How Mastering Restaurant Funding Equals More Time for Family

Doctors aren’t immune from cash flow problems for a variety of reasons. For starters, 20% of Americans simply don’t have enough money to pay their medical bills, according to the Centers for Disease Control. How can doctors expect to have money if they’re not getting paid for their services?

Beyond that, doctors have to spend a lot of money buying equipment and supplies—not to mention the various types of insurance they have to carry. And who knows? There’s always the lurking possibility that a disgruntled patient will decide to file a lawsuit. Even if you’ve done nothing wrong, you’ll have to cover legal fees.

Like any other business owner, physicians need access to cash to keep their doors open. You can’t expect your medical assistants and clerical staff to stick around if you’re not able to make payroll. And utility companies aren’t exactly thrilled by the idea of customers routinely struggling to pay their bills on time. Landlords aren’t either.

Luckily, physicians struggling with cash flow problems aren’t completely out of luck. If they don’t have the time or patience required to secure a loan through a traditional financial institution or the Small Business Administration, they can turn to alternative lenders to plug cash gaps. Some of these alternative financial vehicles—like working capital loans—require physicians to take on debt. But when given the option, many of them are hesitant to do so.

To get the money they need to grow their practices without incurring debt, many physicians are turning to invoice factoring, the process in which accounts receivables are sold to a third party that generally pays somewhere in the neighborhood of 80% of the total sum. While factoring can be expensive, accounts receivables that are collecting dust aren’t particularly useful. It’s not like you can pay your staff with them.

If your physician’s practice is struggling with cash flow, invoice factoring may be precisely what you’re looking for. The benefits speak for themselves:

  • You get cash quickly. It can take as long as 60-90 days to secure a loan through a bank. Once you’re approved for invoice factoring, funds appear in your bank account within a few business days.
  • You don’t have to waste time trying to collect from customers. Instead of having your employees spend their time tracking down customers and following up with them about where their payments are, they can spend their time on other important business endeavors—like trying to attract new customers.
  • You don’t have to put up any collateral or take on any debt. Because you’re selling assets, you don’t have to worry about taking on any debt. Sure, you will lose out on some of your income. But who knows if your customers were planning to pay you anytime soon—if they were planning to pay you at all.
  • You can invest funds to grow your business. Once you decide to move forward with factoring, money will be in your account shortly. That means you won’t have to wait forever to invest the funds as you see fit.
  • You can get a lot of money. Today, banks are much more hesitant to lend money to small businesses. And if your practice did qualify for a loan, odds are it might not be as lucrative as you hoped. Assuming you’re sitting on a huge pile of receivables, chances are you’ll get a lot more money from a factoring company than you’d get from a traditional loan.

If you need money to keep your practice afloat, it may be time for you to give invoice factoring a try. Yes, you’ll have to forego a portion of your receipts. But if your choice is between factoring and shutting your doors for good, is that really so bad of an option?

Thanks to small business loan comparison services, it’s easier than ever for doctors to find the funding they need to grow their practices. You can search a ton of factoring companies at once to find the most favorable rates. If you have cash flow problems—or anticipate them rearing their ugly heads in the future—take a look at invoice factoring. It may be the game-changing financial vehicle you’re looking for.

Why Your Business Needs Google+

In today’s article from around the web we visit B2C where author Shell Robshaw-Bryan explores why your small business needs Google Plus. As always, read, comment, share and enjoy!

Despite being the second biggest, Google+ is the least well-known and most misunderstood of the social networks. Many of the clients I work with have either never heard of it, or are unsure of how or why to use it for their business.

Google+ is arguably the most important social network for both businesses and marketers and as such is something you need to embrace now if you haven’t already done so.

Both Google+ and Google Authorship (explained later in this article) should be integral to your content-focused SEO strategy, so this article aims to provide a basic introduction and overview as well as highlighting some of the key benefits.

An Introduction to Google+

Google+ is a social networking website, but more than that, it integrates with the entire Google stable and it carries significant weight in terms of SEO and organic search visibility.

