How can you help my business
How can you improve your online business
If you've started your business, you likely already have a business website. If you're into ecommerce, you certainly have an online store too. However, your results are still unsatisfactory and you want to improve your online presence and take your business to a higher level. What should i do?
Actually, there are a multitude of options: from creating a higher quality website to investing in social media marketing to starting a paid Google campaign (or any other browser campaign), applying in company directories, building a company network and investing in marketing content, writing blogs, promoting PR texts and much more.
If you're not sure where to start, this is the right place. Here we're going to go over each of the above ways to help you better understand the diversity of digital advertising.
Are you happy with your online presence?
In 2015, medium.com surveyed 3,400 small businesses in the US, UK, Australia and Canada. Only 30% have a "modern" website (i.e. it is younger than 5 years), 60% have websites that are not mobile-friendly and an astonishing 10% had no website at all. Interestingly, many of these companies without a website had a Facebook page that they advertised online.
According to the G2 Crowd, around 80% of US small business owners used Facebook and 51% Twitter as a marketing platform. Facebook proved to be a double-edged sword as 38% said they had benefited from marketing on Facebook, while 29% identified it as their least successful marketing company. Almost a quarter of respondents indicated that further improvements and investments in social media marketing are planned for the near future.
Facebook took the lead in Clutch's 2018 survey of 350 US small businesses, as 12% of the companies surveyed only used this platform to promote their work online. 70% of the companies surveyed used social media, with Facebook topping the list at 86%. This is almost double the runner-up Instagram, which is used by 48% of small businesses. YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn followed, followed by Snapchat. In addition, the survey found that women are more likely than men to use social media for business purposes (74% vs 66%) and that the majority of millennial businesses (79%) experience the benefits of online access compared to business people over 35 years old (65%).
Source: Clutch 2018 small business survey
In 2018, the UK Bureau of Statistics reported that 45% of businesses in the UK have a website, while the proportion in Australia was slightly higher (50%), according to the Telstra Small Business Intelligence Report.
A 2019 e-commerce study found that 46% of US small businesses don't have a website. On the flip side, smallbiztrends.com conducted The Manifest research which found that out of 529 small businesses surveyed, ¾ use Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and 57% invest in email marketing.
If you still have doubts about why your business should go online, take a look at this data. A recent survey by Google found that 50% of customers who performed a local search on their mobile phone went to the store they researched within a day, while 34% of desktop searches returned the same. In addition, almost a fifth of local cell phone searches resulted in a customer buying in less than a day. Telstra's aforementioned research found that 62% of customers dismiss services from companies when they are unable to search for additional information online. Another statistical report on small and medium-sized businesses in the US found that web design is one of the main reasons customers distrust, or even disapprove of, a particular company.
Avocadosocial.com states that 80% of Instagram users in the UK follow a company or brand through this platform. Additionally, according to multiple research, Americans rely largely on social media in their retail discoveries. 78% of them find a product on Facebook and a slightly lower percentage (59) on Instagram and Pinterest. And if all these facts haven't made you a believer, a 2019 poll found that an impressive 96% of Americans choose to shop online.
Why is the importance of social media presence still not being recognized by some business owners? Numerous studies have identified three main reasons: companies consider themselves too small to advertise their online services, they consider social media marketing a chore, or they consider the services of marketers to be too expensive.
However, do social networks do the trick for your business? Not really. Do you wonder why? Because people want you to have a website. It is easier for you to gain trust in your brand when you have a web presentation or an e-store and are therefore more willing to buy your product or order your service. Active presence on social media is only part of your online advertising and helps build brand reputation.
Is there anything else to boost your sales, strengthen your brand and digital advertising?
Whether you're an entrepreneur, startup founder, small or medium-sized business owner, or CEO of a multinational company, the following guidelines are sure to help you improve your online business.
7 ways to run a successful online business
1. Purpose, intent and organization of website content
Graphic presentation of the website content. Organization and categorization / Click to zoom
To improve your online business, you need a professionally built website. By professional we mean functionality, practicality and ease of use for end users and website administrators.
Before you start building the website, think about the purpose. Do you create a portfolio, a web presentation, an e-store, an online reservation system, a web catalog, a media portal, an online magazine or something else?
