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Blogging is critical to the online success of your business. Is that a surprising thing to hear? Some of the small business owners we’ve spoken to are skeptical when we tell them something to that effect, but it’s true.

Small businesses that do their thing out of a brick-and-mortar store or location often get caught with their pants down when it comes to their online presence. If they have a website (and a surprising number of Seattle businesses don’t), it’s outdated, doesn’t convey their image well online, and is rarely – if ever – updated. That kind of ‘web presence’ isn’t really a presence at all; it’s more like a forgotten sock under the bed, since it’s there but it’s not doing its job or bringing you any benefit.

Use of Facebook pages for small businesses can be a bit of a mystery – or at least a confusing. Many Seattle businesses just throw in the towel and settle for more “Like’s” as their success or growth measurement on Facebook. They don’t know how do get in front of more fans, and they don’t know how to increase engagement from the fans they have.

With small Seattle businesses, and businesses everywhere, content marketing – or Content-onomics as we call it here at Marketeering Group – can be relegated to the lower levels of your business priorities. However, content is crucial to the success of your business online. It drives more traffic to your website, by attracting search engines and human eyes, than anything else.

Content marketing really matters. Why?

Last May, Facebook rolled out their feature for promoted Facebook posts – allowing businesses to pay a fee to have their posts promoted to their fans.

Since then, businesses of all shapes and sizes have used Facebook post promotion to get their message to the masses. But if you’re not using the tool and promoting your Facebook posts, why should you?

First, let’s map out how Facebook post promotion for businesses works:

In a world where print media is dwindling to its barest bones, the right kind of print advertising takes some skill. It’s harder and less cost-effective these days to work your Donald-Draper-magic in print ads, because everybody’s busy on their smartphone or tablet.

But even mobile users retain loyalty to their magazines and neighborhood newspapers of choice, as this infographic by MDG Advertising shows. They might be pricey, but sometimes an ad in a magazine is worth the cost – it’s a targeted audience with pretty much guaranteed readership.

Search Engine Optimization – or SEO as it’s commonly known since the full term is such a mouthful – can be a complex concept to grasp. Once you get the terms down, like keywords, organic search, link building and so on, then you get to the actual stuff of SEO.

We know it takes a lot of expertise to get it right, but there are a couple of things that you might be doing to make it even harder to get good SEO … and you might have no idea! Here are the top three ways people hurt their SEO when they think they’re helping it, so you can stop the damage before it takes you down: