Easy Restaurant Marketing With a Birthday Club

A restaurant birthday club. blah, blah, blah! They aren’t just for kids you know.

Maybe you even tried one before but did you really promote it?  How did you promote it? Did you use social media, sms text messaging, flyers, table tent cards, Facebook Ads, and sending out personalized birthday cards? How much effort did you really put into it? Because, when done correctly, birthday clubs are very successful for restaurants. They are perfect for both promoting you to potential customers and for keeping the customers you already have. Now, I think I hear you saying “who has time for that?”

How does you bring new business into your restaurant and keep the customers you already have coming back? The answer is very clear. It’s the same way every successful business does it. By building relationships with people.

Granted, in the current climate, that’s gotten a bit more challenging. Social distancing and relationship building seem like a contradiction in terms. So, how do you make it work? You have probably heard before that people do business with those they know, like, and trust. You must give them a reason to like you and you MUST make it personal!

What is more personal than remembering someone’s birthday?

Here’s where we can help…

We will set up a birthday program for you. And, there is very little for you to do because we do all the work!






Plus… a BONUS!

Schedule your Get Started session now and receive 12 free custom designed card fronts. One for each month of the year.  That’s a value of over $900.00!

A complete done-for-you birthday club marketing strategyAND lead generation strategy all in one.

Just $299 per month

Get Started Now!

Restaurant Marketing | Local Restaurant FAQ’s

Restaurant Marketing

Because customers rely heavily on the internet to find the best places to spend their money, getting your business in front of customers online has outgrown traditional offline marketing methods. I’d say this is especially true in the current climate when people are at home more and dependant on the internet for getting information for the local businesses in their geographic area.

So, since so many of you are asking about it, we have put together this list of frequently asked questions to help you explore and understand the potential of how adding digital marketing strategies to your local marketing efforts could help you promote your business.

Locally Owned Restaurant’s Most Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What are the benefits of local digital marketing?

Local businesses experience multiple benefits with digital marketing by investing in different strategies, from SEO to PPC; and SMS to website design. Digital marketing helps you reach your target audience online to drive more sales from customers.

Local digital marketing is flexible, cost-effective, measurable, and allows you to reach people at the precise moment they are looking for your products or services. Avoiding digital marketing denies your business access to marketing channels the majority of consumers turn to first when make purchasing decisions.

Q. What is hyperlocal marketing?

Local marketing usually involves marketing on a city-wide basis, but for some businesses that isn’t local enough. Hyperlocal marketing targets customers in a highly specific, geographically restricted area, such as a few blocks or single zip code. This allows for precise targeting of people conducting “near me” searches on their mobile device or restricting who sees your PPC ads to residents of a strictly defined area.

Q. What is the difference between traditional SEO and local SEO?

Traditional SEO (search engine optimization) focuses on the organic search that happens when search engines decide there is no local intent in a user’s search. Local SEO is the process of optimizing your online properties such as websites, online profiles, and business listings (such as Google My Business, social media platforms, and online directories) to rank and generate traffic from the people in YOUR market who are  conducting location-based searches. Local SEO helps businesses promote products and services to local customers (your neighbors) when they are searching for your products or have shown previous interest in your products and services.

Q. How is local marketing for restaurants different?

While many business websites can sell products 24/7 to anyone, anywhere they are willing to ship to, most local restaurants don’t have that luxury. When marketing a restaurant, general digital marketing tips need to be modified. A restaurant has geographical and time-based constraints that many other businesses don’t have to worry about. So effectively marketing a restaurant requires a mix of local marketing, small business marketing, and digital marketing you won’t find in many other business models.

Q. Why is Google My Business so important for restaurants?

Everyone uses Google to find what they are looking for because the search engine has perfected how to give search engine users the most relevant and accurate information available.  Google designed “Google My Business” listings as a tool to gather the exact information it needs to populate search engine results pages with up-to-date local options.

Restaurants need to claim and completely fill out their Google My Business profiles so Google has all the information it needs for search users to find them in online searches. If you want your restaurant to show up in Google results on computers, phones, and Google Maps when someone near you is hungry and ready to order, the only way to get that to happen is with Google My Business.

