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What Does Internet Sales Tax Law Mean for Small Businesses?

Last week, the US Senate passed the Marketplace Fairness Act. If it passes the House, the bill would require all businesses to collect state sales tax for online purchases. Since 1992, businesses have only been required to collect sales tax in states where they had a store or warehouse. Currently, 46 states collect sales tax and it is estimated those states lost out on $26 billion in uncollected revenue in 2012.

Proponents of the bill include large retailers, such as Target or Wal-Mart, who argue they have to charge 5-10% higher prices than smaller online retailers. Small businesses currently are not required to pay state sales tax where they don’t have a brick and mortar building. Small businesses owners feel the law will make it harder to compete with big companies, because they will have to increase their product prices in order to cover the sales taxes. Also, the new requirements could leave businesses open to be audited by 46 different states.

So, would an increase in online prices really hinder your customers’ shopping habits? Is having $0 sales tax part of your online marketing strategy? Perhaps not. Think about it: If price is a customer’s biggest concern, then why do most people not balk at paying shipping and handling fees? In fact, a 2007 Nielsen study found that 81% of people shop online because they can do it any time of day, not because of lower costs. The study also found people buy online to comparison shop, and because they can find things more easily.

Those opposed to the law are also speaking their mind on social media, with the hashtag “#NoNetTax” trending in the past week. Are you one of the voices speaking out against the bill? How will your small business be affected if the House passes the Marketplace Fairness Act? Would you consider lowering your annual sales to less than $1 million in order to be exempt? Or, will you look for ways to increase sales to cover the costs?

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Website Development: The Latest Trends in Web Design

Is now the time to consider re-designing your company website? . Let’s look at what the latest trends are in website development for 2013, and how you can implement them into your online marketing strategy:

Responsive Web Design:
Probably the most important website development trend this year and for several years to come. This technique allows your website to be viewed optimally, regardless if the user is on a phone, tablet or PC. Responsive web design allows flexibility and it makes your website automatically adapt and look great on all devices, regardless of screen size.

Social media buttons:
These buttons are primarily used for directing readers to your social media accounts, or to encourage them to share your content and drive more traffic to your website. Make sure the purpose of your social media buttons is clear in the design, so your viewers know if they are clicking to “like” something, or to “share” it. If you are worried about driving traffic away from your site, have the social media buttons open a separate window, so visitors are still able to come back to your website after “like”-ing or following your social media pages.

Simplicity & Minimalism:
Website trends in 2013 include designs that feature larger fonts, and more concentrated content. The rule of thumb now is the less clutter, the better. This makes your landing pages easier to understand and ensures viewers get directly to the point. Having too many words and graphics might seem overwhelming, and viewers are more likely to click away in seconds.

Content is King:
Changes in Google’s algorithms last year made is harder for websites to rank as a result of generic link-building tactics. Instead, search engines are now looking for quality content. Aside from keywords and your services, you need to invest in content marketing to make your site shine. So make sure your website offers only the best, most valuable, and useful information. Make your content versatile, in that your site offers video, social media links, email marketing, blogging, and perhaps podcasts. Keep sentences short, and make keywords bold.

If you want to discuss more design ideas, and inquire about our website development services,
contact Einstein Marketing Group today.

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How Blogs Can Help Your Online Marketing Strategy

Are you currently maximizing the potential of your website blog? Did you know that a frequently updated blog is a very useful internet marketing tool? Keyword-dense blogs optimize SEO, which will drive traffic to your site and help to boost sales. If you only occasionally update blog posts and struggle to think of original ideas for content, then it might be time to consider outsourcing blog services.

A business blog is a great marketing tool because you are talking directly to you customers, and showing them that you are the expert in your field. This also helps to humanize your business. Frequently sharing information with clients about your products, services, and experiences is also a great way to build a loyal following. Your audience will also find your business to be more credible if the blog content is current and gets updated on a regular basis.

A blog also aids your social media marketing strategy because the content you post can be posted, tweeted, and linked across multiple accounts. If the posts are compelling enough, there’s a good chance they will be “shared”, “liked” and “re-tweeted,” which will only boost your overall website traffic.

Blogs are also a great forum for getting feedback from clients. You can pose questions to your audience and get their take on new products, services, or opinions on topics related to your field of business.

If you are interested in learning more about blog management, or want to know more about Einstein Marketing Group’s blog writing services contact us today!

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