You started your very own business; congratulations! Now that you’re a business owner, have you ever wondered about the possibilities for advancing your business online? This article will walk you through the essentials necessary to growing your business online.
3 Major Components of a Website
First thing’s first: Does your business have an online presence? Having a website allows your customers to easily find you by putting information about your business online. If you have merchandise, creating an online store will allow you to sell to them online as well!
- Secure a domain name: Your domain name is a reflection of your business. Branding is important so create one as relevant to your business as possible.
- Find a hosting company: A good hosting company is integral to operating your business online. Find a host that can meet your business’ needs and is capable of scaling with the growth of your online presence.
- Build your website: The look and feel of your website is also important. There are several options available if you are inexperienced with creating a website from scratch. WordPress is a good starter platform to use and also includes free templates that you can customize yourself. If you don’t want to build it yourself, there are numerous options available to you online.
- One is to have a web-design professional custom craft a website exactly as you want it. Feel free to check out our web design options here.
- Another would be learning how to create a blog from scratch using the easy step-by-step tutorial from one of our partners How To Start A Blog 101.
5 Important Considerations:
You will need to increase visibility in order to use your new website as an asset to drive traffic to your business.
- Responsive: Is your website optimized to be viewed on any screen? With the rise of mobile search traffic, Google has included mobile-friendliness as a criteria for ranking websites viewed on mobile browsers, making it very important to have a version of your website be responsive on a mobile device.
- Read more about the “mobilegeddon” here.
- SEO: Search engine optimization (SEO) is making the content on your website refined so that search engines like Google can find you easily to show a potential customer’s search query. SEO is important to ensure that when people use keywords relevant to the services you offer, that you become one of the top search results.
- Check out this article for more information about boosting your SEO here.
- Updates: Once you have your website up, you need to maintain it by providing fresh content for your customers. Keeping things new will have them coming back for more. Find a comfortable cadence that you can maintain and update it to showcase new products, deals, or incentives.
- User Experience: Have your friends and family go through your website and try to purchase or request services. Are there any hiccups or roadblocks in the process? Have them QA the content for flow and if any questions are going unanswered.Analyzing and making changes to this can help reduce bounce rates and shopping cart abandonments.
- Competition: Look to your competitors and check out what their process is like. Pay attention to where their services lack so that you can make improvements onto your page accordingly.
4 Marketing Techniques to Start Today
Now that you have a fully functioning website that has online visibility to your customers, the next step is marketing your business.
- Target Customers: Make sure that you don’t wait for visitors to just come to you. Actively look for an audience that may be interested in your products and services. Develop an audience and demographic you want to target. All social media platforms have statistics, as well as Google keyword planner. Do some research on what your customers are looking for using their tools.
- Network: Make connections with people relevant to your business and industry. A large network can help you expand both your business and your potential customer reach. This will also bolster your company’s brand identity. LinkedIN is a good resource to meet industry professionals.
- Email Campaigns: Capturing an email is just as important as capturing a sale. Emails can build a refined and targeted list of people that are genuinely interested in your product or service. Emails can be used to send 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. Give your customers an incentive to keep coming back! Use tools like Constant Contact or MailChimp integrations.
- Advertise: Want more people to know who your business is and what it offers? Find advertising opportunities where people with relevant interest can learn more about your business. Google AdWords is a great place to start.
3 Crucial Customer Support Responsibilities
Finally, you want to ensure your company upholds a high-quality of service to keep your customers satisfied and coming back. This may seem “obvious” but don’t let the obvious fool you. Countless businesses lose sight of customer service as their business grows. Here are the best ways to stay engaged with your customers:
- “Oh, the Humanity!”: Let your customers know that your business is run by 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: Give your customers an opportunity to review your business. Ask for and welcome consumer feedback. This information can be very valuable in figuring out pain points of your customers as well as ways to improve your business and 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 consumers are left in the dark to figure out everything themselves. If they can’t figure it out they may never want to return to your business. Support is essential to the post-consumer journey and can give your customers the confidence to buy your product, knowing that help is available.
Following this guide will have you well on your way towards a healthy and successful online business!