For entrepreneurs, online business has many advantages. It is relatively quick to launch, requires little or no inventory, minimal capital, and doesn’t entail renting or maintaining a shopfront. But that doesn’t mean it is easy. In fact, online businesses require just as much time and effort to build as their traditional counterparts––and sometimes far more. Unlike traditional brick-and-mortar endeavors, online business is constantly in flux, and the path to profit is far from obvious. So how do you make your online business successful? Unfortunately, there isn’t a clear answer. But there are nonetheless many strategies every online company can use to increase sales, attract new customers, and build a strong web presence.
The Importance of Marketing
Visibility is the key to generating sales and high traffic. Most importantly, this means waging a constant SEO campaign to achieve and maintain a high rank on Google. To do so, you will need to post quality content on a regular basis, have a dedicated link-building strategy, an in-depth understanding of keywords, and a large social media following. Positive reviews on popular social sites are essential for most online businesses, as are active accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and even sites like Flickr and Pinterest. Brand dissemination is incredibly important. The easier it is for users around the world to find your site, the more your business will thrive.
Speed Up Sales
Site speed is incredibly important for online sales. Over 50% of users today expect sites to load in less than two seconds, and studies have shown that even improving load time by a few hundred milliseconds can have an enormous impact on traffic and conversion rates. If your pages are too slow, users will simply click away and head to your competitors. Make sure your site has an efficient design, optimized photos, no unnecessary content, and a streamlined backend. When it comes to online sales, every split second counts.
The layout of your site is one of the most important factors which can affect your sales, if it is difficult to navigate to the different sections of your website, it is likely you will lose sales through frustrated users simply being unable to find what they are looking for.
An example of a well planned site is Voucher Cloud; their home page is clearly set out with different categories leading users directly into the desired area of the site, this leads visitors to quickly find the information they need.
The aesthetic of your site is often the only aspect of your company potential customers see. So it needs to make a strong visual impression. This means simplicity, beauty, accessibility, and ease-of-use. Put your important links in obvious, intuitive places. Be sure to design a striking and cohesive brand style, an appealing interface, and a well-conceived layout. Don’t use clashing colors or low quality images. Minimize text, and eliminate awkward phrasing and spelling errors. The little things go a long way.
Have Happy Users
Get an outsider’s perspective on your site by hiring a user-testing service. Sites like trymyui.com are relatively inexpensive, and can go a long way toward improving subtle aspects of your website that you would never have noticed on your own.
As more and more companies join the ranks of online businesses, the competition is only getting tougher. Ultimately, success depends upon the ability to create a more enjoyable and accessible site than your competitors. It also means getting your name out there, making your site visible and comprehensible to as many potential customers as possible, and selling a quality product. So while there is no cut-and-dried formula for mastering the world of online sales, there are certainly many techniques you can use to improve your company. The key is constant growth, dedicated refinement, and a commitment to improving your site every day.