Google+ was launched as an invitation only social network on the 28th June 2011. Despite a lot of speculation in the wake of failed social network attempts like Google Buzz, early adopters clamored to get invites and so began the slow and steady rise of Google+. The invite only model didn’t last long, and as it became apparent that there was a lot of demand, the new social network was opened up to all.

Early adopter feedback was largely positive, with Google+ being widely regarded as benefiting from having all of the best parts of the main pre-existing social networks and putting them together to create one super network.

Whilst in the UK monthly active users of Facebook continue to decline, in under 2 years Google+ has risen up the ranks to become the 2nd biggest social network with over 359 million active users, a fact that many business owners remain unaware of.

Source: Business Insider

What Can You Do On Google+?

I’m a huge fan of Google+ and have been using it for just over two years now – despite my role, I don’t jump on the latest social media trends, (in fact I was a relatively late convert to Facebook), but having previously used the failed Google Buzz, I was keen to get on board from the outset with Google+ and i’ve not been disappointed.

Google+ allows you to post video, links, picture and text content just like you can on Facebook. Google+ however introduces the concept of ‘circles’, essentially allowing users to group followers according to interests or any other criteria they wish to assign, for example work colleagues, business contacts, or customers; which makes targeting your content far easier to achieve than it is on either Twitter or Facebook.

Google+ also benefits from the unique concept of ‘hangouts’, put simply these are either video or text chats that you can host or participate in with multiple people at the same time.

More recently Google+ has also introduced picture editing capabilities, allowing you to edit any of the pictures that you post on the network, super handy if you aren’t a graphic designer with a copy of Photoshop to hand!

For a more comprehensive guide to Google+ take a look at: Keepoint Free Google+ Guide for Business

Reasons Why You Should Be Using Google+

Neat Integration – easy to share content across all Google products

Google+ neatly integrates with various other tools, making it super easy to share and manage content across all Google services which helps to make your activities more efficient.

+1 – a popularity ranking signal for SEO

When you create a Google+ page people are able to +1 your page which is essentially the same as a Facebook like. Google uses the number of +1′s that your page has to help it determine how popular your business/brand is, making +1′s an important ranking signal.

Google+ Circles, ideal for targeting your messaging

Circles allow users to group followers according to interests or any other criteria you wish to assign (for example, current customers, prospects or competitors). This means you can use circles to very easily target your messaging.

Google Authorship – an emerging SEO ranking signal

Google+ is a critical component of Google Authorship – increasingly being used as a ranking signal. Authorship allows you to link your content across the Internet, letting Google know what content you have created and that it originates from you. The more quality content that you publish and the more it is shared, the more positively Google will regard you, potentially helping to boost your Author Rank.

Hangouts – a great way to knowledge share or obtain feedback

Creation of hangouts allow you to schedule online group events such as a live Q&A session that allows multiple people to participate, think of it like a giant chatroom that you can control.

C ommunities – great for relationship management, lead nurturing and authority building

Google+ Communities allow you to create, or participate in, focused groups of both individuals and companies who share a particular interest. Participating in existing communities is an excellent way of raising brand awareness, creating trust and getting direct feedback from customers. Creating a group allows you to start a community, closely aligned to your own brand values. This can help to improve your brand awareness, helps to position you as an authority, and helps you nurture relationships.

Events – easy to set up, share and promote

Google+ Events work in a similar way to Facebook Events. The main difference however is that events allow for higher levels of interactivity. Anyone using Gmail or Google Calendar can easily add an event they are invited to right onto their calendars and invitations will automatically go out to whoever you select, from individuals or groups. Events are a great way to promote things such as free webinars or on-site open days.

Business pages – enhanced discoverability

Google+ Business pages work in a very similar way to Facebook Business pages. Just like with Facebook, you’ll need to be a regular Google+ member before you can set up a business page.

Your Business Page gives you another page that can be indexed by search engines and neatly showcases your business, allowing you to make regular updates to your wall, and linking your business page to any content that you’ve created using the rel=”publisher” code.

