By Michael Zhou
Starting an online business is easier than ever. There are a long list of platforms and online how-tos that can help get you moving in the right direction, taking you from ideation to online business owner in as little as a week. And starting a new business can be pretty fun and exciting.
“The beauty of the internet is that you can quite literally launch a business and make money online with very little to no capital,” R. L. Adams of Entrepreneur explained. “If you understand the mechanics of online marketing, or if you’re great at social media, you’ll clearly find it easier. But you don’t need to be a pro to start your business online.”
There are, however, a few critical tips you simply can’t skip or ignore if you want an online business to grow and be as successful as you envisioned. No matter what kind of online business you want to start, the following X tips should be part of the process. Let’s dive in!
1. Clearly Define the Problem or Need
This is maybe one of the most important tips to put into action when starting an online business. By clearly defining the problem or need you aim to solve or fill, you are developing the foundation of your business. This is a must-do, because everything you do, from marketing your business to setting up buyer personas will be based on this one tip for starting an online business.
How do you clearly define the problem or need? First, look within, since you may have come up with this business idea based on a problem or need you had. Next, turn to the internet to communicate with people in forums and social media groups, do keyword research to see monthly search volume, and look at competitors.
2. Develop Actionable and Informative Content that Takes People on a Journey
This is another very important tip for starting an online business. Content is still very much king, and if you know how to write compelling copy that takes your target audience on a customer journey, you will find yourself with a robust customer base in no time at all.
How do you do this exactly? One of the biggest mistakes new business owners fail to do is tell their stories. People want a connection with the brands and businesses they buy from now, so let your audience in by telling them the story of how you got your business idea. Then you use that story to lead the audience on a cleverly crafted customer journey.
The basic map of a customer journey includes peaking interest (your story), define the problem or need, offer your solution, showcase your authority to solve the problem or fill the need, highlight testimonials, give the benefits, show the offer, have a guarantee, and ask urgently for the purchase.
3. Make Your Online Business Website Stellar
When starting an online business, you need to ensure your online presence is powerful, because it is basically your store front. Would you shop at a store that looks hideous inside and out? Probably not, and the same goes for your website, since it is your store front. Aesthetics are not the only issue either. You also need to provide a strong user experience in order to keep your customers engaging with your site, products, and/or services.
To do this, you need a website planning guide for optimal growth and success. Building a new website is pretty easy these days, but there are still a ton of obstacles to overcome if you want to launch a stellar site. Factors like font, colors, white space, easy navigation, visual content (images and videos), opt-in call to action (CTA), simple checkout, and much more come into play as you will learn.
4. Optimize Organic and Paid Search for Maximum Results
Having a website up and running is only half the battle. The other half of the battle involves SEO in order to increase your online business’ visibility, and to outrank your competitors on Google. This means employing a few simple optimization tactics.
First focus on organic search optimization. This includes in-depth keyword research, minimizing page load time, building backlinks, competitor research, and other key SEO elements. To get you started, here is a thoroughly compiled list of the best SEO companies, courtesy of Outerbox Design.
You can also focus on PPC ads on Google. You can use the in-depth keyword research you did to build your ad groups and the competitor research to write ad copy that will convert users. By doing both organic and PPC optimization, you will begin driving quality traffic that turns into sales.
Wrapping Up . . .
The above online business starting tips are only the tip of the iceberg. There are a lot more little nuances to growing your online business into a thriving success. However, the above are a few of the most important and tips you simply can’t skip. If you do, your journey as a business owner can be more difficult. What is your top business tip? We want to hear from you.
Michael Zhou is a Senior VP of Business Intelligence Development and has assisted the Fortune 1000 company with expertise in the web as a whole, including ground-zero marketing efforts that benefit both consumer and vendor. He is also contributor on Esprittoday.