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April 26, 2010

26 Small Business Websites You Can Trust

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With so many scams and rip-offs prevalent on the Internet, I decided to compile a list of small business websites you could actually trust and rely on. In order to compile my list, I surveyed hundreds of small business owners, and asked them which small business services they used, trusted and would recommend to others.

Whichever company received the most votes in each category are the companies you see listed here.

I had two main criteria for a website to make my list:

  • Proof of Customer Satisfaction. The service had to have legitimate, verifiable customer testimonials. If I couldn’t verify the testimonials, the website was disqualified. It’s that simple.
  • Stability. The website had to have a verifiable online track record of at least three years.

Following are the results of my survey, listed alphabetically:

1. Anti-Virus Protection

AVG
http://avg.com
Online since: 2006

AVG is a respected industry leader with award winning free anti-virus protection, serving over 110 million customers worldwide. AVG’s customers rely on AVG to protect them 24 hours a day. Unfortunately, today’s sophisticated security threats go way beyond viruses, and only AVG has the protection arsenal needed to combat the Internet’s most serious online threats.

2. Article Distribution Service

Steve Shaw
SubmitYourArticle
http://www.submityourarticle.com
Online since 2003

Neil Stafford of InternetMarketingReview.com calls SubmitYourArticle the “Rolls Royce of article distribution services.” SYA must be doing something right, because Internet Marketing heavy hitters like Willie Crawford swear by their service.

3. Autoresponder Service

Tom Kultzer
Aweber
http://aweber.com
Online since: 1998

Aweber is the undisputed “King” of autoresponder services.  Their growing team of knowledgeable professionals share a wealth of experience with the over 75,000 clients worldwide.

4. Blogging Platform

WordPress
http://wordpress.com
Online since: 2003

While Google’s Blogger may be more popular, in terms of shear number of users, WordPress is the runaway favorite blogging platform among small business owners who responded to my survey.

5. Business Coach

Irene Leonard
Coaching for Change
http://www.coachingforchange.com
Online since: 1998

Just like a good coach in sports can help athletes reach their potential, a good business coach can help business professionals reach their potential in their business and personal lives.

Irene Leonard is just such a coach. She has a sincere passion for helping people achieve extraordinary results in their professional and personal lives. Her extensive training and expertise makes her unusually well-qualified for helping you identify and advance your goals.

6. Copywriting Service

Michele Pariza Wacek
http://www.writingusa.com
Online since 2003

Considered one of the most gifted direct response copywriters and marketing consultants in the industry, Michele PW (Michele Pariza Wacek) has a well-deserved reputation for crafting copy and creating online and offline marketing campaigns that get results.

7. Domain Registration Service

GoDaddy
http://www.godaddy.com
Online since: 2002

No real surprise here. When it comes to domain registration for small businesses, GoDaddy rules! Their combination of competitive prices and excellent customer service are truly hard to beat.

8. Editing Service

Barbara McNichol
Barbara McNichol Editorial
http://barbaramcnichol.com
Online since: 1997

Barbara McNichol and her team will add credibility to your small business. They will expertly edit your nonfiction books and book proposals, speaker and book promo one-sheets and articles, reports, blogs, ezines, ebooks and pretty much anything else you need to have edited.

9. E-mail Marketing Service

Janine Popick
Vertical Response
http://verticalresponse.com
Online since: 2001

Over 500,000 small businesses and non-profit organizations depend on VerticalResponse to send their e-mail marketing campaigns. Whether you’re sending an e-mail newsletter to a few dozen subscribers or an e-mail marketing promotion to thousands, VR simplifies your e-mail marketing to the nth degree.

10. Hosting Service

HostGator
http://www.hostgator.com
Online since: 2002

I’ve used several hosting companies in the past, but I’ve never experienced the level of customer service that HostGator delivers. They take your business seriously, and they’re extremely pleasant to deal with.

11. Incorporation Service

Scott Letourneau
Nevada Corporation Planners
http://www.nvinc.com
Online since: 1997

Looking for a one-stop corporate planner that you can trust? Look no further than NCP. They provide everything you need – and then some! By the way, don’t let their name fool you, NCP incorporates in all 50 states.

