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What Features Should You Have on a Small Business Website?

Relevance: 17%      Posted on: November 16, 2016

As small business owners ourselves, we know figuring out what features you need on your small business website can be challenging. Do you need a blog? Mobile responsiveness? Deals? Coupons? The answer to these questions, of course, is: yes, maybe, or no depending on the nature of your business and your available budget. We'd say there are four features any good small business website needs, however: An About Us Section A News Section or Blog A Description of Available Services Optimization for Mobile Devices Why These Four? Users accessing a small business website will either be returning customers or potential future customers. You…

The 7 Best Free WordPress Themes for Small Businesses

Relevance: 16%      Posted on: February 24, 2016

Many businesses struggle to maintain a high-quality website. There can be many reasons for this, but the most common problem we see with our clients is when someone else builds a website for them and the client struggles to update their own content. Sometimes nefarious web designers will even lock clients out of their own website in order to charge them per hour for updating content. To help clients get out of this content trap, we recommend WordPress. WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that allows you to build a range of websites, from simple blogs to full-blown e-commerce…

3 Awesome and Cheap Content Marketing Tools for Small Businesses and Non-Profits

Relevance: 16%      Posted on: January 4, 2017

If you're looking for content marketing tools to help you promote your content online, you may find there aren't a lot available. Content marketing is relatively new in the world of marketing, and software developers are just now beginning to create packages that help people develop and deploy killer content. Many of these packages are incredibly expensive, however, and include thousands of dollars in miscellaneous "set-up fees," putting them out of reach for the average small business owner or non-profit manager. To help you get started with some of the tools we love, below we give our personal picks for…

Facebook Ads Pros and Cons for Small Businesses

Relevance: 16%      Posted on: April 19, 2017

If you read our previous post on paid online advertising, are a small business owner, or are just considering Facebook ads pros and cons, read on. Facebook ads are a relatively new feature for reaching customers through the popular social media site. Like any online advertising platform, however, there are benefits and drawbacks. Facebook ads are relatively easy to set up, but you want to make sure you select the right options to reach your specific objectives. You also want to make sure your ad is well-designed to appeal to Facebook users in your target demographic. Below we discuss all the Facebook ads pros…

Complete Guide to Launching a WordPress Site: Part 2 (Pre-launch)

Relevance: 16%      Posted on: March 9, 2016

In Part 1 of our 3-part series on launching a WordPress site, we discussed hosting, basic setup, and design. In Part 2, we tell you how to tune up your website for optimal SEO and overall functionality before launching it. There are several elements you want in place before launching a WordPress site, including some plug-ins that will help ensure your site performs well in search rankings and doesn't drive you crazy with spam. What's a "Plugin"? If you're new to launching a WordPress site you may not realize that the basic installation of the software only comes with a…

How to Create SEO-Friendly Product Pages for Your Website

Relevance: 15%      Posted on: August 16, 2017

Other than the home page, a website’s most important content is product pages. For lead or revenue generation, the products — the things you actually sell — must attract a lot of website traffic. By putting care into how you set up your product pages, you’ll improve their organic visibility on Google, and take full advantage of your SEO opportunity to drive more leads and revenue. Keyword Selection and Page Organization The first thing to do, of course, is select the right keywords for which to optimize your various product pages. At Straight North, we often talk to companies whose…

Gift Guide: The 5 Best Digital Marketing Books for Small Businesses and Non-Profits

Relevance: 15%      Posted on: December 14, 2016

If you're shopping for the entrepreneur or non-profit manager in your life, consider grabbing them one of the best digital marketing books for small businesses and non-profits. Smaller organizations often have to learn to be their own marketers. They often get periodic boosts from organizations like ours that cater to smaller organizations, but limited budgets mean that the rest of the time they need to learn to market themselves on their own. Below we give our personal picks for the 5 best digital marketing books for small businesses and non-profits. Consider picking these up yourself or giving them as a…

Being the Top Search Result on Google: Local vs National SEO

Relevance: 14%      Posted on: July 27, 2016

In a previous post, we mentioned that being the top search result on Google is today valued at about $1,000,000. To back up this claim, we mentioned that all the research we've conducted, plus all the research of the smart people we follow, points to the fact that there's no magic bullet for SEO anymore. Gone are the days when you could just keyword stuff to trick Google into thinking you have the best content. Google has gotten better and better at delivering optimized content to its users, which means it's harder and harder to achieve real results in Google…

Complete Guide to Launching a WordPress Site: Part 3 (Maintenance)

Relevance: 13%      Posted on: March 16, 2016

In Part 1 and Part 2 of our 3-part series on launching a WordPress site, we discussed hosting, basic setup, design, SEO, and overall functionality. In Part 3, we tell you how to maintain your new site post-launch. There are several things you'll want to consider as you continue to grow your website through WordPress, including regular maintenance updates, blogging, keeping content current, and social media. After Launching a WordPress Site: The Honeymoon Period After you first get done launching a WordPress site, if you're anything like us, you may find yourself checking our site over and over to ensure everything…

Complete Guide to Launching a WordPress Site: Part 1 (Setup)

Relevance: 12%      Posted on: March 2, 2016

This is the first post in a three-part series called the Complete Guide to Launching a WordPress Site that will tell you everything you need to know to set up, launch, and maintain a great-looking and high-performing WordPress website. So, you've taken our advice and decided launching a WordPress site for your business's website is the way to go. Great idea! Now you need to be guided through the process of launching a WordPress site. With their famous five-minute installation, WordPress websites are relatively easy to launch... if you know what you're doing by the time you get to that point.…