Insights – stats that show you what activities are working

Google+ recently introduced analytical insights that allow you to see key stats from your Google+ dashboard including how many views your business listing has received, how many times you’ve been viewed in local search and how many people are engaging with you.

Google Places – enhanced visibility in local search

Google Places are separate business listing pages that are perfect for local businesses which allow you to display reviews, photos, key business information like opening times and contact details, as well as displaying a fully integrated Google location map. This provides you with another page that can be indexed, helping to enhance your visibility in search results and drive traffic.

How to set up Google authorship

Before you can get Google authorship implemented, you will need to have a Google+ profile set up and you need to make sure that your profile picture is a clear head shot.

Step 1

Locate your ‘Contributer to’ section within your profile (do this on your personal profile page and not your business page). Click ‘Add a custom link’ and enter a title and the URL for the content you want to link yourself to. Google+ > About > Contributer to > edit

Step 2

Next, you need to add a link back to your Google+ profile in the body of your content you want to be credited as the author of. Your link code might look something like this:

Check me out on Google+.

Step 3

Use Google’s structured data testing tool to make sure you’ve set it up correctly. Enter your URL and click ‘preview’ and you should see your head shot now appear.

Please remember that it won’t be live immediately, it typically takes around 2 weeks for this to start actually working. The rel=”publisher” code is implemented in the same way, but should be linked to your business page.

For more detailed information, take a look at Google’s getting started guidelines.

Tips to help you get the most from Google+

Be visual

People routinely respond better to posts which include pictures or video than they do to plain text posts. Google+ tweaked the layout of pages in May 2013 leading to a layout more akin to Pinterest that lends itself even better to visual imagery, so make the most of this!

Start a community

Creating a community is very quick and easy. Your community could be set up to aid knowledge sharing, it could be based on an interest or it could be used to support a good cause.

Don’t make the community all about you – if all you do is spam it with your own content people aren’t going to join and you’ll lose those that do pretty quickly – as with all social media activities, make sure you vary what you do and don’t make it a one way channel.

Set up Google Authorship

For increased visibility in organic search, Google Authorship is an absolute must. Authorship is the driving force behind Author Rank which is a very powerful (and increasingly so) ranking signal that Google uses. Make sure that this is set up and working correctly (see above for step by step instructions of how to do this).

Share content from a range of sources

Sharing other peoples content is always a good idea – it gives you more things you can post about which makes you in turn more interesting and appealing and it also brings you to the attention of the content source, which in itself has clear strategic benefits. Curating a broad range of content on the same theme, will help you to build authority and position yourself as a thought leader.

Make the most of your profile

Make sure you have filled in all of your company details and that you are making use of the profile image and cover photo (which is massive!) as these will allow you to grab peoples attention more effectively. Make sure you provide links not just to your website but to your blog and all of your social network profiles.

Improve the images you post

Google has recently introduced the ability to edit images that you upload. This functionality is especially good for those who don’t have their own image editing software such as Photoshop. The Google+ image editing function allows you to make various changes to your image including auto colour fixing, cropping and adding text.

Summary

Google+ is now the 2nd biggest social network in the UK and whilst Facebook is in decline, Google+ continues to gather momentum.

Many marketing and SEO experts are agreed on its importance as both an SEO and communications tool, and whilst the full extent of the impact that Google+ has on SEO is still very much open to debate, the belief is that Google will place increasing weight on related ranking signals, making Google+ a critical part of any SEO or content marketing strategy.

Google+ Resources

Business Insider http://www.businessinsider.com/google-plus-is-outpacing-twitter-2013-5

Google+ business http://www.google.com/+/business/

Google+ statistics http://socialstatistics.com/

Google Plus Daily http://www.googleplusdaily.com/

Google Plus features – image editing http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/62753-how-new-google-plus-features-can-help-you-create-great-content-part-one-image-editing

Google Author Rank and Authorship http://maximizesocialbusiness.com/google-author-rank-authorship-8560/

Keepoint Free Google+ Guide for Business http://www.keepoint.co.uk/free-google-plus-guide-for-business

Original article

Small Business Sales Rise, But Hiring Lags

In today’s article from around the web we visit B2C where author Susan Poirier discusses how the decision to buy is more emotional than logical and how building a personal relationship can drive sales. As always, read, comment, share and enjoy!

