Internet businesses have come to stay. According to a Hosting Facts report, there were over 3.26 billion internet users as of December 2015. This amounted to more than 40 percent of the world’s population. In addition, the report showed that digital interactions influenced retail sales to the tune of $2.2 trillion in 2015. Another mind-blowing statistic: There are currently over 966 million websites in the world today.
Related: Will Facebook Marketplace Be the Next Ecommerce Heavyweight?
I strongly believe that wherever internet traffic is, there are business opportunities there. But only businesspeople who are properly informed about the workings of the internet business cycle will benefit from these opportunities.
In short, while we may be in the “internet age,” quite a number of businesses still aren’t taking full advantage of its opportunities and aren't using the right strategies. Here are a few overlooked reasons businesses aren’t doing as well as they could.
1. You are not investing in online visibility.
When it comes to internet businesses, one major determining success factor which a lot of people take for granted is their online visibility.
In the words of Guy Sheetrit, CEO of Over The Top SEO, “To be visible online means that you are found when conversations that matter to your business or customers are taking place. It means you are doing your SEO right, and that your website pops up when people go online to search for solutions to their problems, whether it has to do with making purchases, doing research or getting entertained.”
Due to the competition, these goals are sometimes a herculean task considering the vast number sites competing for who gets seen and ranked on Google.
If you still have a new business, however, one extra way you can give your business that needed edge is by getting listed on web directories like DirJournal Local or Local Botw, depending on your niche and business needs. This will equally help put your business at the top of the list, and get you better visibility.
2. Your information is not as secure as you think.
With over 3.26 billion persons using the internet, attention to privacy and confidentiality becomes imperative. Running business transactions on a platform that lots of people have access to will do you little good in your fight against your competitors. If those competitors can access all the information you share with your customers, including the private kind, then you have a problem.
If you often work on your online business while in the office and have need of continuing when you get home, then you probably need to pay special attention to security. According to this VPN guide, using a VPN (virtual private network) isn’t just about privacy, it can help you prevent hacking, spamming, snooping by surveillance agencies and other cyber attacks.
Related: 5 Reasons Ecommerce Brands Should Leverage User-Generated Content
3. You are not maximizing the social media in your marketing campaigns.
The internet space is competitive. But you stand a good chance if your product is unique, and you know how to swing the social media to your favor. You see, it is not enough to have a good product. You must get the right people to see it. And since most of your prospective customers use these social media apps, you should too.
For instance, while speaking on the inbound marketing of mobile apps, the CEO of Boon Infotech, Kelvin Boon, said, "It is very surprising to see a company that doesn’t have their apps on Facebook and Twitter. When you regularly place well-timed tweets, talk about the product’s progress, elaborate on capabilities and features and also shed the light on exciting uses of the app on social media, you grow interest and teach people what may be expected from your app."
In other words, being active on social media helps keep your prospective customers interested and eager to check out your products.
What about taking an “in your face” approach to your business? Resources like Targeted Facebook ads are getting extremely popular and produce phenomenal results in the conversion to sales/patronage category and in demographic precision.
4. You are not sticking with what works.
Let's say that you are making a lot of sales via your Facebook ad campaigns, but you are not quite pulling in a crowd on Instagram. Nor is the blog on your website getting serious traffic. What do you do? Run more ads! Diversify your targets and encroach into new territories.
For instance, if your ads have worked well for hoodie sales when you targeted young Canadian males, then you might expand to young American males as well. The idea is to optimize what works for you and make sure you milk it. There is really no need in having a variety of efforts if you can optimize what is working. Sometimes you have to put all your eggs in one basket.
Related: 5 Basics to Success When Starting an Ecommerce Business
So, invest in content creation, structure your website for SEO, utilize the opportunities presented by the social media, use contests and giveaways, invest in email marketing and do whatever else you can think of. If you keep these tips in mind, you can expect to watch your internet business scale up the ladder.