Preparing for Small Business Saturday

Nov. 13, 2018: With the holiday shopping season fast approaching, local retailers are getting ready for one of their biggest days of the year: Small Business Saturday.

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3 Minutes With: Peter Monteleone, City Manager, East Palestine

Preparing for Small Business Saturday

Wentling Builds One-of-a-Kind Guitars

Robintek Webinar Educates to Supercharge Websites

Thought Leaders: Kathy Prasad Part 1

3 Minutes With: Peter Monteleone, City Manager, East Palestine

Peter Monteleone discusses two projects the village is working on to improve the water and wastewater facilities in East Palestine.

Preparing for Small Business Saturday

With the holiday shopping season fast approaching, local retailers are getting ready for one of their biggest days of the year: Small Business Saturday.

Wentling Builds One-of-a-Kind Guitars

Out of his basement in Farrell, Pa., Ed Wentling, owner of Bayou Blues Guitars, spends 20 hours a day making guitars from unusual items.

Robintek Webinar Educates to Supercharge Websites

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Creating a fresh and effective website does not have to be difficult or cost a lot of money, said Joe Jorgenson during the “5 Ways to Supercharge Your Website” webinar hosted by The Business Journal on Nov. 1.

There are just a few vital things about websites to remember and Jorgenson, president of Robintek in Worthington, covered all of the bases during the webinar. He stressed the importance of a content review, which addresses the most important areas of a website to improve, including keywords, density and conversions, as well as competitive review, testimonials and product or service promotions.

When conducting a content review of a website, Jorgenson said to make a list of keywords and phrases that you want to be number one on Google searches. Keep the phrases specific so they’ll have a good chance of coming up high on the Google search results page, or SERP. If the keywords and phrases are too general, your website will get lost in the shuffle with sites that use the same terms, he said.

Read through your website’s content and make sure that the words on the list are present in as many places as possible, he said.. If they are not very present, consider writing something new such as a blog post, case study, or new services page to include those words or phrases. However, take care not to saturate a webpage with the keywords. This process, known as “keyword stuffing,” can actually lower your website’s rating. Additionally, he said to ensure customers’ questions are answered effectively and use common terms.

“Make sure that you simplify the phrases you use and make sure you are addressing the ways that the customer might phrase the product,” Jorgenson said. “The more we have access to a wealth of information on which keywords are leading people to your website, how are they interacting with them. If you’re using a program like Google Analytics, you can go in and evaluate that data.”

Review your local competition as well as industry leaders from across the country, he advised. List brokers like InfoUSA.com can provide more detailed statistics such as annual revenue, number of employees and other information that the competitors website won’t provide, he said.

Jorgenson said it’s important to compare your company’s website to your competitors. What are they giving emphasis to? What content pages do they have that you don’t? Do they have packages or offers that you could offer? Answer these questions and make a list on how your website can be improved, he said. Monitor their social media channels as well to see how often they post and what they are talking about, he said.

Testimonials can be a challenge, Jorgenson said, and the best way to request feedback from your clients is through the use of BirdEye, ReviewBuzz, or Review Trackers. Four or five star reviews are usually posted directly to Google, Yelp, or Facebook. Anything less will be sent directly to a user’s email inbox with the option to post.

Jorgenson recommends going through a website page by page to identify areas that could display an advertisement for services or specials. Some spaces that could be of use include blank space below a left menu or extra room underneath the copy on a page, he said. Once ads are created for the website they can be posted on social media.

Overall, keep it simple and fast, Jorgenson said.

“I encourage an approach we call ‘shallow but deep,’ ” he said. “This means keeping your homepage and menu simple with a few links. And make sure you have calls to action, contact forms and your phone number display on every page of your site.”

Other ways to keep it simple and fast are to ensure that pages load quickly and that users can move through your website and engage at a moment’s notice. Newsletter sign ups, short contact forms on side bars, phone numbers displayed in the header and live chat options are great places to start, said Jorgenson.

You can watch the webinar in its entirety above.

Thought Leaders: Kathy Prasad Part 1

In part one of this week’s Thought Leaders, Woodlands Health Care owner Kathy Prasad shows us the pictures from her recent adventure – challenging herself at something most of us wouldn’t do at any age!

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Thought Leaders

Thought Leaders: Kathy Prasad Part 1

In part one of this week’s Thought Leaders, Woodlands Health Care owner Kathy Prasad shows us the pictures from her recent adventure – challenging herself at something most of us wouldn’t do at any age!