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Seeking improved outcomes from your marketing endeavors? Foster synergy between campaigns and content.
Sharpen your B2B marketing focus with this simple 4-part framework. Stop doing everything – choose what NOT to do.
The best way to make your content more effective is better storytelling. Learn four essential types of stories every business must tell.
If your business is contemplating outsourcing your marketing, it’s important to understand the purpose. Learn about the variety of benefits and hazards that can come from outsourced marketing.
How much should you allocate toward your marketing budget? It’s a matter of simple math, and strategy, and decluttering your plan.
In order to make the right decisions for your company, you need better reports from your marketing people. Here’s what’s wrong with your reports and what you should expect from your marketing people instead.


Seeking improved outcomes from your marketing endeavors? Foster synergy between campaigns and content.
Sharpen your B2B marketing focus with this simple 4-part framework. Stop doing everything – choose what NOT to do.
The best way to make your content more effective is better storytelling. Learn four essential types of stories every business must tell.
If your business is contemplating outsourcing your marketing, it’s important to understand the purpose. Learn about the variety of benefits and hazards that can come from outsourced marketing.
How much should you allocate toward your marketing budget? It’s a matter of simple math, and strategy, and decluttering your plan.
Is your website answering the most important questions your target audience has about your business? This one thing turns irrelevant websites into effective websites.
It takes 8-10 touches before a customer makes a buying decision. You need a plan for how to follow-up with your prospective and past customers. Here’s what we recommend.
There are three typical reasons your marketing efforts fail. To run successful ads, you need to simplify your message and tighten up your target. Here’s how.
Customers need to know the right next step on your website. How clear is your call to action? Do you have a plan for the people who aren’t ready to buy today?
How can you make sure your site ranks well without investing loads in digital ads? Search engine optimization, or SEO, plays a key role. Here are five ways to win with Search.
Learn more about how to capture your customer’s attention with engaging marketing.
Learn about common marketing mistakes and simple solutions Spire has to offer.
If your marketing efforts aren’t generating the results you want, maybe you’re sitting on a lopsided stool. You need a plan to accomplish all three of these important parts of the marketing funnel.
The blank page is an intimidating space, but with this single tool, you’ll be equipped to create great marketing content every single time.
Are you a do-it-yourselfer? I would say that I am, but my wife might disagree. I once had a near-death experience with DIY. I was running new electrical in my basement man cave. I forgot to turn off the power at the main electric box… my pliers hit the main power supply and… BOOM!
Your customers have changed post-COVID. How should your marketing messaging change to meet the needs of your customers?
You can generate social media content for the next 6-12 months in one afternoon using the splintering technique. Learn more at Spire.
Webinars and seminars are a great way to generate leads, engage visitors, and convert sales for your business. Here’s how you can plan your next presentation in 90 minutes or less.
Is hiring holding you back? You are not alone!
I believe that we were created to work.  But not the drudgery kind of work. It is an amazing feeling to get paid to do work that aligns seamlessly with our passions, talents and our natural areas of influence. But how do you find that kind of work? How do you even know what you’re looking for?  And if you’re looking for a job, how do you make good decisions that move you in the right direction?
Catch the buzz about a new social media platform? As a marketer, there are risks and rewards to being a pioneer on a new platform or staying with the tried-and-true tactics of established land.
Scarcity, one of Dr. Cialdini’s principles of influence, is a powerful psychological tool marketers can use to help drive sales. Learn how to use this tool with authenticity.
These six tactics can give your business the credibility it needs to increase conversion rates using one of Cialdini’s 6 Principles of Influence: Social Proof.
The biggest challenge marketers face with their marketing is how to get more high quality leads and how to convert those opportunities into sales. There is a strategy that achieves both goals at once. I call it “baby steps.”
In order to make the right decisions for your company, you need better reports from your marketing people. Here’s what’s wrong with your reports and what you should expect from your marketing people instead.
Every brand marketer wants more engagement and more leads that ultimately lead to more customers served and more dollars in your pocket. The best way we’ve found to get more is actually with less. Here’s how.
Keep planting seeds. When times are uncertain, plant seeds. When times are steady and comfortable, plant seeds. When you
Shed your anxieties about redesigning your business’s website with these five tips.
Do you want to boost your impact as a marketing pro? Learn to make complex things simple. it’s an often-overlooked but essential superpower that every great marketer needs in their arsenal.
Creating a brand is more than a logo in front of the thing you are selling. Your brand is the story of your business and, in turn, of you. Learn how to translate your brand and create the story you want to tell.
Facebook rolled out its new Business Suite, an improved user interface that integrates Facebook Page, Instagram, and Messenger management from your desktop or mobile device.
Calculating a daily ad spend for your digital marketing campaigns can be tricky, but we explain it here and give practical ways to understand how your daily ad budget is being used.
If you manage a brand or are a marketing manager, you’ve surely heard the term Search Engine Optimization (SEO) before. SEO is often used to measure a business’s organic presence in a search engine and across multiple platforms, usually i
Updating business listings online doesn’t have to be painful. With this How-To guide, now you can easily make updates to your website, Facebook or Google My Business listing.
Hero, victim, villain, guide: which role do you play in your marketing?
With growing concerns over the Coronavirus, hosting virtual meetings can help you keep people connected in real-time, even if they are uncomfortable gathering in person. Here are three recommended platforms to consider.
When your startup is just the seed of an idea planted by a handful of people, the possibility of just starting can be completely overwhelming. Where do you begin? Here are six steps to get your business online on a budget.
Do you have a website that doesn’t seem to be generating the results you expected? What you need is a clapper and a speaker. Read on. I’ll explain.
Are the good old days of advertising gone for good? Here are three major reasons why marketing doesn’t work like it used to.
If you’re having a hard time getting noticed and gaining traction in your industry, you might not have a lead problem. You might have an awareness problem.
It’s easy to make mistakes when it comes to hiring. Spire’s founder, Jeremy Harrison, admits he’s made a few mistakes along the way. Here are ten hiring lessons he learned firsthand over our first ten years in business.
You can have all the talent in the world, but without team chemistry you won’t be successful. But what makes “good” team chemistry, anyway? Read on for ideas on how to boost the chemistry of your employees to ensure your business wins every time.
What do you think it costs your business to replace a great employee? The second half of this 2-part series, teaches you how to build a place where people love to work, and where more great people are lining up to join your ranks.
You already know how important it is to hire great workers. Most hiring efforts fail because employers attract the wrong pool of applicants in the first place. Read on to learn more about how you can narrow your hiring process down to four steps that guarantee you’re extending that job offer to the perfect candidate.
This post is written for entrepreneurs everywhere. Vacations for entrepreneurs are critically important. I’ve started to view my summer vacation as an annual benchmark that helps me see the progress in my business growth.
Entrepreneurs need access to the right systems. How are you managing your customer relationships? How are you communicating with your customers? Is there a better way? We think so. Read on.
Your time is priceless. How are you spending it to add the most value to your company and your life? Review these seven mistakes to discover ways you can become more efficient and effective as a small business leader.
You need traffic now, and while it’s important to set a good SEO foundation on your website, you can’t wait on Google to get you the leads you need to grow.
There are two simple tools missing from most websites that drastically impact your ability to connect to customers. Find out how adding direct and transitional calls-to-action can make all the difference.
When leads find themselves on a landing page, they can get distracted by detours that are often overlooked and end up lost. This results in lower conversion rates and sales. Ultimately? Your lead turns the car around and drives off into the sunset with another business that played the game better. See where leads are getting lost on your landing page and how you can optimize to reach any desired market.
So you created a LinkedIn company page and now you’re ready to start getting some leads and engagement from it. But where do you start?
Optimize your web content through keywords! Learn the four-step process to using optimized search to your website’s benefit.
Which keywords are right for your content? Do you stand out in a search compared to your competitors? Avoid these four common mistakes in search engine optimization.
Stop investing in your neighbors’ yellow-paper doorstops and start investing in advertising that will make a real, lasting difference. Here are three quick tips for where you can divert your ad budget to see real, measurable results.
On April 1, Spire announces its newest initiative, MicroSpire, to help even smaller business leaders grow.
Here are five areas you can rein in without getting bogged down in details. If you can sign off on these five areas, you can delegate the details of your marketing to others, knowing that it’s pointed in the right direction.
Do you have a playbook to run your business successfully? If you don’t have a plan, how do you know what steps to take next? Here’s how you can assemble a playbook for your small business.
What stage of growth is your small business in? Read on to learn what challenges businesses like yours face at this stage of the game and discover the twists and turns you might anticipate where you’re headed.
What would your business look like if you could hire ten leading experts on business management to reveal blindspots that are keeping your small business from growing?
Time and time again, I see small businesses make this critical mistake on social media: treating social media the same as your website. Here’s why it just doesn’t work that way.
Yeah, you’ve heard it said that businesses should be on social media. But what is your brand doing on social media? How can you take better advantage of this free marketing tool for your organization?
Your customers are looking for different things in brands than they used to. Is your brand top of mind when they’re deciding to buy?
For us salespeople, the New Year is a perfect time to hit reset. Everything is new! Potential clients have new budgets, current clients bring new opportunities, your own business has new goals. And you’ve got a clean slate. There’s only one “new year” per year…so let’s do this one right!
There’s a lot to gain in understanding what your customers want from you. Delivering that want right to their inbox earns brownie points for your business. These tips and tricks will instantly improve your email communications while also keeping your business fresh in the minds of your current customers.
If you sell services to homeowners, you have a lot on your shoulders. You need to make sure your cell phone keeps ringing and your guys keep working.  So what can you do? Read on for three keys to competition-proof your business and close more profitable sales.
What if your end-of-year giving campaign could be more than just a letter? With a few simple adjustments to your fundraising effort, you could increase contributions to your annual fund this holiday season.
Is your business one of the 70.7% making the most out of Instagrams marketing perks? A lot more goes into your social media strategy than taking a picture. The next time you go to post make sure you’re using these essential Instagram copywriting hacks to instantly connect with your followers.
What if I told you salespeople are free to chart their own course, to be the salesperson they want to be? There are 10 freedoms you need to be aware of in the Salespeople Bill of Rights. As a small business, how you handle sales drives whether you win or lose in business. If you’re a salesperson yourself or you have a sales team on staff, this Bill of Rights will help your sales team choose the pace and persona of your business and position your company for success.
The longer you’re able to keep people on your site, the more likely they are to turn into active customers. Does your website make it easy for your customers to figure out if you’re the one for them? Here are a few tips to sharpen up your content.
Google provides you with helpful insights on how people interact with your business listing – even if they don’t visit your website! See how you can unlock these free insights and use them to your advantage.
The longer you’re able to keep people on your site, the more likely they are to turn into active customers. Here are two mechanical ways your site could be turning people away before they even have the chance to get to know you.
