Creating an online business that is successful is not as easy as many people would have you believe. There are all kinds of programs and promises out there on the Internet today and they all claim to have the secret ingredient to online success. There is an ingredient to success but it is not a magic button that you push or a special SEO tactic. Strategically planning your online business is essential if you want it to be a success.
Everyone is an expert at something. You know about something that the majority of other people on the planet does not know that much about. This knowledge makes you an expert and being an expert is the key to online success. If you have an existing product or service that you are looking to sell online, chances are that you know a great deal more about the product that you are selling than the majority of people who may end up as your potential customers.
Many people who begin doing business online will look for information about Internet Marketing in a Search Engine. This opens up a can of worms that if you are not careful can take you straight down the road of Internet failure rather than Internet stardom. You would think that looking for something in a search engine would bring up the most relevant results concerning the topic of interest. Well, maybe that used to be the case, but more and more, with the advent of Social Networking sites, this is no longer the case. Some know it all who actually knows nothing may end up getting the number one position in Google for a couple of days and you as a person who is expecting the Search Engines to bring up the most relevant search results unsuspectfully buy into something that is doomed to Failure before it ever got started.
Running a successful business online is just like running a conventional business. You have competition, actually a lot more competition on the Internet. The Internet is different in that content is what drives traffic. This is not the case when you have a traditional store front business. Just as a traditional store front business requires a professional presence, so too does a successful Internet business. The difference is the way that you deliver that professional appeal.
Here is what you need to know before you even get started planning a business online. If you have a business on the internet already and it is failing miserably, forget everything you know because obviously what you know is not working for you. The first fact is that running a business online can be much more effective than any traditional store front business. Instead of opening the doors in the morning to the people who live in your town or city, you are opening the doors and leaving them open 24 hours a day to the entire world. The great thing about the Internet is that once the content is there, it will always be there.
The main difference between a traditional store front and having a business on the Internet is that the Internet usually takes more time. The benefit in having patience is that once you get it up and running, it basically runs on auto-pilot. Remember that there are billions of web pages on the Internet and your website is an insignificant dot on the map when you first put it online. Instead of expecting a flood of traffic, expect that there will not be that much traffic initially.
Instead of sitting around waiting for people to find your website, use the free resources that the Internet provides to let people know that it is there. Where a lot of Internet marketers fail is that they lack focus and direction in their business. They hop from one program to the next looking for that magic button that will give them overnight success. In all reality if they would just spend the time promoting whatever it is that they know by educating people about the benefits of the product or service, they would ever get the word out about there product; Their marketing efforts will become viral in that other people want to share the knowledge that they have because they are considered an expert in their field. Perception is everything when it comes to the Internet. Remember that know it all who actually knows nothing. This happens all of the time because people assume that if someone is at the top and what they say sounds good that they are an expert.
So what is the realistic approach to running a successful online business? Even if you are an affiliate marketer who has no product of your own to sell, you must have a website. I am not talking about a freely hosted website but an actual domain name that is focused on whatever market you are in. This applies to everyone looking to be successful on the internet. There is a false perception that short catchy domain names are better than the long tail keyword type domain names. Let's look at this mentality realistically. Chances are that you are not going to build a brand name like eBay or Amazon.
That being said, your focus must begin with your domain name. If you are selling handbags, make sure handbags is somewhere in the domain name. An example of a long tail keyword domain name would be reallycoolhandbags.com or if that is not available, handbagsfortheshofisticatedwoman.com. These domain names are not pretty or catchy, but they are effective and are a base for your online business.
You have to build the foundation before you can build a house. The domain name is the foundation of your online business. This domain name adds relevance to the product that you are selling if you are selling hand bags. The domain name is also one of the key factors in determining search engine position. I would bet that handbags for a sophisticated woman is never searched. I would say that it might have some questions, however probably not many, but lets examine the domain name closer. What about sophisticated handbags or handbags for a woman. I bet those key terms get searched a little more frequently.
After you select a domain name that is relevant to the product that you are selling, it is time to come up with a title for your website. The title is also important to the search engines when determining a sites relevancy. I personally would title my site "Handbags for the Sophisticated Woman". Once again, handbags is the first word in the title, just as it is the first word in the domain name. Just these two steps with related content would probably get your site top ten search results for sophisticated handbags and hand bags for a woman, maybe, but we are only at step two.
After you pick a title for your website you want to build your websites content around the keyword hand bags. If you have an online store selling handbags, include detailed product descriptions in links off of each product page. Have a couple of candles explaining the product followed by details linked to another page with details about the specific product. This adds even more relevance to the content of your site. Give your site a clean look without a lot of bells and whistles. Remember that if someone has typed handbags into a search engine, chances are they are looking to buy one or atleast think about it seriously. They do not want to see a bunch of silly animations or your favorite song playing in the background. Cute is great for MySpace but not so great when it comes to being taken seriously as a legitimate business online.
Another thing to keep in mind is that breaking your site up into categories will always help with the keyword saturation and getting you listed higher for different keywords and phrases. I am not going to break down an SEO strategy here because this is just basic information but if you use your brain, you will be surprised where the thought takes you. Blue handbags, suede handbags, leather handbags, and colorful handbags are some examples of possible categores. Then in each category with the product description every once in a while throw in a this suede handbag or this blue handbag, so on and so forth.
After you have your website built, it is time to get the word out. The internet has provided an endless array of possibilities, the best of which are viral marketing methods. Viral marketing starts with you but it is transported and expanded upon by others. One great way to use viral marketing is by submitting useful content to article directories. This helps build your status as an expert, but it also does something else. If you submit good content that educates people then chances are the content will get picked up by other web masters. Now keep in mind that you do not want to advertise your business directly. Instead you want to educate and in doing so advertise indirectly. Most article directories allow you to include a resource box with the content that you submit. If webmasters want to use your content, they must also include your resource box. This builds your page rank by listing links to your site on other sites throughout the Internet. The higher your page rank and the more incoming links you have to your website, the better you will rank for the keywords specific to your business if they are contained within the content of your site.
If you were to spend two hours a day creating quality unique content and submitting it to article directs for an year year, you would be amazed with the traffic that this effort would bring to your site. Remember, with the Internet, the effort that you put into it now will keep on working for you for the rest of your life.
Another great way to get the word out about your business is by submitting a press release. This provides a news item for the media and believe it or not, but a well written press release can not only build the page for the long term, but it can drive immediately traffic to your website. I recommend learning everything that you can about writing an effective press release and taking the time to create a good one.
So many people want instant success and this is only a brief example of what you could do to build an effective online business. Today will turn into next week and next week will turn into next year. If you are serious about building a sky is the limit income using the Internet, develop a plan and follow it with focus and determination. Realize that anything worth while takes time and be patient. When you feel like giving up, take a break and come back to it when you are more motivated. It may take you a year to build the firm foundation of a successful online business, but this effort will pay off for a life time.