From small businesses to huge corporations, increasing profits is the #1 goal.
As a business owner, it’s your main purpose and what you focus the bulk of your energy on. However, it can be a challenge—especially when you’re so close to your brand—to see what’s missing and to make the necessary changes.
Fortunately, there’s no shortage of ways you can improve your buying process and see results in the near future.
Whether you run a product- or service-based business, here are 7 ways to increase online sales:
1. Have a user-friendly website that looks good.
This might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many small business owners neglect their online presence, even if they don’t have a brick and mortar store.
They get so focused on selling they forget about the user experience. As a result, visitors get frustrated they can’t find what they’re looking for, wrestle with glitchy pages and outdated content and go elsewhere.
Remember, many people are also going to be browsing and/or buying from their phones, so optimize accordingly.
2. Tell nothing but the truth.
Don’t exaggerate what your product can do or oversell your services. This will only hurt your reputation in the long run and keep you from gaining your customers’ and followers’ loyalty.
You might make initial profits, but people won’t return, will leave negative reviews and will tell family and friends.
Of course, you want to market effectively, but don’t claim your coaching services will absolutely lead to a six-figure income or your skincare products will make anyone look 20 years younger.
Be honest and transparent while sharing the benefits of whatever you’re selling.
3. Spend time on SEO.
You want your business to be found in Google, but that’s not going to happen unless you research your competitors, choose the right keywords (including longtail keywords) and properly optimize your website.
For example, a wedding planner will face stiff competition when creating campaigns around “wedding planning in Vancouver.”
He or she could create targeted, longtail content around keywords related to wedding planning, such as fall flower arrangements, unique cupcakes, elegant Bohemian wedding décor, his and her cocktails and so on—anything to drive traffic to the site while standing out from the competition.
4. Create a sense of urgency.
If users land on your site only to see an offer from a year ago is still front and center, it’s disappointing and makes people wonder how much energy you put into your business or if you’re still in business at all.
If you want to improve your buying process, it’s essential to help customers understand the value of what you’re providing, whether it’s a limited-time offer or a seasonal sale.
5. Understand that content is king.
We’ve been hearing this for a long time, and it’s still so relevant! Search engines reward fresh and useful content. Here are some characteristics of a user-friendly website:
Detailed, unique product descriptions
Blog articles about interesting topics related to your product or service
A FAQ page where you answer all your customers’ questions
6. Monitor and respond to reviews.
Nearly 95 percent of shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase, according to the Spiegel Research Center, 2017. I recently talked about the importance of online reviews in “How to Deal with Negative Reviews Without Harming Your Business.”
From Google My Business to Yelp, you have the opportunity to share your information and get customer feedback, whether it’s negative or positive.
7. Be super social.
You NEED a social media presence, and the time has come to focus on content marketing storytelling. Not only do users check out online reviews and how responsive you are; they also look to see what you’re promoting and how often you’re active.
You should have strategies the major platforms you know your target market is using including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
Don’t neglect your audience and they won’t neglect you! It’s worth it to put the energy into strategizing now for great results.
(Featured image by Kaspars Grinvalds via Shutterstock)
DISCLAIMER: This article expresses my own ideas and opinions. Any information I have shared are from sources that I believe to be reliable and accurate. I did not receive any financial compensation for writing this post, nor do I own any shares in any company I’ve mentioned. I encourage any reader to do their own diligent research first before making any investment decisions.
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