Sure, you have a business, but whether you sell a product or a service, you must provide SERVICE. What makes you so much different from your competitor that your prospects are knocking down your door? Or are they?

Solving problems is your real product not your widget or your services. Anyone and everyone does that. It is you, your service and your ability to meet the customer/prospect needs that will drive your business.

You already know that people buy from people. You are “people” not just your brand or your company. It is your responsibility to meet needs, solve issues and instill a level of comfort and trust with your audience. The buying decision occurs in the emotional environment.

“Too many business owners and sales people try to sell their product or service, neglecting the fact that their customer is a person. In fact, the customer is a person who has feelings, influences and a mind of their own. They want to be connected with, and to trust and believe the person from which they are buying.” Rebecca Wilson

According to their findings in a Customer Loyalty Engagement Index, Brand Keys Inc, concluded that the buying decision is 70% emotional and only 30% rational. “Emotional engagement is the pivotal key to successful marketing.” It is up to you to build an emotional, personal relationship with consumers, conveying trust, comfort and understanding.

Social media affords you the platform of being personal, getting to know your audience, their drivers and their pain points. It is up to you to create your reliable brand persona instilling trust and generating a comfort level and feeling of confidence with you and your company. Georgina El Morshdy outlines 30 Ways to Build the “Know, Like, and Trust” Factor that Grows an Audience | http://buff.ly/XdAaEf on Copyblogger. “Your audience won’t pick up real momentum until you’ve mastered the “know, like, trust” factor.”

The relationship building approach works to consistently develop trust, loyalty and a foundation for a long term partnership. It takes time to build any genuine relationship but isn’t your customer worth it? Being in business isn’t just about the sale; it is about fulfilling needs, valuing your customer and providing impeccable service.

Small Business Service: The Know, Like, Trust Factor

In today’s article from around the web we visit B2C where author Susan Poirier discusses how the decision to buy is more emotional than logical and how building a personal relationship can drive sales. As always, read, comment, share and enjoy!

Sure, you have a business, but whether you sell a product or a service, you must provide SERVICE. What makes you so much different from your competitor that your prospects are knocking down your door? Or are they?

Solving problems is your real product not your widget or your services. Anyone and everyone does that. It is you, your service and your ability to meet the customer/prospect needs that will drive your business.

You already know that people buy from people. You are “people” not just your brand or your company. It is your responsibility to meet needs, solve issues and instill a level of comfort and trust with your audience. The buying decision occurs in the emotional environment.

“Too many business owners and sales people try to sell their product or service, neglecting the fact that their customer is a person. In fact, the customer is a person who has feelings, influences and a mind of their own. They want to be connected with, and to trust and believe the person from which they are buying.” Rebecca Wilson

According to their findings in a Customer Loyalty Engagement Index, Brand Keys Inc, concluded that the buying decision is 70% emotional and only 30% rational. “Emotional engagement is the pivotal key to successful marketing.” It is up to you to build an emotional, personal relationship with consumers, conveying trust, comfort and understanding.

Social media affords you the platform of being personal, getting to know your audience, their drivers and their pain points. It is up to you to create your reliable brand persona instilling trust and generating a comfort level and feeling of confidence with you and your company. Georgina El Morshdy outlines 30 Ways to Build the “Know, Like, and Trust” Factor that Grows an Audience | http://buff.ly/XdAaEf on Copyblogger. “Your audience won’t pick up real momentum until you’ve mastered the “know, like, trust” factor.”

The relationship building approach works to consistently develop trust, loyalty and a foundation for a long term partnership. It takes time to build any genuine relationship but isn’t your customer worth it? Being in business isn’t just about the sale; it is about fulfilling needs, valuing your customer and providing impeccable service.

