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Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

The world of opportunity has erupted with the growth and evolution of online and digital. In the last decade, it has become easier and easier for people to see their dreams become a reality with the savvy use of the internet.

eCommerce has become a thriving industry, with eCommerce research showing that a whopping 13.7% of all retail sales taking place online. Globally, there are 1.92 billion online shoppers waiting to be tapped into. Online has made it easy for stores to reach out to these customers, even if they are based on a totally different continent. With savvy targeted marketing and global shipping, the world is essentially your oyster!

The market is being introduced to new tools and solutions every day to make it easier to reach and engage customers. Statistics show that with the continual growth of these solutions,, by 2040, 95% of purchases will take place online.

So, what do you need to do to hop on this gravy train? We took a look at the key elements you need to get your online store up and running today.

Create a Catchy Brand Name

It’s all in a name. Making sure that you have a name that really amplifies your brand is vital. You need to make sure that you choose something that describes what your brand is about in one or two words.

It needs to be catchy and memorable, but it needs to also stick with a customer who will need to search it if they are looking for your site. Make sure therefore that you do careful research into the keywords associated with your brand and choose something that integrates these into your name. There are a number of website name online tools that you can use to create a great name!

Have a Business Plan

This may seem like an obvious point, but many people kick off their business, especially an online business to just see how it goes. This is a huge mistake. Your key business strategy needs to be mapped out before you even get started with creating a site. Keep in mind that you need to be realistic with your goals, so set smart business goals that are achievable, yet challenge you to work hard at them. You need to plan your weekly, monthly, six month, annual and five year goals.

Spend time creating a business plan, exploring every point of the business, and keep going back to it to update it with your learnings. Having a business plan at hand also makes it easier to go to investors, partners and affiliates once you start growing.

Know Your Way Around SEO

This point is vital and will be your vital learning curve when you start your business. You need to ensure that your site can easily be found. If your site is showing up on the second page of Google, you are essentially invisible. Decide whether you are creating or buying a website, as both will determine how much work you will need to do to have a ranking from the outset.

Spend time on your content that appears on your site and understanding the keywords that need to be included for you to show up in search. Google scrapes your content and ranks you according to how many times words show up on your site, so if you are selling pet products, you need to know all of the affiliated words that people search for to be picked up when they type it in. Make use of keyword rank checkers to see what is essential to add in to your site!

Merge Your Content and Social Media Strategy

Content is vital for SEO and social is vital for marketing. But a savvy online entrepreneur knows this is one in the same. Content is the key ingredient in online marketing, and you need to ensure that you are adding content to your brand on a daily basis.

Work out a content and social strategy from the get go. Plan the year ahead taking into consideration seasonality, holidays and any relevant days that you can make use of. Create blogs, images and video content that you can post on your site, share to social like Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter, and that can go to affiliates. Remember, the more it gets posted, the more exposure you get!

Focus on Conversion

It’s all good and well attracting customers to your site, but if you are not converting them to leads and paying customers, you are simply wasting your time! Conversion rates increase with the addition of several elements on your site.

  • Forms
    Forms like subscription boxes, surveys and competition boxes allow you to gain valuable information from your visitors so that you can convert them to customers with some savvy marketing.
  • CTA’s
    Call to actions are vital on a website to attract your visitor to convert to being interactive with your brand. You need to make sure that your CTA’s are eye catching, and are convincing enough that people click on it to be taken to the next stage of the sales funnel.
  • Floating bars and banners
    Whether you be advertising a product or encouraging a visitor to sign up for the newsletter, floating bars and banners are vital. There is a fine line between them being annoying and effective. Banners like this can increase your conversion rate immensely however, so do some research into what works!

Wrapping Up

Before getting started on your new online success, you need to do some thorough research. Find out what your best options are and what tools to use to make your process more streamlined. Make use of YouTube tutorials to figure out the more complex aspects of digital marketing, and read as much as you can. When everything is up and running, don’t stop learning. Don’t become complacent. Things change all the time and you need to keep yourself ahead of competition.

The only way you can do this is by learning and testing all the time. Make sure you test out new functions and don’t be afraid to change or try something new. You never know, there could be something cheaper, more effective or simpler just around the corner to make your life easier!