How Will the Repeal of Net Neutrality Affect Small Businesses?

  • By Jackie Petre
  • 22 Dec, 2017

Will Your Small Business be Affected by the Net Neutrality Repeal?

The recent repeal of net neutrality by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) seems to have everyone up in arms about the future of the internet.

Will consumers have to pay more money for a connection to the internet? Probably .

Will popular streaming services like Netflix increase membership prices to keep up a faster speed? Most likely.

Will finally be forced to pay to use social media? Possibly .

These are all very likely possibilities if the repeal does actually go through. But one of the questions our team at Locallogy has been dealing with is how will the repeal of net neutrality affect the group most of our clients—and ourselves—are part of: small businesses?

Most small businesses today depend on the internet to deliver products or inform clients on services. With that, they also rely on a free and open internet to keep up with larger businesses that could have an advantage if the internet were to become more expensive.

So with the threat of repealed net neutrality, what does this mean for the future of small businesses?

First off, let’s start with what’s happening.

A Recap of Net Neutrality and What’s Happening

Net neutrality is a policy that requires internet service providers (ISPs) to offer equal access to web content for all consumers without charging people for faster delivery or giving certain websites preferential treatment.

On December 14, 2017, the FCC voted to repeal these rules, which could potentially allow your ISPs to charge more money if you want better load speeds, among other changes. Most consumers are upset about this repeal because it means we could no longer have a free and open internet. On the other hand, service providers and the FCC say these regulations limit innovation.

However…

There is a misconception that since the FCC has voted to repeal net neutrality, that’s the end of it. This, however, is not necessarily true. Congress can still vote to override the appeal, which means there’s still a chance net neutrality rules would stay in place. In fact, many states are already filing to sue the FCC.

If it does get repealed, though, we could see widespread affects for consumers, as well as large and small businesses.

Where do Small Businesses Come in?

The impact of the total repeal of net neutrality is still somewhat unknown. Larger corporations could see censorship by ISPs, meaning web pages or sites that have content that an ISP doesn’t like could be censored from viewers. This likely wouldn’t affect smaller businesses, but is still a change we quite possible could see.

For small businesses , the most notable change—which is very likely to happen if it does get repealed—is the internet “fast lane” that would be created by ISPs. This would allow websites that pay more money to gain access to faster load speeds, while those who don’t pay have to deliver slower, lower tier speed.

So, bigger businesses with more money can pay to deliver their content to customers at a fast pace, while smaller businesses with less extra money will be forced to have a slower website.

It’s like paying extra for Amazon Prime while those who can’t afford faster shipping have to wait longer for their package to arrive.

For those businesses that may not be able or willing to pay, this will lower competition across the board and possibly cause startup companies to not gain traction because they don’t have the capital to afford the fast lanes.

Will Small Businesses Suffer?

For small businesses, the fast lane might not directly affect your website, BUT it may affect other indirect areas, like Google search result speeds and how fast people can perform searches. This could cause some drop in traffic as people find alternative searching methods that are faster, or turn to larger companies that can provide faster service.

For us, a company that manages web services for other small businesses, we don’t expect to see an impact on how we do business or how we market our clients’ websites.

Nick Leas, our in-house website designer and developer, has been closely following the net neutrality argument and says he isn’t worried about our clients being affected directly. “There is a possibility that services by Google may increase in costs, but from our end, there will be nothing we can do about it.”

A Final Word on Net Neutrality

Ultimately, it is the consumer and general public who suffer from the repeal of net neutrality. There will be less competition for internet providers, as well as the possibility of higher fees from companies like Netflix or Hulu. Since those companies will be forced to pay for internet ‘fast-lanes,’ those costs will get passed on to the consumer.

At the end of the day, it’s all about profits for large ISPs, and there’s a major income avenue in making other content providers pay to have their services delivered at the best speed possible.

And while it doesn’t seem likely that small businesses will be harmed directly, there are certainly areas where businesses could see changes in how customers are finding your business—if they’re finding it at all—as well as a drop in business due to the convenience of big businesses that can afford faster service.

The Science Behind Digital Marketing

By Jackie Petre 19 Jan, 2018

What exactly is a local citation? It’s any listing of your business’s name, address and phone number (NAP) on various websites, apps, local business directories and more. Simply put, it’s any online mention of your business’s contact information.

Think of all the places these listings appear online: your website, your social media pages, Yelp, Google, etc. These are all your local citations.

By Jackie Petre 11 Jan, 2018

With the influential role social media plays today, many small businesses are adding social media advertising to their digital marketing strategy. Facebook in particular has grown to offer small businesses more than just an opportunity to socially connect with consumers.

In a recent blog post , we touched on the fact that many successful small businesses are expanding their online presence to include Facebook Ads. The popular social media outlet is now a top platform for paid advertising, allowing business owners to advertise to a highly specific audience. And while there are many benefits to using Facebook as one of your digital marketing strategies, there are certainly a few areas to be mindful of as well.

In this blog post, we’ll cover:

  • The many benefits to using Facebook Ads for your marketing strategy
  • How you’ll see a change in your social return on investment (ROI)
  • A few concerns we want small businesses to be wary of when doing your own Ad campaign

Here’s what you need to know to start a successful Facebook Ads campaign for your small business.