Marketing Best Practice With Google Plus Business Pages

In today’s article from around the web we visit B2C where author Annetta Powell explores some best practices while using Google Plus Business Pages. As always, read, comment, share and enjoy!

Google Plus business Page for Marketing is an indispensable tool for savvy B2B Marketers and enterprises. You may not have given much thought to using it but the truth is that it really is a powerful internet marketing tool for building your online presence. Before we take a look at the best Google Plus business page practices, I feel it is important for us to look at why you should have a Google business page for online marketing.

Why You Should Use Google Plus for Marketing

A Google Plus marketing page allows you to create and share valuable information about your business. You can create follow buttons, +1 like buttons, video hangouts, create events, and interact with members of your community. So, what makes Google Plus page so special for online marketing?

A well-optimized Google Plus business page for Marketing can benefit your internet business in several ways. First, an optimized business page will help you compete favorably with your competitors in local search. Secondly, it will help you build brand or business authority through +1’s one like and consumer reviews. Most importantly, a Google Plus business page for marketing has the potential to drive traffic to your business website and convert visitors into customers.

Create and Verify your Google Plus Business Page

The first and most important think that you should do when using Google Plus business page for marketing is to set up and verify your business page. You can simply do this by linking your official business or company website with your Google plus business page. So, why should you verify your business page?

Verifying your Google Plus business page for marketing will enhance the legitimacy and authority of your brand and content. A verified page also increases your chances of getting a custom URL once Google rolls out the custom URL feature. Besides establishing your legitimacy, verifying your Google Plus business page for marketing also enhances the value of your search engine (based on trust factor).

Optimize Your Google Page for the Search Engine

Once you set up and verify your Google Plus Business Page for marketing, you should proceed to optimize it by. You should use relevant and target SEO keywords (non-spammy) throughout your Google Plus business page. Think carefully about your choice of keywords and most importantly, the keywords that show up when people conduct Google Search. Also, make sure that you usea proper business name and business tagline.

Since Google Plus Business page for marketing integrates with Google Search, you should optimize your headlines and descriptions for the Search Engine. For the maximum effect, make sure that you include the keyword(s) in the tagline and in your intros. Assuming that you already have a Gmail account, you can add a page administrator to help you manage your Google Plus Business page for marketing.

Link Your Google Page with Your Website and Social Networks

Given the immense potential of Google Plus business page for marketing, you should integrate your business page with your social networks and your website. You can simply do this by creating and embedding links or using the +1 or share button which you can access in the Google Plus Developer’s page.

Seriously, I don’t know why some people are skeptical about linking their Google Plus business page for marketing with their social networks and even websites. The truth is that Google Plus is fundamentally a social media and content marketing channel. It has the potential to attract and engage visitors in your page and also direct them to your website.

Promote your Business Page

It’s not enough for you to create a Google Plus business page for marketing; you should go a step further to promote it. You can do this by adding your page to your Circles and sharing links to your business page or content in your social networks. Make use of +1 badges and share buttons too. Encourage your employees to share news on their individual pages and in their social networks so as to encourage followers to join your Circles.

Get and Organize Google Plus Followers

Just like Twitter and Facebook, Google Plus has a vast community of heterogeneous followers. So, if you are thinking of using Google Plus business page for marketing to engage some members (of this vast community) then you have to attract and organize the followers and people that you engage with.

As a rule of thumb, you should never acquire automated followers rather, build your community organically one step at a time. Take time to know who your members are, what they like doing, and the nature, composition, and conversations in their circles. Knowing your members will help you develop and implement the best online content marketing strategy for your target Google Plus community.

As you attract people to your Google Plus business page for marketing, you have to organize them so that you can optimize your content and messages for them. The best way of doing this is to create or join the relevant circles in the Google Plus community. You can create many circles and use them to segment your community so that you can target each community with specific and relevant information. When used properly, circles can help you track target customers and enhance the effectiveness of your Google Plus business page for marketing.

