Innumerable online businesses market products and services, selling their own expertise or the expertise of others. Owners need to know how to market their own websites and get the word out about what they’re doing. The snazziest website in the world makes zero profit is no one sees it. Visitors and clicks make the world go round in the realm of internet entrepreneurship. Knowing how to promote one’s site is something that even a part-time online businessperson must learn to do.
After getting the company’s name and website “out there,” it’s time to begin making a profit. That means promoting and selling products or services. The Internet is no longer new; there have been all kinds of tried and true selling techniques that have solid track records. New business owners absolutely must learn the basic art of sales and promotion. This is not about getting a PhD in sales, far from it. The smart thing to do is start slowly and learn, step by step, how to sell a product or service, one customer at a time. Fortunately, it’s a learnable skill that millions of people have already mastered.
Product or Service?
At the beginning, owners should differentiate between promoting their website and promoting, or selling products and services. The activities are quite different. Getting visitors to a website is one of the very first skills an Internet entrepreneur will need to acquire. Learning about SEO, search engine optimization, is a smart way to make sure the big search engines recognize a site and rank it well. When a potential customer looks for “massage therapists in Arizona,” the first pages that appear in the search results will contain most or all of those terms in its title. Of course, there’s a bit more to it than that, but that’s the basic-basic explanation. Learning about SEO is an effective and no-cost way to promote a website.
Guest blogging is another way to draw visitors to a site. Owners who offer to write informative articles for other blogs (or websites) in the same general subject area can attract visitors quickly. The host site typically allows for guest bloggers to include a link to their own site. Guest writing on popular, high-traffic sites can be a fantastic way to bring thousands of visitors to one’s business.
Pay-per-click advertising (primarily thought Google) allows site owners to place ads on the Google search results pages for free. Each time a searcher clicks on an ad, the owner of the site pays Google a specified amount of money per click, usually a few cents. Even business owners with little money to spare can utilize PPC advertising to good effect, because there is not payment unless the person visits. There is still the matter of “converting” that visitor into a paying customer.
Other tried-and-true ways to promote a website include social media, via sites like Facebook. Various research studies have revealed that people who encounter ads on social media sites are much more likely to respond than if they see the ad somewhere else.
There are so many ways to bring visitors to a website, owners sometimes lose touch with the idea of actually selling their product or service! Indeed, the second part of the promotion concept involves selling to those visitors who came in through PPC, social media or elsewhere.
Making it easy for visitors to buy is one of the most important concepts for owners to master. A simple, easy-to-navigate shopping cart costs little to set up and can convert interested visitors rapidly. In addition, websites that quickly direct visitors to the product sales page tend to have high conversion and thus higher profits.
All in all, properly promoting a website and products (or services) is what profitability is all about. Internet entrepreneurs who learn the basics of promotion and selling are on their way to long-term success in the world of cyber business.