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Running an Online Business

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There are many factors that will influence running a successful online business. However, as anyone with any experience in online retail will tell you, the main factors are going to be how much exposure you can generate for your website and how well you can convert the visitors (potential sales leads) into sales and profit in the most economically viable way possible.

The amount of success you can achieve will vary according to a wide range of factors, all of which will play their individual role in the business.

A professional website

Today’s webmasters and site owners must realise that they are just one of hundreds of other businesses all vying for their website to appear on the front pages of the major search engines like Google and Bing. It is therefore essential that in order to stand out from the crowd that the design of the website is as user friendly as possible. Whilst the look of the site will be largely dictated by the type of products you intend selling, good site navigation will allow your potential customers to easily find their way around your site viewing the relevant products as they go. There is no point drawing potential customers to your site for them to simply leave again because they either don’t think the site is reputable or looks confusing.

As a final point, a professional website will establish customer confidence that they are buying from a well established reputable company.

Know your market and product

Having confidence in your products and services and knowing your target audience is an essential factor in running a successful online business. When selling expensive technical items like roller garage doors and sectional garage doors, customers will want to know all manner of information therefore it is important they can be answered quickly and in a professional manner. Knowing the product will inspire confidence in the customer that the purchase will run smoothly.

One important point to consider is that where the target market is continually evolving, it is essential that up and coming trends are spotted early so as to gain a good share of the market once the trend really takes off therefore keeping you ahead of your main competitors.

How you market your products or service

When trying to enter a new market where there is already tough competition, it is often a common theme to do something a little different from the existing competition, like marketing the product from a different point of view. For example, when selling garage doors, rather than talking about some of the more mundane features like locks etc, concentrate more of the safety features and why they will keep the purchaser and their family safe. Most purchasers of this type of product tend to be the target audience that has a family so why not exploit the opportunity.


Website traffic is the biggest single factor that will dictate your success. It is pointless spending thousands of pounds on a professional website for it to never be seen by potential customers.

To successfully generate high volumes of traffic in the natural listings of the search engines you will need to have a good strategy in place. To rank in the top 10 places of the search engines for relevant high volume keywords you will need to undertake an effective link building campaign. Remember, this is a long process that requires patience and dedication to see the results you want.

There are no shortcuts other than doing pay per click advertising that unless managed and run correctly will cost a lot of money for very little return. In the long run, the sensible solution is natural link building.

This Guest post has been written by Dan who runs an online retail business with a number of website all specializing in niche home improvement products such as roller garage doors, sectional garage doors, garden gates and sun awnings.

About the author: Paper Free Invoices started out as a small blog for my invoicing software business Paper Free Billing but has morphed into something much more useful. I’ve really enjoyed reading the guest articles and speaking with guest publishers so much so I’m always looking for talented bloggers to contribute. If you have any questions or feedback on this article, please find your voice in the comment section, we will try to answer every genuine comment!

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  • Phyllis Moore

    These are great tips. I agree on all points, especially the importance of a professional looking Web site.

    I think it’s also very important for businesses to have their contact information visible on all pages of the Web site, preferably somewhere in the header. They should also have a phone number — ideally, a toll free number — and a physical address. This helps to instill confidence in the visitor that he or she is dealing with a real company whose owners/employees can be contacted if they need assistance.