Did you know that some companies in Nigeria generate over 3.5 billion Naira a month in sales from their website alone right here in Nigeria?
While you may not quite achieve this feat (I mean the 1 billion per month sales I talked about earlier), but have you ever imagined if it was possible to have your phone ringing 24/7 and it would be potential customers calling and starting the conversation like this;
“I saw your number on the internet, can you help me do this or that…” or “I got this number from your website, am I speaking with …”
The thing about having a website is that it not only gives you exposure, it also positions you as an expert and your product as the best in the minds of potential clients. This makes it possible such that when they call you; all initial resistances would have been watered down. As a matter of fact, through your website, you would have answered more than 70% of the questions on their minds and a relationship is already established.
If it was this easy to get customers calling and requesting your products and services, why isn’t every business taking advantage of it? Unfortunately, it’s not so straight forward and simple. In fact 70-80% of websites created in Nigeria are shut down after 2 years (my opinion) because they turn into liabilities for their owners.
In this article, I’m going to show you how to leverage your website to increase sales in 2017 for your business by as much as 50%.
The strategies I’m going to teach you in this article work. It doesn’t matter what industry you are in. I’ve personally applied them in my business over the years and have gotten countless number of clients. As a matter of fact, most of my clients come from my website. I have also applied the same strategies for a few clients who I consult for and it has worked for them tremendously.
So let’s get started
The #1 purpose of your website is to sell.
Irrespective of whether you are a non-profit organization or a profit oriented company, the primary purpose of having a website is to sell something. Therefore, your website should be positioned to sell.
In order to achieve that, your website homepage should be designed as a landing page, i.e. It should be created in such a way that as soon as someone lands on the page, he will be encouraged to take an action that will bring you a step closer to selling something to him/her. This action may be for the person to request for a free quotation, submit his/her email address/phone number to get a free offer, ask for a call back, request for Free consultation etc.
How you engage your visitors will be solely dependent on the type of product/services you offer.
But the most important factor is that once someone drops into your website, you should be able to capture the person’s contact information so that you can reach out to him/her later.
Take for example this E-Brand website; you will notice that we have a quotation form at the homepage of the site such that people can request for free web design quotation. Also at the end of every article, we put in a number you can call if you have any questions or requests as regards to web design. This makes it possible for us to capture their details and get in touch with them, right? Believe me, almost every day, we get up to 3-5 requests for quotation. While we may not be able to convert all of them, we certainly do convert a good number of them into customers. And most importantly we have a database of potential clients to sell to in future.
The easiest way to achieve this is to design your website using a landing page template/theme. These types of templates are already designed to help you capture your visitors’ information. The forms are positioned appropriately and call to action buttons placed on hotspots that attract human eyes.
If your website is just new with very little number of visitors, no amount of tweaking will make it bring in customers and increase sales for you.
Therefore, you will need to leverage other existing more popular sites to get the word out there about your business while your own website gains popularity gradually.
In order to achieve this, there are 3 ways;
This is the surest way to leverage other websites. It makes it possible for your website to have multiple pages in different places all over the internet.
However, just submitting your business to a directory and disappearing the next minute will not help you in any way. You have to constantly update your directory page with the right keywords so that search engines can take notice of it. Also if you have photos of previous projects you've done, some directories allow for you to upload pictures.
The idea is just treat your directory pages as you would your own website and you will reap the reward
Putting out press releases is a subtle way of marketing. It gives you the opportunity of riding on the back of the media to success. If you are lucky and one of your news goes viral, that is all the publicity you need to boost your sales.
Take it or leave it, people respect businesses that make the news more than obscure ones. So don’t wait for the news to happen, create it and distribute it
In order to achieve this in Nigeria, using a service like Mass Media Marketing Services will come in handy. They can help you distribute your press release to over 400 media outlets in Nigeria. Can you imagine the reach!
This is also a good way of leveraging other websites. Every article I write for E-Brand Promotion, I normally distribute them absolutely free to other forums so that more people can actually see it. But the subtle marketing strategy is that at the end of the article like I said before, I normally insert a number and email address you can use to get in touch with me if you have more questions or for free consultation. And don’t forget, the article has already established me as an expert. So what kind of mindset do you think people will call me with? Your guess is just as good as mine.
