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How to think and get customers to buy from your website

I hate to be negative, but now I'm going to be really tough, angry and whiny. Therefore, you should read today's text as an internal document from your own marketing department.

I'm concerned about on-line sales. There is a general perception that it's enough to get people to visit a website to also make them start buying things. That's not true.

In order to sell a lot from the website, you must at least do this:

1. Build a website that gives the visitor what he/she came for.

2. Fill it with content that hits the right target group so that you get the right kind of visitors, not just a lot of people on your site.

3. Turn the website into a friend who makes people feel at home, trustworthy and a website that any visitor would recommend others to visit.

4. Stop focusing on specific methods and techniques. It doesn't matter if you manage to get your visitors with the use of smart, modern technology - unless you have a website that really does its job, no one will still buy from you.  

5. Make sure that your website is interesting for others to link to - the search engines like that.

6. Recognize that the key to online success for any business is all about communication, willingness and a desire to communicate with customers.

7. Make sure that your website is sales-oriented and built around the idea of purchases.

But what worries me the most is all the services you are offered by companies that are going to place your website as number 1. This is what always makes me grab for a bottle of Valium. The thing is that it doesn't matter how much traffic you get if you don't get the right traffic and you need to have a website that is selling (all pages are selling - never say that you have your page for information only). All websites are selling at least one impression, opening hours, a contact, measurements of a bookcase … You know what I mean!


1. It costs 7 000 to 100 000 per year to hire a search engine positioning company's services.

2. They can't promise you the first places on attractive words because you simply can't promise anyone that. There is no one out there who has some kind of special connections with the search engines.

3. They can promise you first places among the sponsored responses (which is a huge difference and also something you can do yourself).

4. You can get the first points on the words that your customers aren't looking for.

5. You can get the first places on words that there is no competition for (and that you can easily get yourself).

6. Next year you pay the annual fee again. And the next year and the next ...

7. You get no money back if you're not satisfied - my goodness. Do you realize what a scam this is?

But what to do then?

I never hire any companies to get my websites highly ranked - yet they end up high on the right words. And yes, I’m banging my own drum here - I've written a book on this topic that I, of course, want people to buy, but even if you don't like that, you should be aware of the big scam that makes you believe that traffic is king. The RIGHT traffic is king. And RIGHT traffic to a website that is built to SELL.

Whew. Thanks for letting me say that - and for listening.

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

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"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
You run a small business and you want to get ahead of the competition, but how can you give resources to marketing when you're short on time and the budget is tight? The solution is here! The 5-Minute Marketer is packed with 395 tried-and-tested ways to market your business in 5 minutes or less.