Local Business Roundup: 43% of U.S. Companies Had a Data Breach in the Past Year

Local business news data security breach

We know it’s impossible to keep up with all of the news in the local business space. That’s why we’ve cherry-picked the articles from this week that matter most for business owners like you.

[Data Security] 43% of U.S. Companies Had a Data Breach in the Past Year

Source: Fast Company

A new study from Experian and Ponemon revealed that 43% of U.S. companies were hit by a data breach in the past year—up 10% from the previous year’s study.

While more business owners are aware of data breaches and striving to put plans in place to handle them, they’re still struggling with execution: 73% of survey respondents had a plan, but only 30% said their plan was effective.

These results highlight the importance of increasing your business's data security. According to another study by Ponemon and IBM, every stolen record costs a company $201 in revenue unless there’s a formal response plan in place. That cost can add up fast!

Why It Matters: While large businesses like Target get more press attention when data breaches happen, the impact on smaller businesses can be even greater. Having a plan is place is even more important because your customer base is limited and more personal. Don’t let a data breach scare clients away—be prepared in advance and make sure to keep your response plan is always up to date.

[SEM] Local Search Marketing Tips

Source: Small Business Trends

Local marketing on the web is more complicated today than ever before. So how does a local business owner navigate the ins and outs of the local web successfully?

In this article, Mike Blumenthal of Local U shares his take on:

  • What business owners need to know about web marketing.
  • Whether print advertising is still relevant.
  • Online review misconceptions.
  • Google’s Pigeon search algorithm update.
  • Reaching your target audience online.

Why It Matters: In order to make the most of your advertising dollars, you need to keep up on the latest channels, trends, and places your audience might be visiting. While this article gives good answers for the moment, it’s important that you continue to do your homework on local search marketing trends. (Protip: This blog can help you with this!)

[SEO] Why You Need a Modern SEO Strategy

Source: Entrepreneur

Search engine optimization (SEO) can help local consumers discover your business. But best practices around SEO are constantly changing as search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo adjust their algorithms. If your website isn’t keeping up, you’ll likely fall in search results—or disappear altogether.  

Here are a few things you should be doing to improve your business website’s SEO:

  • Create compelling, search-friendly content for both readers and search engines.
  • Use your social media profiles and local directory listings to drive traffic.
  • Optimize your conversion funnel so that people who find you stay on your website and eventually become customers.

Check out this handy infographic to learn more about the journey a prospect take on their way to becoming a customer.

Why It Matters: Search is still one of the primary ways consumers look for new businesses online. That’s why it’s so important that you’re investing in an optimized website that looks great across devices, has great content, and is engaging for both readers and search algorithms.   

About the Author

Ashley Taylor Anderson

Ashley Taylor Anderson is a content developer and marketer who's spent her career knee-deep in the B2B technology space. In previous professional lives, she worked as a science textbook editor, media producer, and pastry chef.

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