In today’s modern society, business owners have to deal with a lot of competition. The internet has made it easier than ever to start a company, but even more difficult to sustain as one. If a business doesn’t have a strong online presence, then you’ll struggle to make an impact. In this guide, we’re going to discuss how successful online businesses dominate the internet.
The Federation of Self-Employed and Small Businesses (FSB) estimates that there are approximately 6 million businesses in the UK, as of 2020. While some small business owners believe that taking a more traditional approach gives them a competitive edge, an internet presence opens up a world of opportunities.
The Advantages of Having an Online Presence
There are many advantages to having an online platform for your business. Let’s take a look at them now.
Reach a Broader Audience
If you sell products or online services, then having a website will help you to connect with a broader audience. The best thing about the internet is that we no longer have to travel to purchase the things we want. E-Commerce makes it easy to go online, visit a website and order a product or service.
Websites are especially useful if you operate within a niche. With the right website integrations, you can ship your products around the world, which enables you to sustain your company and reach the right audiences.
It Fits The “Always On” Mentality
People are so busy these days. Hectic work schedules, childcare commitments and playing catch up over the weekend means going out shopping isn’t always an option. The good thing about the net is just because your business isn’t open, doesn’t mean people can’t shop.
When you provide solutions for your consumers’ needs, you can sell products without even having a conversation. People look for convenience, and a website allows you to provide that for them.
Advertise Your Business
Traditional advertising methods often meant a lot of leaflets, planning, and expensive agencies. The internet is a hub of advertising opportunities, and better still, you can do it all yourself or pay an internet marketing agency to do it for you.
Facebook Ads, Google Ads, and even using a free business directory are all excellent ways to advertise your business.
Better Experience For Customers
When you have a website, you can display all of your business information online. Customers can visit your site to learn about the products you sell and the services you offer. Not only does this offer them a better experience, but it saves your time.
Ways to Build a Successful Online Business
So now you know why having a website is essential, we’re going to look at how to build your business online.
Create a Website
When it comes to building a website, there are so many options available to you. For some companies, using a DIY website builder is ideal, but you have to know what you’re doing. Platforms such as WIX and GoDaddy offer cost-effective web design solutions, but they can look somewhat generic.
To make an impression, you could use a specialist website designer. Great designers will talk about your website needs and do their best to fulfil them. It’s important to remember that your site is the face of your business, and if customers aren’t impressed with what you have to offer, they won’t stick around.
Click here to read our guide on must-have e-commerce website design features.
Build a Social Presence
Social media is a vast sea of customers, and the only thing you have to do is catch them. Whether you’re a B2B or B2C company, there’s a platform that contains your target audience.
Every business should be on social media, and while many create profiles, they don’t use them as they should. Remember that people use social media for learning and entertainment. Nobody wants to hear about the new software you’ve just bought (unless they love your company).
Use your social media account to attract an audience and offer them valuable information. Unless you’re an established company, you should save the selling for your website and build useful connections through Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.
You can find the best social media platform for your company here.
Put a Content Strategy In Place
One of the best ways to get your business online, and noticed, is by putting together an effective content marketing strategy. PPC advertising can yield immediate website traffic and results, but content-driven marketing is a long-term strategy that can give you a constant stream of leads.
Implementing an SEO strategy is central to your success. You could write the best blog posts in the world, but if you don’t optimise them for search engines, your efforts won’t matter. However, when you do learn how to use SEO correctly, you’ll reap the rewards.
A strong content marketing strategy means that eventually, you’ll rank on the search engine results page. When this happens, it’s basically free marketing. According to Internet Live Stats, Google processes 40,000 searches per second. If your content reaches the first results page, it will drive people towards your website and through your sales funnel.
You’ve Got Email
Surprisingly, email marketing is still one of the best ways to attract customers. The majority of people that visit your website, won’t come back but if you catch their email address, then you can use it to drive them back there.
Building an email list is an invaluable asset to your company, and nurturing the leads you have is more straightforward than finding new ones. It would help if you thought about how to keep your leads interested so that when they’re ready to make a purchase or buy a product, you can direct them to your site.
Many businesses offer free e-books or downloads as incentives to retain subscribers. Whatever you decide to offer, it’s important that it appeals to your audience.
Top Tip: Check out what your competitors are doing. You can subscribe to their mailing list and see how they interact with their audience.
Don’t Ignore the Numbers
The best thing about technology today is that it makes it easy for anyone to analyse how their business is performing. Gone are the days of analytical experts, because Google Analytics tells you everything you need to know.
Using tools gives you valuable information about the visitors you’re attracting, how long they stay on your site, and the content they interact with most. Once you have this information, you can use it to improve your website, update your content and figure out ways to turn leads into customers.
There are so many software solutions available, and it would be impossible to name each one. If you’re not sure where to start, then think about the type of industry you’re operating in and search for the best solutions related to your company.
Check out our extensive guide on getting started with Google Analytics here.
Keeping Your Business Online
It’s one thing getting your business online and attracting an audience, but if you don’t remain consistent, then none of your initial efforts won’t matter. If you want a successful online business, there are some vital factors to consider. Let’s take a look at them by answering some of the most problems our clients face.
Which Platform is Best for My Website?
Well, there are a lot of great options around, but we recommend WordPress. As a team of experienced website managers and designers, we look to WordPress because it has such incredible functionality.
With WP, you can choose from a selection of plugins, widgets and integrations to load your site with the software it needs. At Zapp Sites, we offer WordPress solutions for businesses of all sizes, and we do that because we know the platform stands head and shoulders above its competitors.
How Do I Know Who My Target Audience Is?
A big challenge for small business owners is finding their target audience. It’s difficult to conduct extensive research on a small budget, but there are some techniques you can use to isolate the individuals that will purchase your product or service.
Two of our favourite ways to conduct research is the use of social media and forums. For example, imagine you sell women’s clothing. There are plenty of Facebook groups that women interact on, and you can use your account to create polls to find answers to your questions. Most importantly, you can learn how to solve your target audience’s pain points.
Another tactic is becoming an active participant in online forums. People love to connect and often discuss their issues.
Want to learn five free ways to do market research? Click here.
If At First, I Don’t Succeed..?
You got it. Try and try again. Building an successful online business isn’t easy. But if it were easy, then the results wouldn’t be so profitable. Everything from finding your target audience, to creating a website and building a marketing strategy takes a lot of time and commitment.
The blog posts you create won’t immediately gain attention, but if you continue to put in the effort, you will see results.
Are You Ready to Create a Successful Online Business?
In these uncertain times, a lot of people want to take advantage of the freedom of owning a successful online business. But a lot of them don’t want to put the work in and believe us – there’s a lot of work involved. The long-term rewards of the time you spend building your business include a prosperous financial future, the ability to travel and many other freedoms.
If you’d like some support with your website, then Zapp offers website management services UK wide. Our experienced team can support you to keep your content fresh and your site at its peak performance. Contact us today to discover more about how we can help you.