Great Business Starts with a Great Website

If you’re a small business owner transitioning to the web or a newcomer to eCommerce you should familiarize yourself with the basics for Internet success. Don’t head to the web expecting to wing it and win. You are more likely to have a good start if you understand what elements from the beginning can make you or break you – there are some things you don’t want to “learn as you go.”

First and foremost – have a functioning website

Your website should accurately represent your brand, be free from glitches, and mistakes, be easily navigated, and in good working order overall. If your website is is poorly constructed, full of broken links, or lacks any real content, then any effort spent marketing to drive traffic will have been counterproductive. Always make sure the links are redirecting correctly and navigating your website isn’t like trying to find a needle in a haystack. A sitemap and search page are definitely necessary because they help visitors easily locate whatever they are looking for on your site. You should always remember that as an online business your website is your venue. Therefore your website should be engaging and interesting. Be sure that your website reflects your brand. If you’re the face of your business, put up a short welcome video on the home page or make a slide show with pictures relevant to your industry. Doing this helps gives your website personality and lowers the chances of visitors getting bored before they even leave the homepage.

Next on your list – have a reliable eCommerce system

In other words, you better have an online shopping cart that works and works well. An eCommerce system is so crucial because it is what your customers will rely on during the checkout process. If there is a complication during this process you could lose the sale and if there are recurring complications during this process you could lose many sales. When you have a properly working shopping cart you are providing your customers with the top notch service and a hassle free shopping experience.

Everyone knows how to use a computer – they are putting them in kindergarten classes these days, but that doesn’t mean everyone knows how to troubleshoot. Work on that assumption – don’t assume that a customer will attempt to figure out the problem. They won’t Google the solution, they’ll Google whatever product they almost bought from you and buy it from your competitor instead. Avoid this by equipping your site with a reliable shopping cart system.

Last but not least – have an opt in form

Have you heard of email marketing and what a money maker it is? If you haven’t yet, you will. Email marketing, when done legitimately (as in no spamming), can be a significant income generator. That is of course, assuming you have a decent email list. Your key to getting that list is an opt in form which allows visitors to sign up to receive things like promotions, your newsletter, or updates.

This is how you turn your new customers into returning customers. If you fail to build a solid client base from your initial customers, you will find your sales success to be short lived. Be sure to respect your customers – they trusted you with their email address and you can maintain that trust by not inundating them with daily sales pitches. The opt in form is a highly effective way of building an email list but if used improperly it can get you labeled as a spammer

Implement steps 1, 2, and 3 – have a great start

Once you have a stable website that offers an efficient checkout process along with an opt in form and a moderate client base, you will have broadened your marketing opportunities. You can proudly promote your website and confidently guarantee a smooth purchase process. Since you have a growing client base who are easily contacted because of your opt in form, you can reach out to ask for testimonials. This helps your creditability and is great for marketing material.

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Tom Antion, a multimillionaire Internet marketing expert, has been selling on the commercial web since 1994. Besides having enormous success selling his own products, he mentors other small business owners to help them improve their web based sales. http://www.GreatInternetMarketingTraining.com