Guess what? Local businesses actually have an edge over the big brands, thanks to Google Maps / Google Local listings. Check it out!
The used car salesman gets a bad rap, but it isn’t because he’s a salesman. Here are four tips to change the name of the game… and the way you play it – from “salesman” to “professional solutions provider.”
How a Work Truck company in Ohio has been highlighting industry-specific products with easy-to-understand case studies, and are reaching thousands of highly-engaged prospects and generating quality leads in the process.
Sometimes using and managing social media can leave us with more questions than one. How many times should you post a week? What do you even need to be posting? Read on and learn simple ways to keep your business’ social media alive and thriving.
Merry Christmas from your friends at Spire!
For the second year in a row, small businesses across North Central Ohio were invited to enter themselves into our $10,000 Website and Marketing Giveaway. It’s with great excitement that we announce after initially selecting 12 semi-finalists, a meeting between the panel of judges earlier today has narrowed the list down to six finalists!
We want to honor small businesses in a big way this year. Read more on how you can enter to win a FREE website and marketing package or sign up to attend our Grow Simply workshop.
As a small business leader, it’s NORMAL to feel like you’re at the mercy of things you can’t control. But take heart. You have control over your small business.
Andrew is about to show you why you’re throwing most of your advertising budget out the window, and provide you with a clear, simple plan to quickly get more leads.
As a leader, it’s easy to let a fear of failure overcome your hope for success. This mindset stifles your decisions, makes it hard to enjoy winning, and most importantly, quickly infects the people you lead. Here are three lessons I’ve learned that have helped me stay focused on winning.
If you don’t have one single clear goal for your website, the project is likely to lead to disappointment.
Getting new business from cold traffic is the HARDEST, most expensive way to grow. These days, if you tell me, “I need results tomorrow,” I won’t suggest a website or an ad campaign as step one. I will prescribe one of three “growth hacks” that generate results much faster.
Get the inside scoop on how Facebook can be a great marketing tool for your small business.
Great customers? Check. Awesome website? Check. Get your customers to take the next step to buy-in to your small business with the right call-to-action.
Photography is a great outlet for customers to engage with your small business online. Impress the people who visit your website with the element of photography and unleash the many benefits of customer satisfaction and even SEO perks.
Showing up in searches is a common goal for small businesses. Making your content search engine worthy is the way to get there. Read part one of this two-part blog series in optimizing your content for search engines!
Video content creates a bond with your audience. For small businesses, this is important. Be the company customers choose over your competition by establishing a connection with them.
Don’t just talk at your customers, talk to them! Make these people see themselves as the hero in your brand’s story for the best engagement results.
The winner of our $10,000 website giveaway has been selected! Join us in congratulating HYSight Technologies!
Thank you to the local leaders of our community who attended our Grow Simply marketing workshop!
When your website has clear navigation, the flow runs more smoothly. Show your customers how easy you are to work with by incorporating the right navigation strategy on your website.
A professional looking website send the message that you have a professional business. Having admirable photography throughout your website gives your customers a preview of the quality of work you’re small business is capable of.
Spire has big things planned in honor of Small Business Saturday – read on to see what steps we’re taking and what’s in store for YOU as a small business owner in North Central Ohio!
Unsure if email marketing is the route for your next campaign? Spire had an interesting run in with email marketing to prove to us it still works…and well!
This fool-proof management system saves you time and money – two things small business owners and entrepreneurs cannot afford to waste.
Video has taken the content realm by storm. This tactic not only allows your site visitors to engage with your content, but results in leads and sales!
Hashtags don’t have to be intimidating. Learn how to use these distinctive features of social media with or hashtag crash course!
As a small business owner, you know the feeling of being pulled in a million directions. Are you missing out on these hacks to increasing your productivity?
With our world becoming increasingly digital, the strong need for understanding and utilizing eWOM is here.
Ready to rank in Google? Get our free SEO Cheat Sheet – a one-page, easy to follow guide to SEO for everyday small businesses!
Finding the right voice to communicate with your customers can be a challenge. Lucky for you, everyone and their mother has email nowadays! Turn your email campaigns into marketing success in three simple steps.
Video content creates a bond with your audience. This allows you to stand out from your competitors and become the top choice for customers!
Creating engaging content for your site’s visitors doesn’t have to be complicated. Use these three easy components to write compelling, engaging content!
Your time is limited. You need a dependable way to grow. You want more clarity and control, but you don’t want to get bogged down in technology.
Managing a small business means managing your employees. Keep them happy and grow your business with these five tips!
Interactive written content has promising results for a website and a business as a whole. Gain more clicks, conversions, and traffic with your written content and learn how to maximize results.
Changes are always happening at Spire to better our company and ultimately better your business! We’ve recently hired Whitney Derr, our Writing Specialist to generate content for your site.
Your website should stand out, but how exactly do small business owners do that? Your content is your answer. Generating awesome content will attract traffic and drive sales, you just need to know where to start!
Focus on the needs of your customer. Learn how to shift your marketing to be all about them, but still make them love your small business.
Engaging visitors on your website comes in different levels. So does the way you ask these visitors to commit to your small business! Sometimes major commitment is scary, so ease into it with transitional calls-to-action.
Ever wonder why you love your favorite movie as much as you do? You can find out AND find out how this strategy applies to your small business!
