The first website info.cern.ch was published on August 6, 1991. As of January 2019, the Internet has come a long way with over 1.94 billion websites striving for dominance online.
Nasdaq statistics project that 95 percent of purchases will be made online by 2040. With the vast number of websites competing for the attention of the growing number of online consumers, you need to ensure that your online business stands out from the crowd.
Consider the following six tips that you can implement to build a better online business.
Create an Action Plan
It sounds simple, but this first step is extremely effective. You need to create an action plan to help keep you on track toward accomplishing goals for your online business. Haphazardly stepping out to build an online business will only cause you undue stress, make you lose money, and waste time. Integrate the following components into your action plan:
- Main Objective – What you hope to accomplish
- Clear Goals – Define immediate, short-term, and long-term goals
- Define KPIs – Identify Key Performance Indicators to evaluate success
- Basic Strategy – List key steps necessary to succeed in your online business
- Action Steps – Plan out details for each action step so you can maintain focus
Define the Marketing Plan
You need to define the budget and plan for marketing your online business. Sure, you can try to organically grow the business and gain leads through blog posts, awesome product descriptions, and promotion on social media platforms. You’ll save money with this approach, but your growth will be much slower than if you use paid marketing strategies like pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Consider implementing some of the following online marketing strategies:
- Social Media Marketing (SMM)
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Email Marketing
- Affiliate Marketing
- Content Marketing
Cultivate Mentoring Relationships
Get connected with other online business owners, especially those who have achieved success. You can learn from these individuals and find out what they’ve done to become successful. Cultivate relationships with mentors in your industry by getting connected with some of the following networking opportunities:
- Local SCORE Chapter
- Local Chamber of Commerce
- Business Networking International (BNI.com)
- Entrepreneur’s Organization (EONetwork.org)
- Local American Marketing Association Chapter (AMA.org)
Use Customer Segmentation
You’ll likely have a diverse customer base. Implement a customer segmentation strategy so you can effectively personalize the customer experience for a lasting customer lifecycle. Customers can be divided into various segments like the following to make your personalized marketing efforts easier:
- Geographic – identify consumer needs relative to location
- Demographic – gender, age, income, family size, occupation
- Behavioral – purchasing history, product usage, and decision-making process
- Psychographic – lifestyle, social standing, opinions, interests, and activities
Use Cross Channel Marketing
Research completed by CIODrive shows that mobile phones are used for 70 percent of Internet traffic for today’s consumers. Every time a lead or customer has contact with your brand, it is considered a touch point. With so many consumers using mobile devices and the Internet to connect with your business, you need to perfect your cross-channel marketing strategy to enhance the user experience (UX) across all those digital touch points. These touch points begin before the customer or lead purchases your product, during the purchase, and after the purchase is completed.
Create a superior UX with a consistent message across all marketing channels, such as the following:
- Website – user-friendly navigation
- Blogs – high-quality informative content
- Emails – engaging email marketing strategy
- Mobile – easily accessible website and blog
- PPC – effective lead generation strategy
- SMM – 80 percent engagement / 20 percent promotion
Implement a Tracking Strategy
You want to ensure that your time and budget are not wasted on the current digital marketing campaign you’ve implemented. You can ensure a high return on investment (ROI) by effectively tracking your efforts. Google Analytics is a great free online tracking tool. Simply create an account, get a tracking code, and add it to your website or blog to track website visitors. Consider some of the following ways Google Analytics can help you build a better online business:
- Potential Leads – This analytics tool provides you with a great resource for reviewing the geographic breakdown for your website or blog traffic.
- Bounce Rates – You can check the bounce rate for your webpages to identify the percentage of web traffic that leaves after they only view one page. This is valuable information to help you optimize your pages with improved quality content, intriguing videos and infographics, and engaging call-to-actions (CTAs).
- Content Insights – The tool can identify content on your pages that gets more traffic so you can ascertain information that performs better. This is helpful so you can create similar content on other pages for conversion rate optimization (CRO).
- Flow Patterns – Google Analytics has a behavior flow tool with visual diagrams to assist in identifying the intent of website visitors. You can identify which pages had increased interactions and which ones they failed to engage with and left the site.
Take your online business to the next level. Improve your bottom line by becoming a savvy entrepreneur who understands the value of implementing a strategic action plan. Create the right marketing budget and network with others in your field. Remember the importance of customer segmentation, cross-channel marketing, and having a tracking strategy.