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10 ways to make more money from your website

Your business may have a website, but is it performing to its full potential? Most businesses nowadays have some kind of presence on the web, but they fail to think about how cost-effective it is. Read on to find out how your website could make your business more profitable.

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Your business may have a website, but is it performing to its full potential? Most businesses nowadays have some kind of presence on the web, but they fail to think about how cost-effective it is. Read on to find out how your website could make your business more profitable. 1. Direct ecommerce sales – where products are ordered and paid for online – are the obvious way to make money from your website so, if you don't already, you should consider selling online. This can be a good growth strategy if you currently only sell locally – just think how many new customers could find you on the World Wide Web. Ecommerce software ranges from off-the-shelf programmes that can simply be uploaded to your site to custom-made solutions. Discuss the best option for your site with your web designer. 2. Most commercial shopping cart software will give you the functionality to cross-sell products by offering complementary products based on the categories you give them. You could also offer free postage when someone places an order over a certain amount, incentivising them to buy more. 3. If you offer products or services that can't easily be sold online, make sure that you make it easy for customers to contact you via your website. Display your email address and phone number clearly, and include a form where potential customers can leave their details so you can call or email them back. 4. Similarly, this tactic can work to improve online sales too. People might want to ring you up and speak to a real person or email you their queries before they commit to buying online, so make sure these options are clearly signed. 5. Test your website regularly to make sure it works. If a customer runs into problems buying on your site, they will simply leave and go to your competitor. 6. Measure what you're doing. A free web statistics package like Google Analytics will tell you how many people have come to your website and how many completed a purchase. If only a small percentage of visitors are buying from you, you may need to assess what you're doing wrong and make changes to your site accordingly. 7. Do everything you can to reassure the customer that it is safe to buy from you. It is true that more and more people are used to shopping online, but they're also very aware of the risks of online fraud. If your website doesn't look professional or meet the high standards of security they expect from sites like Amazon or eBay, they may not have the confidence to part with their bank details. 8. If your website gets a healthy regular amount of traffic, other businesses (usually in the same industry as you, or those selling a complementary product) may be interested in buying advertising space from you. The most commonly used tool for this is Adsense from Google, which displays text-based adverts on your site that are relevant to the content of your pages. 9. Another take on advertising is affiliate marketing, where you host adverts (or some other content) on your website with a link to an affiliate's website, and they either pay you whenever you send traffic to their website or when visitors you referred to their site complete an action, such as making a purchase. This can be particularly effective if you team up with another business that offers a product that complements yours but that you can't provide, because then you are providing a valuable service to your customer and creating revenue for your business. 10. Save time and money on administration by moving some of your manual processes online. For example, if you handle a large volume of customer service requests, this can be streamlined by implementing an online ticket system. Or, many shopping cart systems will allow you to manage your stock control online too, meaning your stock and your website is updated every time a sale is made.

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