Starting an online business in 2017 needs some planning and preparation, we have 10 great tips and methods when first starting out online.
Filling a need and Requirement
People who are new at starting an online business normally make the mistake of, trying to find a product first then a market.
There’s a better way.
Search for a market first. Start by thinking about a problem people may have and how you can provide a solution. If there’s little results in this niche then bingo!
You may be thinking how do I go about this?
Well, the answer is really simple! Search on forums and blogs by typing: Your Question [blog] or Your Question [forum] to see what sorts of questions people are searching for, what problems they may have and what needs solving.
By the way, this works for all sorts of businesses, from online shops to niche products or services. You just need to brainstorm some ideas and then get searching.
Next, you need to look for those magic keywords! in magic, I mean keywords that are getting searched for a lot but have little competition. Google keyword planner tool is free and is an excellent resource. We usually brainstorm ideas using a tool called Ubersuggest. Next, you will need to see the competitors websites and see what works for them. You can do this by applying a little common sense and seeing what sells or what they are trying to promote. Find their unique sellers points (USP) and compete.
There is a great tool we use to spy on competitors adverts. You can spy on these adverts to see what is working best, what they have spent a lot of money on and how long they have been running it for. You know these statistics show that it works so you can copy this technique and offer something better.
The tool is called Spyfu and it’s free to use with limitations.
Market research for your business
Now that you have an idea on what services or products you believe will sell, it’s time to think about who you are going to target. Is this a national or local business? this will determine how you design your website. Will your website be a lead acquisition site or an eCommerce store?
Starting an online business
It’s great to plan, and proper planning prevents poor performance. However many people have a great plan but never get around to just doing! What’s the point in an amazing plan that could potentially bring in huge profits and you never actually start anything! Nothing’s going to happen if you don’t start!
Once you have started it’s vital to split test everything. If you put out articles you should test different headline titles on social media platforms to evaluate what works and what doesn’t, then change and adapt it.
There’s only one obstacle in starting an online business and that’s you. You need to get it done, then adjust and change until it’s right. We have another post covering starting a business.
Outsourcing for exceptional work
You can’t be an expert in all aspects of business and you certainly don’t have the time to do everything. You either need to employ people or outsource work. We are a massive fan of outsourcing work and over the years have found some exceptional people to work with, and we now work with them on a regular basis. When first starting an online business you may be short on cash flow. You need to be careful where you invest your money, one thing to write into your marketing plan is outsourcing or employing staff, please don’t dismiss this.
Marketing your new online startup
Marketing your business is crucial to its success. Many startups have some luck with ‘word of mouth’ bringing in new business but this will certainly not take you to a higher level. Marketing is the best way of getting your service or products in front of
the people who are most willing to buy.
Here are few tips on How we Market our Businesses
There are many ways to market an online business including;
- Pay per click advertising (PPC)
- Google Adwords
Adwords works better for us. We love Adwords, it delivers exactly what a potential client is looking for. When someone types: ‘Using Pinterest to market my online clothes shop’ Adwords works perfectly as it delivers exactly what was required. This means I can really target the right people and I can get the best cost per click in doing so.
PPC is a great way to start your online business as it’s instant, whereas SEO (search engine optimisation) can take a little while to become successful. If you want to go down the SEO route, I recommend you do if you want your business around for the
long haul. Then you need to realise that SEO can be tricky to implement, however, the results are defiantly worth the time effort. The first thing to check is to make sure your website and landing pages are up to standard, this is called On-page SEO. If running a WordPress site we recommend using Yoast’s SEO plugin. This will give you an indicator of whether your pages are up to standard.
A faster site will help improve your search rankings
Search engines look at speed as a ranking factor. Use this tool to check whether your site is up to speed. If your site is slow this will not only affect your rankings but it will put potential clients off. There’s an 8-second rule, if your page takes longer than 8 seconds to capture a potential client’s attention then they will leave and never return.
If your site takes 4 of those 8 seconds then you’re on a losing battle. You can use various plugins like Autoptimize to speed your site (as long as your hosting provider allows it). Try using a faster hosting provider, VPN or Dedicated server to increase page speed.
Make sure your website is responsive
More and more sales are coming through mobile devices so it’s important to make sure your website is mobile-friendly. This is called responsive design. You need to have bold ‘call to actions’ in mobile view, the most important being your telephone number. There’s a great plugin called ‘Call Now Button‘ this will display a call button permanently on the screen when viewing from a mobile.
Blog writing for marketing
Writing regular informational articles for your business can help increase visits to your site, and help build some relevant backlinks which in turn helps boost your search engine rankings. The key here is to give away information that will hugely benefit your readers, which will in-turn build trust leading to more sales.
Choosing a good title is crucial when writing a blog. You should do some keyword research before deciding on a title, you can do this yourself using services like ‘Long tail pro’ or ‘Sem Rush’ another way to find relevant keywords for your title is by using fiverr.com. Once you have found some keywords that are relevant, that get over 100 searches per month and don’t have too much competition you can use them in your title. You can use modifiers in the title alongside the keywords, for example; ‘Best marketing tips for selling records online’ where; best and tips are the modifiers and ‘selling records online’ are the keywords you found.
How much should you write?
We recommend you write over 400 words, the more the merrier as the more you write the more keywords and keywords phrases will be picked up by search engines. If the competition is relatively low for keywords there’s a good chance you can rank for keyword variations. This is why writing longer posts can help. We try to write over 1000 words per article.
Using Yoast’s plugin you can see where to put the keywords in your content as well as other tips on improving your article. Here’s a basic video ‘On-page SEO in WordPress using the Yoast SEO plugin’
Don’t just Publish and Wait
You need to let people know about your new article. There are many ways to do this, we use a handful of methods including posting your new article to;
- Pinterest(with a Pinterest graphic)
Then we send parts of the article in a newsletter to our email subscribers. We contact experts in the same niche and say, ‘Hi we loved your last article ‘…’ we have just published something similar that you may be interested in? If you like it please could you share this for us’. Another method is to search on forums and blogs where you answer questions to a problem, then link back to your article. Search in Google like this: Keyword [blog] or Keyword [forum]
We hope you found this article helpful, we would love to hear your thoughts on starting an online business, Please leave a comment below.