How does a website help your business grow? Whether you’re creating a new online business, bringing your brick and mortar into the digital space, or looking to increase sales on your current website, an online presence is a must! The good news is that learning how to grow your website business doesn’t have to be overwhelming. There are many small steps you can take that will have a big impact, regardless of your starting point.
Strategies to Grow Online Businesses
One of the things our clients wonder most is, “How to grow my business online.” Our answer is to start small.
Want to outfit twentysomethings in the hippest new trends, head to toe? Start by selling three versions of the same t-shirt. Dying to establish a major lifestyle blog? Focus your efforts on a single topic like homemade cocktails or living on a budget, first.
Once you’ve successfully established yourself, expand from there. You’ll use your time and money more efficiently this way. Plus, it’s easier to course-correct when working on a small scale.
Here are 25 additional strategies to grow an online business that you can start implementing today!
- Be honest. If there’s anything that will send customers running, it’s losing their trust. And the fastest way to do that is to embellish the truth or flat out lie. Plus, you may increase website sales in the short term based on inaccurate claims, but you certainly won’t gain loyal, happy customers with them.
- Use testimonials and reviews. Request honest feedback from your customers in the form of testimonials and reviews. Don’t be afraid of a less-than-perfect review, either. By allowing negative reviews on your site, you confirm you’re not filtering what is visible to the public, which generates more confidence in the integrity of positive reviews.
- Be easily accessible. Provide contact information on your website and closely monitor all communication channels shared with your audience. You’ll build trust by making it easy to get in touch and responding promptly.
- Use the voice of the customer. Speak to the customer online the way you would if you were in front of them. Meet them where they are and match the nature of the surrounding circumstances.
- Engage on social. When users comment or connect with you via social media, quickly comment and connect right back. Accessibility and information-sharing go a long way to build rapport.
Know your Audience
- Create detailed buyer personas. Online business growth is dependent upon your ability to resonate with your target audience. Determine a few buyer personas and get super-detailed with them. What time do these people wake up in the morning? What is their favorite meal? What do they do for fun? Once you really know your audience, it will be much easier to connect with them.
- Start with a very specific audience. You’ll expand your target market after you’ve really connected with the original gang.
- Target lookalike audiences. When you know your ideal customer, you can focus marketing efforts on potential customers with similar characteristics.
Use Branding Techniques
- Develop a unique brand. Learn about the importance of branding and focus your effort on establishing your unique brand. It might feel like a waste of time at first, but a singular, consistent brand identity will make marketing efforts easier and more effective.
- Use consistent messaging across all ad and web copy. This improves online businesses by cutting down on confusion, which makes conversions more likely.
Keep Design in Mind
- Use quality images. Poor quality images on a website are a red flag. Think about it. If you appear as though you can’t afford (or don’t care) to make your professional website look it’s best, what might customers assume about your product or service?
- Optimize for mobile. Customers use their phones to research and make purchases, so websites must be optimized for viewing on the smallest of screens. Non-optimized sites will cause frustration for mobile users and lead to increased bounce rates.
- Use great UX and UI design. Customers who find your site enjoyable to use will stick around for longer. Employ methods for effective UX and UI to increase conversions.
- Focus on SEO. Every page and piece of content on your website should be created with SEO in mind. The higher your search rankings, the better your chance of getting in front of your target audience, and the better the chance of making a sale.
- Write killer copy. Make sure the copy on your website is clear, concise, and enticing. Lackluster copy won’t do anything to grow your business.
Make the Most of Your Marketing
- Focus on high-quality content marketing. Among the most important strategies to improve online businesses involves content. Use content to position yourself as an accessible expert in your niche, and watch the sales roll in.
- Leverage influencers. Influencer marketing is where it’s at. You can usually get pretty decent bang for your buck when working with mid-level influencers in your niche.
- Establish remarketing campaigns. You might not know where to market your business online, but remarketing takes care of that for you. Target those who have visited recently or purchased in the past. Remarketing campaigns serve ads to remind users of your business, product, or service.
Make Decisions Easy
- Create a sense of urgency. There’s nothing like limited availability or an offer with an expiration date to encourage customers to spring into action and make that purchase.
- Provide fewer choices. Too many options can be overwhelming and cause users to give up before taking action. Fewer choices make for a simpler decision, which is great for your bottom line.
Make Payment a Piece of Cake
- Offer multiple payment methods. This is one of the ways to help a small business grow that involves adding options instead of limiting them. Apple Pay, PayPal, Shop Pay, credit card, ACH. By making more options available, you’re increasing the likelihood that you accept your customers’ preferred payment method.
- Reduce friction at checkout. Take advantage of any and all integrations that simplify the checkout process. The less work users have to do before hitting “pay now,” the greater the chance that they’ll complete their purchase.
Be Smart About Your Dollars and Cents
- Raise extra money in advance. Build in some padding when fundraising for a new business. Nothing ever goes perfectly, so as you’re working to grow a business online, be prepared for a few extra expenses. This way you won’t have to slow your progress when you run into an unexpected expense.
- Get paid faster. You can’t control your customers or clients, but you can control how you choose to work with them. Do what you can to ensure timely payment from clients and customers.
- Monetize in other ways. Let your website work for you. Find creative ways to monetize your website and bring in some passive income. Even a little bit of extra cash can be put right back into the business, helping you grow faster.
Invest in Yourself
None of the strategies to grow an online business pays dividends like investing in yourself. We’re not suggesting that you throw money around like candy, but don’t be afraid to spend a little bit on tools that will help you become more efficient.
Software systems to make budgeting easier, a webinar to help you invigorate your sales pitch, or a new piece of equipment to improve the quality of your product or service. These are investments, not expenses. The return you receive will help your business grow exponentially.
How to Grow Your Business Online with Hungry Media
With so many potential strategies to grow your online business, it can be hard to know where to start. Don’t stress. Hungry Media works with businesses in a wide range of industries and niches. Our web developers are top notch, and our design team knows what it takes to create a website that works for you. Contact us today to discuss your needs and how we can help your business grow. We can’t wait to meet you!
contributed by Melissa Lucas, senior staff writer