Are you toying with the idea of becoming an entrepreneur? Do you want to use the Internet to grow a business online?
Today there are millions of online companies throughout the world. Knowing where to start to join the ranks as a successful business owner is no easy feat.
As a startup, you’ll need to do tons of research. Knowing where to start to build a solid foundation is a must.
Want to avoid hours of parsing through Google to find helpful information? If so, this guide will help. Continue reading for 10 proven tips that will guide you to the path of success.
1. Fill a Need
One of the biggest mistakes that business owners make is focusing on the product. You’ve got this grand idea for a product and you think it will sell well.
The problem is that your business is off to a rough start if your product isn’t in high-demand.
Instead of going in with a product in mind, focus on market needs. What are consumers looking for? What need has gone unmet?
Ask those around you about what product or service they’d like to have available. Aside from people you know, you can also collect ideas by running a keyword search. Figure out what people are searching for but not finding many answers.
For further market research, you can:
- Visit online forums and groups
- Look at competitor’s websites
- Browse social media to determine market needs
Get your business off the ground with a solid foundation. Conduct market research and figure out what demand isn’t being met.
2. Know Your Competition
Monopolizing on a concept is tough in today’s world. As the owner of a business online, you want to be well aware of competing companies.
Do online research to determine who provides a similar product or services. Examine how they use social media and other marketing methods. Determine what keywords they use to drive traffic to their site.
Knowing your competition gives you a one-up.
3. Brand Your Company
Before creating a presence for your business online, you must create a brand. A brand is what makes your company recognizable.
You’ll, of course, need to create a business logo as well as choose business colors. But, branding is much more than that. Your company’s brand puts a face to the name.
Branding is a sum of advertising, customer service, company culture and more.
When branding your company, think about your mission and values. What voice do you want your company to have? How do you want consumers to feel when they hear or see your company’s name?
Building a successful business online requires a strong brand. It increases the value of your company while building trust.
4. Create and Design Company Website
Once you’ve determined a consumer need, you can move towards making your business reality. The first step is to register a domain and create a website.
You want to choose a host that provides ample space for your web assets. A high-quality host should also offer clock support in the event of an outage.
When designing a website, embrace simplicity. Web pages don’t need to be full of flashiness. The overuse of graphics and script can lessen your site’s reputation.
The most important factors of a website are page load time and user experience.
Page Load Time
Google recommends that websites load within 3 seconds. Visitors want information to load quickly and without errors.
The quicker your page load time, the more likely users are to remain on your page. And the more time a user spends on your website, the more likely they are to make a sale.
With this said, page load time directly impacts sales conversions.
User experience is all about how easy and pleasing your website is. User experience involves a lot of factors including:
- Website speed
- Ease of use
- Section 508 compliance
One of the most important pieces of user experience is mobile optimization. A growing number of users browse the Internet using a mobile device. This means your website needs to be built to various screen sizes and processing capabilities.
A hot design trend for websites is the use of responsive design. Responsive design ensures that your website is functional on a variety of devices.
5. Create Sales Copy
With your website designed, it’s now a beautified blank slate. In order for your website to be effective, you’ll need to write copy that sells consumers on your product or service.
To start, create a compelling website headline. Your headline should draw people in and keep them on your homepage.
You’ll also want to provide information about the product or service. What problem does your company solve? What need is it fulfilling?
Explain the benefits of your company’s product or service. How will it make a consumer’s life easier or more convenient?
Your sales copy also needs to establish credibility. If there are other competitors in the industry, let consumers know what makes your company the most credible.
6. Create Other Content
Outside of sales copy, your website also needs other content. The more quality content you provide, the higher your website will climb in the ranks. Creating a blog is the ideal solution for hosting content.
When publishing content, the key points are to post information that is interesting and in-demand. Quality content will teach readers while also entertaining them.
To ensure that your content gets read:
- Know who your target audience is
- Cover topics that your readers are interested in
- Use attention-grabbing topics
- Implement search engine optimization techniques
- Use calls to action
You’ll also find success in writing about trending topics in your industry. The more buzz you can build around your business online, the better.
7. Build an Opt-in List
Content creation is one way to keep your online business’ name relevant. Another way is to allow users to sign up as part of your email list.
Emailing marketing allows you to send targeted emails to your customers. With the use of emails you can:
- Announce company changes
- Provide product deals and discounts
- Direct users to content on your website
Using email marketing is inexpensive yet effective. The key to email marketing is to avoid inundating your customers’ inboxes with messages from your company.
Emails should be sent with a purpose. Don’t spam your users just because you want to remain relevant.
8. Participate in Social Media
Having a website isn’t enough. To run a successful business online, you need to get involved with the community. You can use social media to market your product while also learning new industry needs.
The first step is to sign up to various social media networks. When creating profiles, take the time to fill them out.
Provide information about your company, such as a background and contact information. Upload your company’s logo and talk about what you offer.
Once your profiles are set up, now it’s time to engage. What are consumers talking about within your industry? What questions are they asking?
Don’t hesitate to chime into conversations. Direct consumers to read expert content on your website.
9. Build a Network
A successful business online can flourish with the help of a network of like-minded businesses. Team up with other entrepreneurs who can help drive your company’s success.
Social media networks, especially LinkedIn, can be useful for building your professional network.
The more external support you have, the better. You can use your network to come up with new business ideas. You may even find a business partner to help you along the journey.
10. Stay in the Loop
Industries are always evolving. As the industry changes, your company will need to be positioned to change with it.
To remain a leading voice in your industry, you’ll want to stay on top of the latest trends and hot topics.
Use social media to see what topics are buzzing. Engage with your customers to learn about what issues or questions they have. You can even use automated apps such as Google alerts to be kept in the loop.
Staying on top of things allows your business online to retain its expert reputation.
Your Source for Business Online Information
Starting a business requires a lot of time and effort. Most importantly, running a business online requires insider knowledge.
As a business owner, you probably know the basics of running a business. But how much do you know about marketing? Are you in the know in regards to creating content to drive website traffic?
Looking for a go-to location for all of your online business questions? If so, Jordan Delozier is the resource you need.
Our website provides a variety of information for business owners. From expense tracking to employee incentives, we have the information you need to excel in the business world.
Contact our team today with any questions!