Ready to grow your online business? Are you looking to grow your online business and not have enough money to spend to promote. If you are just starting a business, then you cannot afford to waste money. In this article, we will share practical advice on how to grow your business with a small budget. Our goal is to help you compete with the greats without spending a fortune
1. Choose the right platform for your website
The biggest mistake as a small business is you can choose the wrong platform to build your website. A wrong platform will not only give you more money, but it will also limit the growth potential of your business.
We recommend using WordPress. It is the most popular website builder in the market and has a power of over 31% of all websites (including both small and large businesses).
When we say WordPress, we are talking about WordPress.org and not WordPress.com. They are two different platforms, see our article on the difference between WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org for more details.
To start a self-hosted WordPress website, you will need a domain name and a web hosting account. Yes, they are different. Want to learn more? See our description: What is the difference between domain name vs web hosting.
Different hosting companies offer different plans for small to large websites. This ultimately affects the cost of your website.
If you are just starting out, we recommend that you use Bluehost. They are one of the largest hosting companies in the world and are the officially recommended WordPress hosting providers.
Fortunately, they are offering free domain names and discounts on hosting to WPBeginner users. Basically, you will be able to get started for $ 2.75 per month.
1.1. Hosting plane
As your business grows, you will need more hosting resources. Hopefully, by that time you will be earning enough money to justify the upgrade.
Once you have a little more money to spend, you can choose a managed WordPress hosting provider like WP Engine or vapourHost.
2. Be Mobile-Friendly
Today everyone needs to have a mobile-friendly website. More than 54% of people browsing the Internet are doing so with smartphones and tablets. If your site is not responsive or has a mobile version, you can isolate more than half of your consumers.
Being mobile-friendly, the website includes a number of adjustments.
No Flash Video: Most mobile devices do not work well with Flash.
Optimized Images: Rendering graphics takes bandwidth and time. Always use the right sizes for your site.
Tappable elements: Text links are often too short for the thumb. Use large buttons that are easy to touch or click.
Easy Navigation: Do not complete the navigation menu. If it fills the smartphone’s screen, it often appears heavy.
Easy functionality: Visitors should be able to easily manage the site with a 3-inch screen.
Some aspects of being mobile-friendly do not require a monetary investment. Things like modifying images to fit, redesigning the menu bar and more can easily be done by yourself.
In fact, WordPress already uses systems like hosting for you. It is already mobile responsive without making adjustments.
An easy way to get an idea of how your site looks on a mobile device is to shrink your computer’s web browser. By adjusting its height and width on your screen, you can know what people see when viewing your webpages.
3. Integrate Social Media
One of the beautiful things about social media is how effective it is without actually spending money. It is free to create a profile on most platforms and can easily place the business in front of thousands of potential consumers.
However, this is not enough for only Facebook or Twitter profiles. You can’t just put up a business page and hope that people complete it. You must be a part of the premise behind the idea: being social.
3.1. Add daily posts
The number of times you post content on social media varies for businesses. While some find it successful to do five or more, others do well with just one. The point needs to be proactive if you want to get the attention of your target audience.
3.2. Images matter
When posting content on social media, use images or videos. Graphics engage users much more than simple text. For example, posts with images on LinkedIn receive 200% more of the engagement rate than regular text. On Twitter, the video is retweeted 6 times more often than ordinary photos.
Just don’t share random pieces of information. Your audience will want to read the content posted. This includes sharing any website you find online, retweeting relevant accounts in Twitter, or perhaps commenting on someone’s post. Keep it all centered around your industry and niche.
Almost every website has social sharing buttons on its content. Don’t forget to associate it with your store’s items or service offerings. You never know who is viewing your pages and can share your stuff with your followers.
3.5. Get More Organic Traffic From Search Engines
Search engines like Google are the major source of traffic for most websites on the Internet. By learning basic SEO you can do many things to optimize your website.
SEO or search engine optimization is a set of guidelines and techniques that make your website more search engine friendly. It is not very technical and you will be able to do it on your own.
We have published the complete step by step WordPress SEO guide for beginners. We will walk you through the entire process of making your website SEO friendly.
To get traffic from search engines you will need content, which leads us to the next step of this guide.
4. Focus On Your Target Audience
Focus the business on your particular audience. The more you organize content, products, and services, the higher the quality of your visitors. This means that you will target the people who are most likely to spend money with your business.
For example, if you sell kitchen equipment, you may not want to create a guest blog post on a website that centers around lawn care products. Any marketing you do is relevant to what you provide.
The target audience will influence everything from the type of content you create to the brands of products you create. This is the key element you need to discover if you want the best chances of success.
One mistake a lot of new businesses make is trying to target “everyone”. This often leads to a difficult marketing strategy and winds up being expensive in the long run. Keep your focus on the people who are going to directly benefit from the business.
Later, when you are ready to invest money in advertisements, knowing that your audience is going to save you a lot of money. Instead of showing ads to someone, you can tune them to only show them to the people who will likely shop.
If you are unsure who your target market is, check out free tools like Google Analytics. By visiting the activity data of your website, you can find out who likes when they come into your business. Many eCommerce platforms also come with a version of this tool.
