Spotlight: ReachLocal Lets You Find Customers Near You


Marketing a local business is not necessarily the same as marketing a nationwide or online business. But that doesn’t mean that online tools like social media and search marketing aren’t necessary.

ReachLocal knows the power that these online marketing tools can have for local businesses. The company’s director of content marketing, Tiffany Monhollon, recently shared a winning marketing tip in the Brother Marketing eBook contest, saying:

“A thoughtful, modern color story will go a long way in helping your marketing collateral feel fresh, appealing, and interesting. You want your marketing collateral to feel related to your brand, but you can branch out and add in a color or two that doesn’t appear in your logo to liven things up. Search for inspiration online on sites like Pinterest, and find color palettes that include complementary tones to your logo and brand identity. For example, you can search for a specific color on to see what other colors might complement it.”

Read more about ReachLocal and the impact that it can have on local businesses in the Small Business Spotlight below.

What the Business Does

Helps local businesses reach local customers through online marketing methods.

The company’s range of services is constantly evolving to include all of the tactics available to assist local businesses in reaching this goal. Monhollon says:

“ReachLocal essentially helps local businesses get more customers through online marketing. We do that using a variety of different solutions, including digital advertising — like search advertising, display advertising, and in-app advertising — making sure they have mobile responsive websites, managing their web presence on social media, and providing software that helps them capture more leads and convert them into customers.”


Business Niche

Providing both technology and service.

Monhollon explains:

“One thing that sets ReachLocal apart is that we have built technology specifically to help local businesses, plus, we back that up with expert service and data to drive better performance. Some pure agencies only offer service. They don’t necessarily have all the data and technology that we do to help them find proven marketing methods and measure the success of their marketing efforts in terms of the bottom line. And others focus on metrics but don’t necessarily focus on the actual performance of small businesses. Some will offer just technology but not help you use it or understand what’s working, while we’re dedicated to providing software with service.”

How the Business Got Started

As a search engine advertising company.

The company was founded in 2004. And at that time, it was focused mainly on search engine advertising. Many of the marketing firms that were focused on search advertising at the time were mainly working on campaigns for large, nationwide brands. Monhollon says:

“It was all about helping local businesses reach customers that were actually local. Instead of just attracting customers who might be anywhere looking for a certain type of appliance, you could target people who were looking for that appliance in your immediate area.”

Biggest Win

Delivering leads to clients every day.

Monhollon explains:

“Every day, to know that we are driving actual results and bring more customers to our clients, that’s a real win. That’s why we come here and do what we do every day.”


Business Motto

Get involved with local communities.

Monhollon explains:

“ReachLocal has offices in many of the local communities where we do business. So each local office gets involved in their community. During the holidays our offices like to choose a local charity of their choice and take part in different charitable events throughout the year. We’re not just one big marketing agency. We’re actually in your community too.”

* * * * *

Find out more about the Small Biz Spotlight program.

Images: ReachLocal Video stills

This article, “Spotlight: ReachLocal Lets You Find Customers Near You” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Elizabeth Gore of Dell, Empowering Entrepreneurs Around the World

elizabeth gore dell empowering entrepreneurs

Dell Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) Elizabeth Gore recently spoke with Small Business Trends in an exclusive interview about what Dell has in the works for small business entrepreneurs, as well as what the company has planned for Small Business Week.

Global information technology giant Dell appointed an entrepreneur-in-residence to extend its reach among global customers and to advocate for global entrepreneur programs and policies, the company recently announced.

Gore joined Dell in February to drive and support Dell initiatives to help small and medium-sized businesses “scale and prosper, fueling the expansion of global entrepreneurship, thereby creating jobs that will drive the world economy.”

She told Small Business Trends in an interview:

“Entrepreneurs are the foundation for innovation, economic growth and job creation. We work to empower entrepreneurs around the world by providing them with the tools, technology and resources they need to be successful. For today’s entrepreneurs to grow and the world economy to benefit, global leaders, policy makers and the public and private sectors must create a better global climate in which high-potential entrepreneurs everywhere can thrive.”

Dell’s advocacy efforts, she noted, center on increasing the access small businesses have to four key “pillars,” technology, markets, capital and talent.

“Technology is dramatically cutting down the costs to start a business, and businesses can’t scale without it, so we view technology as the great equalizer that will drive innovation and spur job creation,” Gore said.

But Gore says its also important to clear away some of the obstacles facing small businesses.

For example, eight out of 10 small businesses fail within their first 18 months.

