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Igniting Business Blog

Check out our comprehensive blog where we cover the important Web Design, IT, and Marketing topics which impact small businesses like yours.  

Video Marketing Part 1: Humanize Your Small Business through Video

video marketing 1 humanizing you small business

Small businesses can be at a disadvantage when it comes to video marketing. You don't necessarily have the immediate brand recognition of a behemoth brand like Walmart, and you clearly don't have the marketing budget of a quality car-brand like Cadillac. But small businesses have their own unique strengths when it comes to reaching out to potential customers. Here's how to leverage those strengths with powerful video content:

Tell your creation story

People like getting a glance into a company's culture, and one of the best ways to do this is through a well-told story about how your business started. Small business startup stories typically include all the elements of being the underdog and taking inspirational risk that people love to hear about.  If you combine that with how your products or services uniquely help individuals like your viewers and proof that you respect both your customers and your small band of employees, you already have the makings of a great video. Plus, audiences typically engage better with video much more than text, so filming a short video about how your business got started is a great way to present that information.

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BONUS Google Analytics Part 4: Use Behavior Flow to Compare Your Expectations to Traffic Patterns

google analytics 4 behavior flow charts

Over the past several weeks, we have written a three-part series on better understanding and analyzing your Google Analytics data.  Today, we’re wrapping up that series with a bonus fourth part (surprise!) focused on comparing your expectations to actual results.

 

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Top 5 SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Trends to Consider This Year

top 5 seo trends

Successful business owners know the power of staying abreast of search engine optimization (SEO) trends. Falling behind means losing rankings and potential customers.  These are five SEO trends to consider as we enter the latter half of 2017.

 

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Google Analytics Analysis Part 3: See from Where Your Most Useful Traffic is Coming

google analytics analysis 3

Your small business online presence takes a bit of experimentation. You never know quite where the most valuable customers will come from, what campaigns will spike the best, and even which landing page designs direct the most sales. But using Google Analytics effectively takes out much of the guesswork by monitoring your click rates.  This data can show you where traffic comes from and where it goes once it reaches you.

 

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Hacks on Remote Desktop Apps: What They Are and How Businesses Can Protect Themselves

code on computer screen

By providing the necessary tools that empower remote employees to communicate and work with each other, remote desktop apps equalize the playing field of modern business by enabling any business to tap into an enormous, global talent pool.  However, with benefits come risks, and many remote desktop apps possess documented and ongoing vulnerabilities that make them susceptible to hackers. By keeping software up-to-date, using proper, high-quality security credentials, and monitoring security concerns, businesses can enjoy the benefits of remote desktop solutions and mitigate the security risks they pose as well.

How are Remote Desktop Apps Exploited?

Typically, malicious actors use IP scanners to locate machines on a network, connect with target machines, and apply brute force methods to break through password protections.  Another common methodology is where malware is accidently downloaded on a local machine opening up keystroke logging which is then mined for remote desktop credentials.  These are only two examples of the many ways to gain access to remote machines, but as a result, hackers gain access to a number of targeted computers. Once a hacker has access to your device, there are many exploit varieties they can perform.  Most commonly, hackers usually steal information and /or inject crypto malware that holds user data for ransom.

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Google Analytics Analysis Part 2: Dive Deep Into Your Geographical Data

map of earth lights at night

Having a website means you can do business with virtually anyone. But having a site with Google Analytics means you can know from where your business and potential interest is originating. Knowing location details can help you either target your business more for a specific geographical region, or take note to spread your business's appeal to other cities, states and countries.

Does your site offer physical services? Make sure your traffic is local, or at least within your reach. Do you offer physical goods? Know which areas would be profitable for some city-specific customizations and bonuses. Does your business offer purely online services? Even so, knowing where your customers call home can help you relate to them and better address their needs.

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Featured Client: Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture (CCUA) & Their Build This Town Campaign

CCUA logo
Billy Polansky
Build This Town logo
Farmer's Market image render
Introducing CCUA and the Campaign

Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture works to enhance our community’s health by connecting people to agriculture and the land through hands-on learning opportunities from seed to plate. Their 1.3-acre Urban Farm grows thousands of pounds of fresh food for local food pantries and educates thousands of children and adults every year. Founded in 2009, CCUA believes cooking and gardening skills have been slowly lost over the last couple of generations, and they want to ensure individuals still have the opportunity to learn them and use it to feed their families.  CCUA helps people grow and cook food at their homes, at local schools, and other community sites.  Billy Polansky serves as Executive Director of CCUA, leading the day-to-day operations.

At Igniting Business, we have had the pleasure to serve CCUA in their IT needs.  According to Billy, “We tried having our own IT staff and it was difficult. It is a completely different skillset and I could not provide those staff with the support they needed to be successful. Outsourcing our IT needs to Igniting Business was a good move for a small organization like ours.”

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Google Analytics Analysis Part 1: Read Your Google Analytics Data By Date

line graph on tablet

In June, we discussed how to effectively leverage Google Analytics for your website.  Due to the sheer volume and robustness of data provided by Google Analytics, small business owners can often get lost amongst the data and reports.  Today, we launch a three-part series that dives further into how to best use, read, and analyze your Google Analytics data.

Is your business cyclical? Does it spike on certain months of the year instead of maintaining steady growth or traffic? Most businesses see patterns in their traffic. Your business's activity depends on everything from the time of the year to upcoming holidays and breaks in school attendance to even events on local and national news.  A slight decrease in traffic doesn't necessarily mean bad news -- it just means a trend is developing. Identifying trends is vital to the success of your online marketing initiatives.  To clearly view your business's progress and how it's growing in more than a month-by-month analysis, Google Analytics can give you breakdowns of your website's activity over time, no matter how to want to measure it.

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Google's Keyword Planner: Everything You Need to Know

googles keyword planner checklist

When writing website copy or content for your business, keywords are a huge factor for SEO. The right keywords rank you higher on Google's search results, so achieving this requires the right tools and resources. One such tool is Google's Keyword Planner, which has features such as searching for new keywords, seeing how they work with current marketing trends, and multiplying keyword lists together to generate fresh keywords. Here are some tips on how to properly use Google’s Keyword Planner.

You do need a Google AdWords account to use the Keyword Planner. Once your AdWords account is created, click on Tools and then Keyword Planner to get started.

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Benjamin Liu Transitions to Marketing and Web Specialist

Benjamin Liu headshot

We are excited to announce that Benjamin Liu transitioned roles at Igniting Business to our Marketing and Web Specialist. He will be located in our Lee’s Summit office.

Benjamin will work with clients in the greater Kansas City and Columbia areas, working particularly with online marketing, advertising and branding, and social media. He will also hold a role on our Web team, continuing to offer high-quality service on websites in design and implementation.

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