Internet Business

Internet Business Website – What is a Website Really For?

by doug on 23 April, 2009

Internet business website is central to your success.

As I have said in other articles, the website is not the business.  The website certainly performs some very important functions.  It is even possible to have an internet business without a website.  Interesting?  It is true.  But not relevant to this discussion.

For now, lets assume that you need a website for your internet business.  The best businesses have at least one.

Lets look at what a website can actually does for you:

  1. Be a brochure for your business.
  2. Be a catalogue of your products.
  3. Collect names and email addresses of your prospects.
  4. Attract search engine traffic.
  5. Convert visitors into customers.

Some of these functions are more useful to your internet business than others.

Brochure Website – How Useful is That?

The first one, a brochure for your business, on it’s own, is not very useful.

What you really want is to convert visitors into customers.  If it doesn’t do that, what good is it?  No good at all.

Catalogue Websites

The second one, a catalogue for your products, can certainly be useful and successful.  Such a website assumes that people are looking for a particular product and are willing to hunt around for it on your website.

The danger to this type of website is that new visitors may not know where to go fist or what to do next.

In general, it is better to have a front-end product, a product that new visitors are likely to need, want and buy.

Having bought, they are more likely to hunt around on your catalogue site for other products.

By this logic, a catalogue site is a secondary site.

Building an Email List

Collecting names and addresses is of major importance to any internet business.  Having got them to your website at some expense, you want to have the chance to bring them back again.  If you collect their name and email address, then sent them compelling emails that they are actually interested in, you have an excellent chance to bring them back to your website.

There are techniques that are very effective in getting people to willingly provide you with their name and email address.  This is a subject for another article.  For now though, lets just say that collecting the name and email address of as many visitors to your website as possible is a big internet business accelerator.

Attracting Natural Web Traffic

Attracting search engine traffic is very desirable.  It provides you with a free stream of visitors who may eventually become customers.

This sure beats paying for visitors.

When you start your internet business, paying for traffic is the fastest and easiest way of getting visitors to your website.

Over time though, it is possible to get significant traffic for free from “natural search traffic”.

For this to happen, you need a website with a growing number of pages, growing relevant traffic, incoming links, and a website that is optimized for search engines.

This works best with the help of a search engine optimization expert, but their is a lot you can do yourself.  The short answer to this is to install WordPress on your site.

With WordPress, you can add pages to your website quickly and easily.

It is also fairly well optimized, even if you don’t know how to do SEO, and it can be further optimized with the help of plugin that adjust the website to make it even more optimized for each.

Web Traffic Conversion

Converting visitors into customers is the primary function of a website.

Everything we have talked about so far – getting free traffic, collecting names and email addresses, and having products to sell to visitors, is all about getting visitors to your website, giving them a reason to buy, and then a way to buy.

If your website is not converting visitors into customers, or at least fulfilling an important step in doing so, then it really has not function in your business.

This may seem obvious, but there are many examples of very expensive websites that do nothing for the businesses they are supposed to support.

Take a cold hard look at your own website.  What is it doing for you?  Does it attract visitors?  Do they contact you in some way with the desire to buy?  Do they buy directly off your website? 

It is that final action, buying directly off of your website, that defines an internet business.  If they call you can you make the sale over the phone, then you may well have a business and a good one too, but it is not really an internet business (although the internet can play a very important role in such businesses).

Either way, having a website that attracts visitors and converts them into customers is a huge internet business accelerator.

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