Expert Blogger Series
Here’s the next post in the ‘Small Business Series’, on how a small business can better leverage its strengths. This week we are talking to none other than David Heinemeier Hansson, partner at 37 Signals, creator of Ruby on Rails and coauthor (with Jason Fried) of the bestselling book ‘Rework’. Signal Vs Noise is one of my favorite startup blogs and we are huge fans of 37 Signals. In this interview I do three quick questions with him:
Romy Misra (Pear Analytics):First David, thanks so much for taking out the time to do this. For a small business seeking to be extraordinary, what are some tactics you would recommend to an SMB that could enhance Internet searchability and SEO?
David Heinemeier Hansson (37 Signals): Our primary technique at 37 Signals is to be interesting. You can try all sorts of tricks or hacks to try to game the search engines, but the most basic is simply to be undeniably good and interesting. Share tips, tricks, and lessons that others want to read and they’ll link to you. Nothing will keep you high in the Google rankings over the long term than having tons of people link to you.Romy Misra (Pear Analytics): Rework focuses a lot on productivity and how a small business can maximize it. What are the basic ways in which a small business maximize it’s productivity?
David Heinemeier Hansson (37 Signals):First, avoid interruptions. Nothing will blow up your working day faster than having meetings and phone calls sprinkled all over it. Second, cut out 90% of all planning. Planning is mostly guessing and worrying about what your business is going to look like 5 years from now is a useless exercise when you should be worrying about how to grow your business next week.Romy Misra (Pear Analytics):What do you feel are the core principles which have gotten you where you are today?
David Heinemeier Hansson (37 Signals):
Do less: We try to underdo the competition and I personally try to restate all our hard problems into easy problems.
Don’t grow: Managing people is hard, managing many people is much harder. We’ve tried to keep our headcount unnaturally low for a company of our revenues. It’s really paid off.
This is our fifth post in the ‘Small Business Series’ which features where we feature industry leaders on how small businesses can better leverage their strengths. This week we are talking to Matt McGee, a contributor for Search Engine Land, specializing in local search. Search Engine Land is one of my favorite SEO websites, which I read to keep myself up to date with SEO news.. Matt’s interest in local was fueled just by the fact that all of his early clients were small, local businesses that wanted to connect with people in his hometown. In the following interview I have focused on businesses who have a local clientele and how they can maximize the value of local search.
Romy Misra (Pear Analytics): First Matt, thanks so much for taking out the time to do this.Let’s start with the most important question for anyone with a small business. Why is it important for small businesses to focus on local search?
Matt McGee: It’s not important for ALL small businesses — but it’s a must for those who offer products or services to local customers. The answer to ‘why’ is that search engines are becoming the default way consumers find local information. Stats show that yellow page usage is on the decline and search engines are on the rise for finding local information. This is particularly true for a site like Google Maps, which has grown to surpass Mapquest as the number one site in the Travel/Maps category that Hitwise tracks.
That said, there are plenty of small businesses that offer products or services nationally, or even globally — if they’re not interested in finding local customers, they don’t really need to focus much on local search.