If you are the owner of a site designed to promote a product or service, the first thing you want to do is ensure that your site attracts an ever-increasing number of visitors. Even if a potential customer is not ready to make a purchase yet, if your site is easy to navigate and features helpful information, chances are they will "bookmark" it to return at a later time. Be clear about the purpose of of your site. Web surfers do not take time to "dig" for hidden information. You may only have a few seconds to capture a visitor's interest, so be sure to include a message on your home page that describes what product or service you are providing.
It's very important that after you launch your Web site that you update it's contents on a regular basis. It's the kiss of death in Internet marketing to own a site with stale information. Where possible, invite visitors to sign up for a house publication or catalogue, or to register to receive updated information from you.
You now have a mailing list of prospective customers to draw from. Keep your company name at the front of a prospect's mind by touching base with them from time to time with small nuggets of information, like helpful hints. Using questions to peak interest is a good strategy to use. This immediately gets your visitor's interest and gets them to start thinking that your product or service will be of benefit to them. If you receive positive feedback from your customers, feel free to include them on your site (with contact information deleted, of course).
Nothing builds credibility for your business like testimonials. Keep in mind that a picture is worth a thousand words. Whenever possible, include photographs of available products so that your customers can see what your site has to offer.
If you are selling a product, post a list of ways the product can be used or places where it can be used. Invite visitors to your site to sign up for your newsletter or mailing list. If you have a new article or have reported on something newsworthy, make it easy for potential customers to find this information. Give them directions to navigate their way through your site. Make it easy for your customers to contact you and to do business with you.
Provide a link to an e-mail contact, toll-free phone number, or contact form in a prominent location. This should be placed on the home page; some site owners choose to place contact information on each page. It's also a good idea to include a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for your customers' convenience. Make it easy for customers to order from you; provide an "Order Now" link.
Let them know if you accept credit cards and/or Paypal. Have information about shipping options readily available, and be sure to set out your return/refund policy clearly. It will avoid many misunderstandings at a later date. By following the suggestions set out above, you will make it easy for visitors to your site to learn what it is that you are selling and to ultimately decide to move from the category of site visitor to (satisfied) customer.
Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Beach, Florida. Find more about this as well as internet marketing tips at http://www.gorillamarketing.com