Business Management

How to Attract Online Holiday Shoppers: Show Up On Top!

At this time of year, online holiday shoppers are buying gifts for their loved ones and gears for the new year. This is the perfect time to push marketing efforts and promotions for your products and offering. If you're a Verlocal host, we've got you covered through our newest marketing campaign. This will be something that you can utilize for the future as well.

Presenting the "Deals" section on! Landing Page Landing Page

This section will be launched by the time of our annual holiday marketing campaign.The 7 Days Till Christmas Holiday Deals will be available for current and new members of Verlocal to book your class as it will be displayed on the top of the Verlocal landing page, search page, an actionable display on your listings and a dedicated ads expenditure. Search Page Search Page

How To Get Featured:

1. Simply sign on to your Verlocal host account. [Not a host? Sign Up Here

2. Go to your Verlocal Business Dashboard and go to Tools > Discounts

Business Dashboard > Tools > Discounts

Business Dashboard > Tools > Discounts

3. Create your discount code. i.e. enter code: xmasdiscounts

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4. Select the options according to the display below: 

  • Enter Fixed or Rate based discount amounts
  • Ensure discounts are applied Verlocal Marketplace to be featured.
  • Ensure to select "yes" under promote on marketplace
  • Then, select your specific listing
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That's it! Once discounts are created, allow us to take the rest of the work and promote your classes through our advertising channels, newsletters, and 3rd party promotional channels. 

Essential Tips For Starting And Growing An Online Business

Starting out a business is no laughing matter and setting up a palpable online presence is nigh-impossible when faced with the obstacles that come with the turf. Although seemingly-insurmountable, most of these hurdles can be overcome with just a bit of forward thinking and preparation. The truth of the matter is that there is a tried and tested formula that is guaranteed to give a business the right footing to venture out into larger circles and try its luck. Think of it as a trial by fire, pushing fledgling companies into the thick of it to see whether they have what it takes to survive in the harsh world of online marketing.

Lock onto your target

First and foremost, take special care to figure out who your product is for and what your best method of attack is. Many new companies mistakenly believe that broader strokes help rack in more people, but actually cause more harm than good. Without an established brand and presence, the only way to get noticed is to cater to a specific group by offering it something they do not have. When a focus group has been established, the majority of the company’s focus should be on the perfected delivery of said product/service. This will both establish your brand, strengthen your position in the area of your choosing and build an online following.


Dish out quality content regularly

When talking about quality content, the point is not to spam our site with throwaway content that is neither informative nor entertaining to the average reader. Dishing out content needs to be regular, but not at the cost of quality. Anything posted should incentivize users to come back for more, whether it be advice articles or cooking recipes. It doesn’t really matter what is getting posted as long as it is achieving the desired effect, a blog is a perfect hub for various writers to put in their two cents and answer any possible questions or concerns in regards to our site, service or anything in-between.

Apart from users, the content should also cater to our autonomous overlord over at Google’s HQ. However much visibility we might muster up will be for naught if Google’s very own Hummingbird decides that our site isn’t compliant with its search parameters. This is why any site management should be done with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in mind. This will guarantee that that content provided suits everyone visiting the site, human or artificial. Keep the site fast, neatly organized and you’re sure to see results from our real life Skynet in no time.

Make it personal

As the focus group starts forming and you start to build a steady readership coming back for your offers, articles and so on, it’s time to hit it home. Unique online experiences are far from unreachable and most people have come to expect it. This can easily be achieved by monitoring where certain users end up when on the site, what their interests were and what they previously decided to purchase. This will help your underlying system pitch offers and other options closely relevant to their search patterns, making them feel special while also boosting the odds of making another sale.

Keep mobile in mind

Mobile .jpeg

Although this doesn’t necessarily make every company’s priority list, it still is a very important factor for both SEO and real users alike. AMP capabilities aside, doing our best to optimize site load times for various Android and iOS devices will show a great increase in traffic both from Google’s organic funnel and people staying for the quick load times. Nowadays, everyone expects a site to load in a second or two, anything longer and they start to lose interest and more than often just back out. With so many people in a rush and the market itself shifting towards mobile, investing might not be such a bad idea after all.

