Is Your Website Mobile-Friendly?

by Giselle Aguiar, AZ Social Media Wiz

Mobile device usage is going up!If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you have till April 21st to get it that way!

On April 21st, the Google search engine is changing their algorithm yet again. If a website is not mobile friendly, that is it looks good and can be navigated easily on a SmartPhone or a tablet, it will lose Search Engine Results Page (SERP) rankings!

Yes! Your website will be demoted in Google search!

Is your website mobile-friendly? How do you know? Click here to test your site.

If it’s not, you have a few choices.

Responsive Web design for mobile

  • If you have a WordPress site, switch to a “Responsive” theme (there are many free ones) or the WordPress plugin, JetPack that has a mobile enhancing feature. JetPack is free and the quickest fix.
  • Contact your web designer to have them do an update.
  • If you need a new site, contact the folks at GoDaddy and they can help you. (GoDaddy is a SCORE Strategic Partner and sponsor of SCORE’s newsletter.)

Why such a major change?

Here are some stats from eMarketer:

Millennials Mobile Usage
Hispanic Mobile Usage

Future Mobile Penetration

Not convinced yet? Click here to read more mobile related data articles on eMarketer. Here is some more information on Mobile SEO from Google and a blog post on Google’s blog.

SCORE is planning seminars and more articles on mobile marketing. Stay tuned!

Related Articles:

About the Author:

Giselle Aguiar, AZ Social Media WizGiselle Aguiar, founder of AZ Social Media Wiz is a social media, inbound and content marketing strategist & trainer helping business owners learn how to leverage the power of social media marketing, increase traffic to their websites, generate leads, increase brand awareness and establish themselves as experts in their fields. As with anything in business, using the right tools in the right way and at the right time are critical parts to your success. Learn from someone who’s known the Internet since it’s infancy. Official Social Media, Newsletter and Blog Manager for Greater Phoenix SCORE and Adjunct Faculty at Phoenix College. Social media training – 1-on-1 or for groups. http://azsocialmediawiz.com 602-738-1700. You can connect with Giselle online at LinkedIn or on Google+.

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Judy Fishman – Publishing Entrepreneur Extraordinaire – A SCORE Success Story

By George Obst, Certified SCORE Mentor

Judy Fishman - Publishing Entrepreneur ExtraordinaireWhen I ran into Judy Fishman at the 2nd annual Greater Phoenix SCORE Symposium in March, it became clear there was an inspirational success story that needed to be told.

Judy Fishman got a great start in her publishing business and SCORE was there to help. A graduate of Queens College with a major in English, Judy entered the publishing industry as a trainee in advertising production. There, she volunteered to write the company’s newsletter and that provided her with the writing sample she needed to apply for a position in the editorial department of another publishing company.

LMT Magazine Five years later, Judy, an entrepreneur at heart, had a yen to create her own publishing business and saw an opportunity to do so within the dental field. With a second mortgage for financing, she began working on the first issue of a magazine for the dental laboratory industry – LMT .

SCORE was there for her when she needed help on the business side of this adventure. A SCORE mentor, in Norwalk, CT. met at her home office to advise her about setting up a payroll, establishing and tracking a five-year plan, and finding trusted sources for service providers such as insurance and accounting. And that was over 30 years ago.

Competition was tough as she competed with five other dental magazines aimed at her target market but, with enthusiasm, conviction, and perseverance, Judy’s magazine became the leader in the field with a 70% market share of allocated advertising dollars. A major reason for her success was the fact that she surveyed her readership and asked for continuous feedback from customers and then initiated changes based on this information. Having customers communicate their opinions are key to creating an intimate customer experience.

Another significant factor contributing to success was her creation of a unique selling proposition. Judy created an industry trade show with educational programs sponsored by the dental companies that advertised in the magazine. She started in one central location and then spread to two other key regions in the country. No other national laboratory publication brought advertisers to the table to meet face to face with their dental laboratory owner/technician-customers.

Judy commented, “Our shows create a more intimate connection between us and the industry suppliers/manufacturers as well as with our readers. We are more than ‘just another magazine,’ and are known for our efforts to satisfy the needs of our community.”

Judy attributes her success to her 16-person staff, empowered to produce quality results. She believes in treating her staff the way she would like to be treated, and staff members have responded in a totally committed way to ensure unity of purpose and exceptional results.

