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April 26, 2010

26 Small Business Websites You Can Trust

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

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
Online since 2003

Neil Stafford of 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
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

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
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
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

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
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
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

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
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
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
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
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

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

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

Online since: 1997

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

18. Printing Service

Got Print
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
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
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

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
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
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
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
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, common sense marketing tips to help grow your business.