need is a shopping...

How Much of Your Web Site Should You Copyright or Trademark?

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 29

Generally speaking, copyright is a form of ownership that applies to the text, graphics, design, and other content on your Web site. As long as you have an ownership claim...

Eight Top Web Site Design Issues

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 24

Does your Web site keep people captivated, or does it send them fleeing as soon as they get to your home page? Do you offend your visitors with the following...

How to Choose the Right E-Commerce System

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 17

When you decide to open an online store, you face a range of options, from outsourcing everything to doing it all yourself. Choosing the software that will run your store...

Improve the Customer Experience on Your Web Site

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 15

Whether you're launching a new Web site or enhancing your current one, consider how you can improve your site and make it easier to use. The customer experience is one...

Web Site in Spanish?

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 14

Analysts at Forrester say that more than half of the 28 million Hispanics online prefer to surf, browse, and buy in Spanish. Assuming you want to reach and sell to...

Writing an Ad for Search Engines

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 13

Every day people search on Google, Yahoo, MSN and other search engines for products and services like yours. Many search engines allow you to advertise on the search results pages....

The Secrets of Viral Video Revealed

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 09

Viral videos are the hot new way to raise awareness for your business. Everyone passes videos through e-mail, so why not get your business passed around, too? Follow these tips...

Make Pay-Per-Click Pay Off

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 07

Online advertising through pay-per-click (PPC) ads has become more effective than traditional print advertising for reaching your target audience. And when handled correctly, PPC ads can increase your sales without...

Executing Successful E-Mail Campaigns

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 06

Marketing your business online is now a business necessity. One way to reach a core base of new and existing customers is through a strong e-mail marketing campaign. Here are...

The Five Biggest Web Site Mistakes

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on July 30

Got a new Web site on the drawing board? We've found that companies commonly make similar errors when planning a Web redesign. So here they are—accompanied by tips on how...

Stop Customers from Abandoning Web Site Shopping Carts

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on July 04

Even the most successful e-commerce sites suffer from shopping-cart abandonment. Shoppers get distracted, get frustrated, or find the same item cheaper somewhere else, and leave before they make a purchase....

The Costs of an eBay Store

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on June 28

There are many benefits to having an eBay Store, including discounts on fees and services. In order to take advantage of these benefits, sellers pay a subscription fee. In addition...

Improve the Conversion Rate of Your Internet Marketing Campaign

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on June 07

The success of an Internet marketing campaign can be measured by its conversion rate. Depending on your site and your type of business, your conversion rate may be based on...

Using the Web to Control Your Global Brand

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 31

Thanks to the Internet, companies of all sizes can easily reach consumers in the global marketplace. But even with this powerful tool to aid you, global brands aren't born—they are...

Increasing Web Site Traffic

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 30

Simply building your business' Web site doesn't guarantee a steady flow of visitors and users. Following these tips will help make your Web site fresh and engaging, and maximize traffic:...

Surefire Search Engine Optimization

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 28

With so much information available on the Internet, it is increasingly important that your site stand out amidst the clutter. Search-engine optimization (SEO) is critical for getting your Web site...

Improving Your Blog

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 24

These days blogging has become an integral part of online business marketing. But many still don't know how to start and maintain an effective blog. Here are some tips that...

Online Branding for Your Small Business

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on April 24

An online business has a greater chance for success if those who buy its products and services recognize its brand. A recognizable brand also makes a business's site more attractive...

Using Language to Level the Online Playing Field

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on March 22

Approximately 78% of today's Internet users are outside of the U.S., which means that any company with a Web site is already a global company. Understanding how to leverage the...

Fighting Online Fraud

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on March 04

Small online merchants often don't get serious about security until they are hit with serious fraud. Here are some simple tips to improve e-commerce security for little or no cost:...

Domain Name Deals for Your Small Business

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on January 30

You would no sooner start a business without a domain name than you would without products or a business license. Owning a domain name is indispensable to doing business in...

