There are many ways one can make money online. Some start their vlogs and YouTube videos, while others create an online business (or take their existing business online) to create an online presence.
The Covid-19 pandemic has especially encouraged people to adapt to the new times and take their businesses online.
But as we always say, having a stunning website and a great product aren't enough to make your online business successful and profitable.
As more and more businesses are entering the digital world to sell their products and services online, it is more critical than ever for everyone to think out of the box and find solutions that set their online business apart from the rest of the competition.
If you have already established your business online and now looking for a fail-proof online business checklist, you have come to the right place. We have created this post to share some simple yet effective online business tips you can implement right away to help your business reach new heights of success.
17 Pro Tips For Running A Successful Online Business
1. Choose The Right Platform+Theme For Your Website
Choosing the wrong platform to create your website will not only cost you heaps of money but also confines your potential to grow and succeed as an online seller.
There are many platforms available online that you can use to build your ecommerce store from scratch - WordPress, Shopify, BigCommerce, and Weebly are to name a few.
Before you finalize any platform for your business, make sure you conduct market research and know your needs.
After choosing the right platform, the next step is picking up a theme that enables you to provide a seamless customer experience.
A theme like Debutify will help you set up an interactive store that aids your buyer's journey and help them complete the checkout process without the hassle.
2. Set Your SEO Strategy
You can't progress as an online business despite having the best products in the world if your customers can't find you online.
Take your own example. How many times have you checked the second or third pages of Google while finding a product or a service online? If you answered 'Never', you're among that 75% of users who never scroll past the first page on Google.
Now, what does that mean for your business? You can't afford to be ranking on the second or third pages of Google.
The best way to increase your search engine visibility is by using the best SEO practices. Get your on-page, off-page (effective link building strategy), and technical SEO strategy right, and we don't see any reason why your page can't rank on the first page of Google and other major search engines. Pretty simple, right?
3. Prioritize Customer Support
One thing that sets successful online businesses apart from failures is they always keep their customers on top. You can't even imagine running an online business without a happy and loyal customer base that stays true to your brand no matter what. For this, you have to make efforts to keep your buyers happy.
With a more than 92% of customer satisfaction ratio, live chat support is the most preferred channel for customers to contact customer service. If you're still relying on those conventional automated responses, it's time you switch to a reliable live chat support software to maintain an effective line of communication with your customers.
4. Leverage Social Media
Being active on social media platforms is no longer a choice for online businesses. Today's social media channels have highly engaged audiences. Take an example of Facebook here. The popular social media platform has 1.85-billion active users.
Also, almost every social media channel has a huge following, making it easier for businesses to keep connected with their existing and potential customers.
There are a variety of ways of different ways you can use social media to your advantage. For example, you can create a Facebook group to build long-lasting relationships, use Facebook ads to promote your offers or create a LinkedIn group to share valuable industry-specific content.
5. Consider Content Marketing
Businesses that prove themselves thought leaders in their respective markets tend to witness better results. Sharing high-quality and relevant content helps build your reputation as an industry expert.
There are different types of content that you can create and share with your audience. For example, you can share long-form content, such as tutorials, detailed how-to guides, or buying guides to showcase your expertise and industry knowledge.
Similarly, you can create short blog posts and case studies to hook your reader's interests. Hosting webinars is also a good idea as it enables you to prove your worth and helps your audience see your confidence.
For more, you can read our guide on "How to Successfully Use Content Marketing for Your Shopify Store" to know about content marketing and how you can use it for your Shopify store.
6. Collaborate With Influencers
If you're starting out, you can consider collaborating with famous people in your niche. No, we don't want you to collaborate with Selena Gomez or Kylie Jenner, but you can look for people who belong to your industry and have decent followership.
It's human nature to trust the recommendations of people they trust and admire. That lends an opportunity for your online business to connect with those people and ask them to promote your products and services on your company's behalf.
Most influencers (micro) charge not more than $500, and some of them can even settle for a freebie or a product sample. So, you can reach out to large audiences without having to break your bank.
7. Run Contests/Competitions
The best online business tip to pique the interest of your potential customers is to keep them engaged with your brand.
Hosting competitions and contests will keep your audience's attention on your brand, and they'll also feel obliged to spend their money on your products if they have been declared a winner in one of your events.
On the other hand, your business will also get a chance to collect valuable user data, including emails that you can further use to expand your marketing efforts.
