We live in a world that is changing by the minute and, in order to keep track of everything, we live fast. We strive to keep up the pace; we strive to do our jobs as best as we can and at the end of the day, we can only hope that it was enough to get by. When it comes to business, one must always be up and running. Each and every workday has to be well organized. Furthermore, in the 21st century, you have to run a business on two fronts – offline and online.
The offline world is tricky. A lot of variables are included in the equation. Where will your office be? How will you treat your customers? How will you organize your staff? – As you can see, a there are tons of things to consider. Unfortunately, the online world is no walk in the park either. Giving the fact that there are tons upon tons of websites out there, chances are that not many people will get to even find your site, unless you are maintaining and promoting it right.
If you already have a website and it is not bringing you much profit, you should give some of these articles a shot:
Some of the articles above have a long comment section below the article itself. You should go through these comments, as they are also chock full of useful advice, tips and strategies to have a successful e-commerce website.
Considering you don’t have a website, you are most probably at a loss. If you have been reading about E-commerce websites, the one thing that must have caught your eye is the fact that creating, launching, moderating and bringing one site to its functional state takes time. But you don’t have the time – you need a fast and effective solution, as mentioned above. Thankfully, there is a way. If you go through the text below, you will get acquainted with some steps you can take in order to build your site from scratch.
It is possible to build an online presence prior to creating a site – furthermore, it is advisory. You should create a page or an account on some of the many social media websites. For an example, we’ll take Facebook, since it is probably the most popular social media forum (but Google+ is on the rise and you should keep that in mind). You create a group or a like page and you invite people to join/like. You already have an existing clientele with which you are in contact (at least I hope you do) and you should indulge them to visit your page, like, click and comment.
If you supply your subscribers with interesting content on a regular basis, then you can use the reach you gained to promote your site before it is up and running. That way, when you do launch your site, it will have an instant audience, which is very important.
There are ways to boost your reach on social media networks. Some of them cost money and others are free. You should go through at least some of the following articles in order to gain a bit of knowledge related to the matter:
7 Simple Yet Effective Social Media Tactics You Should Leverage Today
3 Simple Tips for a Successful B2B Social Media Marketing Campaign
Design and development
These are the first two things every online project needs. However, creating an entire website takes a team of programmers to work around the clock for a month and then, when everything is finished, it still takes time to work out all the bugs and the whole venture can turn into a bit of a drag. If you want a fast way out, you should consider creating a site on WordPress – the biggest CMS (content management system) around. If you are new to WordPress, get acquainted with it by following some of the links below:
One of the best advantages of this CMS is the fact that you don’t have to be a programming wiz if you want to find your way around it. The process of creating a site like this is:
You find yourself a nice WordPress theme;
You upload your content (texts, logos, images, videos);
You place your content on the adequate positions;
You test it a couple of times and make a few modifications;
You might be thinking that it cannot be as easy as it sounds and you are probably right. There are problems that can occur while you are doing the job, but you should keep your hopes up. Whatever happens, you can always ask Google for a solution and one will surely present itself. The WordPress community is constantly striving to improve and people have posted all sorts of useful tips online.
The most popular market for WordPress themes is the Envato market. Check out themeforest.net, if you wish to purchase one. If not, you can most certainly find a free one here. However, if you chose to purchase, you will also get customer service – if you get stuck, the team that developed the theme you purchased will surely tend to your needs via email.
Keep in mind that not every theme comes packed everything you need. For instance, you might need an image slider and the theme you got doesn’t have one. This is where WordPress plug-ins come into play. A lot of enthusiastic developers have shared their work online and it won’t be hard to find just the plug-in you need. The Envato market covers these grounds as well and you can start searching for them on codecanyon.net.
The main thing you should keep in mind when working on your website is coherence. Everything has to be logical – meaning, everything has to be user-friendly and not at all confusing. People are searching for stuff on the go, and if your site is not comprehensible, or if it has problems, the viewer will not be patient – he or she will move to another site.
A very important thing you need to worry about is responsiveness. Every website has to be accessible via a variety of devices – desktops, laptops, Android and Apple phones and tablets and so on. Make sure you do your research related to this issue. Here is something to start with:
The Importance of Responsive Web Design for Small and Medium Businesses
Domain name and hosting
When all the content is secure, you have to register for a domain name. The fact that the net is flooded with websites can be an issue here – your preferred domain name is likely to be taken. In such an event, you should explore your possibilities. If there is a way, alter your initial idea a bit. For instance, if yourprefereddomainname.com is taken, explore the option for .net, .org or something else. Also, you can try adding the word “website” or “online” so that your domain looks something like this: yourprefereddomainnameonline.com. You can also try adding an underscore so that your domain looks like this: your_prefered_domain_name.com. As I said, explore your option. The key here is not to change what you wanted a lot. Your website’s homepage link has to correspond with the name of your business. If it doesn’t, tons of problems can occur, so be sure that you take this into account.
Here are some sources for further reading, related to this issue:
- Never Underestimate the Importance of a Good Domain Name
When it comes to hosting, you should know that without proper hosting, everything you did on your site will be for nothing. Your web host is the one that launches your site on the web. I will try and explain some things related to this.
When launching a site, each and every piece of information is uploaded to a server computer, which is used to store this information and then share it with the web. It is important that this machine is stable and that it gets the job done. Hosting companies do this job in two ways – they use one server to host numerous websites or they use a separate machine for each site.
As you may have deduced, you should go for the latter option. Shared hosting servers tend to get overloaded with info and then, they start to slack. The result of this might be some temporary malfunctions, or, in the worst case scenario, the system falls along with all the websites that were hosted on it. With dedicated hosting, the chances for such a thing happening are very, very low, since each and every server is strong enough to endure one website and its content. This is a fact.
Here are some useful articles that will explain the story further:
Key Differences Between Shared Hosting and Dedicated Hosting
When all the above is moved to the checklist, there are only a couple of things left to do. At this point your site is just one of the many that are trying to get noticed. Even assuming your social media campaign went as planned, the job is not done yet. You have to let search engines know that your site is there when people are looking for it. Here is where you should look into Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM), although these two things are pretty interrelated. You see, there are tons of communities on the web and each one has a set of blogs where people constantly go to and check for updates related to a certain niche. It is your job to find these blogs, contact their editors and request to post some interesting articles related to what you are doing on them. Somewhere in these articles, you should mention that you are also a businessman who has a website and you should leave a link that will lead the reader to a page on your site. This will bring you traffic and, consequently, a lot of satisfied customers.
Marketing related to the online world is tricky business. You should go through some of the articles below in order to see what I mean:
That’s it for now. With the text above, you can get a clear picture about what one should do in order to create an online presence. This is (probably) the fastest solution. You might think that it is not that fast, but any other option will take even more. A WordPress theme, some content, hosting and promotion – these are the four essential steps. If you are lucky, within a month you will start to notice that sales are going up. When this happens, do not stop doing what you are doing – go for more. Add more people to your online circles and build a community of satisfied customers.
If you are unlucky – if your site is just sitting there and doing nothing, you should consider outsourcing this part of your business to someone skilled and experienced.
All in all, I hope that this article gave you what you were looking for. I advise you not to stop here – you should indulge in even further reading. There is tons of useful information just waiting to be found. Explore the possibilities for your business growth and – good luck!