Your website is where your business resides — it’s like the headquarters of an offline company. Hence, it is important to practice good design principles to make sure your site reaches out to the maximum number of visitors and sells to as many people as possible.
Make sure you have clear directions on the navigation of your website. The navigation menu should be uncluttered and concise so that visitors know how to navigate around your website without confusion.
Keep your text paragraphs at a reasonable length. If a paragraph is too long, you should split it into separate paragraphs so that the text blocks will not be too big. This is important because a block of text that is too large will deter visitors from reading your content.
As a web designer, you should design your websites to give your visitors the greatest ease of use, the best impression and most important of all a welcoming experience. It doesn’t matter if you had the greatest product in the whole world — if your website is poorly done you won’t be able to sell even one copy of it because visitors will be driven off your website by the lousy design.
When we’re talking about a “good design”, we’re not only talking about a good graphical design. A professional web design will be able to point out that there are many components which contribute to a good website design — accessibility design, interface or layout design, user experience design and of course the most straightforward, which is graphic design.
Popup windows are so blatantly used to display advertisements that in our mind, 90% of popup windows are not worth any attention so we just close them on instinct every time each one manages to pass through popup blocker (yes, we do have one like many users out there!) and, well, pops up on our screen. Imagine if you had a very important message to convey and you put it in a popup window that gets killed most of the time it appears on a visitor’s screen. Your website loses its function immediately!
You should also go to a greater length and optimize every image on your site to make sure it loads in the least time possible. Use image editing software to remove unnecessary information on your images, and thereby effectively reducing the file size of your image without affecting its appearance.
Check out the webdesign products above to get detailed information about various ways to approach your design. Even if you are outsourcing the site design, it’a very good idea to acquire enough knowledge to be able to intelligently discuss and articulate your requirements.
4 Steps To A Highly Successful Internet Business
Planning and preparation are the keys to a successful Online Business. Too many companies and businesspeople lose thousands or even millions of dollars each year, simply because they fail to understand the real value of proper planning and implementation.
You have to be ready for any possible outcome and budget your time and resources appropriately. Here are 4 simple steps to take your business to the next level and stay successful for many years to come.
Step 1: Get The Necessary Information
Do your research and studies first before everything else. When you do transactions online, you have to be ready for possible questions and concerns by your clients and fellow marketers.
You cannot waste time researching just when the issue arises. In some cases, it may already be too late to find a solution; or you will have to waste more time repairing damages since you skipped getting vital information.
Allocate around 30 minutes or more at least per day to study your product or services. Spend time in forums talking to other experts and ask the same possible questions that your customers may have.
Know the competition. You will save more time managing the business if you know what your competition is up to. Talk to owners of related businesses, as well as clients, to find out if they’re cooking some new marketing strategies. Always stay updated with recent technologies and approaches so you can stay ahead of your competitors.
When getting information, you should always look out for new opportunities to improve your business. Make the necessary updates and upgrades to keep everything innovative. You should ask for client feedback all the time too, so that you can provide them with exactly what they need.
There are plenty of ways to stay ahead when it comes to fresh news. Reviews will help boost your reputation, as well as give you an insight on what clients truly need.
Step 2: Set Up Your Websites
Allocate time to come up with the best possible presentation for your products and services. Get some attention-grabbing graphics and indicate all the necessary details that will draw people toward your products.
Put a list of the frequently asked questions and answers on your site, so that you no longer have to spend time replying to emails or calls for the same questions being asked over and over again. Customers will most likely only contact you for individual concerns not included in the FAQs.
When setting up your web site, make sure that it is very easy to navigate. Most customers do not have the patience to figure out any complicated structure on a web page.
You only have a few seconds to grab your prospects’ attention, so make sure that all the necessary elements are in place, you communicate exactly what you want the visitors to do, and you deliver information in a precise manner.
Step 3: Advertise To Your Target Market
Targeting your niche market will boost the chances of successful sales, instead of just spamming online and getting very few or zero results.
You will save more time by talking to people who are actually interested to buy your particular products and services. There are plenty of ways to gather the right clients. You may join specific forums and online boards, or exchange links with other web site owners having related content.
