Starting an E-Biz - Part 5: Marketing your E-Business
Well here we are, the last and final part in my series of How To Start Your Own E-Business. In the series we have covered Planning, Domain Names and Hosting, Design and Content and Payment. In this last episode, I will discuss the importance of marketing your new e-site.
I will use this analagy once again, as it really proves the point of the sheer scale of the net. Imagine you have just set up a retail shop, but the problem is that it is in the middle of the desert. No-one knows you're there, and the only way you can bring customers to your shop is by spreading the word. Marketing, is the formal word for this method.
There are many different forms of marketing; by mouth, by telephone, but the form which we will focusing on the most is (you've guessed it) on the internet.
Now, there are two roads you can take with this:
- You can spend money on attracting more visitors to your site with PPC campaigns such as Google Adwords.
- You can optimize your site, in terms of content and processes, so that people can come through Search Engines (Google) and be able to quickly buy a product through your seamless shopping basket.
Of course, with any E-Business, you're more likely to want to spend no money on the site at first, especially if you're unsure about how well it will do. My first piece of advice is to optimize your site for search engines, as most companies get their traffic from MSN, Yahoo and Google. Start by writing text which is full of juicy keywords that describe your site best, so for example, if you are running a golf store, have a caption which says
"Golf Store: For the cheapest prices of golf tees, golf balls, golf clubs, and many more items which can help you lower your handicap".
Phrases like this will attract even the worst of golfers, as all are looking to lower their handicap and improve their game. Once you have added the juicy info. I thoroughly recommend linking to sites which have the same content as you. This does not necessarily mean that you link to a competitors golf shop, but that maybe you look for a blog on your topic and ask if you can swap links. Search engines like Google love sites that share links with as many sites as possible so make sure you do this to increase your rank in the search engines.
Other search engine optimization techniques include submitting your site to Google and adding Meta Tags to the header of your site, but do a search online for this.
I would also say that giving away free information can build up trust between the buyer and yourselves. By offering information or even a product which is completely no strings attached, the buyer feels that they have just got a great deal, and are more inclined to buy from you, as you seem generous in their opinion!
As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, you can also choose to use PPC campaigns to promote your site. Google Adwords and Yahoo Search Marketing Solutions are probably the best providers around. How they work is quite simple. Simply, go to their sites, select the keywords which you think best describe what your site is about, and then everytime a person clicks on yor advert with your keywords in it, you will have to pay a certain price. The good thing about PPC advertisers, is that you can set your daily limits to how much you spend, and you can also check to see your conversion rate (or put in simpler terms, how many people buy a product after they have arrived at your site through your advert).
The world of PPC is constantly changing, so make sure you do good research on the best keywords before you commit to spending any amount of money. Yaro Starak at Small Business Branding reports how he lost $500 marketing his business in the wrong way.
My final advice therefore is test, test, and test your site again, so that you can optimize the buying experience for your customers. Make sure that they can buy an item without hassle.
If any has made use of these articles and started up their own E-Business, I would love to hear from you, and if you feel these articles have benefited you, please donate to the Blogtrepreneur mission, to provide you aspiring entrepreneurs with easy to access and useful information...
Good luck with your new E-Business!