Tag Archive | "Phone Number"

Making Your Business Look Trustworthy Online

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Making Your Business Look Trustworthy Online

When shopping online, one of the things that makes many internet users hesitant at buying from a specific site is their perceived reliability and honesty of the business that they’re dealing with. Sure, you can offer the best quality products and offer your customers with top notch customer service, but you will need to convince them that this is something that you truly offer. There are quite a few methods that you can use to make your site appear more trustworthy in the eyes of online shoppers. It’s nothing too complicated, really. All that you have to do is to include certain elements on your website.


  • The main design


Your site should be neatly designed and load correctly in all browsers without errors. Every element should work, such as the links and graphics. Text on your site should be free of grammatical and spelling errors. It has been demonstrated time and time again, a site that looks “professional” will immediately get more trust from visitors than a website that looks like it was put together in 10 minutes.


  • Contact information


If something goes wrong, buyers will want to have the assurance that they will be able to contact you to resolve the issue. They also want a quick way to get in touch with you should they have questions about your products.


The contact information that you provide will depend on the type of products that you sell and the specific kind of business that you run. If you have a physical location, including your address prominently on your site will help reassure visitors that they’re dealing with a “real” business. But even if you only sell digital products, posting some contact information prominently on your site is still a necessity. Include a phone number and email address if possible. Make sure that the “Support” or “Contact Us” button is well visible on your site.


If visitors need to read through the fine print at the bottom of the page just to see your contact information, this gives the impression that the only purpose of your site is to sell things, but that you don’t really care too much as to what happens after the buyer completes the purchase.


  • Social media buttons


Linking to your company’s social media pages from your website will give the impression that you’re a more established company, rather than a fly by night website. Therefore, you should include some links on your website to your Facebook, Twitter or Google+ pages. Not only will this help with marketing, but it also reassures the visitor that they would have a way to contact you or post comments about a purchase that they’ve made from you.


While these are some of the top elements you can include on your website, they’re not the only ones. Tomorrow, we will take a look at a few other things that you can do which will help instill trust in the people who come across your website.

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Ultra Targeted Ads May be Coming to Facebook Soon

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Ultra Targeted Ads May be Coming to Facebook Soon

When advertising via social networking sites, targeting is the key, just like with any other marketing method. You want your ads to be seen by the right demographics, people whose profile and interests will make them more likely to become paying customers of yours. One of the most common issues with advertising on the social networking giant Facebook is that advertisers can’t target specific users with their ads.


But there are reports that this could change, maybe in the next few months. Facebook advertisers could have the opportunity to target users that are already their customers, or who have given them their information in some way, such as by signing up for their email list. The company is currently testing ways for advertisers to target Facebook users specifically by their user ID, email or phone number.


However, the information comes from a user who reported seeing a “custom audiences” tab in the Facebook advertising control panel, but then the tab was soon gone. It looks like a temporary bug allowed that user to see a feature that wasn’t intended to be operational yet. While this, in itself, is not surprising and has happened with many other websites, it doesn’t necessarily mean that Facebook will actually roll out this change. No official statements have been made by the company at this time. Furthermore, having the ability to target specific users that are on social media by using their personal information is likely to raise a few eyebrows among consumer and privacy advocates, many of whom already see social media as a serious concern for individual privacy.


This, however, may be resolved in a simple way. Facebook could make a setting that would allow users to opt out of being specifically targeted by marketers while they browse the social network. The feature could be left on by default and users who would see this as an intrusion on their privacy or who just don’t like being marketed to on social media could disable it if they wish.


Targeting your existing clients by social media also isn’t as bad as some other marketing methods, particularly those in use before the internet became popular. It’s actually quite common for many large companies to sell their user information to telemarketers as well as direct (postal) mail companies and while there is a possibility to opt out, the information is usually written somewhere in fine print on the subscription form or contract.


In any case, targeting your existing clients and people who have expressed an interest in your business is a good way to put your online presence to good use. This can be done in various ways, not just by social media. Among the most common ways to do this already is sending marketing emails to them, physical mailings like pamphlets and catalogs, or text messages on their mobile phones. Facebook’s move will just create a new opportunity for marketers to perfect something that many of them have already been doing for quite some time now.

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What to Include in Your Facebook Page

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What to Include in Your Facebook Page

If you’re planning to set up a Facebook fan page for your business, then you’ve made the right decision in getting more social media exposure for your company. But how do you use social networking sites to their fullest potential? The first thing that you need to know is what you should include in your Facebook fan page. Here are some general tips that will be helpful in that aspect:

  • Your basic contact information

You want your page visitors to be able to contact you if they have any question about your business or a product that you offer. Include your phone number, e-mail address, as well as address if you have a physical location.

