If you’re interested in how to generate online sales you first will need:
- a platform to sell from (website/advert),
- a product to sell (physical/digital),
- a sales ‘funnel’ to send potential buyers (email capture and follow up emails) and of course
- a steady steam of interested visitors to your sales platform or website (traffic).
Having these things in place isn’t of course a guarantee that you will generate online sales. You also need to create sales copy, have a product which solves people’s problems and gives value, and find the relevant people for your product through your advertising and content.
Each of these topics is huge but here are a few key concepts which will help you improve your online sales generation.
A platform to sell from – your website
Although you don’t necessarily need a website to sell products online since you can invest in advertising and generate sales through only using adverts; building a website gives you an online presence which can be built upon and which can lead to exponential growth in your sales by growing the traffic to your site. You can pay to advertise your website also, of course, but you can also generate content to rank on Google which will give you a steady steam of regular visitors and potentially buyers.
Content – The content of your website is not only going to help the customer determine whether your product is right for them or not, but will also determine whether it will rank on the search engine. This is important when starting out because if you pick article titles and content which are hugely competitive, your chances of ranking those articles for free on Google are very low. You need to find the ‘low hanging fruit’ of keyword combinations which your niche market caters for. (see finding long tail keywords).
Targeting – Define your target audience. Without doing this you will not know who you are aiming your content at. Just because you get found on the search engine and get visitors, doesn’t mean they are the right visitors or that they will buy. Defining your specific audience is key to knowing who to write to. When you know this you can write specifically to them, rather than simply writing generic content to get found on Google. How old are they? What are their interests and how can you solve their problems? Knowing them will help you find solutions to their problems and offer these solutions in your copy – and products.
A product to sell
If you don’t already have a product to sell there are thousands of products available on the internet which you can sell as an affiliate. Finding the right product for you will depend on your own interests and abilities. Consider what you would like to create content about and what your interests are and find a product which relates to something you value and believe in. The online training course which I promote gives you an instant product which you can promote and earn commissions from and which also offers training in how to generate online sales. Click here for details. Rather than making your own product, sell someone else’s product which has already proved itself. You can sell anything through the internet and most physical shop owners now have a internet based side to their business. You can sell physical products also as an affiliate through companies like Amazon. Digital products have the bonus of allowing a residual income from sales, particularly if they offer a membership site to their products. Customers pay a monthly fee for membership and if you are the affiliate for the sale, you earn a monthly residual income from that sale.
A sales funnel –
A sales funnel is simply an online way to promote goods and services. The potential customer enters their email into an email capture page like the one on the right of this website. They then receive a series of emails which give information about the relevant niche which your content is based on. In the course of the email series goods and services are promoted. If a subscriber purchases from the email series you make a commission on the sale.
Sales funnels begin with an email capture page which is linked to from a number of different sources. You can link to a capture page from an advert or a website. A number of incoming sources to the landing page (capture page) ensures a steady flow of visitors thorough the sales funnel. Over time this can build into the thousands and even with only a small percentage of buyers this can grow to generate a steady growing income source.
The email you send to your sales funnel will depend on your particular service and product and you can experiment with various forms of content as with your website content.
Split testing – Split testing can be done with adverts, content and email marketing. It basically means trying out two different content strategies along side each other. The one which performs the best in terms of sales (over the course of several hundred visitors) is the ‘better’ content. By adjusting only one specific detail at a time and continually split testing the ‘improved’ version, you can increase the appeal of your content with more motivating copy, pictures and videos. Split testing your advertising copy will result in more or less ‘opt in’s’ to your sales funnel. However, some visitors are more likely to buy than others and therefore this should be considered when creating adverts for your sales funnel. More traffic doesn’t necessarily equate to increased sales. Make sure you ‘qualify’ your leads in your advertising copy to rule out the tyre kickers! You can do this by using more text copy in your adverts and being more specific about what it is you are offering. This may mean less leads but they will be better ‘quality’ leads.
Yes of course traffic is the key to it all. If you want to know how to generate online sales, anyone who has ever attempted this will say traffic is the number one concern for all online marketers. As I have mentioned before however, not all traffic is made equal. You need to ‘qualify’ your traffic before building content to get the right people to your website or landing page. Generating traffic is a huge topic and an ongoing process for anyone selling online products. Here are a few obvious methods:
1. Content marketing – Blogging, article marketing or creating videos for YouTube are three simple methods for generating traffic to your website or blog. Creating content which not only appeals to your target audience, but which also will rank easily on the search engines is the key to building long term sustainable traffic. Don’t go for the most competitive keywords because you will be competing with the larger websites. Go for the longer term keyword chains. See finding long tail keywords. I have made a video about how to use YouTube for marketing here.
2. Paid Advertising – There are various methods available including banner adverts, Facebook advertising, YouTube advertising, solo adverts, Adwords and many more. The key is to target one source of advertising and get very good at that before using another source. Having a high ticket product to market helps when using paid advertising because it allows you more leverage with your advertising budget, which you can more easily recoup with a sale. Start out with a small budget and increase when sales are greater than expenditure.
3. Free Advertising – There are various methods which you can employ to generate free leads to your landing page/website. Ebay allows free listings and you can place links in the copy. There are also free listing websites such as Gumtree, Craigslist and many other ‘Free ads’ websites to place you link/advert on. See how to generate leads for free.
4. Link building – Having a link from an authoritative website can mean a huge increase in your traffic. Many links from various websites in your niche also means a steady trickle which eventually becomes a river! However remember a link from a disreputable site, or a link profile which is illegitimate can also mean Google can give you a penalty and you won’t rank as high for your content. Building good content and developing relationships with other bloggers is a good start. Ideally your link profile should be natural and if you build quality content people will naturally link to your content over time.
5. Social Media – Sharing your posts, articles and videos on social media will help you get visitors to your site and therefore landing page. Use Buffer.com and Snip.ly to share your articles and use other’s articles to bring people in to your landing page. See the video on the link below to see how to use these programs:
You can get access to a push button ‘done for you’ sales funnel, instant self populated website, high ticket products and training on internet marketing here: