Promoting an online business can be very tricky and highly competitive, but at the same time it can be done successfully through the effective use of technology. Here are some pointers regarding how to put your idea to work with a step-by-step approach:
Before setting up the business :
1. First of all, I hope you have done your research and started a business that shows some promise. If you’re trying to sell the same products as thousands of others, you’re destined to fail. Try to come up with a business that will be offer a unique concept.
2. You can have goods or services to sell. You can also just do on-line consultancy.
Once the business is up and running :
1. Ensure search engine optimization by doing the following :
a) You can launch on-line marketing campaign with the help f other companies; e.g., link sharing or back-linking. Back-links are incoming links to a website or web page. This can be used as a tool to determine the site’s popularity.
b) You can subscribe to “rank check service” to determine the ranking of your page for the search engine. Once in a while you can change the key word to see how your rankings get altered and then stick with the one that yields the best result.
c) You know that “main phrase” or “key word” is of prime importance to ensure high ranking when you use the search engines. Some companies (even Google and Yahoo) offer a service to help out small businesses to optimize search engine exposure.
Alternate advertisement strategies :
1. Become a member of multiple on-line forums and publicize your business.
2. You can create your own blog and have people visit your on-line store through a link. Here, you can earn some extra money by using Google AdSense or ClickBank links.
3. I’m assuming you do not have a big budget in the beginning. Otherwise, you can advertise using the search engines or as an AdSense or ClickBank advertiser.
4. With a small budget you can still advertise at the PTC (Paid to Click) sites; e.g., at www.adbux.org you can get every 100 clicks for $3.40 or at www.bux.to/ you can do the same for $2.99 and so on.
5. You can purchase guaranteed traffic hits to your site by paying a nominal fee. Of course, the cost will depend on the specific package that you’re looking at. An example of such site is www.linkgrand.com
6. I have seen people list one of their unique items on “eBay” and then do the subsequent correspondence through email or through a link to drive the traffic to their on-line store. By the way, eBay also provides on-line store option with a small monthly fee.
7. You can always place the link for your on-line store at the end of every email correspondence. You can use programs to perform target emailing without actually sending out “Spams”.
8. You can contact the local papers to start small and insert fliers.
9. You can do the same at local stores, provided you got the permission from the store owners.
10. You can contact companies that can provide you with mailing addresses based on geographical locations. You can explore that if the success of your business depends on such area specific response.
After you have drawn the traffic to your site :
1. Once you have attracted the potential buyers, you need to be able to deliver. Otherwise, your site will get visited once and that will be it! Like any other business, your on-line business has to generate an appeal, a sense of connection with its customer base. You have to prepare a very nicely oriented home page to show why your product is unique.
2. The site must be easy to navigate. The links should be placed in sequence so that it mimics the virtual shopping experience where people get interested, check it out, compare the different categories and prices to make the decision.
3. Once the decision for purchase is done, you need to provide a check out page. You can insert a “Google check out box” or a “PayPal Pay Now” button, followed by a “Thank you” page. This will add some authenticity to the site, though you will have to pay Google and PayPal their share. You can, however, cover that cost again by inserting Google AdSense ads.
4. Absolutely, do not forget to include a clear-cut return policy. You have to assure the buyers that you are willing to assume the responsibility to replace an item if needed.
5. Also, provide an actual business address and a customer service number and/or email address. Buyers like to see that they can get their concerns addressed should it come to that. They should also know if have registered your LLC in Colorado.
6. Do not forget to mention on the web site the actual business hours, what would be the anticipated wait time to get a response via email, what would be the hours for customer service via phone, etc.
7. You need to secure a domain name, so that you have several email accounts available to do business correspondences. Make sure the amount of data transfer capability is high. For that you may have to get a package with higher cost. Otherwise, after only a few visitors your site will become unavailable for a few hours. The graphics and overall design can be important in this regard, since that directly affects the amount of data transfer with each click.
Now, you’re all set to do business !