Starting an online business that accepts credit cards requires that extra attention be paid to how that are viewed and secured on the Internet. Companies must build online presence carefully in order to escape the pitfalls of accidentally exposing your website to hacks.
The loss of customer data from your online store is something to be avoided at all costs.
At the same time, your business needs to be online in order to collect sales 24/7. The best kind of online merchant is one that is able to take multiple forms of payment while maintaining a decent track record of customer service.
Previously Covered Topics
Just starting to think about creating a business: (Part 1 of 6)
Figuring out where you could benefit your chosen industry: (Part 2 of 6)
Setting up your business process documentation and operational planning: (Part 3 of 6)
With all of the planning stages completed, making your business legal is next: (Part 4 of 6)
Topic For this Article
Starting to make your business usable by the public: (Part 5 of 6)
Next Article in Series
Filling out the correct merchant account application to accept credit cards: (Part 6 of 6)
Build Online Presence
Due to the increased use of mobile phones, customers are turning to the Internet to make searches about a company, buy products, read reviews and more while they are out of the house. Customers who like your products want to be able to pay for items online.
This leads the companies who become a payment gateway more attune to security hazards and loss of revenue for your company. In order to be able to accept credit cards online, you are going to need to follow security standards.
In order to build your online presence efficiently and intelligently, pay attention to these items:
- Proof of domain ownership
- Choose a hosting company
- Create your merchant site
- Get SSL certified
- Use tracking software
- Get as many social media accounts as possible
Proof of Domain Ownership
A domain is like having a business license. It spells out where your IP address is on the Internet, the name of your domain, the owner of the domain, and further contact information (for physical business address).
Do not let anyone else be the owner of your business domain for your website except for the individuals in charge of the company itself. If you are not the owner, the real owner can sell your domain without your permission – especially if your name becomes popular.
Merchant gateway providers are going to want to be sure that the domain they are helping sponsor fully belongs to your business. Make sure to keep up with making the yearly payments to keep your domain name (otherwise it could be sold at auction for pennies on the dollar!)
Obtain Hosting Company
A hosting company is like a property management company. A hosting company will allow you to build your website on their “virtual land” as long as you pay their fees as well. If you do not keep up with the fees for your hosting company, your merchant website will not be accessible by customers wanting to purchase goods from you.
Build Merchant Website
Much earlier, I asked for you to collect the questions that customers asked as part of the customer relations database. Those questions are now perfect for a frequently asked questions section for your website. Simply write down and answer each question as if the person reading your answer is right in front of you.
Starting an online business that accepts credit cards should be as simple as possible for users of your website. Using pages for descriptions of products and services in addition to using blogs to group and highlight products and services in different ways is a terrific strategy.
The simplest format for doing blog posts is to use a question as the title and then answer the question in the article. This is called “they ask, you answer” format. You can ask and answer your own questions.
All of the work you have done to create the policies and full descriptions of your products or services will greatly help out your merchant website designer.
Make sure your site functions well on every platform from mobile phone to desktop computer screens.
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Get SSL Certificates
In order to make sure that customers feel that your website is safe, you can purchase an SSL certificate that encrypts the data on your site. In order to protect sensitive credit card data, an SSL certificate is required.
SSL certifications look expensive, but if you break down the price by month, it is not quite so huge by comparison.
The important part is that if you are going to accept credit cards for payment online, you are required to keep your customers’ data private and secure. It is better to take care of this early instead of getting a merchant account application denied due to this oversight.
Get Tracking Software
One of the best things that you can do with your site is to set it up for re-marketing. Re-marketing is a practice in which your ads are displayed for the user while they use the website and looking at other material.
Re-marketing puts your business name and offer in front of customers as a consistent reminder to come back to the site to purchase from you.
Tracking software is also important to know which part of your website is the most popular and what your customers focus on the most. If your customers focus more on the picture of the kitten than the content of the article, then you might place key information within the kitten pictures on your site.
Tracking software is a form of automatic market research that is performed in the background operation of the site, and it does not affect user experience.
Social Media Accounts
There are a lot of social media accounts available. The importance of social media is to give customers a platform for being able to connect with you in a public way. Also, having links back to your website from these platforms helps with your search engine optimization.
At a minimum, you should be present on these social media sites:
- Industry-related outlet
Your best option is to sign up for as many different social media opportunities as you can possibly maintain (even if you need to hire a “virtual assistant team” to do it). Pinterest, Snapchat and Tumblr are good places to post those pictures you collected earlier.
Starting an Online Business that Accepts Credit and Build Online Presence Conclusion
Having a presence online is more than just putting some things up on the web and forgetting them. Just like a bulletin board in a grocery store, you need to keep putting your information on the top or it gets buried and forgotten.
These are ways to help you build a fan base:
- Ask and answer questions about your business or industry habitually
- Become like a celebrity
- Compliment people on their passions
- Ask for help and ask to help
- Talk about articles on your website
Once you have your domain, hosting account, secure website and social media presence, your business is set up to have a solid online presence. If you worked on the “brand reputation plan”, you have a good start to protecting your business reputation.
The next step is to gather all of your information into on place in order to be able to fill out the application for a merchant account payment gateway.
If you are ready for the merchant account application now, then click on the box below.
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