Improvement really boils down to your willingness to change. You need to be able to look at your online business as objectively as possible, see where you can improve, then make those changes. 

These are some key parts of your small online business to look at if you’re trying to improve:

  • Website traffic
  • Customer experience
  • Search engine optimisation (SEO)
  • CMS software
  • Landing pages
  • Online checkout

For more information about website design in general, try reading, “What makes a good website?

Website traffic

Market research is the key to improvement. You can analyse the behaviour of your website traffic to see how people find your online business, and how they behave once they’ve found you. 

For example, you might find that your online store is receiving a lot of traffic via your Instagram. That probably means you’re doing something right on your Instagram account, something that you should try to do more elsewhere. 

The other ways you can measure your website traffic are:

  • New vs returning traffic.
  • Number of sessions.
  • Length of sessions.
  • Pageviews.

Each of these metrics will tell you something different about the way people are interacting with your online business. For more information about web traffic and what it means, check out our article, “How to measure the success of a marketing campaign.”

Customer experience

Customers are more likely to use your online business if the website is well-made, easy to use, and aesthetically pleasing. All these things contribute to the customer experience. 

A few must-haves for any online store include:

  • A search bar.
  • Good looking product photos.
  • Clear pricing.
  • Contact information.
  • Customer assistance, either through phone, email, online chat, or FAQs. 

Also, though it may cost a little more, you should try to optimise your website so it runs smoothly on mobile devices and tablets. 

Search engine optimization (SEO)

SEO involves a number of strategies to help your online business appear higher on search engine rankings. 

For example, when you Google search for “accountants”, Google’s AI will search the web for any content related to accountants, ranking it from most to least relevant. 

These are some of the big factors that can affect your search engine rankings::

  • Sitemapping: The way Google reads the information on your website.
  • Authority: How credible your site is. Authority is based on factual information, reviews, web traffic, and links to other reputable websites. 
  • Backlinks: Links that take you to other relevant content on your website.
  • Date: Google will rank newer content over older content, particularly when it comes to facts and studies. 
  • Content: Sites that frequently produce content like blog posts and articles will have better authority on search engine rankings. 

These are just the basics, but there’s a lot more to SEO strategy. If you’d like to read more about it, try out this article, “The beginner’s guide to small business SEO”.

CMS software

How often have you been put off by an online business because it looks a bit dodgy or it’s frustrating to navigate? Choosing the right CMS (content management system) software can have a huge impact on your online store’s performance. 

These are some of the main things to think about when choosing a CMS software:

  • Does it work across different devices?
  • Does it charge you transaction fees?
  • Is it self-hosted?
  • Will it easily scale up with increased traffic?
  • Does it integrate well with other platforms?
  • Can it be customised, updated, and maintained easily?
  • Does it accept different payment methods?

There are a lot of options out there that are suitable for different business needs, so take your time and do your research. You can start by reading our article, ”What is the best website builder for a small business?

Ditch unnecessary landing pages

You should definitely have links to your online business in your other marketing material, like your emails and social media posts. But some businesses don’t think much about where exactly that link takes you. 

Have you ever clicked on a link for a specific product, but then you’re brought to the website’s home page? Then, if you want to find that product, you’ll have to search the entire website. That’s often enough to put some people off entirely.

To stop this from happening, make sure your links direct people to the thing they’re advertising. If it’s a link underneath a specific product, the link should lead to that product. If the link is under an article you’ve written, make sure that link leads to the article. 

Online checkout

The checkout is the final part of the customer journey, so make it as smooth as possible. A clunky checkout process is enough to dissuade customers from returning, or it may even stop their purchase completely. 

These are a few essentials for a smooth checkout:

  • Have a guest checkout for people who don’t want to make an account. 
  • Break up the customer information sections into small chunks. This will prevent people from getting overwhelmed. 
  • Don’t use strange language and symbols. Stick to things everybody will recognise like a shopping cart icon and a nice clear “buy” button. 
  • Allow as many different payment methods as possible. This is something you’ll need to check when choosing a CMS software. 

Improve your financial management 

Improving your online business will take some time, research, and gradual changes. On the other hand, improving the way you manage your business finances is quick and easy with Countingup. 

Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. With features like automatic expense categorisation, invoicing on the go, receipt capture tools, tax estimates, and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are. 

You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward! 

Find out more here.

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