Small Business Archives


Facebook Jobs Won’t Kill Craig’s List but It Gives SMBs Another Reason to Engage

Tweet Craig’s List has survived numerous “Craig’s List killers” and will probably survive Facebook Jobs. The classifieds marketplace makes money primarily from fees for job listings and real estate in New York. Consultancy the AIM Group estimated total Craig’s List revenue at $700 million in 2016. While I’m quite skeptical of that number, if it’s […]

Yelp Is Starting to Solicit Reviews for Business Owners — and That’s a Good Thing

Tweet Yelp is getting serious about transactions. That’s a very good thing for the company. This is what CEO Jeremy Stoppelman said about it on the recent Q4 earnings call: We also made excellent progress in building our transactions capabilities. The number of Yelp Eat24 orders, Yelp Platform transactions and Yelp Reservations bookings grew 40% […]

New LSA Digital Media Certification Program Seeks to Identify Ethical Sellers

Tweet How many small business owners have received telemarketing calls from marketing companies making spurious claims about a guaranteed ranking on Google? The SMB-digital marketing services arena is full of noise with almost limited transparency. Business owners receive a barrage of calls per month soliciting their marketing dollars. The process of “vetting” these firms is […]

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 […]