Alexa, tell me how many businesses fail within a year? Please.
Where once such a query would be debated and debunked around the dinner table, with facts and numbers posited and punctured, nowadays a simple Google search or spoken question thrown in the e-ther will yield the correct answer. Every, single, time. Indeed, it’s amazing how the internet has recorded then recoded the fabric of both social and professional life. But as they say, if you can’t beat em, join em. So, here are 5 IDEAL tips for growing your business online.
No surprise here, but it bears repeating nonetheless; one of the first steps to growing your online business is having a website. And if you truly want to inspire confidence in potential customers and colleagues, then it needs to be one which runs smoothly, slickly and speedily. Your website also helps you effectively convey the ‘vibe’ of your brand in an appealing, visual and easily accessible way. Therefore, it’s worth a fair investment.
CONTENT IS KING
The internet has sped everything up, make no mistake. Supply, demand, transaction and engagement; the expectation now is for your company and website to be constantly on, engaged and ready to do business. It’s therefore vital to make sure you’re pushing out regular content and marketing yourself succinctly in order to stay relevant and ahead to the pack. This doesn’t mean that at every 2:42 PM on a Wednesday you need to publish a blog post, but you need to be consistent and do things with clarity and precision.
Because what’s clear is that there is competition everywhere, and those who don’t keep things fresh and pertinent will quickly be dismissed in favour of a newer, shinier model. Conversely, regular content will instil loyalty in your visitors and attract new custom, too. Remember this; it’s a numbers game first and foremost.
SAVVY SOCIAL MEDIA USE
With 45% of the world (a whopping 3.48 billion) now having a social media account and millions scrolling through their feeds at any given moment, it would be financial suicide not to be harnessing the power of the click, constantly and consistently.
While there are plenty of paid options to promote your business on social media, you should only do so with scrupulous tracking of analytics to assess whether the reach of such posts is worth your investment. You might find that you could achieve the same reach via free social media channels; making an Instagram and Facebook page (we all have one, right?) is easy and needn’t cost you a penny. Just ensure your page is captivating and unique, as there’s a pretty massive crowd out there to stand out from.
INTERACTION & ENGAGEMENT
Eventually, people are going to start reviewing or talking about your business. And that’s a good thing; it shows you’re getting noticed and word-of-mouth (or word of keyboard, we should say) is a valuable thing. Though you can’t guarantee every review will be positive, if you’re confident of your company’s merit, then you should open yourself up to praise and criticism by registering with various review websites. There are plenty of places to do this; Google Reviews, Yelp, Trust Pilot and Tripadvisor, to name just a few.
Be sure to interact with your reviews, whether they’re favourable or damning (people are far more likely to post if they’ve something negative to say), to show gratitude and indicate the feedback is valuable. Customers love this. Further the engagement by asking for emails and sending out newsletters. You could go further still by distributing branded items like pens, sticky pad notepads, or novelty items.
GET TO KNOW SEO
Es, see, who? Don’t worry, SEO is simply a tech acronym which stands for Search Engine Optimization. Essentially, it’s what will help you stay on page one of Google instead of drifting off to the unseen, barren wastelands of page two. And if you want to get noticed, trusted and patronised to the full, then page one is where you want to be.
Indeed, struggling to rank highly in the search engines can be seriously detrimental to your business. To go from strength to strength this year and beyond, you may need to boost your online presence. If you want to continually drive traffic to your site, increase your website rank, and boost your conversion rate, you’d do worse than considering investment in a link building service, helping you to rank higher on Google and beyond (Ask Jeeves anyone?).