Create a Content Calendar

I know that many businesses have a rocky start when using Google Plus Business Page for marketing. Though opinions are many and varied, I believe that creating and maintaining a content calendar is the best content marketing strategy for your Google Plus business page. A content calendar will help you plan and develop relevant content for your followers throughout the year.

Once you identify and understand the community that you’re are targeting, then you should adjust your Google Plus Business Page for marketing calendar accordingly. You should create posts or share industry news and links to your latest blog posts.

It doesn’t matter whether you are a big brand or a small domestic business; Google Plus Business Page for marketing has great potential for you. Creating and maintaining a business page enhances the value of your internet marketing considerably by giving you an edge over your competitors. By using Google Plus business Page for marketing, you can easily dominate local search, draw more customers, and ultimately, establish yourself as a niche expert.

What Many Businesses Are Missing With Social Media

In today’s article from around the web we visit B2C where author Matt Baglia discusses what small businesses re missing with social media. As always, read, comment, share and enjoy!

There’s no question that social media should be a solid component of any business’s marketing strategy. Any business owner knows that their company needs to be active wherever their customers are. Most of the time, without question, those places include popular social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.

While most businesses and organizations now have social media profiles and are starting to engage, there seems to be a core mentality that’s left out in their day to day activity. What many companies lose track of is the fact that the purpose of social media is to interact with friends and and family, not to constantly shove products in peoples faces.

From a business’s standpoint, social media should be used to connect with current and potential customers by posting engaging content, sharing, and communicating. Put yourself in shoes of your customers. How would you feel if you “liked” a company’s page and now all you see is your news feed stuffed with sales pitches day after day? There’s a good chance you might feel invaded and become “turned off” by that brand.

When a customer “likes” your page on Facebook, or follows you on Twitter, they are essentially letting you into their world because they care about your company and what you have to say. It’s not a free pass to market to them as much as you can. A “like” or a “follow” should be treated as a privilege.

Instead of constantly selling, The goal of good social media strategy should be to engage your customers and build relationships. Comment on their photos, post interesting content, respond to their posts. When you have real relationships with your customers or clients, you’ll find that the sales will come naturally. People buy from people they know, like and trust. This will help you build a strong brand following and that’s what social media for businesses is all about.

So instead of constantly shoving product in your customers’ faces, take the time to dig in and interact with them. Although it’s hard quantify your return on investment, keep in mind how important fellowship with your customers is. That’s what social media is all about.

5 Killer Tips for Making the Most of Your Yelp Business Page

In today’s article from around the web we visit B2C where author Chris R. Campbell discusses 5 tips for getting the most out of your Yelp business page. As always, read, comment, share and enjoy!

Recently, someone concerned about online reviews asked me how business owners could make Yelp irrelevant. I answered: you can’t make a site with over 36 million online reviews and approximately 86 million unique monthly visitors irrelevant.

What you can do is take as much control of your Yelp business page as possible. Here are 5 killer tips to doing just that.

Claim ownership. I don’t just mean claiming your review page or listing. Add as much info about your business as possible, too: price range, menu and type of cuisine (for restaurants), delivery and takeout info, operating hours, parking availability, etc. It would also be great if you can indicate if your business offers new Yelp deals, accepts credit cards, takes reservations, and has Wi-Fi — anything, in other words, to help potential customers learn more about your business and make the most informed decisions.

Optimize your business description. You don’t have to be an SEO guru to do this. Just follow the SEOmoz guide to determine the keywords that are most relevant to your business, then use these keywords in the “About This Business” section to optimize your listing. Also, don’t forget to add a short bio about company ownership or management. This humanizes your description and lets your audience know they’re dealing with actual people, not a faceless business entity.

Add great photos. Do you know that people spend 2.5 times more time on Yelp listings with photos than on listings without photos? So take pains to enhance the visual appeal of your page. Upload high-quality photos and post pics beyond mere storefront shots. Add photos of your interiors, products, hosted events, and staff, too.

