Starting an Online Business

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Is Search Engine Optimization Necessary

Starting an Online Business? and wondering if you need to submit your site to every search engine?  The simple answer is no – search engine submission is not necessary. The majority of search engines (most notably Google) crawl and index pages by following links. Using that logic, a single inbound link from any already-indexed page will identify your page to the engine. Subsequently, if that page links to other pages within your site, they will be indexed.

Starting an Online Business

For this reason, inbound linking is crucial. Acquiring backlinks may be the most important of SEO. In theory, though, a website owner shouldn’t have to’ scout’ or ‘hunt’ for links. Suppose your content is of interest, useful and informative; in that case, there is a natural tendency among small businesses to link to that information. 

Submitting your site to the search engines can’t hurt. Plus, it only requires about 5 minutes of added work, assuming you only submit to the big guys. 

“Once is enough… you don’t need to submit your site more than once. It doesn’t help or get your site crawled any quicker or more often.”

Keep in mind that submitting your site to Google, Yahoo, MSN, and many others doesn’t cost a fee. Many SEO companies assert that you need to pay to be indexed. False! Stay away from these companies. They are money hungry and aren’t looking out for your best interest.

When Starting an Online Business: Building A Strong Navigation System

SEO Navigation

Would you ever consider going on a vacation across the country without bringing a navigation system? It is hard enough to find your way in some places with only a map. How hard would it be if you tried this adventure without one? Yet, this is what people do every single day in the online world. 

They tried to build their online business without having a roadmap to success. Then, after months or years of just wandering around online, they give up in defeat and quit. They walk away, saying that the Internet doesn’t work for them. The reason it didn’t work is that they didn’t pick up a map and follow it!

You don’t have to end up lost in the online shuffle. Below I will give you nine great ideas to help you plan out your course and get you started in the right direction. It isn’t everything that you need to know by any stretch of the imagination. Still, it will give you a necessary foundation to build.

Consider it your beginner’s map to Internet marketing profits.

Step 1. Choose a Targeted Market

Target Market

The biggest mistake most online businesses make when starting is choosing a product and then finding people who want to buy it. Wise companies pick a market first, and then they choose a product. In other words, instead of trying to find leads to sell their work, they find targeted leads and then ask them what they want to buy.

Don’t even consider starting a online business until you know exactly where you will get your leads. Think of targeted customers first. Then, you can come up with a product for those individuals. Would you rather have 1,000 hits a day at your site of a general audience OR 10 hits a day of desperate people willing to pay any price to buy your products? If you are smart, you will choose the people who are ready to buy!

Step 2. Develop a Product

Starting an Online Business

Next, you need to develop a product or service for this market. Don’t just jump on the bandwagon of affiliate programs when you come to this step. There are three primary ways of selling a product online:

  • create an exclusive product.

If you develop your product, you can pick its price, sell reprint rights to others, set up an affiliate program. Don’t tell me you can’t do this. Tens of thousands of innovative entrepreneurs have used their information products to get their careers started. You indeed can too!

  • How To eBooks

Hopefully, you have learned something throughout your life that you can share in a How-To-ebook. Maybe you know someone else who has the right knowledge for a How-To ebook, and you could offer to help them create a great ebook.  

  • Buy Rights to Products.

You can buy the rights to successful products for $500 – $20,000. If someone else has created a product that you know your targeted market is interested in, offer them an up-front fee for the rights to it. This way, you can get your product and never have to pay a penny in royalties. 

You can also search through magazines your online targeted market reads and look for products people are selling. Then, give them a call and ask for the exclusive Internet rights to their work for a certain percentage of the profits or an up-front fee.

Step 3. Join an affiliate program.

Starting a Online Business

If you are starting an online business without experience, this can be the right choice. You do have to keep in mind that it doesn’t offer quite the profit potential of creating your product or obtaining rights to another. When choosing an affiliate program, make sure that it is a demand within your targeted. Also, pay special attention to the profits you receive from each sale.

