Looking to grow your business online without a lot of money? If you are just starting a business, then you cannot afford to waste money. In this article, we will share practical tips on how to grow your business on a small budget.
1.Choose The Right Platform for Your Website
The biggest mistake you can make as a small business is choosing the wrong platform to build your website. A wrong platform will not only cost you more money but will also limit your business’ growth potential.
Using WordPress. It is the most popular website builder in the market, and it powers 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’ll need a domain name AND a web hosting account. Yes, they’re different. Want to learn more? See our explanation: what’s the difference between domain name vs web hosting. Different hosting companies offer different plans suitable for small to large websites. This ultimately affects the cost of your website.
If you are just getting started, then you can use Bluehost. They are one of the largest hosting companies in the world and an officially recommended WordPress hosting provider.
As your business grows, you will likely need more hosting resources. Hopefully, by that time you’ll be making enough money to justify an upgrade. Once you have a little more money to spend, then you can choose a managed WordPress hosting provider like WP Engine or SiteGround.
2. Make it Easier for Use
If you want your website to bring you more customers, then you need to add an easy way for visitors to contact you. The easiest way to do that is by using a contact form on your website. By default, WordPress doesn’t come with a contact form. Luckily, there are WordPress contact form plugins that can help you easily add a contact form to your site.
You can use WPForms Lite. It is the free version of the popular WPForms plugin that’s trusted by over 1 million websites. Once your business has grown, you can upgrade to WPForms Pro to create more advanced forms like surveys, polls, payment forms, etc.
3. Start Building an Email List from Day one
Most people who leave your website will never come back again. This means that if you don’t get their email address, then you will have no way to communicate with them in the future. The most cost-effective way to do this is by building an email list.
Email marketing is the most reliable way to communicate with your website visitors.
You can get started with Constant Contact, they’re the top-rated email marketing service provider on our list.
WPBeginner users get a free trial for those who’re just starting out and 20% off if you upgrade to their paid plan.
4. Make Data-Based Decisions with Google Analytics
Many beginners use their best guesses to plan their growth strategy. You don’t need to do that when you can use actual data to make those decisions.
This is where Google Analytics comes in. It allows you to see how many visitors are coming to your site, where they are coming from, and what they do while there.
Google Analytics comes with a lot of information. Even though it is neatly organized and beautifully presented, it could still be a bit overwhelming for new users.
To make the most out of it, install and activate the MonsterInsights plugin. It is the best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress and allows you to easily view your most important traffic reports inside the WordPress dashboard. If you run an online store, then MonsterInsights can also help you track WooCommerce customers using Google Analytics.
You can also download the free version of MonsterInsights. It works great but you wouldn’t have access to some of its most advanced features.
5. Leverage Social Media to Drive Traffic
Social media platforms have highly engaged audiences. Facebook alone has 1.47 billion daily active users, that’s around 18% of all people in the world. Twitter, YouTube, Linked In, and other social media platforms also have highly engaged users.
With so many users, social media platforms bring great opportunities for business. You can start by creating your business’s social media profiles and automatically sharing your blog posts.
Next, you would want to make it easier for your users to share your content on social media. For that, you will need a social media plugin for WordPress. These plugins add social sharing buttons to your WordPress site.
There are tons of other things that you can do to engage with audiences on social media. The key is to keep your profiles active, grow your following, and bring traffic back to your website.
- Create a Facebook group for your customers or industry
- Create a LinkedIn group for your industry
- Learn how to retarget users on Facebook with ads
- Focus on social networks important for your industry. For example, if you run a fashion blog or restaurant then you may find Instagram more helpful than LinkedIn.
- Don’t just bring traffic to your website, use social media to build your email list
6. Be an Active Participant in Online Communities
Online communities include forums and question-answer websites. These are the places people go to post their questions, socialize, find content, and explore. Top communities on the internet include Reddit, Stack Exchange, Quora, TripAdvisor, and more.
These communities provide you with access to people interested in topics associated with your industry. You can join them for free and invest your time in building authority.
First, you need to find out which communities are more relevant to your business and where your potential customers may go looking for answers or content. For example, if you run a travel website, then you may find TripAdvisor more helpful than other communities.
Don’t spam these forums with links to your website in each post. Build authority by genuinely participating with helpful content, and mention your business or website when it is appropriate.
7. Convert Abandoning Website Visitors into Customers
Did you know that more than 70% of people who visit your website will never find it again? It is not your fault, it’s just that the internet is so huge and there are so many websites out there.
Each visitor who leaves your website is a potential customer that you are losing. To grow your business, you need to focus on converting those visitors into paying customers.
This is where OptinMonster comes in. It is the best conversion optimization software in the market, which allows you to convert casual website visitors into loyal customers.
How does it do that?
It comes with a drag and drops campaign builder where you can create different types of campaigns to collect user emails, display special offers, show exit-intent popups, countdown timers, smart popups, slide-in options, and more.
For more details, see this beginner’s guide on conversion rate optimization
8. Use Social Proof to Win Customers
Social Proof is a psychological phenomenon where people conform to the actions of others under the assumption that those actions are reflective of the correct behaviour.
Marketers use this phenomenon by showing their customers that other people already trust a product or business. This is done by sharing their statistics, or subscriber counts, customer testimonials, and more.
Here is a list of clever ways to use social proof on your website to increase conversions.
9. Effectively Use FOMO to Boost Sales and Conversions
Using countdown timer as FOMO technique
FOMO or ‘fear of missing out is a psychological term used to describe anxiety about missing out on something exciting and trendy.
As a business, you can take advantage of this human behaviour and use it to boost sales and conversions. Basically, you need to build anxiety by adding scarcity to your offers. Here is a great example from Booking.com using scarcity to build anxiety.
10. Improve Your Website’s Speed and Performance
Studies show that from 2000 to 2016, the average human attention span has dropped from 12 seconds to 7 seconds.
As a website owner, this means that you have very little time to show users what you have to offer and convince them to stay on your website.
Another study found out that a 1 second delay in page load time can lead to a 7% loss in conversions, 11% fewer page views, and a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction.
Strangeloop case study
This means that you need to optimize your website to make sure that it is fast and performs well even under high traffic.
Follow the instructions to improve WordPress speed and performance for beginners. This guide includes all the tips you can use on your very high traffic websites for reliable speed and performance.
Hope this article helped you learn how to grow your business on a shoestring budget. You may also want to see our expert pick of the most useful tools to manage and grow your website.