Jeanette is the CEO of Leadpages, a no-code website & landing page builder that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their business online.
If you’re a new entrepreneur who’s thinking about starting an online business, your timing couldn’t be better.
Consumers are spending more time and money online, with an estimated 2.14 billion digital buyers in 2021, according to Statista. Plus, the costs associated with getting an online business up and running are relatively low, and thanks to an abundance of software as a service (SaaS) options and platforms, creating a professional online presence doesn’t require the same technical knowledge it used to.
That being said, it’s not as if you can just publish a website and expect customers to begin lining up at your digital storefront. You need to lay the foundation in order to build your credibility and make your business easy for people to discover.
What steps do you need to take when you’re starting an online business? Here are the top three strategies you should employ right from the beginning.
Optimize for SEO.
It’s no secret that the number one place consumers find businesses is Google, which is why you have to take steps to ensure your content conforms to SEO best practices. Even if you have no experience optimizing websites for search engines, there are a few simple things you can do to boost your online rankings.
First and foremost, focus on delivering value. Google’s goal is to rank the best content at the top of its searches, so if you create something that’s truly better than everything else, then you’re already 75% of the way there. Great content is also more likely to be shared by your readers.
Next, focus on the right keywords. Do some research to learn what your audience is searching for and create educational content that addresses their most common queries.
Finally, you’ll need to consider the more technical side of things, including page load speed, mobile optimization, and URL structuring. One way to do this is to consider using a website builder that’s been designed with SEO in mind.
Get on (the right) social media channels.
One mistake I see many new entrepreneurs make is thinking they need to be everywhere. They jump on every new social media platform they discover, even if it doesn’t necessarily line up with their target audience.
Sure, TikTok is surging in popularity, but its user base is primarily between 18 and 24 years old. If you’re a B2B business whose ideal customer is between 46 and 55 years old, it probably doesn’t make sense for you to post there.
When it comes to social media, your best strategy is to focus on two to three platforms that you know your ideal customers are frequenting. Not only does this ensure you get the right eyes on your content, but it also means you won’t spread yourself too thin.
This is why you need a plan before you post your first tweet or story. Do your research to determine which channels your audience spends its time on. Then, start developing content that you know your audience will love.
Start an email list.
Once people start discovering your business, you need a way for them to enter your sales funnel. Most consumers aren’t ready to buy right away. They need a chance to learn more about you and your products before they decide to hand over their payment details.
When it comes to nurturing your leads, I believe nothing works better than email marketing.
Email might seem like old technology compared to all of the new ways we have to communicate these days, but it’s still as relevant as ever. In fact, email marketing generates an average ROI of 4,200%. That means for every $1 you invest in it, you can expect to make $42 back.
There are a few different ways to grow your email list, but the most tried and true method is with a lead magnet. Create something of value (an ebook, a mini-course, or a checklist are great examples) and give it away for free in exchange for an email address.
Ideally, your lead magnet is related to your product or service. That way, you know every email you collect is a qualified lead. From there, you can start sending them educational content until they’re ready to become a customer.
In the digital age, everyone can be an entrepreneur.
There are fewer barriers to entry for entrepreneurs than ever before. If you have a winning idea and master the strategies discussed here, there’s nothing stopping you from finding success — no matter what your background might be.