Let people and’ Search Engines’, know that your business exists and what it does.

Have keywords on your site that people will use firstly to find you, then you need to create a resource site with pertinent information that will keep them coming back to your website says Jamie MacLeod, WSI Internet Marketing Consultant.

Here are a few tried and tested tips that will work for your business:

Provide lots of valuable information on your website.

Customers need to have a reason to come to you. “If they believe that you are a knowledgeable source of information, they will come.

Provide enough information

Establish yourself as knowledgeable about your product or service.” Include both articles and blogs as this keeps you fresh and topical. “You can comment about things on a timely basis and establish yourself as an expert in the field.”

Enable customer input. Let users have their say. Don’t dominate the conversation, Allow comments on blog entries. Establish a bulletin board so they can communicate with one another.

Fill orders on a timely basis. Assure that ordering is fast, easy and available. At 2 a.m., on weekends, holidays or while out of town, a customer should be able to come to your store and do business.

Online stores enjoy a huge advantage, they can offer a lot more items, and a wider assortment, without having to lease retail or warehouse space, or clutter up the basement of a home.

Use “drop shipping” to fulfill orders.

Instead of carrying inventory, simply forward the customers’ order to the manufacturer or wholesaler, which then ships directly to the customer. Your profit is the difference between wholesale and retail pricing.

Marketing your website won’t be easy.

“If you think you have trouble getting people to know about your bricks-and-mortar store, wait till you get online”. The challenge is to distinguish your website from all of the others and convince them to use YOUR SERVICES.

Lay down a footprint.

Your target market should run across a reference to your website in as many channels as possible — the community, professional organizations, other websites, the media, social networking sites and on search engines.

Practice ‘search-engine’ optimization.

” The idea is to get your website to appear on the first  search engine’s results pages so people will see it, and more importantly click through to your site. Most people aren’t in the habit of clicking past the first few search-results. “If you are not on the first couple of pages, you are just not there.”

The key to search-engine optimization is in using effective tags, or terms, to describe your business or product, he said. “The big thing is to know what customers call your product, not necessarily what you call it. If you use that precise term, you are much more likely to pop up in a search.

Ask for a content management system so that you have control of the content, and you can update it regularly. You can move things around, add things, get rid of old information.” It’s not complicated software and most people can learn it easily nowadays as it has become much more user friendly

Keep your site fresh.

Constantly updating it. “If the content doesn’t change, there’s no reason for people to come back. There’s nothing new.” If your website doesn’t contain everything that a person might come looking for, provide a link to other helpful places. If you sell bicycles, for example, include a link to a bicycle association.

The linked website needs to return the favor. When numerous sites link to yours, that’s “public recognition of your expertise,” but you should ask your SEO consultant to provide a link building service as it’s the only guaranteed and consistent way of building the necessary links that will assist to improve your rankings.