MEME: BizLuv in Support of Small Businesses

Great Depression Soup Line

Great Depression Soup Line

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Even if the economy is not directly impacting you or your family, it will do so indirectly.

Each person who reduces their spending for any reason will cause the businesses you use regularly to have lower sales.

Declining sales may cause these businesses to lay off employees. As more people are laid off the ripple affect could cause even exceptional businesses you love to fail.

Are you visiting your favorite restaurants, shops and service providers as often and spending as much as you once did? Are they still thriving?

There are simple actions each of us can do to support your favorite businesses. One easy way to thank them and send them new customers is to add a review for them on the sites below.

WHERE TO WRITE REVIEWS:

  • Yahoo! Local – If you have a Yahoo ID simply enter a location and the name of a business and click Write a Review
  • Google Maps – If you have a Google Account simply enter the name of a business and where they are and click Write a Review
  • MyLocalLookup – Simply search for any business and click Rate It. You don’t even need an account. Businesses can get a free MyLocalLookup listing.
  • Yelp is a community oriented around specific locations. It is a great way to find out which businesses others in your geographic area prefer. Sign up for a Yelp account to read and leave reviews of local businesses and receive discounts and coupons. Businesses should strongly consider getting a Free Yelp business account and reviewing other businesses they use.
  • Merchant Circle is another geo-targeted community where neighbors share their opinions of the businesses they use, see special offers, discounts and coupons. Businesses can get a free MerchantCircle listing and consumers can save time and money using the new MerchantCircle Neighbors and Q&A programs.

Every business should have a listing in each of these sites. The easy way is to use the Universal Business Local Search Listing service.

If you are willing to write a review for any business and can not find them on the above sites share this information and link with them. You may be instrumental in keeping them in business. Encourage them to either use that service or at least manually add their business to the above five sites so you can review them and they can be found online.

If you are a business planning to review other businesses be sure to read How to Write a Review and How NOT to Write a Review. While those posts were specifically about Merchant Circle, the advice they contain applies to any site that accepts reviews. Note that some sites prohibit soliciting or incentivizing reviews so be sure to read their Terms of Service carefully.

Many traditional offline businesses will not understand the importance of being easy to find in digital local directories.

Even people who have no computer are looking for you online and you really need to be easy to locate. Let me share a couple examples of why this is so very important.

  • Your loyal customer with a GPS (standard in many cars today and popular as a handheld device) decides to call to see how late you are open or whether you take a particular credit card. They can’t find you so they don’t know if you will be closed – but they DO find a coupon for a competitor they never knew about before. You may have just lost a customer.
  • Most of your customers have cell phones now. Did you know they can use a cell phone to look for you from anywhere? When is the last time you saw a pay phone booth with a printed copy of the yellow pages anywhere? If they can’t find your phone number they WILL find other special offers from other businesses. How many more customers can you afford to lose and stay in business?
Tamar's StumbleUpon Avatar

Tamar's StumbleUpon Avatar

If you use Social Networking sites like Twitter, FriendFeed,StumbleUpon, Facebook, Reddit or any others you can recommend your favorite businesses online.

I highly recommend first reading Tamar Weinberg’s Social Media Handbook.

Business Owners should read her book The New Community Rules: Marketing on the Social Web.

Facebook is the most challenging to figure out of all the Social Networking sites so I would not even think of using it without first reading Jesse Stay’s and Jason Alba’s I’m on Facebook; Now What? How to Get Business and Professional Value From Facebook.

Wondering how you can Promote Blogs and Businesses Online?

Review their content, Tweet about them, go out of your way to share when others ask for recommendations – each of these actions may seem small but can make all the difference.

Do only share what you believe in and what others will find interesting.

I am a huge proponent for small businesses and in this economy many can really use our help. I am asking that bloggers join me in a new Meme.

I propose that we each blog about our favorite small businesses and give them linkluv with the best possible anchor text to make them easy to find.

We can publish each others’ efforts and even organize them by niche and make more comprehensive posts available as guest posts. Don’t worry about all that for now.

Do your favorite businesses a favorpublish a post about them.

Downturns in the housing industry, residential and commercial construction, and real estate have been particularly severe so remember any friends, family or businesses you work with that operate in those areas.

As spending is reduced, businesses must become more visible and attract leads and sales from a larger geographic area.

