If you are a business owner, you will recognise how essential it is to have a business website in today’s economic climate. Now more than ever, consumers are shifting to online shopping in favour of physically walking through your shopfront door. Without an active, updated, and engaging website for your business, your competitors will have a noticeable edge over you and you will be losing out on the majority of your potential customers.
Your physical store sends a message about your business, and it’s no different for your online shopfront. This is why your online presence needs to communicate a strong and consistent message about your brand in order to retain existing customers and to attract new ones.
Firstly, if you don’t have a business website, you need to get one. There are free online resources that can assist you in setting up a free website but for quality, it is always recommended that you employ professional website designers to ensure that your brand is being encompassed and communicated effectively. For product-based businesses in particular, it is essential that you configure a website that has e-commerce and m-commerce capabilities. If your potential customers are looking for a particular product and cannot purchase it on your website, they’ll simply move along to the next site that allows them to do so. More often than not, that ‘next website’ is your competitor’s. The easier it is for customers to interact with your site and take advantage of your e-commerce capabilities, the more inclined they are to purchase from you and return at a later date.
But how do you direct traffic to your website? Without people to view and buy your products or services, you don’t have a business. That’s because no business website can sustain a business by itself; it must be underpinned by a successful marketing strategy that incorporates traffic and lead generation.
Generating traffic can be accomplished using both free and paid resources. You can utilise search engine optimisation (SEO), which requires that you conduct keyword research to determine which keywords (that closely relate to your business, products, or services) will rank well in Google’s organic search listings. You can then use these keywords to position your website or other sites higher in Google’s rankings through simple techniques such as keyword dropping in content, metatags, and so on. You can also take advantage of Google’s paid advertising tools such as AdWords, which produces Google advertisements and also has capabilities to let you track and monitor your campaign’s results.
Your business website will play an integral role in converting this traffic into leads and then eventually, sales. Design, layout, and content should all be targeted to reach a specific audience and the more you know about this target audience, the more you can tailor your website to them and thus, have a higher chance of attracting sales. Your website should also offer an incentive for potential customers, such as a special offer, to entice them into enquiring or making a sale. Again, the more you know about this target market, the more ammunition you have to attract them when designing your website and your marketing tactics.