How To Build a Successful Online Business

Online businesses harness the power of the Internet to connect with their customers worldwide. It can open doors to a new market segment and promote your product at a minimum cost. But like any business, you must first understand who your market is and why or how your business will attract them. Here are our seven tips to help you build a successful online business.

1. Understand Your Customers

Do extensive market research before launching your company or taking your existing one online. This will help you better understand who your customers are, where they currently shop, and what could make your business better than the competition. Find out things about your customers such as:

  • What do they like and dislike?
  • What are their needs?
  • Where are they located?
  • Why would they buy your product?
  • How much might they be willing to pay?
  • Do they shop online?

You could also reach out to your customers directly using tools such as email marketing, your website, social media, or squeeze pages.

2. Solve Your Customers’ Problems

In any business, it’s essential that you stand out from your competition. Solving your customers’ problems or addressing their needs means that your product or service is relevant. Understanding their needs better than competitors gives you a leg up. This way, customers will be satisfied and are more likely to return or recommend your business to others.

3. Get Traffic to Your Website

Here are some ways to increase website traffic:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – This is the process of improving your website’s visibility and organic ranking on search engines.
  • Social media – Use platforms like Instagram and TikTok to connect and engage with customers and expand your reach.
  • Directories – Listing your website in directories increases your online visibility.
  • Mailing list – Use email marketing to highlight your products, educate, and develop a relationship with your customers.
  • Marketing – Advertise your business online, wherever your customers are most active.

4. Use an Easy Payment Method

Making it easy for your customers to checkout means more sales. The more pages they have to click through before payment, the more likely they are to back out. Use a trustworthy payment system like Shopify or PayPal.

5. Determine How Your Site is Working

You can use Google Search Central to determine how your website performs and interacts with Google. Here are some of Google’s search essentials that will make your web-based content qualified to appear and perform well in Google searches:

  • Technical requirements – The bare minimum that Google needs from a webpage in order to show it in search results. Your site cannot block Googlebot, the page must work properly, and it must have indexable content.
  • Spam policies – Avoid behaviour and tactics that can result in a page or site being ranked lower or removed from search results.
  • Best practices – These are some of the main things that will help you rank higher:
    • Optimizing your website for SEO.
    • Creating helpful, reliable content.
    • Using words that people would use to look for your content and placing them in prominent places on your page.
    • Making your links “crawlable” so that Google can find other pages on your site from links you’ve included.
    • Using best practices for other content, like images and videos.

6. Practice Conversion Testing

Conversion testing is when you measure the impact of changes made to your website to see if they significantly affect the conversion rate. You could test different ads, offers, or squeeze pages to determine how many people who land on the page actually sign up or buy your offer.

Tools such as Meta Ads are helpful because you can run multiple ads simultaneously with different images or copy to see what people respond to.

7. Use Tech Support

Not everyone is a computer genius. If you need help building your website and improving SEO, reach out. The better your website, the more traffic you’ll get.

Small Business BC is Here to Help

SBBC is a non-profit resource centre for BC-based small businesses. Whatever your idea of success is, we’re here to provide holistic support and resources at every step of the journey. Check out our range of business webinars, on-demand E-Learning Education, our Talk to an Expert Advisories, or browse our business articles.