3 Simple Ways to Boost Online Sales For Small Businesses

There was a time when people used to visit various physical stores for shopping. This was especially true during various festivals. However, those days have become history. These days, people are more inclined towards online shopping. Due to a high demand, more and more online shopping sites are coming up almost every other day.

boost online sales

Although this is a good way to boost sales, it can pose a major threat for small scale business owners. Do you also have your own online shopping site? There are probably numerous buyers for the type of goods you sell online. Similarly, there are many sellers of similar goods on the internet. How to attract more customers to your shopping website, is a big challenge.

Tips To Boost Your Online Sales

There is no hard and fast rule to divert more customers to your online shopping site. However, there are 3 simple yet effective tips to boost your sales over time. These tips have been discussed below for your knowledge.

  1. Advertise Properly: One of the key ways to boost sales is to advertise properly and efficiently. Just in case you are struggling to boost your online sales, chances are that you are not advertising properly or not advertising at all. When it comes to advertising for your online shopping website or any specific product, there are several avenues open for you. You can advertise via various social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter. A social media presence of your goods will help your brand get more followers. You may also post videos of your product on YouTube or other online video websites. People usually prefer to shop from a visible person and not from an invisible company. Coming up with blogs and SEO content on the internet will also help you boost sales.
  2. Promo Codes: Unlike popular beliefs, promotional codes are quite different than online discounts. Such codes help a lot in attracting new customers to your online shopping site. Promo codes are generally entered just before customers make online payments and can be advertised on various websites and on your own shopping site. Usually, it is seen that promo codes act as an incentive for customers to complete online sales.
  3. Provide Various Payment Options: When it comes to paying for online purchases, customers usually prefer to have multiple options to make a payment. It is also seen that a higher number of payment options will enable your online store to have a greater reach. Options like eCheck, Debit or Credit Card, Cryptocurrency or Bitcoin, and Digital Wallets are usually preferred by a majority of online buyers.

These 3 tips have helped many small scale businessmen boost their online sales margins. However, if you think that following these tips will boost your sales overnight, then you are highly mistaken. You need to be sincere and continue with these tips every day. With time, you will certainly see a boost in your sales and you overall profit margin. Gradually you can also increase your area of business.

Is Live Music Going to Bring in Customers?

If you own a bar or restaurant, chances are good you have considered having live music as a way to line the seats with paying customers.  In this short post, we will discuss why or why not live tunes is a good idea.

Live Music

The first step in determining whether or not your restaurant or bar should bring in live music is to simply take a look around at what your competition is doing.  Not all restaurants are the same type of business, so it really is a case by case basis.

If you have a burger shack that sells pints of beer and you have a loose crowd, bringing in live music would probably be a great way to create a busy night.

Determining whether or not you want to go down that road really is done by knowing the pulse/vibe of your crowds and customers.  If you are unsure, you could always ask regulars what their opinion is on bringing live music to the establishment.

Benefits of Having Live Music

Bringing in a band to play some tunes at your restaurant can definitely have some great perks.  Some being:

  • Bring in customers that follow the band – Some of these people may have never even heard of your place or been there, so bringing in a band gives your restaurant indirect exposure to a group of people following something else.  Provide a great experience, and they might even come back for more!
  • Liven up the atmosphere – You know what happens when a good band is playing at a restaurant or bar?  People have fun!!  Who knows, maybe there will be some dancing.  One thing is for sure, a good band that compliments your establishment can liven up the crowd for sure, which could lead to a lot of open wallets!

There are many other benefits that can come when you get the right bands in.

I recently had a chance to sit down and talk with a restaurant owner that knows a thing or two about live music in Dubuque, Galena, and the entire tri-state area.  He has had some great luck bringing in bands, like Danny Parker, that help him create busy nights when they might have otherwise been slow.

Using social sites like Facebook and Twitter to your advantage are really helping him spread the word about his live music calendar, and he thinks that having live music is the main reason his business is flourishing, well aside from the great atmosphere and food!

In today’s landscape, things are more competitive than ever.  Marketing your restaurant is not as easy as it used to be.  You need to provide a great experience for your customers, and be active on social media to let the world know that your place kicks ass.

If you have a good band or performer coming in, let the world know via Facebook, and don’t be afraid to use boosted posts and targeted ads to get the word out.  If done right, you can get a ton of eyeballs on your posts for a very low cost.  Click here for a great little read on using boosted posts and ads to help spread the word.

Closing Thoughts

Thanks for reaching out and checking out this post.  Take the plunge, and go find yourself a live band or performer to play at your place.  The worst that can happen is it doesn’t work out, then you either move on from the idea or try again for a better experience.

I will leave you with a clip from a show I was lucky enough to attend from a few year back, enjoy!

The Basics of Search Engine Optimization For Restaurant Owners

When it comes to search engine optimization or SEO, there are a lot of variables to consider.  It can become overwhelming.  Where do you start?

