how to do online business
In the internet age, the majority of businesses know the importance of being online, but they don’t know how to do online business.
Simply having a website isn’t enough. In order to bring customers to your site you have to stand out from the crowd. And, with so many other companies to compete with, this can be a difficult task.
Luckily, I have some tips and tricks to show you how to do online business. They will help you to refine your online strategy and boost your chances of success:
Don’t underestimate the power of social media. It provides your customers and potential customers with another channel to find information about your company and to engage with you.
What’s more, being active on social makes you more visible and can bump you up the google rankings. So it should be an important part of your online strategy.
You don’t need to be on every network. Instead, do some research into your target market and look at what your competitors are doing. Then choose the channels that you think will work best for your business.
There are two meanings to this one.
The first one applies to your website. With more and more people using digital devices to access the internet, it’s vital that your website has a responsive design that is optimised for smartphones and tablets.
Having a website that can’t be easily viewed or navigated on a smartphone screen makes your company look unprofessional and outdated. And that could cause you to lose potential customers to your rivals.
The second meaning refers to how you deal with customer questions, comments and complaints – particularly on social media, where your interactions are often visible to the world.
If you receive a negative comment don’t ignore it. Instead, demonstrate your commitment to customer care by addressing the issue in a professional, polite and timely manner.
Keep things fresh
You want people to return to your website time and time again, so it’s important that you keep things fresh. Even if your website is functioning well and looking great, there are still things you can do to add interest.
Change the images and lead features regularly. And if you have a news section, make sure new stories are added on a regular basis. There’s nothing worse than a news section whose last post is from six months ago.
Similarly, ensure that your keep your social media accounts up to date. Add posts regularly. Provide interesting content that is relevant to your target audience.
As a business owner it’s incredibly important to demonstrate passion for what you do. How can you expect other people to get excited about your company if you’re not leading by example?
Writing a blog that’s related to your business is a great way to show customers that you are knowledgeable and enthusiastic about your area of work.
It also helps to position you as an expert in your field – which can only be good for your company’s reputation. And, as an added bonus, a regular blog can help to improve your position on those all-important search engine rankings.
When you’ve spent a lot of time, money and love on creating your website, it can be difficult to assess it objectively. But it’s essential if you want to ensure that the site is doing what you need it to do.
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes (or better yet, run some user testing) and think about the visitor journey. Is it straightforward? Can people easily find what they are looking for? Are there any potential pitfalls where people could get frustrated? If you know what the issues are, you can set about making them right.
It’s also always worth looking what your competitors are doing online. If there are things you like about their website, try to incorporate them into your strategy. If there are things you don’t like, think about how you can avoid replicating their mistakes.
Harness the power of advertising
It’s surprising how many companies neglect to consider online advertising when, in fact, it’s essential if you want to ensure that potential customers are aware of and can find your website.
Unlike traditional print advertising, you can also exercise more control over where your advert is seen and who it’s seen by – enabling you to more accurately target key customer groups.
Try looking into Pay per Click (PPC) advertising, which, as the name suggests, only charges you when someone clicks on the ad. That way you can be sure you are getting value for money.
Unleash your creativity
In order to succeed in business, it’s important to make yourself stand out from your competitors – so don’t be afraid to get creative and try something different.
If you run a creative company this can be fairly easy to do. However, even more traditional or ‘boring’ businesses can get in on the act – perhaps by holding a competition to crowdsource a new product name, piggybacking onto popular events, or even making an amusing video that gives a unique insight into your business.
How to do online business: measure and evaluate
As with any other area of your business, measurement and evaluation are key – after all, how can you tell if your online activity is successful if you have nothing to measure?
Google Analytics are a great way of tracking activity on your website, enabling you to identify what parts of your site are working well and where there might be room to improve.
On social media, metrics such as likes, shares, followers, retweets are a good way of gauging how engaged your audience base is, while tools such as Hootsuite provide analytics on any links you post.
When it comes to online promotion, there are no guarantees or quick fixes. However, by taking these pointers on board you can help to ensure that your business is moving in the right direction.
There are allsorts of instructional materials and supplemental courses that can help you get a firmer grip on how to do online business properly.
In fact, Affilorama offer a free course that shows you how to make money online as an affiliate. It’s very popular and can help you create some lucrative passive online income streams.
Did you find this article on how to do online business helpful at all?
Do you have anything to add?
Shoot us a comment with your suggestions below. 🙂
About the Author
Lee Sturgess is the owner and director of Polar Creative, and award winning graphic designer and web developer based in Essex.
- License: Image author owned
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