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Using the Web to Sell Online with Corbett Barr

by Thursday Bram on October 4, 2010

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The importance of web traffic to a small business is only rising. Corbett Barr, who consults on building traffic for websites, notes the importance: “A few years ago, I might have answered that [the importance of building traffic] depends on what kind of clients the small business attracts. The thought being that some demographics didn’t necessarily use the Internet to find businesses. But now, I can’t imagine any small business that wouldn’t benefit from having at least a simple website. And in most cases, having a site is absolutely imperative. The web is the #1 way to reach new customers and maintain relationships with existing ones.”

First Steps for a Small Business

For a small business owner with a full plate, it can seem tough to tell where you should start on building traffic. But Barr has some specific suggestions. “To attract visitors to your website, you need to do essentially three things. First, develop a compelling foundation for your online presence. This means creating a unique selling proposition, using an attractive design, and making sure your site is easy to use and navigate. Second, you have to develop valuable content. Your content could include information about your existing products, free introductory resources to help people new to your topic/offerings, access to product manuals, frequently asked questions, info about your company, etc. The goal is to provide unmistakable value that helps your visitors out. A blog is an excellent platform for producing content. Finally, you have to get the word out about your site. People won’t start coming to your site out of thin air. You have to ‘prime the pump’ by marketing the site. Social media can be a great way to do that (using Twitter, Facebook, etc.), and search marketing is also great. Just make sure to target places where people you want to reach already hang out…If you don’t have the time to dedicate to your web project, it might be best to wait until you do.”

Adding on Strategies

Just having a website isn’t the only way to promote your products of services online. Affiliate marketing and other strategies offer opportunities, although identifying the best strategies for your business can require some consideration. “It really depends on your goals and the type of business you’re in. Most businesses that already exist offline have an existing product to sell. In that case, I would focus your online efforts on delivering value to your visitors and talking about your existing products,” says Barr. “Affiliate marketing is a strategy that works best for online businesses. It’s a way to earn commissions for selling other people’s products or to find more customers by paying other marketers for sending you leads. If your business sells information products or online services, I would encourage you to develop an affiliate program early.”

Barr’s last piece of advice is that finding the right people to work with on your online efforts can make a world of difference. “There’s a learning curve to building and marketing a website for your small business. Anyone can do it themselves given enough time and focus. Most small business owners are busy people though, so I tend to encourage people to find a partner (usually a designer or marketer) who can help with the things you don’t have time to learn and do yourself.”

Photo Credit: ThinkTraffic.net

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      This is a good article for newbies in selling online. Many will benefits because of this post. Thanks to you Mr. Thursday.