Here's how you can reap the profits from the Internet revolution

Written on the 2 April 2007 by Altitude Communications

You only have to look at your own preferences to realise that the Internet is increasingly becoming society's prime shopping choice. Recent surveys have shown that a whopping 60% of consumers research all their major purchases of products or services online, prior to making a purchase. Plus, did you know a massive $34.5 billion spent online in Australia, in the last financial year. These astonishing statistics alone beg the question - is your business taking the Internet seriously? Think about it, if the purpose of your website is just to present some pretty pictures to the public, are you missing out on major opportunities?

1. Get Ahead - Stand out from the rest

In today's busy world, many consumers are looking to get their questions answered online before they make any purchasing decisions. Therefore it's a good idea to provide detailed product/service information on your website. But this might not be enough - after all, you could be compared to other suppliers who might be presenting the same information, but in a better way. Here are some great tips to get ahead:

  • Make sure your site looks professional - a professional Web Developer will be able to create a site for you that not only looks fantastic, but is also functional and easy to navigate. Be aware, there are major skill differences between Graphic Designers who specialise in Print work, and Website Design teams who specialise in the eMediums. In most cases these skills do not successfully cross-pollinate. Make sure your Web Developer has Graphic Designers in their team who specialises in designing for the web.
  • Is the information you're presenting displayed professionally and clearly. Consider using easy-to-access product catalogues or photo galleries to give your website that competitive edge.
  • Is your website logical and easy to understand? Assess how easy it is to navigate by getting a third party to check it for you. Focus on ensuring that the information flows in a rational order, follows the 3 click rule and is easy to find. Make sure your site is easy-to-read, and that it is well written. Professional copywriting for your website can give you the edge over your competitors - give us a call to find out more.
  • An essential part of making your website easy to find online is optimisation. When your prospective clients look for you via a search engine, such as Google, your site should be easy to find, or the first one that they see. This is all about organising the information efficiently on your website, and ensuring that your site talks (through smart programming) to the webcrawlers and search engines. An effectively optimised site can channel a lot of traffic (and potential customers) to your site, however, optimisation is tricky, and is best left to the professionals, if you'd like your site optimised for the web, please give us a call and we'd be happy to help you.
  • Convince your clients that you are the best organisation to take-on their business. Do this by featuring impressive testimonials, case studies or articles that clearly demonstrate your business' proficiency. You'll be amazed at how much a compelling testimonial can sway an interested client.
  • It is essential that you encourage the action you want from your prospective clients. Provide the means by which your clients can contact you and supply their own details. Consider useful tools such as an easy to use online email forms, or give away gifts (e.g. eBooks) to their email addresses, competitions, or simple online purchasing options which make it quick and easy to buy. Remember too, your company's contact details should always be clearly presented and easily found.

2. Generate Interest

So, you've got prospective clients to visit your site? Congratulations, but it's not over yet. What happens to the people who visit your site and don't either buy or contact you immediately? The next step is to keep convincing them that you are worthy of their business. Assess what your website does to encourage interaction and regular visits. Here are some suggestions to keep your prospective clients interested:

  • Incorporate interactive components into your site. Everyone loves a quiz, so include quizzes that encourage interaction and build the need to work with you. Quizzes can tell your prospects they need to use your business in an unobtrusive and fun way.
  • Run competitions on your site to encourage interest in your business and what you have to offer. Regular competitions will encourage your prospects and customers to re-visit your site again and again, plus they also give you the opportunity to collect their details so that you can keep in regular contact with them. Offering substantial prizes such as a free consultation or product packages will prove to your prospective clients that you value their interest.
  • Get feedback from the people who matter most - your clients! Include online forums or website chats where your clients can chat about anything and everything, including how effective your products or services are for them. Consider including polls on your site that are interesting and unique. These polls can get your clients thinking differently about your services or uses for your products, whilst also convincing them to put you ahead of your competition.
  • Tell your clients just how important it is for them to visit your site regularly, and convince them to do so. Entice them through eNewsletters or compelling eMarketing offers.

The bottom line? Keep it interesting. Think outside the square and provide a website that is interactive, useful and impressive. If you need help with any of these ideas, give us a call and we'll be more than happy to help you.

3. Keep the Business You Have

While it's true, that getting new business is essential to maintaining business revenue, so is keeping the clients that you already have. So while making changes to attract more clients, you also need to ensure that you get your existing clients to stay with you for the long haul and essentially, spend more money with you. Here are a few ideas:

  • Educate your clients. Give them the full rundown on your entire range of products or services so they are aware of everything you offer. An easy way to do this without seeming overbearing or intrusive is eNewsletters. For example, within them you can include stories of people like them and how they gained value from the products/services that you offer, or you can even incorporate attractive and compelling eMarketing offers that will ultimately direct them to your site and to your business.
  • Build your fan base! If you know your clients love what you're doing, get them to recommend you to others! Send your clients special event eCards and ask them to bring a friend or include a form on your site where they can refer your website to someone else.
  • Give your clients the VIP treatment. This can be achieved by establishing a secure client's area within your site that has special tips and guides to make your services work best for them. Consider also including advice on how your products could improve their businesses or lives. As part of your VIP Program, you might also consider sending your clients personalised invitations to workshops or seminars. The point is that you have gone out of your way to show that you appreciate their patronage, and that they are an integral part of your business.

It is essential to utilise your website's potential for all it's worth. Websites are no longer online brochures that passively demonstrate your products. Your business' website should be actively campaigning for the business of your prospective clients. Use every facility and tool that you have access to, to draw them in, keep it interactive and keep them interested.

If you don't think your website is doing its job, and would like a free 'internet consultation' with one of our web consultants to help identify how you could maximise the Internet in your business, call us today on 07 3252 1622 or click here to contact us. It's up to you to get the internet working for you. 

© Copyright Altitude Communications 2006-2007. All Rights Reserved.

Author:Altitude Communications
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