7 Tips to Turn Your Company into a Successful Online Business In 2023
Today, being online is more than a way to expand the reach of a business – it’s a matter of survival.
Without an online presence, people may never find a local business or not be able to confirm whether they are open, leading to plenty of missed opportunities.
This not only applies to companies with e-commerce capabilities, but also to brick-and-mortar businesses which, by contrast, have physical locations.
In a few words, if your business has no online presence, you are ten years behind!
Keep reading this blog if you wish to find out more how to to turn your company into a successful online business In 2023.
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What is Google Business Profile?
Opening a Google Business Profile – as we will discuss below – is the first step for any business.
It is a sort of virtual card associated to a business, which allows you to describe your company and share opening hours, customer reviews, as well as interact with customers and prospects.
As we mentioned above, since 2011 Google has been inviting small and medium-sized businesses to boost their online presence through Google Business Profile (formerly called Google Places for Business until 2012, then Google+ Local Dashboards until 2014 and, finally, Google My Business until 2021).
How to show up as a business on Google?
Your company profile on Google Business Profile appears in Google Search and Google Maps.
Ideally, in addition to coming up on Google for branded searches – searches containing your company, service, or product name – you should make sure to show up in Google first page at least for one of the services you offer or products you sell.
After all, ranking higher on Google for non-branded searches is the best way to make yourself known to new customers/people who have never heard of you before. While you might have a basic understanding of SEO, can you safely say that you know enough about it to deliver fantastic results on your own? For most business owners, the answer is a hard ‘no.’
That is why my recommendation is to rely on an experienced SEO consultant working on your site, as they have the knowledge and expertise to help you create the best program of work and drive better results.
Why your business needs an online presence
Here are the main reasons why every business, medium and small, should have an online presence:
• Gen Z – the demographic cohort of those born between 1997 and 2012 – is the Just Google It Generation; which uses Google (and social media) to answer their questions, including those with a commercial intent (eg .: ‘Where to buy Nike Blazers?’).
• However, the pandemic has accelerated digital transformation, even among the older generation: forced to stay at home, they have become increasingly familiar with digital platforms, to the point of transforming this need into habit.
Speaking of the pandemic, in the video below, which went live on Italian TV channel MCTV in April 2020, I talked about how COVID changed consumer behaviour.
From the imppress rise in retail sales within the e-commerce sector, to contactless delivery to prevent the spread of pathogens like the coronavirus.
At the end, I provided a few tips to small and medium-sized companies, willing to make a transition from traditional commerce to that of the internet.
Don’t you worry if you don’t speak Italian and can’t understand the video – I’ve listed below my 7 tips to turn your company into a successful online business.
1. Build a business website
Although social media help any business succeed, you can’t do business just relying on social media, as you are basically using a “rented” space and if you just – even unconsciously – break their policies, your page can disappear overnight.
If you rely just on social media, you basically lack of control over your business (do you remember when Facebook and Instagram went down?) . A website is more complete and will help people find all the information they are looking for about your business, products and your services.
2. Set up a business profile on Google
As we mentioned above, Google Business Profile increases your business visibility when someone searches for your products / services on Google Search and Google Maps. Remember to keep opening or closing times up to date – put yourself in the shoes of a customer who heads to your store, believing it is open, but it is actually closed. After having lived this bad experience, will they give you another chance?
3. Optimize your Social Media Presence
Every company should leverage social media, primarily for brand awareness.
After all, the first objective of any social strategy is not to sell, but to communicate. Every business should use social channels organically to communicate a message, build customer loyalty, generate new leads and increase brand reputation.
If used strategically, also integrating paid ads, social networks can only benefit sales as well.
4. Invest in Paid Social Ads
Regardless of whether your company has decided to establish its presence on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook or LinkedIn (it is impossible, especially for a small company, to be able to be on all social media), you will soon notice that, without investment, your content won’t be able to reach too many users.
Therefore, to increase reach, boost interactions and generate leads, leveraging paid social ads is essential to bring results.
5. Features you can't-miss on your eCommerce: Site Speed and Customer Service
Site Speed and Customer Service: two totally different aspects, but equally important if you have an an e-commerce site.
Site Speed is the time it takes for a page to be viewed by the user’s browser.
Search engines reward pages that are extremely fast, but that’s not all; a slow page speed can become a conversion blocker, discouraging users from completing their action – e.g. would you be willing to buy on a site that makes you wait more than four seconds to load the page?
A great customer service is crucial for e-commerce sites.
By providing great customer service, organizations can recover customer acquisition costs, retain talent, and foster brand loyalty.
There are plenty of live chats not working and inactive phone numbers out there, which make their shopping experience unpleasent.
As a result, unhappy customers tend to leave negative reviews and will not be likely to recommend you to friends and family.
6. Tell your customers about your eco-friendly packaging
More and more companies are trying to reduce their environmental impact and, as a result, are showing commitment to their customers.
A study on corporate social responsibility reveals customers’ responses when a company supports social or environmental issues. The research conducted surveyed a demographically representative segment of 1,000 Americans. Here are a few of the takeaways:
• 68% of millennials bought a product with a social or environmental benefit in the last 12 months.
• 87% of consumers will have a more positive image of a company that supports social or environmental issues.
• 88% will be more loyal to a company that supports social or environmental issues.
• 87% would buy a product with a social and environmental benefit if given the opportunity.
• 92% will be more likely to trust a company that supports social or environmental issues.
In a few words, the sustainability aspect is now considered as an added value. As a result, more and more companies have begun to share their brand’s eco-friendly packaging and other sustainable initiatives with customers – whether it’s online or offline.
7. Don't DIY: you need to hire a digital strategist!
It may be tempting to DIY your website or managing your social media strategy.
Unfortunately, many business owners end up regretting it.
As a business owner, your plate is full – you are dealing with operational expenses, production, distribution, and sales. It is easy for digital marketing to be pushed to the back burner.
Then, hire a digital strategist, so you can have peace of mind knowing that everything is being taken care of by a professional.
These were my seven tips for entrepreneurs who decide to embark on digital transformation – if you have any questions or just want to say hello, fill out the contact form on the Contact page or write me an email on [email protected].