When it comes to running an online business, what goes on behind the scenes on your website’s back-end can be just as important as the part of your website your customer sees. Your site’s digital assets are what will streamline the site-building, marketing and sales experience for yourself and your customers, and when implemented correctly can turn your online business into a winning site. Below we’ve gone over seven important digital assets that every online business should implement.
Password Management Software
Running an online business often requires multiple management accounts throughout a variety of websites. You need an account for your hosting, your payment processing and your email and social media marketing just for starters. Each of these accounts needs a username and a strong password, and it’s never a good idea to reuse passwords across multiple sites in case one of them is hacked and your information is compromised.
With everything else that running a small business requires, how are you supposed to keep up with all this information? That’s where password managers come in. This secure software keeps track of your login information for you, safe and secure behind military-grade encryption. Not only that, they help you create ultra-safe, unhackable passwords. If you haven’t done so already, setting up a password manager for your business can help keep it secure.
Virtual Private Networks
With information leaks and hacks becoming so commonplace, it’s crucial to have a way of securing your business data. A VPN or virtual private network can do just that, keeping your data secure each time you connect to the internet. Imagine this: while away on business, you connect to the Wi-Fi at a coffee shop, an airport or a hotel in order to get some work done. You connect to your company’s database, transfer some files and log out, thinking nothing of it at the time. A few days later, you find out that your login data has been compromised and some sensitive files have been stolen. Turns out that seemingly-secure Wi-Fi network you connected to was being monitored by a hacker.
No matter where you or your employees connect to the internet, a business VPN can protect your data with end-to-end encryption of your Internet connection on any device. A VPN will keep your information secure from fake Wi-Fi networks, hackers, competitors and even unfriendly governments.
Review Management Tools
Everyone knows that reviews are crucial for maximizing website conversions. Reviews create trust in your company as customers trust other consumers more than any other marketing tactic. If you want your website to succeed, you need to ensure that not only do you have enough reviews on your site to promote customer trust, but effectively manage any negative reviews you may have received.
The first step to getting reviews is asking for them, and you’ll be surprised to find out how many customers are willing to leave you a glowing review as long as you make it easy for them to do so. Thankfully, a Google review link can be integrated into your website to reduce friction and increase the number of reviews you actually receive. This link will direct customers to where they can leave a review on your Google My Business page, making it easy and convenient to receive reviews.
What happens if you receive negative reviews, however? First of all, don’t panic! If it’s a fake or spam review, you can actually report and dispute it, and Google will review and delete it. If it’s from a legitimately upset customer, then here’s a chance for you to turn a bad customer experience into a positive customer interaction. Google will let you respond to the review so you can pacify the upset customer and show other customers that you take their satisfaction seriously. Who knows, if you make the customer happy enough, they may even delete the negative review themselves.
Tools like Google Alerts and Google My Business let you stay on top of any online reviews, negative or positive, that are left for your business. If you end up with a couple of negative reviews that you can’t resolve, try to get as many positive reviews as you can. They’ll eventually drown out the negative ones.
Email Marketing List
You may have noticed that most business websites are asking visitors for their email addresses. Some may even offer free gifts, exclusive coupons or digital content for doing so. The reason they do this is that email marketing has been shown to be the best way to bring interested customers to your website, and the only way to get a long list of emails is to ask for them right on your site.
Unlike other outbound marketing efforts, there’s a huge return on investment when it comes to email marketing. Since these emails belong to people who were already on your site, to begin with, you know they’re interested in what you’re selling. Once you have their contact information you can reach out to them with promotions, new products and exciting content, knowing they’ll be interested in what you have to say. If you haven’t done so already, start collecting emails and building your mailing list as soon as possible!
What do you do once you’ve collected all these emails? Why, start sending out a regular newsletter of course! A newsletter will keep all those visitors as warm leads, constantly reminding them of the benefits of going back to your site again and again and handing you their money.
You don’t want to come off as spammy, however, or you’ll end up with a lot of unsubscribe notifications in your email. Once or twice a week is an appropriate amount to reach out, as long as you’re sending out quality content that your target audience can relate and engage with.
Everything that you do in your business should be designed to improve customer experiences and interactions with your brand. As an online business, you achieve this through user-centered web design. Taking steps to improve the navigation, usability, and visual appeal of your site will help engage customers and improve conversions. Businesses may even lose potential sales by neglecting key aspects of UX web design, since 38 percent of users will stop engaging with an unattractive website. If you want customers to stay on your site, engage with your content, and move through the buyer’s journey, then UX design should be of top priority.
Social Media Accounts
If you haven’t been taking advantage of the free social media marketing available through websites such as Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest, then you’ve been missing out on thousands of sales from potential customers ready and willing to spend money on your website. Social media marketing is far from dead. In fact, it’s used by hundreds of companies to bring in warm leads directly to landing and product pages right on their sites. If you’re not implementing this strategy yet, it’s never too late to start. Just make sure you post original and high-quality content so that you don’t get drowned out by the noise.
These seven assets are easy to implement but can provide an incredible level of value to your business. By getting started with these you can protect your business from threats, boost your website’s conversions and maximize your marketing efforts. But they will only work if you’re willing to put in the time and effort required to implement them for your company.
One often overlooked component that all businesses need is solid and dependable technology. That’s what ReFresh IT is here for, to deliver reliable IT services for all your business needs!