History tells the story best. Three of the competitors that Judy confronted at the start of the magazine have long since closed. She continues to own the dominant market share and has become one of the highest-ranking women executives in the dental industry.

January 2015 was an epic month, setting a record in ad revenue. Congratulations Judy and staff.

The success continues.

SCORE, with over 70 certified mentors in the greater Phoenix area, helps entrepreneurs succeed who are either starting a business or leading a small business. SCORE mentors listen intently, and then, at no cost to the client, bring objective plan development and problem solving in constructive and productive one on one sessions. This may take just one meeting or as many meetings as the entrepreneur feels are helpful and necessary. And remember, as a resource partner of the US Small Business Administration, there is never a fee to the client. If business financing is needed, SCORE mentors will advise on the necessary steps that will increase the client’s chances of securing outside financing.

Schedule an appointment with a SCORE mentor today at a convenient location. Click here to jump-start your success.

George Obst, Certified SCORE MentorGeorge Obst is a Certified SCORE mentor with more than 30 years experience profitably managing and growing businesses, including start-ups, purchasing, financing and selling businesses.

 

 

 

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SCORE Small Business Symposium: Observations from an Interested Party

by Rod Houston,  SCORE

Attendees of the Phoenix SCORE 2015 Small Business Symposium 3/31/15

Attendees of the Phoenix SCORE 2015 Small Business Symposium 3/31/15

This event seemed more alive than just about any other event of its kind I have attended. Here are some observations that made me think that way:

  • As I went around the exhibits, I noticed that attendees were engaged at every exhibitor table with animated conversation.
  • Peopled were very interested in what Representative Sinema and Secretary of State Reagan had to say. There was applause every time they would say how important the small business community was to the state, and what they were doing to make it easier for small businesses to do business in the state.
  • People were very engaged with the speakers. When there was a little time for Q&A, it seemed like we could have gone on all day with Q&A on each topic.
  • The business round table I participated in had nonstop questions and answers coming from the audience. Not only did the moderators have comments, but the audience also shared their wisdom. The collective knowledge shared in the room was exceptional.

All this made the symposium live, and people seemed to take away a lot of useful information from a lot of different sources and ways of getting it. Let’s do it again next year.

Here’s a video slideshow of speakers, exhibitors, attendees and the hard-working volunteers that made the symposium a success:

See yourself here? Click here to grab the pictures! Feel free to use them and share, but please tag SCORE: @scorephx #SCOREPhxExpo  – thanks!

About the Author:

Rod Houston, SCORE mentorRod has been a SCORE Mentor since 2004. During his extensive 40 year career, Rod held various executive positions in Sales and marketing at General Electric Industrial Automation and Power Generation units and other energy and environmental companies. Rod has mentored more than 400 small businesses and 100 nonprofits as a member of SCORE and the Executive Service Corps. He has been a board member of seven Not for Profit organizations.

 

 

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Don’t Design like it’s 1999 – 4 Website Design Choices that make Viewers Cringe

By Erik Wong, GoDaddy

4 website design choices that make viewers cringeWebsites are like snowflakes: no two are ever quite the same. They’re often a reflection of the designer’s creativity, the utility of the site itself, or an example of a current trend in design communities. If you’re a small business looking to make an impression with your customer base online, it’d be in your best interest to pay attention to those design factors to ensure that said impression be a damn fine one.

You see, as varied as our preferences are, there are a handful of design choices many people find almost universally poor in taste. As your partner in your online presence, GoDaddy does not want you to be “That Guy” — you know, the one with the outdated or obnoxious website packed with blinking headlines, rainbow hues, bedazzled backgrounds and cluttered copy.

So when designing your site, here are four major content mistakes to avoid at all costs:

Flashy or color changing text  

Yes, it's attention-getting, but really?

Hang on, my satellite phone is ringing … 1999 called and it wants its site designs back. But seriously, while still useful for things like Craigslist ads, flashing or color-changing text is one of the most obnoxious and stubborn holdovers to web designs from the past. A well-designed site with good content doesn’t need to rely on gimmicks to draw your attention to key areas.

Like the old adage goes, saying the wrong thing louder doesn’t make it right.

Hard to find or out-of-place information

Don’t hide menus or button in the clutter of your pages, and be sure to include all relevant information in plain sight, including prices, menus, service areas, and so on. If you run a physical business, display your hours and location(s) clearly in an obvious place on your site. You would think this goes without saying, but you’d be surprised how many sites overlook this kind of stuff.

