Posts Tagged ‘online business’
One creative way to drive more traffic to your website and encourage interaction with your customers is by integrating your blog into your business website. Rather than solely using a blog or website respectively, using both together can improve the interactivity with your customers.
Interactivity is becoming increasingly important for consumers and their purchase decisions. A business website gives the consumer general information and a professional business presence. A blog allows consumers to see updated and fresh information, testimonials from recent purchasers, and even comments and conversations posted by existing customers.
Search Engine Optimization
Blogs are also great for increasing your search engine optimization, or your visibility online. By posting fresh content on a daily basis you increase your search engine ranking and the ability for people to see you online. Blogs can also drive traffic to your website by providing useful information while also using links and a call to action to direct your readers to your company site.
Having a blog on a site like WordPress or Blogger will give your company a personality that many other companies don’t have. Publishing more personal content rather than pushing sales pitches gives you an advantage over your competitors. Because consumers are seeking more intimate relationships with the online companies they purchase from, a blog can be a great way to establish communication, relationships, and credibility with your consumers.
How To Integrate Your Blog and Website
There are several ways you can integrate your blogging platform and your business website. If you choose to use an existing platform like WordPress or Blogger, make sure to include links on every post you publish that directs your readers back to your website. Also, have links to your blog on the homepage of your business website. This encourages people to learn more about you, your company, your product, and your consumers.
If you wish to have a more seamless integration, consider investing in a content management system that includes a blogging platform. This means that your blog will be an actual page of your website and you wouldn’t need to send your customers away from your website in order to connect with them.
The other pages on your business website are just as important as your homepage. In fact, they may require even more attention than your homepage because they are more detailed and specific, rather than giving your customers a generalization of your product and company.
It is important to spend a lot of time and effort on your other pages because according to Entrepreneur.com, almost four out of every 10 visitors to a website enter the site from somewhere other than the homepage. This could be the blog, the about page, or even the sales page. That’s why it’s so important to make sure every page has an adequate amount of information – and it sells.
Review your web analytics and see what pages people are landing on when they first visit your business website. If it’s not your homepage, you have some work to do.
What to have on your interior web pages
According to Entrepreneur.com, there is a short list of absolute necessities to include on your interior pages. These are:
- Company logo and tagline
- Consistent navigation (including search)
- Call to action both above and below the fold (on the page before you scroll down and after)
- Clear, concise, compelling, and grammatically correct copy
- Consistent design and color scheme to establish brand presence, and
- Advertisements to promote featured products, services and special offers
Each page on your business website should clearly state what you offer and why it is beneficial to the consumer. It should guide the visitor to your product sales page with effective calls to action. Pay attention to small details, as they will help you in the long run.
Your business website and its accessibility is critical to your company’s online success. If each page doesn’t have the care and precision you’ve dedicated to your homepage, then you’ve wasted your time. Your business website is there to give a professional, valuable, and rewarding experience to your customers.
There are several things you can do to improve your sales technique. While there are many resources online you can use to teach yourself how to perfect your sales pitch, I have compiled a few tips you can use on your business website to get more sales.
Be a good listener
While we all know that the most important part of a sales conversation is listening to your customers wants and needs, this can be difficult on a business website because it’s mostly one-way communication. However, if you have a forum, blog, or Facebook page, you need to act on it. Once you get your customers to tell you what they want, it can open doors to stronger relationships and a better sales pitch.
Find out why
Your landing page should give your overall information, but it should also guide your customers to the pages they really need. Figure out why your customers need your products. Send them to different pages on your website based on their particular needs.
Be a consultant, not a salesman
Only once you’ve found out enough about your customers wants and needs can you truly develop the perfect sales pitch. Because you are tailoring your sale to what your customer needs as exactly as you can, you become more of a consultant (a partner), rather than a salesman only interested in finalizing a transaction. This way, your customer feels more at ease and has a more pleasant experience when purchasing from your company.
Be proud of your product
Your sales pitch should demonstrate not only your knowledge of your product, but your love for your product. Customers are more likely to buy from someone who is personally testifying to the value of a product. If you have a high-involvement product, you should never feel the need to apologize for the price because you believe the price is worth the benefit your customer will receive from purchasing.
Having a business website can be a huge advantage. However, you can always increase the amount of sales you make if you improve the way you interact with your customers and explain your product.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make with a small business website is just waiting for traffic to come to you. Why not, if you have a great product? Wrong. If you have a small business website you need to get your market’s attention. That’s not going to happen by simply offering a good product.
Your small business website has two different types of Google rankings. You have your search engine ranking and your page ranking. While they essentially work together to determine your website’s worth, they have a different set of criteria that defines the rank.
