When it comes to the topic of starting a new online business, most entrepreneurs think that trial and error is the way to go but this isn't so. A number of experienced business people can give you details as to what went right during their venture into the world of startups, and what went horribly wrong. Based on these assessments, there are certain combinations of practices that, if done right, can result in starting a successful business. Here's what most online business owners swear by.
Analyzing the Market
Nowadays, the market is somewhat similar across the world so it doesn't take much time for a certain need to go global. That's why you'll need to look into your market for shortages before you can think of a product and assess whether it has an unfulfilled demand in the market. Scour the internet to find answers to your questions.
Have a look at common online forums like Quora and Reddit for people's questions about the availability of a certain service and product to solve a particular problem. Look for keywords that have a high number of queries but much fewer valuable results. This will be an indication of a market that doesn't have enough solutions.
Of course, you will have a few competitors in the field so it's best to examine their marketing strategies and products before you start working on your own versions. This will help you create something innovative that adds more value for the consumer.
Post Good Content
Are you worried about how you'll convince customers through an online sales call? Here's what you need to explain so they go through with the entire process, up until the final purchase.
- Give headings that pique consumer interest
- Address the problem that your brand can solve
- Ensure your reliability by giving details of your experience and the people on your team
- Provide testimonials of happy customers
- Make a good offer
- Provide them with a guarantee so they feel reassured
- Make it a matter of urgency so they can't refuse
- Make the sale
While walking your customer through the website, make sure that you're focusing on their need and how you're helping them.
Deliver a Proper Website
For a business that operates solely online, a website serves as a headquarters and you sure as heck can't compromise on the quality of yours. Take it from online selling pros, most retail brands keep their websites fairly simple; they know that they have less than 15 seconds to capture consumer attention, which means a smaller business like your has less than 10. So remember:
- No funky colors or fonts; clear, dark fonts on white works well enough
- Make it simple to navigate to and from pages
- Grasp consumer attention on every page with interesting images and videos
- Collect e-mail addresses from visiting traffic to give updates on sales
- Shorten the number of clicks it takes to confirm a transaction; one to add card details and one to confirm
- Optimize it for mobile devices
Search Engine Help
Operating a business online requires that you be on good terms with the search engines, especially reigning power, Google. Using a PPC (pay per click) scheme to advertise your new business is effective at drawing more traffic towards your website. This will work much quicker than waiting for organic traffic to trickle in.
Advertising through Google AdWords' Network Display strategies gives the benefit of your brand's banners being up within a matter of hours. Moreover, utilizing such a system offers the benefit of letting you test how effective other keywords are for driving more traffic.
Once you've determined which keywords work best, you can then incorporate them into your advertisements, social media posts and most importantly, your website. This will boost your rankings on SERPs.
Be a Leading Authority in Your Niche
Aside from being your source of income, the internet serves as the population's largest source of authentic information in a hundred different forms. If you appeal to the people looking for information, and not just those who set out to make a purchase, you end up building traction among a larger group of people.
Hence, lure in information-seekers by giving your expertise-based articles on different websites. You can create other forms of content, such as videos, info graphics, and images that are sure to make an impact on readers who might end up making a purchase later on. On every informative piece, add the option for them to share it with their friends.
Be active on the very platforms where your target audience asks questions relating to your field, and answer them. After all, what's more, appealing than a CEO who actively answers questions on the internet?
Leverage Email Marketing
When you give visiting traffic the option to submit their email addresses, you get a valuable list of potential customers who have opened the doors to their inboxes for you. Essentially, it indicates that they have developed an interest in your brand, are willing to form a long-term relationship with your brand.
Individuals who visit your website and leave their email address are basically giving you permission to contact them. They are potential customers and email marketing is the best way to follow-up with leads.
Enhance Customer Loyalty
Customers look for value wherever they go and that's what you need to offer. It's quite possible that over a quarter of people who made a purchase from your website would be willing to do it again if you contact them again with a good deal.
The first sale you make is the most crucial but it's also expensive. Hence, you'll need to offer them related items that go well with their purchase and send redeemable coupons to ensure that they return. If you reward them with incentives to buy again, your customers are sure to be loyal to your brand.
Even though the online-world is faced paced and dynamic, it isn't the case for markets and businesses that are operating through the internet. The basic aspects of starting a profitable online business are still the same as before.