In the world of modern business, upholding a strong online presence is vital for long-term success. This even applies to ‘offline’ businesses – such as bakeries, cleaning services or child care – as having a virtual hub for your information helps your company to thrive, and gives potential customers a means of finding and contacting you. This could be hosted on a website, or a social media site such as Facebook or Instagram. Driving business success online has many different components, however, from technology and design to content solutions. We’ve put together the key points to consider if you want to utilise the online world for your business.
Creating the perfect website
One of the first things that potential customers will do is search your company name on Google, at which point your website will (hopefully) appear. Therefore, it makes the vital first impression which can make or break your business. There are a few things to consider when designing your website, and one of them is the ease with which it can be edited. Simple editing solutions will allow you to keep the site up-to-date, and will ensure that you’re always ahead of your competition.
Simple but effective website building platforms such as WordPress and Squarespace features fast, front-end editing, flexible drag-and-drop tools, and easy-to-navigate pages, which makes business website building stress-free. On top of this, it’s important to consider your site pages. An ‘About Us’ page will help you to connect with customers on a personal level – which drives sales – and easy-to-find contact page will portray openness!
Writing engaging content
Online success isn’t just down to the style of your website; the content that you choose to add to it is equally important. The likelihood of all of your content being read is relatively low, so it’s important to get the text on your homepage right (that is, the text that you anticipate people are going to read first).
A content management platform will make it easy to change and manage the copy that you choose to post, and the platform also ranks content by popularity amongst site visitors. A final thing to consider for your website copy is SEO. Though it seems like SEO practices are difficult to navigate, you can easily tailor your text to make it rank higher on Google, by using backlinks and finding out what your keywords are. This will increase traffic to your website significantly.
Marketing your business online
Digital marketing is another contributing factor to online success, and allows you to reach your target audience and get that all-important engagement with your products or services. Digital marketing can be rather comprehensive with tactics ranging from content marketing, pay-per-click (PPC), digital adverting, social media marketing, influencer marketing, and much more.
However, you don’t have to use all of these strategies; digital marketing is about trial and error, and your success will depend upon your audience and what platforms they use most often. For example, social platforms such as Instagram are usually more popular amongst younger audiences, whereas older audiences are more likely to use platforms such as Facebook. Again, this may be a case of trial and error, so don’t be afraid to try out a few different marketing techniques.
Choosing the right technology
The right technology is central to both in-house and external online success. High quality external platforms are particularly important if your business requires an appointment scheduling system with clients or the ability to make reservations. This is particularly important for restaurants, bars, hairdressers and healthcare providers.
You will want to ensure the software you use enables secure portals for customers, enabling them to see their data, make appointments and send private messages. This is also ideal for your business, as you can access complete customer data overviews from one platform, and the need to carry out admin tasks substantially decreases. Intranet services are also important for in-house staff development, and can increase the usability of your office technology. Better in-house tech goes hand-in-hand with overall online presence, as business websites and other platforms are easy to update and manage efficiently!