Yesterday I posted a re-cap of steps small business owners can take to engage in social media. It was half re-cap and half articles/tips I’ve found useful. While I’ve heard positive feedback, I feel that it didn’t quite live up to my promise of free tools & tips for business owners, so I wanted to also provide a 100% pure tools & tips post that will provide the ammo small business owners need to get started.
SEO Tools, Tips, & Articles
The Beginner’s Guide to SEO (SEOmoz) OK, I’ll be the first to admit that this is not a quick-and-easy guide to SEO. However, it is the most thorough, detailed, and effective introduction to search engine optimization that I’ve seen. If you’ve got the time to read it and are motivated to learn SEO, this is a great place to start.
The Ten Commandments of Online Marketing for Small Business (David Mihm) This is a fabulous ten step process small businesses can follow to achieve success online. It covers the basics, yet includes all the necessary details you’ll need to know to get started. As David is an SEO like myself, it’s focused on search, but has quite a bit of information on real world strategies, tips, and marketing insight. It’s a must read!
Small Business SEM (Matt McGee) Matt continually provides great content for small businesses. His focus (though technical at times) always caters to small businesses and their needs. He provides great overviews of Internet Marketing as it pertains to business owners. I’d also like to call out his May round-up of the best search & online marketing posts. It’s a great collection of very useful posts in one place.
SEOmoz Blog This blog might be a bit deeper than most folks might want to go into the waters of SEO, but I’ve always been a fan of reaching beyond ones comfort zone. For those that want to go into the deep end of search, consider SEOmoz the tan, smiling, chisled lifeguard there to make sure you stay safe and get out of the ocean alive. They also have a paid section, but there is HUGE value in the free stuff they offer. Their most valuable blog posts (in my opinion) are their White Board Friday Videos. Definitely check them out!
SEOmoz Free SEO Tools If you can’t tell already, I’m a HUGE fan of SEOmoz. They have a great selection of free and paid tools. For small business owners, there are plenty of free tools to get you started.
SEO Book (Aaron Wall) Aaron has a great blog, collection of videos & tools, as well as insight to the industry. He has a paid level as well as eBooks you can purchase. But like SEOmoz, he has plenty of valuable free information and is a great resource. Like SEOmoz, his blog is a daily read of mine.
Claim Your Local Listing (Mike Blumenthal) It’s absolutely imperative for small businesses to claim their local listing. In this post, Mike explains what a local listing is and how to claim it. He also talks about how this prevents someone else from hijacking your local listing. I have seen this happen in Spokane on several occasions, so don’t think this is just a big city thing.
2009 Local Search Ranking Factors (David Mihm) David has quickly established himself as a leader in the local search arena. His yearly ranking factors study has been the local search reference of choice for the past two years. I was honored to have been asked to be one of the 27 SEO’s worldwide to participate in this years study. Much like the SEOmoz Guide, consider this the deep end of the pool. However, it contains some incredibly detailed local search information for those so inclined to dive right in.
Social Media Tips & Articles
Harness the Power of Twitter for Local Marketing (Chris Silver Smith) This article provides a great roadmap (and more importantly, examples) on how to use Twitter to engage with your prospective customers on a local basis.
Leveraging Social Media for Local SEO (Steve Espinosa) Steve provides a great guide and chart to incorporate your social media sites (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) for greater reach and local SEO power.
13 Things I’ve learned about Blogging (Darren Rowse’s 500th Post) This is a great supplimental guide to our discussion yesterday. Darren goes over many of the things we discussed and provides more details and insight from his experience and rapid rise in the blogosphere.
ROI and Social Media: Focus on Impressions! (Marketing Sherpa) This quick read reinforces the talk yesterday of the difficulty of correlating ROI to social media efforts while calling out the value of doing so.
How to Manage Your Socia Media Profiles (Social Media Rockstar) This quick guide is a reinforcement of Bethany’s advice from yesterday and will help make your online social life much easier to manage.
11 Ways to Lose Friends & Followers Online (Social Media Rockstar) I really like this post. It points out failings that we have all seen online. I have unfolled many people making these mistakes. It’s a must read!
27 Twitter Applications Your Small Business Can Use Today (Small Business CEO) A great list of useful Twitter tools. Again, Bethany mentioned several of these yesterday, but this list is quite helpful. They don’t include a few I like (Tweetdeck, Twitpic, etc.) but it’s still a good list.
Well, I think that is plenty to get you started. Please let me know if there are other tools, tips, or articles you’ve found useful. Happy to include those as well. Cheers!