Get User Feedback When Designing a Web Site

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on January 17

One of the more difficult parts of running a Web site is being able to gauge how a user will want to navigate your site. I've tackled this problem by...

Controlling Click Fraud

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on December 10

Click fraud is a growing problem for businesses of all sizes that rely on online advertising to drive traffic and sales leads to their Web sites. With the increasing sophistication...

Are You Liable for Products You Sell Online?

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on November 09

Even though the Web is still a very young medium, the law is fairly clear: Your business is liable for the products it sells online—just as it would be if...

How to Keep Traffic at Your Site

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on November 06

You've figured out how to drive potential customers to your site…now what? Keeping visitors at your site requires that you write compelling content that your customers can easily access. Engaging...

How to Drive Traffic to Your Site

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on November 05

You've built your Web site chock-full of useful information and graphics, and now are patiently waiting for prospective customers to find you. That wait may be longer than you had...

Ensuring Your Customers' Privacy

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on October 25

Protecting customers' privacy is essential to maintaining and increasing sales and profits online. As a small-business owner you should start by developing a privacy policy, posting it on your Web...

Why Can't You Host Your Own Web Site?

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on September 01

Many businesses can and do host their own Web sites. In order to host your own site, however, you need to make special arrangements with an Internet service provider (ISP),...

What Products Can't You Sell Online

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on August 30

Things you can't sell online fall into two categories: items that just don't sell very well over the Web, and items that are illegal to sell over the Web. Your...

Avoid Credit-Card Fraud on Your Web Site

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on July 12

If you do business on the Web, you should be concerned about credit-card fraud. With identity and credit-card theft running rampant, you need to assure your customers that you are...

Treat your Web Site As One of Your Best Employees

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on June 08

A company needs to treat its Web site as an investment, as a tool, and as it would a trusted employee. With the Internet maturing in services and offerings, many...

Tracking Your Reputation in the Blogosphere

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 30

Whether it's a customer complaining or someone making a recommendation, it is imperative that companies track all mentions of their products, brands, trademarks, copyrights, and senior management. If your company...

Choosing Your eBay Password and User ID

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 05

Compared to finding a prime parking space at the mall during the holidays, signing up at eBay is a breeze. About the toughest thing you have to do is type...

Invest in a Better Web Site or Online Marketing?

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on March 22

The short answer is both. You need a Web site and you need to market it. A Web site without online marketing is a little like the proverbial tree falling...

Maximize Your Web Site

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on February 21

If you think your Web site's finished once it's up and running, think again. Launching a site is only the first step - how you use and maintain it is...

Use Free Web Site, or Build Your Own?

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on February 14

Yahoo offers free Web sites to small businesses. You may ask, "Should I do this, or pay to build my own site?" It seems as though I answer all of...

Starting a Blog Could Boost Your Profile

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on February 06

Depending on your business, starting a blog could be a low-cost method of boosting your profile with potential customers and the media and even helping your Web site's ranking in...

5 Key Mistakes Online Stores Make

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on February 01

We all make mistakes in business -- and we hope to learn from them. But here are five key mistakes that can quickly spell the end of your online store....

Taking Your Small Business Online

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on January 20

Having a strong presence on the Internet is no longer optional for today's small businesses. Keep in mind the following as you strengthen your position on the World Wide Web:...

Get Help to Create a Better Web Site

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on December 29

Don't underestimate the importance of a reputable vendor. Developing a Web site takes quality time, thinking, and experimentation. Find a great partner, and prepare to be schooled by the experts....

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Want to improve the way you run your business? Entrepreneurs, academics, and consultants from diverse industries offer practical advice on a variety of topics each business day.

To submit a tip for consideration, first check our archive of previous tips to make sure you're not repeating a tip someone has already contributed. Then send the tip to Small Business channel contributor Michelle Dammon Loyalka. Because of the volume of material she receives, she may not respond to each individual.

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