Blog written by: Dean Richard, CEO of Compass SEO - an amazing new SEO consulting firm located in Bellingham, WA. Please click here to view the website, and click here to email Dean directly.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is on the rise, and rightly so. Recent studies show that the first three results in any given Google search yield 60% of the clicks. As if that wasn’t proof enough, read that sentence again- the word ‘search’ is redundant after ‘Google’. In our world, we no longer search for something- we Google it. So it is only natural that any business would want to rank #1 on Google- or any other search engines- search results.
This doesn’t just apply to large name-brands, either. If you have even a small local business, you have every reason to invest in SEO- in fact; you probably have more reasons than large name-brands. So what can you do to help your local businesses website rise in the rankings?
Spend some time on your site, and look at it from a customers perspective- does it inspire them to convert, either by purchasing something online or coming into your store? It doesn’t have to be flashy, but is it effective? Dressing up your site is a great place to start for SEO. While you’re there, how are your keywords? That is, when Google looks at your site, how strong is your message. Two great free(!) tools are the Google Keyword Tool and the SEOmoz term extractor. Use the keyword tool to see what ...
Guest blog written by: Dean Richard of Compass SEO
We are excited to share with you the following blog post that was written by Dean Richard, Owner & Founder of Compass SEO. You can view more of Dean's work on his site here and on twitter - @deanfortythree
It seems somewhat contradictory on the surface to say your local business should be marketing on the world wide web. But why should you use social media to promote your small business, and how can you get the most out of those avenues?
If you’ve been to the multimedia page, you may have watched this video (if you haven’t, you should- it’s excellent). Make no mistake, social media is here to stay. I’d venture to say that if you’re reading this, you already use social media personally. So while it connects people all around the globe, why do you need it for you local business?
Actually, you need it because you are a local business. One of the great things about social media is that it works every bit as well- or even better- on a small scale as it does on a large one. Take, for example, the brand that everyone associates with our lovely city of Seattle- Starbucks. Their Twitter is approaching 900,000 followers- and their feed is littered with replies to customers. Your business probably does not have 900,000 people following it- so take advantage of that. Reply to everyone you possibly can. Interact with them, get to know them- that’s part of being a local business, right? Giving your ...
We wanted to take some time to explain our take on the importance of Social Media (facebook, twitter, blogs, etc.) for small businesses. As you can see at The Seattle Umbrella we make social media a large part of our business, and use it as a tool to promote all of the businesses on our site. The primary value that we see in social media for business is that it levels the playing field for all different types and sizes of businesses to compete. What we mean is that a lot of smaller businesses don't have the time or budget to put on large advertising campaigns. Without proper advertising, it is impossible for businesses to reach consumers.
With social media today businesses are able to reach their target market and have conversations, discussions, promotions, and whatever communications they desire instantly - and free! This is invaluable to many businesses, and when used properly can be extremely advantageous particularly to those who don't have the time or money to spend on traditional advertising. As a matter of fact, there are many schools of thought that would say traditional advertising will vanish for small businesses due to the progression of social media. With over 400 million people on facebook and over 18 million people on twitter, it is obvious that these are places that businesses need to be. There are many techniques that small businesses can use once on these sites and having a strong online presence has never been more important than it is today.
At The ...
This is a great idea taken from Local First (www.localfirst.com), about a challenge to support your community by eating local. We fully promote this concept, and encourage all of you to take the "eat local challenge" in Seattle. This simple idea, if done by enough of you, would have such an amazing impact on our economy and environment in Seattle, and would truly be a fun experiment! Leave us your feedback, we would love to hear from you!
What is the Eat Local Challenge?
Did you know that the average ingredient in a North American meal travels over 1,500 miles to reach your plate? People all over the United States are starting to realize what that distance means in terms of food freshness, fuel usage and farming. We challenge you to spend two weeks eating locally (and to compare the taste and price of locally grown food to stuff grown over 1,500 miles away).
What do you mean by “local”?
We mean consciously choosing to eat foods that are grown close to your home. Many people around the country use 100 miles as their definition of “local.” We tend to think of local as “as close to home as possible.” To discover where to find local foods, checkout our site as well as your local farmers markets.
Why should I eat local food?
You should eat local food because it tastes better, because it can be less expensive, because its takes less fuel to transport it and because eating local food keeps more money in our community. Did you know that 73% more money ...
We have had some questions as to what the significance of the Local Certification service is that we provide. Basically the rundown on the local certification is as follows:
1) A business fills out our application
2) The application is reviewed
3) Once approved and paid for the business becomes officially "certified local" to Seattle
After the business is certified local:
They have full use of our logo and of the phrase "Certified Local Business" by The Seattle Umbrella.
[caption id="attachment_785" align="alignleft" width="136" caption="Certified Local Business Logo"][/caption]
Businesses are able to use this as an excellent marketing and promotion tool, and an addition to the bundle of selling points that make consumers have interest in them as a business. The Seattle Umbrella helps to promote these "certified local" businesses, and makes announcements for them via social media. Another bonus to becoming certified by The Seattle Umbrella is the easy recognition for people in the community who want to support local businesses. When they see our window sticker in the storefront, or logo on the website or flyers, a person knows immediately that business is local to Seattle, and has gone through our application and certification process.
