Sell more online

Summary
We are going to sell online much more than we did in the past. This will reduce the importance of the role of the other sales instrument and channels. Search Engine Optimalization (SEO) is a fundamental condition to increase online sales success. In order to increase online sales, we want to follow Google very closely. Content is king, presentation is queen, conversion is key and the customer is leading. Time to spend more effort in online selling and get attention for the online channel to a higher level in the organization!

Sell more online!

Preface
Online sales get more attention because a further reduction in costs will be needed in most organizations. More attention to a further cost reduction in the commercial process. Combined with an increase of online business in all markets (‘Online is the benchmark’) implies that extra focus and resources in the commercial process will go to the online channel. So we will be selling more online and we will have to be clever in our online salesprocess. Two subjects which get a higher priority, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) content, and content organization in the integral commercial process.
For SEO we see the following interesting issues:
– what will Google decide tot use as criteria to find a site?
– how are we handling the requirements search engines have with regard to content?
– how will we handle online in general?

Google and content
Google is not completely clear about its intentions and it is obviously not the only search engine. Google seems to get more serious on content which might imply that the social media will have a lesser impact on search engine performance than is the case now.  The effect  of someone who twitters is now pretty heavy, compared to somebody with the same name who does not twitter. Less attention to social media would be welcome, because the business effort put into social media could then be reduced. As Google gets more serious we should become more serious. Further development of serious and qualified content is important. Content is king.

Google and presentation
The challenge here is to handle films and videos adequately. It reduces loading speeds of our site, as do heavy designs and templates, but helps in realizing a more interesting and lively site. Artificial linking will become less important. Links will have to be qualified and the box of tricks will be less important. Presentation is Queen.

Google and conversion
In a web shop conversion is of paramount importance. If there is no web shop, conversion will normally receive much less attention. Content will often be intended to transfer knowledge.  If we remind ourselves of the classic AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire and Action) we usually stop at attention and maybe a little bit of interest. Although every organization has something to sell…. More attention to conversion will enable a further transfer of the commercial process to the site. And it has to be, as online business will be the benchmark in every segment. Conversion is Key.

Google and customers
Visitor behavior will be more important if your content is serious. The more pages a visitor will see, the longer the time he is going to spend on your site; the better it is.
Traffic on your site and the characteristics of usage, as the number of times someone visits your site, are getting more important. The classical marketing issue, ‘how am I going to tune my commercial process to meet my customer requirements best will increasingly gain importance. So will the analysis of your customer behavior. And, as in real life we need a lot of effort to analyze customer behavior, online life is easier. The amount of data Google analytics provides us with is tremendous. Although, you will always have to enrich your data on online customer behavior with real life data. Customer is leading.

Conclusion, how are we going to handle it?
A further integration of the commercial process is of paramount importance if your major competitor is running his business online. An online competitor will have major costs advantages compared to a conventional supplier. In current markets we assume that all cost advantages will be passed on to the final consumer in the end. This will give online business an important competitive edge.
Content will be more important in building traffic to your site in a cost effective way. We think online needs more resources and the responsibility should on a higher level in the organization. And, we should not leave online business to ICT only. Improved SEO through serious content enrichment is a logical step towards better effectiveness of your commercial process. Beyond that we will see that data and content management and data and content organization will get a higher position on your list of priorities.
Robert J. (Bob) Fetter, march 2010.