How To Grow An Online Business

Table of Contents

How to grow an online business

How to grow an online business

See how to grow your online business by reading through our key methods to drive traffic to your chosen sales platform and increase sales.

Do you have an online business but aren’t sure about how to grow your audience, increase revenue and develop your brand presence?

Growing an online business includes many similar marketing channels as growing a bricks and mortar business. However, there are specific marketing channels that an online business needs to focus on to achieve growth. One of the benefits of an online business is that you can track how your marketing is performing. 

Through analytics software (such as Google Analytics) you can view a customers journey to understand how they are arriving at your site and what marketing channels led them to your site, this information is very helpful in helping you to decide what areas of marketing to concentrate on and what channels are not working. This isn’t so easy with a bricks and mortar business, you can’t be certain where your customers are coming from, they could have seen a leaflet, an online advert, or just walked past the shop and popped in. 

Online businesses need to attract customers and convert website visits to sales. This is called a ‘Conversion Rate’. Conversion Rate is one of the most important tracked metrics for online businesses. It measures the percentage of visitors who take an action on your website, which in e-commerce, the desired action is making a purchase. A higher conversion rate means more sales and more profit.

If you have 100 visitors on your website and one visitor makes a purchase, this leaves you with a conversion rate of 1%.

According to research, for every 100 visitors only 5 will buy from you. This number is much lower for smaller businesses or start-ups.

Conversion rates are important but we must understand that 92% of visitors that are visiting your website for the first time are visiting for reasons other than making a purchase. They may be visiting for research, price comparisons or to find information on your brand. Your website needs to make the right first impression.

We have put together a list of marketing methods and advice that will help you grow your online business, increase your website visits and conversion rate.

Website Design – User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX)

Your website needs to be fully responsive (works on mobile, tablet, desktop and browsers), have a fast load speed, seamless navigation and good design. 42% of people will leave a website because of poor functionality. 

Don’t give your visitor a reason to leave your site, make sure that your website design is engaging with a strong brand identity and that there is a frictionless journey for the visitor to find a product and make a purchase. The following statistics show just how important it is to ensure your website looks its best and operates at its best on all devices.

To test your website load speed visit PageSpeed Insights here.

Online Shopping on Mobile

How to Grow an online business through Keyword Optimisation and SEO

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of making your website optimised to be discoverable on search engines such as Google or Bing. The more your site is optimised, the higher your website will rank on search results. 75% of people never scroll past the first page of Google’s search results.

How does SEO work?

A helpful way to understand how SEO works is to imagine Google is a person and has no idea who you are. It is your responsibility to tell Google as much information about your company and what you sell as possible. After a while Google will start to build a picture of what your business is, what you sell and how to rank you amongst other businesses talking about the same thing.

To optimise your website for search engines there are a number of methods.

SEO is an ongoing process, if you are a start-up or you have no SEO history you can expect to wait at least 3-5 months before you start to see your SEO work take effect. SEO needs to be maintained on an on-going basis, this keeps any search engine regularly updated on your business. As your business grows, your SEO history grows with you so you will see more SEO benefits as time passes.

Ways to maintain your SEO

optimise your website for SEO

Website – Payment Gateway

If you are taking payments through your website, the payment process needs to be secure and seamless. You will need an SSL certificate to create a safe website to allow a payment gateway to operate, and a trustworthy payment system. 

Make online payments simple

Making the payment process as simple and secure as possible is a huge factor in whether a visitor completes a purchase or abandons the cart. A long, complicated checkout process is one of the leading reasons customers abandon payment. Customers are looking for a simple, convenient process, any additional steps hurt your user experience. Your payment processor is an important part of your online business. If you want to know more about our payment gateway YorkshirePay®, get in touch here.

How To Grow An Online Business Through Social Media

Creating engaging, well-designed and  content for social media is a great way to increase your audience, drive visitors to your business and to increase conversion rate. Instagram and Facebook also allow you to set up a store using their platform, this makes it even easier for your customers to purchase your products. Social media also plays a huge part in establishing  a brand presence online, if people can engage with your business in multiple ways, they will perceive your business as well established and trustworthy.

Use good quality images

Good quality images of your products with detailed product descriptions will go a long way to attracting followers, but be sure to engage and create unique content to not only showcase your products but to tell your brand story. Video content is increasingly growing in popularity, 66% of people said they’d prefer to watch a short video to learn about a product or service. Instagram founders have stated that they envisage their platform to be more video based rather than image based, video generates more engagement than any other content type on Instagram.

With TikTok, Youtube and Instagram all focusing on video content, it makes sense to consider how you could create video content to drive engagement and conversions.

Grow your business online

Use Email Marketing To Grow Your Online Business

Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to engage with your audience. You can use email marketing to tell your existing customers about new products, special offers, new blogs and business news. You can also decide to reward your customers with treats such as a bespoke birthday voucher. This creates a more personalised experience for your customers. Building a mailing list whilst abiding by GDPR regulations doesn’t have to be difficult. 

Using MailChimp for your email marketing

MailChimp is a trusted email marketing platform that have free and premium memberships depending on your needs. MailChimp will guide you in how to create a GDPR-friendly sign-up process and also provides a simple drag and drop email design builder that is responsive for all devices and email providers. All MailChimp emails will give the subscriber the option to unsubscribe from your list at any time.

Four ways to grow a mailing list

Paid Advertising

Google and Facebook remain the two most dominant forces when it comes to online advertising. In 2021, Google boasted 28.6% and Facebook (including Instagram) 23.8% digital ad revenue, accounting for more than 50% of all ad money in the US.

Google pay per clicks (PPC) allow you to focus on specific keywords and terms to rank your website in Google’s search results. Both Facebook and Google allow you to specify the audience you’d like to reach i.e. age, gender, location, interests. Paying for clicks and web visits can be an effective way of getting visitors to your site, however it can be expensive if you want to achieve results quickly and in high numbers.

Testimonials and Reviews

Encourage your customers to leave your products and business a review. Testimonials and reviews are important for conveying a sense of trust to new customers and provides proof that you have delivered a consistently good service. A customer will often need persuading to leave a review even when they are very happy with their purchase. You can send a follow up email asking for a review, and even offer a reward. Sign up for a TrustPilot account, TrustPilot is one of the most trusted online review platforms.

Other Marketing Channels To Explore

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