Grovers in the Know: Promoting your business online

Figuring out how to identify your online goals for your business is an important feature for success. These should be similar to your normal, everyday business goals, but there will be some specifics that you should think about when it comes to selling and promoting your business online.

Here are some questions you should ask yourself.

First of all, it’s important to decide what your goals with your online presence should be. How far along in the process are you already? Do you currently have a website, but it just needs a little love and attention? Does it need to be updated to be device responsive in an increasingly mobile world? Is it to sell a product or service online? Or are you trying to promote your brand or location awareness?

If you are trying to market your product or services online, first you need to determine what area you are willing to sell to. Are people going to have to come to you to pick things up, or are you going to ship the items to them? How far away are you willing to ship things to? Is your product perishable or not able to be shipped overseas?

You can put your product up on other already established retail sites, like Amazon, Ebay, or Etsy, but then they are going to get a portion of the profits before you are.

Shipping requirements might make it so you have to overprice your product to make a profit. This alone might make things prohibitive in selling on an online marketplace.

There are often limitations on what you can sell via each platform according to their rules as well. You might be able to quickly get your product to market and available to consumers, but you may not make as much from it as you could selling it directly.

Promoting your business through brand or location awareness takes advantage of a different set of tools available to most everyone with the time and inclination to use them.

Great examples of these tools are Google My Business (Now rebranded as Google Business Manager), Online Directory Listings (Yelp, FourSquare, etc.), or specific encoding on your website itself (NAP/Business Schema) to help send you more location specific searchers.

You could also include specific landing pages or form submissions on your website for each promotion to be able to further track data and which promotions are doing well, and which ones aren’t.

While many of these things can be done directly by you, it sometimes makes more sense to devote your time towards your business and reach out to a professional that specializes in the skills involved with all these things.

Melanie Wilson and Brian Brown represent web design and hosting company Roost Web Strategies.