  • A link to your main business website

Putting a link to your website on your Facebook page means that you get one more, high quality backlink to your site, in addition to potentially getting more traffic from social media visitors that are interested in learning more about what you offer.

  • A link to your blog

If you have a blog, then include a link to it as well, for the same reasons as you would include a link to your main website. You get a backlink and potential traffic coming directly from your Facebook page, which is a winning combination in the world of online marketing.

  • Links to your other social media accounts

Do you use any other social networking services, such as Google +, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. ? In that case, include a link to your other profiles as well, as this will allow you to gain more followers on your other accounts.

  • Pictures and descriptions of your products

If you sell physical merchandise, include some pictures of featured items on your Facebook page. The goal here is not to copy your entire catalog (unless you sell only 3 or 4 products), but to showcase some of your products to your visitors. Of course, you should link to the relevant page on your main website which sells these products.

  • General information about your business

Include a brief description about how your business works, such as the type of items you sell, services you provide, opening hours, payment methods, etc. This will give the visitor enough information to know whether what you sell is right for them. It will also cut down on some questions being sent to you by message, such as “Do you take Paypal” or “Do you sell such and such products”, etc.

  • Updates about your business and industry

Keep your page lively and up to date, by posting information such as new products, price reductions, promotions, etc. Even if you have nothing that changed, post some information that’s related to your niche, such as advice on using some of your products, or news that’s related to your niche. This will make your page look more “alive” and keep your followers interest, as opposed to a page that hasn’t been updated in several months and looks abandoned.

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Building a Good Small Business Website: Part 4

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Building a Good Small Business Website: Part 4

Previously, we have seen some of the technical aspects of building a website for your small business, namely planning the site building and determining whether you will want to use a Content Management System (CMS) to operate your website. While these are all important considerations, once you get them squared away, it is now time to move ahead and start building your site. Here are the main elements that you would be including in your site:

  • Product information

Obviously, you will want people to know more about your company’s products and services. After all, this is why they came to your website in the first place, no? Add some details about your products, pricing, etc.

  • Relevant details about your industry/niche

Here, you will be giving your site visitors some information that is not directly related to promoting your products. Like what, for example? Let’s say that you sell laptop parts. You could include some tutorials about how to take apart various models of laptops, how to remove the screen, replace the keyboard, etc. Basically, things that are relevant to what you are selling, without promoting your products too much. You can also include multimedia content here, such as videos as well.

  • Background information about your business

This section will simply contain some basic information about your business, such as the types of products that you sell, the amount of time that you have been in business for, who the company leaders are, etc. This will help the visitor find out more about you and will give them the reassurance that they are dealing with a legitimate company.

  • Contact information and ways to get in touch with you

Your contact information, such as your phone number and address, should be featured prominently on your site, as well as in the header and footer of every one of your pages. After all, you want your visitors to contact you, right? Don’t make them dig through 10 pages before they are able to find your phone number. You can also include a contact form that will allow a visitor to send you a request for information or an inquiry, and then you can respond to them via e-mail or by phone. Including live chat support on your site is also a great idea, if you will be able to have someone on staff ready to provide support by live chat to your visitors, at least during regular business hours.

  • Links to your social media pages

Social media is an excellent business tool, and this has been stated numerous times by industry experts. Because of this, it will always be a wise idea to include links to your Facebook and Twitter pages. Also, on your content posts and product, include a “Like” button for Facebook, which wil let the user share that page with their friends. If your business has a YouTube channel, just link to it from your website. This will allow them to quickly check out all of your videos that you have uploaded to YouTube.

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Selling on eBay: Choosing a Good Drop Shipper: Part 2

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Selling on eBay: Choosing a Good Drop Shipper: Part 2

Previously, we have seen some tips on how you can test the dropshipper that you intend to use and the fact that it is much better to have more than one dropshipper to do business with. But how do you find a good dropshipper? There are a few ways to do this. Here are some of them:


  • Look through dropshipping websites


There are some website out there such as DH Gate, TradeTang and Alibaba that are a real treasure trove for all kinds of merchandise. Anything like clothing, electronics and jewelry can be found there. The good thing about these sites is that they are mostly aimed at business owners who are looking to acquire merchandise rather than at individual consumers. This means that you can easily find dropshippers or buy merchandise in bulk. This is the good thing. But the bad thing about these sites is that they also contain many scammers who will either rip you off and not send anything, or ship something different than what they advertise.