Keep it sleek and simple

There’s no easy way around it, you are going to need good web design. The majority of the reasons listed above pretty much spell it out for us and there is a reason why. Simply put, anything that looks “stock” is considered a huge turnoff for a great many people as they do not wish to spend money on a site that looks like it came out of a box. Thankfully, premium web design is more than affordable and helps small businesses get exactly what they need without having to blow the entirety of their budget.

Subs are worth looking into

Among several payment methods, a newer one that has been gathering steam has been the subscription business model. Although it has been present for decades, its resurgence came with the rise of gaming culture around the world. As the marketplace migrated more and more into the digital landscape, people started getting used to the notion of certain services being automated. A good example of a subscription model doing it right is Loot Crate, their business model is completely based on monthly subscriptions and is mutually beneficial for both parties involved.


Feel around

Despite covering all of the bases mentioned above, the online world is sure to throw a curveball or two our way during our first few runs – stay vigilant. There is no telling what obstacles we’re bound to find on our way to the top, but we can certainly make the most of what we have and do our homework. As the customers start to rack up and business starts to flourish, we will be faced with a new set of challenges and it is imperative that we face them with the same calm approach we tackled anything that came before – turning obstacles into nothing more than stepping stones.


Helen Bradford

The Guide to Advertising Your Business and Beating the Competition

The movement you go out for a walk or some other purpose, you find many advertising boards which draw your attention and makes you wait for a second at least to read what is mentioned on the signboard.  This sort of reaction is widespread in public places.  Either the advertisement will force/tempt you to purchase the product, or the information is stored in your brain, even though you actually won't go and buy the product. A business with a good advertisement campaign will always succeed.


What is a business?


A business can be termed as an activity which is done by provision of goods and services to consumers to earn some profits.  Business can also be called as an enterprise, a firm or a company. In previous days, marketing was known to be a part of any business. Every firm had a separate team of marketing professionals working in favor of the enterprise.  Even now, the same concept is continued. But some companies are approaching the professional services, who deal with marketing activities only.  Today, the concept of advertising for marketing various products is becoming popular.  It has come to such a position that it has become a business for itself.  The business agencies which deal will professional marketing services charge a nominal amount for the professional services rendered by them.


Social media – Developing quickly


The social media is growing so fast that the usage of marketing tools is changing very drastically.  The technology used today may become outdated tomorrow.  Today, the usage of digital media players is seen everywhere.  Digital signage has become a modern approach to business advertising and a challenge to the marketing team to keep the interest of the viewers in favor of the company or the brand.  At any cost the brand image of the product has to be maintained- this is the central principle on which any marketing team works.


What is branding?

Branding can be defined as a name of a product or a slogan which describes the product. The signs, symbols, or particular design used to identify any product can also be termed as branding.  By using signs, symbols or specific designs, no two products of same nature will remain the same.  Each one will be having their own identity.  However nothing can be promised in case of duplication of the original brand, not only image of the brand is lost, but even the profits earned also decreases.  The management of any brand should be so high that it can face any competition.  The brand image of any product can be maintained by the latest technique “Digital signage” which not improves the business both volume-wise and profit-wise but also creates a special place in the hearts of the customers.  A good brand will always have a loyal customer who is emotionally attached to that particular branded product.



Signage refers to the usage of specific signs, symbols, images or written text to deliver a message.  The usage of signage technique to promote a brand of a product is one of the marketing strategies used by the businessman today. A good digital signage makes or at least creates a temptation to buy the product. Following are some of the tips which have to be considered before placing a digital media player:


  • Both the digital signage and branding can work out successfully only if placed in suitable position.  The needs of the ultimate consumer are to be identified, and then the digital signboard of the branded product has to be placed accordingly in public areas.  For instance, digital sign boards related to liquors should not be kept in a place where people go for worship.  People just look at the signboard and move.  Judging the probability of any business in such situation is hard.