The key here is to be genuine about your offers and reward your customers with something they truly admire.
8. Build Social Proof
According to research, more than 95% of customers read reviews before they purchase anything online. Customer reviews are powerful. They act as social proof that helps other customers trust your brand and invest their hard-earned money in your products and services.
Good or bad, ask customers for a review and proudly display them all over your website, especially on your checkout pages.
9. Showcase Trust Seals On Your Website
Trust seals are also a form of social proof that helps build trust and instill confidence in your buyers. It also lets your visitors know that you're an established business, and they can share their confidential data on your website without any trust issues.
The most critical trust seal is an SSL certificate that indicates that your checkout pages are protected. 'Free shipping and free returns is another trust seal that helps your customers know they can return a product and get a refund if what they received wasn’t up to the mark.
Accepted payment seals, third-party endorsements, and quality assurance certificates can also help build trust and ensure your buyers they're at the right place.
10. Simplify Your Checkout Process
Present-day customers are busy and impatient. If you think they'll spend hours on your website trying to complete the checkout process, then let us tell you they won't.
A million-dollar tip on our online business checklist is to simplify your checkout process as much as possible.
First, get rid of all those extra forms coming in your buyer's way during the checkout process. Second, offer multiple delivery and payment options so that your customers can complete the transaction the way they like.
11. Multilingual SEO
The best way to increase your search engine visibility is by using the best SEO practices. Get your on-page, off-page, multilingual SEO, and technical SEO right, and we don't see any reason why your page can't rank on the first page of Google search results.
12. Make Data-Based Decisions Using Google Analytics
The biggest mistake online sellers make is they rely on guesswork while planning their growth strategy. But why depend on guesses when you can leverage actual data and analytics for your decision-making process?
Google Analytics allows online businesses to keep an eye on the total number of people visiting their store and the pages they spend most of their time on.
13. Utilize PPC Advertising
Another proven business tip for running a successful online business is promoting your store through paid advertising campaigns. Paid ads appear on social media, search pages, and websites and target those who're ready to spend on your products.
Facebook Ads and Google Adwords have even made it possible for online sellers to control their ad spending and choose keywords and target audiences according to their needs. We also have this interesting blog post on Google Adwords best practices.
14. Conduct a Competitor Analysis
Spying on your competitors and knowing what they bring to the table will help you stay competitive. This will also help you improve your strategies and get an edge over your competitors.
That goes without saying that when your customers find your offers more competitive and valuable, they'll automatically give preference to your brand over others.
You can use different tools available online to conduct competitor analysis for your business. Carefully examine their pricing strategies, shipping limits, and return and refund policies to determine how you can outperform them in every aspect.
15. Trigger a Sense Of Urgency And Scarcity To Boost Sales And Conversions
Many successful online businesses benefit from the FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) effect to create a sense of urgency and scarcity among their customers.
Displaying captions like 'Only 3 Left' or 'Sale Ends Today' will push your customers to take timely action.
The idea here is to let your customers know they should benefit from your deals today before they end.
16. Create A Fast And Mobile-Responsive Website
Did you know a delay of 1 second can result in a 7% reduction in conversions?
So the best thing you can do to make your online business successful is to create a fast website. Here are a few things you can do to speed up your website and boost conversions.
- Minimize HTTP requests
- Merge files
- Minify codes
- Remove plug-ins and apps you're not using at the moment
- Compress and optimize images
- Reduce server response time
- Choose the best hosting option
- Enable browser caching
It's also critical to conduct your site audit to see where your site stands in terms of speed and performance.
Similarly, you need to have a website that performs the same on mobile and web devices. Many users shop from their mobile phones these days. Not having a mobile-responsive website means you're missing out on an opportunity to target those customers who're shopping from their smartphone devices.
17. Don’t Give Up And Be The Best At What You Do
The most important online business tip is to stay positive and never give up. For a couple of seconds, just forget about everything ( competitors, revenue, and more) else and focus on your goal.
No, we're not talking about making money or increasing conversions or sales. Your goal should be to determine ways to become the best at whatever you do. Doing so will help you set your priorities and face challenges with more determination and confidence.
This strategy if done right can bring amazing results for your online business.
Establishing and running a successful online business isn't a piece of cake. It's not something you can achieve overnight. These tips for a successful online business that we've discussed contain everything you need to excel and grow as an ecommerce entrepreneur.