How your Web site can be the quickest way to achieve your 2010 sales goals

It’s September — the last month in 3Q 2010 — and many businesses have to meet their third quarter scorecards while ramping up fourth quarter activity in light of their year-end goals.

According to Kevin Hourigan, the president and CEO of Bayshore Solutions, there are specific actions you can take using your Web site to connect with customers, convert them and gain some fast wins.

Smart Business spoke with Hourigan about how a company can utilize its Web site to cost-effectively and quickly attract customers to drive growth.

How can you use your Web site to boost sales fast?

Bar none, the best Web strategy for sustained growth is an integrated and holistic approach. However, many times I’ve advised companies who need to shore up sales quickly — before they can redesign or build their Web site or fully deploy the Web initiatives they need for ongoing success. In this situation, the tactic to apply first is paid search.

Paid search is advertising online through major search engines such as Google AdWords or Yahoo/Bing search. It uses a bidding system to show your ads on search engine results pages (SERPs) to people searching for the keywords relevant to your product or service. Today’s Internet opportunities offer a variety of applications of paid search, from targeting via keywords entered, to demographic and behavioral aspects in social network advertising (like Facebook), to advanced techniques such as remarketing, which enables branding on par with a national footprint specifically focused to your familiar prospects.

Why is paid search the fastest way to connect to prospective customers?

Paid search or pay-per-click (PPC) ads are shown to people who are actively searching the Internet using the terms (keywords) describing your product or service. You are not interrupting them in their daily lives; you are offering an answer for their query — at the tips of their fingers. They are already in the ‘I have a need, and am researching how to solve it’ or, ‘I am ready and motivated to buy’ phase of their purchase cycle. When paid search is implemented correctly, you can reach them at their time of need, connect them directly to your product or service information and generate the lead, or, in eCommerce situations, close the sale then and there.