If you don't use the Internet in your business today, even the word "e-business" may be a little intimidating. But it doesn't have to be if you take it one step at a time. Here are a few tips that can help in building and promoting your e-business.
·There are many ways to leverage the Internet in business, so start with what you do best. For example, if you are known for putting out an excellent newsletter in print, make your first e-business application an online newsletter. Surprisingly enough, in many cases this will also help to increase your overall circulation.
·Building traffic is much easier when you carefully select your target audience. While there are some exceptions to this rule, a focused approach to promotion usually wins the traffic war. For example, let's say you run a small hardware store and you want to conduct business over the web. If you focus on luring the masses to your site using search words such as "hardware" or "do-it-yourself", you will find that you compete with many hardware stores. However, if you focus on providing a specific product line, such as paintbrushes to a very focused target market, your odds of succeeding skyrocket. My Yahoo search on hardware stores turned up 146 hits; wholesale paint suppliers 41 hits; and wholesale paintbrush suppliers just 1 hit. So, you have to ask yourself, do I want to fight for
traffic with 146, 41 or 0 other sites?
·Design with promotion in mind. If you design your site without taking promotion into consideration you may inadvertently derail your promotion efforts before they begin. One example of this can be seen when you redirect traffic based upon the site visitor. Incorporating a URL redirect to personalize the site visitor's experience can help you earn kudos with your visitors. This could also cause great site promotion problems because some search engines reject sites that immediately redirect visitors. You can compensate for this, but it's much easier to do so during the design phase.
Be the master of your domain. Build your site and promote your site using a domain name that you own. At some point you may have to part ways with your hosting service provider, which means, if you don't own your domain name, you may also have to say goodbye to your traffic. If you do own your domain name, the ability to relocate the traffic you worked hard to build is not left in the hands of your hosting service provider.
About the Author
Greg McNeil is the founder, CEO and president of e-Business Express, Inc; an Internet start-up specializing in providing businesses with the building blocks of e-business; e-business planning, site development, industry leading hosted applications, and e-business promotional services.