But to succeed in the overcrowded and competitive online landscape, you need a well-defined strategy. A clever online business strategy will not only help you bring in more customers, but it will also help retain existing customers and establish your brand. Here’s a handy guide on how to thrive as an online entrepreneur.
Content is king
The primary driver for online businesses is content. You will succeed at sales only if you are good at content marketing.
What is content marketing? The Content Marketing Institute defines it as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
Research shows that companies that blog more or produce better content, get more inbound links.
The more quality content you publish, the more traffic and leads it generates for your business. It is an indirect way of boosting your sales by providing value, original thought and solving problems for your niche.
Your website, be it an eCommerce store, or a product website should cater to varying needs of potential consumers:
- Visitors looking for specific answers
- Customers who have come to shop
- Visitors who just want to browse
This means that your website/platform needs to record and analyze the customer movement on your site. If you are able to track this user journey, then you indeed have an effective search and navigation.
Information architecture is vital for customers to find what they want. If you haven’t organized this information well, haven’t created your navigation around the buyer or user journey, the bounce rate will be higher.
Make the web store intuitive and easy to browse through. Use menus and product categories, filter and search to help and guide the customer through a sale.
Increase visibility and searchability
Organic search is a huge part of any website/business’s success and performance. Search Engine Optimization(SEO) is the key to gain overall searchability and visibility but it has other benefits too.
If your SEO is on point, then you will attract more organic traffic. Websites that work on their SEO end up designing an optimal user experience because both are connected. SEO also has a great impact on the buying cycle. Savvy customers research well before they buy. You can use SEO tactics to convince and convert the discerning customer.
Mobile-friendliness and responsiveness are one of the most important factors in improving your website’s SEO. Remember, a vast majority of your customers are online on a mobile device. Make it easy for them to browse through your store or service.
Create and secure your customer database
There is no value in attracting high traffic if you can’t store and secure customer records safely. Building a database is the ideal way to organize customer information and pull out the records when necessary.
Your customer database can help you increase sales through email campaigning, telemarketing etc. You can get in touch with old or undecided clients by remarketing to them.
You can offer customized or personalized promotion offers tailored to their needs or search history. And last but not the least, you stay in touch with them and keep them updated with news and information.
The threat of data and security breach is very real, online. So ensure that your systems are updated and fully secured.
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Technology is your friend
Stay on top of tech trends and tools to make the most of the opportunities that present themselves. The online marketplace is fast evolving and you can improve your strategy by using emerging trends like apps, digital supply chain, AI-empowered personalization, demand-driven sales forecasting etc.
You can start small but invest in the right tools and technology that help your business. For instance, using cloud-based services can reduce your investment in software applications.
Social media has proven to be a boon for many businesses. From Instagram to Facebook and Pinterest, all enterprises whether big or small know the power of connecting with a captive audience on social channels.
You can create a social media strategy that ties in with your content strategy for better results. Some general tips are to post consistently, using images and hashtags, be more engaging with your social posts, and using analytics to track everything.
Landing pages are stand-alone web pages that are designed with the specific purpose of marketing or advertising campaigns. This is where visitors typically land after clicking on specific search links or Google AdWords.
All landing pages have a specific objective – a Call to Action (CTA). Landing pages are considered highly effective tools in increasing your conversion rates. You can build landing pages for different audience groups and drive up sales, sign-ups or subscriptions depending on your aim.
To sum it up:
Remember, that at the heart of any successful business is a strategy that aims to serve customers first. So make your online business easily accessible, user-friendly and don’t be averse to technology or trends. Use high-value, original content and marketing tools like email campaigns and landing pages to drive more traffic to convince and convert your customers.