Good Millwork Avatar

Good Millwork Avatar

Good Millwork is an excellent role model for traditional businesses for how to use the Internet and Social Media to expand their market.

They installed two SEO optimized WordPress blogs using the Thesis Theme that are highly interactive blogs with threaded comments.

Both of their blogs are 100% dofollow and have CommentLuv and KeywordLuv installed which allows other businesses and bloggers to benefit from reading and commenting in them.

KeywordLuv allows you to select what keyword phrase is linked to your site. Many consider this the most important factor in getting better search engine positions. Where your site ranks in the search engines determines how much traffic your site receives.

By supporting high quality small businesses like Good Millwork you can benefit your own business and make you both easy to find online. Visit their sites. Blog about them and be sure to link the words that are most beneficial.

Here are some examples so you understand the concept.

I included these examples so you could clearly see what proper anchor text usage looks like.

Notice that I did NOT link to the names of their blogs.

If you are searching for the name you already know about their site. We want to help Internet users who don’t know the name of his or your business find them.

Notice that I DID link to the best keyword phrases for each product or the phrase someone seeking specific information would type into a search engine.

I even shortened the link to How to Install Crown Molding Like a Pro to include only the strongest part of that phrase.

I also hope to encourage other bloggers to add some or all of these links to your site to benefit this fine business.

Why would a blogger want to do that for a business they don’t know? I have introduced you so now you do know them. Here are some reasons why I believe collaborating with Good Millwork and Good Moldings will benefit your blog or business:

  1. They are providing you a way to leave comments that benefit your blog, or any business that wants to interact with them, or even to allow Search Engine Marketing companies to benefit their client’s businesses. (We recognize that not all business owners have the time to manage their own commenting and Social Networking.)
  2. Good Millwork and Good Moldings are very active on Social Networks including Twitter (GoodMillwork, Moldings, CrownMoldings, MoldingDesign, ReclaimedWood), StumbleUpon, FriendFeed, Facebook and Delicious.

I’ve even made it easy by making each paragraph and this entire post easy to reblog using the Zemanta browser plugin. If you don’t use Zemanta contact me or @GrowMap at Twitter and I can email the html for the entire post or any particular section.

I will even work for free one-on-one with anyone who needs assistance with keyword research, using anchor text or reblogging.

Like this blog, Good Millwork and Good Moldings believe in paying it forward. We are all happy to publish guest posts and add links for deserving businesses, blogs and non-profits to posts we write.

If you include any links for Good Millwork on your site or share content for them on Social Networks, please leave a comment in this post or contact us on Twitter, FriendFeed or StumbleUpon or use our contact form to let us know. We WILL go out of our way to return the favor.

GUEST POSTS:

  • List your blog and find blogs in your niche using MyBlogGuest created by SEOSmarty SEO Consulting Services Blog – (Twitter)
  • Use Unique Article Wizard (UAW) to generate and distribute unique articles to hundreds of article directories and blogs. See the trackbacks on this Crown Molding post to evaluate the quality.
  • Automatically generate a unique version of that Crown Molding related article. (Click the link, then copy and paste a unique version of that article.)

We will be writing posts about MyBlogGuest and UAW with more information on these exceptional finds. They are both fairly new and their instructions are not always clear. The UAW system will become easier to use as they continue to improve it, but still complex because it is so powerful. Help spread the word by Tweeting This Post!

TweetThisBirdPointingHelp spread the word – Tweet This Post!

Use This TweepML link to easily follow Twitter accounts mentioned in this post

Want to participate but need something easier? See the BizLuv MEME template.

  • My Why Marketing is Not Evil post provides even more details on why we simply MUST stop supporting multi-national corporations who have already transferred half of all the wealth to an elite few and use the rest to take advantage of the poor everywhere. Please do read it.

USD DECLINING

These posts show proof that the USD has been in decline for a long time. This is extremely serious for all Americans.

REAL ESTATE ECONOMIC STATUS:

Posts indicating how seriously the U.S. real estate has declined. Do not be fooled by temporary recovers in certain areas – the overall economy will keep declining. The sliding value of the U.S. dollar will attract buyers who have stronger currencies so that is one bright spot you could use.

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Gail Gardner

Small Businsss Strategist at GrowMap
Creator and owner of GrowMap.com, Gail is primarily known for mentoring small businesses and encouraging bloggers to join collaborations to share skills and support small business.