Starting a new business today “is an uphill climb — and regulatory issues are often cited as one of the main reasons,” Gore explains.

She says Dell is also pushing for conditions around the world that result in a better climate for entrepreneurship.

“Dell works with its customers, suppliers and employees to promote United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 8, which calls for the support of entrepreneurs by promoting sustained, inclusive economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.”

During National Small Business Week, Gore noted, Dell has been partnering with Northside Media to host a series of Small Business Innovation Meet-ups. Events have already taken place in Miami (May 4) and New York (May 5) with another set for Chicago (May 7).

The series has been featuring discussions led by top entrepreneurs from each city exploring business owners’ needs at the local level.

Technology has been a centerpiece of the discussions, Gore said. “The right technologies can serve as a secret weapon for success and growth.”


This article, “Elizabeth Gore of Dell, Empowering Entrepreneurs Around the World” was first published on Small Business Trends

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5 Retail Myths and Realities You Should be Aware of

retail myths

Is your retail store suffering from your belief in common retail myths? InReality’s first “Reality of Retail Report” debunks some common beliefs about the state of brick-and-mortar retail. Here’s a closer look at fact versus fiction.

Retail Myths Versus Reality

Customers do all Their Shopping Online

Most people shop online now, don’t they?


Yes, online shopping is growing but a whopping 94 percent of retail purchases still take place in brick-and-mortar stores.

Customers do all Their Preliminary Research Online

Okay, shoppers do go to stores but they do all their preliminary research online — right?


The majority (53 percent) of shoppers surveyed prefer to research products in-store. Among the youngest (18 to 24) age group, the preference is even higher, at 57 percent. Only the 50-to-65 age group does more of their research in-store (60 percent prefer this way).

The study surmises that younger and older shoppers typically have fewer time commitments (like demanding jobs or young children), so they’re more open to leisurely browsing. Shoppers 25 to 49, however, want to get in and out of stores quickly.

In-Store Mobile Price Comparisons Means Cheaper Options Sought

Shoppers using mobile devices in-store are doing price comparisons so they can find it cheaper elsewhere, correct?


Okay, that’s not exactly a myth. Looking up prices is the No. 1 use of mobile devices in-store. However, consumers also use mobile devices for looking at their shopping lists, taking and sharing product photos, and accessing coupons and discounts.

In other words, they also take actions likely to lead to buying something in-store. The report recommends making sure your store has good WiFi so shoppers on mobile don’t get frustrated.

Traditional Marketing is Dead

Traditional retail marketing doesn’t matter anymore. It’s all about your online presence, isn’t it?


Yes, online marketing is vital — but so are traditional methods. Overall, the most important factor in a purchasing decision is promotions/discounts (cited by 81 percent of respondents).

However, 56 percent say packaging is important to their decisions, 54 percent say advertising is, 53 percent cite product demonstrations, and 50 percent say in-store displays affect their decisions to buy.

Staff Makes or Breaks the Sale

Your salespeople are the most important factor in making the sale, aren’t they?


Maybe that’s how it should be but, in fact, only 12 percent of shoppers say the in-store salesperson is an important touch point in a purchase decision. It seems salespeople are falling short.

Think about the last time you went to buy something and dealt with a salesperson who knew less about the product than you did. (For me, it was yesterday.) Frustrating, right?

The traditional role of the salesperson is becoming obsolete, the report says, because shoppers can get their own product information. Instead, think about what kind of information your customers can’t get on their own, or how your salespeople can provide consultation to help move the purchasing decision forward.


Think about:

  • How you can meet the needs of both those who like to browse and shoppers who are in a rush,
  • How you can incorporate mobile tools in your store to help customers buy,
  • What type of information you could provide shoppers in-store to help them buy, and
  • What more your sales associates should be doing and how they could provide additional assistance to encourage the sale.

Are you catering to retail myths or realities?

Crosswalk Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “5 Retail Myths and Realities You Should be Aware of” was first published on Small Business Trends

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This is the Modern American Family – The Business of Life (Episode 2)

