How to Bring Your Small Business Online
Nowadays, almost everybody can access information freely, and nearly everyone is online and connected to the internet – including your customers. Simply put, your business needs to be online, or it is losing out on customers, sales … and profit.
Here are some simple steps to bring your small business online:
Step 1 – Select and Register a Domain Name
A domain name is your address on the internet and its how people find you. So you need to ensure it related back your business so use your business name, or a product even.
Step 2 – Website Development
Now that you have your domain name, your address on the internet, you need to design and develop your website. The website is essentially your shop front. Its how people see you, interact with you, and buy from you.
Your website needs to be clear and user friendly. You can speak to a web developer to get your site built, or even use simple design software yourself.
Keep in mind there are generally two main types of business websites:
1. Ecommerce Websites – suitable if you intend to enable customers to buy from your website.
2. Informational Website – meant to help customers learn about your business.
Step 3 – Make your website Search Engine Friendly
This is often referred to as search engine optimisation, or simply SEO. Search engine optimisation is all about trying to get to the top position on search engines. So if you sell widgets, and someone goes to Google and does a search on where to buy widgets, you want to be listed first – the higher up you are, the more likely the customer will visit your website and hopefully buy from you.
While it sounds complicated, it’s easier than you might expect.
Simply, making a list of words and terms you think people would type in to find you, then make sure you have these words/terms on your website, and even have a web page dedicated to each of these words/terms.
Step 4 – Connect with Social Media
Today, everyone is connected with social media of some kind – twitter, facebook, googleplus, linkedin, and many more.
It’s a great way of connecting to your market (your customers), and engaging with them. They get to know you, and you get to know what they want, and can even tailor your products/services to the market.
Step 5 – Keeping it Fresh
This is about keeping your site updated with new content, new information, and generally keeping your customers engaged so they keep coming back. There are lots of things that can be done on this topic. You could start a blog with daily or weekly articles, put up reviews on products, you can speak about whats going on in your industry, and lots more.
You can also take it to the next step by analysing your website, traffic and customer usage using tools like Google Analytics to make subtle changes to increase conversion.
So there you go, its easier than you ever thought. Get online, and connect with your customers.