Are you selling online? Then maybe you are looking for some ideas on how to optimise your online strategy to maximise sales and succeed in your business. There are several ways you can attract more customers and potentially earn a greater income. In this article we will go through some of them.

1. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is created between the merchant and owner of another website. Web site owners put advertisements (usually consisting of a text link or banner) on their page and the merchant pays a commission to the site owner for each sale as a result of clicking on the advertisement. The advantage of this promotional method is the fact that you can never lose your money on inefficient advertising because you only pay if you earn some money from a sale. If you want to start your own affiliate program you can buy one of many available scripts or use some affiliate networks like Link Share or Commission Junction. 

2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization is one of the most effective (and one of the hardest) ways to attract a large number of targeted customers to your site. It essentially means that you have written the content on your website to rank higher in search engine results when people search for your products or services. If you are a search engine optimization specialist, create an SEO analysis and optimize your web site with some relevant and effective keywords. If you know nothing about SEO try to find some basic information online and optimise your content and keywords, or hire an SEO specialist. The advantage of search engine optimization is the fact that you can directly aim your content for visitors who would want to buy the goods or services you offer. The disadvantage is the long time necessary for carrying out a successful optimization and learning the technical aspects. 

3. Pay Per Click (PPC)

There are several search engines offering pay per click services, but they all share the same underlying principles. Advertisers choose certain keywords related to their product or business, and the amount they want to bid for those keywords. If a visitor then uses a search engine and puts in a query using those keywords, those advertisements are displayed. If more advertisers select the same keywords the advertisements are sorted by the amount that has been bid. The exception to this is Google AdWords, where the advertisement position depends on the bid and click rate. The big advantage of pay per click ads is the fact that you can start your campaign in a few minutes. The other advantage is that you can control  the daily budget that you want to spend, and when you have hit this budget your advertisement will no longer appear to be clicked on and cost you further. 

4. Banner Exchanges

For this strategy you exchange banner advertisements with other sites as part of a network. Each time one site displays a banner ad from a member, a credit is earned. For each credit you earn your banner will then be displayed on another network member’s page. This type of promotion is good for branding but it will only increase your traffic by about 0,1 – 1 % only (depending on click rate of your banner) so always combine this method with other strategies. 

5. Promotional Coupon Codes

Everyone is happy to receive a free gift or discount and a lot of online marketers take advantage of this fact. So why don’t make your customers happy too? There are many promotional coupon code directories on the Internet. So put your coupon code on several of these sites as a start. Email these codes to your customers or provide special links to your site through email or social media. If a visitor then clicks this link, they may receive a discount, free gift, free shipping or another benefit. 

Ultimately, for a solid online marketing strategy to improve sales you may need to use a combination of all of the above.

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