Two business owners inside workspace preparing orders.
With the pandemic propelling many small businesses online, these five experts offer ways businesses can stand out in the digital space among the growing competitors. — Getty Images/PixelsEffect

CO— partners with to bring you a roundup of the best Entrepreneur articles each week. Below are this week's favorites.

Increased consumer interest in e-commerce has been a boon and challenge for online businesses. During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, online businesses were better equipped than their brick-and-mortar competitors to pivot in response to change. As consumer behaviors showed favor for online options, many businesses began using digital solutions — creating new competition and customer expectations for e-commerce experiences.

To help small e-commerce businesses stand out amongst growing digital competitors, we've rounded up some of the best content from contributors published this week.

Remain at the forefront of the digital transformation

Digital projects are a top priority for business owners, especially as many companies are still navigating digital transformation. Craig Melrose, EVP of digital transformation solutions at PTC, described the many benefits of using digital solutions in his article, “Cut Costs, Spur Growth and Rejuvenate the Customer Experience Through Digital Transformation.” Online businesses especially can continue to utilize such tools to stay relevant and competitive in their digital space. Because more businesses are utilizing digital features, online businesses must continue improving their processes to remain current and on track for growth. Strong digital strategies are valuable — for customer experience, product and service quality, and revenue streams.

Read the full article on Entrepreneur.

[Read more: How E-Commerce Businesses Can Thrive in the Digital-First World]

The most profitable websites are more than stores

A website is a powerful tool for generating sales, so e-commerce entrepreneurs must invest time in developing the best design and content for customer needs and business goals. In “Here's How You Can Create a Highly Profitable Website,” Frank Wazeter, founder of Wazeter Inc., offers entrepreneurs a new way to think about their websites. He recommends simpler designs and a focus on good communication. Wazeter also provides an overview of the key components of website analytics and how business owners can use data to improve website user experience.

Read the full article on Entrepreneur.

During the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, online sales skyrocketed — a trend predicted to continue. The 2021 holiday season especially will be an opportunity for e-commerce businesses to maximize sales.

Use SEO to increase traffic to your online store

Shopify is a leading e-commerce platform that supports almost any type of business. In order to get the most out of it, Zac Almeida, CEO at The SEO Hustler, outlines ways to optimize Shopify in “5 Essential Shopify SEO Tips to Get More Organic Traffic.” Almeida describes how to research keywords, create helpful content, optimize pages and review user experience to develop an online store that increases organic traffic and search engine rankings. In addition to promoting SEO growth, having an online store that’s easy to use with access to relevant content will also drive sales.

Read the full article on Entrepreneur.

[Read more: 6 Ways to Create More Successful E-Commerce Email Marketing Campaigns]

Don’t rush project launches

Planning and launching projects quickly to keep up with calendar dates can be tempting, especially when preparing for last quarter sales. Lucas Miller, founder and CEO of Echelon Copy, LLC, cautions against haste and recommends considerations for thoroughly developed plans instead. In his article, “4 Key Considerations When Launching a New Project,” Miller provides action steps for entrepreneurs to tie new plans to market research and past KPIs. He also explains the importance of building customer excitement — a factor more strongly related to project success than launch date.

Read the full article on Entrepreneur.

Now is the time to plan for holiday sales

During the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, online sales skyrocketed — a trend predicted to continue. The 2021 holiday season especially will be an opportunity for e-commerce businesses to maximize sales. Jessica Wong, founder and CEO of Valux Digital, shares targeted business strategies in “Think It's Too Early to Strategize for Holiday E-commerce Sales? Think Again.” By using holiday marketing plans as an impetus, entrepreneurs can strengthen their strategies for long-term growth. Wong recommends using measurable marketing tools — social media, email and SEO — within a content marketing strategy.

Read the full article on Entrepreneur.

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