Getting your business started online

Getting your business started online

December 13, 2017 8:04 pm Published by Comments Off on Getting your business started online

It’s 2018 and every business has a website, right? Not quite. The most recent ONS data found that only just over half of all UK businesses had one. But if you’re behind the curve don’t worry, Ketchup is here to support you in getting your business started online.

The first step is to accept that for many consumers the internet is now their first port of call. It’s true to say web searches have largely replaced word-of-mouth referrals.

And some 80% of internet users in the UK do online shopping, too (the highest rate in Europe).

In fact, e-commerce now accounts for over a fifth of total business turnover. So if you haven’t got a presence online just think what a 20% uplift in your sales could do for your business? It means a website is no longer simply desirable, it is essential to a modern business.

Find and capture new leads

The good news is that bridging the digital divide and getting your business started online is not as daunting as it might seem at the outset.

And with some professional input you’ll find and capture new leads. Take a look at for some examples of easy-to-navigate sites with eye-catching designs and compelling content. They are putting businesses like yours ahead of the competition.

In many ways getting your business started online is not dissimilar to starting your venture in the first place and you’ve done that successfully.

You’ll need a plan but drawing this up will break down the process into a number of tasks, making the whole thing easier to get your head around.

Here is our step-by-step guide:-

Write a lean business plan which should include market / SWOT analysis and how you’re going to fund the project

Research, register and purchase your domain name and ask Ketchup to host it for you

Make it legal – there are specific online business regulations relating to how you capture and store customers’ personal information. Make sure you comply

Write copy that sells but think images, audio and video, too. Ketchup’s expert copywriters can work with you on content. For tips see

Commission an expert to design and build an easy-to-use website. If all your website needs to do is provide company information, testimonials and contact details then a brochure-style website will suffice. If you need to incorporate a blog or e-commerce functionality to sell good or services you’ll need a more advanced website platform. This will also require a merchant account and shopping cart tool.

Make sure your website is mobile friendly – analytic data shows a clear shift from majority desktop to majority mobile based traffic. And let Ketchup’s experts make sure that your shiny new site hits all the right buttons when it comes to Search Engine Optimisation

Consider having a Content Management System (CMS) so you can update your website regularly (good for Google rankings) without any knowledge of HTML or having to rely on external support

Think how you can keep in touch with visitors to your website. You’ll be able to build up a database and send out regular promotional emails. Online mailing system such as Mailchimp are free to businesses with 2,000 or fewer subscribers

Launch and maintain your website to keep it looking fresh. Use your social media channels to direct existing and potential customers to it. Install Google Analytics to help you track your visitor traffic patterns over time.

That’s a lot to take in all at once but talk to us and we’ll listen and put you in control. Get in touch here

Top Tips for marketing your eCommerce website

Top tips for marketing your e-commerce website

June 6, 2017 6:32 am Published by Comments Off on Top tips for marketing your e-commerce website

Whatever the nature of your business, you’ll need to tell the world about it to make sales, boost awareness and build your presence online.

In order to market to the right people, spend some time researching and trying to understand your audience. Think about their age, their interests, their motivations. What matters to them? What solutions can you offer to problems they may not know they have? How can you stand out from the competition?

There’s a lot to think about so we’ve put together our top 5 tips for planning an effective marketing strategy and making a success of your e-commerce business.

Make sure your website is search engine friendly

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the art of designing and creating a website which is search engine friendly and ranks as highly as possible. It’s about making sure your website has the right structure and the right words in both copy and code, with lots of relevant content and getting other websites to link to yours. Search engines are continually getting smarter about understanding the tactics some people use to try to manipulate them. Track how your website is performing using a tool like Google Analytics.

Focus on building your mailing list

If customers visit your website without buying, you’ll want to know why. So it makes sense to capture their email address so you can follow this up. One of the easiest ways is to add a sign up box which tends to work better with an incentive, eg, “Sign up today and get 15% off your next order.”

Why not offer customers the chance to join your mailing list as part of the checkout process?

Start building this list, and use it to promote new products, offer discounts and alert people to your blog. Send regular e-snippets to current and prospective customers with some human interest – staff news, charity events you’ve supported, new office pet… it’s not so much about selling as raising awareness, making some noise in the marketplace and building relationships.

Maximise social media

Online shops often prefer to use platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, which are visual but Facebook and Twitter are also relevant and effective… while you’re promoting your business and ultimately pitching for sales, be aware that your audience wants to be informed and entertained so don’t be afraid to use humour or comment on trends/developments relevant to your sector that might pique their interest.

Everyone loves a freebie so why not give something away in a competition or in return for sharing posts? Let your followers spread the word and promote your brand for you! User-generated content (UGC) gives you a bit of variety with no effort on your part.

Invest in Pay Per Click advertising

This is a wise choice. Pay per click (PPC) advertising is essentially a form of online advertising designed to drive traffic to your website through marketing aimed specifically at search engines.

So when people enter certain keywords into Google or any other search engine, your advert appears in the results.

With PPC advertising, your business lands directly in front of the consumer so it’ll show up when people are looking specifically for the product or service that you are offering. You only pay when someone clicks and you can set a budget giving you more control over costs.

It works faster than organic searches, so you should see results pretty quickly. It’s a great way for small businesses to be up there with national and global organisations.

Everything is trackable so you’ll be able to see the exact ROI – clicks, impressions, rate and cost per click, the average position of your ads. Beware, it can be a little addictive…

Live chat

This is the era of instant gratification and personalised experiences. Live chat gives your customers the ability to ask questions and check details before they buy. You’ll get an insight into the most frequent issues that they’re experiencing on your site and you’ll also benefit from the opportunity to get to know your customers, build a relationship pre purchase and promote loyalty.

Live chat boosts customer confidence survey revealed 92% customers feel satisfied when they use the live chat feature, compared to other communication options like voice (88%), email (85), web form (85%), and social media (Facebook 84%, Twitter 77%).

Finally, if you’re short on time to put any (or all!) of these tips into action, give our friendly team a call on 0330 088 9277 or contact us.

We’re here to help you do more, sell more and make more money!

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