Starting a business is a really big deal. There are all sorts of details that need to be looked over, decided, checked, double-checked. You want to believe that your business will succeed, no matter what kinds of obstacles may stand in the way. Basically, you want to make sure that you’re doing everything you can to support your business with your presence online. After all, you put some serious effort into launching and growing your business — making sure you’re maximizing your online presence will help ensure you’re getting your hard work in front of the right audience.
Our website platform of choice, Squarespace, makes it so easy to get your business up and running online and to utilize and understand features that can help brick and mortar businesses boost their biz online.
1. Get your business online
Naturally, one of the major things that you can do to support your business is to make sure your audience can find you online. Squarespace takes the guesswork out of making your website (because we can’t all be web developers, right?). They offer tons of different templates from which you can choose, depending on what sorts of goals you have for the site, the aesthetics of the site, and more. You can make your site simple, with just the basics, or you can do a whole lot more. It just depends on your goals and what you want the site to be.
2. Be consistent with the look and feel
So, you’re ready to take the plunge and create your site. You want to be sure your branding online is just as beautiful and flawless as your brand offline. Start by utilizing the same logo on your site as you do with your brick and mortar or on any collateral. Keep colors and fonts consistent so that your audience offline immediately recognizes you online. It might sound obvious, but make your business name look the same on your site as it does at your brick and mortar and on any collateral. It’s recognizable as you, and you want your website (and any other features) to be familiar to your customers and clients too.
Rebranding is something that you can do later on, but ensuring that your brand, both online and off, is consistent right away and is an important step you don’t want to miss.
3. Get feedback on your site functionality
You probably think you know the ins and outs of your site pretty well, after spending time selecting features and templates and laying everything out, but actually using your site can give you a different perspective. Using your site like someone visiting would allow you to understand their experience firsthand, which means you can iron out any issues and tweak things that are confusing or complicated, making their overall experience far better than it would’ve otherwise been.
Have a friend or client test out the site and give you feedback. Is it easy to navigate? Do they understand how to get in touch with you? Is making a purchase clear and quick? Iron out any confusing areas to ensure your site is speaking directly to your specific audience.
4. Consider launching an online shop
You might not think that you need an online shop if you don’t sell many products, but that’s not exactly the case. Of course, the ability to sell your products on your site is a huge bonus — it lets you basically take your brick and mortar to your customers directly, no matter where they are (a real win). But an online shop can be beneficial for more than just actual, physical products. If you offer services or sell subscriptions, Squarespace’s online shopping feature allows you to present those to your customers or clients as well, expanding your reach and making doing business with you more convenient. If your business is a restaurant, you can also take advantage of the ChowNow integration that allows customers to order right from your site.
5. Interacting with your customers or clients
An online presence means you’re able to connect directly with your customers, clients, and adoring fans. Rather than waiting for them to come in to tell them about deals, new arrivals, updates, and to form a relationship with them, you’re able to let your website and social media accounts guide the spread of that information. You can cultivate relationships with customers, clients, and prospective readers that feel genuine, and you can use analytics available to you to gain more insight than you might be able to when they stop in.
- Utilize Squarespace’s intuitive email campaigns to send strategic emails to your audience as points of contact. Offer discounts for both your brick and mortar space and your online store. Get personal and share more about yourself and your mission. Allow your audience to get to know you better — it will make your business more robust and encourage customers and clients to work with you again and again.
- Connect your social media accounts to your site and ensure that your audience knows where to click to follow you on other platforms, keeping you top of their mind whether they are on your site, on Facebook, on Instagram, in their email inbox, etc.
- Embed a map directly into your site to help clients and customers easily find your brick and mortar
- Check in with the analytics in the backend of your Squarespace site to see how your audience interacts with your site. Are they primarily on mobile? Make sure your site looks great on a smaller screen (Squarespace makes that easy — score!). Does your audience always click on one specific product? Highlight it on your homepage for increased sales.
6. Making sure your website is set up with local listings
Have you ever searched for a business online, only to discover that the information provided on Google or Facebook is wrong or missing entirely? It’s so frustrating. That’s why this Squarespace feature is a game-changer for business owners. Now, you can use Google My Business and Facebook integrations to make it easier for your customers and clients to find you offline (as easy to find you offline as it is online). You’ll be able to manage and keep track of all of your information, making it easier than ever to be sure that everything is accurate, no matter how people initially find your business online.
This post was in partnership with Squarespace, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.