The next important step is the structural organization of the website, which includes:
- Main navigation menu - usually: About us, Products / Services, Team, Contact and other pages
- Content categorization - Each of the categories can have several sub-categories that lead to individual pages with products / services
- Content functionality and filtering - if necessary, they include reservation system, search filters, order forms, shopping cart, contact forms, payment form, implementation of online payment services, etc.
- Structural division of a single page - Every web page should consist of an introductory text, a detailed description of the products / services / work, call up of action buttons and links to other pages of the same category or sub-category (mostly in the sidebar, but not in the list, also in the header or footer)
- Multimedia content for internal individual pages - Photos, infographics, illustrations, videos, etc. specially created for your website
- Blog area - Generally understood as a separate categorization depending on the topic, labeling of the content, internal linkage, etc.
Choosing a platform to set up your website will depend on whether you are going for a service order option or implementing full e-commerce and online shopping solutions.
For example, if you're starting your own blog, your preferred platform should be WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, or something similar. For an online shop, it is best to choose a platform designed for e-commerce such as WooCommerce, Shopift or Magento. You can even do it yourself, but if the technical details of the website aren't your thing, leave it to the professionals.
2. Write a content that sells
You have decided to create a website or improve the one you already have. The next crucial step is - content.
Everything you post on your website, business blog, marketing campaign, newsletter, or social network should be in line with your business philosophy and highlight the values you value. This makes it easier for your target audience to identify with your brand and build trust in you.
However, you should distinguish between the content of the website's shop pages and what you post on your blog.
The website landing page must be informative and briefly describe your work and the products or services you offer. Links and buttons for calling up actions on the landing page can lead to other, individual web pages that contain more detailed information.
On each page of the services websites, the content should represent your service and directly indicate how your users will get it. This content shouldn't focus on you or your business, but rather on your customers and the benefits they get by using your services or purchasing your products.
The goal of advertising content is usually to increase the conversion rate, regardless of whether you want to increase the number of your subscribers or members, buyers or your sales and profits.
How do you write content that can sell?
If you want to take control of the content of your website, we recommend some of the guidelines from Joana Wiebe, who is the company Copyhackers founded and the term Conversion copywriting has shaped.
As she points out, writing content that sells is a complex process with a specific framework, a specific formula, and putting the user first. The entire writing process should be carefully thought out, reviewed, tested, and validated with a specific intention and long term goal. The content should be based on facts but presented in a way that creatively evokes the audience's emotions.
Blog, on the other hand, presents original articles that answer the questions of the target group in an understandable way, solve their problems and provide educational, informative and useful content. The topics should be treated from different perspectives, thorough and knowledgeable, and follow the latest trends and practices, including a subtle promotion of your business or services.
3. Invest in Google Ads
Advertising on Google or other browsers is the right choice for you if you want to appear on the first page of search engine results and are ready to invest in them. Google Ads, an updated version of the Google AdWords tool, is an efficient solution for getting your website up and running.
It is recommended to start a digital campaign for a single product or service, e.g. B. Promote the latest product in the store, a special one month discount, the least requested service you want to promote, or something else.
The first step is to search for and select the keywords that you want to market the campaign for, then set the parameters based on where and when an ad was posted, the length of the campaign, etc. Set the budget in advance, and there is also an evaluation option where you can get an estimate of the price per click.
This gives you control over the advertising process and you only pay when users click on your ad (pay-per-click, PPC). The total price depends on several factors - your budget, your location, your industry, the strength of the competitors, the demand for keywords and many other parameters.
Google Ads offers a wide range of advertising options for small and medium-sized businesses, e-stores, hotels, mobile apps, as well as campaign price estimation and dynamic search ads.
If you've decided to start a Google Ads campaign, we recommend that you do this first:
- examine the market
- review the advertising opportunities offered by competitors
- Carefully choose the keywords for which you want to publish your ads
- set a daily or monthly budget
- Set a clear conversion goal
With a clear goal in mind, you can closely track the conversion, review the results, and gauge whether your campaign has paid off; H. how high the return on investment (ROI) is. If this doesn't work, you can always start a new campaign within the next month.
In addition, if you want to test several campaigns at the same time, you can use Google to test the variations of ads in parallel and thus choose the one that delivers the best results.
4. Advertising through business and address directories
By actively promoting it through business portals, online catalogs, address books and local web directories, you can get one step closer to first place in search results.
