5 Steps to Growing Your Business Online

Producing an engaging, highly trafficked, online presence can be a difficult undertaking for any business. Competition can be high, budgets scarce, and if you’re new, starting from scratch can take a lot of time and effort. Fortunately, with the right strategy, your online presence doesn’t have to suffer because of these constraints.

Need help with growing your business online? Here are five ways to take your digital marketing to the next level:

1. Dial in Your Audience

The product or service you are providing likely won’t match the needs of every shopper. Knowing exactly who you want to reach is a powerful tool, and based on the sales data you’ve gathered from your Revel POS System, you can define who that target customer is. Going after targeted demographics and psychographics (buyers’ habits) with your integrated marketing campaign will attract the right audience, so less money and sweat is spent pursuing after the wrong customer. With this information, you can start to assess where you want to apply your digital marketing efforts.

2. Build an Optimised Website

If you build it, they will come.

A statement only true if the website is built knowing the audience you defined in step one. It's not as much about getting visitors to your site as it is about getting the right kind of visitors. Your website should feature quality, personalised content, offer accessible information, and be technically responsive. To make sure your website accomplishes this, Google offers three free tools that can help you:

Google AdWords Keyword Planner:

The Keyword Planner provides monthly search volume for any keyword or search phrase. If you are a sporting good store and want to know how many people are searching for “basketball jerseys” vs “football jerseys,” the planner will provide you with those numbers. The Keyword Planner will also give you a list of related terms, enabling you to discover new opportunities. With this data you can create pages on your website to target high volume search terms that relate to your business.

Google Search Console:

Google Search Console (GSC) allows you to see search engine activity to your website. You can see the search terms that bring you the most traffic, any technical problems your site might be having (e.g. broken links, duplicate content) as well as if you’re site is mobile optimised. It is good practice to look at your GSC activity daily to ensure search engines are crawling your site as well as possible.

Google Analytics:

Google Analytics helps you look at the traffic that comes into your website. You can see your most visited pages, what channels are bringing people to those pages, and what happens to those visitors once they enter your website. You can use this data to repurpose tactics used on the well performing pages to the pages that aren’t gaining as much traffic. If you’re in ecommerce or gather leads to your website, you can also use Google Analytics to look at conversion rates.

3. Manage Your Business Listings

Google doesn’t just use your website to determine how it ranks you in its algorithm, it also takes into account your business listings. Whether it’s Yelp, Foursquare or others, it’s vital to stay up to date with the information and comments within these listings. Let’s talk about one of the most important:

Google My Business:

Your Google My Business (GMB) listing increases visibility in local search results. Keeping with the sporting good store example, if someone were to search for “sporting goods” in the same city you are located in Google would reveal you and your competitors with a map and list that shows at the top of the Google search. In order to rank as high as possible you need to optimise your Google My Business listing to the fullest. This means verifying your listing, making sure your name, address, phone number information is correct, responding to reviews, adding photos, and choosing a business category. The more optimised your GMB listing is, the higher chance you have of getting seen in search listings.

4. Be Active on Social

Using social networks to grow your business is low-cost and gives you a direct line to current and prospective customers. You can use social networks like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter to connect with your customers and build brand awareness. It’s also good practice to start a blog on your website and share your posts through social to keep customers updated with how to’s, testimonials and relevant business stories.

5. Create Targeted Ad Campaigns

If going after organic search traffic is a marathon, then using targeted ad campaigns through Pay Per Click (PPC) is a sprint. PPC can be one of the quickest, most profitable ways for a small business to advertise online, but on the flipside, it can also be one of the most expensive. The best approach to getting it right is to test, test some more, and then test again. This involves:

  • Knowing where to Invest - Google AdWords and Facebook Display Ads are two of the most popular, intuitive, ad platforms. Try starting there.
  • Keyword Research - Use what you know about your audience and research keywords that you want to bid on with the Google keyword planner
  • Creating Landing Pages - You want to send your paid traffic to pages that make it easy for someone to convert on so having targeted LP’s that are unique to the keywords you want to drive your paid traffic from is important
  • Tracking - Use Google Analytics to see how your paid search traffic is performing and converting
  • Review and React - Use the data you collected and make adjustments to your bidding, budget and keyword list.

As shown through these five marketing steps, the internet has levelled the playing field where the visibility and reach that was once only available to large brands is now available to smaller businesses. Using these techniques in tandem with the data you collect from your Revel POS System will help you with growing your business online.