Q. What is SMS Marketing?

SMS marketing is marketing by text messages to your list of customers who want to know what’s going on at your restaurant.  SMS marketing allows you to tell them about specials you are running, changes in your hours, whether you have outdoor seating, spotlighting your staff, let them know about special events and entertainment you are featuring etc.  Statistics show that text messages are read within 1 minute 80% of the time so it’s a great way to get people in who weren’t planning to come in just by letting them know you’ve got something special to offer them.

Let your customers know you have outdoor seating with an SMS message.

Q. Why does my website need to be mobile-responsive?

Nearly everyone visits websites and performs internet searches from their smartphones and tablets. It is vital that your website be able to support a broad range of devices. If it doesn’t, your website won’t be user friendly and potential customers won’t be able to easily use your website to find what they are looking for. This results in them clicking away from your website to one they can read on their mobile device. Also, with the latest Google algorithm, websites that do not support a mobile experience are being dropped from ranking highly in Google’s search engine results. Additionally, old websites that go for long periods with no updates or new content are unlikely to rank high enough to be seen in search engine results.

Q. What is PPC?

PPC stands for pay-per-click. It’s a way to advertise on search engines, social networks, websites, and apps where you pay only when someone clicks on your advertisement. Search engine advertising with PPC platforms such as GoogleAds or BingAds is the most popular form of PPC, however numerous channels, including Facebook, now offer PPC ad models.

Q. Is social media important for local businesses?

Social media is important if that is where your target customers are.  Chances are your customers are active on one or more of the major social networks. Billions of people spend time daily on multiple social media channels where businesses like yours can boost awareness, interact with customers, drive sales, build loyalty, promote products and services, and make announcements. Outside of paying for ads or sponsored posts, it’s free to promote your business on social networks, so your results with social media usually correspond with how committed you are to consistently posting things people want to see.

Q. What do digital marketers have to do with local marketing?

Digital marketing focuses on channels such as search engines, social media, email, paid advertising, and websites to connect your business with customers. Digital marketers are various specialists who develop effective strategies or implement programs that help you reach your marketing goals. If you’re new to digital marketing or lack the resources, you should consider engaging an experienced and versatile digital marketing professional to provide consistent results that get you the highest return on your investment.

Q. What do local marketing agencies do?

Local marketing agencies provide marketing implementation and service packages to businesses with a local presence who want to outsource their marketing activities. Most local business owners don’t have the time or the inclination to do it themselves and most don’t have a marketing department. By outsourcing some or all of their marketing to a local marketing agency, business owners, operators, and managers can spend more time running their business while leveraging industry expertise to get more bang for their marketing buck.

Q. What’s next?

If you have more questions, we’ve got answers. You can contact us today.

If you are an action taker and you already know you’re ready to take your business to new heights, we’re here to help you.  You can get started right away by completely the information on this page and we’ll get back to you as soon as we have reviewed it. Contact us today to  learn how we help businesses just like yours grow.

5 Things Every Local Business Owner Can Do When Business is Slow

So it’s February. Is business a little slow? It’s a slow time for many local businesses during this time of year and if that’s your situation, take advantage of this time to do some things you won’t have time to do once things begin picking up in the more productive season ahead. While most of these 5 important tasks are easy things to procrastinate over, getting to them now will put you in a much better position to help you create a plan of action for getting where you want to be by the end of the year.

  1. Know Your Numbers:

A business owner that doesn’t know his or her financial numbers is likely in trouble. Knowing where your business stands in terms of return on investment and profits and losses is the only way you can make informed choices for moving your business forward.

All successful business owner will be current with their financials on at least a monthly basis and many within the past two weeks. Staying on top of your numbers is key to knowing when and how much to reinvest in your business.

If you’re not sure where you stood last year at this time how will you measure whether there was growth this year? On top of that, keeping track of what you did from a marketing prospective will show you where you had measurable ROI or whether you should direct marketing budgets somewhere else this year.

If you struggle with analyzing your finances on your own, consider hiring someone that can help you develop a budget for your business and keep track of things for you.


