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A person typing on a keyboard, with the caption, "SEO and SEM sound like identical twins, but in reality they serve different-but equally important-marketing functions."

The difference between SEO and SEM: the small business owner’s guide

Just about everyone has heard about SEO and SEM. SEO, particularly, gets talked about a lot; even small business owners with very little marketing experience trot it out when we meet with them. And, indeed, both SEO and SEM are important tools for any business owner. The problem is that there is a lot of confusion between the two terms, despite the fact that they are entirely different things. And even worse, people rarely ask for clarification—either because they don’t...
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A picture of a sculpture of Theseus and the Minotaur, with the caption, "Forget the magic marketing myth of cheap and wildly effective marketing trick. Real, effective marketing is a lot of work. There are no shortcuts, no “get rich quick” schemes, no snake oil solutions."

The Myth of the Magic Marketing Trick

From time to time, we run across people who seem to be convinced that there is a secret arsenal of marketing know-how that can deliver droves of customers at little (or even no) cost. That there’s something that big-company marketers know about that they hide from the little people. All they have to do is discover it, like secret pirate treasure. Unfortunately, this is akin to Magical Thinking, and often equates to people saying urban myth-adjacent things like “well, when so-and-so...
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A woman with shopping bags, and the caption, "What your marketing budget should be is (literally for some companies) the million dollar question."

Marketing budget: how much *should* a small business spend?

Hands down, the question we get asked the most is about marketing budget – how much a small business should spend on its marketing. And unfortunately, it’s one of the few questions for which there is no concise answer. If you ask the great question-and-answer-box of the internet, you’ll get answers ranging from about 2% of revenue to about 11% or 12%, depending on who you ask, how new your company is (traditional wisdom says you need to spend a...
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A magnet attracting metal, with the caption, "SEO is super important, sure. But too much done badly, and it can actually hurt your business."

Unintentional SEO: when search engine optimization hurts rather than helps

Every once in a while we’ll get fired up about our SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and go on a tear, doing all the things that we think are critical: optimizing tags on our site, making sure images have alt-text, etc. etc. etc. (a lot of which is largely useless anymore, but that’s another story). The problem is that in our frenzy we often ignore the truly critical element of modern SEO—namely, good, human-readable content—and its impact on our site’s rankings...
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Scrabble tiles that spell, "blog", with the caption, "Take a short cruise through the interwebs and you'll get the idea that content marketing is pretty darn near magic. And you know what? You'd be right."

Content marketing: what every small business should know

Take a short cruise through the interwebs and you’ll come away with the idea that content marketing is pretty darn near magic. It works three times as well as traditional “push” marketing! It costs 62% less! In fact, the language is so glowing, if you’re anything like me (with my highly-developed “you must be selling me a bridge” syndrome), it is pretty easy to assume that it can’t possibly be as good as they say. But… Content marketing really does...
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