With over 1.7 billion websites, the web has become an overcrowded space. To stand out from the crowd, you need to keep innovating and coming up with new ways to grow your online business.
And, contrary to popular belief, business growth need not entail costly infrastructure or tools.
Don’t believe me?
There are many pocket-friendly hacks that can multiply your revenue in record time. After all, one of the main perks of owning a virtual business is that you can do away with the bells and whistles of brick-and-mortar stores.
Then, why break the bank to step up your online business growth?
Take this revenue-expansion tactic for instance:
Just by providing exemplary customer experience, you can charge 13% to 18% higher for your products/services, found a PwC survey. Customers are willing to pay more in exchange for personalized service and support.
That’s how simple (and affordable) it is to grow your online business.
In this post, I’m going to explore four such effective tips for online businesses.
Here you go.
4 Super-Effective Ways to Grow Your Online Business
Many entrepreneurs are so excited about starting an online business, only to hit a stagnation point soon after. When that happens, you need to step on the accelerator and take your business to the next level.
1. Use Chatbots to Engage Your Visitors and Customers
As said before, the competition between online businesses is stiff. In every domain, there are hundreds if not thousands of businesses competing for limited consumer attention. To retain customers, online businesses are investing heavily in customer experience strategies and tools, like AI chatbots.
In fact, customer experience or CX was the top priority for 49.5% of businesses in 2020, even ahead of product and pricing.
Image via SuperOffice
Smart business owners are embedding chatbots on their customer-facing platforms to boost engagement, collect consumer data, and improve customer satisfaction.
How does that happen?
Chatbots, powered by artificial intelligence and natural language processing, can understand user requests and provide appropriate answers from their pre-fed databases. With their prompt service and personalized attention, they keep your website visitors and app users happy.
They can automate repetitive tasks (like collecting email addresses and shopping preferences) and help new visitors/users in navigation and troubleshooting.
But that’s not all.
The most sophisticated bots can mimic humans by communicating in a conversational tone. They can understand language nuances and even crack jokes. Many users are not able to distinguish between bots and live agents, and some prefer to interact with the former.
Want to see a real-life example of a conversational bot?
Aerie is a bot used by lingerie brand, American Eagle Outfitters. It welcomes website visitors with a cheerful, personalized greeting. Then, it goes on to learn about their product preferences by engaging them in a this-or-that quiz.
By the end of the quiz, it has shopping recommendations that match the user’s budget and needs.
Image via ChatbotGuide
By making online shopping a pleasant, pain-free experience, Aerie improves customer satisfaction, website dwell time, and sales for the brand.
2. Attract Traffic from Search Engines
Another low-cost tactic to grow your online business is search engine optimization or SEO. It’s a set of practices that help improve your rankings on search engine results pages, which leads to greater organic traffic to your website.
SEO can be quite technical for newbies, so it’s best to entrust it to expert SEO professionals. But if you love a challenge, you can try your hand at SEO.
Start with keyword research to find the best keywords for your website. You can use a tool like Google Keyword Planner and filter down the suggested keywords by audience location, and demographics.
Once you’ve drilled down into high-potential keywords, start creating authoritative content around those key terms. To create really hyper-focused content, you can find out the exact language searchers are typing into Google to look for information related to your product/niche. For this, you can use a tool like AnswerThePublic.
For instance, if you want to impart information to help startup founders, you can type “startup tips” in AnswerThePublic and you’ll get a list of related content topics/ideas:
Image via AnswerThePublic
During content creation, ensure that you don’t stuff keywords just to catch Google’s eye. That can earn you a penalty and lower your rankings. Try incorporating the keywords into your content as naturally as possible.
Is that all?
User experience is an important ranking factor for Google. So, make sure your website has an intuitive design, good page speed, ample visual elements, and easy navigation. The longer you can keep visitors on-page, the better are your chances of making a conversion and earning brownie points from Google.
3. Mobile-Optimize Your Website
For online businesses, your website is like your storefront. Not only should your website be fast loading and well-designed, but it should also be mobile-friendly.
Mobile accounted for nearly 50.81% of website traffic in the last quarter of 2020. It follows that a website that doesn’t look and/or work perfectly on mobile devices will lose this mammoth chunk of audiences.
Pay attention to your site’s responsiveness so that mobile users are able to browse it easily. You can assess your site’s mobile-friendliness by conducting Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test like I did for the Business 2 Community website.
Image via Google Mobile-Friendly Test
You can check each page’s status and implement the improvement suggestions offered by Google below the test results. You’ll also see a screenshot of how your pages render on small screens.
Here are some suggestions from my side:
- Use large, legible fonts and space out your content.
- Strip down your content and display only the most important elements above the fold.
- Avoid bogging down your site with heavy Flash animations.
- Use mobile-friendly themes and templates if you’re using website builders for your site revamp.
- Eliminate ads and pop-ups as much as possible.
- Make information easy to find.
- Allow visitors to switch to desktop viewing.
- Keep mobile-testing your website for new updates.
4. Leverage Social Media to Grow Brand Awareness
Last but not least, make social media marketing a priority for your online business. That’s because 49% of the world population is spending nearly 3 hours daily on social media platforms. That’s a great opportunity to meet and engage with your target audience where they already are.
Post engaging content that is tailored to your audience’s needs and tastes. Be available to reply to their comments and be receptive to their feedback.
You can join industry-specific groups to get a more laser-focused reach. If you share authoritative content and give insightful replies, you can catch the eye of highly relevant audience groups and establish your industry authority.
To grow your reach, credibility, and engagement quickly, you can partner with relevant influencers. These influencers can promote your business by creating positive reviews and sponsored posts for you.
Take mattress manufacturer, Leesa, for instance. They had bloggers who specialize in interior design write in-depth reviews about their mattresses on niche blogs like Sleepolis.
Image via Sleepopolis
By leveraging influencer marketing strategically, Leesa was able to drive tons of very relevant traffic to their website/store. Since influencer-led traffic is highly engaged, there’s a good chance that Leesa converted many of them into loyal fans and customers.
Growing your online business is no cakewalk, I understand. But I’ve witnessed many businesses surpassing the competition just by using these four tricks, and you can too.
Do you need any more advice on sales and marketing? Feel free to share your questions in the comments. I’ll be back with the answers soon.