  1. Don’t keep doing what you’ve always done if it’s not working

Some business owners become stagnant and are doing things the way they’ve always done them. If that is working for you, great! But in most cases, there needs to be a change in how you are reaching new prospects. Technology is here to stay whether you like it or not and using it to market to prospects might be just what your business needs to revive your customer base and grow your business. The times they are a changing and just because you’ve always done something one way doesn’t necessarily make that the best way when it comes to attracting today’s consumer.

Reassess what’s working for you in your marketing strategies. If you aren’t seeing a return from any source of paid advertising, you should consider trying something else. The thing to remember is that you need to market to your potential customers wherever THEY are. If your prospects are on Twitter, that is where you should direct some of your marketing focus. If they are new in town, then perhaps a direct mail approach is the best use for your advertising dollars. Ask yourself this: “Who do I sell to? For example, do I sell to professional men, ages 18-64 who are interested in business attire? What can you learn about where these guys hang out? Maybe LinkedIn is a good avenue for engaging this market. Is your market women ages 18-40 with school age children? Brides? Young married couples who just purchased their 1st home? People with pets? Retirees who are downsizing? Know who your ideal customer is. Create an avitar for them. Once you’ve done that, then you need to learn where your target market will see your advertising both online and off.

Another area you may need to address is “embracing technology.” The use of technology will not only bring your business into the world we’re currently living in, but it will also help your business become more efficient and more profitable. By embracing it, you’ll be able to take advantage of the vast array of marketing tools available to small businesses and maybe even automate a portion of the tasks you spend time doing on a regular basis. Remember though, take it a step at a time. Don’t try to do it all at once. Decide on 2 or 3 ways to market your business for the 2nd quarter and then add or adjust things for the 3rd quarter and so on.

  1. Learn Something

Learn something that will help you grow either personally or professionally. Develop a new skill, take a class in something you’ve always been interested in or something you need to know how to do better for your business.

  1. Network/Volunteer

Spend some time attending networking meetings and finding volunteer opportunities in your geographical area. These could be social groups where you will have the ability to schmooze with prospective customers, business groups where you will meet other local business owners and establish relationships you can potentially partner with when creating promotions, and/or goodwill opportunities to give to your community. You will find the community is very reciprocal in these types of situations and honestly, you just never know what good will come from a win-win opportunity.

  1. Create a Marketing Calendar

Being prepared for what’s coming up puts your business in a much better position for deciding on what and when you will run promotions, have sales, need more inventory on hand, need to increase the number of manpower hours, and the list goes on. Many businesses exist by their marketing calendar!

There are a number of ways to create a marketing calendar. We use and recommend a quarterly plan with notes for future quarters and planning. Try starting with things you know are seasonal to your business and add some obscure holidays that fit with the kind of business you have and are things you can create a promotion or event around. There are several good websites where you can find this information like this one or this one.  Monthly themes are best to plan your promotions and events around and allow you to have a whole month of fun with but weekly observations and even daily events can also be profitable and fun!

If you need help with putting together a marketing calendar, call us today to learn more about how we can help you develop a marketing plan that is personalized to your business, will keep you on track, save you time and money, increase your sales, and put you ahead of your competition. We’re here to help you.

P.S. If you still have extra time on your hands, INC has a list of 28 things you can do in slow times that will have a positive outcome for you and your business. Check that out here.



Groundhog Day Sale

It’s Groundhog Day!

Each year on Groundhog Day, we like to celebrate by offering some money saving specials to our customers!

You win either way! Here’s how it works… If Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, legend has it that there will be 6 more weeks of winter. Since you’ll have much more time to get some work done before the spring/summer busy season sets in, why not use that constructively by doing a little upkeep to your online presence? To help you out with that, we are going to give you a FREE website audit with a value of $500.00!

If Phil doesn’t see his shadow, then spring is coming early and you won’t have as much time to get your business ducks in a row! We’re going to help you with that too! How? By helping you get found when someone searches for your product or service on Google. We’ll do that by giving you $100.00 off of your first months service when you order our Google Ads Campaign Management Service.


If you are a big Groundhog Day fan like we are, you might enjoy this tshirt we found to be hysterically funny! If you don’t get it, then you must not have seen the movie, and I find that hard to believe, but here’s the movie trailer.

Some fun facts about Groundhog Day:

How often is Punxsutawney Phil right?

