Market Your Small Business January 2017

Happy New Year!
Yes, it’s belated.
I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and have already started implementing your New Year’s Resolutions, :).
My New Year’s resolutions are:

  • Move in with my girlfriend;
  • Make enough money with this business of mine to go part time in my day job;
  • Continue my current exercise regimen for the entire year;
  • Publish my latest book;
  • End all newsletter subscriptions I do not read (I write this recognizing that this could be shooting myself in the foot, so I hope you find this newsletter valuable);
  • Speak to someone about changing my investment strategy.

Sometimes I look at these and think ‘that’s why too much’ and other times I think I’m letting myself off the hook. I’m sure you know the feeling.

2017 is already different on the digital marketing landscape so, in the first of the articles this week, I hoe to help you figure out how to navigate this brave new world of “mobile first.”


Handle the Mobilepocalypse

Aka what you should do now that Google is going “mobile first.”

What does “Mobile first” mean and why should you care? This article I wrote covers the newest change in search engines: google is going to display mobile pages first. That may be a huge problem for your business or, if you have a responsive site, it may be completely inconsequential.
To find out whether or not you should be actively working to comply with the latest requirements from Google, read the article.
This is a really, really big deal (if the term “mobilepocalypse doesn’t quite tell you that, the I should stress that it’s a really big deal) so if you have concerns or questions, please either comment on the article or send me an email at

Infographics were so trendy a couple years ago. Now not so much. Why, because we all discovered that, though they’re pretty, they often don’t contain much (or any) relevant information.
Well this infographic about how to maximize your business’s presence in Google’s local search algorithm really is worth looking at. It’s about a thorough a summary as you can get of how to do this in picture form.
Many of you rely on clients or customers in your local area for your continued success. This infographic will show you how you can appear in the search engine results ahead of your local competition.
View the infographic. (Use your cursor to zoom in.)

We always hear stuff about “Ranking #1” or getting on the front page of Google. If you talk to an SEO agency, they will talk your ear off about it.
The truth of the matter is that “#1” is kind of a myth – there is no one first place in Google, rather than are millions or even billions really, because for every different search term there is (potentially) a different “#1.”
The good news is that this means your site could potentially be #1 for a particular service or product you offer. But there’s lots of hard work to get to that point. And that hard work is always changing, because the Google algorithm is always changing.
This comprehensive article (about a half hour read) presents a massive study of one million webpages to tell you what worked in 2016 to get to the top of the Google search results. Though it is a little technical, I recommend it if you can spend the time, as this kind of comprehensive study is much better than following the instincts of an SEO agency.
Read the report.

Ask me a question any time at or on skype at riley.haas


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2017 Mobile

How to Market Your Business in 2017

Happy New Year.

2017 is bringing with it lots of changes on the digital marketing landscape.

None is bigger than Google’s decision to show mobile pages instead of desktop (regular) pages. That means that, if there is a desktop version of your site and a mobile version, Google will show the mobile version in search results.


Relax. It might not be the end of the world. If your site is “responsive,” that is, if the site adjusts to fit the size of the device, then everything is fine. You don’t have to do too much to prepare.

But if your site is not responsive, if it is serving two different versions of the same page, the regular webpage and a special mobile page, you may want to change things.


Is My Site Responsive (i.e. Mobile Friendly)?

How do you know whether or not your site is responsive?

  1. Use a tool like or mobiReady
  2. Enter one of the urls from your site
  3. If the page displays correctly on all the devices, you’re okay.
  4. If not, you might need to speak to a developer.

(Alternatively, you can just visit your site on your smart phone.)


Yay! My Site is Responsive!

If your site is responsive, the next thing to do is to make sure your site is mobile friendly in other ways. What I mean by this is that what worked for desktop doesn’t necessarily work for mobile. Google has certain standards for things like page speed (how long it takes for your page to load) that are higher for mobile. You’ll need to make sure your site is up to stuff.

You can use mobiReady to get tips, but Google also has a tool. Since Google is the way most people find your site, you should take what this tool tells you seriously. Unless you’re very handy with code, you’re going to need a developer to make these improvements.

You’re already more than half way there, with a responsive site, but you need to make performance upgrades in order to keep pace with everyone else.


Oh no! My site isn’t responsive!

If your site is not responsive, meaning that you see different pages displayed on the devices in a mobile test, or you see broken page elements on different devices during the test, you will need a responsive site, eventually.

However, maybe the time to do that isn’t now. Maybe you don’t have the budget for it. In the meantime,

  • If your site serves mobile pages (meaning that there are special pages that display to mobile phones and tables, often denoted by /mobile/ or /m/ in the url) then you need to check those pages (all of those pages) to make sure that they are working and that they have the same (or better) content than your regular pages. The mobile pages will be what your users will land on.
  • If your site doesn’t have mobile pages and isn’t responsive, you need to figure out which is the better option: temporarily serve mobile pages while you can prepare to go responsive (which means creating a host of new pages and content), or go responsive. Not an easy choice I know, but if you don’t do it, you risk eventually dropping out of the search results all together.


I have no idea if my site is responsive or not!

If you are not sure, even after the running the test, you should ask your developer. If you do not have a developer you can get a hold of, you should reach out to someone who can help you.

I am offering a free digital marketing Q and A in January, during which you can ask me about your mobile-friendly questions.

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