How to Have a Successful Online Business

First, it needs to be said that there is necessarily a right way or a wrong way to start an online business. In fact, entrepreneurship generally has a lot of grey area that depends on a number of things such as location, business type, and business structure. However, there is a commonly used and proven order of steps that can to be taken that will guarantee success when starting a business online.

Find a Problem. Become the Solution

Many beginning entrepreneurs make the mistake of looking for or creating a product first. Then, they proceed to find a target market to sell their product or service to. However, while this tactic isn’t necessarily wrong, an individual can find much more success in finding a market with a need and finding a way to cater to it.

Write Irresistible Sales Copy

Sales copy is referred to as the text you use to persuade your readers to take a desired action. This is an extremely important part of advertising for your business. Here is a step by step formula for attracting customers to your product:

  • Use an attention-grabbing headline to excite interest in readers
  • Make the reader aware of the solution that your products or services solve
  • Use credibility to make the reader aware of your ability to solve problem
  • Discuss the product and its benefits
  • Make an offer and a guarantee
  • Create a sense of urgency
  • Proceed to ask for the sale

Create a Website

Now it’s time to actually create the platform from which products will be sold, which, in this case, will be a website. However, you must remember the rules of sales copy – you only have a few seconds to catch the readers’ attention. Here are a few tips:

  • Choose a white background with just one or two simple fonts
  • Make navigation easy, clear, and consistent on all web pages
  • Graphics, video, and audio should only be used if they enhance the message
  • Include opt-in offer in order to collect email addresses
  • Simplify the checkout process. No more than two clicks from the home page
  • The webpage act as online storefronts. Make the customer-friendly

Take Advantage of Search Engines

Pay-per-click advertising is extremely beneficial for a new business. It is one of the fast ways to create traffic for your website. First of all, PPC advertisements always show up on search engines immediately. Secondly, they allow an individual to see which keywords are most searched.

Create an Expert Reputation for yourself

Although we may get lost in the functions of the World Wide Web, its overall function is to provide information for people and that is what users search for. This is a relationship that an entrepreneur can use to their advantage. Becoming an expert in a certain field allows an individual to become a reliable and credible source of info. An entrepreneur can use this to write articles loosely pertaining to their goods and/ or services while also providing links to their web pages as a “reference”, etc. Google search also rewards webpages that are linked to others with higher ranking.

Use Email Marketing

After building an opt-in list, entrepreneurs have created one of the most beneficial tools in their arsenal. Customers and subscribers have already given permission to be emailed. Now, the only thing left to do is convert these strong leads into sales.

Use Back-End Sales and Upselling to Increase Revenue

It is very important to make an effort to develop every customer’s lifetime value. Approximately thirty-six percent of customers will purchase from you again after a follow up. Closing initial sales is important and difficult, but follow up sales are typically easier and very beneficial.

In today’s fast-paced world, time and trends on the internet pass by about five times faster than they do in the physical world. However, these trends on starting online businesses have changed very little if at all. Therefore, following the steps in this guide will ensure success in the world of online business.

Why Use WordPress to Power Your Small Business Website?

Whether you are a new restaurant owner, a budding author, or an innovative fashion designer, the health of your business will likely rise or fall based on many factors; but in 2015, the strength of one’s online web presence is, without a doubt, a primary determinant of overall business success.

You can be an overzealous salesperson, or a poor financial planner, but by the end of this article, you ought to have the basic knowledge to begin building your small business web presence, without the need for micro-level tech skills or a huge budget.

Prior to the mid-2000s, this might not have been the case. Most individuals still misperceive website creation as a near-impossible task, filled with hours of studying how-to manuals, learning internet coding languages such as HTML and CSS–while these skills are still highly valuable for IT professionals, the development of CMSs, or Content Management Systems, have evened the playing field considerably, allowing non-techy business owners to quickly and easily create beautiful websites that enable business success.

There are a few choices when it comes to selecting a development platform, but when it comes to ease-of-use, low costs, customization, and expandability, there is no equal to WordPress.com.

If you’re not convinced that WordPress is the right option, a cursory search of recent statistics explains why you should be.

WordPress and CMS Dominance in 2014 & 2015

  1. WordPress powers 23% of websites throughout the world
  2. WordPress adds an average of 50,000 new websites every day
  3. In 2014, 18 million new sites were created
  4. 555 million posts were added to WordPress sites in 2014
  5. 24.5 trillion bytes of data were transferred every hour of 2014 (I’ll leave the annual total up to you–I don’t want to do the math, but you get the idea…WordPress directs an enormous amount of data traffic)
  6. WordPress is now provided in 120 languages (71% of sites are written in English)
  7. In the first quarter of 2015, WordPress held the lion’s share of social media crossover, with 45 million Twitter and 14 million YouTube embeds

What Sets WordPress Apart from the Competition

1. Simplicity:

WordPress streamlines the technical process of building the infrastructure of a website; by simplifying hosting and coding, the platform allows business owners to focus on the creative process of making a beautiful website that helps their businesses grow.