There are many other ways to market your product online. Some of the most effective include:
● Social bookmarking your sites and non-self-serving sites at Digg, Stumbleupon, Propeller, etc. Most of them frown upon marketing activities, so it’s best to stay under the radar by posting at least 3 times more non-self-serving sites than your own.
● Creating simple videos and posting them at high-traffic video-sharing sites like Youtube, Metacafe, Yahoo videos, AOL videos, Revver, etc.
● Writing articles and posting them at high-page rank article directories like Ezinearticles, Buzzle, Goarticles, Searchwarp, Articledashboard, Amazines, Articlealley, etc. You may also post your content at content-sharing sites like Squidoo, Hubpages, Wetpaint, Google Knol, and Qassia.
Step 4: Finish the Sale
Aim to have every transaction lead to successful sales. Answer the questions and concerns of your clients. Make things easy and convenient for everyone involved, and you can boost the number of sales transactions you get per day.
Volume sales are very useful if you are trying to reach quotas or want to boost income quickly. In other occasions, you may want to profit from low quantity high-yield investments.
Once you get a client, make sure you do all means to satisfy them and re-assure them they have made the right decision. You should always provide optimal customer service, and follow up after they order.
The relationship between seller and buyer does not end with the payment and delivery of the product. You should continue the business relationship by asking the client about their concerns and suggestions. Find out how they find your product or service. Adjust your system to better cater to their future needs.
You may also give a second call or email message asking how the product is, and if they would like to claim a “customer only” discount on another product. You need to have effective customer service to be readily available to clients.
It’s a lot easier to sell to a satisfied past customer than to find new prospects, so keep your customers happy and they would be willing to buy more often from you. Aside from enjoying repeat sales from satisfied clients, you will build a bigger network because happy customers will refer you to their friends and other potential buyers.
The internet is a great source of information, wherein you can avail of new techniques to keep your business fresh and new. Your staff should be very capable of handling a variety of clients, in order to keep up with their changing demands. Know how the market responds to your approaches. Create a plan on how you intend to deal with competitors in the long run. Your marketing and management approaches should always have a goal and specific time frame for accomplishment. Test and track different methods of doing business, select the winners, and continue to improve upon them.
Zero Cost Traffic
Promoting your website online is terrific but there are actually some reasons that you should promote it offline as well. You can get quite a bit of traffic by promoting offline, depending on what your URL actually is and how you advertise it.
Obviously, you need to generate some interest with the way that you’re distributing your URL. When you have the perfect set up, here are five real-world ideas to get the word out there.
Step 1: Business Cards
Put your URL on all of your business cards. Even if you don’t have business cards normally, make up some business cards. If you already have business cards that don’t feature your URL, have some new ones made. The cost will be worth it.
Step 2: Tee Shirts
Print your message on a few T-shirts and sweatshirts for you and your family members along with your URL and then wear them around town. Again, you need to give them a reason to visit the URL, but if you can do that you will drive quite a bit of traffic to your site from right there in your own city or town.
Step 3: Advertise on Your Car
Another thing that you can do along this same vein is to put your URL and your message on the side of your vehicle. In fact, put it on both sides if you can manage it. This will cost some money and a will mean that you’ll be stuck with advertising on your vehicle for a while but it will be worth it if you can drive a great deal of traffic to your website that will convert into customers.
Step 4: Benches & Billboards
Put your URL somewhere where a lot of people will see it. For example, advertising on bus benches is surprisingly inexpensive for the benefit that you’ll get. In fact, you might even consider a small billboard if you can get a good deal on one. Look for ways to maximize your exposure while minimizing your costs.
Step 5: Referrals
Set up a referral program. Get people in your town to refer others to your website so that they’ll get a discount or something for free. In fact, you don’t even need to do it just in your own town. You can have your customers anywhere advertise in the real world and give them a discount or free item when they refer someone. Referral programs are popular among retailers and e-commerce merchants because they work.
