Starting online businesses can be both profitable and fulfilling.

But, your online invoicing business can only achieve those goals by having the three following essential necessities.

1. Have a mobile-friendly and search-optimized website.

In case you didn’t notice, the mobile revolution is in full-force. In fact, it’s projected that by 2017 the number of mobile phone users is expected to reach 4.77 billion. Even more startling, it’s expected to grow an additional 67% by 2019. Because of that, mobile users not only prefer websites that are mobile-friendly, they expect it.

To design an eCommerce site that is mobile friendly, here are the best tips to do so;

  • Make sure that you’re using a responsive web design. This will allow for your content to appear the same on all devices.
  • Deliver an omnichannel experience. This means that if a customer puts an item in their shopping cart on their desktop, they should be able to complete the checkout process when they get home using their smartphone.
  • Have a content that can be navigated using your index finger or thumb.
  • Place your CTAs above the fold.
  • Keep your content short and sweet.
  • Condense navigation so that it’s easier to move around.
  • Accept guest checkouts so that customers don’t have to fill-out lengthy forms.
  • Only use high-resolution images that have been cropped and resized so that they fit onto the screen of mobile devices.
  • Link your logo to your home page.
  • Don’t use Flash or Pop-ups.
  • Use geolocation.
  • Make it easy to access your contact information.

Also, make sure that your eCommerce site has been optimized for search. That means that you’ve included keywords in page titles, body copy, and meta descriptions that are relevant to your business. You can use tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMRush, or Wordtracker to generate a list of keywords.

2. Launch a successful digital marketing campaign.

After you’ve designed and maintained your amazing website, you now have to spread the word about your business in order to attract, and eventually engage, your customers. The best course of action is to launch a digital marketing campaign that includes;

  • Establishing the goals and objectives that you want to accomplish.
  • Understanding your audience, such as their pain points and the social channels where they spend most of their time.
  • Developing relevant and valuable content, such as guides, lists, infographics, and Whitepapers.
  • Paying attention to the successful techniques and strategies that others are using.
  • Being genuine and authentic by finding your own brand’s voice.

Constructing and maintaining a digital marketing campaign doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a lot of thought, research, effort, and patience to become successful.

3. Finding the best online payment option.

Finally, you have to select a payment solution for your online business. This involves doing some homework since various payment processors provide different features that meet the needs of various small businesses. Because of that, you need to be aware of your company’s needs. After that, you can start comparing solutions.

The first place to start is to understand the difference between a merchant account and a payment gateway.

Merchant accounts are basically just contracts between a retailer and a credit card processing company which allows your business to accept credit cards, debit cards and ACH payments. Examples would include Flagship Merchant Services and Payline Data.

Payment gateways are just online transactions that go through a secure hosted payment form that is either on your website or an integrated shopping cart. After the customer submits their order, the encrypted payment goes to the payment gateway, which then goes to the payment processor, and finally through the credit card network, which goes to the customer’s credit card issuer for authorization. PayPal, Stripe, Amazon Payments, and Authorize.net are examples of payment gateways.

After understanding these differences, then you can start shopping for either a merchant account or payment gateway depending on your needs. Whichever solution you select, you still want to look at like the following items when choosing the right payment processing provider;

  • Costs like monthly fees, interchange rates, and tiered pricing.
  • Real-time processing of orders.
  • Easy shopping cart setup.
  • Gift and loyalty card acceptance.
  • Secure card information storage.
  • Fraud prevention and detection.
  • Rapid transfer of funds to merchant’s bank account.
  • No contract required.
  • 24/7 customer service.
  • Cancellation terms.
  • Scalability.
  • Reporting, such as expense reports.

Managing an online business is no easy task. But, if you have a mobile-friendly website, an effective digital marketing campaign, and have the right payment solution, you’ll be on your way to managing a successful online business.

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Best known as an Entrepreneur and Connector. John was recently named #2 on Top 50 Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur Magazine as well as a blogging expert by Forbes. He is the Founder and CEO of Due.

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