Well, you start at the beginning.  And the beginning of SEO is establishing your brand online.

Online Branding

Go to Google and do a search for your company name, this is your brand.  What do you see when in the search results?  Do you completely blanket the first page of search results for your brand?  It should look like this:

Determined Solutions SEO

When you search for your brand name, you should completely cover the search results in Google.  This is called owning your digital brand.  If you perform a search for your brand name and there are other companies or websites or YouTube videos that pop-up, then you have some work to do.  For search engines to know who you are and to trust you, you must establish your brand online.

This is step one.

Ok, so how do you do this?  You can start by creating hundreds of social profiles.  Yes, I said hundreds.  Did you know there are hundreds of social networks out there?  To find out all the different social profiles you can build visit Knowem.com.

TAG your BESTIES🙋🏽🙋🏼🙋🏾🙋🏽‍♂️ on this Ninja #InstgramStories Tip – show exclusive content so people want to keep coming back to your rainbow 🌈 avatar My top tips for recording videos & staying focus for a launch – 🐶💕24/7 – ✔️Teach Everything You know ✔️Good 🎙 – ✔️💦 ✔️2 Computers – ✔️Postit ✔️🍋💦 ✔️Lotion ✔️Kick Ass View 🌇 Oh and if you like my teaching style you will love my free training series – link in bio 📲 takes you there 💕🐝 #ReadySetGram #RSGCommunity :: #theinstagramexpert * * * * #prelaunch #workfromanywhere #worklifebalance #instagramtips #instgramtip #teacheverythingyouknow #postit #millenniumtower #every7post @joelcomm we can talk about this on your live broadcast

A post shared by INSTAGRAM MARKETING w/ #Sue🐝 (@theinstagramexpert) on

When you go to Knowem, just enter your brand and Knowem will return all the available digital properties.  Then you go and create hundreds of these properties.  It’s a lot of work but it is worth it.  This is what it takes to build your business online.

On Page Factors

Now let’s discuss what you can do to your website to make it easier for search engines to understand what you are all about.

First of all, write the content on your website for humans and customers, not for search engines.  What do I mean?  Don’t stuff your content with a bunch of keywords.  Instead, provide useful information that someone looking for your goods or services would find helpful, then you can go back and optimize for search engines.

For example, if you are a plumber in Dallas, don’t go and fill the content of your homepage with variations of the phrase “Dallas Plumber.”  Instead, give useful information about plumbing problems and fixes.  Then you can go back and sprinkle in keywords about “plumbing” and “plumbers in Dallas.”

Again, the key is to write your content for humans, then go back and optimize for search engines.

Next, you want to give your pages proper titles and tags.  This is a bit complex for a beginner.  Don’t worry though.  Google made a very easy to understand step by step guide that explains this idea that you can read here.

Other important first steps for SEO are to connect to Google Analytics and Google Search Console.  Google is the biggest player in an internet search.  They get over 60 percent of all internet searches.  Google is where all the traffic is so it’s critical to see what Google thinks of your website.

While it is not super difficult to connect to Google Analytics and Google Search Console, it is a bit complicated.  You can do a search and probably find a YouTube or Vimeo video that can walk you through the process.  Or, if you don’t feel comfortable performing these critical tasks yourself, you may want to consider hiring an SEO agency to do this for you.

The Basics

These are the absolute beginner first steps to getting your business found online.

At the beginning, we talked about off-page factors that you can do to get found online.  It starts with creating a bunch of social profiles.

Next, we talked about on-page factors.  Write useful content for your audience, the customers that might purchase your goods or services.  Then go back and optimize that content for your keywords.

Finally, you’ll want to connect your website to Google Analytics and Google Search Console.

New Google Analytics homepage

These are just the first step you must take to get the attention of search engines.  You can do all this work yourself if you are willing to put in a lot of time and effort into understanding how SEO works.  Or you may want to hire and expert that can provide quality SEO services, so you can focus on your strengths and grow your business.

No matter how you approach SEO, if you do it yourself or hire an expert, search engine optimization is critical for business websites that want to attract more customers and revenue.

Thanks for checking out this post.  We hope you found value in it.  Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Tips For Marketing Your Restaurant From a Multi-Million Dollar Marketer

We recently had a chance to have a conversation with one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs and search engine optimization specialist, and the things he shared with us regarding marketing our restaurant for max exposure was truly mind blowing.  In this short post, we will recap some of the things we discussed, and share some tips for other business owners to take away so they too, can help land their business on page 1!

When we had the chance to talk with Kotton Grammer, of Kotton Grammer Internet Media, we had no idea of how informational it would be.  We knew of his success in his industry, but were unsure of what he would share with us.

Kotton gave us a fool proof plan, one that would all but guarantee we move our website and our maps listing to the top of the organic search result, while doing so in a way that would make Google love our site.