12. Keyword Research Tool

Keyword Discovery
http://www.keyworddiscovery.com
Online since: 2004

With a database of over 36 Billion searches tracked over a 12 month period, KeywordDiscovery is the most comprehensive keyword research service available.

Not only can it can help you identify the keywords your customers are using, it will also suggest related keywords you need to look at, common spelling mistakes as well as how your industry keywords are impacted by seasonal search trends.

13. Logo Design Service

Andre Le Roux
Biz-Logo.com
http://www.biz-logo.com
Online since: 2004

I’ve actually purchased several logos from this company over the last several years, for my various websites. And I can personally vouch for their talent and professionalism. Not only do they do great work, they do everything they can to make sure that you’re satisfied with the final product.

14. Marketing Consultants

Illise Benum & Peleg Top
Marketing Mentors
http://marketing-mentor.com
Online since: 2004

Marketing Mentor is a growing team of experts with extensive experience in marketing and business development.

Their mission is to help you learn the tools you need to market your services, get your ideal clients, grow your business and create the necessary work/life balance that is ideal for you.

15. Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Chitika
http://chitika.com
Online since 2001

It’s not exactly a secret that Google is the industry leader, when it comes to pay-per-click advertising. But believe it or not, not everyone is in love with Google’s ppc services. So, I surveyed small business owners to find out which ppc company, other than Google they preferred. I got my answer.

Chitika(pronounced CHIH-tih-ka), is a full-service on-line advertising network serving over 2 billion monthly impressions, across more than 30,000 websites. If you’re unhappy with Adsense or Adwords, Chitika is an excellent alternative.

16. Payment Processing

PayPal
http://www.paypal.com
Online since: 1999

Again, no surprise here. When it comes to payment processing among small businesses, there’s PayPal and then there’s everybody else.

17. Press Release Distribution Service

PRWeb
http://www.prweb.com
Online since: 1997

Like GoDaddy and PayPal, PRWeb was a runaway winner among press release distribution services.

18. Printing Service

Got Print
http://gotprint.net
Online since: 2003

Got Print utilizes the most modern and innovative equipment and products in the printing industry. In addition to having excellent customer service, they use state-of-the-art Heidelberg Offset presses, producing the highest quality, brilliant finished products that are also environmentally friendly.

19. Publicity/PR Expert

Dan Janal
PR Leads
http://www.prleads.com
Online since: 2001

Publicity expert Dan Janal and PR LEADS has helped more than 4,000 business experts, solo PR firms, and small businesses get the publicity they need to grow their businesses.

20. SEO/SEM Services

Stoney deGeyter
Pole Position Marketing
http://www.polepositionmarketing.com
Online since: 2005

Pole Position Marketing is a proven and respected leader in the SEO industry helping business of all sizes expand their online presence and increase their return-on-investment. Bottom line: Stoney knows his stuff!

21. Shopping Cart

1ShoppingCart
http://www.1shoppingcart.com
Online since: 2000

Used by over 25,000 businesses worldwide, 1ShoppingCart provides effective online tools to help businesses large and small achieve success online. This, combined with their excellent customer service has allowed 1ShoppingCart to help small start-ups to multi-million dollar enterprises grow their businesses.

22. Social Media Consultant

Allen Mireles
Allen Mireles Social Media Consulting
http://allenmireles.com
Online since: 2002

Allen Mireles is a social media consultant who introduces companies to hidden social media tips, tricks and strategies that will help them grow their businesses. She has been involved in social media since 2006 and was recently called one of “The Top 25 Very Smart Businesswomen to Follow on Twitter.”

23. Virtual Assistant

Rosalind Harris
Instant Assistant
http://instantassistant.net
Online since: 2006

I can personally vouch for this outstanding VA, having used her services on numerous occasions. Roz provides friendly, personal and professional service with great attention to detail.

