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Seven Ways Your Business Can Improve It's Online Presence

Running your own business can be hard work. Juggling multiple hats, managing employees and dealing with the day to day operational issues that come up on a daily basis can leave you with a lack of time to promote, manage and grow your business. As consumers and people who may use the services your business provides there is an increasing need for information being readily available and the channels to access what you do being easy and simple. The growth of the internet and advances in technology has made it easier to connect with your customers whether it be through your website, social media or other digital channels. The best thing about having a good online presence is that you are easily reachable by your customers and it provides you an opportunity to differentiate what you do from your competitors. So how you do you achieve a great online presence and how do you use it to generate sales, leads and more customers for your business. Here are 7 tips that will help your business become better online.

Start selling online if you can

Enabling e-commerce functionality can open up a new sales channel for your business if you operate a traditional brick and mortar structure. Instead of employing another sales person spend some time and invest some resources into e-commerce and let those customers come to you. Like anything online you need to put the work into promoting and building awareness of your e-commerce store. It's not enough to just build it and expect the customers to come flowing through the doors. If you already have an existing website incorporate an e-commerce component and improve your online reach

Start a blog

You've probably got to the position you have by being fairly good at what you do and sometimes an expert in your industry. Sharing that knowledge and information is a form of inbound marketing that may be able to generate leads and customers for your business. If you have information that others might not be able to access easily that means it's valuable and people will be looking for it to either solve their problem or help them make a purchasing decision. Create unique, interesting and shareable information and you can generate interest in your website and business.

Pay attention to social media

This doesn't mean just doing a facebook post every 2 weeks. Create a strategy and change it slightly depending on the platform you are posting on. Consistency is the key and most importantly, what your saying must be fun, informative and interesting. The goal with social media is to build a community of followers that may eventually turn into actual customers over and over again. Don't sell what you do.Just share content that you would like to see when you visit  social media.

Update your website

Your website is a vital component of your business and it may be the place where people get their first impression of you and what you do. Make sure it's an accurate representation and always keep your website refreshed and up to date as your business changes and grows. You wouldn't let a TV ad you ran 10 years ago show up now so why would you have the same website.

Email marketing is your friend

One of the best ways to communicate with customers and potential customers is to create an email marketing list and to generate important & useful information for your subscribers. This may include special offers, discounts and once off promotions for your subscribers only so they feel special and rewarded. It can be a great strategy to convert visitors & customers who may have used you before, but have now forgotten about what you do.

Promote and advertise online

No matter what you use your website for you should always be promoting and advertising it in some way. Whether this be through SEO, Adwords, social media advertising, re-targeting, video advertising or content marketing you should be doing something all the time to promote your website and business. A well rounded digital marketing plan can do wonders for your business because it's measurable and you develop action plans based on the results to increase sales and the bottom line for your business

Review, evaluate and improve

You should always looking for ways to do things better. Being online is no exception and you should be finding things that are working and accelerating their growth. Conversely you should be dropping those things that aren't working or sending additional resources or going at it from another angle. The best thing about marketing your business online is that there is always room for improvement. We hope these 7 simple tips can help your business become more successful online. We'd love to hear what works for you so feel free to comment below. Related Tags: Social Media Marketing NewcastleDigital Marketing Newcastle
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How To Increase Conversions With 3 Simple Techniques

Sometimes the hardest part of any kind of online presence or growth strategy for your website is not only getting traffic but also how you convert that traffic to do something once they visit. People have short attention spans these days with the rise of social media so if you instantly don't have what they need they will be gone before you can get your best sales pitch out of the bag. First impressions count and your website should be a reflection of your business profile and brand. Ultimately your website should be an extension of your broad marketing plan and the centre of your digital strategy. With these three simple techniques you will learn how you can increase conversions on your website.

