The internet has certainly revolutionized the way we live our lives, and offers a place where individuals can compete with global organisations. A good example is the creation of online businesses – where anyone can compete on the same platform and start generating income for themselves anywhere anytime. Also, it is no longer a secret that having an online presence is a great way of drumming up sales for a small business, and trading online will allow you to attract new customers. Since you already own a small business online, have you ever wondered how you can start advancing your new business venture? This article will walk you through the important steps necessary to growing your business online.
3 Key Components of a Website
As a new online business owner, you should know that having an operational website is the key to building a successful presence online. By having a website, this will enable your clients to locate you easily since every information related to your business can be found online. If you have merchandise, setting up an online store will allow you to sell to them online as well! In fact, it is common nowadays to see many brick-and-mortar businesses have made the transition from offline business model to online too in order to make themselves competitive in this era of globalization. So what are the 3 key components of a successful website?
- Domain Name – This is the “home address” of your business therefore you need to spend time and effort to think of a great name for your website. A short and catchy domain name should be sufficient. To establish a good branding for your online business, try to avoid having hyphens or numbers on your domain name because this may appear unprofessional to your visitors.
- Finding a Hosting Provider – A good and reliable hosting provider is important to ensure the success of your online business. You want to co-operate with a great hosting provider who is able to match your online demand and capable of scaling with the growth of your online presence.
- Building Your Website – The appearance and general feel of your website is also essential. If you are inexperienced with creating a website from scratch, there are several options available for you. For instance, you may consider using WordPress for your new online store. The latter is a good starting platform to use and also comes with free themes or templates that you can use for self-customization. But this method will require time investment from your end since everything will be handled by your own. If you do not wish to build the website yourself, you may also consider outsourcing your website creation to professional wed design agencies.
5 Essential Considerations
You cannot simply build a website, load it up with articles and expect traffic to start coming in. You will need to increase visibility in order to use your new website as an asset to drive traffic to your business. Here are several suggestions to increase the visibility of your new website:
Responsiveness: Is your website optimized to be viewed on any device including mobile phone? In the past, a simple website with good loading speed and optimized with proper keyword density can be easily ranked in Google and other search engines. However, with the rise of mobile search traffic, Google has included mobile-friendliness as a primary criterion for ranking websites viewed on mobile browsers. This is why it is essential to have a version of your website to be responsive on a mobile device.
SEO: Remember, a website without proper search engine optimization (SEO) is equivalent to a dead website. So, what is SEO? SEO is making the content on your website refined so that search engines like Google and Bing can locate you easily to show a potential customer’s search query. SEO is important to ensure that when people type the keywords related to your service, that you become one of the top search results. You may consider hiring a team of SEO experts to get your website optimized for the search engines. Expect to spend some capital for this purpose.
Updates: Once you have your website up, you need to maintain it by providing fresh content for your visitors or clients. People are generally attracted by new posts and it is vital to keep your website loaded with new content regularly in order to pull your visitors back to your website. Find a comfortable cadence that you can maintain and update it to showcase deals, incentives or new products & services.
User Experience: Do not assume your website is working fine and always ask for feedback from your site visitors. For a start, you can ask your friends and family to browse your website and try to order or submit requests. Ask them if there are any roadblocks or hiccups in the process? Analyzing and making changes based on their feedbacks can help reduce bounce rates and shopping cart abandonments. Ultimately, what you want is a seamless process for your clients who wish to purchase your product or services.
Competition: Be better than your competitors! Always compare your website with your competitors and check out what their process is like. Be innovative and pay attention to where their services lack so that you can make improvements onto your page accordingly.
4 Effective Methods to Market Your Website
Once you have a fully-fledged website that has online visibility to your visitors, the next step is to stepping up the marketing campaign. Here are some website marketing ideas for your reference:
Target Customers: Keep in mind that customers do not come to you directly. You need to take a proactive approach by actively looking for an audience that may be interested in your products and services. Identify who are your target audience and demographic you want to target. You can find this information by leveraging popular social media tools such as Facebook Audience Insights and Google Keyword Planner for this purpose. Do some research on what your customers are looking for using these tools.
Networking: Networking is a great way to broaden your thinking and to find new ideas to find potential customers or see different target markets that you hadn’t thought of. A big network can help you expand both your business and your potential customer reach. This will also boost your company’s brand identity. Linkedin is a good resource to meet industry professionals.
Email Campaigns: This is a conventional yet powerful method to capture new sales or repeated orders. Emails can be used to notify your customers updates on new items they might be interested in, upcoming sales, or even just a thank you coupon code for their next visit. Use tools like Aweber or GetResponse to keep your clients coming back!
Advertise: You need to allocate some money for business advertising. Want more people to recognize the nature of your business and what it offers? Find advertising opportunities where people with relevant interest can learn more about your business. Bing Ads, Facebook Ads and Google AdWords are great place to start!
3 Essential Customer Support Responsibilities
Customer service is the lifeblood for any businesses. Hence, you must ensure your company upholds a high-quality service to keep your customers happy and coming back. This may seem like an obvious thing to do but many businesses take things for granted. There are cases where many businesses neglected customer service once their business grows. Here are the best ways to stay engaged with your customers:
“Oh, the Humanity!”: The main priority is to take care of your customers’ needs and listen to their complaints if there’s any. Your customer is also a human being and they like real people that care about them. When your customers love your business, not only will they be returning customers, but they will also recommend you to people they know, enhancing both your brand and customer base.
Customer Feedback: Always ask and welcome your client’s feedback. This information can be very valuable in identifying which areas of your business that requires improvement as well as ways to stay competitive. When you make changes to improve their experience, your customers will love you for it!
Customer Support: When your business doesn’t offer customer support, your customers will feel confused and helpless in trying to figure out everything themselves. If they can’t figure it out, there is a high possibility that they may never want to return to your business. Therefore, support is essential to the post-consumer journey and can offer your customers the confidence to subscribe to your service, knowing that they can get the assistance they need!
By following this guide will have you well on your way towards a healthy and successful online business!