3 Things You Should Be Doing To Grow Your Online Business

(if you already do them, pat yourself on the back)

Get Data: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it” – Peter Drucker

The beauty of running an online business is the ability to track everything. Literally everything.

  • How visitors came to your site
  • The actions performed on your site
  • The visitor path to becoming a customer
  • What works and what doesn’t work

                 And much more…

This information is extremely valuable. With it you can stop wasting time and money on traffic sources that don’t work and focus on the sources that are bringing you customers. You can see which pages assist in the sale and which pages cause people to leave your site.

Google Analytics is a powerful software and you can install it on any website. Plus it’s free! Spending just a few minutes a day analyzing the data can lead to massive results.

You can even take this one step further. Mouse tracking softwares allow you to actually view clicks and recordings of the mouse movements on your site. You can see exactly which parts of your site are of interest and which parts are confusing. I highly recommend Mouseflow, it is easy to use and they offer a free plan.

Get Social: How is Facebook like a refrigerator? When you’re bored you check it every 5 minutes.

People turn to Social Media for entertainment, fun and laughs. They check up on current happenings or absorb information relevant to their interests.

Your goal on Social Media should be to deliver valuable content  to your target audience. Your audience is looking for entertainment. Entertain them! 

You need to determine the type of content that would best suit your target market. You can do this by researching the content they are liking, sharing, following, etc.

Look at your current customers (and/or your competitors’ customers) and try to find a commonality of interests among them. For example: if your product is a kitchen mixer you will see that your audience’s common interest is recipes. Go do some legwork and put together a few recipes!

It will take some time and effort to create content of value, but it is well worth the effort. Building your audience on Social Media is key to building your online business. One in at least three online shoppers says that Social Media affects their buying decisions.

If you are short on time (or just plain lazy), you can repost or share other people’s content. Regardless of the source, if your audience feels that your content is relevant, they will keep coming back for more.

A great way to find content for sharing is Buzzsumo.com. Search your topic of interest and Buzzsumo finds articles or posts which have gotten the most shares on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and others. I like to find articles that have gotten the most shares within the last 24 hours. These are usually fresh posts that are starting to “catch fire”. It’s great to jump on the bandwagon of these posts sometimes.

Get Em To Come Back: It takes 7 touches to make a sale – “Common” marketing knowledge

Or 3, or 10, or even just 1. It depends on the situation. More often than not, it takes more than 1.

A touch is any form of interaction between a customer and a business. Visiting a website, seeing a billboard or an online banner ad, walking into a store, hearing a radio ad or seeing a TV commercial, etc. It usually takes more than just 1 “touch” to close the deal.

It is said that something like 90% of the people that leave your site will never return. That’s not good, especially if you need more touches to make the sale. This is why you need to get people to come back.

Collecting emails is a simple and free way to do this. Offer something of value in exchange for an email address. You can offer to send them a free recipe to their inbox. Once you’ve “captured” their information you can follow up with other emails. Recipes, promotions, etc.

Mailchimp is an easy-to-use email marketing platform. Their free plan includes up to 2,000 contacts and lets you send about 10,000 emails per month. That’s more than enough for most small businesses. Their templates and drag-and-drop builder make creating emails a breeze.

Another valuable method of bringing users back to the site is through Retargeting. Ever visit a site, look at a specific shirt, and then have an ad of that exact shirt follow you around for the next month? That’s a retargeting ad.

The beauty of retargeting ads is that it leads to more touches. The user views your ad and then clicking it brings them back to the site. That’s an additional 2 touches. 

The downside is that retargeting is not free. Most platforms charge on a CPM basis. This means that you pay per every thousand times your ad was seen. Adroll and Perfect Audience are 2 simple-to-use platforms that charge CPM.

Google Adwords has a Remarketing feature that charges PPC. This means that you only pay if the person actually clicked the ad. This is great because if the person is interested they will click. If not, they won’t (disclaimer: this is not always true…). Google Adwords also allows for more control over bid adjustments and targeting. My preference is Google Adwords but it is a complex system and a beginner should stick to a simpler platform.

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