Want to expand your business by bringing it online? Read these 5 strategies to get started.
If you’ve had a brick and mortar business or are starting out your business, deciding to take that business online is not an easy decision. You have to consider the cost, time, and learning curve that comes with building an online presence, and ultimately, many small businesses decide that it’s not for them.
But if you don’t, you could be missing out on 81% of shoppers who choose to research a business online before they decide to purchase or the 95% of ecommerce purchases anticipated to be online by 2040.
Bringing a business to the online world requires planning and strategy. Here are five strategies to help you successfully launch your business online to increase your reach and sales.
Choosing a website builder can be overwhelming. There are SO many options available, but it also has never been easier to get a website started. So where do you even start? Do your research!
Researching different website builders should be your first step. Some important things to consider:
Pricing. What is your budget for your website?
Your needs. Will you sell products, or do you only need a website to display your services?
Ease of use. Are you tech savvy and can implement coding, or is that something you would like to avoid?
Customer support. Do they have customer support or maintenance plans available for you to ask questions?
Customization. Are you able to customize your website to fit your brand’s fonts and color scheme?
Analytics. Can you review your analytics and what analytics can you access to see what is performing well and what you could improve?
You also need to decide on a hosting service for your website. One of the best ways to choose a quality host is to look at reviews from other users. You will want to look for:
Site speed. There is nothing more frustrating than a website that is slow to load. It will deter users from staying on your website, but it will also affect how Google ranks your website for organic search results.
Security. You want to make sure that the hosting service you choose prioritizes security. Protect you and your customer’s data and reduce your chances of getting hacked.
Support. You want to have the support of your hosting provider. They will be able to help monitor your site and help keep your website running smoothly.
If you are still finding it difficult to choose a website builder and hosting service, then take advantage of free trials and demos. This will help you see what they offer and if it will fit your needs.
If you want to optimize your business in the online space, quality search engine optimization is a huge consideration. Think about SEO keyword optimization as what a user would type into a Google or Bing to find your business. You want them to find you, so take advantage of this vital step to establish a strong online presence and to reach your target audience.
Research keywords relevant to your business and industry and incorporate them naturally into your website's content. You can do this by adding keywords to:
The headers and subheaders of your blogs or pages
The body of your blog or page content (include it several times without making your content hard to read)
Your page URL and meta description
The categories for your blog posts
Adding keywords throughout your website will make it easier for your page to rank when someone is searching for your related content.
Remember, this isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it strategy. You will need to optimize your website for search engines frequently to improve your chances of being seen in search results. For example, you can do this by uploading optimized blog posts. You will be helping boost your SEO score by providing relevant answers to questions your reader may have.
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Looking for more insight into SEO best practices? Check out this blog post for 6 steps to improve your SEO.
The number of people who visit websites via mobile devices keeps increasing each and every year. As of 2023, there are approximately 4.32 billion active mobile users with an astonishing 92.3% of internet users accessing the internet using a mobile phone. So to say that your website should be optimized for mobile is an understatement.
If your website isn’t mobile friendly, you will be missing out on a massive potential audience and sales. For instance, with the holiday season coming soon, you could be missing out on 60% of users who use their phone to make purchases.
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So how do you optimize your website for mobile devices? You should:
Consider the size of your text and photos
Have a fully responsive and simplistic design
Create forms that are easy to use
Check your site on multiple devices
If you plan to sell products online, you will want to make sure the website builder has the features you need. Check for features like secure payment gateways, inventory management, and online store set-up.
You will need to integrate an ecommerce platform into your website. Choose a reliable and user-friendly option that works with your business needs. Consider factors such as if it is easy to use and implement, if you can customize to your brand and needs, if you will be able to increase volume of inventory and sales, and if it will fit within your budget.
Popular choices include:
WooCommerce on WordPress
After you choose your platform, you will set up your online store, customize the design, and work through the settings. Then, it is time to add your products! Make sure to include images, descriptions, and pricing. You may have to set up a payment gateway such as PayPal, Stripe, or Square.
Make sure that your checkout process is user friendly and secure. You want to create the best customer experience you can. Test out your ecommerce website and continuously monitor and make updates as needed.
One of the biggest mistakes I see business owners make is hiring a website designer and going through an elaborate set up only to be disappointed that their website isn’t bringing in the desired amount of traffic.
You cannot build a website and hope that your audience will find you. You must market your business and lead potential customers to your site. You can do this through various digital marketing strategies such as:
Posting to social media platforms
Reminding your email subscribers to visit your website
Promoting recent blog posts
Creating a CTA that specifically sends them to your site
When you integrate multiple strategies, you will see a greater ROI on your marketing efforts.
Getting your website started before the holiday season is a great way to optimize your last quarter earnings. You can also create a digital marketing strategy that will drive traffic to your newly built site.
Martha Warner, LLC has 2 more openings for the remainder of the year. After the new year, we are making some major shifts in our business. Be sure to get your website built now before it’s too late!