More now than ever, your small business should have an online presence.
In fact, a website strategy that complements your business plan is essential to creating a strong online and offline presence. However, that strategy doesn’t just include a well-designed website, but requires a precise knowledge of your audience, an understanding of your competition and your leadership; the confidence to move forward and refine your current online efforts.
Here are four easy ways you can improve your online strategy and build a more successful online presence:
1. Design your website with success in mind.
When you are ready to start a small business you will hear all of the “must-have” startup tips that can make or break your business. One of the most important tips I can give any entrepreneur is to develop an online strategy that drives the creation and design of your company website.
Many companies that fail do not have an online presence. Instead they have what I call “brochure websites.” These bare-minimum company websites exist so company representatives can say, “We have a website.” However, their website is not designed to help them succeed.
When you are designing a website it is important for the final product to complement your offline marketing plan. A well-designed company website can increase leads and sales. It can be a powerful partner in educating customers and building credibility.
2. Don’t forget your customers when communicating online.
Adopting an online mindset requires focus. When you are designing or relaunching your company website it is important that you don’t lose sight of the audience you are trying to reach.
The more specifics you know about your target audience, the easier it will be to design your website around their desires. Then you are more likely to accomplish your desired business goals. Learn your prospective customers’ demographics: age, financial background, interests, etc. and figure out how they make online purchasing decisions.
For example, research indicates that “While the youth have established a strong foothold in the networking space for now, we do know that Baby Boomers and women, specifically mothers, are two of the three most important social networking groups.” In fact, “a US study from Oracle shows that the 18-34 demographic is simultaneously browsing on their smartphones and reaching for products while in store.”
These types of customer insights can play an important role in how your website is designed to communicate with them and convert prospects into buyers and loyal fans.
As you build your online presence remember your target audience and make decisions with them in mind.