Doing business online has become inevitable more than it was a few years ago. As of January 2018, there are around 1.3 billion websites over the internet. With almost 40% of total world population having an active internet connection in 2018; it becomes a great source to generate revenues by selling online. The products that you wish to sell have a bigger market than just your surroundings, reaching them will make your topline more attractive while the bottom-line will be more lucrative. The world ecommerce sales reached $2.29 trillion in 2017 and are expected to top $2.774 trillion in 2018.
Looking at the data will provide you an insight on how much business you are losing if you are not on Internet and selling your product. The idea of going online might be scary for you initially but it’s worth taking the risk. If you don’t risk, your competitors definitely would; you might end up losing on a chunk of potential customers. Risk is the price you need to pay to grab that chunk. Let us understand how a brick and mortar business can be turned into a click business.
Before you look ahead to who your prospective customers are, it is important to introspect on what exactly your offering is and how will it benefit your customers. Look for what similar business do in your vicinity and understand how they are selling their products online, if any. Look for what kind of products and services people want to get and are unable to find. Browse online forums like Quora, ask the expert, ask me etc. to understand what problems people are facing or things people are looking for. This will help you understand how you can place your product in the market to get the maximum benefit. More than the seller, it is important to know how and what do consumers feel about it.
Name and Domain search
There were 1.3 million domain name registration in Q1 of 2017 which was a 3.7% increase from the previous year. The .com and .net had a combined total of 143.6 million domain name registrations by the end of 2017. Domain name search depends on what market you wish to serve. Your domain name is your online identity that you need to carry on till perpetuity by paying a yearly fee apart from hosting and other charges. Try to keep your domain name short, though it has nothing to do much with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) but it will help you build your brand better. Also, short domains are very easy to remember & type. You can search for your desired domains from website like godaddy, bigrock, namecheap etc.
Find the best hosting solutions
Hosting in simple words is a rented place where you can keep your website’s coding & media files. Whenever a person queries your domain name (www.example.com), the request goes to your hosting to fetch website files; and in response it shows the website design. Now you know what Hosting is, let me help you understand different types of websites hosting options. There are two major types of web hosting – Linux & Windows. Under them you get different types of plans/packages:
It is sometime cumbersome to select the right option for hosting your website. You always have an option of changing your hosting to suit the changing needs of your business but you will require a technical support here.
Design and build your website
The next step to go online is to find an agency who can design and build a website for you. The important decision here is to know if you wish to build a design just for lead generation and contacting them manually or you wish to make direct sales from your website. If you have a product-base business then you can go with a eCommerce website, and if you have a service-base business then you can have a simple website. But in any case you should have a clean and fastest loading website. WordPress can be one great option for you that will help you build a clean website at lowest price. You can also customize WordPress further to suit your need with tons of readily available plug-in. Service base website is very simple, but if you want to get eCommerce website then that will add a few more things to be taken to a consideration, like setting up a payment gateway, shipping details, return policy, etc.
Once you have made your website, it is important to get the traffic to your website. No matter how great your website is, it will be of no use if the target audience doesn’t visit it. Various methods to pull your required crowd are:
Search Engine Optimization:
SEO is more like an inbound sale which will be pitched to the ones who needs it. Customers tend to search for products online / service before making a purchase. If your website is ranked well or appears on first or second page, the chances for conversion is higher.
Social Media Marketing:
SMM has been one of the best ways to get to your target clients using social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube etc. Such marketing can be for both; generating sales and brand awareness. Currently there are 2.62 billion people on social media and the number is expected to grown. These numbers are enough to prove that segmented marketing can be achieved for your business using social media.
Pay Per Click Marketing:
Pay Per Click (PPC) is generating your leads from advertising on various platforms like Google, Facebook, Instagram, and etc. You need to take utmost care when it comes to this medium as it is very costly and if not done right, it can wipe-out all your gains and capital.
Content marketing plays a pivotal role both for B2B and B2C business. With the advent of voice search it will further become more important to have a unique content which is rated higher in terms of quality. More than anything else, the focus area should be audience engagement. You can do it using a right influencer that can do justice by branding for you. Small marketers can be your first choice as the audience engagement will be niche and inexpensive.
Email marketing is cheaper and the most effective option when used after gathering information of few visitors coming on to your website to make purchase or registering an account. They know about your business a bit and can turn out to be your loyal customers. The conversion rate can be high if each one of them is sent a personalized mail that will suit their need. You can let them know about the upcoming offers to lure them into making a purchase decision.
A pro tip – The conclusion
The business of business is to do business and not get much into such technical hassles that will affect the core business. Hiring a right Digital marketing and development agency can make your task easy. The website they will build will be much better and in line with the SEO parameters. From development to maintenance if given to an agency it will increase the chances of success as it becomes one point contact and no blame game like in case of multiple agencies working on one website for different service. Ultimately the business suffers with such division.
Choice is yours, either spent your time & energy on these technical stuff doing everything yourself. Else, just hire an agency and give your full focus on your core business.