Create Goals & Measure Results

Typically businesses and small business owners don't have much of a plan after they've launched their website. Time can also play a huge part as the owner of the business you are usually juggling multiple hats at once to keep your business operating smoothly. One of the simplest things you can do is develop some goals for your website & track your results. Not only will this give you an understanding of how your website is performing but it will enable you to look at ways to improve your content, images, design and flow of your website. Some simple ways you could achieve this:
  • Every time you or a sales persons receives a direct call ask where they heard about you from e.g. was it your website? Dig deeper and find out how they got to your website. Keep track of each phone call as you may start to see a pattern as to how people are finding you. If something is working invest money into it and track the return on investment. It may be that people are finding you through social media, Google search results or paid advertising. If you can find a cost vs return that is profitable for your business on a strategy that is working it makes sense to invest time and money into it.
  • Use Google Analytics. It's free and is a useful tool to find out where your website traffic is coming from, how long they are staying and what pages on your website they are visiting. This will arm you with information around what potential customers are doing and why they are or aren't converting

First Impressions Count

How people perceive your business and can have a lasting impact in the mind of a person making a purchasing decision. Some simple things you can do to ensure you won't miss out on those potential customers:
  • Make your website mobile friendly. Over 50% of people today use their phone to browse services and buy products. If you aren't mobile friendly you are missing out on a huge chunk of potential customers
  • Make your website fast. Speed is one of the most critical factors in converting visitors and it also helps your search engine rankings
  • Analyse your competitors and always try to improve upon what they are doing

What's In It For Me?

There is so much information online today you need to be telling your potential customers what's in it for them. You need to translate your sales pitch and marketing onto your website to translate what you do and to engage visitors. Some simple ways you can do this include:
  • Create consistent calls to action throughout your website that asks/tells customers what to do - e.g. call you, email you, buy this
  • Develop landing pages that create a funnel from your calls to action. Simple landing pages that deliver a concise message and offer the customer something in return are a perfect example. You can then easily track who visits and when they convert.
Some of our favourite landing pages include: Unbounce - It's pretty obvious they should have a good landing page as that's what they do, however this is the prime example of what you should show on a landing page and how you should structure it. Tell them what you do, sell the benefits and back it up with evidence. If you can offer something that is also a bonus as well. WebDAM - Straight to the point and asks for your information above the fold BasecampThe simplicity is what makes it so good and goes to show you don't need to go overboard to capture peoples attention

Useful Tools

Increasing conversions is a continual process that requires effort and a clear cut strategy to track results and improve. Here are some useful tools that may help: Optimizepress Google Analytics Hootsuite   Related Tags: Social Media Marketing Newcastle | Website Design Newcastle
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What E-commerce Platform Should I Use

You've made that first step into the big world of selling online and e-commerce, but where do you start? It can be daunting with the multiple platforms and open source technologies available in the e-commerce world. We've created a list of our favourite e-commerce platforms and in what scenario you should use each one. So you know there is no perfect platform or technology that you should use. Every business is different and the choice available means that everyone can find what suits their goals, plans and overall business strategy. Let's not delay any further and get into our list.

Shopify/Bigcommerce

We've lumped these two together as they are basically the same thing (they would probably tell you different). Shopify and Bigcommerce allow you as the business owner to pay per month and create your online shop in minutes, hours or days depending on the complexity. The great thing about these platforms is that they are user friendly and they are built for e-commerce. Every feature they have is designed to improve your ability to run a successful e-commerce store. They have a multitude of themes you can choose from to style your website. Some of the disadvantages include that you are locked into using their platform, the more you sell the more it costs you and there is a fixed monthly cost. Also if you lack the technical skills you will find it quite difficult to create some of the beautiful examples sites they show. If you have the time and some basic skills online your business can flourish using one of these platforms and it's ideal for that business that is first starting up and looking to limit their initial costs. Both platforms also have an extensive add-on section to take your online store to the next level.

Magento

In comparison to Shopify and Bigcommerce, Magento is at the whole other end of the spectrum. Many enterprise and Fortune 500 companies run their e-commerce stores using Magento which means it has the capacity to handle a lot of products and a lot of volume, however this makes it much more complex to manage. It is popular with many businesses who want to integrate their in-store inventory with their online sales. Magento has an extensive directory of add-ons and features to power your store. To run a Magento store you should be looking to list and sell a lot of products e.g. 1000 & above. The drawbacks in using Magento is that you are likely going to need a specialised developer to build your e-commerce store which is going to cost you more from the outset. Magento is perfect for the medium sized to large sized e-commerce store.

