Turn your web site into a real force for your business

Although business on the high street may have been dire over Christmas in 2008, the web continued to confound the experts and had its best year ever. If you have not done so already, now is the time to turn your web site into a business-generating force for your business.

Using the web presence to sell your business

Competition for people's attention on the web is fierce and getting more so as ever increasing numbers of companies display their wares on-line. It is no longer enough for small and medium businesses just to have a web presence. Considerable effort must be invested in making your website as conspicuous and as user-friendly as possible - so that new customers are attracted to it stay around when they find it.

You need to have a clear understanding of what you are trying to achieve - drive footfall to your store, make purchases online, or enquire about the services you offer. You can then shape what you do on the web site to meet these objectives.

When it comes to making a purchase on-line, repeat visitors are eight times more likely to click the order button than new visitors. So if you provided a good service in 2008 you are much more likely to see repeat business in 2009. While it has long been known that repeat visitors make better customers than new visitors, you really do need to understand the demographics of your customers, who is buying what, and when.

Whilst most companies that provide hosting services for your web site and can provide you with statistics showing pages visited etc, with an e-commerce site you really need more information. If people visiting your web site can log in as returning customers for special offers then your CRM system will be able to track them. That way you will get much more meaningful information about what your clients want, what interests them and encourages them to buy.

It is also highly advisable to ensure that you are maximising the number of hits that you are getting on your web site by ensuring people can find you when they run a web search looking for your kind of service. You can do this by using search engine optimisation (SEO) and it is usually advisable to call in an expert to show you how this can be done to maximum effect.

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