Question by patricknshawnie: What is the best way to advertise and Market an online tea shop?
I would like to open an online tea shop focusing on fresh leaf teas. I have started a website as well as my business plan for an SBA loan. What is the most cost effective and economical way of marketing and advertising online? This would strictly be an online business.
Answer by SEO Consultant – Life Coach
promotional strategies, always remember that the traffic is not the whole solution.
You must also convert your visitors to buyers. Always watch for ways to work with “emotional content” since most people make their “buying decisions” when they are in an emotional state.
Your promotions need to make the visitor FEEL good. Consider at times where the use of humour might be incorporated or perhaps the warm fuzzy feelings produced by the tone of your writing. This is a secret that traditional advertisers have been using for years successfully.
Are you using the little credit card logos on your page above the fold where the visitors can see them easily without scrolling? These logos as well as the verisign logo or security logos all instill a sense of trust in your visitor.
Do everything you can to make your page “feel safe” and friendly to your visitors. Your site is finished and your online store is up and running, but your work is just beginning. Your next task is to optimize your site to maximize sales and focus on customer conversion.
Here are a few suggestions on converting click-throughs to purchases
Clean design and easy-to-understand navigation is key to a successful e-business site. Your customers need to be able to find your merchandise quickly and get around your site easily. If customers don’t find what they are looking for quickly, they may leave your store before making a purchase.
Compelling copy can also help you optimize your sales. Spend some time fine-tuning your site’s content to make sure that it is appealing and helps sell your products. Good copy is informative, short, and to the point, listing all of the key details of your products in an easy-to-read format.
Once your copy is written, analyze it to make sure it is optimized for search engines. The best way to ensure you get your fair share of traffic from search engines is by placing appropriate keywords throughout your pages.
When search engines index sites, they go through pages looking for keywords and rank Web pages accordingly. If you have popular keywords throughout your copy, search engines will include your Web site in search results for those terms.
Now that the mechanics are out of the way, you can focus on increasing the appeal of your products by offering free gifts or running specials. The best way to entice a new customer to purchase from your company instead of your competition is by offering them something that they can’t get anywhere else. Here are a few examples.
Sales. The old standby, the sale, works just as well online as offline. If your business is seasonal, offer a discount during a traditional slow period. Alternately, if you have too much inventory of a particular type, you can mark it down dramatically in an attempt to move it.
Free shipping. Instead of offering a discount on your products, you can discount your shipping for a limited time, or offer free shipping for purchases over a certain amount. Offering free shipping on orders over $ 100, for example, may encourage a customer to add to his or her order to get free shipping.
Coupons are a proven way to increase return customer sales, which can keep a business going for a long time. If you can keep your existing customers happy, they can provide a large percentage of your sales.
E-books or newsletters. Free information related to the products you sell can be a cost-effective way to keep customers coming back. For example, if you sell home furnishings in your store, you could offer a free e-book about interior design principles.
If you don’t have time to write an e-book, you may be able to find existing copy to redistribute to your customers. Try researching topics for items that you sell and see if you can find anything that ties in well with your store.
Additionally, e-mail newsletters are an excellent way to keep in touch with your customers in a relatively unobtrusive manner. Newsletters can be used to communicate information about sales, featured items, and general news, as well as deliver targeted marketing.
Updating your site regularly is critical to keeping your customers coming back. Employing the techniques above will force you to keep your site fresh, as you rotate your offers throughout your business cycle. New content lets your customers know that your online business is thriving, and will let them know you are in it for the long haul.
Is your web site trustworthy?
It’s very important that your web site visitors have trust and confidence in your company. Your customers must trust you. They won’t buy from you if they don’t.
On the World Wide Web, you cannot speak face to face with your customer so you have to establish credibility in other ways.
1. Make sure that your web pages have a professional design
Your web pages have to look perfect. If necessary, hire a professional web designer. Don’t use blinking text, funny animations or flashy banners on your page. Make sure that all links on your web site are intact.
Don’t use automatically created web pages. Some software programs allow you to automatically create pages that are “optimized” for a special keyword. These doorway pages don’t work anymore on search engines (its simply spamming).
In addition, human web surfers are turned away by that kind of pages. While doorway pages might look attractive to software programs, web surfers usually hate them. Automatically created doorway pages usually look ugly to human web surfers. Often, they consist of nothing more than a list of buzz-words. You won’t get good results with this method because human web surfers will quickly close such a web page.
2. Tell your web site visitors who you are
Make sure that customers know that a real person is sitting behind this Web page. Include your full contact information on your web site and make it easy to find.
3. Offer free trials and show your refund policy
The most common things to establish trustworthiness is to offer a free trial and a money back guarantee. If your customers know what they’ll get, they’ll be more likely to purchase.
4. Use testimonials.
Its far better if other people say nice things about you than you saying nice things about yourself. Testimonials from satisfied customers will show how your business can do a better job than your competitor when it comes to customer satisfaction.
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