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About Lauren Hobson

Lauren Hobson is president of Five Sparrows, LLC. Five Sparrows provides professional website and online marketing services to small businesses and non-profits.

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Dear Website, We’ve been together for several years now, but it’s 2015 and I’m just not happy anymore. I know, I know; you wanted me to spoil you with fresh content and technology updates all along, but I got too busy running my business to give you the attention you needed. Listen, Website, it’s not […]

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Search engine ranking algorithms today evaluate a variety of online signals from all over the Web, but negative ranking signals — no matter the source — are bad news for your search quality scores and ranking positions.  Not all negative ranking signals are easy to correct, but here are three that are fairly easy to […]

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Today, search engine optimization (SEO) involves many different strategies used across multiple channels including your website, social profiles, mobile campaigns and other digital properties. But as the search engines continue to upgrade and improve their algorithms, businesses must quickly adapt and make the changes necessary to stay relevant (and ranking) in the search engine results.  Search […]

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In a recent presentation by Marketing Consultant Amy Africa, she suggests that neuromarketing (the study of the brain’s response to various marketing efforts) can lead us to better website design and more effective ways to persuade Web visitors to take action. According to Africa, our “primitive brains” are responsible for the majority of our decisions, and these decisions […]

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Here’s how Google explains its updated author rank system: “Assuming that a given agent has a high reputational score, representing an established reputation for authoring valuable content, then additional content authored and signed by that agent will be promoted relative to unsigned content or content from less reputable agents in search results.” What does that […]

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In 2012, Google made some very big algorithm updates – namely, Panda and Penguin, that introduced a way for Google “bots” (or spiders) to better understand a website’s content and meaning. It also changed some fundamental ranking signals to penalize low-quality websites and give more weight to quality signals like fresh content and social media […]

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It didn’t take long, but mobile technology has become so commonplace today that it can no longer be considered a fad or a trend – it is here to stay, and has already been established as a dominant technology for how we communicate, consume information, and conduct business. If your small business isn’t already using […]

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When it comes to online marketing, most companies today use a variety of channels to reach customers (websites, social posts, mobile web, e-marketing, etc.). But do you know which channel your customers want you to use to reach them? In an article by Jeff Rohrs about the 30th anniversary of e-mail, he writes, “an overwhelming […]

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In this article you will: • Learn why your small business website should be the center of your marketing universe. • Learn how to protect your marketing from social media changes beyond your control. • See how to manage and control the flow of information to any number of external channels (blog, social, etc.). With […]

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When creating digital marketing materials for your small business (web pages, social posts, mobile ads, e-campaigns), are you including strong calls-to-action (CTAs) that motivate people to act? Users need to know exactly what you want them to do – such as download a file, click a link or subscribe to a mailing list. A strong […]

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What do you want your website to do for your business? Would you like it to generate new leads? If so, you will need good search engine rankings and a strong call to action on your landing pages. Do you want to sell products online? You will need an online shopping cart and a payment […]

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Most of us are well aware that the search engines frequently change their algorithms to improve search results for users (and foil spammers), which can make it challenging for small businesses just to keep up. But as web technology continues to evolve, it also creates new opportunities for small businesses to improve their SEO strategies […]

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Ever heard someone say: “in my industry, people don’t use social networking”? Or worse yet, have you ever said (or thought) something like that yourself? The reality is that today, people in virtually all industries are using social networking, and the phenomenon continues to grow each week. According to a recent study by marketing agency […]

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Many small businesses today have seen their target audience’s behavior shift toward using the web for communicating (email), getting news (web), communicating with each other (social networking), and performing pre-shopping research (Google). You may be tempted to think that if potential customers want information about your products and services, they will call your company and […]

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Most small businesses appreciate marketing strategies that are low-cost or no-cost, especially in today’s unpredictable economy. Online marketing channels such as web sites, e-newsletters, email campaigns, and internet advertising are already being used by small businesses to save money on marketing, since these tend to be much less expensive than some older, more traditional methods. […]

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