Online Businesses: Attracting Customers and Turning Them into Sales
Any online business lives and dies with its customers. It doesn't matter how cheap the business is to run because it is online. If it does not have customers, it will starve financially and it will die. The focus of any business, online or offline, is to attract customers and convert them into sales. The problem is the first part - people have trouble attracting customers online.
Knowing how to attract customers is the first step in creating and running a successful online business. Attracting customers and converting them to sales boils down to two things – getting them to go to the website, and getting them to stay.
Pricing for Your Audience
Generally, businesses want to sell products at a high price. It's a common practice to prefer average sales at a high price per unit rather than a lot of units at a lower price. However, determining what is a “high price” is important. If you're targeting an audience that tends to have deep pockets, don't be afraid to price it high. Otherwise, don't be afraid to price your items aggressively.
Keep in mind that your prices still need to be reasonable. Also keep in mind that your prices may also be treated as an indication of the quality of your product. Price it accordingly.
Location or Web Address
Location is important in an offline business. The more foot traffic where you open your business, the greater its exposure and the more people will end up using it. Your online business' equivalent of location is its web address. Your online business's web address needs to be both memorable and appropriate. It also needs to be easy to remember. More often than not, your web address will be the name of your online business, meaning that your business' name is of utmost importance.
This is easier said than done, especially considering how many names have already been taken. In fact, some people speculate on web address futures, purchasing them when they are cheap and selling them once demand is high. If you've got a good name for your business, buy the appropriate web address as soon as possible before someone else snatches it up.
Your website's layout is the façade of your business and what people will experience first. It's much like a store front or its banner. People say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but the fact is that stores and businesses aren't books. A fantastic visual identity and iconography is important when it comes to getting a customer's interest the first time he or she sees your site or banner.
Keep it simple. That's harder than it sounds, but a clean and simple layout that is easy on the eyes is the best way to attract customers. Any and all effort your pour into your layout will pay off in the long run.
Blogging and Article Writing
Advertising can be difficult online. Chances are that a visitor will stumble upon your site either through word of mouth or through a search engine. You can handle the latter by improving your rankings on search engines. In simplistic terms, a website rank can be improved by adding more back-links to it. The more sites link to it, the more credible it seems to a search engine.
Blogging and article writing are two great ways to increase those back-links. Creating a blog related and linked to your website is a great way to humanize yourself to your customers, while at the same time increasing your search engine rankings. Writing articles for other websites as a guest writer or for an article directory can further increase your rankings and credibility.
Treat an online business as you would any business. Treat it well, give it exposure, price it accordingly and present it in the proper light, and it will turn a profit. Neglect it and people will avoid it like the plague.