For a business that wants to attract customers to their shop, the most important factor is location. Location can make or break a business and the better locations come at a premium. Business is increased based on the number of passers-by or foot traffic that see the business and take advantage of the convenience of the nearby, easy to find store.
The Internet is a bit different. People use the Internet to search for information, entertainment, or services but don’t do so in crowds. There are over 16 million websites on the Internet so how do you make your site seen and relevant. Why spend thousands or even a few dollars on a website if you’ll never generate any “foot traffic”?
Most Internet Businesses Fail
Many years ago, in the early days of the internet, I decided it might be a good idea to start an internet business. I created a site with lots of content investing weeks of time adding all the products associated. In the end, I had a great website with competitive prices. My problem? NOBODY knew about my site. Finding my site, even back in 1998 was like finding a needle in a haystack. I knew little about promoting my site and generating the “foot traffic” and interest necessary to attract regular customers and make a profit. I learned a great deal, didn’t lose too much money, but I decided it wasn’t working and shut it down. This is the fate of most internet businesses. 99% of small business websites fail and is referred to as “churn” by web hosting companies. The “churn rate” is a strong indication of the failure rate.
There’s More to Online Profits than Having a Website
Many businesses assume they can just build a great website and people will flock to their store, and with little effort, customers will find them. They may even spend thousands of dollars hiring a professional web designer to ensure their Internet presence puts forward a professional appearance. The spectacular looking website is just a work of art for the owner to admire, however, if it does not generate any business. There is so much more to earning money or attracting clients from the web than merely establishing an online presence or having a “sexy” site.
Really Bad Ideas
Many places will sell bulk website traffic at what seems like low cost per visitor. This doesn’t work. Most operate by driving people to your site through pop-ups or redirecting them through popular domain names. Bottom line: Most people close pop-ups or block them altogether since they are such a nuisance and are not interested in sites they didn’t intend to visit. I’ve tested the effectiveness of many sites that supposedly deliver “targeted” traffic. You’ll get lots of clicks but no sales. The price is not low if you get no return on investment.
What about mass e-mails (aka “SPAM”)? I hope it goes without saying that this is the worst idea of all. Nearly 75% of all e-mail on the Internet today is SPAM. What do you do with SPAM? It’s a nuisance and you’re more likely to sully your reputation than benefit from this dubious method.
Beware of just paying for ads on Search Engines if you don’t know what you’re doing. You may drive some targeted traffic to your site but you can quickly spend more on advertising than you gain from the income of new customers. You need to learn the basics and know what you’re doing. You can make a lot of money on the Internet if you learn the ropes but, correspondingly, you can waste a lot of money on bad techniques.
Lots of bad ideas but how do you make your site sell and turn a profit on the internet?
There are essentially four fundamental realities to using the web to provide information and driving interested traffic your way:
1. Online, people search for information, look for solutions — they are not looking for you. Give them what they want by converting your knowledge into high-quality, in-demand CONTENT.
2. To generate traffic, you need to develop theme-based sites with keyword based pages that are attractive to search engines and the people looking for your informaiton. Your theme-based topical content ranks high at the Search Engines, attracting free, targeted TRAFFIC… interested, open-to-you visitors.
3. Provide free information that people can use. Establish yourself as a trusted source and not simply some shill trying to get them to buy something. Create content about which you have passion and knowledge in that others can benefit from. Develop trust and confidence (“PREsell”) by OVERdelivering relevant, original, high-value information to these motivated pre-customers.
4. Send your warm, willing-to-buy visitors to the goods and services you trust and use yourself. Sell hard goods, e-goods, your personal or professional services… or all three. Or become a “pure infopreneur” and earn substantial income without selling at all, through Google Ads, affiliate fees, finder’s fees and other techniques.
Site Build It!
I was searching around the Internet for some marketing tools and came upon an approach called Site Build It! (aka SBI!). The creator Ken Envoy has, in my estimation, created a product suite that allows businesses and individuals to quickly and easily create websites that generate target traffic. His company offers free eBook downloads that explain the how-to’s for free. You can benefit from reading these eBooks alone but the real strength of his product line are the integrated tools that come from hosting a website with the company.
Businesses can follow the step-by-step C-T-P-M process, using SBI!’s complete set of site-building-&-marketing tools. No HTML, FTP, CGI, graphic or programming skills needed (although SBI! is compatible with html editors if you have html experience) No Search Engine expertise required — no expensive tech, Web or graphic consultants necessary. The complete set of tools make it easy to build, market, and manage your site effectively.
SiteSell has detailed proof that their system works, comparing their product performance against other well known small business and affiliate methodologies. You can go to their question page to seek more help.
Being Excellent in the Basics – A Division Commander, in preparing his Division for war, enjoined his subordinates to “Excel in the Basics”. It is the small things in battle, and in life, that if done poorly will lead to failure. You can learn a lot of advanced tricks to take you beyond the basics but the basics must always be followed properly as a foundation to build upon. Forget the basics and the foundation crumbles. Even the best musicians practice their scales daily. I really believe that the SiteSell stuff, while basic, distills the essence of what makes web pages successful. Don’t move on to anything advanced until you’ve excelled in the basics.
The SEO Book
After I got an up and rolling website with SBI and learned many of the strategies, I found that there were some “blanks” in the information provided – particularly with regard to some strategies regarding link exchange, directories, and Pay Per Click (PPC) networks. Don’t get me wrong, SBI is an essential first step to get you moving in the right direction of building a content rich website. I use their site manager and hosting services.
I needed some additional, advanced SEO strategies to build relevant inbound links and figure out the inner workings of some of the Pay Per Click Networks and found Aaron Wall’s SEOBook. He has some great information regarding search engine optimization and pay-per-click search engines. Check out his site at Search-Marketing.info and decide for yourself but I highly recommend his SEO book as a very satisfied customer.