Watch “How the US Workforce is Changing (Episode 1)” – The idea of the American family has changed dramatically over the past few decades: Young Americans are marrying later, finding marriage and parenthood to be less central concerns. But what does the structure of the modern American family mean for us, and how much is it costing us? To unpack the issue, we’ve enlisted author Ty Tashiro, New York Magazine’s Maureen O’Connor, and Mona Chalabi of FiveThirtyEight. Introducing a new kind of talk show from VICE News. “The Business of Life” is a fresh perspective on the most important issues of our time, as told through the facts, figures, dollars, and cents that shape our world. Hosted by journalist Michael C. Moynihan, each episode brings together an eclectic panel of writers, thinkers, policy experts, and scholars to break down everything you need to make sense of the most complicated topics of our time. All content is the sole property of VICE News. Materials presented are for informational purposes only and do not necessarily reflect the views or endorsement of Bank of America. Bank of America, VICE and/or their partners assume no liability for loss or damage resulting from anyone’s reliance on the information provided. Subscribe to VICE News here: Check out VICE News for more: Follow VICE News here: Facebook: Twitter: Tumblr: Instagram: More videos from the VICE network:
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GoDaddy Pro Officially Launches Aimed at Web Managers

godaddy tempe

When you’re just starting out as a Web developer and site maintenance freelancer, it may not be a bother to manage your client list.

Especially if it’s just one or two clients.

But when that list grows to five, then 10, then more the management of all those accounts for all those clients gets harder and harder.

That’s where GoDaddy hopes its new GoDaddy Pro services can help. (The service was first launched last year in beta. The company says after thousands gave feedback, the service is now ready for its official launch.)

In fact, making the jobs of Web pros easier was the driving force behind these new GoDaddy Pro offerings.

GoDaddy Pro is available free to any GoDaddy customer. It does require users to sign up for the services. It was launched late last year but this is the first formal unveiling of services for it.

In an interview with Small Business Trends, ahead of today’s product launch, Jeff King, senior vice president and general manager of hosting at GoDaddy, said, “More than half of small businesses get someone to do the work for them. These professionals have an enormous influence. They have very specific needs and pain points.”

So what are the “pain points” that GoDaddy is addressing with this new offering?

The first, and probably foremost, is security. King suggests that a long of these Web pros are storing their clients’ sensitive information – including login credentials and credit card info – in what they perceive to be a private spreadsheet or some other type of file.

GoDaddy Pro’s new services address that, specifically. So, for Web managers with multiple clients, all it takes is a one-time creation of a login “client card” and there’s no need to store any of that information anywhere.

Web managers can even manage purchases related to their clients’ sites through the GoDaddy Pro platform. And King told us that those Web pros who’ve been hired to manage another company’s site needn’t even be aware of their clients’ financial information to make those purchases.

GoDaddy Pro’s new services also include shared shopping carts, that allows users to send their clients pre-filled shopping carts that can ease the checkout process.

The new services also include site monitoring for performance and uptime. And GoDaddy is linking all its GoDaddy Pro users with a special line to get ’round-the-clock technical support. And if anything were to go wrong with any of a Web pro’s client sites, the professional, not the business owner gets a notification of a problem.

King said, “The intent is to make these pros look more successful. The more heroes we can make out of these freelancers, the more we’ll be able to attract these professionals to our platform.

godaddy pro

In addition to the launch of GoDaddy Pro, the company also unveiled its first WordPress Managed Hosting service.

There are four subscription tiers available with GoDaddy’s Managed WordPress Hosting service.

At the top is the Developer Plan, which is available for $15 per month. This allows users to host up to five WordPress sites through GoDaddy and includes a host (pardon the pun) of add-on services that Web pros can offer their clients.

The less expensive Ultimate plan for Managed WordPress Hosting includes services like malware detection removal from Sitelock, as well as SSL to keep it secure and safe from hackers, GoDaddy notes in a press release.

A basic Managed WordPress Hosting account through GoDaddy starts at $4 per month.

King says that both of GoDaddy’s new offerings are catering to those professionals who manage a client list of websites for other companines.

These tools, he says, allows them to look more professional and make the tedious parts of their job less so.

Images: GoDaddy

This article, “GoDaddy Pro Officially Launches Aimed at Web Managers” was first published on Small Business Trends

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14 Tips for a Successful Web Conference

VOIP conference

Business operations are increasingly being performed via online meetings.

Equipment is at once getting both easier to use, with seamless integrations, and more sophisticated and powerful in features. Even people in transit can pull over to a rest stop or find a quiet place and participate in an online conference from the convenience of their smartphone.

Business Web conferencing solutions are inexpensive, often ranging from $20 per month up to $40 per month for a feature-rich service package. As per a table provided by, a Web communication advisor, most business VoIP telephone providers will even offer Web conferencing solutions as an add-on for a monthly fee ranging from $5 per month to $15 per month.

Web conferencing can be a revelation — or a big waste of time for some organizations if not implemented properly. The technological wonders will be worthless if Web-based meetings are disorganized, too long, too short, meander or in other ways are inefficient and ineffectual. In other words, the attributes of a good meeting held when everyone is in the same conference room must be maintained, as well as possible, in a Web conference format.