Poorly-created videos

Having videos on your site is a terrific idea. It keeps your customers engaged and gives you dynamic content to break up monotony. We know you aren’t Michael Bay, though, and we forgive you for that. Your video doesn’t have to be extravagant and it shouldn’t even cost you anything to create. While I’ve covered things to avoid when making a video for your site already, I feel it’s important to touch on just a few of the major no-no’s before the camera rolls:

  • Don’t wing it, have a script and a controlled environment.
  • Use a tripod or stand to keep the camera stable to prevent the shaky-cam look.
  • Speak clearly and concisely; avoid muttering, heavy breathing, and filler words (“Umm,” “like,” and “you know”).

And if you do have videos or audio on your site, DO NOT set it to auto play once the page loads. I may be an extreme example, but the last time I went to a website that had an auto play video, I threw my speakers in the garbage out of spite. Now I can’t hear anything…

Busy, busy backgrounds!

A common misconception about website backgrounds is that they’re just another place to display information or set the stage for your site. The reality is video, .gif, or slideshow backgrounds only distract from the actual content on the page. Think of it like the walls of your house. You don’t need LIVING ROOM painted in big red letters to tell your guests the room they’re in. The sofa, TV and coffee table convey that information just as well.

You want your background, like the walls of your house, to accent the content of the site and frame the major areas of information, not to distract from them

While this is by no means a comprehensive list, as long as we have covered the basic Do’s and Don’t Evers you should have a solid foundation to build a truly kick-ass website that you can be proud of. If you have any friends who still follow the old design tropes, show them your modern makeover or recommend a visit to GoDaddy for help. Remember: friends don’t let friends design obliviously.

About the Author

Eirk WongErik Wong is a small business/tech consultant for GoDaddy and a freelance pop-culture writer. He has written a regular column for a current events blog, and his commentary has been featured on realclearpolitics.com. Connect with Erik on Google+. The world’s largest domain name registrar and Web hosting provider, GoDaddy gives small business owners the tools to name their idea, build a beautiful online presence, attract customers and manage their business. To get more tips for your small business—including articles, videos and webinars—check out the GoDaddy Training Hub.

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Symposium Re-Cap Photo Gallery

The Greater Phoenix SCORE 2015 Small Business Symposium was a huge success! We had over 900 attendees registered, 50+ exhibitors and an excellent line-up of speakers. All the presentations were recorded and we’ll have the videos soon. Here are some of the shots from the event.

These were our speakers:

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There was a whole lot of mentoring going on!

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Here are some of the exhibitors!

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We couldn’t have done it without over 40 of our hard-working SCORE mentors & volunteers! These are just a few of them:

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And it wouldn’t have been a success without all the great attendees! Thank you all for coming! Here are just a few shots:

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And as always, a special thanks to our Sponsors!

And thanks to Grand Canyon University for hosting! Awesome venue!

If you didn’t get a chance to have a free 1:1 mentoring session, click here to schedule one.

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Video: Lori Greiner – Queen of Shark Tank

Shark Tank’s Lori Greiner had no business experience when she started.Lori Greiner book Invent It, Sell It, Bank It!

  • She’s marketed over 450 products
  • Holds 120 patents
  • Grossed over $500 Billion in sales

She’s the perfect example of how anyone with a bit of gumption and a good idea or product, can start from a prototype and be successful.

“No Idea is Too Small”

“You have made the most money out of the stupidest things!” ~Daymond John

Lori Greiner App - Hero or ZeroHow Lori judges if it’s a “Hero or a Zero”:

  • Is the product something that the consumer needs and wants?
  • Does it have broad mass appeal?
  • Who’s running it?

Most of the time…

“I go with my gut.”

Lori created a free app to help you judge if you’ve got a “hero or a zero”. It’s available at the Apple and Android app stores.

Do you have a product or idea? A SCORE mentor can help you judge if it’s a “hero or a zero” – that’s called feasibility.

Click here to schedule a free mentoring session with a SCORE mentor. We’ve got them all over the Phoenix Valley!

 

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10 Quick Tips for Email Marketing that gets Results

By Voight Thornton for GoDaddy

10 quick tips for email marketing that gets results While it can be challenging to generate buzz about your business in today’s ultra-competitive online landscape, email marketing offers an opportunity for your company to stand out from the competition and attract potential customers, investors and business partners. Here are 10 quick tips to create email marketing campaigns that pop!

