Online shopping was growing in popularity long before the pandemic hit, but lockdowns have triggered a surge in online sales and a shift towards ordering via websites and apps. If your business is struggling to attract attention, or sales have stalled during the Covid-19 crisis, here are some effective ploys you can utilise to make a splash online

Social media

Social media was once just a platform for keeping in touch with friends and relatives, but it has developed and evolved into a powerful marketing tool for businesses across many sectors. Social media apps not only enable companies and brands to promote and sell products and services, but they also provide incredible opportunities to connect with followers, to build a client base and to benefit from customer engagement and feedback. If you’re not already using social media, conduct research to establish how your target customer spends their time online and choose channels that are popular among relevant demographics. Create profiles, start building your following and use the content you share to forge relationships, to get to know your customers better and to tell them more about your brand. You can use photos, blogs, video clips, live stories and customer reviews to showcase your products, get your followers involved and enhance your brand image. It’s also a great idea to use social posts to spread the word about new products or promotions. Posts can go viral in an instant and users like to get involved in competitions and giveaways. 

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Search engine optimisation

Search engines are increasingly popular, with Google alone now processing more than 3 million searches per minute. As a business owner, you can capitalise on the power of search engines by optimising content to improve your search ranking. Over 75% of people won’t move past page 1 when they use a search engine, and this is why it’s so important to try and elevate your links to the top. You want your content to be visible if a web user types phrases or keywords that are linked to the products or services you offer. SEO is complex and if you don’t have expertise or experience in digital marketing, it’s beneficial to enlist professional help. Link building services are designed to enhance content and improve search ranking, driving traffic to your website. It’s also essential to understand the impact of using different types of content, for example, infographics, images and video clips, and to prioritise quality and originality. Content should be useful, informative and engaging. By outsourcing digital marketing or hiring agencies that have specific areas of expertise, you can improve results and create more high-quality leads.

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Reviews

Did you know that over 90% of web users read reviews before buying products? Reviews have never carried more weight, and this is why it’s critical for businesses to go all-out to impress customers and attract rave reviews. If your score is lower than you’d like, or you don’t currently have many reviews, there are ways to improve ratings. Encourage customers to leave feedback online after ordering, share reviews you have received via social media or your website and make it easy for previous clients to give you a rating. As well as offering incentives, for example, 10% off your next order or the chance to enter a competition if you leave a review, you could also provide links in delivery confirmation emails or send personalised emails after a customer has received the product. 

One of the most beneficial steps business owners can take to enhance their online presence and generate more sales is to utilise feedback. If you’re asking people to leave reviews or write comments, take the time to read and digest them and respond to followers and customers. Feedback can be incredibly useful, even if it’s negative. You can use comments to identify potential weaknesses and make changes that could prevent negative feedback in the future and increase your score. You might find that people are complaining about delivery charges, for example, or saying that they would like more information or images on product description pages. Consumers often add ideas and suggestions to their reviews, which can be helpful for business owners hoping to provide a better customer experience. You might consider adding a live chat feature, an FAQ section or an annual delivery pass for a set fee after reading comments, for example. 

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There has never been a better time for businesses to be proactive in attracting attention online. Screen time is increasing, people are more inclined to look for services and products and shop online and social media provides amazing opportunities to build connections and relationships. Take these tips on board to drive traffic, create and convert more leads and showcase your brand.