Ways To Build A Website Business
copyright by Cheryl L. Coccaro
You might be asking yourself, "OK, I have a website business, now how do I get people to see it and buy from it?"
When it comes to attracting customers to your site, opening an online website business is no different from opening a traditional brick and mortar shop. You need a well thought out marketing plan and your chances improve greatly. Otherwise your website will become just another place in that huge information highway called the Internet!
Your first step in creating your marketing plan is to ask yourself this question:
Who is my customer?
Who is it that I want to attract to my website?
Believe it or not, this is a question many "newbie's" fail to ask. The identity of your customer is incredibly important because if you don't know who your customer is, how can you expect to market to them?
The next question concerns the locality of your customer.
Do you want to attract a local or worldwide clients to your website?
If the answer is local, then you will gear your marketing efforts toward customers in your own backyard, which means incorporating your website launch with your offline marketing efforts.
If the website business is the online branch of a brick and mortar business, include the website URL in all your print materials and advertising promotional. Consider running ads in the local paper, on radio or TV announcing the launch of your site. Use direct mail or in-store posters to announce the site launch to your existing customer base.
In short, keep doing what you're doing to attract customers to your physical store, just add your website address to the mix.
Just remember, it's important to consider your website a branch of your brick and mortar business because that's exactly what it is. A good business website will help you sell more products, widen your range of clientele, and increase your revenue without adding overhead. Don't sell your website short. Make it work for you.
If you are seeking a worldwide clientele, your efforts will be quite different. Attracting customers from around the world is a more difficult task than attracting customers from around the block. Fortunately, the task is not impossible. The Internet has evened out the playing field in many ways. Now every business, no matter how large or small, has the ability to do business internationally.
An online marketing campaign to attract worldwide customers should include the following efforts.
Register With Search Engines to drive traffic to your website. Most traffic will come from Google and Yahoo, so I would start there. It's also important to realize that just registering with search engines does not guarantee you traffic, but it certainly can't hurt.
Unfortunately, the free search engine lunching has been replaced with pay for listings and higher placement sooner. The only way to guarantee a high (or at least higher than others) ranking is to pay for it. The two most popular pay-for-placement programs are Yahoo's "Yahoo Express" and Google's "Adwords." Visit their respective websites for details on these programs. Be prepared to spend several hundred dollars at a minimum to get your site listed.
Exchange Links With Similar Sites One free is another effective way to bring customers to your site. By exchanging is links with other sites of similar interest you "tag" along with their ranking. Try to locate sites that make a good match to your own and contact the owner to ask if they will link to your site in exchange for you linking to theirs.
If you sell jewelry on your website, set up a link exchange with another website that sells jewelry. You post a link to them and they post a link to you. It's called digital back scratching, and if done properly, can work well to drive traffic your way.
Go To Where The Customers Are is another option. So if the mountain won't come to Mohammed, then Mohammed must go to the mountain. One little known way to attract customers to your website is to market your products on a larger than life site, like eBay. There are thousands and thousands of people on eBay at any given time and each one is potentially your customer, so it's a great place to start to drum up business. Create your SALES PAGE in the About Me Page link on eBay.
Your goal is not to make a living selling on eBay, but to use eBay as a marketing tool to drive traffic back to your website. Go to where the customers are, then bring them back home to you through your About Me page. eBay also lets you create your own "About Me" page that you can use to advertise your business.
Let's use jewelry as an example. Post a auction on eBay selling an inexpensive pair of "in style" earrings at a ridiculously low price so your auction attracts plenty of attention. When a buyer make a purchase, add them to your customer list and send them an email inviting them to visit your website for more great products. Email them whenever you upload any new items. Promote yourself.
I have just touched the surface, but hopefully this is enough to get you started.
I wish I could tell you that attracting customers to your website business is easy, but the truth is, it's anything but. It takes hard work, creativity and above all, perseverance and not giving up! Take it one day at a time.
Cheryl Coccaro is the author of "Easy Internet Selling" and the creator of My Perfect Ear, a unique and eye-catching earring display.
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