  1. Keep it catchy.

There is a direct correlation between your ability to write great copy and the success of your email marketing campaign. So a headline that grabs attention, invokes curiosity, and gets your viewer to keep reading is extremely powerful.

For example: If your keyword phrase is “how to jump higher,” create a headline that includes that phrase and will get viewers excited to learn more: “How to Jump Higher in 48 Hours”

Adding a time element to the headline is a great way to differentiate yourself and get readers’ attention.

  1. Keep it short.

People are busy, and their inboxes get bombarded with email. Hone in on one or two key points to make your emails easily digestible. Edit with rigor! Challenge yourself to cut your text and keep your message concise and clear.

  1. Repurpose content.

Who has time to create 100-percent unique emails every time? If you’ve got a wealth of great copy — on your website, in your social channels, etc. — leverage it for your email marketing campaigns. Be creative to repurpose content from other mediums. Develop once, use 10 times!

  1. Develop a natural voice.

Email marketing isn’t a mechanical process, and you aren’t a robot. Consider your emails as one more tool for communicating with your customers or readers — a tool that enables you to reach a wider audience in a natural way. To learn more about writing with a strong voice, see “Audience, language and other things that make us go woot!

  1. Include a compelling call to action.

Think about the main action you want email readers to take. Call for an appointment? Check out your new video? Remind readers of an important deadline, or repeat what they stand to lose if they don’t take up your offer. Express your call to action in a strong, active way, like this: “Call today to save 30%!”

  1. Be consistent.

Setting expectations and living up to them is a sure way to build your email recipients’ trust. Clearly state that your email marketing is a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly mailer — and stick to your schedule. Such consistency can build a strong presence and serve as a powerful way to position yourself as an authority in your industry.

  1. Insert links.

Boosting engagement with your brand — including driving email readers to your website and social media platforms to learn more — is a key goal of email marketing. So you need to include relevant links in your email. Embedding links to verifiable sources such as your business’s Facebook page or YouTube channel will increase  your chances of people clicking the link and engaging with more of your company’s content.

  1. Analyze what works (and what doesn’t).

Most email marketing programs offer advanced tools and targeting options to boost engagement from your customer and prospects. Take the time to analyze what is and is not working for your email campaigns, and make necessary adjustments.

  1. Experiment.

Be a maverick and try something new! Never included video in your email campaigns? Now is a great time to start. Test contests and email exclusive promos. Dare to be different with your brand; you’ll be surprised by what does and does not work!

  1. Make it easy to opt in or out.

Opt-in is when someone actually gives you permission to add them to your email list; opt-out is when you assume that it’s OK for you to send them email unless they tell you to stop. Make sure these functions are readily available in your marketing posts to ensure your permission campaigns are within email compliance. For best practices regarding email distribution lists, check out this post.

 

About the Author:

Voight ThorntonVoight Thornton, author of 10 Ways Every Business Owner Can Boost Their Visibility by Using YouTube, is an expert in using video for business marketing. His work has been featured in numerous publications. Voight also serves as a small business consultant for GoDaddy and CEO of 6mic Films Production company in Scottsdale, Ariz. Connect with Voight on Google+.

 

 

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Business Success Advice from Shark Tank’s Robert Herjavec

Robert Herjavec - the Will to WinShark Tank’s Robert Herjavec didn’t start out in business to buy a Ferrari! He “just wanted to be great at something.”

In this video from Fast Company, Robert’s advice is simple and it works!

“The purpose of business is to create a customer.”

  • You have to create value
  • Leave emotion out of it
  • Listening is important
  • Love what you do and keep going

The number one quality he looks for in an entrepreneur is being passionate about one thing.

Be great at that one thing!

Get advice from lots of experts who are good at their one thing at…

Greater Phoenix SCORE 2015 Small Business Symposium

Internet, Social Media Marketing & Much More!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm
Grand Canyon University Arena
3330 W Camelback Rd., Phoenix

Check out the Speaker Line-up!

FREE Admission and Lunch for Attendees!
Registration Required
Register Free for the Symposium

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Getting Social Amplification

Social AmplificationJust having profiles set up on the main social media networks and occasionally posting is not enough. You’re not using social media to its full potential and that’s…

Social Amplification!

