Online business : A step-by-step guide
An online business comes with a different set of obstacles that businesspeople and development teams have to face. Digital companies are facing rather a heavy competition in today’s digital environment.
Many companies start with a simple presence on a Facebook business page or an Etsy store — and that is nothing wrong with it. It’s just important to realize you don’t have complete control over those platforms and you’ll probably be limited about what you can do there. Plus, most marketplace e-Commerce sites are taking a cut from your purchases.
You may want to broaden your digital footprint to include a range of essential features as well.
If you want to take advantage of the Internet’s benefits and create an online business that stands out from the crowd, here are some of the most important tips and tools for helping you do that.
1. Get a domain name that describes your business
The domain is the portion of the website address that follows the “www.”
A domain name, too, can anchor a professional email address for a company.
As with this: firstname.lastname@example.org
Let’s say I’m in Edinburgh hunting for a plumber. I take out my mobile, open Google, and type “Edinburgh Plumber” — Et voilà! I get search results list containing related websites listed by their domain names.
You want your company to show up in search results – as prospective customers are looking for the goods or services you sell online.
Your domain is the nameplate on the web for your online business, so be careful to choose a domain name that represents your company and is easy to remember.
2. Set the ground with the best hosting
You’ll need a domain name AND a web hosting account to start a self-hosted WordPress website. Yeah, they are entirely different.
Various hosting providers sell different plans which are appropriate for small to large websites. In the end, that will impact the quality of the website.
Suppose if you are just starting, then we suggest that you use cloudhostservices.com. They are one of the biggest and convenient companies for budget hosting. You’ll be able to start with $1.99 a month.
As your online business grows, more hosting resources are probably needed. Hopefully, you’ll be making a profit by that time to justify an upgrade.
3. Choose a Suitable and an Apt Platform for Your Website
For a small business, the worst mistake you can make is using the wrong platform to create your website. Not only will the wrong platform cost you more money, but it will also limit the opportunity for growth in your company.
We would suggest that you would use WordPress. It is the most popular website builder on the market, and it accounts for more than 31 percent of all websites (including small and large companies).
We are talking about WordPress.org when we say WordPress, not WordPress.com. These are two different sites.
4. Web development
Yeah, so you should have thought that this would be the first step. While this sounds obvious, it’s important to understand fully what you’re going to need for a website and work out the user journey for users who come to your site. Searching for leads? Looking for a direct sell? Or are you just looking for space where customers can learn more about yourself? All those grounds are valid.
What skills do you need to build up your site? You’ll need at least a website designer and a website developer. If you are not a good writer, then you may also want to consider hiring a copywriter.
5. SEO the best traffic generator
You have already done a pretty good job of getting your business online, if you have followed the steps so far. But now it’s about improving your online presence, so that future customers can find you. To allow this, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is crucial.
Search engines such as Google are the main source of Web traffic for most websites. There are a lot of things you can do by practicing simple SEO to optimize your website for search engines.
SEO or search engine optimization is a set of principles and techniques to create your website more search engine friendly.
Smart SEO strategy that exploits content market gaps and encapsulates core strategic SEO foundations can be a very cost-effective way to take your brand to Google’s top and boost traffic to your site.
One great place to start is to research keywords. This involves collecting a database of keywords related to your brand which may be searching for your target audience. One of the key variables here is “search volume,” a metric used by a number of tools to indicate the number of monthly searches on specific keywords that can be absorbed by region and device, among other things. Though you may want to consider hiring an SEO expert too.
6. Social media marketing as a tool
Social media networks have got audiences extremely engaged. Facebook alone has 1.47 trillion active daily users, which is around 18 percent of all people in the World. YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media sites also has users who are highly engaged.
Social networking channels offer tremendous online business opportunities, with so many people. You can start by developing social media profiles for your company and start sharing your blog posts.
You can communicate with your clients and prospects by building a network on popular social media platforms and sharing content with large number of people. Social media makes it easy to answer specific consumer queries or problems, while allowing both current and future customers access to the same information.
The growth of social media accounts can be a great way to engage in present or prospective customers. Nevertheless, social media doesn’t only need to be a platform for interaction, there are also tools like Facebook Shop that can also help you to fetch sales from them. Explore all the options open to you and create a social media plan that can both convert and interact.
Don’t want to spend your days in social media account management? You can also appoint a professional social media agency so you can focus on the bigger picture.
7. Pay-per-click a quick lead generator
Online ads can be a perfect way to introduce your brand to new customers. If you’re willing to put some money behind your marketing efforts, you will very easily start seeing results. The benefit of digital advertising is that you can track how well they do, much better than offline ads if set up correctly.
Google Search and Facebook probably provide the best ways to get started. They are fairly easy to set up some basic ads and are often the most conversion efficient.
Despite common opinion, a limited budget enables you to run Pay-Per-Click advertisement campaigns. You can set your own price, target keywords, demographic, and more using services like Google AdWords and Facebook Ads.
Google AdWords currently also provides new advertisers with free ad credits. You can use those credits to play with PPC ads and get some paid traffic free of charge to your website. Alternatively, you could look at hiring a digital marketer
Several advantages of pay-per-click ads online include:
- Easy, and inexpensive. Digital ads cost a fraction of conventional print ads and can be easily implemented.
- Audience captivated. Your ads appear on your favorite social networks and other platforms, in front of targeted customers.
- Simple to calculate. You can get plenty of useful metrics to measure your online ad campaign success.
Congratulations!!! If you’ve reached this point, you’ve put yourself through the effort it takes to get your small business online — the right way.
Now, do you wonder if you have a successful website for small business? Your website is more than a glorified business card. It will draw visitors to learn more about your services and products, and help you be visible that you are a reputable business and make customers of your customers. Also, a website that just has the bare necessities to help your online business expand.
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