Whether you’re new to running an online business, or if you’ve been running a business for years, there’s a few things that all business owners should be aware of that will significantly increase the chances of their online business to succeed. Knowing these facets of doing business online can help an owner promote itself more effectively and better attract the attention of potential customers.
1. Build a Mark that Leaves an Impression
As with any business, an online business should have a distinctive brand. This can be crafted through logos and slogans, consistency across formats, and keeping a consistent tone to their content.
Everything from the business’ domain name to its ads and other ways it markets itself online should have a consistent theme so your brand is easy to identify and recognize. This tactic has been a standard of operating businesses long before the internet, and it is even truer now, with the marketing outlets that the web has provided.
2. Use Smart Tactics to Climb Search Rankings
A business need not be an expert in search engine optimization (SEO), but owners should grasp the basics of this concept and do their best to apply them to their site. SEO is the way of designing a website to ensure that it appears higher on search results on sites like Google, Bing and Yahoo!.
Though these sites regularly change their search algorithm – the process by which they sort sites to produce the most appropriate results at the top – some facets have remained unchanged. For more information on this, check out my Guide to the basics of SEO.
3. Create a Business Presence in Social Media
Businesses online need to be aware of the various social media websites. These sites offer free or inexpensive ways of promoting a business directly to potential customers, so it is important for owners to not only know what these sites are, but also how to utilize them correctly to effectively market your company.
Sites like Facebook and Twitter works best with text posts, while Pinterest and Tumblr are more image-heavy. Interesting posts on any of these sites can get socially shared and garner greater attention for an online business, but also allow for public and direct communication between a business and it’s customers.
4. Be the Life of the Party
This is especially true for social media, but business owners should keep this in mind for each step of their marketing strategies. The mere fact that an ad exists or a post has been made on Facebook or Twitter does not mean that customers are guaranteed to pay attention to it.
A business’ content needs to be interesting to get noticed and entertaining to get shared. Whether a business maintains a blog, tweets or simply posts a photo of a product, it should be eye-catching and something visitors to the site or social media page will want to see more of.
5. Know Your Enemy (Or at Least Your Competitors)
Owners must know who their competitors are, what they do, and where they are located. This can be an excellent predictor of how saturated a market may be, and it can help business owners determine how they will promote the business to set it apart from others like it. It’s these differences that turns visitors into customers.
While this list is certainly not comprehensive, these five tips can be the key to the success or failure of almost any business operating online. If owners stay aware of the potential pitfalls and opportunities for promotion, they can navigate the web and carve out a market for their business.
Do you have anything you want to add to this list? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.