By Jackie Petre 05 Jan, 2018

Most small businesses start with a simple website. You might include basic information about your products and services, contact information and maybe an “about us” page. As your business grows, however, your website probably will, too.

Over the years, we’ve had many small businesses come to us wanting a small website with little content and a small marketing budget. But as those businesses grow and gain more traction, we’ve seen that the vast majority of business owners decide to upgrade their websites and overall online presence to better reflect their growth.

Last year, Locallogy introduced our very own website platform called the Locallogy Rapid Platform . Initially, we saw this as a great opportunity for clients looking to upgrade their websites with a cost-effective service that lets them customize their site. We quickly saw that this was a popular option with small business owners—both current and new clients—who wanted to update their websites without blowing their marketing budgets.

By Jackie Petre 22 Dec, 2017

The recent repeal of net neutrality by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) seems to have everyone up in arms about the future of the internet.

Will consumers have to pay more money for a connection to the internet? Probably .

Will popular streaming services like Netflix increase membership prices to keep up a faster speed? Most likely.

Will finally be forced to pay to use social media? Possibly .

These are all very likely possibilities if the repeal does actually go through. But one of the questions our team at Locallogy has been dealing with is how will the repeal of net neutrality affect the group most of our clients—and ourselves—are part of: small businesses?

Most small businesses today depend on the internet to deliver products or inform clients on services. With that, they also rely on a free and open internet to keep up with larger businesses that could have an advantage if the internet were to become more expensive.

So with the threat of repealed net neutrality, what does this mean for the future of small businesses?

First off, let’s start with what’s happening.

By Jackie Petre 20 Dec, 2017

During a recent local search, one of our digital marketing experts discovered an interesting new feature popping up on listings. It seems that Google has added snippets of business reviews to local pack listings, particularly reviews that include keywords from your search. This doesn’t appear to be a standard feature yet, but one that’s currently in a test phase.

You’ll notice that certain words are bolded in the review, correlating with keywords from the search. The reviews that show up depend directly on what keywords are used in the search query. So, depending on the wording of the search, the reviews that show up for each business will change.

By Jackie Petre 13 Dec, 2017

It’s no secret that planning your business’s finances for the upcoming year isn’t always easy. Digital marketing budgets in particular tend to confuse many business owners who are trying to decide how to spend their money in 2018.

Where should I be spending the most money?

How do I know if I’m spending too much or not enough?

These are common questions we get when it comes to creating a marketing budget. And while not everyone should be spending the exact same amount, we can help you determine how much of your budget should be going to digital marketing strategies, and how to apply what you learned from your 2017 campaigns to your 2018 strategy.

By Jackie Petre 07 Dec, 2017

Keeping up with today’s expanding online services can be difficult. Even more difficult than keeping up with them is figuring out how to use them efficiently, especially when you also have a business to run. From posting regularly on a variety of social media platforms to navigating Dropbox and other cloud-based services, it’s easy for technology to make our lives more complicated than simplified.

But what if you had a system that could create workflows by linking all the software you use on a daily basis and automatically performing the repetitive tasks you hate doing?

Tasks like saving your email attachments to the appropriate Dropbox folder, or creating one single social media post that gets published on all your company’s social media accounts can easily be done on their own. We’ve found a few services that make automating your daily tasks simple and effective, giving you more time to run your business.

By Jackie Petre 29 Nov, 2017

We know that many business owners are skeptical of pay-per-click advertisement (PPC) and might think digital marketing companies are only promoting it to make more money. They know how important organic SEO rankings are and only want to focus on those, since organic rankings are both crucial and free.

The fact is, however, that PPC actually has the potential to help boost your organic rankings.

We are the first to acknowledge the importance of SEO and doing everything you can to show up higher in organic search results. And while PPC doesn’t directly affect the organic ranking of your website, there are indirect ways your organic ranking can benefit from PPC ads.

Here are three ways paid advertising can positively affect your website’s organic search engine rankings.

By Jackie Petre 17 Nov, 2017

If you’ve ever read content on the Internet—a blog, product pages on Amazon, instructions on how to tie a tie—you know that visuals are essential to keeping you on the page.

So as the manager of your website, you realize just how important images are to keeping your visitors engaged and interested in what you have to offer. For product- or service-based businesses in particular, quality images can be the difference in total success or total failure of your site.

But did you know that images can do a lot more for your webpage than just supplement your content?

That’s right. Your images, just like your content, can be optimized for SEO benefits, making them more search-engine friendly. Optimizing your images for SEO benefits will give your page an added boost by including more keywords and giving Google more content to rank in searches.

By Jackie Petre 10 Nov, 2017

Getting customers to leave you reviews is one of the most important marketing strategies you can use. You know it. We know it. Let’s move forward.

Many businesses have reviews all over the Internet, from Yelp to Facebook and everything in between. But what’s the point of having an abundance of solid reviews if potential customers aren’t seeing them at the right time—when they’re on your site looking at your services? We fully believe that all business owners should display their reviews on their website in a way that proves your reviews are legitimate.

Our solution: an online review presenter.

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