  • The digital signboards should be clear and at the same time to the point. No extra details should be mentioned. In the case of any promotional discounts, appropriate images are to be used so that the message reaches the target audience.

  • Digital signage is not a one-time project.  It had to be frequently changed and kept up-to-date to retain the interest of the people.

  • No false commitments should be mentioned on the digital signage.

  • Proper usage of LED lights on the display screens will attract the customers more efficiently.

This is indeed the world of Digitalism.  A digital media player is the type of consumer electronics which was created to connect the home network with digital media like digital videos, digital photos, and digital music. The technology of digital media player is so good that one can access files from storage of network, server or personal computer and the same can be viewed on the Television screen or projector used for home theatre. Use of a remote can control the digital media player.


Digital signage technique

This concept of digital media player can be used as a digital signage method to promote the branding of any product.  The display screens have to be installed in appropriate places.  The required content will be affixed to the screen through the use of remote control situated at a common point from where various display screens can be monitored and managed.  As it is not internet based, there is 100% chance of display screens working even without internet connectivity.  The cost of installation of digital media players is comparatively less than other sorts of marketing media.  The content can be programmed in such a way that it keeps scrolling on the display screens.


Proper strategy


An approach can be said as effective one only when it gives the required output at the right time.  Not only at public places, but the digital media players can also be installed in the premises of a restaurant, hospitals, corporate offices, schools and college’s campus, etc.  The usage of digital media players is not only for advertising purposes.  In Restaurants, it can be used to give menu and price details, in Hospitals, it can provide details of doctors, in Corporate Office, Schools and Colleges it can give required information regarding the organization.  A digital media player is multifunctional, only a right person is required to operate its system.


Author Bio: 

Karen: A Business Tech Analyst. She is very responsible towards her job. She loves to share her knowledge and experience with her friends and colleagues.


How to Streamline Organic Search Through SEO

For small businesses and freelancers just starting out, SEO is the scariest set of three letters that ever graced the Earth (well, maybe the second scariest after VAT). SEO, what it is, how to do it, what is it supposed to do for you: these are all questions that everyone thinking about e-commerce nowadays has asked themselves. And the answers are often confusing. The only thing everyone seems to agree is that SEO is very important.


It hasn’t always been like this. During the Internet’s salad days SEO used to be a quite straightforward. People soon figured what were the main factors to get to the top of Google organic results: keywords and links. And so, people used and abused the system, using it to get their sites to the top regardless of content and quality. Google soon got fed up and said, “no more.” Enter Penguin, Panda and Hummingbird, the updates to Google’s sorting algorithm that to this day haunt SEO experts all around the world. These updates started punishing those that abused the system buying links from other sites and abusing keywords, pushing their sites to the bottom of their search results.

Google algorithm has gotten so complicated, and sometimes so punishing, many are timid to use traditional SEO techniques at all. There’s a fair amount of guesswork and even superstition. Self-proclaimed SEO gurus sell themselves as modern day alchemists. They’d have you believe SEO is magic.

However, at its heart, there’s nothing arcane or obscure about SEO. It’s not high tech. It’s not witchcraft. The core foundation of how to get good Google organic results is today the same it has always been:

Content. That’s the secret.

It’s simple, and yet it’s still the most effective way to get to the top. Relevant, quality content. Providing value to the customer. Old-fashioned tenets, yes, but they’re guaranteed to shoot you up Google’s PageRank.


Good content, however, is not easy to come by. Luckily, there are plenty of tools online devoted to make it easier for small companies. Sites like Market Domination Media help you craft relevant, SEO friendly content, design an adequate website and prepare a sound marketing strategy.

It’s also very important to publish new content regularly. Google loves fresh content. Make sure to keep your website or blog up to date, making regular publications with information of interest to your target clientage. A quick and easy hack in this regard is to freshen up old content. Change the date of publishing of your copy to a more recent date and Google will already look kindly on your website.