Ten or fifteen years ago, a good advertisement would make your phone ring. And an effective salesperson could turn those ringing phones into sales. Today, you need a plan to make the most of every advertising dollar you spend.
Would you like more sales? There are 3 hidden “leaks” that kill sales on most websites and marketing campaigns. Fix the leaks and you’ll multiply the sales you get from your website, without increasing costs.
“So, what does your company do?” Have you ever felt like people are falling asleep when you try to answer that question? Me too. Your success in attracting new customers is dependent on your ability to boil your complex business down to an extremely simple brand story.
When you attract traffic to your website, you should find ways to immediately engage your visitors. And the only way to get them engaged is with content that focuses on the REAL NEEDS of your customer.
Tell your company’s story in a way that keeps your audience engaged and generates sales!
Is your marketing too self-centered? Odds are, yes. If so, it’s costing you traffic, leads and sales. “Self-centered” marketing talks too much about the business and the product for sale, and not enough about the customer who’s buying it.
I sometimes meet entrepreneurs who are successful, but absolutely miserable. For most, they just aren’t passionate about the thing they are doing. Here are three ways that I see entrepreneurs get off course:
A group of local business and community leaders are leading a major grassroots effort to help transform downtown Ashland, Ohio. The group of leaders include Scott Donley
If the success of your small business depends on driving visitors through your door, you should try Facebook’s “Local Awareness” ads. Local Awareness is a fairly new type of ad that targets visitors based on their location when they are online.
It’s official. Google is cracking down on websites that aren’t mobile-friendly. For the first time that I can recall, they named the date.
Has your marketing sprung a leak? Read up on these three marketing mishaps that can keep you from smooth sailing.
Your website. It should be your greatest marketing asset. But for most small business owners, it’s just a big headache. There are five areas of focus that need attention
At the 2014 edition of ICON, Greg Jenkins did an awesome presentation on sales dashboards for both sales reps and sales managers.
You can now take this marketing resource anywhere you have a mobile device! Get quick answers to increased sale techniques anywhere you go.
The City Garden Café is located in the Mansfield Municipal Building on 30 N. Diamond St. in Mansfield. The upscale café has a contemporary design with a diverse menu featuring deli sandwiches, soups, bagels, salads, desserts, made-from-scratch smoothies and espressos.
A marketing funnel is a way of thinking about how your prospects move through the customer lifecycle, from the first point of contact as new traffic all the way to the point of nurturing existing customers—and all the points in between.
Linda Carr of Linda’s Mobile Grooming Palace was spotlighted in a feature article on Richland Source this week for her success growing her business.
Find out how your advertising DNA will inform the types of advertising, including traditional forms, that work for your business.
A form of direct marketing, email marketing techniques range from blasting a customer list with one strategic email to dripping targeted messages one at a time to targeted prospects.
An effective marketing campaign in 2014 must include a combination approach to increasing traffic. In past blogs, we’ve already focused on using SEO and social media.
Gain success, results, and leads! Your customer has valuable information you need, so how do you get that information?
Content campaigns are a cost-effective way to promote your business and drive more traffic to your website.
Businesses can boost SEO in multiple ways, such as through blogging, conducting a paid search campaign and using social media. But there are specific components on each website page speak the language of SEO. Read more to see the specific components.
Email marketing is a form of marketing that targets customers where they are spending their time: online and in their email inboxes.
A free report can’t “live” in the virtual world by itself. To generate leads from any kind of offer (which includes content like a webinar, white paper, ebook, research report, etc.), you need to lay out a foundation for the offer, which is strategically designed to guide consumers down a specific path—a path to buying.
Building a website without taking advantage of what analytics can tell you is like sending out a direct-mail campaign to everyone in town.
Writing blogs for your website takes time and effort that you feel you can’t afford to lose. My argument is that you can’t afford NOT to blog.
The buzz around social media is undeniable, but how do you know if social media will work for your business? And which social media platform is best suited for your business?
There is just one reason why businesses use duplicate content: It’s cheap. But there’s a big downside: It burns your SEO results.
Most businesses know that content marketing should comprise at least a portion of their strategy to market their business.
You’re in good shape if your website features static pages that describe your company, and give an overview of your products and services.
Find out if Pinterest marketing is a good fit for your small business, and learn the perks it offers over other social media like Facebook and Twitter.
Creative use of email marketing can put your business on the fast track.
Even with an effective marketing plan to optimize your web pages and create a strategic paid search campaign, there’s a missing link here that can help businesses really capture quality leads: the opt-in form.
Internet marketing isn’t like having the confused shopper experience, where you’re holding an organic and non-organic apple in your hand, wondering which one is truly better.
Creating a Google+ business page doesn’t require that you hold professional certification in social media. In fact, Google has made creating a business account a fairly simple process. Here’s a primer on setting up a Google+ page for your business.
In the typical marketing funnel, only 3 percent of the people that visit your site are ready to buy. So, what are the rest of your website visitors doing there?
With these five website features, your website will promote a high level of engagement.
What if you could learn about one that had the potential to reach almost 10,000 people every second? Would you be interested?
It might seem impossible to please both customers and Google. But it isn’t. You don’t need an advanced degree in business or marketing to figure it out. You don’t need a huge marketing budget, either.
Being an entrepreneur, you always could use more sales driving up your numbers. We’ve prepared an easy-to-follow plan just for you to help dominate the market!
Merry Christmas! Be sure to watch to the very end for a special treat…
If you’re developing a brand presence on Facebook but your strategy doesn’t include contests or giveaways, you’re probably missing the mark.
