“Good conversation will drive traffic,” – Kat Chow
A real world business can improve customer traffic by making efforts to boost footfalls to its brick-and-mortar showrooms. This can be achieved by opening business premises in a mall, wherein people from all lifestyles can visit and shop around the year. Such a business strategy calls for considerable investments but this can yield decent results when sales climb in the said shopping destinations. A brick-and-mortar showroom can also feature merchandise that has been arranged attractively to catch the customers’ eyes. Showroom design and location are also critical to woo customers. An attractive showroom or business premise is the best bet for a brick-and-mortar business to boost its commercial fortunes. Festival offers and special discounts are stock in trade for every such showroom; these are crafted to boost footfalls and sales in said showrooms. Simply put, retail businesses can harvest significant business opportunities by opting for such selling strategies.
The modern online business enterprise can use similar techniques and adjust these according to the rules of operating a commercial presence in cyber space. The act of boosting offline traffic to websites and social media handles is the electronic equivalent of boosting footfalls in the real world. An interesting website and a sparkling presence on social media can make a lot of difference to the bottom line of a business. Content – good, thoughtful, interesting, and provocative –can make a website stand out from its peers. Visual design and outstanding website mechanics can also attract online traffic, new customers, and the plain curious. A full-time website design, content, and engineering team can help to make the website a serious stakeholder in the overall business. These are the imperatives of establishing and sustaining an online business model. An enterprise should do everything in its power to make sure that its business offers an emphatic value proposition to its customers.
Contests and short knowledge games – such as a quiz – can also help to boost customer traffic to online businesses. These events can keep customer interest alive and may sustain curiosity long enough to boost online traffic scores. The contest or the quiz can be given due publicity before the actual event commences. The buzz generated by such actions should drive significant traffic and interest among online audiences. These tactics should be used judiciously to achieve the maximum effect. The IT infrastructure at the back-end of the website can capture the numbers and archive these scores for future reference.
Email newsletters represent a different approach to the objective of driving traffic to a website or social media handle. The newsletter can outline recent happenings at the online address, can list planned future events, and can reflect significant voices of customers, among other things. The newsletter can emerge as the preferred vehicle of communication, designed to retain a mindshare of the global online audience. This document can be mailed to every customer that chooses to stay up to date with the business activities. Email newsletters also allow the business owners to reach out to every member of the audience and share their thoughts for the future of the business. Comments and suggestions can be invited in a bid to improve the community outreach effort, as also to boost the commercial standing of the online business enterprise.
Search engine rankings remain a significant means to boost traffic in the online world. To that end, a business can choose to deploy search engine optimisation techniques to improve its standing among peer websites and social media handles. Analytics and dashboards (among other modern Internet technologies) can be used to gauge the real time performance of a website. The use of such technologies can paint a clear picture of website performance and areas of improvement. The same applies to social media handles.
Improving customer traffic also means that the business should work to highlight its Internet presence through sponsorships. This can mean that the business website (and social media presence) should host the logos of related business entities in a co-ordinated co-branding effort. The business logic and rationale behind such actions should be clear to all concerned entities because such decisions demand an active buy-in from all stakeholders. The outcomes of these efforts may boost the commercial fortunes of the business enterprise, while attracting fresh online traffic to the website and the social media presence. Further, one could consider adding video content because it makes the content attractive. Text-based content remains the primary form of content but video ensures longer attention spans from online audiences.
Conversations with customers and fast dispute resolution should be the hallmarks of an Internet address. The former is important in brand building efforts, as also in establishing a credible customer-centred business identity. Once the customer is convinced the business identifies itself with the customer’s interests, a cycle of positive outcomes is set in motion. The customer can become a self-appointed brand ambassador of the business and could make the effort to pen a glowing testimonial to the business – such acts of trust can be prominently cited in the Internet presence and may well attract new customers, while helping to re-affirm the faith of early ‘converts’. Rapid dispute resolution can help to signal a nimble business enterprise that listens seriously to the customer’s voice. Such resolution may not proceed in public because both the business and its customers have alternative channels to sort out any disputes or complaints. The fact remains, however, that an online business that considers speedy resolution a top business priority can set the bar higher for similar enterprises.
An online business enterprise should work to update all the technologies that go into building the public face of the business. The latest Internet and design technologies should be employed to present a forward face of the business. This signals corporate intent to stay on top of the competition; it also indicates that the corporate entity takes its online shop fronts seriously and holds them to the same high standards as the traditional business arm. The social media presence, in particular, should be actively stewarded because online audiences check their social media feeds multiple times on each day. This imparts a lot of immediacy to the social media handle of the corporate enterprise. Social media operates via multiple platforms and therefore the organization should make sure all versions remain synchronised at all times.
In the preceding paragraphs, we have surveyed the means to improve customer traffic to online businesses. These actions are critical because businesses – both online and offline – thrive on traffic. The Internet is a pervasive phenomenon in the modern world and many customers operate online. A commercial organization can grow by harnessing the business these customers have to offer; in return, the organization should make every effort to maintain an outstanding online presence. Online visitors and customers should be impressed by their visit to the website or the social media handle. Their overall experience has the potential to spark multiple levels of online conversations, which translates into free publicity for the enterprise in question. We have to bear in mind that delighting the online customer has to be an on-going process that should be constantly refined; only then can the customer avail a consistent brand experience.