Well, I did a little research and according to this article, “When Phil predicted a short winter, he was much more likely to be right,” Roche told Life’s Little Mysteries. “Out of the 15 times that he didn’t see his shadow and predicted an early spring, he got it right seven times that’s a 47 percent accuracy rate.”

Phil’s full name, granted by the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, is Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, and Weather Prophet Extraordinary.Phil’s fans have been able to get text message alerts of his predictions since 2010. (Text “Groundhog” to 247365, in case you’re interested.)

Did you know you can actually GO to Cobbler’s Knob and enjoy the festivities?
Yep, just click here for all of the details.

So, what’s your prediction? More wintry weather, or blue skies and sunshine? Sound off by writing a comment below.


Overwhelmed by Digital Marketing?

digital marketing overwhelmIf you’re a small business owner feeling overwhelmed by digital marketing, stop, take a deep breath, and read on. This is the Part 1 of a 10 part series in overcoming the frustration you feel over doing the digital marketing you already know you need to be doing for your business, but are too overwhelmed by the number of strategies and marketing opportunities available to you.

For small business owners, digital marketing can quickly start to become overwhelming. There are so many opportunities there for you to explore, but just how do you actually go about taking advantage of those opportunities and fitting them all into your schedule? You are probably also wondering which digital marketing strategies you should you be using,  how do you go about implementing them successfully, and how can you track the results of your campaigns so you know what’s working and what’s not.  It can be overwhelming and frustrating!

If that’s you and you are feeling more than a little weighed down and confused by digital marketing, you’re certainly not alone. There are some studies out there that reveal some surprising to some, facts that suggest many small business owners are feeling overwhelmed and aren’t achieving the results they would like from their efforts. In fact, on a regular basis, business owners tell us that this problem can become so paralyzing for them that they end up doing nothing at all.  Despite the many opportunities digital marketing provides to small businesses to get their message out there, many of them have dismissed the idea of using it all – which is a huge mistake.

If you fall into this category and are feeling that digital marketing just isn’t for you, let’s look at how to get a handle on that overwhelm.

Here’s how we suggest you tackle it:

Stop and Regroup

When you feel overwhelmed by digital marketing and you’re feeling confused and frustrated, the best thing you can do is to stop what you are doing and regroup. It is important to recognize your need to re-set your psyche and then take some time out to refresh your mindset and come back stronger… with a clear head.

Step away from the computer. Especially if you’ve reached that point when you are no longer productive and continuing to work is just counterintuitive, so consider doing another task for a few minutes when you get frustrated. You’ll feel much better for it and will be able to come back to the task with a clearer focus.

In addition, working in short bursts is a great way to maximize your productivity levels and minimize overwhelm. For example, you might do fifteen-minutes of solid work and then take a short five-minute break. We’ve got a whole ebook of marketing strategies you can do in 15 minutes or less.  You can find that here.

Just Start With the Basics

In order to prevent overwhelm, it is important to familiarize yourself with the basics of digital marketing. Read up on the subject and then put together a plan of action that can be realistically achieved in your current schedule then schedule the time to do it! Take action!

It’s also certainly worth mentioning that many business owners make the mistake of trying to carry out every digital marketing method under the sun, when they would actually be much better off focusing on two or three strategies that are most effective for their business. The quickest way to overwhelm is trying to do everything! Choose a strategy and then track the results. Depending on your business, what works for others may or may not be for you.

If you downloaded our free ebook, choose a couple of ideas that you like and think about how you can make that work for you.

Continue to Part 2 in our series “Overwhelmed by Digital Marketing”.

Digital Marketing Challenge 2018

Happy New Year!

I’m so excited about the year ahead! I don’t know about you but I  just love new beginnings. A new year means a fresh start, a clean slate, new opportunities to grow our businesses and yes, CHANGE. I stopped dreading change a long time ago. Change isn’t bad, it’s just doing something different. Learning new ways to grow both personally and professionally are good things.

Introducing the 2018 Digital Marketing Challenge!

Here’s The Plan:

We’re going to start a 10 part series on “Breaking Through Digital Marketing Overwhelm” that will continue through the end of the month.