The very first thing Kotton shared with us was the importance of dominating our own brand.  If we cannot rank when someone searches our business, we have no business ranking for anything else.  So how do you do that?

Ranking for your brand is a tedious process, which is why a lot of people choose to hire an SEO to take it on.  The process involves acquiring as many of the 2 following links:

  1. Citations – Citations are links from directory style sites, like Yelp, Manta, YP, HotFrog, CitySearch,and many others.  He advised us to get 50-100 citations from the best sites, and to MAKE SURE our information is correct across all sites.  Consistency is key here.
  2. Social Profiles – The top 4 socials you must have are Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.  Linkedin is another top social profile to have, and you really should include it in your list.  To see a full list of websites you can build a social profile on visit a site like Knowem.com and check it out.  You can hire them to do it or try to do it yourself.  Use YOUR BUSINESS NAME (BRAND) and your username.  Kotton recommends getting at least 200-300 of these.

After completing these 2 tasks, Kotton all but guarantees you will rank #1 if you search for your brand/company name.  This is step 1, because it establishes your brand and builds trust and credibility to your website.

Once you show up #1 for your own brand you can move on to the next phase, which would be ranking for searches that will bring new customers into your restaurant.  For example, if you are a steakhouse in Memphis, you would want your website to show up when someone searches best Memphis steakhouse, or some variation of that.  How is that accomplished?

Ranking for keywords like this will be a lot more difficult than ranking for your brand.  Off page SEO is a complicated process, and is something that is changing all of the time.  Google rolls out new algorithms very frequently, and it is always best to follow their guidelines and best practices.

Backlinks will be the determining factor for ranking for competitive search phrases, and not all back links are created equal.  If you link to your website from shady websites, it can pass on bad ju ju to your own site, and potentially get it penalized.

It’s for this reason Kotton suggests hiring a qualified person or company to take this on so you can keep your website in the good graces of the almighty Google.

The information Kotton shared with us opened up our eyes.  We never had any idea of just how much went into creating a strong presence online, and truth be told it is all a little bit overwhelming!

After scouring the web, I was amazed at all of the Kotton Grammer testimonial videos I found, like the one below.  This guy is a true legend in the SEO world, and here is a little proof.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out this post.  Feel free to contact us any time if you have questions.

How To Find The Right Location For Your New Restaurant

locationRunning a restaurant can be a very lucrative business. However, many restaurants close their doors briefly after the launch ceremony. There are multiple causes for these failures, one of them being the wrong location choice. If you intend to open a restaurant, you need to search for the right location, in order to enjoy a steady flow of clients and some decent profits. This article is going to provide you a few ideas on choosing the best location for your restaurant.

The first thing to consider is the proximity of public transport facilities. Your clients will come to have dinner in your restaurant, so they might want to enjoy a drink or two with their food. The more accessible your location is, the more people are going to visit you. Besides, they might come again with their friends and family. This isn’t going to happen if your restaurant is hidden in a difficult to reach place, far away from public transport. Besides, you should think that you’re going to cooperate with various suppliers, so it’s in your best interest to be easy to reach. This doesn’t mean you have to consider only huge boulevards or crowded places. Small streets have their special charm, so don’t exclude them from your search.

Next, according to Malta Sotheby’s Realty property rentals, you need to take into consideration the specific of your restaurant and the target consumers. You wouldn’t want to offer a fine dining experience to residents of poor neighborhoods, as they wouldn’t afford to visit your restaurant more than once a year or so. On the contrary, if you intend to open a fast food, you may not have too many clients by choosing a location in a rich neighborhood. You have to be specific about your target market, and try to find a location in one of their favorite neighborhoods.

You may come across abandoned places that used to be restaurants or bars. You should be very careful, as they are empty for a reason. Who would let go of a prosperous business just like that? Those restaurant owners had a good reason to move, so make sure you investigate all possible reasons, should you really like one of these locations. You may discover, for instance, that a crazy neighbor would call the police at the first sign of loud music or noise after 10 pm. Such incidents are going to chase away your clients, so you may want to make sure you pick a location that doesn’t have this type of problems.

Last but not least, you should make sure your chosen location is roomy enough to accommodate the right number of tables, the kitchen and all other spaces such as toilets, refrigeration areas, pantries and cellars. If you do your math properly, you’re going to have a good restaurant, with excellent conditions and with a great potential to become one of the favorite dining places of thousands of people. As you can see, good food isn’t the only ingredient of success. The location is equally important, so choose it wisely.

When a journalist asked McDonalds “what kind of business are you in?” McDonalds replied “I am in the business of Real Estate!

Understanding How Citations Help Rank For Local Areas

citations for local businessIf you are doing SEO for clients, you’ll probably build a wide variety of links, and something you might also include for local clients are citations.   With restaurant marketing, citations are key.

