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Speaker offers tips on website visibility

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If your website can’t be found, does it really exist? It’s certainly not helping you get more customers.

There are ways that you can easily get people to find your website, according to Kim Sherman-Labrum, an associate business consultant with the Idaho Small Business Development Center. Sherman-Labrum, who is also a Certified Google Partner, introduced attendees of a recent Fruitland Chamber of Commerce luncheon to easy tips and tricks to help their businesses get found on the internet.

“Small business owners need to remember that a website isn’t a Field of Dreams. In other words, ‘If you build it, they will come’ is not applicable, Sherman-Labrum said. “Search engines such as Google and Bing have the ultimate goal of providing the best answers to the queries their users put in. But they are only as accurate as the information that’s out there, and we know there is a lot of bad information on the internet.

“As a small business owner, knowing what it is that you do, how it sets you apart from competitors and who, exactly, your customers are, will help you craft content for your website that is relevant to the people searching for you online. When your content is relevant to searches, search engines place your business at the top of the search results. Trying to be everything to everyone doesn’t work, but being the right thing for some people does.”

Sherman-Labrum introduced Chris Hollaway, a local business advisor with the Treasure Valley Community College Small Business Development Center (SBDC).

“The SBDC offers low cost/no cost services to assist businesses with a wide range of topics, in any stage of the business cycle,” Hollaway said. “From helping a pre-venture start-up with a business plan, to quarterly ‘Healthy Business Checkups,’ or even selling or closing a business, the SBDC is there to help.”

Hollaway is just one of a handful of local consultants working through the TVCC SBDC, each with their own unique experiences and advising specialties.

Periodic workshops are hosted through a partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Four Rivers Cultural Center, and Bank of the West. These workshops bring local and international talent to highlight timely concerns at a negligible price to participate.

Sherman-Labrum started with the Idaho SBDC in 1998 and has held positions from administrative assistant to business consultant. Over that time, she has developed curriculum throughout the state of Idaho and recently on a national level. As a consultant, she specializes in online marketing and social media strategies. She has worked with Google on developing a rural outreach program that Google featured in a recruitment video. She holds a B.A. in Graphic Design from Boise State University and recently received a Credential of Readiness from the Harvard Business School CORe program.

Hollaway has been with the TVCC SBDC since 2015 as a Contracted Business Advisor. He’s a Trusted Verifier with the Google City Partners program. His specialties at the SBDC are Oregon CCB licensing, government contracting registrations, simple websites, and independent author platforms. He is a Fantasy/Adventure author, and is in the process of releasing the fourth volume of his series, The Blademage Saga – Planeshifter Knight.

To schedule an appointment with Chris or one of the other advisors in the local SBDC office, call (541) 881-5674.

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