Whether you are just starting your own business or have years of experience in the industry in which you specialize, one thing is certain: to become established in your area and acquire stable relationships with your customers, it is necessary to aid your business presence online. In the era of internet and information, except to stand out from the competition, it is imperative to provide all the information about your services or products via the Internet.
Below we will see some steps that can help achieve this goal:
1. Get your domain name and build your professional email
The first step to start building your online presence is the selection and securing of a domain, which reflects the services and the personal nature of your business. Choose carefully your domain name, so it stands out from the competition and its easy to be memorable to the end user. It would be advisable to mention the name of your company in the domain and be clear: A simple example is the www.yourbusiness.com.
Along with the domain name and choosing a hosting package that covers your needs, you get the ability to create one or more corporate emails, like firstname.lastname@example.org, through which you will be able to communicate with your customers. Corporate emails provide you a more serious and more professional presence while indirectly assure your customers that the email is inextricably linked to the activity of the company, without the mediation of third parties.
2. Create your website
The website is one that comes to show the presence of your business online, and therefore requires a lot of your attention in order to be implemented properly. To make the best possible choice in this step, you have to look internally at your business and determine the requirements of your site. A dynamic site with data which needs frequent updates (eg, an e-shop), has very different implementation with respect to a site whose content does not change often (static).
Within the first 10 seconds an online visitor, has decided whether to remain on the page that just has visited. To keep visitors at your site, the web designer and developer with whom you collaborate, should have the necessary expertise to carry out your needs and make sure that they have the knowledge in relation to the latest technological trends, relating to the web development and web design.
Also it is necessary to include a mobile version for your site, because as we mentioned previously a mobile-friendly website ensure easy navigation through mobile devices, users tend to use them more to browse on the internet and the mobile-friendly websites fits to the Google algorithm which has been updated with these details. Finally, consider to avoid the non relevant information.
The basic elements of a website usually are:
- An About page with information about the company
- A section or a page that shows the products or services of your company, designed with the main aim to maximize the User’s Experience (UX) and minimizes time in browsing.
- A contact form that users may use in order to reach you and ask questions/solve problems
- Links to social media and the presence of your business to social media in which a user may react with them
Through these categories can be adequately covered everything that is requested by a potential customer without being deterred by a site loaded with plethora of useless information.
3. Define your niche market
A business that may be lacking in size, is not necessarily uncompetitive against the largest of its sector. Instead, replenishing the needed know-how it is possible to provide much higher quality services than a fully automated colossus that exist in the market.
The key to achieve this as a small business, is to define the niche market in which it will appeal. By the term “niche market” we mean a certain aspect of the broader target market group, which are addressed the goods or services of a company, with the aim to meet specific needs.
The choice of this market segment is the analysis of consumer characteristics and determine which of them is preferable to contact the company, based on the compatibility and the needs of customers regarding the products / services. Today, everyone can find what s/he wants online. The challenge is to focus and specialize in a service / product and be able to be the best ISP.
To choose the niche market in which you will focus, you can use various tools like Keyword Planner, to choose the appropriate keywords that match the site and the user searches that make your potential customers. So you can determine exactly which searches you want to appear higher.
4. Offer Valuable Content
The way to build trust and engagement around your brand, goes through content marketing. The most direct way to succeed is to create a blog into your site which will provide existing and potential customers with all the information you might find around your object. News, announcements, tips, new services, etc., are issues that will bring traffic, but will make users come back for more information.
Give emphasis on the quality of both the even writing, and reliability in the information you provide. If the reader find what he asks to your blog, you have a double benefit: you gain confidence, increasing the chances to visit again with a new search, while reducing the bounce rate, since the user will go to your blog to the consult on the matter under investigation.
Defined a strategy for the publication of your content, such as issues you want to cover, the categories in which they will fall, and the frequency with which they will be published and tried to follow the program.
The consistency and quality will be your allies in creating a successful blog!
The consistency and quality will be your allies in creating a successful blog!
In the meanwhile, you can exploit the benefits of email marketing, to provide the right content to your customers. When we refer to email marketing, we do not mean commercial, promotional emails received every so to each of us. This is a strategy that aims to strengthen your business relationships with its customers.
The content you share via email may relate to products, services and promotions, corporate news which will present developments and new products you offer, or be purely educational. What you gain? Loyal visitors of your site and gradually loyal customers.
If, for example, your regular customer has time to buy from you, a personalized email can reignite your relationship and lead to a new order. With educational content, respectively, of providing incentives to appeal to you when you need help.
5. Focus on the local market
Wherever you operate your business, the reference point is the place where it has its base. Probably in this area is the majority of your customers. You have multiple options for targeting your ads to specific locations (location targeting), both from within your fan page on Facebook, and from the Google AdWords platform. Study and exploit correctly these tools to see your sales reach the sky.
Still, prefer a TLD that meets the existing geographical and your potential customers and made sure to keep the data and metadata in the appropriate language. If, for example, you operates in UK, it is preferable to select the ‘.co.uk and maintain a site in English, since the person who will make a search in English, in google, are more likely to choose a site for English information.
Evaluate your content and see if it conforms to the local market and society. If you participate in a local event, seek to mention it and invite your customers to meet you even in person. Improve social responsibility of your company, participating in charity events of the city where you have your base and share the experience with your social channels. You only need to show your interest in local events, it is creativity.
Finally, ask your customers to write a review for the service and the product they received and display it to your site. The best advertising can’t be another than a satisfied customer.
6. Maintain an active presence in social media
The social media are the fastest growing segment of online marketing and your aim is to exploit as effectively as possible. You can choose between creating a Facebook page, a Twitter profile, an account on Google+ or to exploit the opportunities offered in your Pinterest and LinkedIn.
No need to use them all. Do a little research and found what medium is best suited for promoting your business. Give there the greatest burden, building a community around your brand, consisting of individuals who have a direct interest in this.
Your presence in social media should be regular, but not excessive. Give the necessary information to the user, but made sure to give him and the proper time to digest before moving to the next. You may find yourself in your element with respect to the object of the enterprise, think, however, that the client lacks knowledge – so, after all, it takes more time to process a piece of information.
Create a plan for publications in social media, driven by the blog posts you upload. As a result, you will have a constant presence to the market you want to operate.
7. Make extremely simple the signup or the online purchase process
Imagine that your e-shop is a physical store. What the client will ask for? First of all, s/he will ask if you have what s/he is asking for. Ensure that you have a search field, so that visitors can easily find the product they are looking for.
Once you give this convenience to the customer, took care also to provide all the necessary information that will accompany the product: specifications, dimensions or pictures where necessary. At the same time, it is advisable to have a clear call-to-action buttons to guide the user in the purchase process: once found what s/he is looking for, urged him to buy directly, with buttons such as “Buy Now”.
Finally, simplify the order form, only requesting the necessary customer data in order not to fatigue with unnecessary questions.
Remember that your online presence is a very easy and economical way to support the reputation of your brand.
Take care to apply the right tools to make the best possible viewing opportunities given to you and let us know on other practices that helped!