Patrick is a digital marketing expert with over five years of experience in content writing and digital marketing management.
An online business gives you the convenience of working from home and setting your own hours, as well as the freedom to do business with clients anywhere in the world. With so many benefits, it’s no wonder that so many entrepreneurs are looking to establish their own online businesses, but before you get started, you need to know how to grow your online business and drive traffic to your website.
This guide will help you learn how to grow your online business with these 10 tips.
1) Set Goals
Numerous studies have shown that people are more likely to succeed in achieving a goal if they write it down. That goes for both personal and professional goals. If you’re trying to grow your business, you should think of goal-setting as an integral part of that process. Instead of saying I want my business to be bigger, come up with a few specific ways in which you can measure growth: revenue targets or hiring plans, for example. When those goals come together in your plan and on paper, they can serve as a powerful source of motivation during tough times—and push you past them when progress stalls out.
2) Spend Money Wisely
It can be tempting to spend more money than you have in order to grow your business. However, that doesn’t mean you should be throwing money away on things that don’t bring your business closer to its goals. Ask yourself how effective an expense is before you make it and ask yourself how much value it will add before you make a purchase. For example, spending $500 on SEO services may not seem like much—but if they get you only a handful of new customers and they cost $50 each (which is very possible) then they may not be worth it at all.
3) Content Is King
Whether you're selling products, services or information online, there's one very important thing you need before any of those can sell: people. Whether they're customers, leads or subscribers—or all three!—you'll have to have people on board first.
The easiest way to make that happen is by having a long-term vision for your business. If you can't picture what it will look like in six months, 12 months and five years from now, how can you expect anyone else to? It takes a lot of hard work and smart decisions (and maybe some luck!) but if you want it bad enough, nothing is impossible.
4) Have Long-Term Vision
Making money online takes time. In fact, it often takes much longer than most people anticipate. To reach profitability and sustainability in an online business, you need a long-term vision for your company—and even more importantly, what you want that company to become. Are you in it just for short-term income? Or do you have a plan in place that will help your online business grow into something beyond a hobby?
Establishing goals is important if you’re serious about growing your business and reaching profitability.
5) Work With Influencers
Influencers are people who have a huge following and can promote your business on their accounts. You’ve probably seen businesses or brands using influencers in their social media marketing. The idea behind influencer marketing is that if someone with an established, engaged following sees a brand as valuable, they will share it with their followers—and they may convince some of them to buy what you’re selling.
To find influential marketers, do a Google search for top Instagram accounts. You can also use tools like Followerwonk to find influencers in your niche.
6) Don’t Ignore the Competition
If your goal is to grow an online business, you must be able to recognize your competition. And, yes, at some point, that competition will include Google itself. Be aware of what other businesses are offering and what consumers have grown accustomed to. These days, it’s crucial for digital content providers (e.g., bloggers) and social media marketers (e.g., YouTubers) alike. Start thinking about how you can stand out from your competitors by providing a better product or service.
In addition, consider whether there’s room in the market for new competitors. Are there any niches that haven't been filled yet? How can you fill them? What would success look like? What would failure look like? Having answers to these questions will help ensure you don’t waste time on something doomed from day one.
7) Optimize Your Landing Pages
One of your most effective forms of advertising will be through social media. You should create a Facebook page for your business, and create a Twitter account that can link back to your Facebook page. These are free ways to get out and market yourself online, but you need landing pages where people who follow you on these sites can go for more information about you or your business.
Once people decide they like what they see, it’s time for them to click away from social media and be taken directly to a landing page that describes exactly what you have to offer. Always test everything: when using landing pages, make sure it is clear at first glance what someone will gain by clicking through. Test different layouts, text sizes, colors and images until you find something that works best for your audience.
Optimize your website: If you already have a website up and running (or if you're thinking about starting one), then there's no better time than now to optimize it so it drives traffic to your landing pages as effectively as possible. For example, if your product is $100, don't put "Buy Now" on any of your web pages—that will only turn off potential customers who aren't ready to buy yet. Instead use phrases like "Find Out More" or "Learn More." Make it easy for them to do just that by linking those phrases directly to a landing page with more information about how they can purchase whatever service or product you're offering.
8) Use Social Media Platforms Effectively
If you're an avid social media user, think about how you can use that platform to promote your business. If your business has a Facebook page, for example, find ways to engage with your followers—share tips, ideas and content relevant to them. Twitter is another great social media platform for sharing content; just make sure it's relevant and valuable (your followers will appreciate it).
You could also create a professional presence on LinkedIn and Pinterest. With more than half of internet users using Facebook every day, according to Pew Research Center, you shouldn't let such a large opportunity pass you by.
9) Use Email Marketing to Attract Leads
With email marketing, you can keep in touch with customers and generate interest in your business by providing relevant content. This will help develop a personal relationship with them, which will increase their desire to do business with you. There are numerous email marketing platforms available today including MailChimp, Benchmark Email and Constant Contact.
It’s best to start small and then expand when you have enough information to know how your target audience is interacting with your email. Make sure that your emails are eye-catching, interesting and provide value!
10) Test, Test, Test
A/B testing is a way of experimenting with different page layouts, images, text and other content elements on your website. This way you can hone in on what’s working best for your audience. If your analytics show that one version of a landing page is receiving more clicks than another, try tweaking and testing those two versions against each other until you discover which one drives more conversions.
A/B testing allows you to split traffic between two or more different versions of a single webpage, letting users choose which one they prefer—it’s like letting them decide for themselves which is better (without either party knowing). No matter what industry you're in, there are tools out there that make it easy to run A/B tests on various components of your website.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Patrick M