“Grow your business” is such an overused, almost cliché, term online nowadays. What does it mean to really grow your business? To get straight to it, you need more customers to buy your product or service. That’s the simple answer, but the details can become complicated. Perhaps you don’t have a great product and need to make some changes to it. Perhaps you are pricing your product wrong and getting beat out by the competition. Maybe you aren’t keeping up with innovation in your market and your product needs top be updated. Getting the product just right is a topic all it’s own, but for the sake of this article, let’s assume your product is good. People would buy it right now, or are already buying it. But you need to grow.
So, what can you do online to grow your business? Here are four things you should be doing if you want to grow your business, stick around, and compete for the long run.
This seems like a no-brainer. Of course, you need a website, right? Well, a lot of established businesses have neglected their website, or never got a good one to begin with. Your business may have been fine without a great website, but times are changing. The next generation of customers that are coming along are tech-savvy, online searching consumers. If they don’t find you where they are looking, then you’ll lose an entire demographic of potential customers. The future of your business depends to some degree on the strength of your online presence. This means you need an attractive, informative, interesting, mobile friendly website. Don’t skimp here. Invest in a website that makes people want to buy from you. Use a professional website company that knows how to build websites for converting customers.
Speaking of people finding you where they are looking – online – are people finding you? Nowadays, outside of referrals from friends and family, most people begin their search for a product or service online. Nearly everyone starts at the same place – Google. And it’s not just a coincidence that certain businesses and products show up first. Now, think about this. Which links do click on when you search on Google? Are you scrolling to the bottom of the page? Are you going to page two or three or farther before you click on a link? No – in fact, almost nobody does. Just about everyone clicks on one of the top three links on the first page. If your business isn’t in one of those top results when people search certain keywords, then you could have the most amazing website in the world, but few will be seeing it, much less buying from you.
How do you get into those top three links? You need a great search engine optimization company to put you there. It takes expertise and experience working with Google and other search engine to know what really works and what doesn’t. Invest in SEO. It is a strong and reliable tactic for long term growth online.
An important note here: you can’t fake or hack your way to the top. Google is smart, and they suggest websites that have built authority. That means they think it’s the best website for searchers to visit. For that to happen, you need a great website, relevant and interesting content, links to other authoritative websites, and most of all, you need patience. It takes time for Google to respect you and recommend you. Expect great SEO to take anywhere from 3 months to one year to get you to the top of Google search rankings.
Outside of a website, your business needs to be on social media. Billions of people are logging in everyday to top social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and many others. You should be on those platforms at the very least for SEO purposes. However, using these sites to grow your business is a great tactic…if you know what you’re doing. Most businesses have a Facebook page, for instance, but have few people who like or follow their page. Even then, they rarely share valuable content, and then whatever content they do share gets very little engagement. Facebook has even begun to show content from pages much less compared to content shared from personal accounts.
There is a very effective way to use these sites – advertising. Yes, you need to pay to get in front of the right people with the right content. The good news is, with the right strategy, you can position yourself in front of your exact audience. You can target exactly the people you believe will be most interested in your product or service. But this requires two things: great, shareable, conversion oriented content and ad targeting expertise. Invest in services with a proven track record.
Ok, so you have a good website that can convert people into customers, solid SEO that is growing, and a strong social media presence. Now, to complete the online growth platform foundation, you need to invest in email marketing. Email is by far the most effective form of online marketing. People are much more likely to open and read an email than they are to engage with a social media post, and they are much more likely to engage and buy from you through an email than other online methods. Why? One word: permission. Email is much more personal, and once someone opts in to receive emails from you, it triggers a psychological response from them to engage with you since they chose to join your email list. Which brings up another side of email marketing. You need to give someone a reason to receive your emails. You do this by offering some incentive. This could be simply to receive updates from you, or to get a deal like a coupon or free product. One of the most common ways to do this Is by offering a free price of content like an eBook or free guide.
Set up an email marketing campaign as soon as possible and begin growing your email list. Your subscribers are your best online customers. If you need help getting started, invest in an email marketing service. You’ll save tons of time and won’t have to learn all the ins and outs of email marketing.
There you have it. If you can do these four things really well, you’ll see tremendous growth in your business and for your brand. Over time, your online presence will be established and strong enough to require less investment. Your social pages will grow on their own more consistently with more content being shared and the SEO for your web pages will only get stronger.
So, are you ready to get started? Get in touch with an established and proven online marketing company who can build your online platform and grow your business into the future.