What’s Next?

I’ve done everything I needed to get my business online. I have a Website up and running, but now I need to make money. How can I get more customers to visit my site and make the sales?–A. Hall, Dallas

As you have realized, the old saying, “If you build it, they will come” no longer applies–sometimes you have to build it, then persuade, cajole, and entice clients to visit, stay, and buy. In other words, now you must optimize your site–and your marketing methods online–to turn casual visitors into paying customers.

But you’re in luck: Many companies such as GoDaddy.com and Yahoo.com have gone beyond the usual build-and-host fare to offer site-optimization services such as search engine optimization for better placement in Google, Yahoo!, and other search engines and Website analytics that show you what customers aren’t doing online (and what you can do to change that).

For starters, I recommend you check out Google Business Solutions (http://bizsolutions.google.com/services). But if you already have customer information (and you typically have more information than you realize), consider consulting a data-mining expert who can help you analyze customer and market data as well as help with marketing strategies for taking your business to the next level. For more information on site optimization, see the feature “Profiting from Consumer Behavior,” in the March 2007 issue.

Mail your technology questions to Cyberwise, BLACK ENTERPRISE130 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10011or send an e-mail to donaldsons@blackenterprise.com.