That doesn’t mean going viral! Going viral is social amplification on steroids – and it’s usually a fluke. Like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge – no way did the ALS folks plan for it to go viral. It just did.

However, getting social amplification takes a bit of strategic and tactical planning. Here’s how it works:

If you have 100 followers and one of them has 1000 followers, and that person shares one of your posts or tweets with their followers, you have a Reach of 1000 people. That means your post has the Potential to be seen by 1000 people!

The goal is to get your followers to share your posts and tweets with their friends. It’s not enough just to “like” a post. They have to share it! Though liking helps with popularity, sharing gives you that extra social amplification.

How do you get it? Ask for it.

  • Add at the end of a tweet: please RT, pls RT, or pls retweet.
  • On Twitter, thank people for retweeting: TY 4 the RT! or Thx 4 the mention!
  • Same thing at the end of a post on Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn: Please share, Pls spread the word!
  • Make advocates out of friends, happy customers and strategic partners
  • Give to get – if you share and retweet other people’s posts, they’ll respond in kind
  • Post good, quality content. You won’t get social amplification if you’re just posting stuff about you! Share other peoples’ relevant content

Only 1 out of 15 posts should be a direct sales pitch!

I’m one of the speakers at the upcoming…

Greater Phoenix SCORE 2015 Small Business Symposium

Internet, Social Media Marketing & Much More!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm

In keeping with the Spring Training theme, I’ll be telling attendees how to create “Your Social Media Marketing Game Plan for Success” – it’s free to attend and you get lunch, too! But you have to register!

Click here to sign up!

 

About the Author:

Giselle Aguiar, AZ Social Media WizGiselle Aguiar, founder of AZ Social Media Wiz is a social media, inbound and content marketing strategist & trainer helping business owners learn how to leverage the power of social media marketing, increase traffic to their websites, generate leads, increase brand awareness and establish themselves as experts in their fields. As with anything in business, using the right tools in the right way and at the right time are critical parts to your success. Learn from someone who’s known the Internet since it’s infancy. Official Social Media, Newsletter and Blog Manager for Greater Phoenix SCORE and Adjunct Faculty at Phoenix College. Social media training – 1-on-1 or for groups. http://azsocialmediawiz.com 602-738-1700. You can connect with Giselle online at LinkedIn or on Google+.

 

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Report: What #Nonprofits Want from Content Marketing

Content Marketing Goals for NonProfitsWhat are your NPO’s main goals?

  1. Fundraising?
  2. Building awareness?
  3. Recruiting volunteers?
  4. Acquiring clients?
  5. Retaining clients?
  6. Advocacy?
  7. Promoting events?

According to a poll from Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and Blackbaud, Nonprofits use content marketing, but not to raise money!

Fundraising used to be the number one goal, but it fell to 5th place behind brand awareness, engagement, client retention and acquisition.

The main content marketing tactic in 2013 and 2014 was, you guessed it, social media!

ALS Bucket ChallengeThe ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a perfect example of the power and virility of social media.

…the Ice Bucket Challenge was a uniquely video-orientated phenomenon that swept across the world this summer in just a matter of days, and dominated the social feeds of hundreds of millions of Internet users. ~ReelSEO

It garnered over 1.3 billion views and raised over $100 million. The keyword in the above quote is “phenomenon”. If you think you can replicate that for your nonprofit, good luck. Something going that viral, that fast is a fluke.

Marketing tacticts used by NPOsNo matter what your NPO’s main goals are, using content and social media marketing are powerful and relatively free tools. Learning how to properly and effectively use them is crucial. Otherwise, you can spend a lot of time going around in circles and not accomplishing your goals.

Are you wondering ….

  • How often should we blog?
  • How often should we post to Facebook or Twitter?
  • Do we have to be on Google+?
  • What about LinkedIn? That’s a target market we’d like to reach. How can we use it better?
  • What can we automate?
  • Do we have to be on all the networks?
  • How do we use videos like ALS did?
  • How do we get the attention of a celebrity?
  • What’s the right way to promote events?

Register Now!Get answers to these questions and more at Greater Phoenix SCORE’s seminar:
Social Media for Nonprofit Organizations, March 11, 2015, 1 – 3:30 pm.

Presented by Giselle Aguiar, AZ Social Media Wiz, who’s been doing Internet marketing since 1995 and has served on boards of many different non-profit organizations.

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