How to stand out in the busy world of online retail business

by Guest

It’s a necessary, but daunting task. A small business has a loyal following, but it needs to launch into the online world in order to stay competitive. So, where to start?

Standing out in the busy world of online retail business can be a challenge, but following a few tips along the way can make a big difference.

Social and traditional media

Assuming that a solid website is already in place, the key to making a small business stand out online is attracting visitors to it. One of the easiest ways of doing that is through social media.

Most customers of a small business have a Facebook or Twitter account, which is an obvious first place to start. Use Facebook to invite customers and potential customers to like the small business’ page and interact with those people through posting photos and leaving comments.

Social media is important, but don’t forget about traditional media. That means building upon existing relationships with local journalists and bloggers and working to develop new relationships. To get a prominent news website or blog link to a small business’ website can increase traffic drastically.

What should be on a small business’ webpage?

Simply put, a small business needs compelling and engaging content.

According to Xero’s small business guide on this topic, “Don’t compare yourself to others. What you are doing is what sets you apart from the bunch.”

If a small business owner isn’t passionate about his or her business, there’s a good chance the content will be bland. Passion pushes creativity and the small business owner to think outside the box.

When planning content for a business’ website, it could be a good idea to hire a copywriter for the project — someone who has an expertise in crafting the passion and mission statement of a small business.

Content is great, conversion is better and customer service is required

Search engine optimization (SEO) is great, compelling content is greater, but if a website isn’t set up to get customers to hit the “submit purchase” button, it’s worthless.

Today’s consumers use smartphones and tablets to access content online, so it’s important to have a website that’s mobile-friendly.

Research the best content management systems (CMS) to ensure it lines up with the type of site the small business needs. For instance, a small business that sells products versus one that offers a service will need a specific CMS to enhance the customer’s experience.

Not all small business websites are perfect, so in the case a customer is upset over an experience on the site, it’s critical for the small business owner to respond to those concerns and right any wrongs. Criticism leads to a better website and solid customer service leads to returning customers.


Holidays on a Budget – East Coast

by Guest

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Even if your career and budget are in great order, life won’t be as fun as it could be without a trip away from the home and office every now and then. Budget-conscious folks frequently set aside money for the purpose of getaways. The problem comes when they blow it all on trips that are just too expensive. If you live on the East Coast, or plan to visit this side of the county in the near future, there are plenty of ways to have fun and relax without breaking the bank. For you game theorists and card sharks out there, Caesars Casino Games NJ may be an option for saving up and spending a vacation budget in one fell swoop. For the rest of us, options like these will be the best choice:

1) Treehouse Camping. Sometimes the beaten paths and tourist traps don’t provide the most memorable experiences. Camping is a great, inexpensive activity to spend with a significant other or with your whole family. The east coast provides a lot of scenic locales: mountains, beaches, countrysides, farms, and……forests! Treehouse camping is cheaper than staying in a hotel, but more expensive than regular pup-tent camping. A variety of locations around the world offer this unforgettable lodging option. A treehouse camping trip can easily be romantic for couples or adventurous for families with little kids. Whatever your situation, this is a new and different trip that won’t put you into debt.

2) Wine Country. For the travelers looking for lovely scenery, peaceful drives, and a glass of Cab at the end, the East Coast’s wine country stacks up to the famous hills of California. Virginia and Pennsylvania have surprisingly gorgeous wine country. Chart a tour for yourself of some of the greatest farms producing excellent wine off the radar. Tours are reasonably priced and the views are second to none. This is a great way to enjoy the country and a loved one’s company away from the typical tourist vistas.

3) The Beach!. In order to save money, you’ve got to do a little homework here. Though wonderful, places like Myrtle Beach should not be your destination of choice. Look for less densely-packed beaches all along the east coast, like Oak Island, Duck, and East Hampton. Look for hotels where you can bid for rooms. You’ll often be able to reserve a room for well less than the asking price. Or do the same for a cheap rental house, as near the water as you can find. Oftentimes, you can save a bundle by just being will to walk an extra 50 yards to and from the beach. Finally, bring your own groceries to cook meals with your companions. While eating out is fun (and part of the beach experience, if you ask me), you can save hundreds by cooking two of your three daily meals at your rental place. Then just sit back and enjoy the sun, the breeze, and the water.

Some of the best vacation options can be truly exotic without being exclusive. With a little creativity, you can find affordable holiday destinations that you and yours will enjoy just as much as a trip to a foreign land. If you are traveling along the east coast this summer, these are only a few of the many things this area has to offer. Spend some time looking around. You may be surprised at what you can find for your next vacation.

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