Another good way to give scope to your potential buyers is to take a look at your direct competition. How is their content set? Is it working well for them? Answer these questions and improve your site.
5. Be an Active Participant in the Online Community
Online communities include forums and question-answer websites. These are places where people post their questions, socialize, find content, and explore. Top communities on the Internet include Reddit, Stack Exchange, Quora, TripAdvisor, and more.
These communities give you access to people interested in topics related to your industry. You can join them for free and invest your time in the construction authority.
First of all, you need to find out which communities are more relevant to your business and your potential customers can go in search of answers or content. For example, if you run a travel website, you may find TripAdvisor more helpful than other communities.
Do not spam these forums with a link to your website in every post. Build authority by participating with supporting content, and by referring to your business or website when appropriate.
6. Start an Affiliate Partner Program
Affiliate marketing is a referral arrangement in which an online retailer (advertiser) pays a commission to referral when users purchase the product using their referral link.
If you sell products online, you can use affiliate marketing to partner with skilled affiliate marketers. You will pay a sales commission to these marketers to promote your products and bring you sales.
You will need an affiliate management system to track referral activity and pay your affiliate partners. Here is our list of the best affiliate management and tracking software that you can use.
You can also promote other people’s products or services to earn extra money from your content. See our affiliate marketing guide for tips and tools you will need to get started.
7. Utilize Pay-Per-Click Advertising
Contrary to popular belief, you can run a pay-per-click advertising campaign on a small budget. With programs like Google AdWords and Facebook Advertising, you can set your pricing, target keywords, audience, and more.
In fact, Google AdWords also offers free advertising credits to new advertisers. Bluehost, a trusted WordPress hosting company, also offers Google AdWords credits for free with their hosting plans.
You can use these credits to experiment with PPC advertising and get some paid traffic to your website for free.
8. Take Advantage of Free Marketing Tools
The internet is full of free marketing tools to design social media graphics full of email marketing campaigns. While it may take a little effort to find the tools that work best for you, the end result is a far more streamlined system.
Let’s say you want to publish a post for a business on your Twitter, Facebook and Google+ accounts. Instead of visiting each of these, which is time-consuming, you can use free tools like Buffer and share the post with all three.
In fact, there are many social media marketing tools that you can start using right now to promote your business. While some may have a monthly subscription fee, many will have free or trial versions that you can check immediately.
If you do not have your business listed in Google, then you are missing out. Due to how local searches are conducted on search engines today, people in your area may not see your business listed in the results page.
One of the first things you should do right now is Google My Business. This is a free platform rich in data to make sure your local customers know where your store is located.
Although you can get more out of certain marketing tools by paying for premium service, sometimes the free version is all you need. The point is that you need to push the limits of these free tools.
9.Deliver High-Quality Content
Creating high-quality content is important whether it is a company blog or a product description. It entices the audience and gives them what they need: information.
This information needs to be distributed in a way that keeps readers engaged. Avoiding text blocks, separating dots with headers and keeping the language easy to absorb is only the beginning.
Another important aspect of keeping the content in mind is the factual one. Always base your content on evidence that you can collaborate with other sources. When we live in an era where “fake news” is often spruced up, you want to make sure that your business is seen as a legitimate source.
In other words, you want your company to be seen as an official one. The authority works to improve brand reputation as well as search engine rankings.
High-quality content also includes other elements outside the text. While content is and always will be king, the distribution of that information is very important.
9.1. Site speed
53% of people on mobile devices leave a site that takes more than three seconds to load. This means that the site needs to be optimized for speed. If you use platforms like WordPress, you have a wide range of tools to improve the performance of your website.
9.2. design layout
If the layout is poor then more than one-third of visitors will leave the site. Color choices, graphics, and even the overall layout of the site’s functions can cause problems for some users. You need to give a good visual and functional experience to everyone visiting the website.
9.3. Avoid sparkle
Do not try too hard to achieve a certain word count. This often leads to what is known as “fluff”, it is the content within an article that has no purpose other than to pull out how many words are on the web page. This can confuse your readers as well as search engine bots for optimization.
10. Network with Complementary Businesses
A major use of their time and effort is for the network. Building a symbiotic relationship with another business can yield outstanding rewards. One of which is getting your brand in front of consumers who might not know it exists yet.
Networking takes nothing but the effort from your side. This includes access to other businesses or individuals who are in your industry but are not competing for similar buyers. In fact, many large corporations simply join forces to expand their reach.
For example, look at most non-proprietary smartphone manufacturers. Samsung partners with Google to make Android phones. This gives Samsung an operating system while running the software. Both companies benefit from each sale.
Google reaches Samsung fans and Samsung reaches Google fans. This is a win for both brands.
Even the smallest businesses can network together to expand their reach. It does not have to be included or huge like Samsung and Google. If two companies can benefit each other, a network offering is ideal for all parties.
Proper networking requires some kind of common niche or logical connection. After all, you will not see Tide Network, a laundry detergent brand with Hillshire Farms, famous for its smoked meat and cheese.