It's your business dream come true. You have started your own business online. You've done all the footwork by choosing a domain name, getting a host and carefully selecting the inventory that you wish to carry. The question is what to do next? In order for any business to be successful on or offline, you need to advertise or promote your business. Here are some suggestions to help drive traffic to your web business.
Offer a newsletter. This is a great way to stay in contact with your existing and potential customers. By mailing them periodically with new products, special offers, or general news you help keep your store in their consciousness. If you offer a newsletter, you will want to have an "opt out" process to comply with the CAN-SPAM law. To keep your readership loyal, provide unique content or other reasons to keep them subscribed and to keep them coming back to your web business.
Have a "Tell a Friend" form in a highly visible spot on your website. This is a no brainer that allows someone to send a note to a friend with your website address. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to get more visitors to your website. This simple improvement can help create awareness. If 100 people told a friend, it could mean 100 more people visit your website, at no charge to you.
Advertise offline. Look for affordable ways that you can print your website address. This could be through classified or other paid ads, promotional products with your domain name printed on it, or direct mailings with an invitational offer. Having your name in print goes a long way. Some people will hold on to printed information for a period of time before visiting or contacting your company. And printed material offers a form of prestige not offered by having a website alone.
Build Link Partners. If you have a localized business, see if other businesses have a website
that would provide a link to you. Local chamber of commerces, places of worship, friends and
other associates that operate websites are a great place to get started. You might also consider categorized link directories that offer listings in your field. Link building can be time consuming, but will provide qualified traffic back to you. You can also look for other website owners that have related traffic and see if they would be interested in a link exchange. Directories which offer paid inclusions are generally your best bet.
Advertise online. There are a great number of places to advertise online. Major search engines such as Yahoo, Google and MSN offer paid advertising. This type of advertising is focused, but may come at a premium. You may also want to consider advertising on smaller sites that offer products and services related to your own.
Building your online business may take some time and effort, but is well worth it in the end. These are just a few basic building blocks on your road to success on the internet. You can make your business dreams come true!
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