2. Low-costs:

There are two main versions available: WordPress.com and WordPress.org. The former allows free download and hosting, 3GB of data, and a wide of array of free design templates. The latter comes at a cost and includes 13GB of data, but retains the same ease-of-use and customization, making the relative cost of outsourcing web development look like a waste of money. There is also a mid-level Premium version available, but we believe that an upgrade to the .org version provides the greatest bang for your buck.

3. An Expandable platform:

Continuing right off that last point, WordPress is highly expandable. If you want to just get your feet wet and go with the free version, there is always the opportunity to build your site for free, and then when you’re ready, add more data and options by upgrading to WordPress.org.

Realizing WordPress Success

There are many reasons why WordPress is the number one CMS solution. Perhaps the greatest is that small business owners who were once limited by high-entry costs and advanced technical requirements, can now establish an effective web presence and drive greater competition to create better products and services for the world to enjoy.

References:

One Month After Mobilegeddon: The Results May Surprise You

Ranking websites on their mobile friendliness initially sounds like a sort of internet facelift. Smartphone use continues to skyrocket its way to the forefront of humankind’s most-utilized tech devices, keeping consultants and experts on their toes while they search for the next best SEO strategy. It’s downright silly for businesses of any kind to ignore this trend.

Yet Google’s algorithmic changes implemented April 21 still caused some major internet ruckus. Websites that didn’t fit the new “mobile ready” standards were lowered in Google’s search ranking, while those who did received a bump. Essentially, this meant a reshuffling of search hit sites, all happening in nanoseconds.

Yet now that the storm is over and the pixelated waters have settled, how many waves did Mobilegeddon really make? Just how many websites were truly affected? It’s time to clear the water.

Bigger may really be better

Google itself defined mobile-friendly sites as those that hit the following marks:

  • Avoids software that doesn’t render well on common mobile devices.
  • Uses text that is readable without zooming.
  • Sizes content to the screen properly without having to scroll horizontally.
  • Places links far enough apart so that the correct link can be easily tapped.

Not surprisingly, Fortune 500 companies and their websites weathered Mobilegeddon the best. With the funds and fuel already in their pockets, companies such as Facebook, Intel, and Amazon long ago geared their sites to be mobile-friendly.

Likewise, even six out of the top 10 government sites passed the mark. Only the IRS’ website flubbed (but honestly, who wants to look at the IRS’ website, anyway?).

Mid-size means mid-transition

SEO experts speculated that in first few days, websites would see an influx or loss of around 50 users a day as the algorithm did its thing. However, this begets the question of where those users came from to begin with.

Most businesses – particularly the small-to-mid-size variety – rely on Google searches to make the public aware of their existence. Craving pancakes while visiting your sister in Duluth? Google “pancake houses, Duluth area” and boom, directions to Fred’s Flapjacks sits at your fingertips.

But if a website’s traffic wasn’t organic like the example above (such as paid SEO hits), changes from Mobilegeddon probably felt more like Zerogeddon. Furthermore, given the relatively simple requirements Google laid out to be mobile friendly (readable text size, vertical rather than horizontal scrolling), most sites already hit these benchmarks by the sheer styles of today’s website design.

Though not everything is fine and dandy

Hit the hardest from Mobilegeddon has been specialty private sector fields, websites like ad agencies or consulting firms that read beautifully on a full desktop but simply aren’t built for a phone. It’s not entirely their fault. The very nature of their business calls for spatial aesthetics and attention to scope, not the casual internet peruser.

Bing? Yahoo? Where are they in all this?

Those other search engines (yes, the ones you typically use as punch lines with fellow SERP nerds) seem to have adopted the strategy of hanging low. And it may be working, especially for Bing. February, March, and April saw the search engine garner its highest market share ever, reporting over 30% of search activity. Yay Bing! You go, Bing!

Yahoo, however, continues to lick up the crumbs. Its search engine woes began long before Mobilegeddon and Bing Ascension, and even their Mozilla Firefox deal earlier in the year couldn’t save them.

But wait! There’s more!

As if web maestros weren’t anxious enough, Google has rolled in a couple more changes to its SERP features. Alright, take a deep breath. You can do this. Ready?

Say goodbye to URLS and hello to emojis.

That’s right, Mobilegeddon also changed the very text and images we’ll be seeing in our mobile searches. By dropping domains, SERPs will now only have the real names of websites visible, theoretically problematic for sites that share similar titles or names but differentiated themselves through their domains. Your bad, Google.

The inclusion of emojis will be implemented by both Bing and Google, acting as icons businesses can add into their SEO titles. Seems a little campy, but could catch on given the almost absurd popularity of them from texting to tweets.

We’re a little past the one-month mark of Mobilegeddon, and for most websites, it came and passed without much hoorah. Given its apocalyptic title, this struck many as both odd and opportune–thought altogether, it seems like we may have survived. Give yourself a pat on the back.

A glaring takeaway remains, however. It has become blatantly clear mobile usage is the way of the future, with mega-companies like Google forging its destiny. Ready or not, that’s a storm that can’t be stopped.