When a visitor lands on your website, if you don’t engage him/her within 5 seconds, he/she will leave and never to return. What a tragedy!
While there are several ways to engage a visitor, I’m going to tell you exactly the best two I know of that work perfectly
Blogging is one of the best ways to catch the attention of people when they land on your website. For example, if you visit a honey seller’s website, seeing an article headline like “How to detect fake honey in the market” will catch your attention more than all the other marketing messages like “BUY FROM US - WE OFFER THE BEST NATURAL HONEY IN THE WORLD”. After all, nobody wants to buy fake honey, right? Visitors may even be willing to drop their email and mobile number for you to send them that information, don’t you think?
This is just an example - find something similar for your own.
If you have a shop/office and someone walks in and you totally ignore the person, what do you think the person will do next? Walk away of course!
But imagine a situation where the same person walks into your shop and you cautiously and with the nicest of voice ask the person how you can be of help, what do you think the person will do? Your guess is also as good as mine.
To achieve this, there are several chatting apps online that you can ask your web developer to install for you on your website. I normally recommend Tawk.to and Livezilla. They are free. At least, These 2 options save you the cost of monthly payment that is attached to some other options available. All you have to pay for is just the one-time installation fee.
However, the major drawback of this is that you need to be online always to always engage your visitors – This may not be too feasible for many people. But if you can, it’s the ultimate engagement strategy.
What shall it profit a man to have a business in this 21st century and not have social media pages!
Not having a social media presence is one of the worst mistakes you can make as a business owner.
However, you must understand your business’ core market before you start going social.
The rule is (in Nigerian context);
- If you are a B2B (business to business - i.e. your company sells mostly to other businesses), concentrate on Linkedin as your primary social media strategy.
- While for B2C businesses, Facebook and Twitter are the best option
- If you are in the entertainment industry, Instagram is the way to go.
- And if you want to just reach a mass number of politically oriented individuals, join Nairaland Forum.
There are several other options you can use to boost your social media strategy, but the best advice I can offer you is to focus on just one or two social media channels and become a force to reckon with in those. Don’t try to be popular in all social media channels online. You know, "a little here and a little there" kind of strategy. It’s a sure recipe for failure. Believe me, I've tried!
If you want to establish yourself and increase sales in 2017, you must also be willing to open up your wallet. But you must do so wisely and strategically. Else your advert money will just be a pure waste of resources.
Before you start advertising online, you must;
This is the first and MOST IMPORTANT thing you can do for yourself. If your website is not built to convert visitors to leads/customers, even if you spend 1 billion in advert, it will be money down the drain. You might as well take it to a nice nite club and blow it on champagne and hot chicks.
Simply put, know where and how you want to spend your advertising budget. Are you going for Google Adwords or Facebook advertising (cost-per-click) approach? Or are you going to place your advert in niche websites for a highly targeted traffic? What is the demography of your target audience? For example if you sell Airplane spare parts, you will agree with me that it wouldn't be a wise strategy to go about splashing money on instagram ads or even facebook. For that, spending money on aeronautics blog or even Google adword will be a better strategy.
One big mistake most folks do is to just insert their Debit card numbers online and have every other smart website owner take a cut monthly in the name of subscription and advertising. But you shouldn’t do that. Ensure you have a specific money earmarked for advert for a specific period. After that, don’t spend more until your next spending cycle comes e.g. weekly or monthly.
Always ensure you have a target amount you want to get as your return on investment (ROI). Don't forget, an investment is what your advertising budget is. Therefore, it should yield returns.
What you need to do is to know exactly how much it will cost you to get one lead or how much to convert one visitor to a paying customer
e.g. if you spend N100 to bring a single visitor to your website through google, it means that you will need to spend N10,000 to bring 100.
Therefore, for your advert campaign to be successful, the product/service you sell should be worth far more than N10,000 when 100 people visit your website.
Finally we have come to the end of this article, I hope you have learned a thing or two about how to increase sales for your business.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dr. Smart Okpi is the Lead Developer/CEO at E-Brand Promotion (http://ebrandpromotion.com) and also the Lead Instructor at http://webtutorial.com.ng – a website where he teaches aspiring web designers/small business owners for free on how to design websites without the headache of coding.