Consumers are looking for what you have to offer, but can they find you on the web? They can if your website is optimized for local search.
So, you want to update your website? Perhaps your old site was thrown together quickly. Perhaps it isn’t serving your needs very well. It’s also possible that what was once a well-designed website is now tired and out-of-date.
As a business owner, you’ve probably already heard about the immense power of content marketing. That said, unless there’s proof, it can be difficult for a small businesses to come up with the resources to invest in content marketing.
Google+, the social media arm of the search engine giant, offers small businesses a social media resource–and more–like no other.
Choosing a website domain name is not for the fainthearted. The process will underpin your entire business and its digital marketing potential.
I finally got a chance to post the second half of my talk with Nate Bebout. In this video, Nate talks about what motivates the millennial generation, and 5 practical steps to make your marketing more effective.
What’s the deal with young adults born from 1982-2000? Do we call them Generation Y? The Millenial Generation? How do I reach them? Is there any hope for our future?
The importance of putting fresh articles on your website is unquestionable. Here’s how often you should be blogging to keep Google and your customers happy.
What do you do when a potential buyer tells you your prices are too high? I’ve noticed that most sellers react in one of 3 ways. Most people GIVE IN, they GIVE UP, or they GET EVEN. Let me explain…
In Google Analytics, there is a metric titled “Bounce Rate”, which tends to throw people off 😉 . Thankfully, it’s not too difficult to understand.
When working with small businesses, we often talk to people who have both a website AND a blog. Here are 5 important reasons why the blog and the website should be combined into one online presence.
I hear it all the time: “Do I have to pay to rank in Google? This article helps bring clarity to free AND paid listings in Google, and points to free, helpful resources for help.
Does your website resonate with potential customers? Does your website get potential customers involved? Most importantly, does your website allow you to communicate with visitors AFTER they have left your website?
Pop quiz! If I were to ask you what KB stood for could you tell me? What about MB and GB?
.jpg, .png, .txt, .pdf, .tiff, .doc, .ppt, .mp3, .wav, .wma, .avi, .swf, .xls. Looking at a list like this sure can make your head swim! Good thing I am here to help explain them!
The idea was that if the wheel is round and smooth, then we just need to find a better road to spin it on. But today, if you aren’t reinventing the wheel, what are you doing? Round is outdated. We are improving things that haven’t even been un-proven!
I’m a victim. Actually, it’s worse than that. I willingly gave in. Even though I swore I never would. For the first time in my 7 years of using Facebook, I did the unthinkable…
Somebody said that it couldn’t be done, But, he with a chuckle replied That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one Who wouldn’t say so till he tried.”
If I were forced to either forget everything I learned in college, OR forget everything I learned on the farm as a child, I wouldn’t think twice. Early lessons on the farm were far more valuable. Things that seemed like common sense as a kid now seem profound. Here’s a simple example.
Over the past 18 months, we’ve had the great privilege of working with The Center For Individual and Family Services Catalyst Life Services.
I just had a revelation. I realized that my network of close personal friendships — the people my wife and I spend time with in our local community — has been altered over the years by our exposure on Facebook.
On Thursday and Friday, we offered two all-day workshops for some of our Spire customers.
Recently we have been getting some phone calls about the new version of Firefox not playing nice. One of the complaints has been that when you try to view a PDF file from
Our next Customer Training Intensive is scheduled for April. And as we were putting it together, we were inspired to offer two completely separate events, for two different groups of customers.
Every day you have people looking at your website – but what are they doing? Here are some important questions you CAN and SHOULD answer. They will help you find out if you are connecting with your visitors
Last month, Facebook announced a new feature called “Graph Search.” You’ll see it on your Facebook page soon. There’s already a lot of info out there about the new Graph Search. But it’s the features hidden under the surface that has great potential for marketers.
In a session at our last Spire Customer Training Intensive, I showed customers how a new under-utilized strategy in the Google Display Network called Remarketing could be beneficial, even for smaller businesses with small budgets. I’m not going to re-hash my presentation here, but this video shows the results of a short, very small experiment we did on this website.
I have many titles at Spire. Sales Director, Marketing Consultant, Client Representative. They are all correct in many ways. But, none quite right. What I really do is…
As a Spire Customer Service Representative, I get a lot of questions everyday on how to use SpireCMS. So to help with these questions, I decided to make up a few quick videos.
If given the choice, would you take $10,000 today, or $500/month for the rest of your life? While logic tells us to take the ongoing payments — studies have consistently shown that most people are prone to take what they can get RIGHT NOW, ignoring the added long-term benefits that come from waiting.
Three winters ago, I sat down at my desk to write a blog post. I had a million things to do, and it felt like a waste of time. After days of setting it aside to do other things that were more urgent, I finally finished it and stuck it on the website.
Zig Ziglar passed away last week, at the age of 86. One can only wish to leave such a mark on the landscape of the world he loved, as did he. When I entered the sales wo
In early November I taught a seminar on social media and blogging at the Ashland Chamber Business Expo. The session included an interview with a “virtual guest” — Jon Nicol.
Have you ever eaten food just because you felt like you should? Of course you have. We all have. Maybe you’re just not hungry…nothing looks appetizing… you could be doing something else…but it’s time to eat. So we eat. Three meals a day whether you need it or not. It’s just what you do.
Here’s a short excerpt from my presentation at the Spire Customer Training Intensive. I talked about how your customers have changed — and how it has nothing to do with the economy.
