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Requirements for a blockbuster online store

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

I'm concerned. The thing that bothers me is the creation of online sales. There is a general perception that it's enough to get people to visit a website to make it go “ka-ching” at checkout. But that's s not true.

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

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

2. Fill it with content that attracts the right target group, so that you get the right visitors. Attracting a huge number of visitors is pointless unless they buy anything from you.
3. Turn the website into a friend where people will feel at home and that will make them recommend the website to others.

4. Stop fixating on the technical aspects. It doesn't matter if you manage to get people to visit your website with technological help - if you don't have a website that does its job, there won't be any purchases.

5. Make sure your website is interesting for others to link at – that's what the search engines like.

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

7. Make sure your website is sales-oriented and leads people to a purchase.

But what worries me the most is this – there are various companies who offer you services that will get your website ranked as #1. It's scams like these that makes me grope for a huge bottle of Valium. The thing is that it doesn't matter how much traffic you get if you don't get the right kind traffic. You need to have a website that is selling (all pages are about selling – don't tell me that you have your pages for information purposes only) All websites are selling at least one impression; opening hours, contact information, measurements etc, - you know what I mean.

1. It's very expensive to hire the services of a search engine positioning company.
2. They can't promise you a #1 spot for attractive words because no one can make such promises simply because no one who has special connections with the search engines.
3. They can promise you #1 spots among the sponsored responses (which is a huge difference and also something you can do yourself).
4. You can get the #1 spots on words that your customers aren't looking for.
5. You can get #1 spots on words that there's no competition for (and that you can easily get it yourself).
6. Next year you have to pay the annual fee again. And the next year and the next.
7. You get no money back if not satisfied. My goodness – do I really have to go on ...?

But what should you do then?
I never hire any companies to get my websites a high ranking - yet I end up with a high ranking on the right word. And yes, I 'm blowing my own trumpet here because I've written a book about this that you really have to buy, but even if you don't want to buy it, you shouldn't fall for the scam that says that “traffic is king”. The RIGHT kind of traffic is king and the RIGHT kind of traffic leads to a website that is built to sell.

Thanks for letting me get that off my chest - and thanks 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.