Nearly everybody has purchased a product or service online at least once, and an increasing number of people are forgoing the crowds in brick and mortar stores and shopping exclusively online, so it makes sense that new online businesses pop up daily. Unfortunately, most of them fail within the first few months. If you want to have a successful online business, it is a good idea to work with a digital marketing agency that can help you determine what your customers want and assist you with online review management.

  1. Be Upfront About What You Offer

The first thing your digital marketing agency will tell you is not to beat around the bush. If a customer goes to your website and can’t tell what you’re selling within 10 seconds, that customer is going to go elsewhere to find what he or she is looking for. A great-looking homepage does nothing to boost your reputation if nobody understands what it’s for. Provide general information at the top of your homepage that makes it clear what your company is about. You can include a link that directs your audience to a more detailed page for products and services.

  1. Complete Your Products and Services Pages

Don’t be vague. Whether you’re selling a product or service, you or the digital marketing agency that is creating your website needs to provide as much information as possible. Put the most important information—including a picture—at the top of the page so your audience doesn’t need to scroll to find it. If you are selling a product, include details such as available colors, sizes, materials and any add-ons you provide. If you offer services, be as specific about what your service includes and whether the shopper can ask you to do more as an add-on service. Be sure to include shipping information. Most people who abandon their online shopping carts say they do so because of unexpected shipping costs. Don’t forget to link to similar products or services you provide.

  1. Mobile Options

While fewer people are shopping in stores, fewer are also using their laptops to do their online shopping. People are on the go, so a well-organized, easy-to-read mobile website—or even better, an app—will make all the difference in your company’s sales. A digital marketing agency can ensure your mobile website or app has the same functionality as your traditional website. Your customers will be able to browse, place orders, check order statuses and contact customer service no matter where they are.

  1. Validation

Your audience wants to know you run a valid business, and this is where online review management comes into play. When people review your company on sites such as Google Reviews or Yelp!, you or your digital marketing agency must respond to those customers. It can be as simple as thanking a positive reviewer or as complicated as dealing with an angry customer publicly. Maintaining professionalism in a sticky situation such as this will show people reading the review in the future that you care about your reputation and do what you can to fix situations customers find unsatisfactory. If you run a business that provides a service, it’s a good idea to include a list of previous clients and testimonials on your website for further validation of your abilities. Don’t forget to include links to your company’s social media profiles on your website. They are a great way to build trust and show customers your business is legitimate.

  1. Contact Information

Even if you run a home-based business, it is important to provide real contact information. Anyone can set up an email address and website, but providing a phone number that maps to an actual physical address shows that you are a legitimate business and gains trust. If you can, include a picture of your physical offices to further build trust. When you work from your home, this bit can be tricky, but your digital marketing agency can help you find the best way to keep your personal life private and safe without compromising your professional reputation.

With a well-maintained website and app, a solid social media presence and consistent online review management, your business is much more likely to flourish into a respected name that people recognize. A digital marketing agency can help you run your business efficiently and effectively from all angles.