SyberWorks’ Mary Polley-Berte offered an exhaustive list of Web conferencing tips. Here are some of her suggestions to help make your web conferences a success:

  • Be very careful in the production of PowerPoint slides. They must be compelling and on-point.
  • Have a “go-to” person who is the central focus when organizing the meeting.
  • Let attendees know what will be tackled during the meeting.
  • Rehearse and test the presentation before the meeting.
  • In general, make sure that everybody involved in running the Web conference is familiar with the technology that will be used.

Some of Polley-Berte’s subsequent suggestions — there are 23 more — are very useful. The bottom line is that the Web conferencing technology is still in its early stages, but the keys to using it largely and effectively are based on old-fashioned common sense.

CIO’s Esther Schindler covers some of the same ground as Polley-Berte. But her unique spin and insight make her thoughts another worthwhile read.

Schindler suggests that sending information ahead of a teleconference is more important than doing so for an in-house meeting. Ground rules are important because of the nature of Web teleconferences. She adds that tight control is a must. People attending Web conferences are liable to all the distractions of a home office or Starbucks. Thus, mental discipline is hugely important.

It also is important to not fall prey to the “out of sight, out of mind” syndrome. In hybrid meetings — in which most people are in one location but significant numbers attend remotely — there is a tendency to forget about those not in the room. A structured approach to the proceedings is an important step in preventing this.

Humbolt State University, in an unbylined piece, looks at Web conferencing from the week before, during and day after vantage points. There are multiple suggestions for each time period. Here are the top ones from each:

  • Before: Anticipate likely participant questions and prepare answers; provide an agenda and create a clear understanding of the goal of the conference.
  • During a dry run: Use the computers that will be used during the event to ensure that they have the proper software and are working correctly; include all speakers and moderators in the dry run so everybody knows what is to be done.
  • The day of the session: Use a detailed agenda; begin the online session 30 minutes before the event.
  • During the session: Inviting participants to introduce themselves via chat serves the dual purpose of familiarizing them with the technology and keeping them engaged; run through the agenda and do a sound check.
  • After the session: Review any recording as a way to improve in any and all aspects of running a Web conference; post a link to the recording from which participants and others can benefit.

Dr. Tony Karrer at eLearning Technologies also offered a list of steps that will increase the odds of holding a successful Web conference. The article isn’t new, but it has advice that still is very relevant. Some of Karrer’s important insights:

  • Don’t plan on ad hoc participation from participants. Design them in. If folks volunteer input, consider it a bonus.
  • If it is a long or multipoint session, design in breaks.
  • If the Web conference spans time zones — especially internationally — schedule very carefully.
  • Encourage folks who will present on related topics or during the same panel to communicate with each other before the event.

Web conferencing offer tremendous advantages. At the same time, they are preparation-intensive. Many of the things that happen naturally in a premises-based meeting, such as impromptu conversations during coffee break and the ability for folks to read the verbal cues of speakers, are wholly or largely absent. Making up for this is difficult, but not impossible.

VOIP Conference Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “14 Tips for a Successful Web Conference” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Are Facebook Ads Getting More Popular with Small Businesses?

facebook ads

Google has long been the dominant advertiser of choice for many small businesses — in part because that’s all we’ve had. But over the years as more and more eyeballs have consumed more and more content on more and more platforms, there’s a lot more options.

One of these options is Facebook. They reported that they have about 2 million advertisers and most of them are small business owners.

Yep, I’m one of those two million advertisers who have clicked the “boost post” button and then spent even more to get more engagement with this or that post.

What’s nice about Facebook is that it makes it VERY easy to spend money to advertise. With one click “boost post” you can start to advertise. If you want to do more, you can do that as well — targeting specific users, testing different advertisements and more.

The NY Times writes, “Getting more advertisers onto its platform is critical for Facebook as it tries to increase global share. Facebook’s fourth-quarter revenue grew 49 percent to $3.85 billion from the same period a year ago, with mobile accounting for 69 percent of advertising revenue. Google is the worldwide leader in digital advertising market share, at 31.1 percent, according to estimates from research firm eMarketer. But Google’s slice has shrunk slightly, down from 33.6 percent in 2013. Facebook, on the other hand, increased its share to 7.8 percent in 2014 from 5.8 percent in 2013, according to eMarketer.”

Facebook Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Are Facebook Ads Getting More Popular with Small Businesses?” was first published on Small Business Trends

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