To stay alive in the business world, you have to know how to grow your business online. Gone are the days of setting up a mom-and-pop store on the street corner and having a booming business simply because your grilled cheese sandwiches are “the best in town.”
In today’s market, 87% of consumers are searching for products and services online long before they step foot inside a brick and mortar shop, if they ever do. With computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones, the world is quite literally at our fingertips at any given moment.
The tremendous advancement in technology has come to a necessary shift in how we do business. However, this doesn’t apply solely to giant corporations; it applies to large and small businesses.
So how do you survive? How do you make an impact online?
Read on, and we’ll give you the answer in 7 easy steps.
How to Grow Your Business Online
Realize that owning a business of any size is hard work. It requires time, dedication, and a willingness to learn and evolve. That is especially true in our rapidly advancing society.
To stay relevant in the digital era of business, you must be able to keep up. That means taking the time to learn how online business and digital marketing works. It also means going with the flow of your target audience.
If you’re brand new to all of this, it may seem confusing at first. However, it’s vital to remember that it was new to everyone at some point. You can do this, and if you need help, all you need to do is ask.
Step 1: Set Yourself Apart
Before you start learning how to grow your business online, you have to establish who you are as a business.
To be a successful business owner, you need to set yourself apart from your competition. What makes you different from other businesses in your field? Why should people come to you instead of your competitors?
You may be a terrific person inside and out, but consumers don’t know that, nor will they care if your prices are way higher than your competitors.
To establish yourself in your field, you must be unique. It would be best if you stood out. You can accomplish this in many ways through your products, services, marketing, and business model.
Think like a consumer. What would inspire you to choose your company?
Step 2: Get a Killer Website
Once you’ve established yourself from the competition, you must have a website. Unfortunately, however, this is where many good businesses shoot themselves in the foot – with a smoking gun in the form of a poor website.
Data and research show that a poorly designed website will quickly scare potential customers away. Consumers don’t want to deal with a slow, clunky, or ugly website that’s not user-friendly.
Additionally, users who leave your website immediately will give you a poor “bounce rate,” further harming your online growth. This high and fast turnover rate on your website tells search engines that your site isn’t relevant.
Therefore, you need to design and implement a fantastic, user-friendly website. If you can’t design your website, don’t feel bad, most people can’t! Check out our web design services to see how we can help.
Step 3: Maximize Your Website's SEO
Now that you have a solid website, you need to maximize your SEO or search engine optimization. SEO refers to how well your website ranks when people type in specific keywords on search engines. It determines how easily people will find your business when looking for the types of products and services you offer.
Statistical research suggests that most people will click on the first option in search engine results. So, at the very least, you need to be on the first page of the results.
You can improve your SEO by creating a blog on your website full of relevant articles and keyword usage. It also helps to include multiple forms of media such as photos, videos, infographics, graphs, etc.
Additionally, you’ll want to include internal and external links within your articles. The internal links should lead to other articles in your blog or a products page or contact page. The external links should lead to affiliate websites, sources for research, and other valuable articles, but never to competitor sites.
Step 4: Get On Social Media
Next, to learn how to grow your business online, you need to get on social media. Just as importantly, however, you need to stay active on social media. Social media can be a huge platform for a customer base.
We recommend using more than one social media platform. However, you can start with Facebook to keep things simple. If you already have a personal account, things will be much easier.
Create a business profile and start by asking all people on your friend’s list to like and follow your business page. Next, you need to make sure you’re posting regularly to this page but not so much that people want to unfollow you. You also need to avoid using every post as an advertisement.
Remember, people are under no obligation to follow your Facebook page, so you need to keep it interesting and worth following. So, yes, post relevant stuff, but don’t oversaturate your feed with sales pitches.
Ask your followers to share your business page and individual posts with their friends to continuously grow your following.
Step 5: Utilize Social Media Advertising
With social media comes social media advertising, a wonderfully valuable tool available on business accounts.
Aside from organic advertising, as we spoke of in Step 4, you can use Facebook’s Ad Center for paid marketing. This is incredibly handy as you can choose exactly how much money you want to spend per day and how long you want ads to run.
Even more beneficial is the analytics that comes with Facebook marketing. This will tell you the engagement stats of each ad you run, including likes, shares, link clicks, views, and more. Using this information, you can experiment with several ads to determine which are most effective, streamlining your marketing strategy and your budget.
Step 6: Start Building an Email List
With followers on social media and a killer website, now’s a good time to build an email list. The email list is one of the best ways to learn how to grow your business online and build a high conversion rate. However, you can also do this in person or non-digitally with business cards, community events, surveys, etc.
However, when people subscribe to your email list, they need to be greeted and responded to appropriately. So we’re talking about email campaigns.
You need to have a series of automated emails at specific intervals after someone has subscribed to your email list. Please don’t be too aggressive right off the bat. You’ll scare people away and lose them as quickly as you gain them.
Start with an introductory “hello and thanks for subscribing” email. Follow it up a day or two later with an “about us” email. Then, you can start gently marketing different promotions, products, and services.
Just remember not to be too sales-pitchy. It also helps if you offer free stuff to keep people engaged, such as eBooks, instructional videos, etc. Finally, give people a reason to stay on your email list.
Step 7: Explore Various Digital Marketing Strategies
Digital marketing trends are constantly changing. As we suggested earlier, you need to keep to stay relevant online.
However, there is a massive array of options for digital marketing, and all are viable options. However, it depends on your specific business and target audience, just like everything else.
Here are a few suggestions:
There's No Failure
As stated previously, learning how to grow your business online takes time and dedication. It’s important to remember, however, that there is no failure. For example, spending money on advertising that didn’t work doesn’t mean you failed. Instead, it means you learned a method that doesn’t appeal to your targeted audience.
Make sure you give each method due time, as no strategy will give you an immediate turn-around time. Otherwise, keep your head up and keep plugging away. Experiment and never give up!
Feel free to learn more about us to see how we can help you grow your business!