Make sure your website is creating enthusiasm. Then, YOU make the sale.
Today I’m going to share 5 things you can do to improve your visibility in the search engines with local searchers.
You’ve heard that writing blog posts is essential to the health of your website. Here are helpful tips for writing a blog post that gets results…
Every Thursday morning, every week of the month, every month of the year, I meet with my referral group. We are group of business men and women who each take sixty seconds to explain to the rest of the group something new and interesting about us. So, each week, I speak about internet marketing. Same 26 people. Same 26 businesses. Over and over and over again. Here’s the payoff…
Are your customers local? Is the majority of your audience within a certain driving distance of your place(s) of business? Locally-focused businesses have never had more leverage in search engines like Google.
This morning I was teaching a seminar, and I was showing examples of landing pages where companies offer something of value in exchange for a name and email address.
If you do the same things today, you’re going to get the same results today. Not necessarily good or bad, but “the same.”
We want you to write great content that gets results. This article will teach you how to write copy that search engines love, without losing sight of your readers.
Have you ever written content on your website and wondered if anybody is actually looking at it? This video will show you a mistake that 86% of businesses make. Fix it on your website, and you could see a significant increase in traffic. This video will show you how it works.
Today I FINALLY setup my page on As I knew already, the Pinterest userbase is dominated by females. I knew it was used primarily by women, but I was struck by just how
Saying that you’re going to write “something” every Friday is destined to fail. You need to start with some planning to figure out what you’re going to say, and when. This is where an editorial calendar can help. 

For every website design or re-design ordered by a Richland County business in May, Spire will make a donation to support airmen and soldiers and their families who are members of the Guard units based in Richland County.
On March 30, Spire Advertising moved into a brand-new office that has been a great upgrade for our growing team.
As an Ashland-area business, we couldn’t be more proud of the Ashland University Women’s Basketball team. The Eagles faced and defeated a tough Bentley squad 77-62 to advance to the Championship game.
Just updated the office construction album with some new photos. Drywall is up, and walls are primed.
How you should use QR Code Marketing. We’re seeing that people aren’t sure how to use QR code advertising effectively. Make the most of your efforts and avoid making these common mistakes. Quick blog tutorial.
In April, Spire will be moving to a new, larger office here in Ashland. The construction is underway and we couldn’t be more excited. We’ll track the progress in this new construction photo album.
We couldn’t be more excited to add these 7 new projects to our web design portfolio. These projects represent work that go beyond a website. Each project involved our entire team…
Is your website built for results? We found sevent costly mistakes small businesses make with their websites, and according to our study, the average local business is making 6 out of the 7 mistakes.
Over the past 2 months we’ve been busier than ever, launching many new websites. Here are 8 new website designs that have gone live and are featured in our portoflio.
Here’s a video designed to walk you through our popular SEO Cheat Sheet. The free SEO cheat sheet and the video will help you learn about many on-page factors that affect
Part 2 of 2 Step Three: Strengthen Credibility & Relationships Over Time This step is where the most important shift has taken place over the past few years. It’s a
There’s been a fundamental shift in the way people buy products and services. It affects small businesses and mega-brands alike. Sadly, just about everyone is missing it.
Steve Jobs was a revolutionary. Many won’t understand the degree to which he impacted our culture until future generations look back and see it more clearly. The person
People sometimes ask what web design project is our best work of all time. I always tell them that whatever website design we’re doing TODAY is our best work! These 6 new designs launched over the past month raise the bar and we’re happy to share them with you.
This latest installment to the Spire Marketing Vault shows 3 email marketing examples and explains why each are ineffective. You’ll learn 4 things that make an email effective and see live examples of what to avoid.
This week’s internet marketing training video explains the concept of a marketing funnel. You’ll learn: how to determine if your site is a good fit for a funnel,the 5 components of a marketing funnel, and how to use a funnel to double your results.
At this free breakfast seminar for Spire customers, Jeremy Harrison will provide and explain a list of the most high-impact work you should be doing on your website to grow your business and maximize your results online.
We’re excited to introduce you to our newest team member. Andrew Eades just started with us as a full-time Internet Marketing Specialist.
Today’s teaching video is created for Spire customers who already have a website powered by SpireCMS. But for those of you who don’t it may be helpful to watch and see what’s possible. Enjoy!
Tonight you’ll find a new button at the top of most pages on the Spire website. The Google +1 button will allow people to +1 your pages, which will get shared through th
Warrior Drive-In and Pizza — a local restaurant in Ontario, Ohio is now taking online orders with an ordering system that rivals the major corporate pizza chains. With “
In March, Google released the “Panda Update” which made significant changes to their search engine algorithm. Changes to Google are always scary. We, and many of our clients get a lot of traffic through organic searches, so you never know what impact changes like these will bring.
Just received an email from a customer. He builds decks, and he wrote: I am trying to get my friends to like and share my website.
Spire has a new website design. Please check out the new site, and let us know what you think!
Here’s an extremely simple example of a pretzel stand using mobile marketing. Every customer who visits their stand has a mobile phone in their pocket.
Are you using Facebook? There’s a 65% chance that you — and your future customer — would say yes. This thing has been like an avalanche — slowly, steadily steamrolling
As a local business owner, and a homeowner in the city of Ashland, I plan to vote “YES” for the bond issue for Ashland City Schools. My wife and I don’t have children, but nonetheless I see this as a critically important issue.