Ensure accuracy of your business location. Wrong location data will frustrate potential customers, which can potentially lead to negative reviews. But not everyone seems to realize this: according to research, 43 percent of US businesses have at least one incorrect or missing address in their online business listings.

Know your metrics. Yelp offers free tools for helping you gain more insights about your customers (and Yelp-generated leads). Take advantage of these tools. The more you know about how Yelpers interact with your business, the better you’ll be at figuring out what they want — and what you can do to meet their needs.

Why Your Business Should Be Using Pinterest

In today’s article from around the web we visit Inc.com where author Timothy Carter explores why your business should be using Pinterest. As always, read, comment, share and enjoy!

Pinterest is more than just a way for people to share photos with each other. It’s also a burgeoning social media platform that businesses can use to attract more customers. If you’re not using Pinterest yet, consider these five reasons why you should start.

Use Pinterest to Make How-to Pages

 Image via Flickr by AJC1

Today’s businesses thrive by giving their customers excellent services. That’s not always easy to do when you rely on social media. Yes, these websites connect people and businesses, but they can feel impersonal.

Pinterest will let you create pictorial how-to lists that show customers inventive ways to use your products. If you run a garden supply store, use Pinterest to show customers how they can use tomato cages, rebar, and flowers to construct interesting yard decorations.

If you own a shop that sells ties, use Pinterest to show people how to tie a variety of obscure knots.

You can take this in any direction to engage customers.

Increase Your Site’s Inbound Links

 Image via Flickr by kelanew

Pinterest does more than post an image. It includes a link that goes back to the source image. That makes it easy for you to increase your website’s inbound links.

Those inbound links can grow quickly. You can post them to your own board to create a baseline of inbound links. As other people discover and re-pin your images, though, they create even more links.

Few social media sites have made it so easy for websites to get higher search engine rankings. The more interest your pictures get, the more traffic your website will get.

Pinterest Has a Lot of Active Users

 Image via Flickr by Ed Yourdon

By the end of 2013′s first quarter, Pinterest boated 48.7 million users. Now, you might scoff because you know that Facebook has 1.11 billion users, but there’s more to the story than the current numbers.

Mark Zuckerburg launched Facebook at the beginning of 2004. That’s over nine years ago. Pinterest has only been around since 2010. That’s three years.

If Pinterest continues to grow at its current rate, then it could quickly become one of the leading social media sites on the Internet.

Your Employees Can Make Pinterest Boards

 Image via Flickr by brewbooks

If you still have a local bookstore or record shop in your town, then it probably has a shelf dedicated to staff picks. That’s always been an easy way to encourage customers to pick up great products that they haven’t seen before.

You can essentially do the same thing with Pinterest. By asking your employees to create Pinterest boards, they can show off some of their favorite products.

This makes it easier for potential customers to find excellent buys and expand their horizons by trying new things.

Learn What Interests Your Customers

 Image via Flickr by billolen

To some extent, you can look at your sales reports to determine what products customers like most. But that only shows completed sales. It doesn’t necessarily show you what potential customers are interested in.

With Pinterest, you can see what pictures people are posting. That way, you know they like the product even if they don’t have enough money to buy it. That could be a good reason to rebrand or rethink certain items to turn interest into sales.

What other unique ways has Pinterest helped your business?

5 Google+ Marketing Tips for Your Small Business

In today’s article from around the web we visit B2C where author Danielle Pacelli discusses a few simple tips to get the most out of Google Plus for small businesses. As always, read, comment, share and enjoy!

Your small business only needs to maintain a presence on Facebook and Twitter, right? Wrong. Even though Google+ can seem like an afterthought in social media, ignore it and you’ll miss out on an enormous audience. There are five things you can do on Google+ to promote yourself in a new and exciting way and boost your brand’s awareness:

1. Use the “About Page” to link your website

Take advantage of this opportunity to tell the audience about your company. This is the perfect place to add important keyword links for your site. Another cool feature is that Google+ allows you add bullet points, so you could simply list your products and services and have them link to pages on your website, which go into more detail.

