How to Make Your Online Business Stand Out From The Crowd


The Internet is so vast that starting an online business can make you feel like a raindrop in the middle of the ocean. How do you make sure that potential customers find you, and how do you get them to stay loyal to your business instead of flipping to a competitor’s site? Here are some tips for how to make your online business stand out from the crowd:

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A lot depends on your specific type of business, of course. Take for instance the emerging CBD space. From topicals to tinctures and literally every product in between, you can find CBD in just about anything. But with such a crowded space, how can you stand out? The team over at cbdMD managed to find a way to speak to a wide consumer base by providing in-depth content and focusing on simple site navigation.

There are also certain basic rules that a lot of small e-commerce companies still don’t get right, so adhering to them will make your business stand out in a sea of similarity.

Make Your Website Easy to Use

This sounds simple, but it can actually be very difficult. That’s because it means putting yourself in the mind of a customer who doesn’t know your site, how to find it, and how to navigate it properly. When you’re in the know, it may seem obvious what product will be in what category, or which icon represents what. But to an outsider, it may not be quite as simple.

That’s why companies that can afford to put together focus groups to let ordinary users try to navigate the site before it goes live. This presents a unique opportunity to gain insight into the mind of your customer. Focus groups give a behind-the-scenes look at how the general population will react to your site.

Although it’s not concrete, results from focus groups can help pinpoint problem areas of your site design. The main point is to keep navigation simple so users can easily go from one page to another without getting lost in the content.

Recommended reading: 7 Ways to Improve Your Website Homepage

Provide Good Customer Service

This is one way that a small business can really stand out from the big players, whose customer service is frequently automated or outsourced to another country.

Small businesses with a more condensed customer base have ample opportunity to directly communicate with them. Direct communication with your customers is a great way to shape your business and put a face behind a brand.

The best part about providing quality customer service is that people talk. Friends will often share their experience with a company among their friends, leading to word of mouth marketing that helps solidify your business as customer friendly.

Know Your SEO

As every online business laments: Google knows best.

And as hard as it is to figure out their “secret formula” when it comes to SEO, there are several practices that heed consistent results. Above all else, you want organic searchers looking for your product or service and seeing it rank high on Google – preferably the first page, obviously.

Search engine optimization has moved past the days when you could just repeat keywords and add a lot of links. There are whole companies devoted to providing SEO advice, tactics, and best practices to better optimise your results. But these companies can be expensive.

If consultants are out of your price range, there are online services that can provide popular search terms while selecting SEO practices that best suit your business. If you’re unskilled in the world of SEO, let the experts show you how it’s done.

This is also handy because if you know what sort of customers you want, you can hook them indirectly by providing the sort of content that they search for. By utilising guest posts, backlinks, keyword searches, and link building, you can compile a library of online content that funnels customers back to your products or services.

Provide Quality Content

A lot of e-commerce sites use language that is difficult to understand, leading to higher bounce rates. When it comes to creating content, sometimes less is more.

Use simple, easy-to-digest language that everyone can understand. We get it, you’re an expert in your field. But that does not ring true for your customer base, who may know nothing about your product or service. You need to inform, educate, and then lead them to a selling point as opposed to being too “salesy” out the gate.

There are often basic errors like misspellings and bad grammar, which can make a site look very amateur. The descriptions of products or services can be unhelpful – too much descriptive language and not enough concrete info that people actually need to know.

Again, you need to put yourself in the head of a customer who seemingly knows nothing about you or your product/service. Work out the basic information that needs to be there, and you or your copywriter can add the fluff language on top of it.

Recommended reading: 5 Steps in Building a Successful Content Strategy For Your Business

Deliver Promptly

The big e-commerce players have continued to raise the bar on delivery speed, so you can’t afford to take too long to get products out or respond to customer inquiries.

This can be difficult for a small company, especially if you’re growing quickly. It can help to have generous compensation if you fall short: send out free products, provide personal apologies, and let your customers know that you’re there for them. This can help build customer goodwill so you know they’ll remember your name.

When you’re just starting out in the online world, it’s important to stand out from the crowd by putting a friendly face behind your business. Even if it’s not an actual face, making your business personable and approachable, while utilizing some of these best business practices, can help keep your company afloat.

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Wednesday, 11 December 2019
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