4 Terrific Ways to Use Current Events to Drive Traffic
Current events can be a great way to drive traffic to your website. If you have a blog and you are including current events in a blog post, you might be able to get a small part of the huge traffic that comes with current events.
Here are some of the ways that you can use news articles or current events to drive traffic to your site.
1. First, make sure that you are getting the latest current events. You should be signed up for Google alerts or some other type of instant notification when a major news event happens.
You want to be writing an article and getting in front as soon as you know about the news event because when you publish matters if you want to be in the first few pages of results.
2. Create a press release type article that includes both some current event – or several current events even – and some new promotion or product that you are offering.
Include both of them in the press release as if they were both news articles and then publish them elsewhere.
3. Start with a newsworthy event of some kind and report on it for the first part of your blog. Make sure that you are getting the keywords in that you need to drive traffic.
However, then you can turn the article around and use the current event is some sort of example and turn the attention back to your own product or service or whatever it is that you do on your website.
This seems a little misleading at first, but you’ll get the hang of using current events to write your own promotional content without spamming or misleading people.
4. You can also use the comment sections and forums or other places that your active to comment on current events and get a discussion started.
You want to make sure, of course, that you are able to direct people back to your website through a link in your signature or your URL in your bio or some other method of advertising your site.
You can generate a lot of attention by discussing current events which could get you quite a bit of traffic coming in to your blog or website and that could convert into real sales.
Just make sure your contributing valuable and relevant content and not spamming.
4 Tips on Running a Traffic Generation Contest
One of the best ways that you can generate traffic for your website is to create a contest. Contests are great because everyone loves participating in the competition and especially if you are offering some kind of great reward or prize.
Generally, the best way to do a traffic generation contest is to offer a reward for them to refer new people to your website. Obviously, you’ll have to set up some sort of method for recognizing the referrer but here are some tips on actually running the contest once you get it organized and planned.
1. Set a goal for your contest. Know what you’re trying to achieve before you begin. Have your results in mind before your launch day. If you’re trying to get 1000 new people to visit your site with this traffic generation contest then you will be able to take steps to achieve that goal. If you just have a general goal of getting people to visit your site or increase your traffic you’ll have much less success because you haven’t defined your goals.
2. Advertise it several days in advance. If people don’t know about it they are going to participate in it, and if you only advertise it on launch day you’re only going to get a fraction of the people you would have a few advertise that beforehand.
3. Tell your participants clearly what you want from them. If you’re trying to generate traffic, then tell them that you want them to refer people to your website. If you don’t let people know why you’re running your contest and what you expect to get from it, they aren’t going to know what to do to help you achieve your goal.
4. Finally, give people something really great if they actually do participate in your contest. For example, if you decide that you’re going to give away a prize to the person that refers the most people to your site, then make sure that the prize that you give them is a really great one. Even if you were giving away a prize for everyone who refers someone to your website, you still need to make sure that the prize is worth it. Obviously, the price for the person that refers the most people is going to be quite a bit larger than the one for people who refer just a single person both should be valuable.
If you are an Internet marketer or considering becoming an affiliate for some product or service, you have probably heard of viral marketing. There is a good reason for that. Viral marketing is a process that takes several time honored sales techniques and gives them new life, courtesy of the Internet.
It should come as no surprise to learn that a great deal of money is made online these days. Even companies that maintain brick and mortar stores and business locations often have a web site and market it to various niche markets.
In addition to these larger entities, a growing number of online entrepreneurs are also making a substantial amount of money online, simply by becoming affiliates and promoting products or services on behalf of someone else, or as a private branded product.
The good news is that viral marketing is a viable sales approach for affiliates, agents and Online Business owners alike. The basic premise of the strategy is simply old fashioned word of mouth, given a new twist using electronic communication via the Internet. This means that anyone can learn viral marketing and employ the approach with great success.
The name for the concept is the perfect illustration of how viral marketing works. Like a virus, this marketing process spreads out, continually expanding its sphere of influence and touching many lives. Unlike many sales techniques, viral marketing is not a high pressure tactic and does not put potential buyers on the spot. In fact, if viral marketing is approached correctly, people will want to spread the word quite willingly.
