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The top 7 things every business needs online

In today’s modernized business market, most business owners realise you need to have a website, at the bare minimum, to stay competitive. The hard part that many business owners struggle with is a understanding what they need to have on their website to benefit their sales and improve their business as a whole.

We have listed some of the top elements of what a business’s online web presence needs to include to stay competitive in the modern business market.

1. An easy-to-find site

Your website needs to be easily accessible online. There is no point wasting your money on a professional and high quality site if no one will be able to find it. To make yourself easy to find online, choose a domain name (name for your site) that aligns with your business and makes sense. Using your business name is usually the easiest way to do this. Once you have your sites domain name and address, you need to put it on all of your marketing material (business cards, in store, ads, signs) so your clients don’t have any trouble finding you on the web.

You should also ensure you have search engine optimisation (SEO) on your site. SEO is what brings your business name to the top of the list on search engines when people search for your particular product, service, or key word. These key words need to be used frequently throughout your site, and you can either employ a SEO officer (a professional paid to do this) or work on SEO techniques yourself.

Another option would be to advertise on search engines with Pay-Per-Click advertising. This can be a very cost effective form of advertising as when someone searches for your keywords, your ad will pop up, and you only pay for the space if they actually click on the link and visit your website. Direct people from all points of advertising to your website as this should be your main point of reference for the company.

2. More than one way to capture details of leads

Someone who just browses your website or searches for your business online is considered a visitor. It is extremely easy to turn these visitors into a lead, which will hopefully result in a sale for your business. Once you have captured these visitors contact details and uploaded them to your database, they become a lead. You should never wait for visitors to just hand over their details; you should be pro-actively seeking these visitors’ details to become leads. The key to doing this is by offering the visitors something in return for their information. It has to be something relevant to them and the services you offer, to motivate them to enter their information. Some common methods of turning all visitors into leads are:

Competitions – Many people cannot resist a chance in winning something for free. Offering a competition in exchange for just some contact information is a great way of both attracting visitors and attaining leads.

Free information – You can offer visitors to your website information to download on a topic you know lots about in exchange for their contact details. This is information needs to be valuable to them, so they are willing to offer up their contact details to obtain it.

Newsletter sign up – Visitors browse your website as they are most likely interested in the product or service you supply, and are therefore interested in hearing news about it. You can offer a newsletter sign up section on each page of your site, so visitors can choose to ‘sign up’ by offering their contact details, in exchange for news on your product or services.

Free Trials – By offering a free of charge trial or demonstration of your product or service in exchange for their contact details, you can both grow your database and showcase what your business has to offer, which can generate a long term sale.

3. Opportunities to demonstrate your expertise:

Visitors to your website are most likely to close a deal and become a customer or client of your business if they think you are the best of the best in the industry. You need to showcase your knowledge and expertise in your field all over your website to convince the potential client that you are the most knowledgeable and therefore best option. Well written content on your page is great but you need some other convincing elements to secure the lead…

Offering tips and facts – displaying interesting ‘did you knows’ and helpful tips on your site can be a useful way to capture the attention of your visitors and get them to read on.

Articles – by writing your own articles on hot topics or changes in the industry, you can prove to your visitors how knowledgeable you are about current events in the industry and also help your visitors understand your product or service more. A visitor who is more informed is more likely to come on board as a client.

Testimonials – people find comfort and security in their purchase decisions if they are aware that they have worked or assisted someone else. Testimonials add an extra layer of trust or security for your visitors to commit to the purchase. They are great to have alongside the section where your visitor would make the purchase or contact decision, as they can sway undecided opinions.

Workshops – educating your potential clients on the service you offer is both promoting your business and helping the potential client, and building memorable relationships with the potential clients so they think of you when in need of your service

Podcasts – creating a digital podcast is a great way to appeal to the tech-savvy market. Similar to the articles, it is demonstrating your knowledge on an area, just through a different platform

Blogs – running an active blog can be a great way to bring people back to your site and services. If you are regularly posting information and updates to your blog, you are staying relevant in your followers needs and therefore in the front of their minds when thinking of making a purchase in your industry.

4. A new way to share your success stories

As discussed earlier, testimonials are a great way to get customers across the decision making line of a sale. Sometimes it can prove difficult to obtain the in-depth and specific testimonial you are looking for to avoid a common and sometimes unrealistic approach. You want specific testimonials that overcome unique situations to show potential customers real life problems you have solved. A way of getting your desired testimonial is to write them yourself on behalf of a customer, and then gain approval from that customer. This ensures the detail and depth you are after is included, all with the permission of the customer whose experience you are retelling.

5. Regularly draw people back to your site

Most visitors to a site won’t make a purchase decision the first time to your site. It will take a few times of researching your product and visiting your site for the decision to be finalised. This is why you need to have tools in place that draw your visitors back to your site, to hopefully become real clients. Some of these tools include…

Blogs – as mentioned earlier, blogs are a great way to stay relevant and fresh in some one’s mind. If you are regularly writing for your blog, you are showing your readers you are active and willing to help. Blog posts should not just be about promoting your business but also be on information that will help your readers. Your good advice will draw the viewers back to your site and make them feel confident in engaging in your services.

Forums – a forum is a great way you and other customers can interact with each other and discuss your product and services. If you commit to the discussions and they are interesting and relevant, your contributors will come back.

Newsletters – regularly sending out an email newsletter to your leads can give you an opportunity to link back to your website and gain additional views. As mentioned earlier, once your visitors have signed up to your newsletter subscription, they have turned into leads. You can now send these leads small snippets of information via your email newsletter, and give a ‘find out more’ option to click on, that directs the lead to your website. This is providing needed information to the lead and also increasing their exposure to your website, thus increasing the chances of them wanting to become your client

Rss Feeds – Rss Feeds work with your online blog or site that give viewers who sign up a notification whenever you update or post content to your sites.

6. Add value for your clients

It costs around 60 – 80% more to attract new clients than it does to retain existing ones, so it is really important to not forget about your existing clients in the attempts of gaining new business.

Regular communication is key to retaining old clients. By sending them out regular information, thank yous’, and special messages on birthdays or anniversary’s, it shows that you value them in your business and will strengthen your relationship.

Make it easy for your clients to do business for you. By having an existing clients area of your website with common forms or tips and being readily available to answer questions, shows your clients that you are wanting to assist them in any way that you can.

7. A way to facilitate sales

Your website can be a main player in generating sales, even if your product or service can’t be sold online. You can set up systems for clients to book appointments on your website or even just display your contact details on every page to ensure it is easy for your clients to contact you to make a sale. You can display your products or services on your site to entice customers to buy, or you can display ‘online only’ deals to draw more traffic to your site.

Remember, the great thing about having so many options to promote sales online is being able to find the methods that work for your business, and eliminate the ones that don’t. It is important to give the modern consumer plenty of options when it comes to doing business online as they can easily venture to the page of your competitor. Remember to make yourself visible online, promote your expertise in the industry and make it easy to communicate with future and current clients online.

IMPORTANT:

The material and contents provided in this publication are informative in nature only. It is not intended to be advice and you should not act specifically on the basis of this information alone. If expert assistance is required, professional advice should be obtained.

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