Adding your company to corporate directories will increase your company's profile on the Internet. You have the option to leave your contact details, set a map location, provide a route description for your company and receive the possibility of direct contact, describe your work, vision, mission, business philosophy, leave data on services and products, photos, Videos, website links, and more. Usually free of charge.
Not sure where to start? If you are doing business in the areas of Germany, Austria or Switzerland, it is helpful to check lists of business directories in the Germany, Austria and Switzerland, which can be a great starting point to increase your visibility on the Internet, strengthen your brand and improve online business.
Remember, SEO is a long process and results don't come overnight. Be patient, set long-term goals, and develop a strategy. Website optimization pays off in the long run and produces more sustainable results than a one-time ad.
5. Invest in advertising campaigns on the social networks
The presence of social media is a must these days for all companies that want to position themselves more strongly in the market, be a topic of discussion, cultivate the relationship with their followers and loyal customers and acquire a large number of new customers and users.
With so many social media outlets, you must have heard by now that you should be where your customers are. The most important questions are therefore: Who is your target group?
For example, if you have a teenage and teenage fashion brand, Instagram might be your first choice. The same applies to an e-store, because Instagram recently introduced the function of direct shopping via the app, which is already widely used. If you have a B2B company and your target audience are managers and decision makers in companies in a particular domain, LinkedIn should be your focus. For a wider audience, Facebook is the best choice.
It is important that you fill in all of the required information when creating business profiles and pages. For example, when creating a business page on Facebook, make sure that all fields have unique content. In the “About Us” section, write a description of your company, tell the story of your company in “Our Story”, add your company logo, website link, service descriptions, photos of products, indoor and outdoor areas and videos if necessary .
To make your social media profile more complete and attractive to customers from the start, encourage your loyal customers to leave reviews on your company profile.
If you want to increase the visibility or reach of your profile, promote your services, highlight the most important products or offer special discounts, you can advertise on social media. Each of these posts can be promoted for a specific budget while addressing a target audience based on different demographics and interests.
You can even create targeted campaigns with more granular ways of setting a goal and audience to serve the ad to. In this case, you set the budget yourself.
Of course, you should keep communication with your followers at a professional level.This also applies to every profile post, because you should always pay attention to the image of your company and your brand.
6. PR and guest article advertising
Writing guest articles that you post on blogs or portals related to your business domain can be a great way to promote your business, product, service, promotions, novelties, etc. in an original and relevant way.
Online magazine, personal or professional blogs, well-known personalities from your industry and business portals that allow guest articles to be published on your website are a good place to promote your content. In this case, you can increase awareness of your brand's existence, increase visibility, build a positive reputation, strengthen your domain, and build a network of relevant and reliable backlinks.
If you want your articles to be published, praise yourself, your company, and your products is not an option. Instead, take the time to carefully read each website you plan to post to, research what they have already written about, familiarize yourself with the writing style, find guidelines for guest articles, get in touch, and set up collaboration .
Nobody forbids you to publish more than one article, and you can even become a guest author on some portals, which gives you the opportunity to regularly publish your articles on websites to reach a larger number of people in your target audience.
7. Form a partnership network
Finding companies, customers, and organizations in your industry can help your industry, and building a long-term, trusting collaboration and relationship can go a long way towards creating a more positive image and online position for your brand.
For example, if you own an online school supply store, you can partner with a children's clothing store. If your company is in education and training, your partners may be universities and educational institutions related to your industry.
Therefore, collaboration and exchange of links and logos, if they have a website, can be established with long-term customers and companies and organizations from similar industries.
You can also create a partner section on the homepage of your website where you can present your partner network, or you can devote a separate page to this area. This is a great way to show your website visitors that you are one of the reputable and respected companies in your industry. This makes it easier for you to gain trust in your brand and improve your business at the same time.
Improving your online business is not an easy task. It requires extensive knowledge and skills in numerous areas of digital marketing, web writing, browser and social media advertising, and much more.
However, if you are interested in improving your business but are not satisfied with the current results, do not let the intricacies of these guidelines we have outlined discourage you.
The most important thing is to be serious about your business, to thoroughly study a long-term business development strategy, to hire experts for anything you cannot master, and to be patient.
Success never comes overnight. It takes a lot of time and effort. Start your digital promotion as soon as possible and be thorough, consistent and persistent in everything you do.
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