Your guide to a successful online business!

Make Your Website Sell

Billions lost, retail chains collapsing, the Eurozone in a deepening recession: Not exactly a party atmosphere is it?

However, despite tough trading conditions it’s entirely possible for you to run a successful online business.  So, here are my 3 Golden Rules for building a recession-proof’ website

#1 Think Differently

No matter how bad the economy gets the news media will make it sound worse.  And as we’re surrounded by these negative messages it’s easy to believe them as fact.  Many business people will buy in to the negative views and scare themselves into inaction – a fatal move because it creates a vicious cycle: Low business confidence leads to inaction leads to missed opportunities leads to fewer customers leads to lower business confidence, etc…

So what can you do to shield yourself?

First, minimize your exposure to the media’s view of events.  (The UK economy is in fact estimated to grow by up to 1% in 2013 so there’s still plenty of business out there.)

Second, focus positively on your business.  It’s a curious truth that your belief will alter your actions (positive thoughts lead to positive results).

#2 Unfreeze Your Marketing

Marketing gets customers to your door and online marketing does that even faster than conventional routes.  Plus online marketing enables you to track exactly how much money you’re making allowing you to dump what’s not working and maximise what is.

Here are a few online marketing ideas to test and measure:

  1. Pay-per-Click advertising (Google AdWords, etc.)
  2. Search engine optimisation
  3. Improving your website’s copy
  4. Capturing your visitor’s email address by offering a free report/download/video, etc.
  5. Email marketing
  6. Viral and social marketing
  7. Using audio and video
  8. Creating affiliate relationships and joint ventures with online partners

The list goes on and yet many businesses won’t do more than one or two let alone ten or fifteen.  Instead they’ll panic and slash their marketing budget.  This results in your competitors effectively removing themselves from the market.  This is a fantastic opportunity for you as less advertising and marketing competition means you can step in and win more customers for less cost.

#3 Content Is Still King!

If you want to influence your visitor to buy from you then the best tool you have are the words on your website.  Improving a headline, converting a long paragraph into bullet points or putting a call to action in at the bottom of the page all can have a dramatic effect on your visitor and make them more inclined to get in touch or buy from you.  This is because words ‘sell’ your business far more effectively than a pretty web design.  (Nobody ever bought from a website purely on how nice the design was.)

Remember that people are principally visiting your website because they want information.  Why do they want information?  Because they need help so give them everything you can to demonstrate how much your business will help them.

Give them access to everything they need to make the best possible decision; advice, white papers, risk-free trials, downloads, audio testimonials, case studies, guarantees – give them every possible reason to become your customer.

Remember, people love value.  The more value you give on your website the more likely they will become your customer.

And if there’s one thing that will make the recession melt away it’s customers!

Jed Wylie is the author of Make Your Website Sell and works for Morgan Wylie a web design and digital marketing agency in the Midlands.

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