6 ways to draw customers to your online world
If you’re a business your website should have one major overriding purpose – generating sales. It’s a portable shop window, accessible from anywhere in the world, but if no one knows about it, you may as well pull the shutters down now. Putting in the work to direct people to your website is worth it.
To use an offline analogy, let’s imagine your tablecloth shop has a fantastic new range, and wonderful designs in gingham, vintage and oriental-style, plus a bespoke measuring service, and wonderful staff. On the next street is Boggins’ Tablecloths, which don’t offer the same quality products as you, but has paid-for adverts and signs in the right places, directing people to their shop. Your customers might return to your shop – but they might never get there in the first place because they didn’t realise you exist.
Almost all internet users use a search engine to look for products, services and businesses, but a blend of online and offline prompts and pushes could be the winning formula.
Here are a few tips to lever your site.
- Make sure people know your web address! Whether it’s in your shop window, on posters and business cards, receipts, invoices, bags, newspaper or magazine ads, and at the bottom of your marketing emails, make sure people are aware of where to find you online. Always be prepared to share it in conversation or on the telephone, explaining the benefits of visiting.
- Social media can give outsiders an idea of your business and products; make sure your website address is prominent in your profile, use pictures of new products and deals, answer queries and questions and use hashtags to increase visibility
- As mentioned earlier, get your website address in your email marketing signature. Surveys have shown more than two-thirds of companies ranked email marketing as good or excellent in terms of result on investment (Econsultancy annual email marketing census). Relevant and interesting emails, tempting regular customers to find out more, will boost web figures.
- If you are looking for a quick bump in traffic during a big season sale, or during high competition times, then online display advertising and search engine marketing through Google Adwords could be advantageous – it will bring customers already looking for businesses like yours directly to you. The beauty of it is you’ll know exactly how many people have found you through this advertising and how successful it’s been.
- Regular content, consistent with your industry and business aims will draw visitors. You may wish to promote offers, deals and new stock. If you have the resource you could write a comment piece on local or national news relevant to your business, or offer advice. You could write it, or ask another member of staff to put fingers to keyboard, or even ask a personal contact willing to help you out. Not only will the content engage readers, but it will push you up the rankings of search engines such as Google.
- Once the hardest part is achieved, don’t let your work go to waste – keep customers on the site! A professional, modern-looking site with relevant content and high-quality pictures that works well on smartphones too, will not ‘increase’ visitors – but the overall experience might tempt them to return, or encourage them to tell others via word-of-mouth – starting the process again.
Ultimately, your business wants to make sales but even the greatest salesman in the world will not sell in a showroom with no customers. Most great salesman, however, are not scared to shout about what they can do – and this is the 21st century way of doing so.
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