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How to Get Online with a Killer Website and Profit From Its Success
Having great products or services is just the beginning of the battle. The next thing you need is a great website to promote those products or services effectively online on the Web. Only then can you maximize your profits.

by Nik Efay
Contributing Author

The Killer Site
 

There are many reasons why you need to go online with your products or services. This article is not about the usual "why-you-need-to-go-online" routine. I am confident that this article will reveal to you a few little known secrets on how to get online with a killer website and more importantly, to profit from its success; the cheap and easy way! Having great products or services is just the beginning of the battle. The next thing you need is a great website to promote those products or services effectively online on the Web.  Only then can you maximize your profits.

The basic equation involved: 

Zero Visitors = Zero Potential Customer = Zero Customer = Zero Profits 
To get profits, you need visitors (lots of them)!

A good & professional looking website is a must. A stagnant & dull website will simply not sell your product or service. These sites will be like cheap-old-A4-xeroxed-flyers amidst the fancy posters with the GAP hunks, Vogue ladies and the bright red neon lit Coca-Cola billboard!

Don't get me wrong here. I wouldn't go as far to recommend that you have all the bells & whistles & the animated dancing baby on screen. That would be pushing it too far.

What you need is a professional and clean looking website. The first impression of your website is important as your site (and yours truly included) is just one of the millions of websites out there! (FACT: While you are reading this article up till this point, at least a hundred websites have gone on line… yes, it's THAT competitive in the cyber-jungle out there)

Make the first impressions of your website count. As it only takes a mouse click from visitors to get out of your site and into your competitors!

So, a professional looking website is your first step in the effort to attract visitors (If it didn't attract you, then you won't be reading this, right?). A well designed website can help you draw in visitors. A well designed website can help you draw new prospects, repeat customers and help generate sales because you have grabbed your visitors attention to read what you have to say.

 

The Killer Content 

What you need next is professional content. You need to show visitors your expertise and why they should buy from you. You need to build rapport and trust.

A proven method of doing this is by creating a "vertical portal" or a "community site". Bare with me here, I'll explain (with examples) on what I actually mean.

A portal is a starting point of the many information online. Usually, a portal is also known as a community site as it gathers people to interact with one another. Examples of portals are the big boys like Yahoo, Excite, About.com... the list goes on.

Don't freak out yet. I'm not suggesting that you need to compete with the big boys (even though it would be good if you can).

A "vertical" portal is a smaller scale version of the big ones. Vertical portal is a portal concentrating on a smaller niche market. Or more precisely, your target market!

Having a vertical portal on your site would show that you know your business. You can handle enquiries about your industry or area of expertise. You can build rapport so that that visitors will trust you and buy from you.

Here's an example. If you are selling fishing equipment, you could create a website about fishing tips and information. On your site would be links to various websites featuring the best fishing spots. Create a tutorial column for beginners, write articles on the subject matter, eg: "How to Catch Fish?" Provide your visitors with news and articles about fishing expeditions. Anything to show that you know your stuff inside out!

Anything goes to show off your expertise and enthusiasm on your subject. Establish a community of fishing enthusiast out there with a discussion forum, a chat room or a moderated mailing list. With an online community maintained by yourself, you will be able to build trust and rapport amongst visitors with your expert advice. The bigger and better established the community, the better it is for you.

With a vertical portal, you are creating what is known as a 'sticky content' where visitors would want to hang around and come back at a later time to read on something new that you have in store for them. And in doing so, you have created yourself a market for your products or services. A vertical portal is a proven method to attract visitors and subsequently convert those visitors to customers!

The Killer Contact 

Likewise, keeping in touch with your visitors when they are not on your site is also equally important. Send updates from time to time via email newsletters on special offers. And the best way to do this is by maintaining a mailing list of your visitors!

Most of the big boys online uses this relatively cheap approach (I'll show you a free approach!). Check out .com, eBay.com, Dell.com etc… you'll see a little box where you will be prompted to fill in your email address and they will send you newsletters/updates on special offers.

Try and get your visitors email address via a mailing list subscription and keep in contact with them. Give tips, information, news, offers or even organize a competition via e-mail. With a mailing list subscription, it would only take you a click of the mouse button for you to send an e-mail to hundreds or even thousands of your visitors!

It is an effective method of personal advertising! Those who subscribe to your newsletter are those who are interested in what you have to say. Thus, without additional cost (stamps, envelopes, Xerox machine etc. if you use conventional mail or more commonly known as snail-mail), your potential customers are just a mouse click away. And remember, since there were no costs involved, the sales you generate from the mailing list are considered as guaranteed profits!

