Creating and managing your online business requires you to follow the same basic principals of any business - relying on sound Business Strategies. There are however, a few practices that differ or that just are unique to an online business. Here we share our views and experience with you to help you develop a more effective and profitable online business.

What you don’t know is what is important

The most significant aspect about selling and marketing your business online is your ability to truly measure the results. You can just about measure everything. Traditional marketing initiatives provide some degree of performance results but many are largely based on assumptions, averages and trends. Your ability to be successful with your marketing and advertising is directly related to how well you can measure results, the accuracy of those measurements and your analysis and interpretation of that data.

I am continually amazed by business owners who tell me that they are happy with their web site performance because they are getting good sales or lots of visitors (this last measure is not always accurate). How many of you reading this article know just where to find this information and how many of you read it? More importantly, how many of you understand the data presented?

Let me give you an analogy (because I just love doing that…). Imagine you are a store owner with your shop in the basement of a building with no windows. Every day you receive a steady, but not overwhelming, stream of people visiting your shop of which some buy 1 item, some browse and a few buy a few of your items. Sales are good enough to afford you a reasonable wage and to be ‘content’.

Is your business doing well? Sure you may be content but is that the purpose of your business to be just content or is it to grow the business so as to afford you what you want and dream of not only today but for your future? How relevant is your measure of success? You make a reasonable profit – fine. What about understanding the lost potential? Just how many people walk past your store up on the street front? What percentage of those people actually come down to your store?

May I suggest that it is not how many people walk into your store that is the measure of success it is the percentage of possible market share that you have captured that is important? If you understand how many and who it is that you are not attracting to your business then that is where the potential for massive increases in turnover lie. Yes it is easier to service existing customers than win new ones and you should not overlook your existing customer base (assuming you are focussing on the right sort of customer here… that is another article I will write).

If you only capture 1% of the passers-by then you have the opportunity to grow your business 100 times! You just haven’t worked out yet how to tap into that other 99% that walks straight past your storefront. Sure you won’t and don’t have to capture all 99% but imagine just capturing 1/99th of that – you have just doubled your turnover!

In using tools such as Google Adwords, Google Analytics or Business Catalyst'’s built in analytics reporting, you can better strategise how to grow your business. These tools won’t tell you whether you have 1% or 10% of the market visiting you for sure, but with some careful market research you can get some idea. These tools will however tell you how many people saw your ad and then what percentage clicked on it because they found it interesting. These tools will tell you that of all the people who went to you web site how many immediately existed without looking any further. They will tell you what other pages they visited and what pages they saw along the way. This is all very valuable information in assessing the effectiveness of your web site.

Google Keywords is a tool can tell you approximately how many people in your country searched on a particular key phrase or keyword. You can see how many people visited your site using that term. Now we are getting some idea of the percentage of the market share you are attracting. Follow this approach across several keywords and keyphrases and you are starting to build a solid picture.

If you understand the market that you are not attracting, know how your competitors operate, then you have the capability to develop strategies that can increase sales several fold.

After all, is this not why you are truly in business or are you content to just continue with the job you bought?
If you would care to know more abut how you can develop internet marketing strategies and design online business solution that will deliver to your real business needs then you should call us to discuss how we can work with you in achieving this. We have strategic alliances with partner businesses such as Searchsmart who, as Australia’s leading Google Alliance Partner, are specialists in Google Adwords campaign development and management. We know how to work with your web site in optimising it for the search engines and we develop marketing strategies that fit to your business plans. We would love to talk with you if you’re serious about growing your business, better managing it and looking to get more out of your online presence.

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