5 Secrets to Running a Successful Online Business - Be the Best! A recent Google study found that the internet is worth 100 billion pounds a year to the UK economy, larger than the construction, transport and utility sectors. There's never been a better time to run an online business. Bringing extra money into the home boosts personal confidence and can make a massive difference to households struggling to make ends meet during these tough economic times. 5 secrets to making your online business work: • Solve your customer's problem Highly effective marketing comes from delivering solutions to customer problems. How can I make their life better, what issue am I resolving for them, and what do they (uniquely) get out of buying my goods or services are all excellent questions to ask when focusing on the design of your products and services. • Optimise, optimise, optimise! You know how great your business is so it'll be easy to convert visitors into loyal customers like magic, right? Wrong. Hiring an SEO (search engine optimisation) specialist who knows how to optimise your site properly using the right language and keywords to sell your product or service will transform the levels of traffic flowing through your site. Hiring a great copywriter = more visitors = more customers. • Get the builders in Don't be tempted to construct the website yourself. Passion needs shape, and setting up an effective website requires technical know-how. Look at sites you like then contact them directly to ask who the designer was. Then go to that designer's website and check out their client list - if you recognise the brands, hire them. You'll get your investment back from better sales thanks to a smarter looking, more user-friendly site. • Keep your website updated Don't think once your website goes live, you can forget about updating it regularly. It's important, not just for search rankings, but also to keep your business message current, that you regularly update your site. Think about starting a blog. If you're too busy, many people find the easiest way to maintain fresh content is to link their twitter page to their company home page thus creating a virtual blog. • Take your business to the movies... Brand leaders are recognising the growing importance of using video content on websites. High impact, search engine friendly and engaging to visitors, these short demos explain who you are and what you do and are being described by industry experts as the quickest, easiest way to win more web customers. You can also upload them to places like YouTube, meaning your demo can potentially be seen by millions of people around the world over multiple platforms and last a lifetime. You may not win an Oscar, but you will win more customers.