They process and idea behind the local certification is fairly simple, however extremely powerful in nature. The Seattle community is highly intelligent and educated and pushing more and more to stay local, and support ...
As The Seattle Umbrella moves forward, we are receiving an overwhelming response from restaurants in Seattle that are interested in being a "Certified Local Business." It is a great selling point for restaurants to be easily recognized as a local business, because there is such a strong urge from consumers who want to eat locally. Most people don't have the time or resources to grow and prepare their own food for every meal, or simply just want to go out to eat once in a while, so eating at a local restaurant that gets their food from local farms, is the next best option. Here are some great quotes and profiles of some of the various reasons that people like to eat local.
With such a strong urge and push from the community to support local businesses, and to eat local food from local restaurants, the challenge becomes finding these local restaurants. That is why our goal at The Seattle Umbrella is to take the research out of this process for consumers. When people see our logo in a restaurant window, they know that the business is "Certified Local" and is a great place to eat. Also when they come to our website online by searching for example, "local restaurants in Seattle", they will have an entire directory of certified local businesses in Seattle.
With that being said, we encourage you to check out a few of the first "Certified Local" restaurants in Seattle. The first is actually a meal planning and delivery service called My Chef By ...
The Seattle Umbrella, LLC, launched in early September 2009, provides the only certification service for local businesses in Seattle. The Seattle Umbrella is focused on promoting and connecting local businesses in Seattle with the community. The Seattle Umbrella uses innovative technology and various social media platforms to promote local businesses, which enables immediate communication to a highly targeted audience of Seattle-ites who want to support local businesses.
Seattle, WA October 18th, 2009 -- Dana Silverman, Owner is pleased to announce the launching of The Seattle Umbrella, LLC as a solid communication and promotion platform for local businesses of all types in Seattle to increase awareness, announce specials, and immediately communicate with customers and supporters of local businesses through the use of social media, blogging, directories, and an online database.
With over 96% of Generation Y using social media for communications, and over 80% of Twitter usage being done on mobile devices, it is very apparent that people want immediate information anywhere, anytime. On the flipside, local businesses everywhere are continually scrambling to gain market share. The challenge is that most local businesses are too small or don't have the employees or time to effectively compete online. As a result traditional small businesses are struggling to keep up communications with their generation Y consumers.
Dana Silverman, Owner of The Seattle Umbrella LLC ...
First of all, we want to thank all of you again for the overwhelming support we have been receiving. We are pleased to announce that we have had our first three businesses sign up and join up for our services. We have also received over 100 fans on facebook, and 100 followers on twitter in just a few short days.
The three businesses that we are proud to be involved with are Tattva's Herbs, Attractology, and Seattle Sound Carpentry.
Please check out the above websites and support all of these businesses as they are great local companies. We are very honored to be involved with such wonderful local businesses and be able to help promote their services. We are going to keep this short and sweet, but just wanted to thank you for your support and remind you to support local businesses in Seattle! ...
Hello again, and thanks again for visiting our site and for your interest in local business. As we move closer to our launch date, we want to remind all of you that we encourage your feedback and ideas. Our business model is simple and that is to promote and support local businesses and Seattle, and to do anything we can to make them (you) more successful. On that note, we encourage you to shoot us your ideas! If you are a local business, or an individual that wants to help Seattle businesses we want to hear from you!
We are thinking of The Seattle Umbrella as a project in the sense that we are experimenting with ideas that we feel will help drive success. On that note, projects are often improved with a pool of ideas, suggestions, etc. Basically, we want to design and tweak The Seattle Umbrella project to the specifications of the people it will effect - Local Businesses!
So far our idea is basic in a sense that we are utulizing the combination of hosting a central site for people to search for businesses in Seattle, as well as using new technology and social media to maximize the exposure of these businesses. However, this is just the beginning and The Seattle Umbrella Project is still in the early stages and has a lot of growing to do. We have some exciting ideas in store, and encourage you to keep checking back, and spread the word!
So please give us your ideas, so that we can all enjoy and expand this unique, beautiful, and amazing city that we live ...
Hello Seattle, and thanks for visiting The Seattle Umbrella! We are a new company focused on promoting and bringing awareness to local businesses in Seattle. We are confident that you will all enjoy the experience of partnering with us as a business, or using us as a tool to find local businesses to support as a consumer.
We have many new and exciting ideas in store, and are genuinely looking forward to meeting all of you and helping your business succeed. Buying local is important for many reasons, and as we are learning we are also gaining encouragement to focus our efforts on promoting local businesses in Seattle.
We are very lucky to live in such a beautiful and diversified city, and we at The Seattle Umbrella are deeply committed to keeping it that way. Local businesses are what gives our city character and we are proud to be in Seattle.
To conclude our first blog post, we again just want to thank all of you for your support and for visiting the site. Be sure to stay tuned for the many exciting things to come and sign up for our Free Local Buying Guide.
Wishing you all the very best Seattle has to offer,
The Seattle Umbrella team ...