The Killer Links 

Promoting is a must for all website. Without it, you are bound to fail.

There are many ways to promote your website on the net. The best proven method and most cost effective (again it's free) way is to exchange links to your website with other sites that supplement yours! This is called 'reciprocal links'.

For example, let's take another look at our business that sells fishing equipment. A business that is supplementary to fishing equipment might be a river lodge website! Suggest a link exchange as the lodge site visitors might find it a good idea to fish, therefore they'd need fishing equipment. On the other hand, your visitors would need a good fishing spot, therefore, the lodge link would be helpful!

It's a win-win situation where both sites will get what each one wants: more visitors! You can write an e-mail or contact the river lodge site owner and tell them how exchanging links could help both parties. You might even end up with an agreement such as offering discounts to either site's visitors in order to give more value to the visitors!

You can be creative here. A bit of brain storming would help you find your perfect cyber-match. Why reciprocal links are important is because, once an exchange is made (win-win situation), it is a lot of free advertising about you, circulating itself in the right market!

Exchanging links can be done in various ways, by exchanging text link, button link or a banner!

The Killer Listing 

If you are serious about driving traffic to your site, you must get your link out to as many websites as possible. One of the best way is to submit your site to the thousands of search engines and directories on the net.

The most well known form of advertising is via search engines and directories listings. Always submit your site to search engines and directory listings. However, special attention will need to be taken on the top 10 search engines.

The best (and advisable) way to do this is by manually submitting your site to the top search engines. You may notice there are various submit engines available online that claims to submit your site to +400 search engines and directories. However, I personally recommend you not to submit to the few top search engine & directories using these services. The top ones are the ones that would need special attention and you can do so by manually filling in their form.

If you use the above mentioned submit search engines & directories services, the end product will not be as great as they claim in their advertisements and hype. The reason being that all the different search engines and directories have different methods of listing the submitted site.

For example, some list by keywords, some lists alphabetically, some lists by the URL (web address), some lists by the meta tag (hidden keywords embedded in the codes of your website), and many will list by using the site's description.

When using these submit services, you'll be submitting your site blindly, without considering the position / ranking your site will be in. It is better for you to submit manually as you can personally tailor your submission for each search engine. For example, Yahoo.com uses alphabetical listings... so, you might name your site appropriately to get good listings.

Excite.com uses keywords. So, it'll be wise to go all out in the keyword submission in it's forms. So now do you see what you are missing by using these submit services?

Survey shows more than 85% of internet users are using the top search engines & directories in the world. These include:

Google
Yahoo! 
Alta Vista 
InfoSeek 
Lycos 
GoTo 
WebCrawler 
Snap 
MSN 
Ask Jeeves

So, I suggest that you put in extra effort into submitting to those search engines and directories. And try to make your site get good listings there. You can look at the FAQ of each search engines to see what are the engines are actually looking for to get high listings. Manually inserting your site to these top search engines wouldn't hurt!

The Killer Update 

Last but not least (ok, I know people don't use this cliché anymore), you need to update your site from time to time. This shows that you are serious about your website, hence your business! This is important especially for community sites and vertical portals.

Updating may involve just the main page with up to date news, new tips, new advice, new offers and the list goes on…

A change does not mean you need to revamp the whole website or putting in new graphics regularly etc. (even though it's good… the cost will increase).

Changing text on your website does not cost you much if you hire someone to do it for you. On the other hand you can also do it yourself, as HTML is not difficult to learn especially editing text!

So, with a regularly updated site, a community, a portal, a newsletter to keep in touch with your visitors and a great looking website…. You have a similar package to what the big boys have.

You see them adapting these killer ways to gain and attract visitors! And you could model their methods, only to a smaller scale targeting your niche market! Have a look at these sites:

chipshot.com 
onhealth.com 
fieldandstream.com 
beatboxbetty.com 
drtoy.com 
fishbase.com 
fit-net.com

Of course there are many other ways to promote your site and grab visitor's attention. What you have read are the few little known secrets that can be cheap and easy to implement but highly effective in returns!|

About the Author: 

 
Nik Efay is the owner of Cheap And Easy Way Online- a web design company catering to small and home-based business. Visit his sites at http://www.cheapandeasywayonline.com  http://www.bekwik.com 
 

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