Bring E-commerce to your Website

How to Turn Your Static Web Design into an e-commerce website.

Do you have a static website, that is basically an online brochure?   Perhaps your website was made by a Calgary Web design firm (or another web design company from around the world) , you might be asking yourself how you can make some money from your website.

Is there a fool proof way for you to add e-commerce to your website? You ask.

Yes, there are a few, tried and true ways for you to make money through your basic, static Web site. You don’t need to necessarily rebuild your site if you are happy with the design and content. A website design should hold up for up to five years – after that time a full redesign is definitely recommended.

The simplest way to increase revenue for your Calgary business web site is to increase the targeted traffic coming to your site.  So you can make more money from your existing static website just by focusing on marketing it properly in the search engines, directories and social media . The more unique, targeted visitors to your site looking for your services will virtually guarantee an increase in the profit coming through your website.

But, if you want to take it a step further and make some passive income or streamline your Website’s money making power, just consider these five tips on how to make your Web site a money-maker. These tips are ordered from the most pain-free to the most complex to implement. You can do none, some or all to help increase your website’s income potential.

1. Google Adsense ads – Google Adsense makes this easy to implement. You can choose how much real estate Google can use for its banners. Google Adsense relies on click-throughs, so getting the most traffic to your site will definitely determine how much income is made this way . You can also customize your ads to fit into your Web design so they don’t look so much like a third party presence on your site.

2.Affiliate marketing – Affiliate marketing is a realm of its own, but it does rely on a huge network of websites and lists. To integrate affiliate ads into your site, you can do it simply using their affiliate links and banners. Check out for a great example of the two sides of affiliate marketing: selling product and promoting it. If you have a blog, write an article about the affilate product you are promoting, if you use twitter, tweet your article URL, it all helps.

3. Custom Banner space – So, you’ve got a nice static website, with one Google Adsense space and a growing collection of articles with affilate links . Each month you do some advertising or promotion and tweak your search engine optimization if needed. Now your site is more popular and gaining momentum. To leverage your site’s popularity, you can create a space for your own custom banner ads. You can sell this space by time or thousands of impressions. If you do not have any banner software on your server or website, consider just keeping it simple by selling the space by month. Consider that a prominent banner ad set at $50/month will bring in a steady $600 each year! Find an advertiser who you do not compete with, but who offers your viewers products or services that are an extension of your own.

4. Paid Blog Posts – If you run out of ideas for your popular Web site’s articles, consider accepting third party articles to post on your site or on your blog. Some article networks provide free articles for you to publish just so long as you agree to their terms of use. How does an article that is free bring you money? It brings in money indirectly by increasing traffic to your site. It keeps your content current and viable.

5. Want to make even more money online? Okay, so the next step is to build in an e-commerce catalog. The best scenario is to invest in an e-commerce catalog that integrates into your existing site. It ensures higher customer trust and loyalty, one key need is that transactions are sent by an SSL secured connection. Find an e-commerce catalog that can handle digital downloads, as this type of product really is a perfect product – no overhead, no expiry, no physical inventory to ship. The one step beyond this is to create your own product (remember and then you can control reseller rights and product costs from the top down.

6. Okay, here’s a bonus tip – You’ve got a lot going on with your site now! While your site hasn’t drastically changed in how it looks, it is helping more and more to bring revenue your way. It is also getting to be a valuable resource to Web surfers. Now is the time for you to add in a subscriber-based members area where content and services are introduced at different membership levels at a monthly rate. You will need to continually build your Web site content, services and products, but as you’re already on a roll with this, the recurring monthly revenues to your site will be the bonus you’ve been working hard for…and you deserve it.

Lucas Arnatt is the Creative Director of BlindDrop Design Inc. and has been producing Web sites and providing Calgary Web Design services since 1997. BlindDrop serves many local Cochrane and Calgary businesses and organizations. BlindDrop offers a wide variety of services that include Calgary Web design (and SEO), Graphic Design and Photography.

Five Key Ways to Market Your Calgary Business

Here are five fundamental ways to market your business on the web and on the street:

1. Get properly branded – getting a professional logo design is a great start, but it is also critical to plan your branding, which is based on the customer experience and how your company is interpreted by the customer from near and afar. Get a logo and business card at the minimum and during this process work through basic marketing factors such as demographics, culture, sales region and budgeting for advertising.

2. Develop a custom Web presence – Once you have the branding planned and established you can move this onto the Web by getting a custom site that supports your branding and business model. Ideally, you will secure  a domain, website and domain-based email addresses. The site should reflect the corporate identity, provide essential information about your company and also provide service to generate sales. If e-commerce is not a suitable fit for your company’s services, you can use a custom form to direct and define sales, or use an online chat system to connect with your customer directly.

3. Market your Web presence Online – this includes having an active website, email list and any active submissions to groups, help sites or forums. You can also increase traffic and sales by actively managing your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) campaigns each week. Examples of this are commenting on blogs, getting back links to your site and running paid advertisements in search engines and directories. The more focused and niche-based your campaigns are online, the better results you will have. But, keep in mind that you need to research what people are looking for and balance those results with what you’d like them to see.

4. Market your Web presence Offline – this is the only way you can attract people to your online business when they are not at their computer. Look at any magazine from the early 1990’s (if you can find one) and I wager it will be nearly impossible to find ads with web addresses in them. These days classified ads, newspaper ads, posters, uniforms, video, tv, vehicle signage, stationary and pretty much any media channel is used by businesses to promote their Web presence. If your website is e-commerce enabled, then your offline marketing efforts can drive direct sales to your company just by handing out a business card. The customer may never call your number, but they may well purchase something from you with nothing more than a good first impression.

5. Be Consistent and be Professional
– in all cases, whether online or offline, be consistent with your branding and communications. Being professional does not mean being overly conservative, but it does require conscious attention to details. For example, simple typos in an introductory letter or a broken link on your website can detract from the overall image of your company. Make sure you follow your initial branding plan and mission statement and triple-check any published items that cannot be easily changed.