- Develop an Effective Marketing Strategy FIRST:
This is the most important step when developing a Web site, and it’s the one most novice Web site owners skip. You must have a clear and effective marketing strategy to design your Web site around.
If you don’t have a proven effective marketing strategy before you begin putting your Web site together, you should wait until you do.
- Remove Obstacles:
Don’t place obstacles in front of visitors like asking them for their e-mail address and name just to enter your Web site. Few people are willing to do that.
If you are offering a free Idea-Pak or free newsletter – good for you – don’t ask your subscribers to provide you with lots of personal information like their name, address, phone number, etc.
Since so many people are concerned about privacy on the Web, they are very reluctant to provide personal information to a Web site unless it is absolutely necessary, like ordering a product or service.
You will get far more response if you simply ask for your visitors’ e-mail addresses so you can send them the free Idea-Pak or newsletter.
- Have A Privacy Statement:
You want your visitors to know that you respect their privacy, and that if they sign up for any of your free offerings, you will absolutely never share their information with anyone else.
Tell your visitors up front what your policy is, otherwise you will lose many potential subscribers and customers.
Of course, if you promise to never share your subscriber’s information with anyone… stick to your word!
- Use a Tracking System:
You need to know exactly how many Unique Visitors you are attracting to your home page each day, week and month. Why? How will you know if a new promotion you are doing is working or not if you can’t see how many more visitors are coming to your Web site?
You also need to know how many Unique Visitors are going to each of your main Web site pages so you will know what your visitors want.
If you get high numbers to one page, and hardly any visitors to another, that should tell you something about what your visitors want. Give them what they want and they will keep coming back for more.
If your Web Host can provide you with these numbers, that’s great. If not, you need to get a tracker like Site Meter and put them on each of your pages.
- Get Your Visitors Onto Your Prospect List:
Getting visitors to your Web site is a challenge and should be a primary goal of your marketing strategy. But if you just get visitors coming and going but you don’t get any sales, what’s the point?
It’s rare for someone to buy a product or service after just one visit to a Web site. You must get them back again and again before they will know, like and trust you enough to buy your products or services.
The least expensive way to do that is to get your visitors to voluntarily provide you with their e-mail addresses before they leave your Web site.
With their e-mail addresses you will now have unlimited opportunities to remind them of your Web site and invite them back again and again.
- Offer a Free Idea-Pak, Free Report, or a Free E-Book:
The easiest way to get your visitors to voluntarily give you their e-mail addresses so you can follow up with them repeatedly to invite them back to your Web site, is to offer them something that they would want.
Offering a free idea-pack, free report or free e-book filled with helpful tips related to your product or service, is an ideal way to get your visitors to provide you with their e-mail address. It’s the perfect give to get approach.
This technique will help you to grow your prospect list.
- Offer a Free Newsletter:
In addition to offering a tips pack, report or e-book, you need to have a way to follow-up repeatedly with your prospect list. If you simply follow up with sales offers, your prospects may get tired of your constant promotions and become irritated.
They want information or entertainment, not just promotional offers in their e-mail. So give them what they want. Create a newsletter filled with tips your prospect list would find helpful and informative. Then within your newsletter you can give your readers reasons to return to your web site; new articles, new products, etc.
- Provide a Store Page:
In addition to product or service description pages that provide lots of information about your products and services, you should also have a store page that lists all of your products and services on one page.
- Accept Credit Cards:
When we first put our business on the Web a few years ago, we only accepted checks and money orders for payment. The checks trickled in for those first few months.
Then we began to accept credit cards and our sales exploded. It’s true what they say; you can increase your sales up to 200% – 300% by simply accepting credit cards.
You don’t have to have your own Merchant Account right off. There are services online that will provide you with the ability to accept credit cards within a few days with no up-front fees. They then charge a percentage of each order.
- Provide a Variety of Ways for Your Customers to Order:
Some people like to use personal checks or money orders. Some like to use their credit card. Some like to order online and some would prefer to call, mail in, or fax their order.
The more ways you offer for your customers to order, the more sales you will get.
- Include Your Photo:
It’s important for your visitors to get to know, like and trust you and your business before they will be willing to give you their money, and especially their credit card information.
Lots of free and interesting content, and a newsletter, can go a long way in establishing this trust.
Another element to help establish trust is a photo of you and/or your team members.
People like to feel as though they are doing business with real people, not an impersonal corporate machine. This is an advantage a small business has over the mega giants.
Make sure that your photo presents you in an appropriate and professional light. Your favorite picture of yourself may be decked out in your Harley Davidson leathers straddling your hog, but unless you are selling motorcycle gear, it may not be the most appropriate picture.