If you are only paid 5% commissions on the sales of $10 books, you will only be making 50 cents per customer. It would take 2,000 customers to produce $1,000 in profits. You cannot make money like this online! Look for higher priced products and higher commissions- especially commissions in the 25% or higher range.

Step 4. Create a Unique Selling Position (USP)

Create a Unique Selling Position for your product or service. Too many small companies are just trying to be me-too companies online. You cannot be just like the next guy and expect to profit in a global economy. Just going to the next guy’s web site to order is too easy for your customers.

You have to create a Uniqueness for your online business product or offer. What can you offer that no one else can? Can you offer better guarantees, better customer service, technical support, faster shipping, or lower prices? Think of something that will set your online business apart from your competitors and tell in complete detail what it is.

Step 5. Pick a Domain Name and Hosting Service

Pick a Domain Name and Hosting Service

The next step is to pick a domain name that describes your company, USP, and offer. Try to keep them as short and descriptive about your online business as possible. Avoid using dashes or misspellings of your product. These things will cause people to leave out part of your domain if they type it in. Someone else will be getting free traffic that you worked hard to obtain.

For hosting, Research, and Test them out. Most will respond to you within the hour…anytime 24 hours a day. 

Step 6. Develop a Customer Friendly Site

Develop a Customer Friendly Site

The next step in the process is developing your website and putting it up for the world. Suppose you are planning to own a full-time Internet business. In that case, I recommend that you learn how to design the site yourself using one of the dozens of programs that are readily available at any software store.

You will save so much money if you can do the work yourself on just the editing alone as your site grows. Suppose your main business is offline, and you are just adding a secondary income. In that case, you may want to consider having a professional do your site for you.

When designing your site, keep the customer in mind always. Provide order forms for online credit card orders. Make all of the links easy to understand. Try to keep your site simple. Think like a customer, not the business owner.

Your customers are not nearly as interested in your business as you are. Make sure to put the benefits of your site and your USP right on top of the site. More than half of the web surfers never drop down past the first screen full of information. So, you have to give them the information they need as quickly as possible. The rules for any online business are Benefits, Benefits, and more Benefits.

Step 7. Increase Your Online Business Traffic By Offering a Freebies

Starting An Online Business

One of the primary keys to developing online business traffic and sales is to offer some freebie as a drawing factor. For example, I provide free SEO reports, SEO news, and more. 

The most significant drawing factor for new online businesses has been the free ebooks offered to people who subscribe to newsletter.

You need to come up with a freebie no matter what type of business you are operating. Could you create free ebooks and give them away? Or add in a message board or some other type of CGI program on your site. Give a free demo of your software. Create something that you can give away for free on your site to draw in the visitors.

Step 8. Build A Online Business Opt-In email List

You want to make it as easy as possible to build your online business and keep your visitors coming back. An opt-in email list is a collection of emails with information that your subscribers have willingly given to you. For most of them, it is a weekly newsletter they send out by email. For others, it may be a Tip of the Day. Other people might have a list that they send out important updates.

There are several email marketing platforms available that will help you quickly generate opt-in forms, create lists, manage subscribers, deploy emails, and track performance.

No matter what you choose to do, odds will be on your side if you concentrate on building a list of loyal email subscribers. Very rarely, customers purchase from you the first time they visit your site. Most of them will get on your list, hang out for a few weeks or months, and then buy from you. 

Starting an online business is not hard at all! Your visitors have to get to know you before they are willing to spend their money with you. Thus, an opt-in email list is a great start.

Step 9. Offline business Advertising

 Online Business Offline advertising

We have found that the most effective online businesses leads come from offline advertising. For example, you could purchase ads in a popular targeted magazine for your business. You could also buy a postcard in one of the card decks. Start up a co-op and get ten other people to advertise with you and run your free ads. Offline leads that come to your site often turn out to contain a much higher percentage of buyers than any of the online advertising methods.

Once you put our short nine ideas into action, you have a basic map to creating your own Internet success story. You wouldn’t consider going on a trip without a plan. So don’t try to go it alone online without a map.

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