24. Website Analytics

Google Analytics
http://www.google.com/analytics/
Online since: 1997

Since I’ve been online, I’ve always used paid analytics services. But after Google Analytics blew away the competition in my survey, I decided to try GA…and I like it. I like it a lot. Great, great analytics.

I like everything about GA except the fact, it isn’t real-time. There’s a significant lag time in the delivery of your stats. Call it nitpicking, if you like, but I like having up-to-the minute stats. I just do. So besides GA, I also use a paid service.

25. Website Design/Templates

Network Solutions
http://www.networksolutions.com
Online since: 1998

No company makes doing business on the Internet any easier than Network Solutions. Whether you need a professional looking website, hosting, e-mail or a domain name, Network Solutions has everything you need all under one roof…at a very affordable price.


David Jackson is a marketing consultant, and the owner of Free-Marketing-Tips-Blog.com – Free, common sense marketing tips to help grow your business. http://free-marketing-tips-blog.com

22 Responses to “26 Small Business Websites You Can Trust

    avatar Slausie K. says:

    Website Development
    Michael J. Ross
    http://www.ross.ws/
    Online since: 1996
    He created my e-store. Very knowledgeable guy.

    Everyone needs a proofreader! :)

    My comment should say “Delighted to be among your Top 26 websites!”
    Barbara

    These are some of the best SEO style websites I’ve ever seen provided. Especially because you gave PR and Article distribution sources, you can also find places on the net that will write articles for you.

    avatar Bill Platt says:

    I have gotten out of article ghost writing for now, but a good reliable company who can do that for you can be found at: http://articlecontentprovider.com/

    avatar Best SEO Tools says:

    Your Blog is very useful for me, Thanks for this Tips.

    avatar Peter Bang says:

    Bizlogo was one of the companies we approached to design our logo, must say very professional service.

    avatar Laturb says:

    Re. ‘Domain Registration Service’ I have just had to transfer a co.uk domain to DomainMonster because of GoDaddy’s high renewal cost!

    Hello,

    Its really very informative post.

    It should be http://www.linkedin.com/ in the list.

    Hope in coming days we will get this type of nice post from your side.

    Thanks
    Nirav Patel
    SearchEnginExperts.com.au

    avatar medyum Ferah says:

    Medyum Ferah
    Medyum Ferah İle Gönlünüz Ferah Hayatınız Rahat

    avatar joan says:

    The Center for Media Research has released a study by Vertical Response that shows just where many of these ‘Main Street’ players are going with their online dollars. The big winners: e-mail and social media. With only 3.8% of small business folks NOT planning on using e-mail marketing and with social media carrying the perception of being free (which they so rudely discover it is far from free) this should make some in the banner and search crowd a little wary.

    http://www.onlineuniversalwork.com

    avatar mark says:

    Keyword Discovery – A really flexible and affordable price compared to others keyword research tools

    avatar Carrie Krishnek says:

    Very nice list. I use quite a few of these and have been very happy with them.

    Keep posting stuff like this i really like it

    Thanks for the positive comments, everyone!

    avatar Imhotep Yakub says:

    I would also vouch for http://www.seovirtualassistant.net as a very very reliable virtual assistant and call center service. Great batch of resources.

    avatar Tony says:

    I’d not actually heard of Chitika before! Off I go for a look see :)

    avatar Phil says:

    Cheers for the list. I was just searching for another Article site!

    avatar SEO Guy says:

    Very informative post, Thank you. What do you spend more time on, Onpage or Offpage SEO.

    avatar Norman says:

    Great post. Thank you very much . I use quiet a lot of these and they have been really useful.

    Your Blog is very useful for me, Thanks for Sharing.

    avatar Steve Kim says:

    I know Scott Letourneau and I agree he’s someone you can trust!
    My company does SEO in Las Vegas and we take a lot of pride in being honest and transparent. We have a lot of happy customers and we’re certified A+ with the BBB. Be glad to give any advice if you ever have any questions :)
    Steve “Dr SEO” Kim

    avatar Josh Manion says:

    This is a lot of information, I was wondering if you were going to update it anytime soon?

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