When I say ‘local client’, I mean a client that is trying to rank for keywords that include a location such as “plumber in London”.

A citation is a listing of the business name, it’s address and telephone number. We usually call this the NAP (Name, Address, Phone) for short. Building citations for your client helps Google understand where that client is physically based and that in turn will help them to rank for keywords based around that location. 

There are many places you can build citations and you can simply Google a list. Some are worldwide, like big business directories but there are many which will be specific to the country the client is based in and these will be even more powerful. 

Some citation sources also allow you to include a link to the website so you get a back link as well as the citation. 

However, there is something that you should understand about the way citations work with the local Google listings. They will only help you rank for your keywords if the location that you are targeting is actually in the physical address of the company. 

For example, I have a client called Done & dusted domestic and they are a cleaning company based in Hertfordshire in the UK. They do cleaning in many different towns and villages within the Hertforshire area and when I first took them on as a client I gave the option of which area they wanted to target first. 

They choose Welwyn Garden City as it’s an affluent area and they have many rich clients of their own in that town and they want more of those kinds of customers. The problem is that even though they cover many towns, they only have one physical address and that is not in Welwyn Garden City or any of the other towns that they particularly want to rank for. 

So what this means is that if I build citations for them, those citations will not help them rank for those city terms.

There’s still some benefit to building them; citations help build trust to the company as a whole and of course some of them include back links and they are always useful but in this case they will not have nearly the same benefit as if their address was actually in the city we are targeting.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post.  If you apply the tips in this post to your own restaurant business, you will find that your business outranks the competition every time.

Contact us any time if you have questions!

Tips For Marketing Your Restaurant Business in 2017

tips for marketing your restaurant businessGetting exposure for your restaurant business is not always the easiest thing to do.  Depending on where you live, attracting new customers to your place can be a pretty difficult task.  In this short post, I will share some tips that can help get your business on the online map, so when potential customers are searching, they are having no troubles finding you!  Let’s go!

Marketing a restaurant is different than other businesses.  Return customers are the life blood of your business, and getting people to come back is something you cannot put a price tag on.

First off, you must have a website if you want your restaurant to be able to generate new customers from online searches.  Building a well optimized website will help you get in front of more people, providing you with an opportunity to tell people why they should visit your restaurant!  In today’s day and age, it is imperative that your website is mobile friendly, as most searches will come from smart phones and tablets.

People will most likely not find you just because you are open, or because they drive by and see an open neon light in the front window.  People will find you when they are searching Google or other search engines for the type of food you serve in the city you serve it in.  Example, San Diego steakhouse.

After someone conducts a search like this, they will be given a list of website that Google deems the most relevant.  This is where you want to be.  This is where your website NEEDS to be.  The process of getting your website to show up for searches like this is called SEO or Search Engine Optimization.

Right off the bat, your site should be able to tell the searchers some key information, things like:

  • What You Serve/Menu
  • How Customers Can Find You (Location/s)
  • Phone Number (Click to Call Works Best)

Another area your restaurant business will want to focus on is social media marketing.  This works great for customer relations, and is great way to stay in touch with previous and potentially new customers.  Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube are all great sites to build a business page/profile on, and they also provide you with a nice link back to your website from trusted websites with high domain authority.  The key is to focus on building strong customer relationships, because return business is the name of the game!

Another great place to focus some attention on is e mail marketing.  E Mail marketing allows you to e mail customers on your list and let them know about deals and event you have going on at particular times.  You can also send out printable coupons, that can help entice them to visit your place again.  This strategy is not something to be overly aggressive with, 1-3 times per month is the sweet spot.  Any more, and you run the risk of annoying them, causing them to unsubscribe.

Here is a great video that sums up some of the things mentioned in this post.  Take a minute to check it out.

I realize this is a lot of marketing strategies to focus on.  You definitely do not need to knock them all out at once, so take a deep breath and start from the beginning.  If you follow through, you will have a great chance of generating all sorts of new business from online searches!

Special thanks to Josh Parker from Badger SEO for helping us lay out this detailed post.  His company provides Madison WI SEO services, and also provides consulting services for business owners looking to do the job themselves.  He has helped many restaurant owners enhance their presence online, including many of the Lake Geneva fine dining restaurants, where the competition is fierce.

We hope this post has been helpful.  Feel free to contact us any time if you have any questions.

Welcome to Our Website

Hello,

Thanks for visiting The CrossingsBrewPub.com.  Our website is currently undergoing a makeover, but we will definitely be back up and running in the near future.

We write this as of December, 2016 so be sure to look out for the changes over the next few weeks.

Since the holidays are here, and the New Year is almost here, we will leave a little New Year video below for your enjoyment.  Feel free to contact us any time if you have any questions, or need any help.

Thanks for stopping by, and we look forward to seeing you soon!

Cheers!