2. Plan events

Gmail accounts are ubiquitous, and Google+ has really neat optimized features for users. Their event feature, for example, is a great tool to use if your company would like to plan webinars, parties or other events. Regardless of whether or not they are Google+ users, their invitation will sync up with Google Calendar and help you track attendance. It’s also a great way to keep track of planning and logistics related to the event before, during and after!

3. Create frequent optimized posts

By including keywords in your Google+ posts, you will ensure that you show up whenever your followers search for that keyword. This feature is called social search and it is especially effective for those with a large following. By frequently posting relevant content, you are increasing your chances of coming up in Google search results, which is one of the biggest benefits to maintaining a Google+ page.

4. Be a Google Author

Google is constantly looking for new ways to authenticate content. By setting up Google Authorship, you are establishing yourself as a credible source for content. This means that you will be trusted by Google and will be able to reap all of the SEO benefits that come with that. By simply adding a photo of yourself and a miniature bio, you can drive tons of traffic to your page and significantly boost awareness.

5. Talk to the right people

Google+ is all about talking to the right people, and it makes it pretty easy to do so. One way to do this is to join communities that are relevant to your company’s industry and interests and becoming a valuable part of the conversations. Once you have done this, you can begin to form relationships with people, and when they add you to their circles, you can add them to your company’s. Once they are in your circle, the things you post will show up for them.

5 Ways You Can Utilize Google Adwords on a Small Business Budget

In today’s article from around the web we visit B2C where author Dixie Somers explores 5 ways you can use Google AdWords paid advertising on a smaller budget. As always, read, comment, share and enjoy!

Spending money on online advertising as a small business can seem like the hardest thing to do. Money is short and there’s no guarantee that your small business Google AdWords marketing campaign is going to work. That’s why it’s important that you target your business niche as directly as possible by using these 5 strategies for utilizing Google AdWords on a small business budget.

1. Targeting Devices Rather than targeting various types of devices such as mobile devices, tablets, or laptops and desktops separately, be sure to group tablets and desktop/laptop campaigns together. Tablet interfaces, screens and resolutions are comparable to those of a full-fledged computer, so there’s no sense in wasting money on separate campaigns for them when they often share the same types of users searching for the same type of information. With smartphones users are typically looking for different types of information. For example, a user searching the web on a smartphone might be looking to find information more quickly or make instant purchases. Keep this in mind.

2. Ad Scheduling The Google AdWords platform offers an option for scheduling when your ads appear to users. For example, you can schedule your ads to only display during lunch, dinner, or late night hours if you are a restaurant chain trying to drive customers to your restaurant around the time they may be thinking about food or a meal. Scheduling your ads allows you to target hours of the day when your target market is most likely using the internet without wasting ad time on ads that aren’t hitting your target market.

3. Targeting Specific Locations If your business is local, take advantage of geo-targeting. This ensures that your ads are only displayed to people that live in or around the area of your business. After all, there’s no sense in displaying something such as an auto repair ad from Milwaukee to someone in Los Angeles. Targeting a specific location for the area you want to market towards allow you to capture a more specific segment of your target market while saving money.

4. Selection of Keywords Selecting the right keywords will also save you tons of money and increase your conversions. The first, most obvious keywords you should be targeting are your branding words. These include your business’s name, types of products/services that are associated with your business, and more. Quality keyword research goes a long way, and it will definitely show whenever the campaign launches. Pay per click management can be difficult to navigate without the help of a digital marketing specialist. Spend some money to optimize your keywords for the best SEO results, and you’ll see the dividends pay off in the future.

5. Sticking with Google Search Lastly, but not least of course, you will want to stick strictly with Google Search for your advertising campaign rather than branching out to Google’s other programs. This is simply because Google Search is the most targeted platform of them all for effective pay per click management and advertising. It isn’t cost effective for small businesses to reach out to other platforms until they are well established in their industry.