When it comes to business, so much of how people talk has to do with size. You have to “dream big” if you want to succeed. You’re advised to “go big or go home”. It’s even said that “if you’re going to fail, fail big”. The first of these is a perfectly reasonable inspirational statement. The second perhaps underestimates how much people enjoy going home. The third is perhaps a bit risky. Big failure can mean big debts.
Nonetheless, it is fair to say that if you want to succeed in business, you can’t go in half-hearted. It is an area where putting yourself out there is essential because sometimes hard decisions need to be made. Slow and steady may win any number of races. However, business is a dynamic sector and if you’re timid, one of your competitors will be less so and will take what you’re after.
Running an ecommerce business requires a strategy which takes persistence. You need to market yourself, maybe aggressively but definitely with confidence. There’s a big market out there. Thanks to globalisation and the internet, that market is the size of a planet. So yes, thinking and dreaming big are going to be essential. But that isn’t all it’s going to take.
A lot of people will say that to make a business profitable, you need strong leadership. And again, that’s true. You’ll need to put yourself out there. But without thinking smart, strong leadership is just someone making bad decisions quickly. Imagine that as your mission statement: “We may not do the job right, but we’re fast!”. It’s not appealing.
Marketing your ecommerce business is going to require some combination of a number of factors. You’ll need to be dynamic, yes, and you’ll need to be intelligent in how you make decisions. It is worth speaking to SEO consultants to get their guidance on how best you do this. Those who have experience in the field will know what you need to make sure your site is seen where it needs to be seen.
A desire to do things unilaterally and at pace is understandable, from a “strike while the iron is hot” standpoint. And if you can tell yourself, without delusion, that you’re an expert in everything you’re doing, then it may work. But it’s going to end badly if you hear your website needs SEO, you think “better get me some of that”, and then do it all yourself from an online guide. Well, it might not end badly, but you’ll be bucking a trend if it doesn’t.
While it is not quite the same as an ambulance service or fire brigade, SEO is important. It is something that can be extremely hampering to your business if not done by experts. There are numerous judgement calls that need to be made across the whole process. Handling those is indispensable as part of selecting an ecommerce marketing agency. While there is some initial outlay to have this done by the best, it will make and save you far more.
It is part of the democratization of business that the internet has brought. Anyone can use online script editors to make their own website, but not anyone can make that site rank on search engine front pages.
It’s not enough to just have a website, if you’re taking online marketing seriously. It is essential to ensure that this website is visible when potential customers search for something that meets their needs. How often do you scroll through endless pages of search results when you could pick something from the first one or two?
In a competitive ecommerce marketplace, ranking your site among the top pages is going to take more than the average amount of SEO work. You’ll need to get the on-page work done on your online store. That’s a given in any business SEO campaign. But you’ll also then need to go into a root-and-branch overhaul of what your site does. To make sure you’re putting your competitors on the back foot, you’ll need a lot of work.
Skilled SEO practitioners will look at your site first, and see what’s working and what isn’t. Then they’ll look at your competitors and see what they’re doing to stay ahead of you. And then the key part – they’ll make sure you’re doing it better. They’ll get everything streamlined initially, and then provide you with ongoing, SEO-friendly content. And the key point is that the best in the market will do this without getting into Black Hat dirty tricks.
There are many ways to do SEO – the DIY way which can work only if you’re absolutely scrupulous in your approach and an SEO natural. Then there is the Black Hat way, which attempts to exploit weaknesses in search engine algorithms to artificially rank you. If you’re lucky, this will work for a time but then it will risk your site ranking on an ongoing basis. Looking for a skilled, ethical practitioner is your best bet.
So for all the talk of making your business big, it needs to be recognized that “going big” isn’t the thing that you need to do. Not early on, anyway. Going big while your site isn’t ready for it means that you will indeed fail big. Set your site up to be effective (and stay effective) in the search rankings, and this is all scalable. It may not seem like the bold, aggressive thing to do, but it is right.
Until you’ve got a regular, profitable income into your business, it is worth just forgetting that the word “big” even exists. To establish and build an ecommerce business, the most important thing you can be is smart, not big.
The graveyard of business is filled with companies who tried to shoot for the moon without making sure the cannon was loaded. Details may not be what get you out of your seat, but they will make your business better equipped to do that in the future. So dream big by all means – but make sure your business can handle it before taking big risks.