Starting your own business can be a daunting task. But the internet has opened up opportunities that can help your new business to thrive, if used effectively. Customers are not going to magically stumble across your website, so you need to plan in how to attract them. The following 5 tips can help your start-up become a success.
1. Make use of SEO
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is an effective online marketing strategy that’s inexpensive and a great way of boosting your website’s profile and exposure. Simply put, SEO is a process of improving the visibility of any website.
Keywords are a vital component of SEO. These keywords are the words or phrases that people type into a search engine to find a site. Keywords, in turn, are used by the search engines to match a website’s content with the search. The websites that are the best match to any particular search are subsequently listed, with the most appropriate being first in the list.
You can use a paid traffic generation tool such as Google AdWords, which will allow you to test various keywords that could be applicable to your website. This would give you accurate data on which keywords will work best for your site. You can also try keyword search applications such as Google Keywords.
For successful SEO, it’s vitalthat you do keyword research so that you’ll be found online; there’s no point wasting time targeting specific keywords that don’t drive any traffic your way.
SEO is constantly evolving, which can make it difficult to stay on top of the process. Every time Google introduces a new algorithm, such as Penguin or Panda, websites that do not make the necessary adjustments end up falling down the search engine rankings.
For this reason, it is a good idea to hire a professional SEO firm to help with this aspect of your website. By hiring a firm, you ensure that your website incorporates the latest SEO techniques and it is not penalized by the search engines for hosting substandard content or breaking any of the rules that these algorithms define.
2. Link building
Link building is an SEO tactic and another good way of boosting you profile and subsequently your search engine ranking.
Write guest posts on your area of expertise for different websites and blogs, linking your website in each post, and build relationships. Guest posting is a good way to get both you and your business known while at the same time securing a healthy link.
3. Invest in localmedia
An obvious factor insuccess is how wellyou are known in the market.Use your local online mediaas a way of letting potential customers know that you’re available. It’s a good first step to establishing your new business in the marketplace. Make contact with relevant online magazines and newspapers that are based in your area and capitalize on any publicity. Success will also depend on how well you know your market. Your local online media can also provide you with information about your competition, and it might be able to tell you what they’re doing that you aren’t.This will be part of your online research, which will not cost you anything but time, but it’s time well spent.
You should also branch out regionally and nationally, and become a familiar business through wider online media channels.
4. Embrace social media
Social media should definitely be a part of your online strategy. You can use LinkedIn to make connections with other people in your industry. You can also use Facebook, Twitter and Quora to get people aware of your business. YouTube is another good option. For example, if you’re starting a web design company, you could post step-by-step basic tutorials on the site, with links to your website. Becoming part of online conversations in your field and having a strong social media presence is something that shouldn’t be overlooked.
5. Foreign market opportunities
You might find that there’s less competition in foreign markets, and it might be more viable to set up website designed for foreign customers. You would therefore localize your primary website’s content, get a local domain and use local keywords so that you optimize SEO.
If you do decide to translate,it might be tempting to use Google Translate or another other online translation tool. But these are far from ideal, as they usually result in a too-literal translation and can end up ruining your business in that foreign market. The best option available is using a professional translator from the foreign country you’re entering. Although it’s a lot more expensive than using online translators and dictionaries, it will allow you to avoid dialectical pitfalls and mistranslations.
You might think that translating your website isn’t worth the hassle as English is the dominant language of the Internet. Although that may be true, customers do tend to put more trust in websites in their own language, especially when making purchases. They also tend to search in their native language first to, even when looking internationally.
Perseverance is vital with any start-up. You’ll have to be prepared for things going wrong and falling into pitfalls. However, if you develop a good online strategy, making use of SEO, and do your research, you should be able to overcome any problems that arise. Try to keep your costs low, whenever possible, without compromising your business. The Internet is ideal for marketing and communication, so be sure to make use of its potential.
About the author:
Christian Arno is the founder of Lingo24, one of the world’s leading translation companies. Launched in 2001, Lingo24 has worked its way to becoming the web’s favorite translation company, working with more than four thousand translators and clients in over sixty countries. Follow Christian (@l24ca) and Lingo24 (@Lingo24) on Twitter.