OK, picture the scene. It’s some time in the early 1900s, the internet doesn’t exist, and you’re trying to run a business. You’re not really in a prime location within the city, so people rush past your store without really taking a look to see what goods or services you offer. You put your head in your hands and think, man, if only there was another way that I could sell all of this stuff. Surely it’s easier than this?
Cut to the end of 2019, and there are very few businesses out there that haven’t embraced the online world. Selling is easier, buying is easier, finding the location of stores is easier… and guess what? You don’t even need to leave your home to have those products that you want in your hands, sometimes less than 12 hours after purchasing them. It’s great, huh? Here’s how you can improve your love affair with the internet as a business owner…
Google, Google, Google…
When you think about buying something from a store, the first thing that you do is head to Google. There are a few things that you check out: does it have enough reviews to be a legitimate and trustworthy business, are the reviews positive, and are there any competitors that are cheaper or provide a better service? When you’re a business owner, you should use this platform to make your company look as good as possible, as it pulls in a lot of trade.
You can do this by replying to reviews – especially the negative ones – so that your business looks engaged and interested in customer feedback. Keeping your contact details and address up to date on search engines is also vital, as customers who struggle to get in touch with you may just head elsewhere. On top of this, add an eye-catching description of your store, to ensure that those potential customers are interested from the get-go.
Remember that social media is key
Social media is something that we all use in 2019. Even your Grandma probably has a Facebook account, even if she’s still posting private messages as statuses and wondering why Janet isn’t replying. Social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook are home to all types of people with all types of interests – see more here if you’re interested in its quirks! – meaning that you’re highly likely to find your audience there.
Having business accounts that post regularly across them all is key, as this will garner up some interest in your brand (and remind people that it exists). Think about your audience here and what posts they would be interested in: go for memes if you have younger customers, and ask questions related to your brand or goods for those who are a little older (they love to comment!). A/B testing will help you to distinguish your audience if you’re not quite sure who they are.
Perfect your website
The next port of call for those who are interested in your business is your website. OK, they’ve checked out your Google reviews, they’ve found your social channels, and now, they want to go directly to your site to purchase something or ask you a question about your goods or services. Now that you have your customers on your website, you really need to do all that you can to keep them there, as some people only hang around for a matter of minutes.
The most important thing is that your site is easy to navigate, and that the basics can be found easily. For example, don’t hide your ‘contact us’ button on some difficult-to-find page, as this tells your customers that a) you don’t want them to contact you, and b) that your willingness to help them is going to be pretty lacking. Make sure that a few pages are easily accessible: your online store, your contact forms, and believe it or not, your about page. A good ‘about us’ page gets people hooked!
If you’re not exactly a tech whizz, and you believe that you can function without a brilliant online presence, then think again. As the world and its technology evolves, the world of business evolves with it, and you don’t want to find that you’re lagging behind and losing out on trade as a result. Smash your search engine details, get your social media up to scratch, and make sure that your website provides an unbeatable user experience. You’ll soon see those profits soaring up!