How to promote your online business

target your customers

Whether you’re new to the online business space or have an established online store, there’s always more you can do to promote your business. You don’t need to spend lots of money on promoting your business to see positive results either.

Some of the benefits of promoting your business online include helping more potential customers find your business (also known as brand awareness), increasing sales through online channels, and encouraging stronger relationships with your existing customers to ensure they’ll come back again and again.

Here are three ways you can start promoting your business to see an increase in brand awareness, sales and customer retention.

Get your business in front of the right people & increase traffic to your website

Getting your brand name out there is key to getting more visitors to your website and also for making more sales. Unless people already know your business name, they’ll more than likely be searching for goods or services using a search engine. Making sure your business appears in the top searches in search engines is vital in directing potential customers to your site. 

There are a few key ways to ensure your business gets to the front page of relevant search results and stays there.

The above is a breakdown of the different kinds of search results your business could appear for on Google. First is PPC or pay per click, some places might refer to this is CPC or cost per click. These are ads a business has set up in order to appear first in the search results. Next comes Google maps results and finally organic search results. We’ll break down how you can appear in each of these sections below.

First we’ll look at keywords, which are an important part of getting your online store appearing in relevant online searches in all three sections. Potential customers will search online via Google or other search platforms for keywords that relate to the goods and services they are looking for. You want those same keywords to be on your website so the search engine can match them and recognise that your online store is a relevant option for their search.

You’ll notice in the first search result, the exact words ‘plumber near me’ appears in the description of the website under the link, (this is called the meta description). The third search result also includes the words ‘plumber near’. The search engine (Google), having determined the searcher’s general location using location settings, has then matched plumbing businesses in the area and shown the results they think match the search query the best.

But how do you know what words your potential customers will be searching for? Working out which keywords you want to be ranking highly for is the first step in what’s known as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

Tools like Moz’s Keyword Explorer and Google Ads Keyword Planner can help you identify which keywords are searched for regularly so you can include them on your website. These are paid tools, but Wordstream is a free tool which can perform much of the same functionality.

Below is a Wordstream search result for the keywords ‘local plumber’ with the location setting of Queensland, Australia.

In the above screenshot you can see the different keywords that relate to your entered keywords and the search volumes for each keyword (how many people have searched these words in a month in a search engine). Also shown is the CPC, which is short for cost per click, which means the amount a business pays per click for their business to appear as an ad in search results. We’ll go into this further in a bit. The last section shown is competition, which will give you an indication of how hard it is to rank for the particular search term. If the competition is high, it means a lot of other businesses are already appearing for these particular search terms. Therefore, a good strategy might be to try to use keywords that still have decent search volume but are ranked as low on the competition section, you might get less people searching for these keywords, but you’re more likely to appear higher in the search results.

If you are interested in CPC ads, it’s important to work out a plan in advance. Once you’ve worked out what keywords you want to use in your ads, you need to work out your budget. Using the above example you can work out how much one click on your ad will cost. If you wanted to pay for the keyword ‘plumber’ you would need to pay $10.34 for every click on your ad. If you consider that 5,400 people are searching for this every month, if you wanted all 5,400 to click on your ad you would need to budget for a maximum of $55,836, which is a staggering amount. On the other hand, if you wanted to pay for the keywords ‘master plumber’, you would pay $1.65 per click. With a search volume of 210 a month, the maximum you could pay is $346.50. Setting a budget spend in advance will limit your spend to a designated amount.

If you’re looking to attract more local business to your store, you can appear as local results on Google maps, so make sure your name, address and phone number appears on your website. Including it on the bottom of each page and on a contact us page is the best way to show up in map results.

How social media marketing can increase your brand awareness

A lot of your potential customers probably spend time on various social media platforms which means this can be another avenue to reach out to them. A study by Globalwebindex found that 54% of social browsers use social media to research products. Creating content for your social media is the best way to attract their attention and can be used to increase awareness of your brand among potential customers.

Two of the most popular platforms your customers might be active on include Facebook and Instagram. The kinds of content you should be creating depends on the social media platform you’ll be posting to.

  • If you sell goods or services that can be visually represented easily, Instagram is a great platform to share photos and videos of your products.
  • Have a business update or announcing new products or sales? Facebook is a great platform to promote and communicate any news with your customers.

You also have the option to create social media ads to promote your goods and services. If you’re active on Facebook or Instagram you’ll be familiar with sponsored or paid ads appearing in your feed. You’ll be able to enter in some filters such as location, age, interests and occupation to make sure your paid content appears in the feed of people you think will be more likely to purchase your goods and services.

Don’t be afraid to interact with your customers on social media either. Responding to comments, following other accounts and reacting to other posts is a great way to show that you’re active and approachable as a representative of your business.

Another tip is to make sure your customers and fans know you’re on social media. Place links on your online store to your social media accounts so they don’t have to search for your social accounts on their own.

Make email marketing work for your business

No one likes to be bombarded with constant emails from companies, but sometimes reaching out to your customer base is both appropriate and rewarding. If you’re having a sale or your business is undergoing some changes, emailing your customers can be the best way to let them know.

Getting your customers details to contact them can be a bit challenging. One way to capture your prospective customer’s email address is by creating interesting and relevant gated content. By asking them to download your content by entering their contact information, you can capture their emails to use for further promotional purposes at a later stage.

Some examples of gated content you could create include guides you might be an expert on. Using the plumber example, you might create a guide about maintaining your taps, showers and toilets. Or a breakdown of how plumbing works and why it’s important to not do DIY plumbing and to trust professionals with your plumbing needs (aka you!).

If someone has bought from your online store before, you should have captured their email address to confirm their purchase. Reaching out to customers who have bought from you before to let them know if you’re having a sale is a great way to encourage return customers.

Now you’ve promoted your online store, it’s time to get them engaged with your website! For our top seven tips for improving engagement on your website, see our article here.

If you need help with your eCommerce, eWAY offers an easy to use, frictionless, payment gateway, or a complete all-in-one payments solution. To speak with one of our payment experts call us on 1800 662 483 or enquire here.