According to the research data from “Internet World Stats”, around 55% of the world’s total population is using the internet every day. That is about 4 billion people. Every day.
People use the internet to find information, buy products, sell stuff, use services, and so on. Internet is the biggest marketplace that ever existed in this world. Remember, just two decades back, this humongous marketplace was not even born.
Today, an average business with a good online presence can make more revenue and profit compared against a healthy business without an online presence.
Two decades ago, businesses used hoardings, posters, and trade shows to market their products and services. That form of traditional or offline marketing has declined greatly today.
Today your business needs a well-built online presence to succeed.
Let’s dive into the 5 steps that you must do to build your online presence.
1. Make your business authentic – register it properly
Let’s get the facts straight here. We do offer a free domain name with our Company Formation Packages. You can use this free domain to build a website within 30 minutes. That’s the biggest mistake, the majority of startup online business owners do.
Being one among a pool of competitors, your customers will have so many options to choose from. In order to survive as an online business, you must create a feeling of trust and authenticity among your customers.
What can be done to prove your online business is authentic?
This step is quite simple. All you have to do is register your online business with the Companies House. By doing this, you are instantly adding a factor of trust to your company among your new customers. When your new customer looks for your business information, it will be available with Companies House and they can quickly find your company information from there. Just with a quick Google search, they can find that your business is authentic.
If you are not clear about Companies House procedures for company formation and/or have only limited time to start your online business, it’s better to make use of the company formation service as the complete process work will be taken care of by professionals on your behalf.
You need not worry about the pain of documentation and other mundane procedures. The time you saved can be spent more productively. After all; it’s your own business and spending a substantial amount of time before taking off can bring in better results.
2. Come up with an easy and unique domain name
Domain names are quite cheap to buy. But the real pain comes when you seek something that’s easy to find and unique. To make it simple,
- The domain name should be in easy reach by your prospective customers (easy to pronounce, memorable, and unique)
- The name should not sound familiar to an ongoing business
- If the name sounds nearly the same with another business with the same nature of business as yours, you could get ended up in a penalty or get sued by the rival company
- The name you choose should make a great first impression among your customers
Once you have chosen the domain name, choose between the extensions you are going to use (co.uk, .biz, .com, etc.). However, it’s recommended to buy all the available extensions to avoid others to use it with the same domain name.
Finally, keep it as simple as possible and never use unusual spellings, digits, underscores, hyphens, etc. The key is keeping it simple, memorable and unique.
3. Solve a specific problem
Market research is the key here!
Most startup online businesses fall at the first hurdle because they don’t do enough market research and directly jump into the phase of listing their products or services. To avoid immediate failure, understand the people, and their exact needs.
Overwhelmed how to understand the needs of people? – It’s easy again!
- Visit online forums and solution sites where people seek solutions related to the products and services you intend to sell, and come up with the solution content for your site
- Do keyword research and find what people are trying to solve, go for less competitive keywords in the beginning
- Visit the websites of your competitors and understand the strategy they use (never try to copy them)
Once you have a better understanding of the problem area your potential customers go through, you can come up with compelling content that answers their questions.
4. Choose a good web hosting company
Finding a “good” web hosting company doesn’t mean it has to be dead cheap. In order to provide a fast and uninterrupted service, choose a web hosting company that has an all-around potential.
Keep the following points in mind before fixing one
- Check for online reviews (Focus more on negative reviews – look for similar patterns)
- Check for 24/7 support availability – Downtimes should not affect your business
- Check the server location allocated for you – UK based will be better
- Check for the vendor’s hardware capability – More numbers are better for uninterrupted performance
- If your business is small or you are at the beginning stage, do not invest on own servers to host your website as the initial cost will be too high and will be beneficial to you only in the long run.
Go for a cloud-based service, which is highly affordable to maintain.
5. Construct your website from the scratch
Building a website is not hard and costly as before. You can see plenty of options on your search engine results page when you type, “Make a website” and hit that search button.
You could use a DIY company like wix.com or engage a professional website designer. Either way, make sure that you do not include too many graphic elements or fancy stuff unless it is necessary to enhance your message.
5.1 Content is king
For any online business, a good content will serve as the kingpin for all your sales efforts. Always keep the following points in mind before coming up with great content that sells on your behalf.
- Come up with an attractive heading for every piece of distinctive content you make
- Describe the problem, followed by your product’s potential to solve the problem
- Use F-A-B-V statements (Features – Advantages – Benefits – Value Addition) to demonstrate how you are going to help and the benefits your customers will enjoy
- Be informative -detail every product with all the information your customers look for (market research will help here)
Throughout the content, you have to focus on how your service or product distinctively solves your customer’s problem.
5.2 Don’t neglect user experience (UX)
When the customer visits your site, he/she should navigate within your website in a clean fashion. To make it simple, the website should not look like a hide and seek game where the user must work hard to find what he needs.
Here are some tips for fresh and usable website
- Use easy to navigate menu structure – people are habitual with the classic style
- Provide more useful information related to the product than just a blunt information
- Don’t use “N/A” (Not Available) – Try to source the information or don’t include the field at all
- Some other bits for your customers comfort like “Go to top” button, floating menu, etc.
If the above four points are made perfectly, the new visitor will fell engaged and stay in your site for a long time, increasing the conversion rate, and helps in getting better SERP ranking.
5.3 Create the urge and use appropriate CTA buttons
At the end of every product or service description,
- Create a sense of trust by using some practical guarantee statements
- Make a sale offer – the offer you made should sound appealing
- Provide CTA (Call To Action) buttons to view your quote or contact you immediately
When the customer feels your offer is sensible, you are in the right lane.
5.4 SEO and social media
Once all your website content is ready along with your product descriptions and features, you can start optimizing your website to get easily visible for customer queries.
If you are a startup and it’s not possible to invest huge funds for SEO, you can always target
- On-page SEO – Optimize your website content based on the keyword research, targeting customers in a specific area
- Off-page SEO – Make blogs and other useful information that can be related to your business. A business blog keeps the readers informed and creates a trust in your business when your information solve the specific problem of your visitor
- Social media optimization (SMM) – Social Media is an excellent platform to engage with your new and existing customers. For new customers, it acts as a tool to redirect them to your site where your existing customers will be kept informed about your new products/services, news, and more.
- Use the free web analytics tools to get an idea about your customer behavior and preferences about your site and the social media. Look for patterns and observe the styles that got more recognition in the form of likes, comments, and shares.
- Maintain a media calendar to keep the posts in advance – Tools like Hootsuite helps you effectively manage the schedule for various types of posts across networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
Building an online business is simple, but observing the progress and making critical decisions to reap, success needs patience and persistence. The key is starting it small, and growing it gradually by understanding the customer needs.