The Keys to a Successful Online Business
You've seen the headlines. Chances are you've seen them in classified ads, emails you've received, and now, you're starting to see them on television and hear them on radio ads.
Everybody and their sister seem to have the next great business idea that is going to make you a fortune!
Listen, let's be honest here. There are a lot of online businesses out there and many of them CAN make you a nice income, or at least supplement your current income. But it usually takes hard work, grit, and determination to be successful at any of them.
So, let's examine several keys to making a successful online business.
You have to have a fancy website. Wow! Have I heard this a million times or what? Truth is, to be successful one just has to have a relevant and functional website. It doesn't have to be all fancied up and beautiful. So, the key is to make your landing page simple. The easier it is for someone to navigate your web page, the better.
There are certain guidelines that one needs to follow to make a landing page successful. For instance, an attention-grabbing headline stating the purpose of the web site is an essential. A "call to action" above the fold is another essential. A "call to action" is simply a place where a customer can order, provide an email address, or download a product as examples. "Above the fold" means what a customer can see on their computer screen without having to scroll down.
When customers go to your site, they won't have a long attention span so you want to hold them there as long as possible to make a sale, so it's imperative to follow these few simple rules to increase the likelihood your landing page will convert.
You have to spend a small fortune on advertising
Hey, if you've got the money to spend on advertising, then have it. There is some truth to the fact that "one has to have money to make money". But how much money? Fact is, one doesn't have to spend a lot of money to get started telling people about your web site.
Getting ranked high enough in Google where your site shows up on the first or second page of searches is a science all to itself. It's called Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short. Do yourself a service and read up on SEO and how to get your website ranked high in Google and other search engines. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to do well at this stuff. So, the key is to learn about SEO techniques.
You must use Google AdWords to advertise
Quite frankly, I love Google and use them a LOT. And they are the leader in Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising. Consequently, they have some strange rules that can limit your ability to advertise at times. Sometimes, if you aren't doing as well advertising as they think you should, they will hit you with the infamous "Google Slap". That's a term that means they basically shut down your campaign by stating that your keywords are not relevant. I, and a lot of other people, aren't quite sure how they determine that.
One can be cruising along making decent money with your campaign and all of a sudden...WHAM! your campaign is useless. And it's not an easy thing to resolve either. I have been slapped before and anyone who enters this business will be slapped eventually.
Don't take it personally and just try to learn what works and what doesn't and persevere. The key is to learn how to get a high-quality score and lots of ingredients go into determining that (landing page design and content, relevant keywords, and good ad copy that is relevant to the landing page). Google wants the customer to have a good experience when searching on their site so remember to build your ad campaigns as though you were the customer.
Having said all that, there are alternatives to Google AdWords. You can try out Yahoo, MSN, and even some of the smaller PPC firms like MIVA and MARCHEX that don't have as many of the complex relevance algorithms that Google uses.
What will you find also, is that some of the smaller firms actually charge substantially less that the big boys for the same keywords? Now I've seen some reviews from people who complain about the traffic they get with some of the smaller firms believing that the traffic is not genuine or targeted traffic. However, I have used them with some success, so one can experiment and see what works and what doesn't. The key is to try multiple search engines to drive traffic to your website.
There's no such thing as free traffic. Can you believe anyone really believes that, but I've had more than one person tell me that? We've already seen in #3 above that it is possible to get free traffic to your website just by using SEO techniques. But there are a lot of ways to get free traffic. What I'm doing now is one way...writing articles online to tell people about a subject I know a little something about.
Check with most internet marketing "gurus" and they'll tell you that writing online articles is a great way to get your website out there. Blogging is another great way. Do a search on blogs and you will find lots of sites that will allow you to blog for free. If you go back to #3 and look at that "GDI Secrets" link, you will notice that it is also a blog entry. So blogging is a great way to advertise on the internet for free. Viral Marketing is also an up-and-coming method to increase your exposure. So the key is to utilize free advertising techniques to get your web site noticed.
These are just a few of the principles one needs to apply in order to be successful with any online business. One other thing I'd like to say before ending is that it takes patience as well to be a success. It's very unlikely you'll become an overnight success no matter what anybody tells you to the contrary.
Most of the people who are a success in this business have been doing it for years, they have made a lot of mistakes along the way and have applied what they've learned from those mistakes. And I've found that's it's very rare for any of these "gurus" to give you ALL of their secrets for making money. But you can always get a few nuggets from this person and that person along the way and then start applying that knowledge to your business.
Here's hoping that you find great success in your online journey and much happiness along the way.
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