Here’s your chance to build a stunning design portfolio and get invaluable work experience with one of Ohio’s top-ranked web design firms. Spire is searching for another all-star designer to help serve our growing client base.
As we head into another busy month, we pause for a moment to celebrate. Spire just turned 5!
We’ve added twelve new designs to our portfolio, a sample of some of the many sites we launched the first 10 weeks of 2011. Check them out by visiting our web design portfolio
Bryan Lefelhoc & I just got back from Las Vegas. Our mission? To share our new online pizza ordering system at The International Pizza Expo.
My favorite commercial from Superbowl XLV – hands down. I don’t think much of Chrysler, but their agency did a masterful job repositioning what’s a negative opinion of Detroit into an emotionally charged commercial that will sell cars.
I’ve been buying stock photos from iStockPhoto.com for more than 8 years. However, I recently decided to switch to Dreamstime.com as our organization’s primary stock photo service. Here are a few reasons I’m dumping iStockPhoto.
We just found a moment to update the portfolio with several more websites that went live in December. The newest entries include: Ohio Dreams Action Sports Camp,WVMC-FM,Adv
We’ve been very busy this fall. Every week multiple new websites are going live. We added 8 new sites to our portfolio today, and added a dozen others to the site last month.
Here’s your chance to build a stunning design portfolio, learn on the job, and get valuable real-world experience with one of Ohio’s top-ranked web design firms.
Customer service has some similarities to a marriage. If neglected, the relationship will break down, and communication is critically important. Neither type of relationship is ever easy or perfect. But here is a message I sent to my staff today, pointing out how a good customer service relationship should be similar to a healthy marriage…
We just completed a research study and the results were a little frightening. We looked at the websites for hundreds of small businesses in our local area, and checked them on 9 costly mistakes that we tend to see people make on their websites. When looking at 3 of the most costly mistakes, we found that 99.6% of local businesses were making at least 1 of these 3 mistakes.
We received an extremely gracious recommendation from Frank Beier, Jr.. He is the President of Dynamic Webs, LLC, a Findlay Ohio web design company.
If you have an invention, or are working on developing an innovative idea, this seminar may be of interest to you. “Magnet: Innovation, Product Design & Development
Jason Fried recently had an article in Inc Magazine titled “Why is Business Writing So Awful.” A great read that I strongly recommend. We design a lot of business websites each month, and too often, the writing provided by the client can be an afterthought… stuff used to fill an empty space on a page.
After 18 years with Clear Channel Communications as a sales and marketing executive, Bryan Lefelhoc announced today that he is stepping down. The Ashland resident accepted a marketing consultant position with Spire Advertising, a 4-year-old website design and internet marketing firm in Ashland, Ohio.
Last week I had the chance to present at a marketing seminar sponsored by the Ohio Bankers League in Columbus. The topic was “How to Transform Google Searchers into Customers.”
One of the most important steps of a website design process is determining how you will organize your content. Your goal should be to consolidate your content into no more than 7 top-level navigation sections. Each of these top level sections can have sub-pages… even sub-sub-pages… but even with tens of thousands of pages, you should be able to organize your content into 7 sections or less.
Whenever we design a website for a client, we do a lot of search engine optimization work – to help ensure that Google and the other search engines can find the content. However, the structure of the site is only half the battle. Once your site is structured the right way, it’s extremely important to get inbound links that point people back to your website.
Spire is hiring. To keep up with growing demand, we want to hire another exceptional web designer.
The most effective Super Bowl ad this year was, in my opinion Google’s ad called “Parisian Love.” It was so simple that anybody could have created it with their computer. Yet it told a clear story, demonstrated their product, and pulled at the heart strings of viewers. Well done Google, well done.
Planning to promote your company in a Super Bowl commercial? Better make sure your website is ready to handle your offer.
We’ve been busy launching new websites for our clients, but finally carved out the time to launch the 2010 edition of the Spire website.
If you haven’t heard, we’ve been leading a series of Internet Marketing seminars in partnership with the Mansfield Area Chamber of Commerce. The first event was December 3 — it sold out in less than 2 weeks. The second event was January 13 — it sold out in less than 3 days! The final opportunity to attend will be Thursday, February 4 from 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM.
We had a full house at this morning’s internet marketing seminar in Mansfield! Thanks to the Mansfield Richland Chamber of Commerce for hosting the event and promoting it to their membership.Today’s event booked up in under a week and there were more than a dozen people on a waiting list.
When I went to college in the late 90s, there was an attitude among some of my classmates that a college diploma would be like a “golden ticket” to finding a great job. I suppose that was the case at some point, but it surely wasn’t true in the late 90s.Today, college graduates are negatively affected more than any other demographic with this economy.
It’s official. I’m tag-teaming with my friends at the Mansfield-Richland Area Chamber of Commerce to present an internet marketing seminar at the Mansfield Chamber Conference Room. I’ll be presenting three 1-hour presentations on the latest topics like lead generation, online sales, search engine optimization, email marketing & social media.
Many people have asked us why we chose the name Spire for our company.While the word “spire” is not frequently used in the United States, you probably already know that it refers to the top of a building that comes to a point. Church steeples are an example of a spire, and you’ll see spires on many skyscrapers in major cities around the world. Just as a spire helps a building stand out among a crowd, we do the same thing for the companies we serve.
I’m not sure what Apple marketers are trying to accomplish with one of their new Apple 3G commercials. The ability to copy and paste is not a benefit, or even a feature worth spending 30 seconds promoting on television.
