9 Ways to Check the Health of Your Online Business

By Caitie Gonzalez

Estimated read time: 5 minutes, 53 seconds

Right now, everyone is talking about the Coronavirus. And we’re constantly asking ourselves, “When was the last time I washed my hands?” “When was the last time I used hand sanitizer?”

But those are good things to do even during good times, right?

The same is true for your online business. You should always be asking yourself what you’re doing to boost your online business’ immunity. From website maintenance to content plans to customer profiling, there are a lot of things you should be doing regularly and frequently to keep your business running smoothly.

So, think about your business’ last few months—or years—and ask yourself the question, “When was the last time I …”

1. Interviewed a customer

The difference between successful and unsuccessful businesses often comes down to how well they know their customers. Here are some good times to interview customers:

· Before you launch a new product
· When you want opinions on a new site design or product features
· When you just to get to know them better

Getting-to-know-you interviews can be conducted through email or social media. Especially right now when people aren’t super keen to leave their houses. It’s a good idea to do these types of interviews on a monthly basis just to stay in touch with your customers.

For reference, to get a good idea of what people really think about your site, product, brand, etc., you’ll want to interview 10-20 people.

2. Rewarded customers for their loyalty

Customers always like to know they’re valued. And there are lots of different customer loyalty programs out there to make them feel a little more loved right now. Here are a few options to test:

· Point-based system – give your customers a certain percentage off or a free gift for reaching a certain point amount
· Tier-based system – move customers to different levels with varying perks based on their purchases
· Games – Invite customers to enter a contest or sweepstakes

Or just keep it simple, and every few months you can send out an email with an exclusive offer—a percentage off their next purchase, free gift with purchase, etc.—just to thank them for supporting your business.

3. Analyzed your pricing structure

As a small business, it can be difficult to decide on a price when launching a new product. Here are some pricing strategies to determine if your products are at the right price point:

· Penetration Pricing – Go in low to break into the market
· Premium Pricing – High price for high quality
· Price skimming – Enter the market high. As your competitors follow your pricing, lower your prices.
· Promotional pricing – One-time deals for a limited time
· Psychological Pricing – Charge $99.99 instead of $100. It’s the same, but our brains see them differently.
· Versioning – Offer tiered products at different price points
· Competitive pricing – Charge what your competitors charge

Once you’ve decided on your launch price, go back and test different price points to see what prices convert better.

4. Updated Software or Plugins

How often should you update your website? Short answer: as often as possible! While regular website updates will keep your website running smoothly, which your customers will appreciate, regular website maintenance is also super important for SEO. “A frequently updated website will have more success with organic search engine rankings than a website that has been left unattended over the years to collect dust.”

As far as a full website overhaul, you should plan on redoing your website every 3-4 years.

5. Searched for 404 errors on your website

You should be checking for 404 errors and broken links on your site at least once a month. For bigger sites, 404 checks should be done every week.

If you’re not sure how to find and fix 404 errors, this post should help you get started.

Just so you know, the first time you check for errors, finding and fixing them will take a long time. But as you make this a regular part of your website maintenance, the process will become much easier and shorter.

6. Wrote a blog post

Blog posts are often given a low priority, but they are a great way to improve your SEO and customer engagement. By regularly adding new content to your site, you give search engines more content to spider and rank on SERPs. Blog posts are also a great way to keep your homepage dynamic with new content. And blog posts are the perfect subject for social posts to increase customer engagement.

Try to keep a running content calendar to schedule all upcoming blog posts. This will keep you accountable and ensure you regularly post new content on your site.

7. Tested your landing pages

I’m of the opinion that you should constantly be AB testing different aspects of your landing pages, but that’s just the conversion specialist in me. Even if your landing pages have great conversion rates, there’s always room for improvement. So, start looking at different aspects of your online lead generation efforts—headlines, body copy, form fields, buttons, CTAs, fonts, text color, layout, imagery, paid ads—and start AB testing everything to see where you can improve.

8. Reviewed your checkout flow

Just like with landing pages, you can optimize tons of different pieces of your checkout process to improve conversion rates. Sometimes it’s as simple as including trust symbols, eliminating unnecessary information of the checkout page, or maintaining brand identity throughout the entire customer journey.

Check out this post for more suggestions on how to optimize your checkout flow. Or if you just want a full-service provider to do the optimizing for you, that’s a good idea, too.

9. Jumped on a call

We’re living through a very weird and lonely time right now. And despite having to practice social distancing, we need people. So, while you can’t sit in the same room with coworkers or partners, pick up the phone or send a video meeting link and take part in some real human interaction.

We need meetings and phone calls and social interaction and nice words from people we care about. So, use the amazing technology at your fingertips and make it happen. This is the best way to stave off feelings of loneliness and isolation, especially for those who aren’t dealing with the new realities of their kids’ education while simultaneously trying to build their business.

This is also a good time to make some sales calls. Sales reps have reported that prospects are taking more calls right now because they need social interaction just as much as you do. So, pick up the phone and make some sales.

Keeping your online business healthy and running smoothly is an ongoing process. You need to make sure you’re constantly checking in with your customers to ensure they’re happy and maintaining your website so your customers have the best experience possible. And now that most of the world is working from home for a while, this may be the perfect time to do some routine checks on your online business. And remember to take care of yourself!

Caitie Gonzalez

Caitie Gonzalez is the Brand Manager at FastSpring. When Caitie isn’t busy managing content, PR, messaging, and communication channels for FastSpring, you can find her walking her dog, watching movies, and playing video games.

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