But there are ways to protect yourself from that. Obviously, you can apply what we covered in the previous article which would be to make a test order first to see if they deliver. But you should also check the seller’s feedback on the site. See how long they have been active and how many positive comments they have from others who have done business with them. Also, look to see whether they have a website and phone number. While this is not a guarantee of safety, it does make it more likely that you will be dealing with a legitimate supplier rather than a scammer. If possible pay with PayPal or a credit card and avoid sending money through Western Union or Money Gram, as these services are preferred by scammers due to the fact that the transaction cannot be reversed.


  • Look at internet marketing forums


Most “make money online” forums will have a section that is dedicated to eBay selling or dropshipping. Check it out to see what others are saying. You may find the contact information for some good suppliers, complete with comments from forum members who have used them and were happy with their transaction. You might even find some members of the forum who are suppliers for a wide variety of merchandise and who can drop ship to your eBay buyers.


Dealing with someone from a forum can be safer than dealing with a seller on Alibaba, as the supplier will often be well known in the forum and have members who can vouch for him. But this is not a guarantee that everything will go well. Don’t forget to use common sense when you are looking for a dropshipper, no matter where you find him. Always try to check their reputation out before you decide to use them as a supplier for your eBay online business. If you are careful, then you will reduce the chances of getting scammed when doing business with one.

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Online Reputation Management – Part 3

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Online Reputation Management – Part 3

Now that we have seen the importance of taking care of your online reputation and the way to respond to negative information, here are some more best practices to consider in order to make the job a lot easier for you and even prevent negative things about your business from being posted online in the first place.

  • Make your contact information easy to find

On your website, make your contact information such as your email address and phone number easy to locate. Avoid simply putting up a “contact us” form and give your customers various options to get in touch with you. While this may seem obvious, many online complaints about e-commerce sites are based around the fact that the contact information for a site operator is difficult to find on the site or is hidden somewhere in the terms and conditions.

  • Respond to inquiries rapidly

If you receive an email concerning a problem and you do not have time to look into the issue right away, inform the customer of this and let them know a realistic time frame regarding when you will be getting back to them. If you don’t understand what the specific problem is, ask them for more clarifications. Avoid using “scripted” emails or automatic responses, as these often give the message that you don’t care and do not want to provide personalized service. People will feel a lot more comfortable knowing that there is an actual human being that has read their message and is truly going to resolve the matter at hand.

  • Participate in industry forums

There are plenty of discussion forums online in various niches. Create an account on them and announce your presence to other members. That way, if someone is not satisfied of your customer service, they can contact you on the forum to resolve the issue, rather than making a public post about it. Furthermore, being present on online forums can give you the opportunity to interact with current and potential customers as well as business partners who might be posting questions related to your company.

  • Be present in social media sites

Even if you just create a simple page with your company description and your contact information, it can provide your customers with another avenue to contact you should something go wrong. It also provides you with a quick way to get in touch with customers who are not satisfied about something related to your business.

  • Delegate tasks if you don’t have time for them

If you run a larger business that gets many customers each day, it could be quite time consuming to keep checking on consumer advocacy sites, social networks and discussion forums regularly and respond to any posts. Therefore, you can assign this task to a worker who will be responsible for managing the customer service aspect of your online presence and who will forward any particular problems to you so that you can take action to resolve them.

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How to Do SEO for Local Businesses

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How to Do SEO for Local Businesses

If you own a local small business, then you are probably looking for ways to increase your business visibility in the online world. Well, there are various ways that this can be accomplished. For example, you can use social media or pay per click ad solutions. But let’s not forget that SEO is important too. However, many small business owners neglect to pay any attention to SEO, because they believe that there is way too much competition and that they will not be able to advance anywhere in the rankings.

But recently, Google has made some changes to the way search results are ranked when it comes to local keyword. The search engine uses geo location to determine the area where the user is located in and then displays search results which are relevant both to the user’s area and the keywords they were looking for.

How do you take advantage of this recent change to go up in the rankings? It is actually relatively easy, there are just a few things to do:

First, optimize your pages for both your main keyword and the area in which you do business. So for example if your main keyword is “plumbing” and you do business in Miami, then you would optimize your pages for the keywords “plumbing Miami” and “Miami plumbing”. Also, be sure that every one of your pages has a reference to your location on it. This can be easily done simply by putting your address and phone number in the footer of every page. Not only does this allow customers to see your contact info on each page, but will also let Google determine your location more easily.

If your business is not listed on Google Maps, then you should make sure that it is. Simply request a listing and it will appear in the results in the next few weeks. Local business listings appear on Google Maps together with web sites, so it will make it very easy for your customers to find you.

To optimize your website for “local SEO”, it is also a good idea to list your business in as many online business directories as possible. Not only will this potentially give you traffic coming from the directory itself, but it will also give you some very valuable backlinks as well. Backlinks that are coming from other sites that are related to your area, such as local business associations, chambers of commerce, etc. are also very helpful in this scenario.

