It’s a necessary, but daunting task. A small business has a loyal following, but it needs to launch into the online world in order to stay competitive. So, where to start?
Standing out in the busy world of online retail business can be a challenge, but following a few tips along the way can make a big difference.
Social and traditional media
Assuming that a solid website is already in place, the key to making a small business stand out online is attracting visitors to it. One of the easiest ways of doing that is through social media.
Most customers of a small business have a Facebook or Twitter account, which is an obvious first place to start. Use Facebook to invite customers and potential customers to like the small business’ page and interact with those people through posting photos and leaving comments.
Social media is important, but don’t forget about traditional media. That means building upon existing relationships with local journalists and bloggers and working to develop new relationships. To get a prominent news website or blog link to a small business’ website can increase traffic drastically.
What should be on a small business’ webpage?
Simply put, a small business needs compelling and engaging content.
According to Xero’s small business guide on this topic, “Don’t compare yourself to others. What you are doing is what sets you apart from the bunch.”
If a small business owner isn’t passionate about his or her business, there’s a good chance the content will be bland. Passion pushes creativity and the small business owner to think outside the box.
When planning content for a business’ website, it could be a good idea to hire a copywriter for the project — someone who has an expertise in crafting the passion and mission statement of a small business.
Content is great, conversion is better and customer service is required
Search engine optimization (SEO) is great, compelling content is greater, but if a website isn’t set up to get customers to hit the “submit purchase” button, it’s worthless.
Today’s consumers use smartphones and tablets to access content online, so it’s important to have a website that’s mobile-friendly.
Research the best content management systems (CMS) to ensure it lines up with the type of site the small business needs. For instance, a small business that sells products versus one that offers a service will need a specific CMS to enhance the customer’s experience.
Not all small business websites are perfect, so in the case a customer is upset over an experience on the site, it’s critical for the small business owner to respond to those concerns and right any wrongs. Criticism leads to a better website and solid customer service leads to returning customers.