Take the Money and Run: A Guide to Successful Online Sales

More and more companies are discovering that the Internet can be a real money maker.  They are not only capturing customers from their local area, they are actually finding that many times, their customers are overseas.  Leaders in the e-commerce arena, like Ford, Office Depot and Victoria’s Secret have begun dedicating the majority of their annual marketing budgets to their online ventures.  They’ve recognized the huge potential customer base that exists in cyberspace.   As more and more people are logging on to the Internet every day, it only makes sense that even small businesses should get a piece of the pie.

You may be thinking that a small company could never compete with the likes of Office Depot, but luckily the Internet’s actually making it possible.  How’s that?  Well, small business owners are discovering that if their sites are designed correctly, they can generate huge profits and actually steal customers away from the big guys.

How do I create a website that makes sales?

So what does it take for your site to compete on the level of the big guys?  There are several key factors.  First, you have to get viable customers to your site.  Secondly, you have to keep them at your site, and thirdly, you have to keep them coming back to your site.  If any of these components are not in line, then your chances of success are diminished. These three essential elements are needed to create an highly effective Web site.

Get them to your site:

In order to get viable customers to your site, it has to be designed correctly from the beginning.  Most Web sites today have disappointed their owners due to the fact that they receive less traffic than originally anticipated.  In order to generate large amounts of traffic on your site, it has to be content rich and filled with the desired keywords that the users may search for with a search engine.  It must then be optimized to capitalize on these keywords so that your site will fall in the top rankings from all of the major search engines.

Get them to stay at your site:

If your customers don’t stay at your site for more than a minute or two then it’s pretty hard to sell ’em your products.  There are many great ways to keep customers at your site, but the most important criterion is that your pages load quickly.  Nothing drives visitors away faster than a slow site.  The second most important criterion is great content.

Get them back to your site repeatedly:

In order for your site to be highly successful, you have to draw customers back to your site. Features that regularly change, and keep the site fresh and new to the user, compel the user to return again and again.  The following features are recommended to draw repeat traffic:

  • regularly changing feature articles
  • real-time news headlines
  • monthly tips
  • discussion forums / bulletin boards
  • rotating photos

Other Considerations:

Although those are the three most important factors when it comes to creating an effective Web site, don’t overlook the obvious.  Always remember to keep your site looking professional, respond promptly to email inquiries, and remember that customer satisfaction is number one.

Now that you have an idea of what the crucial factors are for creating an highly effective site, get out there and get your hands wet in the world of online e-commerce.  Don’t let everyone else pass you by when you could take the money and run.

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