How to get my business online
Where can I learn how to get my business online? How do I attract customers on the internet? What do I do if I’ve never had a business website, directory listing, or social media page before?
Things have changed a lot over the past few months. Businesses large and small have been forced to adapt – to implement work-from-home policies, execute contactless services, and focus on their online footprint.
If you’re one of those businesses that rely heavily on referrals and word-of-mouth, you might have put little thought into online marketing – until now.
We’ll answer some of your most frequently asked questions about getting your small business online. But first, let’s take a look at the benefits of going digital.
4 benefits of promoting your business online
Whether you are a hairstylist or electrician, every business can benefit from online advertising. Here’s how upping your digital efforts can advantage your business.
Meet your customers where they are
Here are some statistics to get you thinking:
- More than 63 per cent of shopping occasions begin online.
- 78 per cent of consumers spend more time researching a product or service online than in person.
- Almost 60 per cent of shoppers conduct online research before they purchase to ensure they are making the best possible decision.
Put simply, your customers are online. When they need a product or service, they take to the internet. If your business does not show up in search results – or worse, has no online presence whatsoever – you miss out on a significant pool of leads.
Having a website is a good start, but it’s not enough. You need to implement local SEO best practices – tips, tricks, and tweaks that increase your likelihood of ranking on the first page of search results.
You can find out more about local SEO here: Local SEO for Small Business in Australia
Accurately track your performance
Do you know whether your business performed better or worse this quarter compared to last? Do you know how much by? Do you know where your business is coming from and where you can make improvements? Do you know who your target market is?
If not, you absolutely should.
Tracking these key performance insights (KPIs) is critical. After all, you can’t grow what you can’t measure. By going digital, you can precisely track and measure visitors – their demographic, location, and behaviour (what pages they look at and how long they spend on your website).
Streamline and automate processes
You know the feeling of being run off your feet, with so much to juggle and a to-do list that never gets any smaller. By getting online and utilising digital tools, you can streamline day-to-day processes to ensure nothing gets missed or forgotten. In some cases, you can even automate – think automatic invoices and invoice reminders and automated follow-up emails.
Build genuine, long-lasting customer relationships
Going digital is about more than just being found. It’s also about connecting with your customers, building your brand identity, and showing your human side, your values. On your website and business directory listing, you can share the story behind your business and introduce your team members. On your social media pages, you can share candid updates, client success stories, work-in-progresses, and big achievements.
How to get my business online: Your questions answered
Here are some of your most commonly asked questions – answered.
How can I grow my small business online?
Assuming you already have a website, here are a few ways you can grow your small business online:
- Ensure your website is mobile-friendly. A staggering 52 per cent of all online traffic is mobile, and Google’s search ranking algorithm favours websites with responsive designs.
- Create social media profiles and be consistent. So many businesses go all-in on social media. But when they haven’t gone viral in two weeks, they give up. Success on social media is about being consistent. Stick with a realistic posting schedule and be in it for the long haul.
- Invest in high-quality content. The content on your website is important for several reasons. First, it’s your opportunity to demonstrate your expertise, to position yourself as an industry leader. It’s also where you can include your target keywords – the search terms you want to rank for.
- Create a business directory listing. An online directory listing proves the legitimacy of your business, bolsters your SEO efforts, and helps you get found by a broader range of potential customers. That’s a win-win-win.
How do I get my business to come up on a Google search?
This is a million-dollar question, and if there were a single, quick-fix answer, everyone would be doing it. While there’s no way to guarantee a first-page ranking, there are things you can do to improve the likelihood:
- Claim your Google My Business Listing and verify your listing.
- Use the right keywords appropriately across your website.
- Ensure your business name and contact information is formatted consistently across your website, social media accounts, and business directory listing.
- Ensure your business is mobile-friendly and fast.
- Use inbound and outbound links throughout your website.
How can I make my small business grow faster?
You’ve adapted and improved your online presence – now what? How do you grow your business from there? Here are a few pointers:
- Understand who your target customer is. Remember you’re not marketing to yourself. When you know who your target customer is, you can send the right message at the right time to the right place.
- Ask your existing customers for referrals and reviews, because chances are, they’d be happy to help. Referrals and reviews provide all-important social proof.
- Create a customer loyalty program that encourages repeat business and rewards long-time customers.
- Connect with other local businesses and help each other expand into new markets.