Friday, August 31, 2012

Are you serious about doing online sales?

I talk to many people about their website and the most interesting question I like to ask is, “Why do you have a website?”

The most common answer is to get more business. Surprisingly, one of the least responses I hear is to make money or sell my products. I believe those answers are the root of web site owner frustration about their web site performance. They didn't plan to fail - they failed to plan. 

A few days ago I was speaking with a dedicated business owner who left the corporate world to start her dream biz. She told me her main web site goal is to sell her products, but guess what. She didn’t even have an option for people to pay online. Worse yet, she didn’t even have a price list showing on any pages, nor was one available that could be downloaded.

Believe it or not, I find that scenario very frequently with small business owners. It’s not that she wasn’t sincere about her intention to sell. I think that she, and the others I meet like her, just don’t have the time or desire to fully be immersed in to the knowledge of what it takes to successfully attract online sales, which translates into that they don’t actually create a potential to receive sales or manifest sales.

Over time these folks become frustrated thinking their web site is a wasted effort because they have no sales showing up.

People do spend money online. Online shoppers in the United States will spend $327 billion in 2016, up 45% from $226 billion this year and 62% from $202 billion in 2011, according to a projection released today by Forrester Research Inc. In 2016, e-retail will account for 9% of total retail sales, up from 7% in both 2012 and 2011, according to the report, “U.S. Online Retail Forecast, 2011 to 2016,”by Forrester analyst Sucharita Mulpuru. 

Over the last two decades working the internet and search engine optimization (SEO) with small businesses, I have accumulated these three tips to help folks increase sales at their web sites.

Work your passion
When one does everything then there is nothing substantial anywhere 
When I was teaching classes there were two methods: breadth or depth. Covering lots of topics and hitting the main themes and points in breadth. Taking on fewer topics and covering those more deeply is the depth method. In a small businesses I have seen more success when owners do their passion with clients and hire assistance to do the rest.

SEO: Search Engine Optimization
Maximize the potential of search engines to bring you new visitors
Having your web site or blog attuned to the current trends creates the potential to bring you more visitors. When you have more visitors than work on the formula of converting visitors to subscribers and subscribers to customers. Building your web site traffic is the #1 source of a quality email list and generating new clients.

Bond with your visitors
Provide your visitors with something meaningful 
No one will turn down something that is free and helpful. Make sure your web site or blog offers an educational or informative doc that visitors can download. The big mistake here is turning this into a sales piece which is the wrong approach.  Instead, use doc to assist visitors in understanding the skills and offerings you are making available to them.  Your phone number and web site will be displayed; when they review it they'll know were to find you

Don’t forget, in order to sell something you have to provide the means to get that transaction accomplished. There are plenty of online payment services to get you accepting online payments. Click here to see a list.

If you have a question or need some help, give me a call at 541.210.4375.
Blessings, Steu

Copyright Protected, 2012
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