If the idea of viral marketing has caught your attention, keep reading. You will soon understand such important aspects as what makes a product viral in the first place. Information about how to enhance the viability of using viral marketing for informational products is also provided, along with how to develop those products in the first place, and how to get started.
Before exploring the potential of viral marketing, it is a good idea to determine if you are capable of making good use of this approach. While the basics of viral marketing are easy to grasp, the actual execution of a viral marketing campaign does take some work and some dedication. If you are going to be successful with viral marketing, you must be prepared to:
● Put in the hours. While some would have you think that viral marketing is a ten minute job, that is not the case. True, it is not as labor intensive as some other marketing strategies. But make no mistake about it – a quality campaign takes time to develop and to launch. If you are looking for something that involves no work, viral marketing is not for you.
● Commit to the long haul. It takes time for people to catch on to what you have to offer and begin to pass the word around to others. While there is a good chance you will begin to see results from your viral marketing campaign in a relatively short period of time, don’t write it off as a failure if you don’t make a ton of money in that first week. Good things take time to gel and begin to produce results.
● Make use of all your viral marketing options. Cherrypicking what you want to do is not likely to result in the best returns. This means you may need to stretch beyond your comfort level and try some new things. While that may produce a little anxiety, keep in mind that learning something new will likely make what you already know even more useful for your purposes.
If you have decided that you have what it takes to be successful with viral marketing, keep reading. There is a lot of ground to cover.
At the heart of your efforts, there must be a product that will actually be desirable to a buying public. No matter how effectively you construct and launch a viral marketing campaign, it will ultimately fail if you don’t have good product.
For this reason, your product should be designed or selected with great care. You want to make sure there is a reasonable chance that it will resonate with one or more sectors of the consumer market and thus place you in a position where marketing will stimulate interest and eventually lead to the generation of a steady flow of revenue.
Not only must your product be good enough to meet needs and compete with other products, it must also lend itself well to the basics of viral marketing. That means you must make your product viral.
While it is possible for all sorts of products to be viral, they will share two common characteristics: they will be attractive to consumers; and they will be easy for affiliates to publicize. Here are some ideas on how you can identify a viral product.
You will know the product is attractive to consumers if:
● People are already beginning to notice the product and order it.
● Customers are more than willing to provide testimonials.
● Customers and even prospects are willing to pass information about the product on to people in their social network.
Of course, the willingness of customers to support the product make it that much easier to attract affiliates and agents. These are people who market the product in exchange for making a commission on the sales. Affiliates will consider a product to be viral if:
● It can be private branded – that is, it is possible to customize the product so that it appears to be produced by the agent or affiliate.
● It is unique enough to meet a need in a given niche market.
● It can be promoted offline as well as online.
The bottom line that a product must be of value to the customer, so much that he or she is willing to share the good word with others. At the same time, the viral product must be attractive to affiliates and demonstrate a great deal of opportunity to make money for everyone concerned. More Information Can be Found Here
Are you using video?…
If you aren’t using video in your business then you’re missing out on a whole lot of potential customers.
Video is the most preferred format of content nowadays, so why not harness its power? You’ll find out:
* 4 steps to creating online videos * How to make your video stand out from your competitors
* How emotions influence video sharing + much, more.
Online video has been used effectively for a while as a marketing and promotion tool by both large and small businesses in all industries. The resources required to create and air these videos – YouTube and the like – are readily available so that makes it easier for small businesses and entrepreneurs to reach potential customers quickly and affordably.
Whatever your market is, video gives you more opportunities to expand your brand by gaining it visibility and establishing credibility within your niche. Establishing a good video marketing strategy should be one of your goals if you want to target a wider audience.
To give you a clearer picture of video marketing and why it’s such a powerful promotion strategy, let’s break down it’s main features:
– Low barrier to entry: as previously mentioned, online videos require very little investment to create. Essentially what you need are a web-cam and a YouTube account.
– Online video allows you to convey strong, compelling messages, establishes credibility and enhances your trustworthiness. People are much more likely to trust you and relate to you when they can see you and hear your voice.