Woocommerce

Woocommerce has made a huge dint in the e-commerce platform given the number of websites around the world that use Wordpress. It is a highly customisable e-commerce plugin that can be used directly in Wordpress and supercharging your website into an online store. It has loads of custom features and plugins that can enhance and extend it's functionality meaning that is has now become the preference for many smaller to medium sized e-commerce retailers who want to retain control over the look and feel of their store without losing too much of the advanced functionality that may come with some of the other platforms. Over 14% of e-commerce websites now use E-commerce and the number is growing every year. If you are looking for something user friendly, relatively inexpensive and easy to use then Woocommerce may be the platform for you. Confused about what e-commerce platform to use? We hope this has helped you make your decision. Let us know what your favourite platform is by commenting below. Related Tags: Digital Marketing Newcastle | SEO Company Newcastle
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5 Killer Ways To Sell More Online

You've entered the exciting world of selling online and the opportunities seem endless as you launch that new website and start promoting your amazing new store that is going to take over the world. Sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn't. The old saying "build it and they will come" really hits home as you start your e-commerce journey. The first thing you need to know that just like any other business it's hard at first to get started, get your name out there and build a sales funnel. Being online is an accelerated version of any other business. The moment those sales don't come rolling in as you expected there is a tendency to panic and start stressing about if you've done the right thing and why don't people love your products. Your first step should always be to take a breath and calm down and then see if these 5 tips can help you sell more online.

Marketing Is Number 1

You need to market your business through multiple channels. If people can't find you then they are unlikely to buy your products as they don't know they exist. Simple marketing techniques include basic search engine optimisation and search engine marketing. Start off small and target your local areas rather than trying to take over the world. This way you can refine, test and optimise your strategies depending on the results. Social media is one of the most important channels for any e-commerce business and some simple Facebook and Twitter advertising allows you to go after your target demographic and refine your campaigns depending on sales and conversions. If you aren't already thinking about re-targeted advertising you should be. Many studies show that many people don't buy on the first visit so you constantly need to be in these peoples faces. Think about when you go to an e-commerce website and suddenly you start seeing that website everywhere you browse no matter what. The beauty of cookies allows people to target you through banner advertising if you have visited a specific website or even a specific product. What else can you do? Email marketing is the golden egg of online marketing and is one of the best techniques to convert visitors or previous purchasers. Make your emails fun, exciting, different and always give the consumer something to stand out from the crowd.  

Integrate Your Website With Other Selling Channels

As your business is in the first stages of growth and your online marketing is kicking into gear you need some quick wins. The best and easiest way to do this is integrate your shop with already established marketplaces where people buy, sell and communicate. Not only can you sell some products but it can have a positive impact on your branding. Some marketplaces that you can integrate with directly from the backend of your website include Ebay & Amazon. You are now communicating with millions of visitors who are in the buying phase instantly.

Use Social Media To Sell

Your social media strategy should incorporate setting up a Facebook store to sell even more products. It's simple and easy to get started and you can instantly start advertising and selling to your social media community. You can instantly attract sales from consumers who don't want to leave the comfort of your Facebook page. There are a variety of third party plugins to achieve it and this should be something you need to start thinking about into the future.

Optimise For Mobile

If you're website isn't already optimised for viewing on mobile phones you need to do it. More and more consumers are now purchasing on their phones with mobile commerce one of the fastest growing segments of e-commerce. If you don't optimise for mobile you are missing out on potential customers who are going to leave and go with one of your competitors. The easier you can make it for someone to buy from you the more sales you will make.

Conversions, Conversions, Conversions

It's one thing to get people to visit your website and it's another to get them to convert into sales. Some simple things you can do include impressive product photos that stand out from the crowd, detailed and informative product descriptions, multiple product images showing the varying views of the products and detailed video guides reviewing the product and how you use it. All these things can help you stand out in front of the competitor and convert that potential buyer into an actual buyer. You also need to optimise the  landing pages that people visit from Google or your Facebook and PPC advertising. Split test landing pages and track conversions to see how they are performing. Continue to review, enhance and improve your landing pages to convert visitors into sales. Selling online isn't easy so be prepared to put the work if you want it to be successful. We hope these 5 tips can help your business succeed and sell more online. Related Tags: Digital Marketing Services Newcastle | SEO Company Newcastle