Billy Mays was found dead in his Tampa, FL home Sunday morning, possibly connected to a blow to the head he received the night before onboard a US Airways flight. As a marketing professional, I am saddened by the loss. Mays was a man of character. He gave our profession a positive example, in a field that’s often overshadowed by manipulative people who will say anything to make a quick buck.
Do you know what people are saying about your company? The rapid growth of social networking has both simplified and complicated things all at the same time.Our only challenge used to be making sure people said positive things about our companies when they talked to their friends.Now we have to keep up with the techno-savvy people too — the bloggers, reviewers,YouTubers, twitterers, facebookers, and much, much more.
Has your name been “Googled” recently? I bet it has – whether you realize it or not.Now you can control what people see, by setting up your own Google Profile. Like a scaled-down Facebook page, Google’s profile gives you a chance to enter some basic information about yourself, add photos, schools you attended and a few other things.
In November I wrote about my system for getting things done. Now, 6 months later it’s time to review successes & failures of the system I talked about. Some of the things I was doing worked very well, and have become a permanent part of my organization system. Other parts haven’t worked as well as I’d hoped. Let me review both.
Our new postcard hit mailboxes this week – discussing how we can help businesses generate businesses in the recession without spending a fortune on advertising. The postcard is below. We also invited recipients to watch our free video on recession marketing strategies, available here.
Question: “So what is twitter, I signed up tonight, is it just a spin off of myspace and facebook but with a business twist?”
In a recession, consumers are less impulsive, so your business needs to find new ways to reach your customers. AdWords offers a simple way to do so that won’t empty your wallet.
Bottom line, if you are paying one or more monthly fees to have a listing on somebody else’s website, please consider the three powerful alternatives explained here.
If you do pay-per-click campaigns, you probably know that one best practice is to add brackets and quotes to your keyword list – which makes them a phrase match or exact match. It’s simple, but repetitive and time-consuming to do that by hand — especially if you have hundreds of keywords for each ad group as I do. Here’s a simple tool my team just created to help me convert my keyword lists on the fly.
If just one of the big 3 automakers would make it through this economic mess, it would be Ford, in my opinion. That said, I got a chuckle out of a Chevy Silverado commercial I saw today. It was targeted at Ford F-150.
I just finished a new postcard that will be released next week in response to the recession. The headline matches the blog title. The ad copy says the following…
Most folks know that to get more revenue out of their customers, they should sell add-on products. However, some well-crafted add-on products not only give you more revenue at the time of the sale — they practically GUARANTEE that you will get more repeat business.Here’s a perfect example.
As promised yesterday, the new SpireCMS video demo is now complete. I’ve included a small-window version below, or you can click here to view it in a larger window.
I recently met with a prospective client who I’d never met. When I walked in the room, they said — “I know who you are — I saw your photo on your website.” Yet when I described the powerful Content Management System that we have to give customers complete control over their content, this prospect didn’t realize we offered that, even though I talk about it quite a bit on our website.I don’t fault this person at all. It simply reminded me that many people are visual learners…
One of our SEO clients forwarded me an email they received from “Global Vibrations Inc” in Washington DC. Here’s an excerpt…
In October I blogged about some bad news — the sudden closing of Archway Cookies here in Ashland Ohio.Late last week we learned that Lance Inc. — the Charlotte-based company who bought the assets of Archway Cookies — will be reopening Archway cookies.
Snow Trails Ski Resort opened this weekend for the first time in the 2008-2009 season. It was great to see how they used their new website to promote the opening weekend.Spire launched their new website on November 6. In just five weeks since the launch, the new website has hosted nearly 50,000 visitors, and more than 500,000 pages viewed.
Our business has grown quickly over the past 18 months. One challenge has been finding the right system for email, schedules, to-dos and new business leads to handle our growth and keep things organized.Here’s what we’ve done so far to get organized, and what I’m looking at to make the system better.
Imagine if you could walk up to the prospective customers who are looking at your company’s website and ask if they’re ready to buy. What would they tell you? In fact, if you asked every website visitor — how many do you think would be ready to buy your products or services right now… today… right on the spot? If you’re selling expensive products or services, it’s probably no more than 3%. So what are you going to do with the 97% who “walk out” of your “online store” without making a decision to buy?
We’ve been working with the inventor of a North Carolina-based golf swing trainer since we designed & launched his website last Spring.We started assisting with marketing strategy late this summer, and while we had some early challenges, a lot of good things are finally starting to come together. Here’s what we’re doing:
My prayers go out to the families affected by the recent closing of Archway Cookies. I’d like to issue a challenge to my neighbors here in Ashland. I believe there are more than enough talented, hard-working people in this area to create more jobs than our community has ever seen. The secret to creating those jobs…
If you are a member of the Ashland or Mansfield Chamber of Commerce, you will be receiving our new postcard sometime this week…
I’ve been aware of Twitter for a while, but have never been terribly impressed. Cool for personal use, but businesses are raving about it being the next big thing, and I’ve just never seen the marketing benefit to using it.
I’ve been kind-of quiet about our ranking up until now, because I thought it was a fluke. What I found is great news for small local businesses who think they can’t compete on the search engines.
Hello! My name is Jeremy Harrison. Welcome to my new blog! My role at Spire (aside from the normal things that go along with owning a business) is helping small business owners improve their marketing effectiveness.
If you’re an existing Spire customer, you know how powerful and easy to use our Content Management system is. However, we haven’t been resting on our laurels…

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