5 Key Mistakes Online Stores Make

We all make mistakes in business — and we hope to learn from them. But here are five key mistakes that can quickly spell the end of your online store.

1. Not advertising. Many e-tailers expect customers to find them by accident. But with millions of Web sites competing for a finite number of customers, this gets less and less likely with each passing day. If you don’t advertise your store, your chances of attracting new customers are slim.

The good news is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to advertise your store effectively. Targeted e-newsletter and keyword ads are cost-effective ways of reaching customers already interested in your products.

2. A sloppy Web site. If your store looks like it was thrown together and is difficult to navigate, customers will look elsewhere. Your Web site is your link to customers; as such, it should look as professional as you can make it. It will inspire confidence in your users and let them know you take your business seriously.

Even if you are not a Web-design expert, you can use templates to build a sleek, simple site. Invest the time to make your site the best it can be. The reward will be a professional site that is appealing to consumers.

3. Not optimizing your site for search engines. It’s been estimated that as much as 70% of all online purchases start with a Web search at one of the major search engines. If your site doesn’t appear within the first couple of pages of search results, you can say goodbye to that 70% of sales. Make sure your content reflects your product offerings, and is rich in relevant keywords.

For tips 4 and 5, click here.

Provided by AllBusiness.com

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.