You should also make sure your customers have no problem navigating your website. Keep in mind that most people nowadays prefer to use their phones to check Internet sites than a computer. Google’s sorting algorithm is known to rank mobile-friendly websites higher than the rest.  Make sure that your website is optimized for mobile devices. Small details like these are crucial for your success in the organic search result page.

It’s also vital to be mindful of social media. Have a profile on all the main platforms – Facebook, LinkedIn and especially Google+. On this topic, one of the most frequent SEO mistakes to avoid is having inconsistent info on your different profile. Make sure to keep updated every change in phone number, address, company name, etc. Consistency is key to get recognized by search engines as a single entity.


That said, don’t forget the old-fashioned essentials of SEO: keywords and links. Yes, lately has become quite punishing lately, but only to those who cheat. High-quality links still play an important role in SEO. The key is not going for the spammy strategies so popular just a few years ago. Instead, go for quality over quantity: shoot for links on respected websites. Guest blogging is a very popular way to build links these days, as is infographic distribution.

The same principle of quality over quantity applies to keywords. The days of stuffing your content with non-relevant, overly general keywords that send useless traffic to your website are over. To avoid getting punished by Google’s algorithms, make sure you use targeted keywords that are relevant to your business. Be as specific as you can. If, for example, you own a home improvement company in Dallas, don’t use the general keyword “home improvement.” Instead, you want something more precise, like “Dallas home improvement.” This will send you the kind of traffic that is specifically looking for you, therefore raising your overall SEO performance.


You might think that even having this in mind, you still don’t know how to craft good content. However, there’s no excuse in the Internet age: there are plenty of tools and sites, like Five Technology, that can help you optimize your content and bring the tech-savviness your business needs.

These are the basics of modern SEO practice. OF course, there’s much more to it, but following these guidelines you’re guaranteed to get a competent organic search position for your website.

Author Bio:

Rachel Summers has been a social media manager for seven years, working for a variety of companies, both big and small, including Top Canadian Writers, a leading custom writing service. In her free time, Rachel also helps and advices a variety of small and start-up businesses on their social media strategies.

4 Free Install Tools To Take Your Small Business To The Next Level.

4 Free Install Tools To Take Your Small Business To The Next Level.

Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs put their daily efforts into perfecting their business model. Budget friendly resources are the best way to sustain your starting capital. Here are 4 great free-installs products that can take a business to the next level.

Ensuring That Your Escape Room Business Succeeds

Get to Know Your Market and Competition

Before you start an Escape Room business, make sure you know that there’s a need and want for it in your local community. There’s hundreds of escape rooms in the US, do some research and understand how your competition operates.



  • Visit Existing Escape Rooms: Take time out of your busy schedule to visit your competitor's facility and identify the good, bad and ugly. Put yourself in the consumer’s shoes and experience the escape room how a paying customer would.


  • Figure Out Your Escape Room Theme: Based on your targeted audience, you will need to come up with a theme (ex: Zombie Apocalypse, Alien Invasion)  that will best serve their curiosity and interest.




Be Unique, Be Different

Make sure that your Escape Room stands out. If you are planning on running a successful business you have to make sure that it is unique and different from other surrounding escape rooms. No one is going to want to visit your escape room if it’s similar to the ones around your area and has the same theme.

But just because you have a unique idea for your escape room that doesn’t mean it will be successful. Listen to your community and learn what their needs and likes are and go off that. Just add your own twist to it.



Is Your Escape Room Up To Code?

Before you go and start taking bookings, make sure your Escape Room is up to the safety code. Businesses get shut down all the time due to fire codes which will cause you to lose business and time. Contact a contractor/city planner/fire marshal to make sure that there are no violations that can cause your business to be shut down.


  • First and foremost is if you are allowed to lock people in rooms in your county: because if you can’t then there’s no reason at all to start building an Escape Room business in your community.


  • Parking restrictions are also a big deal. Know where your customers are able to park and where they are not.


  • The legal occupancy for your business: You should also be aware of the number of people you are allowed to have in the building. The legal occupancy depends on the size of the space where you are holding your business.



