Tips to save you time for the coming US tax season
Takeaways from Meta’s 2022 trends report for SMBs
3 first steps to improving SEO for your small biz
Tell me again — what’s SEO? SEO (or search engine optimization) is the process of helping search engines like Google, Bing, and YouTube understand the content on your site so that it appears as close to the top of search results as possible. AKA, you’re adjusting and optimizing your content so that people can find you online.
Do I need to focus on SEO? If you’re a small business trying to reach customers (aren’t we all?), SEO is super important. SEO Tribunal found that 97% of people learn more about a local small business online than anywhere else. And per Hubspot, 75% of people searching for information never go past the first page of Google search results. We forget that option even exists.
So you need to do everything you can to get on that first page. And it takes some intentional moves on your part to land there.
There’s a lot to SEO. What should a focus on first? Mindy Weinstein, SEO and marketing teacher at Market Mindshift, shares her top 3 tips for improving SEO for a small business website.
Set up your local listings. The first thing you’ll want to do is set up your Google Business Profile listing. This free platform helps people find your business via Google search, keeps your business info up to date in search results and Google Maps, and connects you with current and prospective customers.
When you add FAQs, pictures, and more, your profile will help people learn about you and what you offer — right from a Google or Google Map search! You can also set up local listings for other search engines.
Run a technical SEO audit. If you put some time into your website design, it probably appears crisp and inviting to both you and customers. But there might be technical errors or issues on your website that you can’t see without taking a deep dive.
We’re not all computer scientists, so Mindy suggests using an auditing tool like Semrush or SE Ranking to identify any glitches in your website. After you’ve applied quick fixes, your website will run more smoothly and your search rankings will shoot up.
Research keywords. Find out which hot words and phrases your customers use when searching for your product or service. Then, stick them into the pages of your website.
If you find that these important keywords are only sparsely mentioned on your site, Mindy suggests that you create a content calendar to develop more pages with those words. The keywords will help optimize your pages, bringing them further up to the front page of search engine results.
Want to save time on your US business taxes next year?
Wait, taxes again? We don’t mean to interrupt the relief of finally submitting your business tax returns (unless your business operates as a sole proprietorship, C-corp, or household employer — you have 'til next month). But we know that a lot of stress builds up in the period right before submission. Especially if you procrastinate, like the one-third of Americans who report filing taxes last minute.
So, we wanted to make next year’s tax season easier for you with time-saving tips to get you started early!
Okay! What are the tips?
Set aside time to organize tax records every week. SMB owners are so busy running their businesses that they often cram tax prep into one day. Instead, set aside at least 30 minutes every week to focus on tax tasks. That way, when the deadline comes, everything will be ready for you.
Save your receipts. You need to have records (AKA receipts or a ledger) of your business expenses to claim tax deductions. So make sure you have a system for saving receipts — whether it’s logging them into your business records or snapping a picture for your accounting software (like Expensify or Neat).
Stop tracking data manually. Manually tracking revenue and expenses in a spreadsheet is a huge time suck. Instead, consider investing in financial tools (like Quickbooks or FreshBooks) that can sync with your bank, payroll, and credit cards and automatically sort your expenses into different tax categories.
What report? Since 2018, Meta has released their annual topics and trends report that highlights the cultural changes that happened in the past year. And perhaps more importantly, gives marketers foresight into how those changes will affect global culture and trends for the next 12-18 months.
And this year, we condensed the 57-page report into four important takeaways for small business owners and entrepreneurs (you’re welcome) — what you should think about and how you can apply these trends to your business.
Great! What’s first? The first global theme on Meta’s list: “diversifying identities.” They tracked a rise in online conversations surrounding topics of self-expression and the diversity of groups we identify with.
When it comes to your business, consumers want to see diversity reflected in your employees and marketing. So, think about how you can bring different perspectives into your team. Or how your next marketing strategy can reflect the diversity of your customers.
Makes sense. Gimme another. Ever heard of nanocommunities? We’re talking about the online communities with hundreds and thousands of members that have been growing since the Internet began.
With Facebook Groups, Instagram hashtags, and Discord servers, we’ve built online communities based on the interests we have and the topics we enjoy discussing. So for business owners, these nanocommunities can provide both a great marketing audience and a place to gain insight into what your ideal consumer wants.
Set up notifications for what’s trending on Twitter. Listen to podcasts from the thought leaders in your industry. You want to stay up-to-date on what’s popular so that you can provide the best products and services for your audience.
The GOAT’s side hustle. The no-longer-retired NFL star Tom Brady is taking the field again, but he’s keeping his side gigs. He recently filed 26 trademark applications, attaching his name to businesses ranging from food delivery to gym equipment.
Crypto rules. Last week, US President Biden signed an executive order examining the benefits and risks of cryptocurrencies. The directive focuses on areas like consumer protection and financial stability, which may lead to policy recommendations for the control of crypto.
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Sharing is caring. Splitting the bill has just become easier than ever. Uber Eats introduced Group Ordering, which allows members of a group to individually order and pay for delivery when ordering from one restaurant. Goodbye, awkward Venmo requests!