Your friends at Net Link Hosts are in the holiday spirit, how about you?  This month's newletter gives you some really great tips on helping your online presence truly work for you or your company. 

Google Local

If you’re a small business chances are you’re customer base is centered around a particular geographic area near your physical location. It’s also likely that you are advertising via local venues, such as the Yellow Pages, community magazines, local radio, etc. What you may not know is that you can expand your business’s exposure to potential customers by including your company in the Google™ Local directory.

So what’s so great about Google Local?
● Customers are already searching online for your products & services.
● It’s free!
● You can display your address, phone number, hours of operation, and more.
● Google insights allow you to learn how your customers are finding you.

Google Local places your business at the forefront of search for local customers even if they don’t type in a location. Google matches the web surfer’s IP address to their geographical location allowing them to display local businesses like yours increasing your opportunities to appear in front of potential customers. And now you can even see what keywords users are searching to find you and where they are coming from through the use of Google’s online dashboard.

Adding your business to Google local takes only a few minutes:
1. Create an account at
2. Verify your email address and select Manage your Account.
3. Under Local Business Center, click Add a New Business.
4. Enter your company information.
5. Select a validation method: phone or postcard.
6. Click Finish!

It's that simple.

For more tips on optimizing local search, check out the articles below:
How to Use Local Search to Grow your Small Business
Dos and Don’ts: Local Search

Increase Customers with Online Video

The popularity of online video is skyrocketing with the success of sites, such as YouTube, which allow the ability to easily and affordably get your video to the masses.

So is it really necessary to develop online videos to reach your customers?
Online video can allow you to reach a market that you could not through traditional advertising. It also helps build your brand in the online marketplace.  Here are some facts from Pew Internet and the American Life Project that may help you decide.

● 62% of adult Internet users watch videos on video sharing sites
● 89% of Internet users ages 18-29 watch content on video sharing sites, and 36% do so on a typical day
● 19% of overall Internet users say they use video sharing sites on a typical day

In order to put these numbers into perspective, compare them to other online activities measured in the report. While 62% of adult Internet users watch online
video, only 46% use social networking sites, 19% use podcast downloading, and 11% use status updating sites like Twitter.

According to comScore, July 2009 had 158 million Internet users watching over 21.4 billion videos.

With all of this being said, the world of online video leaves many opportunities for the small business owner. If you decide to participate in online video, it is important to use your resources wisely to garner the biggest return.

Website Magazine offers some great tips on optimizing your video. Here are some key points from their article.

1. Keep it short – 5 minutes or less to keep the audience’s attention.
2. Optimize for SEO – extract the metadata from the Flash file and make it searchable.
3. Use social media – display the video on blogs and social sites that target your market.
4. Use RSS syndication – this describes the video to search engines and provides links.

And most importantly, make sure your video is interesting and relatable. Potential customers need a reason to watch your video over the billions of other videos
available. Try to be unique, creative, and informative all at the same time. Make your video a “must-see.”

From all of us here at Net Link Hosts, Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

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