Since January is Get Organized Month, we’re going to start by getting your business’ digital marketing planning calendar started. The challenge in January is to get organized, decide on a theme for your promotions, and to begin creating a “marketing plan” for each month of the year using the skills we are going to teach you. There will be a lesson each month where we will discuss which platforms will work best for each months plan. We’ll get you started implementing your plan with ongoing support from me, my team, and from the other challenge participants on our Facebook group. We’ll also cover what strategies and platform(s) seem like the best bet for your specific business and for each item on your marketing calendar.

The Digital Marketing Challenge is free but can help you earn *thousands of dollars in additional revenue each year!

*I am required by law to give this Legal Disclaimer: Of course I can’t guarantee the actual profits you can expect as each business’ results will vary.  Everything depends on YOU and your ability to follow through with what you’ve been taught. The bottom line is, if you take action on what we teach you, you will see profits from your efforts. Like everything else is life, it’s takes effort to make money in any business.

Who is the Digital Marketing Challenge for?

For those small business owners who have had a “I can’t do it”,  “I don’t know how to do it”, or “I don’t have the time to do it” digital marketing mindset, this is your year to change your thinking! This is your year to shine and excel with your business’ digital marketing. This is the year to break-through those fears about using digital marketing practices in your business!  You already KNOW that digital marketing offers so many GREAT opportunities to connect with the people all around you who want and need your products and services. You also know that without digital marketing, you are missing opportunities to meet your prospects and customers, right where they are, on their mobile devices. Everyday that you procrastinate you are losing prospects, sales, and profits each day that the door to your business is open.  You must stop letting fear keep you from giving your business the benefits of what digital marketing can do for your business and stop letting your customers choose to do business with your competitors.

So, to that end, this year, we are going to systematically, define the best digital marketing opportunities, strategies, and platforms for you to use and we’re going to give you a challenge that is sure to increase profits from month numero uno! We will begin on January 15th, 2018 and we will complete the initial training by the end of January. Then, we’ll meet once a month, on the 1st Tuesday of each month for the rest of the year.  During the monthly meetings I’ll help you develop the following months marketing plan and we’ll use different strategies and platforms each month.

No worries, no stress, we’re going to help guide you along. Are you excited yet?!?

What You’ll Need to Participate:

  • A business.
  • A website for your business.  (NOTE: we can help you with that if you don’t already have one)
  • A computer or other digital device.
  • An open mind.
  • 30 minutes of time each day. It should go without saying that you will need to commit some time to this.  I think 15 -30 minutes a day will be sufficient for now. Go ahead and block off 30 minutes a day for each working day in January on your planner. Once the plan is in place, 15 minutes a day is all you should need from then on out.
  • A Planner.  I personally use this one and I like it a lot. It’s got everything you need and none of what you don’t need.  It’s inexpensive and I’ve been happy using this one for the last three years. You can use any planner that has room for each day’s marketing tasks, a place to keep track of your ideas, and a section for keeping track of time commitments.
  • A sharp pencil and an eraser are the only other investments you’ll need to make your marketing plan calendar. I prefer this mechanical pencil but any pencil and eraser will do just fine.  Note: You may not know this but I’m somewhat of a office supply hoarder. I love office supplies! Did you know that with Amazon Prime, you can get your planner, pencil, and many other items (not just office supplies) in just 2 days, with free shipping, and without leaving your desk!  I use this service so often and there are many other cool benefits associated with Amazon Prime like movies, music, free Kindle books, and special deals on products you already buy anyway just to name a few of the benefits.
  • Download my free eBook called “How to Increase Your Local Business’ Sales in Just 15 Minutes a Day.” This little book is full of marketing strategies that you can implement in 15 minutes a day or less. You can get that here. Since we’ll be using this throughout the entire year it’s a good idea to go ahead and print your copy of the book so you can make lots of notes in it when you see ideas you want to use and to mark things you want to remember.
  • Be a member of our Facebook group. It’s free too!

My January marketing calendar includes these events: 

I’ll be utilizing the following “holidays” to demonstrate how to use online digital marketing promotions to grow your business.

“Get to Know Your Customers Day.”

“Better Business Communication Day.”

“Have Fun at Work Day.”

