Converting clicks to customers

Converting clicks to customers

The internet today has become a powerful tool for businesses to influence their customers and market their businesses irrespective of their size and market reach. Globally, consumers rely on the internet to not only search for solutions that match their personal and business needs, but also to conduct transactions online, all from the comfort of their home or office. The UK has seen a surge in businesses and people turning net-savvy and embracing the convenience offered by the internet, with 77 per cent of homes now online.

The internet today has become a powerful tool for businesses to influence their customers and market their businesses irrespective of their size and market reach. Globally, consumers rely on the internet to not only search for solutions that match their personal and business needs, but also to conduct transactions online, all from the comfort of their home or office. The UK has seen a surge in businesses and people turning net-savvy and embracing the convenience offered by the internet, with 77 per cent of homes now online.

Getting the right attention online

A simple keyword search for "handicrafts" can result in over 10,000 matching categories on popular search engines. As a result, consumers today have limitless choices in an extremely crowded online market. The key challenge is to attract visitors to your website and then persuade them to do business with you - moving them from ‘clicks’ to ‘customers’.

A .net domain name can help spell success online

An important first step to conducting business on the internet is to select and register a domain name. The domain name can be used to represent your company’s brand and identity on the internet. To help boost your company’s visibility on the web and to establish your brand online, choose a meaningful domain name and register it as soon as possible.

Just as location in the offline world can be important for the growth of your business, a .net domain name for example can be the cornerstone of your online success – many young entrepreneurs pick this type of domain when they start putting their novel business ideas into practice on the web. Further, it helps provide instant visibility and credibility for your brand online, both in the UK and globally.

From searching online to shopping online

With services such as travel booking, movie tickets booking, and banking gaining popularity online, the internet has provided an opportunity for businesses, small or large, to convert their online target audience into customers. British shoppers spent £31.5bn online in the first half of 2011, a 19% increase over the same period in 2010.

One of the key reasons for this surge in online buying is the convenience the internet offers. Being online offers a significant opportunity for smaller businesses in the e-commerce space, as they can now market their business online while saving on overhead costs as they acquire new customers. The internet has become a great equaliser for many companies and marketers. Without spending a fortune, small companies can look to compete alongside the larger companies.

Understanding the online buyer

A survey on online buying attitudes reveals that a website has to put visitors in a buying mood. It must engage the visitor as they more willing to buy when the involvement is high. There are specific features of your website that can help you achieve that goal.

Provide abundant yet relevant information first

Once a prospective customer arrives at your website, presenting him with the most interesting and unique features of your product or service will help to engage him.

As general rules of thumb:

  • Don’t clutter your home page with unnecessary details.
  • Clearly state your key message using as few words as possible.
  • Use summary descriptions, sub-headings, bulleted lists and short paragraphs.
  • Adopt a standard one-column format for easy reading.

Easy to use

It is important to ensure that your website is easy to use. The menus and navigation on your website should be as intuitive as possible, offering the customer all the information that he might need in a simple way, with minimum clicks. For example, if you own an air-ticket booking site, the content on your home page may highlight some key offers that you have, information on all flights and clearly indicate the bookings page. All offers could link directly to your booking page, so that each time a customer clicks on them, they are led to the page where they can get all details about the offer and book their tickets within a few easy steps.

”Less is more” is the cardinal rule when selling online. This means the fewer the clicks, the better.

Inspire trust and boost security

Creating customer confidence for your online business can be a challenge. In the online world, your website does the talking on your behalf; hence showcasing your credibility in the industry and your capability helps engender trust in the visitor.

For example, if you own a motel business, then your website may showcase the rooms that you offer through an elaborate picture gallery. The website may also have a comprehensive “about us” section that covers all the aspects of your business, contains information on the services that you offer and also includes media and client reviews, so that people visiting your website get to know as much as possible about your motel and can assess your credibility for themselves. If your website offers the option of purchasing online, it is also important that your customers trust that it is safe to carry out a transaction on your website. This trust can be built by deploying a sound secure payment system on your website.

With a little strategic planning, you can help grow your business. You work hard to get the clicks. What could be more important than turning those clicks into customers?

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