Leverage the Power of the Internet for Your Small Business

Getting the word out about your small business can be difficult. A large portion of your initial expenses will be focused on advertising. Smart business owners know that not only do you need to rely on traditional advertising techniques, but you need to leverage the power of the internet in order to maximize the success of your small business.

When preparing your internet marketing plan, it is best to start locally and then expand. For instance, if your business is located in Boston, then you should start with a Boston Internet marketing plan. Some businesses even choose to have two websites. In this case, one site would be a Boston Web Design and the other would be a national or worldwide site. You can also use Boston SEO, or search engine optimization, to bring targeted local traffic. A local site can be similar to a national site, but would have information that would be more beneficial to local residents. Hours of operation and directions on how to arrive at your business are two things that are often included.

One of the biggest advantages of the Internet is moving your small business from simply a local operation to a worldwide presence. Small businesses who promote their companies online can bring in customers from across the country as well as internationally. If you are involved in sales, you can set up your site to be compatible with e-commerce, and actually sell your goods right through the website. Many business owners find a dramatic increase in revenue when they run an internet store in addition to their traditional brick and mortar location.

Setting up a website can also help with customer service. You can provide frequently asked questions, contact numbers, and even a live chat with a customer service representative to make sure your customers have all their needs met.

Finally, having a website legitimizes your business. It takes it from a small operation to one that can handle the needs of international customers. People are more likely to take your business seriously if you can provide them with an online source of information. Not only will using the internet help attract a larger customer base, but it can improve the status of your business locally.

Just because you run a small business does not mean it has to be small time. Using the internet to build up your company is a natural step for the business owner who is serious about success.

A Peek Inside the Tool Box of a Conversion Optimization Master

If driving web traffic in an extremely competitive and crowded cyberspace is not challenging enough, every SEO company now faces the challenge of conversion. It’s no easy feat. With hundreds of websites asking internet visitors to do the same thing, why would they choose to listen to you?

According to experts, 56.8 billion dollars will be spent this year to generate site traffic; however, only 2% to 3% of this will actually convert. On average, businesses invest $92 dollars to lead people to their site. They will only get back $2 for this capital. Talk about paltry ROI.

Given the challenges given above, venturing into conversion optimization services is an intense battlefield and you cannot go to war unprepared. More specifically, you cannot charge into unchartered cyber territories without surveying the landscape. In fact, when it comes to conversion optimization services, one has to recognize and embrace the flimsiness of how online consumers behave and have a mindset for iterative testing in order to determine if the current still works.

Out of all the companies, brands or businesses that subscribe to one form conversion optimization, 76% admitted that they do not have a clear structure on how to approach this field in internet marketing and that 61% perform less than five tests on their tactics per month. New York Times Bestselling Author and conversion expert recommends that at least 20 tests per month should be conducted, citing the example of Amazon.com which rolls out 200 testing activities monthly and getting back 30% of what they spent on their internet marketing.

Tools You Can Use for Conversion Optimization Services

We talked about how conversion is a tough battlefield. Now, it’s time for you and your partner SEO Company to gear up and load up on ammunitions. Here are a few tools you can use to make the most out of your conversion efforts.

CrazyEgg. This tool generates a “mouse heat map” to give you an insight which part of your site or landing page your site visitors are focusing on. It also tells you if they are clicking on not clickable images, something that is not good for conversion. It will also give you data on how user behavior changes depending on varying screen sizes and sources of traffic.

ClickTale. Compared to CrazyEgg, ClickTale gives a more detailed picture of how visitors behave in your site. It shows how far people scroll down and whether they reach the bottom of the page. If you have form fields on your landing pages, it will tell you which ones are not filled in and those that create confusion and hence, prevent conversion. An SEO company will also see which links users pass their mouse over, but for some reason, they don’t click on them.

AttentionWizard. A rule of thumb in conversion optimization services is to minimize distraction as much as possible. Basically, what this tool will do is to predict which elements in your landing page’s design will attract the most attention. If it’s not your key messages or your call to action, then you have to rethink before publishing.

Austin, Texas Goes Green – Environmentally Friendly Initiatives in Austin

Austin, Texas Goes Green:

From Green Hosting to Smart Grid Communities like Pecan Street, Austin Leads The Way Austin, Texas is a progressive community, leading the way in green building and other environmentally friendly initiatives. Businesses and city-wide sponsors lead the way in getting green. The capital of Texas, Austin leads the green revolution with help from Austin Energy, the local power source, the Environmental Defense Fund, the local university and the federal stimulus program, enacted in 2009, that provides loans, grants and other support to aid developers, builders and entrepreneurs go green and stay green through sound design practices that improve the air residents breathe.

