So you want to start a business? Part 2

4: Get online and get found

Pay-per-click (PPC) is supposedly the easiest way to get traffic to your new business site. The key thing here is the first ‘P’ – you are PAYING FOR THOSE CLICKS. Your PPC ads show up on the search pages straightaway, and you can test different strategies and keywords, as well as pricing, headline text and other tricks – it’s a way to do AB testing. also use PPC ads to discover your best, highest-converting keywords.

PPC works, you’ll need to invest some time – and I’d always suggest you go for original content (blogs, white papers, tweets) instead – try and get others to link to your articles and you’ll get free traffic once you’ve built a reputation.

Get more advice from free learning material at Bing, Yahoo and Google.

5: Be the customer, be an expert

People want information, overt sales tactics can be off putting. Make sure you provide original content that you know people will find useful, if you are selling toothpaste – give tips on dental hygiene, become an expert – be the customer, and they’ll come to hear what you have to say.

  • Offer free, expert content – like this article you’re reading! Create blogs, videos, whitepapers and other cool bits of info. Get it out there through social and asking established bloggers and tweeters to promote for you
  • Add sosical buttons “send to a friend” not only for products – but on your expert content too
  • Join industry forums, groups and social networking sites (Facebook, LinkedIn, Forums) where your target market likes to learn, Mums-net is built around this, the community essentially wants to buy baby bits.

As I said in the PPC section above, using the original content method, natural traffic will come to your site and you will go up the Google4 rankings in no time.

6: Delight people – turn browsers into buyers

GET A POP UP – I currently work for an email marketing company, do not under estimate the power of building your customer database, you can see great stats on this here.

Get signups with ha popover - you'll be surprised by the results
Get signups with ha popover – you’ll be surprised by the results

Build an opt-in list and collect data wherever you can, this is the most valuable asset of your online business. Your customers and subscribers have given you permission to send them e-mail. That means:

  • You can thank them
  • You can give them offers
  • You can personalise their shopping experience
  • You can regain lost customers with offers, and chase abandoned baskets.
  • E-mail marketing is cheaper and more effective than print, TV or radio because it’s highly targeted

Best of all you can track behaviors and optimise your site and sales process to maximise profits!

7: Sell them what they want, and up-sell some more 

Over a third of your customers will buy from you again, fact. That is assuming you treat them well!

To increase your sales you need to nurture your regular customers, suggest relevant products and make them feel.. well, special.

  • Offer products that match their last purchase.
  • Use your email marketing to offer them loyalty discount, vouchers or free shipping
  • On your order confirmation page, show ‘product you might also like’ – allow them to add these into their previous order at no extra postage cost
Tempt them with related products
Tempt them with related products

In my next few blogs I’ll be taking a look at loyalty programs, data collection and an in depth look at email marketing.

If your small business needs some help – don’t forget I offer consultancy services that cost less that you think!

Checkout dotmailer (for more established businesses) or mailchimp to get you started on your marketing journey