Amazon, the world’s largest eCommerce site, made a whopping 6.3 billion profit within the first nine months of 2020. While that’s a bit far-fetched for your start-up business, it goes to show that going digital works for the best. Whether you run an eCommerce or a brick-and-mortar business, a business without an online presence is virtually non-existent. However, establishing a digital platform for most run-of-the-mill businesses is easier said than done.
That’s because not too many are well acquainted with the ins and outs of the World Wide Web. Thankfully, you don’t have to be a computer guru to have a digital platform for your business.
With website creating platforms like Wix, creating your own website could take no longer than half an hour. However, if you want to kick it up a notch, you’ll need more than just an online website creator.
In this post, we’ll be highlight tips on creating a better website for your small business.
Start With a Google My Business Listing
The first step in creating an online digital presence is creating a Google My Business Listing. Google My Business is a platform by Google for businesses to establish and manage their online presence. You can think of it as a search engine for online businesses.
If you search for a business on Google, the web results will have two separate sections. The search results to the left will have your normal web results, and the one to your right will be a listing with basic information about the business.
If you’d like one for your business, all you have to do is create a Google My Business Listing for Your Business. Creating one for your business is a piece of cake. All you need is a computer, an internet connection, plus your business credentials, and you’re good to go.
A Google My Business Listing allows you to give your current and potential customers more information about your business. Such a listing could be instrumental in helping you craft a solid digital marketing strategy. It could also be the first step in creating a digital platform for your business.
Clamp Down on the Local Customer-Base
It’s okay to have big dreams for your small business but starting local works for the best. That said, you should focus on digital marketing strategies that resonate with your local audience. This is especially true for businesses looking to grow their local customer base before expanding to new horizons.
One way to appeal to the local clientele is by listing your business on local search directories. You can try Yelp or Bing places for starters. However, you can also consider other marketing strategies, depending on your business goals.
Some of these local marketing strategies include:
- Participating or hosting a community event
- Creating ads that are particular to your location
- Focusing your direct mail campaigns on the local vicinity
Admittedly, some of these market strategies fall outside of the digital realms, but they’re still somewhat connected. After all, the main goal of establishing a digital presence is increased profitability, so they’re definitely worth your time and money.
Grow Your Social Media Following
Social media presents a perfect platform for your business to expand website traffic. Apart from being a highly effective marketing tool, social media is also great for customer engagement. That said, if you want to establish a concrete digital presence for your business, then don’t overlook social media.
In fact, social media influences 74% of shoppers when making purchasing decisions. However, managing various social media accounts may be a tad challenging, especially for a small business. That’s why it’s a great idea to focus on one social media platform that encapsulates your customer base, at least for starters.
For instance, if you own a flower shop, then Instagram, the world’s largest photo social, should be your area of focus. If you run a more community-oriented business, then you should work more on your Facebook account. Note that you can create a business profile on as many social media platforms as you want but focus on one that’s relevant to your specific business.
Understand Your Digital Customers and Target Audience
It will be difficult for your business to have a robust digital presence without first understanding its customers. This means understanding your customers on the ground and also in the digital space. Your small business website presents the perfect avenue to understand your customers in the digital arena.
Fortunately, there are plenty of digital tools that can give insight into your online customer behavior. A simple Google search will expose you to hundreds of website analytics tools, most of which are free. However, if you need software that helps you uncover key customer behaviors, try out Decibel.
You can check out online tutorials on this software and then integrate them into your digital strategy. After understanding your customers, you can come up with tactics to reel them in. For instance, you can use social media for a particular group of customers and direct mail for another.
You can always seek professional help for website metrics, but it’s not mandatory. You should get the hang of things with a few tutorials and consistent use.
Encourage Online Reviews
Online reviews are bitter-sweet for most business owners for the mere fact that not all of them are positive. However, if you act fast and respond to the negative reviews, there’s a high chance that the customer will pull it down.
Ask your customers to leave online reviews not only on your site but on review sites like Yelp. Customers are more willing to engage with businesses with online reviews. That’s because it establishes trust between the customer and the business.
Create a Digital Platform for a Better Business
It’s high time for your business to hop on the digital wave. With the above tips creating a digital platform should be a walk in the park. However, remember, it’s never a bad idea to seek professional help.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. For more informative reads, be sure to check out the other pieces on the site.