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Getting the Most from Your Online Presence

More than 10 years after the popularisation of the internet as a means of mass marketing, entrepreneurs are still finding this frontier a place one could easily get lost in.  Case in point are the millions of entrepreneurs worldwide who are finding out the hard way that having a fantastic looking website doesn’t necessarily ensure visibility and increased sales.

In fact, with the new marketing rules brought about by the internet, more and more entrepreneurs are finding their hard earned marketing dollars going down the drain.  What’s worse, these entrepreneurs are literally throwing the baby out with the bathwater as they revert back to the brick and mortar system that’s ultimately doomed to fail.  If you look closely enough though, you will see more similarities than differences between the real world and the internet when it comes to marketing.

Your Website’s Importance
Of course, a fantastic looking website is still a plus and with some work, most entrepreneurs can still benefit from their bits-and-bytes store in cyberspace.  A website though is the virtual equivalent of your actual store.  Thus, just as foot traffic and major crossroads affect your business, so do links and affiliations affect the performance of your website.  Unlike your actual store, however, you can actually increase or decrease the number of roads leading to your website by maximising the use of the following methods.

Search Engine Optimisation
Search engines are the popular navigation tools online – so you are likely to be visible to online users if you exist in the search engines’ maps of cyberspace.  Your existence in search engines’ maps is a function of several factors; among them are the number of inbound links to your website, the relevance of the keywords in your site and the number of visits your site gets everyday.

Building Links
To build links or e-roads towards your online store, you’ll have to leave a trail of “crumbs” for your customers to follow.  These “crumbs” can be in the form of interesting, informative and relevant articles posted in article directories and blogs; viral and relevant video clips in video blogs; helpful posts in forums and social networking sites; and all other content that includes a link back to your website.  Remember, the more links you have, the more roads lead to your business.

Optimising Keywords
Relevant keywords should also be part of your meta tags and content.  Thus, if you’re in the business of providing corporate giveaways, for example, you must make sure that the content of your site contains many keywords relevant to this business line such as corporate giveaways, corporate souvenir items, corporate gift items, etc.  If you fail to optimise your site for keywords that are relevant to your business, your target customers will not be able to find you through search engine queries.

Building Traffic
Traffic volume is important if you want to rank high in search engine results.  To achieve high traffic, you can pay affiliate marketers who will market your products or services in their websites for a cut of your profits.  Depending upon their influence in the internet, affiliate marketers can drive from hundreds to thousands of potential customers to your site.

The above tactics are pretty basic.  Monitor your website statistics and performance and refine your methods further to attain maximum results.

7 comments

  • Lily Allen said on October 10th, 2007 at 4:22 pm :

    When I read the topic of this article, I expected some information on acquiring new customers and retaining them through online presence. The article misses the main crux which most of us are trying to get optimum results through online presence are missing. All the strategies suggested here are related to attracting the customer to the website. However, there is nothing in this article to understand how to make the customers who are visiting my website to buy my products. I feel conversion is the main piece of the jigsaw puzzle we are missing. I hope to an article on conversion by you in future.

  • Randall Allen said on October 10th, 2007 at 4:25 pm :

    It is a nicely written article highlighting how one can make optimum use of online presence. Internet is good tool for increasing market presence globally and I am sure if we make use of the strategies suggested in this article, we can increase the traffic to our websites by manifolds. Many good websites are losing out because they are not search engine optimized. With digitalization of information, our memory span is decreasing. It is hard to remember the web addresses. Therefore, we either search for links or take help of search engines to look for information on Internet. Hence, search engine optimization and building links is critical.

  • Jayne Autry said on October 10th, 2007 at 4:27 pm :

    There are many benefits of a good website for the entrepreneurs to develop their business. This article is really good for entrepreneurs as it is giving some tips to optimize the websites. If entrepreneurs use these methods then I am sure it will increase sale of their products. I would be interested to know more about optimizing keywords. I am not a technical person and enjoy reading your articles as they are written keeping I mind the limitations of non-technical people.

  • Dan Beatty said on October 10th, 2007 at 4:29 pm :

    A good website can give a great jump to business. As the methods given in the article will optimize the website and may bring many potential customer to the business. To optimizing website is really a costly deal, I think it will not suitable to small business. If entrepreneurs can afford the cost of optimizing website, then it may be a great jump to business.

  • Mike Beaty said on October 10th, 2007 at 4:30 pm :

    I have a small manufacturing unit of electronics items. Last year I developed my website, but due to lack knowledge of optimization of website I could not achieve much out of it. Even my website-developer did not tell about optimization. By reading your article I am more knowledgeable about website management and will ask my website designer to incorporate these changes to the website. Let us see I get any improvement after implementing these changes.

  • Warren Aykroyd said on October 10th, 2007 at 4:32 pm :

    The Internet is a new medium of transaction and customers lack two types of schemas, which facilitate buying behavior when they transact over Internet due to their limited experience with the e-commerce – scripts and competitive categorization schemas. In the absence of e-commerce scripts customers may not be aware of the sequence of activities required to complete the transaction. On the other hand, without competitive categorization schemas customers find it difficult to understand the type services offered by the firm, what are its relevant competitive offerings, and how these are comparable with the offerings of the other competitors. I understand that suggestions made by you would help attracting more customers to the website. However, whether they buy actually or not will depend upon how well the website deals with above two issues.

  • John Black said on October 10th, 2007 at 4:34 pm :

    The purchase decisions are based on customer perception of the customer about the service quality, timely delivery and a satisfactory post-sales communication. Only when a firm is able to fulfill these essential factors, it is probable that the user will remain a loyal and frequent customer. The e-commerce attracted marketers and also created lot of attraction for customers but where it failed was converting the customers who are surfing the company’s website into actual purchases. But low conversion rate and low customer retention means that there is lack of trust by the customers in the firms. Therefore, reputation of the firm is of great importance in the context of the e-commerce for the customers while making their purchasing decisions than direct comparisons across product offerings of competing firms. Small firms’ should try to give clues to the customers about their trustworthiness through their website.

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