While doing SEO may seem complicated, in reality it is not. You just need to have the proper information and take time to do the right actions. Remember that SEO is not meant to replace, but rather to work together with other types of online advertising that your business uses, so you can still keep using Adwords or social media ads in addition to deploying efforts to get your site to rise through the rankings.

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Ecommerce Security Risks And How To Deal With Them – Part 1

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Ecommerce Security Risks And How To Deal With Them – Part 1

As a business owner you may have heard all about the advantages of getting an online presence to help your business acquire new customers and better serve existing ones. But you may have some reservations about the whole thing. One of the main concerns that business owners bring forward today is security. These concerns are certainly valid. After all, it is rare that we see a week go buy without a mention in the media of some high profile security breach. But this should not dissuade you from taking full advantage of what the online world has to offer for your business. Here are some of the most common security threats facing small businesses transacting online and how they can be mitigated:

Payment fraud.

This is the most common security risk that you will face and it can consist of either: a fraudster making a purchase with a stolen credit card or sending a forged check, or a “real” customer making an order, paying with a legitimate credit card and then charging back on the transaction claiming that they never placed this order, never got their merchandise or that it was damaged when they got it.

Fraudulent payments are, unfortunately, a part of the e-commerce world and there is no sure-fire way to stop them. However, there are certain things you can do to bring the amount of fraud close to zero.

First, use a payment processor that uses security measures such as verifying that the address on the credit card and the shipping address match. Especially when it comes to high value orders, do not ship to an address other than the billing address. Most payment processors have automated tools that evaluate each order and can help determine the chances of it being legitimate.

Verify the customer’s information yourself before shipping the item. Call them on the phone number provided to ensure that it is valid.

While doing business internationally is great, be very careful about shipping to certain countries where internet fraud is rampant such as Nigeria, Russia, Indonesia, etc. A common story used by scammers is that of a wealthy businessman based in the USA ordering a high priced item as a “gift” to a relative who just happens to be working in a third world country known for credit card fraud.

If a customer sends you payment by certified check, call the issuing bank to ensure that the payment instrument is legitimate. Just because a check has cleared your bank account does not mean that it is genuine. Stolen or forged checks are sometimes used by scammers when ordering high priced items like jewelry, industrial equipment or electronics.

Use a courier service that gives you the ability to trace shipments and requires a signature on delivery. Any item over a hundred dollars should be sent insured for its full value. This will prevent dishonest customers from claiming they “never got the package.”

And most importantly, use common sense when processing orders and always err on the side of caution.

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Becoming A Merchant – The Other Side Of CPA – Part 4

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Becoming A Merchant – The Other Side Of CPA – Part 4

Well now that you have your product, required funding as well as a merchant account, there will be something else that you need: some staff. While at first, you may think that you can manage this business all by yourself. Sure, this might be true if you only make a dozen or so sales a day. However, when your business quickly begins to grow, it will also rapidly become too overwhelming for one person to handle every aspect of it.

One of the most important parts of owning a rebill CPA offer is customer service. You need to be able to answer your customers should they want to cancel their subscription, have not received their product, or have some other problem. If you have just one phone number that is always busy and it takes you a week to answer your emails, this will leave your customers dissatisfied. And if they want to cancel, or have not gotten their product, they will simply end up charging back through their credit card company.

There are alternatives to actually having an office and hiring staff locally. You can outsource many functions of your business, including the customer service to a 3rd party. There are plenty of call centers which can handle queries from your customers and treat requests such as cancellations. All you have to do is set up a web based interface to let them do the transactions and a knowledge base with answers to questions that customers may ask.

As for many administrative tasks, such as dealing with the vendor that is shipping out your merchandise and doing general admin and accounting functions, this can be outsourced to a virtual assistant. You can find many offshore outsourcing companies doing business on internet marketing forums. It is usually possible to have a dedicated, full time virtual assistant working for you for $200 to $400 a month.

While this short guide has given you the general framework needed in order to build and operate this kind of business, it is far from complete. After all, a truly detailed guide covering every aspect of this topic would probably be several hundred pages long. Therefore, you need to go out and seek the necessary information on this business.

There are a few ebooks and guides which deal about this topic that you can read, which will give you more detailed guidance. But don’t forget that there is something a lot more valuable than any written guide: actual human interaction. Even though this is your own business and you are the sole person responsible for its success it doesn’t mean that you have to do everything all by yourself. Network with other marketers who are running this kind of business or planning to set one up. Exchange information, practical advice and ideas with them. Ask questions on marketing forums. The better prepared you are, the less likely you will be to make costly mistakes and the more profitable your business will be.

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