How to optimize your website to make more sales | Facebook's Custom Audiences feature provides more marketing options | How to boost the productivity of your staff
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March 11, 2013
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Stories from the Street
Small businesses benefit from Web presence
Business owners such as Marilyn Caskey, who runs The Garment Exchange, have benefited from a program Google started in 2011 to help small companies set up websites. Caskey has seen a significant uptick in sales in recent months, and the company's online presence has "been a huge help for business," she said. CBS MoneyWatch (3/8)
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Caring for Customers
How to optimize your website to make more sales
Businesses may be able to generate more business by testing and improving their websites, writes Chris Goward, founder of WiderFunnel. You should try to define your value proposition and create a sense of urgency in the minds of your customers, he writes. Make your content as relevant as possible, and eliminate distractions that could sidetrack your customers. Duct Tape Marketing (3/8)
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Facebook's Custom Audiences feature provides more marketing options
Facebook's Custom Audiences feature lets business owners target their ads to people who aren't following them on the social network. Users can create lists based on e-mail addresses or phone numbers that they might have collected in the course of doing business. Small Business Trends (3/7)
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Keeping Shop
How to boost the productivity of your staff
You can help to make your employees happier and more productive by eliminating obstacles to their success and providing them with the tools they need to do their jobs, writes Janine Popick, CEO and founder of VerticalResponse. "Make sure everyone at your company is on the lookout for affordable and practical ways you can get things done more efficiently," she advises. Inc. online (free registration)/Basement to Boardroom blog (3/8)
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Managing the Money
Wells Fargo sets $55 billion goal for loans to women-owned businesses
Wells Fargo has increased its lending goal to women-owned small businesses to $55 billion by 2020. PNC Bank has a similar initiative but no specific lending goal. Some banks do not have a lending program aimed specifically at women. Fox Business Small Business Center (3/8)
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Tips & Tools
What defines a great news release?
Stick to the basics of who, what, when, where, why and how in your news releases, the Entrepreneur staff writes. Use standardized formats and target the news release to publications that would consider it useful. "If your release is well-written and relevant, you don't need singing telegrams or a bouquet of flowers to get your message across," the staff writes. Entrepreneur online (3/8)
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How to get started with data analysis
Data is important for small-business owners, but you don't have to pay attention to every piece of information available, writes Quinton Alsbury. "Small businesses that focus their efforts and dive deep into a few business-critical sets of data ... will see quicker and better results than companies that try to take on too much," he writes. Set clear goals for data use, and begin with tools such as Google Analytics, he advises. Small Business Computing (3/7)
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News You Can Use
Why ADA complaints are increasing
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says the number of complaints filed under the Americans with Disabilities Act has increased by more than 50% in the past five years. Recent ADA amendments have broadened the definition of disability and made it more difficult for companies to defend themselves against claims, writes Jonathan Segal, an employment lawyer. CNNMoney/Fortune (3/6)
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Editor's Note
SmartBrief's inside look at #SXSW
SmartBrief is attending the South by Southwest Interactive Festival, with tweeting @SmartBrief and blogging at SmartBlogs. Here's some of our coverage so far.
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SmartQuote
Small business owners ... must take stock of their needs before they establish a data strategy.
Quinton Alsbury, co-founder and president of product innovation at Roambi, writing at Small Business Computing
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