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Download my free presentation at the bottom of this post.
A recent article by Stuff discusses how more than 11,000 New Zealand Businesses have taken up the Free Website MYOB 'Getonline' initiative (supported by Westpac). You can read the article here.
That's 11,000 New Zealand Businesses that have now got their business online BUT how many of them are actually utilising the channel properly? This article is a practical guide to help small business use their Free website to sell more online. At the end of this article is a presentation that I use with small businesses to help them understand the relationship between a website and digital channels.
Having a website & online plan
It never ceases to amaze me how many small (and not so small) business owners dive straight into the newest online shiny thing before they've thought through what they are trying to achieve. There are five critical questions you need to answer before you start doing anything:
1. Have I defined a single online business objective?
2. Have I segmented my customer/prospect base?
3. have I prioritised my digital channels?
4. Have I selected my digital media?
5. Have I establish KPIs and reporting metrics?
Let's talk through each point in turn.
Define a single online business objective
Websites can (and should) satisfy a wide range of business objectives. Your website could be used to:
Now, the reality is your website will (hopefully) satisfy more than one of these objectives. Our task is to create an online strategy for each individual objective.
Easier said than done right? Correct. But the point here is that we need to be making investment decisions based on rolling out a plan. Not haphazardly spending money here there and everywhere.
Segment your customer base
This should be the part that you're the most au fait with. You engage with prospects and customers in the offline world every single day. What we need to do is take that knowledge and apply it to the online world.
The key here is to identify the priority prospects that we want to get to your website to entice them to convert into paying customers. A useful way of simplifying this process is to think:
Select your digital media/advertising
The number of options is staggering, but digital media varies in its usefulness for satisfying different business objectives. For example, Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is typically very useful for driving qualified traffic to your website, creating online sales but less critical for raising brand awareness. Video is exceptional at educating and transferring information, but less likely to result in an immediate conversion.
Ultimately, it depends on what you're selling; what kind of business you run; and who your customers are.
Establish KPIs and reporting
I can't overstate how important it is to have a solid set of KPIs and metrics. Without them, you have no idea how effective your online marketing activity has been.
Some example of online KPIs are:
Selling online: example
Jane is starting up a small retail business that sells designer shoes imported from Italy. She has limited financial resources so wants to initially focus on the New Zealand market and conduct her business entirely online.
There are four more examples in the presentation below.
Download or view the entire presentation
About the author: Laurie Turnbull
Laurie is an SEO & Website Specialist based in Auckland New Zealand. He specialises in helping small and medium sized businesses do more business online.
Give me a call on 021 023 95708 or email me at email@example.com