You’ve got a business website, but how do you help potential customers find you online?
For an entrepreneur, side-hustler or small business owner, differentiating yourself from all the other similar businesses out there – or even finding your audience – can seem impossible. But your drive and tenacity got you this far. You can use it to your advantage online.
In this article, we let you in on a few tips and secrets on how to differentiate your online business from the rest.
Leverage your personal brand
There is no one out there like you and that’s one secret sauce that can’t be replicated. Don’t be afraid to be the face of your business. In a world where customers are always on the lookout for scams and phishing, knowing exactly who is behind a business or product is a breath of fresh air and gives your credibility and trustworthiness an instant boost.
Just remember to be authentic and transparent. Share your journey and your story on your website’s About page.
Have a clear brand identity
Your business’s branding (logos, colour scheme, fonts, etc.) should be universal. Your brand identity should be the same on your website, social media channels, business cards, and email signature.
Even your website’s domain name should be linked to your business name and brand. You want your business to be instantly recognisable.
Search for your perfect domain name here.
Master social media
Social media is one of the biggest and most effective ways to market your business – but you have to do some research.
Do some digging around which social media channels your potential customers prefer, and look at their follower lists. Specifically, look for popular content creators and influencers who operate in your field.
Around 66% of social media users are more likely to trust a brand reviewed or endorsed by content creators they follow on social media. If your budget allows, reach out to a few about a potential collaboration.
You can also follow their lead and share funny, educational or topical content relevant to your audience. And don’t forget to engage with your followers! Respond to comments, like their posts, and hold contests and giveaways – show your audience it’s not just a one-sided channel and there are advantages to following you.
Set out to wow customers
A positive experience is a great way to set your business apart from the competition. This can range from how your customers experience your website, to how you handle support and queries.
Make sure your website is easy to use and navigate, and features a few hidden treasures that will delight your customers. These can include:
- Beautiful photography that tells your story or shows your product in the best light
- Blog content like articles, recipes, helpful tips and advice, or even thought pieces written by you
- Educational or how-to videos
- Infographics or interactive media
- Simple ways to get in touch with you
Add a personalised touch where you can to help customers feel special.
Be the next best thing
Your value proposition – your product or service, is one of the main factors that sets you apart. Does your product or service fill the gap for what’s missing in your customers’ lives or solve a problem for them? Is it cheaper or more accessible than what’s in the market? Don’t be shy. Make this clear on your website’s Home page and wherever you describe what and why you do what you do. What extra value do you provide for customers? Don’t wait for them to find out – tell them! Just remember to be authentic and don’t make promises you can’t keep.
Use your website to increase traffic
Attracting organic traffic (visitors who arrive at your website through unpaid, natural, and non-advertising means) is dependent on several factors including your website’s performance, how often you post content, and how many other websites are linking to yours. Your Google ranking is another big contributing factor.
Here are some tips for building a strong online presence so Google gives your website a great ranking:
- Learn the basics of Search Engine Optimisation
- Add your business on Google My Business and other listing sites
- Post regular blogs and articles that build your authority on a subject
- If you’re using WordPress, install a plugin like Yoast to help optimise your content
- Ensure your site is working optimally by doing a Website Health Check
Remember that you are not on this journey alone. Ask for advice, reach out to your network and keep learning as you go. The more you adapt, adopt and improve, the more benefits you will see in the long term.
Want to read more website tips? Here are 5 website trends every SME should know.