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New Client Announcement: CDC Small Business Finance

Steelsmith Group is happy to announce yet another new customer, CDC Small Business Finance. They specialize in loaning to small businesses as an economic development lender.

For CDC Small Business Finance, we’re consulting with them to help them integrate Google Apps for Business. They decided to switch from Outlook to Gmail, so we’re training them on how to use everything from Gmail itself to the Google Calendar and, of course, Google Drive.

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New Client Announcement: Versa Cardio

We would like to officially welcome Versa Cardio into the Steelsmith Group family. Versa Cardio is a leading provider of cardiac monitoring and telemetry services. They send physicians and Healthcare facilities everything they need for cardiac testing, including equipment, supplies and reimbursement instructions.

We’re setting Versa Cardio up with Zoho CRM and Google Apps for Business, which integrate perfectly together. We’re also conducting one-on-one, intensive training for their sales staff on how to most efficiently use both the CRM and Google Apps.

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Why Your Business Needs a Google+ Page & How to Optimize It

Google+ is commonly overlooked by small business owners, but it’s actually vital for your search engine (specifically Google) rankings. At Steelsmith Group, one of the first things that we do for our clients is ensure that they have an optimized Google+ business page.  

5 reasons why you and your business need Google+ pages:

  1. When people search on Google, businesses with Google+ Local pages have higher page ranks than companies that don’t.

  2. Having a Google+ page ensures that your business appears on Google Maps and that the listed information is accurate.

  3. Google+ is a great way to connect with other people in the industry and present yourself as an industry leader.

  4. Have you ever Googled something and seen someone’s picture next to an article?

That’s called Google authorship, which you can set up once you create your own personal Google+ account (by linking your Google+ account to your business’ website). Learn how to set up Google authorship here.

      5.  Google Places officially no longer exists, so if you’re still relying on that listing, you need

           to switch it over to (or combine it with) a Google+ Local page.

      ** Check out these two separate studies from SearchMetrics and Netmark for more evidence as to how a Google+ page can boost your business growth.

 

7 tips on how to optimize your Google+ page:

  1. Fill out as much information as possible. In addition to your business name, location, phone number, and email address, you should fill out your business hours, business category, business description.

  2. Add pictures, including your company’s logo. Make sure that you have a profile picture as well as a banner photo. Videos are great too.

  3. Use an actual address for your location rather than a P.O. Box or UPS store.

  4. Actually post on your Google+ page to make your business appear as an industry influencer and build your company’s online authority with +1’s and user reviews.

  5. To further increase your company’s online authority, join industry-related Google+ communities and +1 other industry leaders.

  6. Make sure the website you put on Google+ is verified as your company’s official Google+ page.                                                                                         

  7. Add a link to your Google+ on your website. Learn how here.

 

We hope that these tips are helpful. Follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page for more small business internet marketing tips.

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New Client Announcement: Meissner Jacquét!

We would like to officially welcome Meissner Jacquét into the Steelsmith Group family.

For Meissner Jacquét, a company offering expert investment management services, our team has set up, customized, and integrated Microsoft Dynamics CRM online for their sales and marketing team. In addition, we are ongoing customization, training and development to provide them with a streamlined system that will serve them for years to come. Everyone at Steelsmith Group is truly excited to begin this ongoing relationship with Meissner Jacquét.

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The Fundamentals of Internet Marketing

It’s more important than ever to market your business online, as consumers usually turn to the internet to find and purchase services and products. In this post, we’ll break down the basics of internet marketing for small businesses likes yours.

The first step of internet marketing is competitive analysis. Learn your industry. Learn what your competitors are doing. Pay attention to who’s beating you in on search engine rankings. What are they doing differently? In the rest of this article, we’ll explain what you need to look out for.

Make sure you have an awesome website design that’s not only easy to navigate, but that’s also engaging with its content and images, specifically infographics. Look at how your competitors’ sites are set up.

Today’s consumers are using mobile devices on a regular basis, and on top of that, Google has recently begun to penalize website’s search rankings if they aren’t mobile friendly. That’s why it’s extremely important to make sure that your website is designed to work on both smartphones and tablets as well as internet browsers.

Landing pages are one of the most important parts of your website. Landing pages are pages that people go directly to via a search engine result, sponsored ad or other advertising. Your landing pages are where traffic converts into sales.

