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10 Ways to Get an Online Business Off the Ground

Posted by Drew Hendricks on February 27th, 2013 at 8:10 pm

Whether a business owner is looking to strengthen their online company or add an online store to their existing business, there are a lot of benefits that can come from focusing on selling online. True, maintaining an online stores (and an online presence) can take a lot of time and energy, but the benefits of an expanded clientele is well worth it. Often times, people are apprehensive about trying an online component to their business because there is so much competition online. With all of the content on the web, how are business owners supposed to get the attention of their customers? Well here are some tips for boosting online sales and outshining the competition:

  • 1. Climb the Ranks Search engines are responsible for a large portion of the traffic that most sites get. When there are many competitors within a market, it’s important that a business’ website appears above the rest in relevant searches. For example, Seattle is known for being at the forefront of the tech industry. Along with many large, mainstream companies, there are many smaller, independently owned tech businesses in the area. Those smaller businesses will use specific Seattle SEO keywords on their site to get locals to their website.
  • 2. Use Social Media Social media tools like Twitter and Facebook are free advertising for businesses, and can make a huge difference in sales if used correctly. Keeping up with those sites, posting new and interesting content, and expanding the audience require some time, but the results will not just be more sales and attention, but before long the business gains a personality and a brand that goes beyond its name and logo.
  • 3. Keep the Site Up to Date A business’ website should be updated regularly, look clean and professional, be easy to navigate, and include important information about the business, its products, and how to get into contact with the company.
  • 4. Answer Emails, Tweets, and Comments Having an online presence means interacting with the customers and potential customers. When someone asks a question or gives a suggestion, they want to feel like they’ve been heard. A company that talks t o its customers begins to be less of a corporation and more of an approachable business. When people build a relationship with a business they’re likely to be return customers.
  • 5. Run Promotions It’s easy to feel like a business has reached a plateau when it comes to gaining online followers. Business can get a lot of attention online and gain a lot of new followers really quickly, and then see that growth taper off. A good trick to keeping that flow of new fans coming in is to run a contest where people like and share the business’ Twitter and/or Facebook and in turn be entered to win some kind of product or gift certificate.
  • 6. Try a Mailing List A regular mailing list with the daily or weekly news about a business is a great way to keep the business on a customer’s mind. If possible, give people an incentive for signing up, like a free gift or a discount.
  • 7. Stay Positive When anyone is posting content online, it’s good to keep this as a general rule. Overall, people would rather read positive content than negative posts. Be careful when posting about emotional topics.
  • 8. Produce Content Businesses should strive to produce digital content (new product posts, blogs, videos, tweets,etc.) on a regular basis. On the other hand, it’s good to share relative content that partners or customers have posted as well.
  • 9. Ask for Feedback Keeping communication open between a business and its customers is important. Like responding to emails and the like, a business also shouldn’t be afraid to ask customers for suggestions of how to make improvements.

10. Know the Audience With all of this, it will help to understand who the audience is. It can make a world of difference if a business is directing their posts at a specific audience. If they try to keep things too general, the content will be boring and bland, if its targeted at the wrong people it won’t do any good to draw in interested customers.

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