WebRef Update: Featured Article: Seven Strategies for Building and Managing an Internet Business
Seven Strategies for Building and Managing an Internet Business
Promote your Web site
Promote your site every chance you get. Search engines are a great way to do this because they bring in a target market. Make it easy for people to find you by choosing relevant keywords. Add keywords and a description to the metatags and then register with the search engines. If you are unfamiliar with metatags, some software packages will help you add them and submit your site to search engines.
Self-promotion can be another effective tool. Put your Web site on your business cards, print it on receipts, put a sign in your store window, tell people you've started a Web site. Another way to generate traffic is to create relationships with other businesses. A link exchange is useful. Make sure your links are relevant and compliment your site.
Traditional advertising still works. Place ads in papers or trade journals targeting your audience. Write a column for a local newspaper. Offer a free Web seminar at a library. Go where your customers go.
Stay informed about your Web site
Provide a form or an email address so customers can include comments. What do they want from your Web site? Are they complaining about the pages or images? Can they order the products they want? Can your server handle the Web traffic?
Web statistics can provide important information. You may be getting a lot of visitors, but very few orders. Look at your site from a customer perspective and review the tips about Web design.
For an example of Web statistics, see: www.godaddy.com/gdshop/online_stats.asp
Change your business based on the information you receive and know
Customer feedback is like a free business consultation, if you know how to use it. Even angry letters can serve a purpose. When customers take the time to give you feedback, the underlying message is "We want to order from you, here's how you can let us." Do they complain that the site is too slow? Check your graphics and your Web server. Do they keep asking for related products? Maybe it's time to expand the product base. Maybe they are afraid to order because it's too complicated. Create a FAQ or offer technical support.
Because you need to adjust your site to better serve your customers, easy site maintenance is important. Ask a consultant the cost for changes to your site. Or look into software packages than can manage updates you make to your store.
About the author:
Amy Flynn is a 'Net writer and Strategist with Go Daddy Software, in Scottsdale, AZ. Godaddy.com provides tools for Webmasters to develop and manage online stores. In her free time, Amy enjoys running desert trails. You can contact Amy at email@example.com.
Revised: May 19, 2000