Over 88 per cent of the Australian population are internet users, that’s over 20 million people relying on the web to communicate, research, shop and entertain themselves! On top of that, the effects of the pandemic have propelled activity online, where online retail spending increased a whopping 82 per cent across all categories.
In light of this, having an online presence is pretty much essential when you’re competing against hundreds if not thousands of other businesses vying for the same customer. So, here are five tips to help you stand out online so those seven seconds don’t go to waste.
1. Choose your target audience and speak their language
Even goods or services that have mass appeal speak to a particular personality. Have a think about who your ideal customer is. What do they like to do? What do they read? What do they value? What life stage or job would they be in? Translate these thoughts and feelings into images and words that will resonate with them. This is a major step to creating a successful website and will establish your brand voice and image with your ideal customers.
2. Design your website to what you’re offering
If you’re selling products – make sure you’re tuning into the finer details like the quality of photos of your products, the product descriptions, payment options and FAQs.
If you’re a service – your product is your service! Include information about your expertise, ways you can help and how to contact you. You can boost your business opportunities through gated content, where in exchange for contact information or a small payment, visitors can access a certain area or valuable piece of information, for example, hosting a membership online (hello iso yoga classes). You can also use appointment scheduling tools to empower the customer to book their own appointments and make the process of contacting you easy!
3. Invest in what you need
As much as we’d love to do everything, sometimes it’s best to leave it to the experts. There are many affordable freelance copywriters and photographers out there, and their help can transform your website. You can save money in areas like website building and hosting, where code-free all-in-one website platforms have templates already made for restaurants, retailers or services, and you simply just replace the copy and images!
4. Link your website to your social media
Social media is a powerful tool – you can instantly talk to your customers, share business updates and have the potential to reach millions of new people. By including your website links on your social media profiles as well as social media links on your website, it can help drive traffic to each source increasing your chances to be seen online. You can even automatically share your most recent blog to Facebook, or embed your live Instagram feed on your website!
5. Make sure you can be found!
Most, if not all Australian internet users use a search engine and studies have shown, over 90 per cent use Google. Google doesn’t require any special steps for your website to appear in their search results, but there are small steps you can take to optimise your website’s chances of being found faster through Search Engine Optimization (SEO). For example, if you’re a florist, when someone is searching “florist near me” your business appears as it closely matches their search terms.
There’re a lot of freelance SEO specialists if you need help, but website hosts have built-in guides to let you know how and where you can implement SEO across your website by following some simple steps.
Joanne Tapodi, Branding and Squarespace Expert