starting from scratch

Starting an Online Business From Scratch

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online business

This is a guest post by Victor on things to remember when you start an online business from scratch. You can check out the guidelines for guest posting on our write for us page. 

Online businesses face fierce competition entering the marketplace with more and more entrepreneurs seeking riches via the Internet. Given the low start-up cost of establishing an online business versus a brick and mortar venture, it is no surprise that the Internet is the “place to be” in an economy starved for investment capital.

Factoring in the low cost barrier to entry into the Internet business world, and the public’s continuing romance with social media and the Web, embracing strategies that convert web and social media prospects to customers becomes critical for determining online business winners and losers.

Market Research – Basics of an Online Business

The foundation to starting a viable online business venture begins with knowing what your customer wants, and how they are currently finding businesses online to fill that need. Determining the keywords that are being used in an online search is critical information required for building an online business presence to attract those prospects.

The company website must be built around content that contains and addresses these common keywords to ensure that your website attracts customer traffic. Smart entrepreneurs wait to name a new company until research findings can be evaluated.

There is a Google Keywords tool that is free. It can be used to determine which keywords are the most searched. This tool is a great way to determine the words most used by customers to find companies that offer a particular product or service. There are also many consultants who will be glad to offer you help in this area.

Establishing a Web Presence for your Online Business

Building a company website is the first order of business for establishing a web presence. While many new businesses get bogged down financially at this stage of the game, there is no need to spend a fortune setting up a website. There are many free, or almost free companies like WordPress that can get you up and running for a reasonable price. Selecting a domain name should be done with care, since this is how people will find you on the web.

Entrepreneurs should opt for simple and memorable domain names. The company name with a dotcom at the end serves as the best URLs for new businesses, if the URL is available. This strategy works best, provided the company name was chosen with marketing in mind.

Blogging is a highly recommended form of attracting new customers to a company website. The reason blogging is so popular is that Google search ranks blogs higher than stagnant website information that does not change. By adding a new, customer-relevant blog to a company website three or four times a week, the website will rank higher with Google, and gain a higher page ranking in customer searches.

This free traffic generated through blogging and search engine results is called organic traffic. While it takes time and patience to get to the first or second Google page for popular keywords, after submitting interesting blogs for a few months it is possible to greatly improve a site’s page ranking.

Another option for companies to improve page ranking immediately is to use Pay-Per-Click advertising. The ads that are posted alongside Google pages are paid advertising. As the name suggests, an advertiser pays for each time a customer clicks through. This is one good way to jumpstart increased Google traffic, while the organic traffic from Google searches has time to increase.

Social Media – Engaging with your Customers

Social media is another inexpensive way to establish a web presence. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus are four social media tools that can be used to promote a company’s business. For a new business, it can seem daunting to try and tackle all of these tools at once. Utilizing one or two of them is sure to make a positive difference in business referrals. As the most frequented social media site being used, Facebook is recommended as a best bet.

Conclusion – Building a Strong Online Business

Opportunities abound for online entrepreneurs willing to commit time to develop an online business. By conducting market research to thoroughly understand the marketplace, start-up companies can jumpstart a new business online and flourish. Social media tools and blogging for increased Google rankings traffic are two important strategies for success in the contemporary online business environment.

About the author:

Victor is a writer and blogger experienced in online business development. He also often writes about finance and credit cards.

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