Small Business Brief

Business Advice

Become the Next Amazon: 7 Tips for Running a Business Online

It seems everybody’s doing it nowadays. If there’s one thing a worldwide pandemic’s taught us, it’s that you can make a living without leaving home.

For most of 2020, online shopping’s been the only shopping, with sales escalating by 30% across the board. Even brick and mortar businesses have had to take their offering online. 

So, if you’re on board with the trend toward online business, you’ll need to up your game if you want to outdo the competition.

These are our top tips for running a business online.

1. Streamline Your Website

As an internet user, you know some websites draw you in and others have you heading for the ‘back’ arrow right away. Make sure your business website doesn’t fall into the latter category.

One of the best ways to ensure your customers stay on your site is by doing everything you can to increase the time it takes to load. Anything above three seconds is too long.

The following tips can help speed up your website and encourage your customers to stay put when they reach your site:

  • Enable caching on your site
  • Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
  • Optimize all your images
  • Reduce the size of your text files

If you can’t figure out how to do this on your own, it’s worth spending some money on getting expert help.

2. Improve Your Web Design

Nobody loves an ugly, confusing website. Take a critical look at your site layout or get an objective person to do so on your behalf. 

Your graphics, color choices, and overall layout all affect the customer journey. Make sure your website draws customers down the sales funnel with clear instructions about what they should do next. 

Avoid vague calls to action and wishy-washy functionality. Clarity is paramount if you want to keep your customer’s interest and guide them through the purchase process.

A mobile-friendly website’s a no-brainer in this day and age. 

3. Maintain Consistency

Organize your web assets into a cohesive unit. Maintain consistent design and branding across your website, social media profiles, and advertisements.  

All these assets need to work together to encourage sales and create recognition for your brand. Consistent use of relevant keywords helps Google to find your website faster when customers are searching for your goods and business services online. 

Make sure you update your site regularly with any changes regarding prices, special offers, and new products. 

4. Market Your Business Online

It makes sense to market your online business online. After all, that’s where you’re going to find your customers. The best part is that some of the most successful tactics are free or almost free.

Publish fresh engaging content regularly both on your website and social media.

Try to do provide answers to common questions your customers are asking. In this way, you establish yourself as the go-to for helpful, expert advice.

You can do this on your own or hire a content specialist to do it for you.

Do some keyword research to find out which terms prospective customers use when they’re searching for your products and services online. Make sure you use these keywords in your content and on your website. 

A few paid ads can help to draw attention to your business, especially when you’re just starting. 

The world of online marketing’s a complex one, and there’s always room to discover more when it comes to promoting your business in this way. 

5. Keep Tabs on the Competition

Pay close attention to what your competitors are doing to draw customers to their websites. Check out which keywords they’re using most often. 

Follow their social media campaigns and read their blogs to see what kind of content your target market likes best. 

Likewise, keep tabs on what people are saying about your business online. Respond to every negative review or comment quickly and try to resolve it as soon as possible.

It’s also a good idea to thank people for any positive comments. In this way, you create the impression that you’re an active, involved, and interested business owner. 

Automation may be the ultimate convenience of modern times, but the human touch still goes a long way. 

6. Set up Secure Payments

Nowadays, people want everything in an instant. So your website’s online store must be quick as a flash when it comes to paying for goods. 

It’s a top priority for any business to keep their customers’ information safe and secure nowadays. A security breach could cost you dearly and even destroy your business. 

Implement strict controls to ensure only specific, trusted employees can access this information. 

7. Look After Yourself

It’s tempting to devote all your time and energy to growing your business online. Since the internet doesn’t have office hours, you can easily lose sight of self-care in the process of growing your business.

Make time for yourself too. Set up office hours so that you don’t run out of steam and take regular breaks to keep your mind fresh and keen. 

It’s very difficult to draw a line between work and home when your business is within reach every hour of the day. Ultimately, setting up a routine and establishing realistic goals will help your business succeed. 

Always get expert help when you feel overwhelmed by this new way of doing business. You’ll learn a lot from these professionals and their services will pay for themselves many times over during the lifespan of your business. 

Reach for Success

If you’ve only recently ventured into the realm of running your business online, you’re likely to feel a little overwhelmed at first.

Take heart, managing a successful online business isn’t as complicated as managing a brick and mortar store.

You’ll find all the help you need to get started and boost your small business right here. Keep browsing our blog articles for more.