In a period of few months, the COVID-19 crisis has profoundly impacted our lives and our businesses too. Out of which, offline retail businesses have especially suffered the most losses. Some of the business owners have already taken steps to take their businesses online. Hence, they managed to revive their business and even earned good profits even in this economic crisis. So here I will be providing a step-by-step guide to take your business online.
Why Should You Take Your Business Online?
86% of people search online for a local business. If you take your business online then people can easily find more information about your offerings. You can also use your online presence to communicate directly with your customers and update them with the latest offers.
Convincing benefits of why you should consider taking your business online:
- Acquire Credibility: Having an online presence of your business gives you instant credibility. An online presence like a website makes it easier for people to find you and know more about your business.
- Stay One Step Ahead From Your Competitors: There is very little chance that all of your competitors will have an online presence. This gives you an opportunity to reach more of the potential customers that are searching for your products or services online.
- Build Your Online Trust: Having a good number of online customer reviews attracts more customers. Consider adding a dedicated testimonial page to your website to showcase your customer reviews. This gives the reason why a potential customer should choose you over your competitors
- Serve Your Customers 24/7: Whether you like to check what time the shops open early in the morning, or prefer to search for a perfect present for your best friend in the evening, the web allows us to shop outside normal opening hours. Having a website allows customers to visit your business 24/7.
- Generate More Revenue From The Same Marketing Budget: Instead of spending money on newspaper and tv adverts, try running Google and Facebook ad campaigns for your business website. You will be able to reach more customers and generate more sales from the same budget.
Steps To Take Your Business Online
1. Buy A Domain Name
A domain name is an easy-to-recall address used to access a website. For example: “webconix.net” or “amazon.com“.
For professionals, a Domain name is also used along with an email address like – firstname.lastname@example.org
➤ Keep These Steps In Mind While Choosing a Domain Name To Take Your Business Online
- Keep it short & easy to remember.
- Make sure no other site has registered any close extensions.
- Prefer a .com or .net domain extension. You can also go for geo-specific domain like .in or .uk.
- Avoid using hyphens or numbers in your domain name.
2. Create Your Website
After buying a domain name, Creating a website that will bring conversions is the most important to take your business online. I understand the reasons why you might resist building one for your business: “I’m not a techie person”, “Websites are too expensive”, “I don’t have any time”, or the infamous “I have enough business and I don’t need one”. The reality is, you don’t need to be a techie person, getting a professional website for your business can be budget-friendly and easy, and to make it even simpler for you – not having a website is costing you time and money.
Now you will have to decide the end goal that you want to achieve from your website. For example, if you are a fitness coach, You might want to start a blog site where you can write blogs about health and fitness. This will establish your credibility among the readers and you can also generate leads for your fitness coaching from the blog site. If you are a travel agency, You can showcase the tour packages on your website. And if you have a retail shop, Then you can go for an eCommerce website where people can purchase your products and pay you online via a payment gateway.
➤ Ways To Approach Website Development
Drag & Drop Website Builders: You can choose from a plethora of website builders available on the internet like Wix, Squarespace, or Ghost. You can choose from the templates they provide, edit them according to your needs and connect your domain name with them for a membership fee of few dollars a month.
Professional Website Developers: Hiring experienced developers or a skilled web development agency is a great option if you have an out-of-the-box idea for your website but don’t have the skills to implement it yourself. A developer can collaborate with you to turn your vision into a fully functional, customized website that meets your online goals. You can contact our team if you want a custom budget-friendly website 🙂
3. Time to Rank Your Website on the Web
Now that your website is ready, You have already taken the wise decision to take your business online. Now, It’s time to know the importance of SEO for ranking your business website over other websites and boost its visibility on the web.
SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization, which is a process to improve your website’s ranking over others and bring organic visitors to your website through search engines like Google & Yahoo. A powerful SEO strategy focusing on link building, content marketing, on-page optimization, and all the other key SEO factors should also be a key focus for your site.
➤ Some basic factors which affect the search engine ranking of a website
- Keep Your Site Secured by using an SSL certificate.
- Submit Sitemap in google search console.
- Keep Your Site’s layout mobile-friendly.
- Website loading time should not be more than 3-5 seconds.
- Do proper keyword research for your niche.
- Avoid plagiarizing content from other sites.
- Build a good backlinks profile.
- Keep your website’s content updated.
