The First Steps to Make a Success of Your Online Business

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How to get noticed on the web

 

Getting your website noticed on the worldwide web is essential for your online business. No visitors equal no money. And sure, it does make you feel great when you see so many visitors coming to your site.

Getting visitors to your site is not actually as difficult as you might think. Likely there are a 1000 things you could do to attract visitors to your ‘laptop business’. The key is to use all of them successfully.

A lot of people make the mistake of assuming that there one magic way, some strange ritual, which would draw the visitors like a magnet. The reality is it takes effort and diligence to get more traffic to your site. This is certainly not a complete list for a budding ‘laptop-entrepreneur’ to follow. (I assume here that you’ve already decided what services or products you are going to sell on your site.)

1.  The web site itself.

This is a very important aspect of internet marketing but here we are going to focus on external web marketing in the first hand. Yet, there are a few important things that we need to consider first.

CONVENIENCE

This is a major one. People these days are so used to getting things fast from drive thru food outlets to high speed internet connections. Instant gratification is now the ‘rule of the day’. Keeping that in mind, your web site should load quickly. Truthfully, a 4 second load time for a page is extremely slow by today’s standards. Once the site loaded, potential customers expect to immediately find what they are looking for.

As I mentioned in my previous post, the design and layout of your web page should be such that everything is clear and easy to navigate. The “brick and mortar” way of putting the most popular items at the back of the shop so customers have to walk through the whole store does not work for online businesses. This method should be avoided like a ‘plague’.

Several studies indicate that if your visitors don’t find what they are looking for in the first 15 seconds, they will move on to your competitor.

2. The first steps in getting the word out.

Visit the popular business directories, like http://dir.yahoo.com/,  http://sbd.bcentral.com/, http://yellowpages.aol.com/, etc. There are literally hundreds more.

3. Submitting to search engines.

There are many web sites that offer this service for a fee. Personally, I’ve have never found it worth the money. I recommend that you do it yourself. It is not too difficult and does not take that long to submit your web site to the top search engines.

4. Forums.

Get to know your market. The best way to research your potential market is by visiting forums related to your niche and reading. Find out what your potential customers are concerned about. Don’t stop reading until you feel comfortable enough to post a message.

Be sure to read the rules for posting – don’t spam the forum. Unless you want to get banned from the forum for life!

Many forums will allow you to leave a link to your site in your profile but some will not. In either case make sure you respect the guidelines for posting.

I found a cunning way getting recognized by search engines. Most forums allow you an avatar, a fictional profile picture that appears when you post. In most cases you set that up in your preferences when you sign up at the forum. Most times it is a link to offsite where your picture is hosted.

Here is a “golden nugget”:

Make sure it is hosted from your web site and named after the site. I made a bunch of avatars for several friends and hosted them from my web site. Surprisingly, it caught the attention of the search engine ‘spiders’ and brought my site loads more traffic.

The aim here is not just to advertise. After some time you might be the person everyone wants to ask questions and you can then use that opportunity to market your products/services.

By beginning with these four online marketing strategies you can lay the basis for a strong presence on the web.

Just remember that it won’t happen overnight but it certainly will increase the popularity of your web site among the search engines. Remember too, internet marketing is an ever expanding proposition. The more marketing strategies you use the greater your success rate. You could well be on your way to your first ‘laptop millions‘!