Green Tech Meets High Tech For more than 20 years, Austin has fostered leading edge business development with companies like Dell computers and Sematech, a company that serves high tech businesses with innovative manufacturing solutions, so getting green isn’t a short-sighted objective of the community. In fact, green building and operational activity is right at home in the great state of Texas and has been for decades.

The high tech sector has drawn tens of thousands of engineers, innovators, entrepreneurs and other smart energy users to create an incubator for new business – especially high tech businesses that employ green tech to power up profits. Austin’s business community proves that green is not only good for the environment, it’s good for business.

Clean tech depends on local, state and federal policies, subsidies for renewable energy use and government mandates to improve energy efficiency through the use of green building practices and renewable energy resources. Despite the fact that web hosting companies draw huge amounts of power, high tech companies have shrunk their carbon footprints in Austin, crating the perfect combination of high tech and green technologies to expand the commercial base of the city without creating a negative impact on the local environment. With the integration of clean technology into all phases of commercial development, other cities are turning to Austin to provide the road map to business expansion without the negatives associated with commercial use of traditional energy sources.

Pecan Street: The Smart Grid Community Call it an experiment, or a look into our future, the Pecan Street project demonstrates how communities can employ the latest in solar energy, smart home technology, electric vehicles and more efficient use of energy resources to create an innovative community based on the simple principle of “less is more” when it comes to energy consumption.

Located in Austin’s historic Mueller neighborhood, the Pecan Street program involves manufacturers, residential homes and clean energy businesses that focus on improving the quality of life for residents, employees and the entire Austin community.

An example? HelioVolt maintains a 12,000 square foot plant with neat rows or printing machines, chemical vats and ovens powered efficiently with a gleaming array of the latest in solar panel technology. The company is just one example of how the Austin business sector embraces the green building movement – a movement that uses thin solar panels that are more energy efficient than the thick, expensive photo-voltaic panels that were used just a few years back.

HelioVolt’s CEO, Jim Flanary, is a staunch advocate of the latest in solar tech, stating, “If you can do this really cheaply and really quickly, you’ve got a winner. We want to scale up as soon as we can.” The lessons learned from the Pecan Street smart grid program have been applied across the entire business sector of Austin, placing the big city with a small, college town feel, ahead of other green cities like San Francisco, California, Boulder, Colorado and Boston, Massachusetts.

What makes the Pecan Street project even more impressive is that Texas is a part of the “oil patch” – a large region that produces millions of barrels of oil and other traditional fossil fuels, a region that relies on traditional energy resources for revenues, employment and power. Even so, Pecan Street has received financial support from the community’s local energy supplier, community licensing agencies and smart energy advocacy groups at all levels of government.

In fact, Austin is the home of numerous green businesses usually associated with politically liberal towns. However, the Austin, Texas business community has embraced green building practices as part of the city’s innovative, hip culture, making green practices not only smart but tech-savvy, as well.

The Future of the Green Revolution The future of clean tech is evident today – right now – in Austin.

The Austin business community is ideally suited to make maximum use of the next major steps in going green, transforming the way we conduct business and manage metropolitan areas for the benefit of residents and the global environment. Austin is a leader in areas like green web hosting, digital development, smart car tech and other innovations that are good for business and good for the air we breathe.

However, Austin and its business partners still face numerous challenges including a shrinking pool of venture capital, the sometimes overwhelming costs of swapping clean tech for out-moded technologies that depend on fossil fuels, and the politics of oil, natural gas and other traditional energy resources. Budget cuts at the federal, state and city levels have pointed out the need for continued government and business support for the use of clean energy.

HelioVolt’s founder, B.J. Stanbery, a native Texan, makes a strong case for the continued support of governments and venture capitalists in the development of more clean tech energy resources, strongly suggesting that the local economies of cities like Austin will continue to rely on new energy technology to expand within areas like the Pecan Street program.

The manufacturing skills that workers have here [in Austin] are directly transferable to a thin-film solar company like us,” states Mr. Stanbery. “And the business culture is attractive here because people are used to taking risks in the energy space.

The viability of clean tech expanding within the oil patch that surrounds Pecan Street, Dell and the hundreds of other environmentally-conscious businesses that are now part of the fiscal infrastructure of Austin isn’t in doubt. The trend toward green will continue and energy smart developments like Austin’s Pecan Street, proving that clean technology works at work.

Austin continues to lead the way in green tech initiatives and smart business people take notice that clean tech is good for the environment and the bottom line – an investment in the future of our cities and our economy, providing a model for other metropolitan areas to follow.