Your landing pages need to be specific to what you do, informative (but not overly so), and have obvious calls to action, whether it’s a contact form or your business’ phone number with text saying, “Call Today.” Look at your highest competitors’ landing pages to see how they’re set up.

You’ll also need a great “Contact Us” page that’s linked to from every other page of your site. Ensure that your contact page contains your phone number, address, business hours, a contact form, and a Google map. In addition to an optimized “Contact Us” page, it’s important to have your phone number and address at the bottom of each webpage on your site.

Good content is vital to having a good website with high search engine rankings and a high conversion rate.

The most important part of your content is that it must include natural keywords. What’s a keyword? A word or phrase that people enter on search engines to find what they’re looking for. You need to do keyword research. Don’t worry, there are plenty of tools on the internet for you to use, such as Google Adwords’ Keywords Planner and the Bing Keyword Research tool. Your keywords should be specific to what your company does, the services/products that you offer, and where you are located. Take a look at what words your top competitors are using to rank higher than you, and see how you can individualize keywords to be specific to your niche.

Your company’s keywords are going to be the foundation of your SEO (search engine optimization) efforts. To learn more about SEO, check out our last blog post, The Essential Small Business Guide to SEO.

The next step of internet marketing is blogging. You need to first make sure that your website has a blog, where your readers can subscribe to your posts as well as share them to various social media sites. Blogging creates original content for your company, and it allows you to update your website consistently, which together improve your site’s search engine rankings as well as your reputation.

One of the best ways to promote your website and blog is through social media marketing. Find out which social media platforms your potential customers use most. Establish a social presence online and connect with potential customers like never before.

Online business directories are yet another fundamental to internet marketing. Make sure that all of your company’s listings are up-to-date, correct, and complete. This can be a time consuming task, but the difference it makes in your search engine rankings is well worth it.

Lastly, do not forget to use analytics and tracking tools. There are many free tools out there, such as Google Analytics and Bing Webmaster Tools. They are vital to tracking your success and seeing how effective your internet marketing tactics are.

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A New Website, Google Apps for Business, Zoho CRM, and Email Marketing

Our Work With Speyer Meridian

Steelsmith Group is pleased to announce the launch of another revamped and redesigned website, this time for Speyer Meridian, a company offering tax credits to commercial and government small business owners. Our team also set up and trained Speyer Meridian’s staff on Zoho CRM as well as Google Apps for Business and MailChimp.

Our development team has just finished designing and launching a brand new website for Speyer Meridian. This included new original images and infographics, as well as fresh and compelling content. An enhanced logo and tagline were part of the re-branding efforts as well. To create a more engaging user experience, features were added throughout the site, such as a contact form and a search bar, to enhance site navigation and streamline the ability to connect with Speyer Meridian to lead to better conversions.

The layout/grid is purposely simple to give a light and airy feel. The new photo images are more authentic to Speyer Meridian’s client base and industries served. The added infographics and images were designed to increase the understanding of services offered by Speyer Meridian.

We set up Google Apps for Business for Speyer Meridian, creating a company-branded email for them through Gmail. We migrated the company’s email accounts over to Gmail, set up a calendar for them, and set them up with Google Drive. Google Drive is also Steelsmith Group’s choice for file management and collaboration. It makes it super helpful to share documents as well as have multiple people collaborate on the same documents, and we never lose important information.

In addition, Speyer Meridian wanted a simple, easy-to-use CRM for their sales team to use for managing current clients. Together, we decided that Zoho CRM would be the best solution, especially because it integrates seamlessly on the Google Apps platform. Now, when a lead is submitted on Speyer Meridian’s new website, it goes automatically into Zoho. Speyer Meridian uses Microsoft Outlook, which also integrates with Zoho CRM. So now when anyone at Speyer Meridian sends out an email from Microsoft Outlook, the email is automatically stored within the CRM, making it easy to track communication with clients.

Likewise, we set up MailChimp email marketing for Speyer Meridian, as this platform also easily integrates with Google Apps for Business. This means that when logged into their Gmail account, Speyer Meridian’s staff can gain direct access to Zoho CRM and MailChimp. We also designed various email templates for Speyer Meridian to use for different email marketing campaigns. The company’s newsletter re-design was part of the new digital marketing platform, it included both image and content changes for better communication and conversion.

We’re really excited about the work we’ve done for Speyer Meridian, and we would like to officially welcome them to the Steelsmith Group family!