With more and more people in the world joining the online community, the Internet has opened up business opportunities like never before, with many people choosing to run their businesses online. Whether you sell party favors or offer professional services, the need for a physical office or retail outlet is becoming less important. But while having a .com business provides a wealth of cost-saving advantages and considerably fewer barriers to entry, it’s also made for an almost infinite amount of competition. So how do you manage your online business successfully?

 

Your Website is Your Business

A lot of people start their online businesses from their own living rooms or basements and, while it’s true that you can make significant savings on office rent and utilities and online staff from different countries offering cost-effective services; do remember that your website is your business. Your whole business. So it’s important not to cut costs when it comes to design, optimization, promotion, an SEO blog, and functionality.

 

Functionality Trumps Design

While a nice, clean design is important, remember that you can have all the award-winning concepts in the world, but if there are problems with your site speed, shopping cart, user friendliness, or security, then you may as well shut up shop. In an ideal world, your site will have an optimal design and flawless functionality, but if your budget is limited and you need to prioritize, then make sure that your contact forms, quote forms and payment methods all work perfectly or you’ll lose out on key business opportunities.

 

Good Content is Essential

Don’t underestimate the power of the written word, especially in today’s Google-dominated society. Once upon a time the trick of winning over everyone’s favorite search engine was by using keywords. But keyword stuffing (writing about your product six times in one sentence) is now frowned upon and can even get you penalized by Google so that your site won’t be listed. Get the advice of an experienced SEO company who are up-to-date on the constant changing Google requirements for increasing your SERP and online traffic.

Build Traffic

While on the subject of traffic, you need to be thinking about building up as much traffic to your site as possible. You can do this by creating a “Partners” or “Clients” page and interchanging links to and from your site. Write articles for guest blogs that link to your site, run online promotions, such as Facebook or Twitter ads, and spend out on Google AdWords. Try a combination of all these methods and see which works best for your business (and budget).

 

Optimize Your Online Marketing Spend

By doing a little research, ensuring that your site is looking good and reading well, and that all your forms and shopping carts are working, you’ll have the crucial elements in place for running your online business successfully. Chose the right SEO platform that can combine key elements such as on-page optimization, link building and online promotions, and slowly and surely you’ll see your customer base grow.

 

Michael Peggs is the founder of SEO agency Marccx Media, where they specialize in white hat link building, SEO and Content Marketing. Before Marcxx, Peggs worked at Google in business development, forming digital media and advertising partnerships. He is also a blogger and podcaster, hosting the iTunes Top 10 New & Noteworthy podcast You University – The Personal Branding Podcast.