If these are are a good fit for your business as well, great!  We can build your marketing calendar around these too. I think these promotional days will work for just about any kind of business but if you aren’t sure, go ahead and find a couple of other promotional days in January that you feel are better for your specific business. A good place to start finding events of all kinds is a website called “Days Of The Year.”  Go on over there and see what’s coming up that fits with your business and that your customers will find interesting. I’ll show you how to use these “holidays” to engage with your prospects and customers.

Ready or not, let’s get started! You’ll be glad you did it! 




P.S. Don’t forget to download my free eBook  “How To Increase Your Local Business’ Sales” in Just 15 Minutes a Day.” Inside you’ll find 73 ways to market your business in just 15 minutes a day or less. We’ll use this book every month to plan marketing strategies so if you haven’t already, get your free copy here now. Also, once you’ve downloaded the book, you’ll get all the Digital Marketing Challenge updates sent to your email’s inbox so be sure to use your best email when you order the book so you don’t miss a thing!

Part 1, “Overwhelmed by Digital Marketing?”, is here.

Mobile Search is Changing Consumer Buying Decisions

Mobile search_buying decisionsBusiness owners must stay current with how consumers are making buying decisions and today mobile search clearly has a role in how they are doing that. In times past, advertisers used to dump all of their marketing budget into phone book ads, print ads in newspapers and magazines, radio spots, and if their budget permitted, even tv commercials. After all, other than word-of-mouth, that’s where advertisers got people’s attention. It was where people looked for information.

In more recent years, as advertisers learned that people were firing up their computers to research things like major purchases, school and career choices, and where to find the home loan they needed, they began putting a lot of effort into getting their websites found online through paid ads and search engine optimization. Since 2009, when I began helping local business owners with their internet marketing needs, I’ve compiled a lot of data for my clients about how and what people searched for from their computers and mobile search wasn’t even a thing. I still do traditional seo today however, with mobile devices now mainstream and in the hands of almost everyone,  business owners need to understand how people use mobile search from a mobile device is different.

Mobile search is changing things in a lot of ways and business owners who understand how device owners are using their devices will definitely have an advantage over their competitors.
Business owners today need to BE the resource for searches coming from mobile devices and they need to know HOW people are searching in order to be that resource effectively.

Mobile device owners are now accustomed to turning to their devices for a quick mobile search to find useful advice, across a much wider range of topics. Google puts it this way, “To inform any decision, we only have to turn to our phones. That means today’s consumer defines what’s high versus low consideration for herself, so marketers across categories have the chance to influence these curious and investigative shoppers with helpful advice”.

No Decision is Too Small to Use Mobile Search 

With information at our fingertips, we are searching for advice on practically everything we need or want. Nobody wants to get an unfavorable mortgage, buy a lemon while car shopping, or make the wrong choice for a school or career.  The big decisions are more obvious but no decision is too small.  The daily little decisions matter too. Nobody wants to buy a crummy product of any kind whether it’s cosmetics, an umbrella, or a t-shirt.  The point is, whether it’s value, style, or quality we care about, nowadays anything we’re considering buying—no matter the category or price—can be, and is likely to be, researched by doing a mobile search first. We can turn to our phones to get the answers we need to make the right decision and buy the right thing.

Google says they see this clearly in search data. Not only have mobile searches for “best” grown over 80% in the past two years, but searches for “best” have shown higher growth among “low-consideration” products than “high-consideration” products. In other words, we’re becoming research-obsessed, even about the small stuff. You can read more about this from Google here.

Think about a product you use every day: your toothbrush. Maybe you don’t give it much consideration, but plenty of people do. Google says that mobile searches for “best toothbrush” have grown more than 100% over the past two years. And this is not a trend limited to dental hygiene.

mobile search for best

Some other categories that show growing “best” searches on mobile devices.

As you can see, this is  really exciting news if you’re a marketer working within a traditionally “low-consideration” category. It’s now possible to reimagine your marketing’s role in helping consumers make decisions.

Mobile Search Is Personal

When it comes to seeking advice on what I will buy, what I research is personal to me. What I want to know isn’t necessarily what you want to know. Luckily with search, people can get really specific and still have confidence that they’ll get useful information.

