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Friday, 8 October 2010

Top Small Business Tech Tools for 2009 to 2010

1. Online Marketing

A. Search Engine Marketing - Google AdWords allows you to display your ads, which link to your website, on Google at a pay-per-click rate, dependent on the visibility you choose for each ad, so your online marketing directly revolves around your budget. You create the ad, choose the keywords, and determine the cost. Google sends you a monthly report listing of where your ads appeared, the number of clicks, cost and conversion data.

B. Free Website Statistics Tool - Google Analytics provides you with detailed statistics about your website's visitors, like where they're clicking on your site from, how long they stay, and what pages they visit, just to name a few features. It's easy to use for the technically unsavvy, offers the features of most costly analytics programs, and best of all, it's free.

C. SEO Tool - IBP (iBusinessPromoter) and Web CEO were voted the top 2 SEO software packages by experts and clients. Both SEO packages will increase your rankings in search engines like Google and Yahoo. They both provide general SEO tools that include search engine submitter and checker, link building and management, competitor analysis, keyword research and analysis, and performance reporting. IBP (iBusinessPromoter) offers clients results in the top 10 rankings on Google or their money back, and has a prestigious client list with names like eBay and Canon. Web CEO goes slightly further than SEO and assists in overall website marketing and promotion, offering more features than most SEO software.

2. Software

A. Accounting - Is your business on good terms with the IRS? Is your financial information organized? Intuit Quickbooks Pro provides easy-to-use bookkeeping for small business owners, despite your level of accounting savviness. To minimize mistakes or loss of documents, all files and folders are stored online, which also allows for constant collaboration between employees, accountants, and customers. QuickBooks tracks expenses and revenue side by side,displays most recent transactions, creates invoices, provides banking features, and more.

B. Graphic Design - Adobe Creative Suite 5 offers top-quality, productive, interactive design tools so you can create and deliver the most effective graphics across media and devices. Adobe offers all the design tools needed by the small or large business owner, including web design, logo design, print design, 3-D design, flash and more.

C. Customer/Sales Management - ACT by Sage is an easy-to-learn tool to store all your business contacts into one central location. It helps you maintain an organized view of of all the people you do business with, by maintaining their contact information and social media profiles, attaching important documents and tracking upcoming activities related to them, keeping a history of all previous interactions, and more. Send an email marketing campaign to any group of contacts, on a consistent basis over time and track the results. ACT also works with over 10 popular software solutions, like Microsoft Outlook.

3. Security

A. Security - Norton Protection Suite Small Business Edition has many features to protect the information of your small business. Its core protection is against viruses, spyware, Trojan horses, worms, bots and rootkits. It also stops threats with a two-way firewall, which is important for small businesses with many computers connected through networking and wireless internet. In addition, Norton automatically detects and stores passwords and personal information, secures PCs when connecting to WiFi, finds and fixes problems that slow your computer, and provides tips on how to keep your PC running efficiently, just to name a couple features.

B. Backup and Recovery - Genie Backup Manager backs up more types of data than any other consumer data backup software on the market, including backup for emails, Internet settings, your computer's index settings and more, allowing more customization than most other backup software. DT Utilities PC Backup offers a wide range of features, has a simple, one-click backup and one-click restore button, and provides full image backup.

Visit our web design resources page for more information on tech and internet tools for your business.

Michael Hendershot
Sprout Marketing and Web Design


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