Small Business Archives


Old School Is Better than New Fail: Why SMBs Must Choose Providers Carefully

Tweet Online booking is a great tool for local businesses. It allows consumers to schedule appointments without the back and forth of telephone/IVR interaction or after hours when no one is available. It’s also increasingly a capability that consumers are expecting, especially younger customers. Survey data below from Yodle (2014) argue that nearly two-thirds of […]

Yelp: Average Yearly SMB Ad Spend Is $3,204, 76% Retention, 269% ROI

Tweet B2B social network Alignable ranked Yelp at or near the bottom of its Trust Index as measured by NPS ratings. There’s also anecdotal evidence that many business owners hold negative views of Yelp or harbor conspiracy theories about review manipulation for ad-sales purposes. There are also critics in the industry who argue Yelp ads […]

Study Argues Most Current SMB-Focused Sales Efforts Are Completely Ineffective

Tweet It’s very noisy out there in the world of SMB marketing services. It has become harder to get attention and stand out in a crowded market where many of the products and services sound very similar — and it’s not getting any easier for marketing providers. Alignable just released some small business survey data […]

New Report on SMB Churn You’re Probably Not Going to Agree With

Tweet I’ve written a new report about SMB advertiser churn, using Vendasta data. The report is called SMB Advertiser Churn: New Data for an Old Industry Problem. It’s free. The report doesn’t cover PPC/SEM. However it uses data from more than 275,000 SMB accounts across Vendasta’s partner base, which include directory publishers, TV providers, newspapers, […]

Reviews Rashomon: Plumber Remembers Yelp Threat That Never Actually Occurred

Tweet Yelp has been accused of manipulating local reviews to “blackmail” business owners into advertising on the site. It’s widely believed that Yelp uses the threat of removing positive reviews as leverage accordingly. Beyond this belief — and related claims in unsuccessful litigation against the company — I have never seen actual evidence that Yelp […]

Use of Data, Exposure of Vendor NPS Scores Could Shake Up Sales in Local Market

Tweet Online advertising and marketing programs for small businesses (SMBs) have historically suffered from high non-retention or “churn” rates and little transparency around vendors and their relative performance. SMBs often don’t fully understand what they’re buying and don’t know how to evaluate providers. The local-digital segment is cluttered with companies making similar-sounding claims and selling […]

Yelp SMB Survey: 75% on Social Media, Focused Most on New Customers

Tweet Last month Yelp released the results of a survey of 901 of its own small business members. I missed the release at the time so I’m circling back to it. Among other things, the survey asks questions about 2016 revenue expectations. It also wants to know which candidates respondents are likely to support and […]

True Local Search Launches on Facebook

Tweet I have long maintained that Facebook would have difficulty converting SMB Page owners into advertisers until it was able to deliver a real local search experience. Until yesterday Facebook didn’t have one. Users could search for individual businesses by name. And Facebook had a version of a city guide (Places Directory) that it didn’t […]

Nextdoor Moves In on Facebook, Yelp, Craiglist with New Local Services Directory

Tweet Over the past few years, in several conversations with Nextdoor CEO Nirav Tolia, I’ve discussed with him the site’s various opportunities to make money. Like all good startup CEOs Tolia said that he was focused on building audience engagement and that there were several ways the site could make money over time. In November […]

Many Digital Marketers Seem Just As Confused, Overwhelmed As SMBs

Tweet From behind a two-way mirror this evening I observed a 90 minute focus group. It consisted of representatives of digital agencies — mostly larger agencies. It was interesting to hear them discuss their digital marketing challenges and pain points. They spoke about the challenges of dealing with clients that were not sufficiently educated or […]