Search Engine Ranking
Your search engine ranking is where you end up on a results page after a person conducts a keyword search through Google. Naturally, people are going to click higher up on Google to get what they want. So, it’s important for you to put some effort into your website so you show up higher on Google.
Every web page out there has a score between 0 and 10 (10 being the better score). This score represents how influential your web page is. According to Entrepreneur.com, Google updates page rankings four times every year. There are several things you can do to improve your individual page ranking as well.
If you don’t know your ranking, simply search for your product on Google and see where you end up. You also have the option of finding a web page that shows page ranks – for you and your competitors. If you install Google’s Toolbar, you will have the ability to see each site’s page rank as you visit them.
Here are a few ways to improve your page ranking and your overall search engine rankings:
The more pages out there that link back to your site, the higher you will appear on a search engine, it’s as simple as that. This means you should participate in conversation with others (or even your competitors), and provide a link back to your website. Social Media is another great place to leave links.
Use keywords throughout every webpage, but don’t practice keyword stuffing. If you stuff your content with keywords, Google can actually punish your ranking. Try to use keywords as naturally as possible throughout your web content.
If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, 2011 is the best time to start a business. If you’re tired of working in a managerial environment and you’re ready to take on a market, you should start exploring some ideas. Before taking off into a new venture, you need to be aware of what kind of opportunities are excelling in the market this year.
The Noobpreneur Business Blog posted 10 great ideas for budding entrepreneurs everywhere to consider. Read on to see the ones I thought were the most opportunistic for 2011.
1. Online business and make money online
Online businesses will always thrive so long as our society continues to depend on technology the way it does today. People search for products, brands, prices, reviews, and just about everything they need online. Your online business can be very lucrative because it is more cost-effective (if executed properly) than a brick-and-mortar location. If you set up your small business website, make sure you maintain control over the content so you can adapt to the changing environment and evolving consumer preferences.
2. Personalized products and/or services
There is a growing need for expressing individuality in today’s market. Customization is always a great way to please your consumer base. Offering a product your consumers can design themselves is almost a guarantee of customer satisfaction and word-of-mouth marketing. The opportunities are limitless here. You can offer t-shirts, greeting cards, school supplies, really anything that someone can personalize – you can take advantage of.
3. Small business with a cause
I recently learned of a non-profit organization that offers a free online game similar to Facebook’s Farmville. This game allows the user to build villages and actually purchase provisions for the village. By making donations and purchasing provisions through the game, the game hosts purchase real life provisions and provide them to a needy village in Uganda. Once the village is self-sustaining, they can move on to another village. They then take pictures of the provisions being provided to the village in Uganda, and post them so the gamers can see them and be involved in the whole process.
Offering an abstract incentive to buying your product can go a very long way towards your business success. If you embed a social cause into your products and services, you will have happy customers.
There are so many opportunities for you to take advantage of. Setting up your business is the easy part – it’s finding an idea that’s difficult. All you have to do is pay attention to a problem in the market and figure out a way to solve it.
Once you have set up your business website with e-commerce capability, you need to be able measure some returns. Why is it that browsers mill about your website and then bail as soon as they need to make a decision? What can you do to get them to subscribe to you, purchase from you, and give you their information?
There are several things you can do to convert more customers. WSI Marketing has some great tips on their website on how to increase your credibility and provide a positive online experience for your customers, which will undoubtedly increase your conversion rate and your online business’s ROI.
Improve your business credibility
Is your website professional? According to WSI Marketing, “consumers can be skittish, especially online. The slightest sign of impropriety can send them back to their search engine results to find another site, which may have a more professional and trustworthy appearance, even if it means paying a little more for the same product or service.”
You can make very simple improvements to your website to increase your credibility in the minds of your consumers. Some of these improvements include:
- Consistently display contact information like telephone numbers for your business.
- Post genuine testimonials and case studies of customers that are happy with your product.
- Have an organized and easy to navigate website design, nothing too flashy or distracting from your main objective.
- Have complete product information.
- Double check all of your links and make sure they are working.
Have control of your website
If your web hosting service requires a fee every time you want to make a change, it can detract from the effectiveness of your website. It’s extremely important to have a content management system that allows you to have total control over your website content. You need to be continuously updating your content as you discover issues that your customers are having.
If you notice that you are getting a solid amount of website traffic but people simply aren’t buying, you need to have access to your content in order to make improvements to solve that problem. Also, if customers are asking the same questions (such as what is your warranty policy?), you should have the answer readily available on your website.
The key is to be adaptive. Be aware of what your customers want to know and need to know before making a purchase. Continuously updating the content on your site is the best way to convert browsers into buyers.