Sales. Price Slashes. New businesses and start-ups lifting off. The internet is always abuzz with fresh ideas and service brokers hoping to make it big, or at least big enough to sustain a decent life and steady income. It looks easy enough, right? Appearances are very deceiving. While the formula of internet success may look like a cake-walk, consumers are becoming increasingly savvy and extremely picky; it is essential every piece of your website and business flows together seamlessly, otherwise you’ll lose traction, customers and SEO currency. You’re probably leaning back in your chair, sighing and scratching your head, perhaps thinking that you can live with those consequences. Your life may go on, but your business will suffer. How do you prevent your sparkling eCommerce venture from becoming the store equivalent to Myspace? Easy enough and all in good time, follow these rules and reap the benefits, though be warned, nothing good is ever instant and everything instant fails just as swiftly.
Rule 1: Consider Your Customers
When you hear the word customer or client, do dollar signs dance in your eyes and threaten to turn you into Scrooge McDuck, fluffing up to dive into a pile of money? Hold your bill there, Disney and dial it back a level. Good business revolves around cash flow, true enough, though sustained business cannot be realized without a strong customer base and a prevalent word of mouth system (we’ll get to that later). Who is your ideal customer? Segmenting their behaviors into market formulas and matching the data against standing industry figures will allow you to tailor the content of your website appropriately, modelling your calls to actions and process on their needs, wants and desires. Are you targeting business owners? Loved up couples? Singles? Emotional buyers? Considerate scroungers? Be honest with yourself, ask others and most of all, have a direction before slapping any old communication.
Rule 2: Does It Make Sense?
Review your website objectively; if you had landed on the home page, after clicking an organic SERP or following a contacts recommendation, would you stay? Is your landing page engaging and informative? Does it make an impression and utilize content, images, calls to action, field order and page order effectively, creating an easy-to-navigate experience without trying too hard or being too obvious? Have you branded each page consistently, honed a measured tone to appeal to a selected audience and incentivised readers to continue engagement? You don’t need to be a big shot or the next Telstra to make waves online; a strong message, consistent branding and informative pages (think AMC Cleaning for a seemingly small time example) will not only convert skeptical customers, but create a sell-able reliability.
Rule 3: Turn Clients into Advocates
You may have heard of social media; if you’re not already blowing up the waves with your twitter blasts or Facebook updates, it’s time to create a business account and start engaging with a growing demographic of social media natives. They can be anyone, of any age, as people have no grievances with letting others know what they think of a brand name or service, and if yours isn’t up to scratch, you can bet you’ll attract bad press. To stave off this less than desirable experience, ask your new and existing clients or customers to leave their stories on your Facebook (good and bad), encouraging a line of two way communication; not only will you learn from their niggles, you’ll have a further avenue of streamlining your target types without annoying subscribers with surveys!
Are you reading this thinking, you’re forgetting something! Yes? Do you have a different view? Let us know below in the comments and share your kernel of wisdom.