Take shoes, for example. Yes, people want to learn about the best ones—and in some very personal and particular ways. Below is just a sampling of specific mobile searches that have been growing in this category.

mobile search is personal

Word-Of-Mouth Advice Is Still Important

We’ve always turned to other people to help us make decisions. And now more than ever, we tap into the expertise of others by searching online for product reviews and ratings, photos, and blogs. Others’ first-hand experiences help guide our product choices. We want to hear what others think and see their experiences—the good and the bad.

Searches for product reviews have been gaining traction for years. Still, in the past two years, mobile searches for “product reviews” have grown over 35% Not only that, but people are increasingly turning to mobile video to watch reviews. In the past two years, videos with the word “review” in the title had more than 50,000 years worth of watch time on mobile alone.

And back to those toothbrushes. Are people seeking reviews even for that basic item? Absolutely. Mobile searches for “toothbrush reviews” have more than doubled over the past two years.

Make your brand THE authority adviser

Google’s research shows that people are turning to mobile and actively searching for advice across categories, even for the small stuff. By making your brand easily discoverable and understanding when and where people are searching for guidance, you can ensure you’re there with the right advice whenever people need you.

We can help you with this.  Give us a call or schedule an appointment today for a free consultation to discuss how we can help your brand BE the authority consumers are looking for in your local market.


SSL Certificates & Business Website Security

Website security for your business has become a necessity.

If you have a business website, online security should be one of your top priorities. Whether you are buying, selling, or just surfing the web you need to be aware of whether your website as well as the websites you visit, are secure and safe for both you own safety and that of your potential customers.

secure website with an SSL Certificate installed

You are visiting a secure website with an SSL Certificate installed.

It’s always surprising when people tell me they don’t know how to tell if a website is secure. Google has been letting us know for some time which sites have been secured with SSL Certificates but if you don’t know where to look, it wasn’t as obvious as the new warnings are. Here is Google’s help page on this topic.

With the release of Chrome version 62, Google has just made it much easier and this image shows you what that looks like.

Not secure warning

Google  started sending out warning emails to business website owners in August 2017 as a follow-up to an announcement by Emily Schechter, Product Manager of Chrome Security Team, back in April.

Google began marking sites back with the release of Chrome v56, which was issued in January of this year. They targeted HTTP sites that collect user passwords and credit card details.

So now, business owners must secure the information being shared among their visitors and their web server, they must start incorporating an SSL certificate. Failing to do this is risky for both parties: sites that allow the sending of information in clear text may also allow its exposure through the Internet.

Ms. Schechter also provided website owners with a handy guide on how to enable HTTPS on their servers. An additional guideline on how to avoid the “NOT SECURE” warning on Chrome is also available for web developers.

We can be confident that HTTPS will be the new norm.

So, what does this mean to my business?

Bottom line… This means if your website doesn’t have an SSL Certificate, your website visitors will see a ‘Not Secure’ warning, like the one above  in the URL address bar.

With the Chrome version  62 release, websites with any kind of text input will need an SSL certificate.

When Do You need to Worry About SSL?

  1. If your website takes text inputs in the form of login panels, contact forms, search bars, etc.
  2. If your website begins with HTTP://

If it’s a YES to both these questions, you need to install SSL to avoid any risks or warnings. If you don’t implement SSL soon, your visitors will see a “Not Secure” warning on visiting your site.

What is SSL Certificate? And How it Works?

Think of it as an electronic passport. It proves you are – who you say you are.

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral.

If you don’t have the SSL certificate, a secure connection cannot be established, that means, your company information will not be digitally connected to a cryptographic key.

SSL Certificate has following information:

  • Name of the holder
  • Serial number and expiration date
  • Copy of the certificate holder’s public key
  • Digital Signature of the certificate-issuing authorityWhy SSL Certificates are Critical?

Here are some of the reasons to have SSL Certificates:

1. Encrypts Sensitive Information

The information you send on the Internet is passed from computer to computer to get to the destination server. Any computer in between you and the server can see your credit card numbers, usernames and passwords, and other sensitive information if it is not encrypted. When an SSL certificate is used, the information becomes unreadable to everyone except for the server you are sending the information to.

2. Protects You from Cybercriminals

They are clever!

According to Cybersecurity Ventures, cybersecurity damages will cost the world over $6 trillion annually by 2021.