Bonus Tip: Register Your Business In Google My Business to Gain Extra Exposure In Google
4. Start Engaging in Social Media
Social Media is the easiest way to gain the attention of your potential customers. It is one of the key catalysts for the growth of your business. If you want to take your business online and boost your growth without spending bucks on ads, The best you can do is to post informational content about your business on social media handles start engaging with the users who like, share or comment on your content. If done right, it can boost brand awareness and increase conversions in a matter of weeks.
➤ Which Social Media Platform Should I Join?
You need not join each and every social media platform and also you can’t manage all of them at once. Some social media like youtube Do some research about where your potential customers are hanging out. Let me help you out. 🙂 👇
If your product is B2C (Business-to-Consumer), You can start by posting product images on Instagram and Pinterest. Also, don’t forget to mention that how your product can add value to the lives of your customers. And later, You can move on to Youtube where you can post product unboxing videos, customer reviews, and some How-to videos related to your product.
If your product is B2B (Business-to-Business), You can try joining LinkedIn. It is the best for B2B. The average engagement is higher on LinkedIn compared to any other platform. Youtube will work fine for B2B as well. You can also create how-to videos of products along with customer testimonials.
- Mojo: Create stunning animated Instagram, Facebook, or Snapchat stories in no time. You can choose from 300+ prebuilt templates and customize them as per your needs.
- Buzzsumo: It is a fantastic tool for content research in any niche. You can check which type of content is performing well in your niche by simply entering keywords. And then you can post content related to that.
- Canva: It’s one of the best tools used to design social media graphics. Its free version has all the things you need to create posters for social media, but still, if you want additional functionalities, You can buy its premium version. We also use canva and photoshop to design content for our Instagram page.
- Buffer: It is a social media planning and scheduling tool. It allows you to schedule content for your social media handles and helps you analyze your content’s performance.
- Fiverr: It is a freelancer hiring platform. If you don’t have enough time to handle your social media, you can hire a freelancer for social media management and content creation. Outsourcing some work from Fiverr will help you to take your business online faster.
5. Investing In Digital Marketing To Boost Your Revenue
Want quick sales without spending time on SEO or Social Media Engagement? You can try running ad campaigns on Google, Facebook, and other social media platforms. You can set up PPC (Pay-per-Click) campaigns on Google Ads, and they will only charge you when someone visits your site. You can bid on keywords and set a daily budget. Facebook and other social media ads are cheaper in comparison with google ads. You can not bid on keywords but you can target the audience based on their age, interests, spending habits, and location. You can determine which platform is best for you by doing some research on your competitors, or you can hire digital marketing experts for marketing research and manage your campaigns.
Remember that, A perfect mix of sales from ads and organic sales will always help you grow your business in the online world for the long term. Don’t depend just on ads for the sales. Check out my article on ways to increase sales without google ads.
6. Track, Analyze, Grow & Repeat
Now, I suppose that you have got a complete idea of how to take your business online in 2021. All you have to do now is to track your online growth using proper tools and use the data collected from the tools to analyze your business growth. Find out the areas where your business needs more attention – Maybe your ads aren’t performing well or your SEO strategy isn’t working out as expected. It can be anything, right?
➤ Tools to Track Your Business’s Performance
- Google Analytics: A free tool provided by Google to track and analyze the traffic of your website. It also provides conversion tracking which will help you to set up and track your conversions (like purchasing an item or signing up for a free trial). It can even track live visitors to your website!
- Facebook Pixel: It is provided by Facebook to track conversions of your Facebook ads and you can also retarget the audience who visited your website using the Facebook pixel.
- Ahrefs Webmaster Tools: The best free tool to monitor your website’s SEO. It monitors the backlinks, the keywords in which your site is ranking and also notifies you about the pages of the site which are not SEO friendly. It will absolutely help you a lot to take your business online.
- Hootsuite: One of the best tools to manage all social media handles in one place. Be it Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, Hootsuite can be used to analyze and manage all of them.
So, I guess now that it’s not really that hard for you to take your business online. All you have to do is to start by buying a domain name that will represent your business on the web. Start building your website or hire a professional to do that. Optimize your website to rank search engines using SEO tactics. Start creating content related to your business and post it on your social media handle where your potential customers might be hanging out.
To boost the growth, You can invest some bucks in digital marketing. It can give you much more results as compared to traditional means of marketing. Get your site integrated with analysis tools like Google Analytics and Ahrefs Webmaster Tools to keep track of growth and keep your site error-free.