Over recent years, more and more consumers are starting to turn to online websites and marketplaces to shop and make purchases. This has led to an abundance of new online businesses emerging and attempting to stake their claim in the growing industry. However, for those who are just starting out, this industry can be a challenging one to navigate and, if they have not taken the time to tackle the challenge correctly, can lead to many new businesses failing within the first couple of years or never making it past the first few sales. Therefore, we have put together a list of seven actionable tips that you can get started on today to grow your online business.
1. Harness Intent SEO
Search engine optimization, or SEO, has become a common talking point for those interested in utilizing effective marketing techniques for their businesses. Despite this, it is quite common for those attempting to use it to not fully understand it is capabilities, leading to it not being used to its full potential or even being used in the wrong way altogether. Essentially, intent SEO, as seen here, works by analyzing a potential customer’s search in an engine, most commonly Google, and looking at two things: what are they searching for and why are they searching for it.
For example, if someone was to search “daffodil facts”, then it is unlikely that they are searching for a place to purchase daffodils, as opposed to someone who would search “places to buy daffodils”. The difference between these two searches is crucial, as it allows the search engine to direct the customer to the correct landing page, ideally on your website or social media. Once they have reached your landing pages, you then have the ability to use conversion-focused content to drive a sale from this customer and boost your revenue.
2. Ensure You are Mobile Friendly
Today, most people own a mobile phone and, thanks to the advancements in technology over recent years, this mobile phone will more than likely be able to access the internet to the same capacity as a home-based computer. Therefore, more and more consumers are using their phone to browse marketplaces, which is why it is crucial to ensure that your website is mobile friendly. There are many website hosting platforms available that will have this function built into their offering, so make sure that you fully research whatever tool you are using or plan to use for your business to ensure you are getting the most out of it. Alternatively, talk to someone who is knowledgeable in this area and ask for their assistance, as tackling it on your own without fully understanding it could be detrimental to your brand.
3. Build a Social Media Profile
Another common habit of consumers in today’s market is using social media to research businesses that they are planning to purchase from, especially if said business is smaller in size. Therefore, ensuring you have an updated and active social media could be the difference between securing a potential sale or being overlooked. However, on this point, it is important to note that building a social media profile successfully does not mean that you have to have thousands of followers, although this will of course not be a hindrance in any way. Building your profile is more about offering another avenue for customers to connect with you, perhaps even on a more personal level, and learn about your brand.
4. Understand Your Target Audience
If this is not something that you have already put time into when you started your business, then it needs to be something you prioritize now. Understanding your target audience is crucial when it comes to growing your business, as it allows you to focus your marketing into areas where it will make the most difference, as well as giving your more chances of converting clicks on your site into customer purchases. If you are unsure on how to get started with this point, then start by asking yourself these questions: Who would buy your product? How old are they likely to be? What problem does your product solve? Who is most likely to encounter this problem? The answers to these questions will begin to narrow down the potential audience demographic, allowing you to utilize other techniques to narrow it further later down the line.
5. Run Promotions
Promotions, such as discounts, competitions, or giveaways, are a great way to bring new customers into your business, as well as giving your established customers a new way to interact with your company. A great promotion to run if you’re looking at bringing new potential customers into your business is one that asks your current customers to share your business, for example on social media, for the chance to win something in return. If done correctly, this type of promotion will promote your brand across social media for next to no cost, no effort or time invested on your part, and in a way that uses the credibility of your customers with their friends and family to build trust in your brand.
6. Make a Plan
Perhaps the most crucial point on this list is our final one: the actual plan. Again, this should ideally be done before you ever open your doors to your customers, but it is never too late to get started on it. Planning is important for any business, regardless of your size, what your product is, or how many sales you have made overall. It allows you to understand exactly where you are going, how long you have to get there, and what potential barriers you may face along the way.
Overall, it gives you a greater chance of success, and those who do not plan are only handicapping themselves by essentially going into the business blind. So, take the time to ask yourself where you want to go, when you want to get there, what you will do if you don’t get there, and what techniques and skills you need to utilize in order to achieve your goals. Understanding these points and setting actionable targets could be the difference between your business thriving and your business failing.