It is impossible to escape the rising tide of cybercrime if your website doesn’t have an SSL certificate. They will identify weakness(es) in your network…mostly, when information is transmitted. Recently, the black eye masked people have been refining malicious strains that are specifically designed to capture data while moving between destinations. (Told you, these people are clever!)

You surely can protect yourself from this mess by installing SSL certificates that offer a vital means of defending against transit-based hacks.

3. Builds Trust & Brand Power

With SSL certificates, your customers will see visuals like lock icon and green address bar that indicates well-trusted encryption is in use. For your customers, seeing that on your website, will assure them that their information is traveling safely over the internet.

Build Trust & Brand

Undoubtedly, this will add brand power and boost the credibility of the brand.

In Conclusion

If you haven’t already installed an SSL certificate, Google has already flagged your website, secure it today with an SSL Certificate.  You can do it yourself or we can do it for you but whatever you choose to do, you must do it now.

If you’d like help with it, we can install it for you for just $149.00 for most sites. (e-commerce sites require a different kind of certificate and the cost is higher)

Call us today to schedule your SSL Certificate Installation. 843-647-0489 or Schedule an Appointment for a free 30 minute consultation.

P.S. If you know a business owner who has a website, please feel free to share this important information with them.


Local Business Marketing

Local Business MarketingToday, most local business owners realize that they must have a business presence on the internet.  They know that people search online for the products and services that they need and without a website, their business won’t be found by the people in their local market who are searching for the kinds of products and services they offer.  What they might not know is that for it to work, I mean to really work, it requires specific local business marketing strategies, local marketing expertise, and a well thought out web design that coordinates with their marketing plan.

Local business owners know having a website is not just an option anymore.  Unless you only sell your product or service to the very elderly consumer, forget the phone book and newspaper ads! People today search for almost everything they need online and not only that, they research their buying options there too.  More recently, fewer are doing it from their computers and many are doing it from their smartphones.

Many business owners we talk to have the same questions about how effective local search is? They want to know what business marketing strategies and platforms will work best for their business.  They need to know how consumer behavior is changing with the onslaught of today’s technology.

The answers, can be found in marketing studies that compile information about how people are using the internet.

[Read more…]

Small Business Promotion | Neighborhood Marketing Strategy

Neighborhood marketing strategyAnother small business promotion we like very much as a strategy is Neighborhood marketing.  Neighborhood marketing is a very simple and inexpensive promotion that will bring new customers into your own small business from local community organizations, institutions, and other local business’ in your geographical area.  Because they are part of your neighborhood, these customers are potentially repeat customers that will return again and again.  Neighborhood marketing works in nearly any type of business with a little brainstorming and it is a perfect marketing strategy for restaurants in particular.

Almost every business is surrounded by potential new customers if you want to take advantage of what’s already in your backyard with Neighborhood Marketing. Neighborhood Marketing is an easy way to get starting maximizing your neighborhood’s potential.

Here’s how to get started:

  1. Map out a 1-3 mile radius from your business.
  2. Get in your car, or have your manager do it, and take a drive around the area you mapped out.
  3. Note all the organizations and other opportunities in your neighborhood you could begin marketing to. Make a list of them.
  4. Think about who you might already know there or, who you might know, who knows someone there.
  5. Brainstorm some promotional ideas and don’t forget how you might offer to help them. (quick lunch specials, take out orders, delivery, special dietary requirements, free pick up/drop off, special seating, loyalty clubs, etc.)
  6. Contact those businesses and make your offer.

Don’t forget to list these types of organizations and businesses.  They usually have many employees and some also have customers who are interested in your offer:

  • Apartment complexes
  • Auto dealers
  • Auto repair shops
  • Churches
  • Community Organizations
  • Construction sites
  • Hospitals
  • Military Bases
  • Office complexes
  • Plants
  • Radio & TV stations
  • Residential Subdivisions
  • Schools
  • Senior Citizen Centers
  • Shopping centers
  • Urgent care facilities
  • Other local businesses
  • and everybody else!

If you need help designing a promotion, give us a call we’re always glad to help.

Happy Marketing!

Real solutions and proven strategies for marketing YOUR local business.
Serving small businesses throughout the U.S.

Strategic Internet Marketing, Reputation Management & Video marketing