– Like social media, online video allows you to make a stronger personal connection to your clients and prospects, making sure you build a personal connection even before you meet them face to face.
– It’s good for your search engine rankings: according to a study conducted by Forrester Research, a stronger presence on YouTube can get you higher rankings because video has up to 50 times better chances than plain text to get to the top of search rankings.
All this makes online video the best solution for when you want to increase awareness for both you and your product, as well as accelerate the sales process.
So now that you know all this, you might be wondering how video can be used on your business. Let’s quickly go over main business uses for video:
1. Website: The home page of your website needs a welcome video. This is where you explain the who, what and why statements, making sure the visitor gets all the relevant information regarding your business and how it can help them.
2. The sales page: In addition to crafting effective plain text on your sales page, you also need video if you want to get more conversions.
3. Blog: Just as you use your blog to provide product reviews, expert tips and so on, you can turn the blog into a Vlog or video blog and create video that offers useful information such as explaining products and services, sharing tips, etc.
4. Product demonstration: Just about all businesses use video when introducing a new product to the market as a way to introduce the consumer to the product and demonstrate its usefulness and features.
5. Video e-mail: You can turn your messages into a video postcard by including video (or a link to a video) in the e-mails, and in the process engage the recipient.
6. Client testimonials: These can be very effective in business. Ask your clients and/ or colleagues to create video testimonials for you and do the same for them.
7. Tutorials: These are important for when consumers need step by step instructions on how to use specific products and services.
8. Video coaching: Lots of large companies use video to enhance service delivery and the trick is to make the sessions more interactive, personal and dynamic. Keep the viewer interested in what you’re saying. Tools such as Ustream, Skype and Dimdim can be very useful when creating the videos.
Work at Home Tips:
Time management can be difficult enough when the line between your job and personal life is clearly defined, but working from home produces all sorts of new issues.
You maybe inclined to put in additional hours while working in your PJ’s and not feeling like you are actually doing “work” work. Contrary to that, you may be so much distracted by domestic chores and tasks that you may not be able to get anything done.
Some of these distractions come along in the form of:
● Private phone calls and deliveries that you may receive
● Readily available television or internet surfing
● Friends or neighbors dropping by without notice
● Family members who do not recognize that you are actually supposed to be working
These problems will amplify if you don’t have a private office where you can close your door.
Below you will find a few suggestions for you to start with planning your situation to give you the best productivity strategies.
Tip #1: Designate Your Work Space
Even if you don’t have a separate office space, it is important to draw the boundaries as separate as possible from the rest of your home. Low traffic areas and corners of a room would be better especially if you can have your back to the rest.
A divider would do wonders if at all possible to place.
Another important thing is to have wellorganized work area. It is highly recommended that you create folders for “Process”, “Keep” and “Discard” materials.
You may need a separate folder for your current project as well, the idea being ability to find and place everything you’re dealing with quickly.
Since you are working from home, in majority cases we can assume that you are reasonably comfortable with computer use and one incredibly useful tool would be Evernote. It is highly recommended that you master Evernote as soon as possible.
It is important to keep your desk free from pieces of paper all over the place, unrelated objects, so on.
Tip #2: Realize this is “Real Work”
Just because you are working from home does not change the fact that your livelihood depends on it. It requires your full comittment and focus.
One of the real problems with working from home is sticking to a set schedule and a minimum of dedicated hours to get your projects done.
If you’ve worked in the corporate world before, you can visualize that environment where slacking and procrastinating were frowned upon.
The same should apply to your Work from Home environment.
Tip #3: Set Your Schedule around Your Most Productive Time
Figure out when you are at the top of your productivity. Some people are night hawks, and others get up early in the morning and produce their best results. Whatever the case, set your work schedule around your high productivity time.
Tip #4: Stay Motivated
Always keep in mind why you wanted to Work from Home to begin with. Remember the chores of working a regular job, commuting long hours to and from, having to put up with others’ rules imposed upon you etc.
Remember that you have a much bigger potential to make more money though your own business.
Always have a meaningful goal to achieve both monetarily and professionally.
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