Marketing Your Escape Room

To ensure your consumers know about your brand and company, you need to market your business. Make it a priority. As a small business owner, it is likely that only a handful of people that will know that you have recently opened your business, which probably only includes your family and close friends. But you can’t rely on word-to-mouth to let consumers know about your exciting new escape room.


  • Blogs and Forums: Posting articles on blogs and forums are good sources of distributions to further reach your consumers.


  • Social Media: As you can tell at this day and age most businesses have moved toward online marketing.When marketing your escape room use all social media channels.


-Facebook & Instagram






Facebook and Instagram allow you to create advertisements and set goals for your business. Either to gain more brand awareness, conversions, and traffic to your website.



  • Wide Consumer Outreach: Facebook is a very well-known social media platform with many users so creating content and posting it on Facebook could get a lot of people to view your advertisement


  • Conversion Measurement: By creating a Facebook pixel, you are able to track actions users take when they view your ads


  • Mobile: Facebook has over a billion active mobile users. When creating an ad Facebook allows you to target users anywhere on mobile devices


  • Split-testing: When creating an advertisement of Facebook you can create a split-test ad where you can target 2 different audiences for the same ad and then get results to see which one gives you better results.

Even though there’s a lot of pros to advertising on Facebook and Instagram not a lot of small businesses have enough experience to promote their business or a Marketing budget to cover those cost.



  • High Advertising costs: Advertising through Facebook can be really costly. Many companies spend hundreds to thousands of dollars a month when they advertise through Facebook and if you are just starting your small business it is likely that you don’t have a Marketing budget.  


  • Inexpensive Marketing: Creating social media posts is a really useful too but that doesn’t mean that will always be successful. If you don't have any experience in Marketing knowing who your main consumer audience is and targeting them might be something you will have trouble on. If you aren't sure what kind of consumers you are trying to reach when creating advertisements your ads won’t always be successful and won’t receive the conversions results you wanted.


  • Identifying Target Markets: When distributing content you want to make sure that the right audience is seeing your advertisements.Facebook and Instagram won’t know who your target audience is but will target an audience that it thinks will best fit your ad. Sometimes it does an okay job in distributing content but most times it fails to deliver the information to your main audience.

Unable to Create Discounts and Promotional Codes: Although Facebook provides many helpful tools, it does not allow you to create discount or promotional codes.




A lot of small businesses don’t even have a budget for Marketing but there are platforms like Verlocal that are dedicated to helping local businesses, which provide and handle all of the Marketing for your business for FREE.



  • Marketing Tools at NO COST: When you sign up with Verlocal they will handle all of the Marketing for your business for free. They manage all of your customer interactions so that your time and money are better spent on improving your business.


  • Facebook Retargeting Ads: Verlocal retargets customers visiting your website and create Facebook advertisements that appear on their newsfeed. So there’s no need for you to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars a month on Facebook ads and your advertisements are more likely to reach your target audience. Your brand and product remain visible, as consumers scroll their social media feed.


  • Ability to Create Discount and Promotional Codes: When you become a Verlocal host you have the ability to create promotional codes on their website at no extra cost.


  • Newsletters and Retargeting Emails: Verlocal also targets consumers with their daily newsletters to help promote your brand, keep them updated on information about your company, and special promotions.


  • Customer Reviews: Past customers are able to create reviews on their experiences and will be posted directly to your website. A feature that you should consider is a review reminder that collects reviews from previous consumers. Mention that these customer reviews will be posted right next to our book not page. Customers can access customer reviews without opening another window to access the customer review on Facebook/Yelp


  • Easy-to-use booking tool: They provide a booking system that is easily embedded onto your website, allows you and your potential customers to see how many spots are available for your listing.



Get Feedback and Learn From Your Mistakes

Actively ask your past customers to give a review on their experience. By knowing what the consumer’s thoughts and suggestions are, you are then able to fix the issues and improve your business. It is better to know what the problems are with your escape room before it drives all of your customers away and puts you out of business.


  • Allow Customer Reviews: Create a page or section for customer reviews on your website or have customers fill out a survey at the end of their experience rating and giving you suggestions on your escape room.