STARTING AN ON-LINE BUSINESS- WHAT TO KNOW





STARTING AN ON-LINE BUSINESS - WHAT TO KNOW



How free tools can improve your bottom line


 Summary of the Above Links
Choosing a Domain Name
Do: Include a location or keywords in your domain name, if you can.
If your business focuses on a geographic region, try to put the location into the name
." Whether it's location, or what your company does, Krivenko advises: "Put the most important keyword for your industry in the domain name."
Do: Register yourself as the owner of the domain name.
Do: Remember to renew your domain name registration.
Don't: Use dashes, abbreviations or numbers in your domain name.
Instead, come up with a catchy name that's easy to remember and captures your business
Don't: Waste money on extensions other than .com.
Investing in other extensions becomes important when patenting something or protecting a trademark, says Bedord. If you think a competitor might want the .net version of your domain name, for example, consider taking it first.
 Don't: Buy a domain without checking into its past.
Even available domains can be exposed to legal trouble if the name is too similar to another company's trademark..
Aside from consulting a lawyer, check www.whois.net, which lists registered domain names, for other possible legal landmines.

Finding a Web Host
The first step is to find a Web host, the company who will store your files on its servers.

As you can see from the above table, Web hosts are all different, with different bandwidth, storage capacity, applications, email features, and of course, prices.

Before you can decide which Web host meets your needs and which Web hosting package to buy, you need to figure out your basic requirements.

Many of the Web hosts offer limited features for the starter packages, and then expand the offerings (sometimes tremendously) for higher-tier plans.

 Read the small type to make sure the plan you are selecting offers what you need. If you need a site builder application to design your Website, make sure that the low-cost Web host you are picking actually comes with a site builder.

 Many of them require you to pay for the builder as a separate add-on.

You also want a Web host with 24/7 customer support—you just need that human on the other end of the support call.

Some are more security-minded than most, offering antispam and antimalware tools.
 Others offer a variety of email marketing tools. While most of the hosts have built-in e-commerce, you may want to consider buying and installing a robust e-commerce application instead.

Some Web hosts give you plenty of room to grow even within the tier, and others require you to upgrade to a more expensive plan.

 Consider how much you expect to grow your website and how soon before you commit to anything longer than a one-year plan.

If you're ready to select a great Web hosting service, click the links below to read our in-depth reviews of the biggest and best names in the space.

Branding Your Web Site
If your company relies on leads from your website, then your online presence is your brand.
 Online branding is especially important for service providers who don’t have a tangible product that clients can look at. Instead, customers are buying the information you present about the service — and the reputation you’ve built up to support it.
The Internet rules in this “digital era,” and Google controls 80 percent of the search results, so make yourself stand out.

 Search engines want to reward the brands that real people find valuable. You can’t assume users will easily search and find your brand or business only because you have a live website.

 Instead, you must focus on building your online brand to create a personable impression for first-time users, while continuing to engage and reward long-time customers.
If you’re noticing a high bounce rate in your site visitors, it’s time to take a look at the image your website is projecting and consider revamping it with the following tips.
Add credibility with customer testimonials. 
 A testimonial is much more than an ego boost. They have tremendous power to persuade other people to seek out your business for products and services.
Capitalize on press and publications. Promote and link to any publications where you, your brand or your services are mentioned.
Boast about your recognitions. Any awards or recognitions that your services, business or employees have earned indicate the quality of your brand.
Display recent accomplishments on your website where users can easily find them.
Take advantage of any widgets or icons as well. Having a “Recent Recognitions” section on your website can be very valuable for enhancing your credibility.
Display your social following stats. Use a social stats widget or plugin on your website to display your social following stats.
Positive engagement on social media can increase the likelihood that viewers will find your brand likable. Social media is an opportunity to make your brand more personable and human, and less like a faceless corporation.
Establish yourself as a resource. Establish yourself as industry leader by sharing free educational content. Offer useful white papers, e-books, and other downloadable materials that your viewers will actually need or benefit from.  Fresh Content

 Aim to establish yourself as a resource for knowledge, humor, current events, or whatever else you can capitalize on. You should be willing to educate your customers and readily give them the information they want. If you’re not willing, then your users will find a competitor who is.

Avoid jargon. Avoid using your own industry’s jargon on your website. Speak in the potential customers’ terms instead. One common mistake is filling website content with industry language and buzzwords. Instead of pitching to a client with fancy terms, speak to them in language that they would use to search for your products or services. You must get in the mind of your potential customers.
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Choosing the Right Keywords
It all begins with words typed into a search box.Keyword research is one of the most important, valuable, and high return activities in the search marketing field
A basic process for assessing a keyword’s value         
Ask yourself...
Is the keyword relevant to your website's content?
Will searchers find what they are looking for on your site when they search using these keywords?
Will they be happy with what they find?
Will this traffic result in financial rewards or other organizational goals? If the answer to all of these questions is a clear "Yes!" then proceed ...

Search for the term/phrase in the major engines
Understanding which websites already rank for your keyword gives you valuable insight into the competition, and also how hard it will be to rank for the given term.

Are there search advertisements running along the top and right-hand side of the organic results? Typically, many search ads means a high-value keyword, and multiple search ads above the organic results often means a highly lucrative and directly conversion-prone keyword.

Create a sample campaign for the keyword at Google AdWords .  Also use Google Keyword Planner

In Google Adwords, choose "exact match" and point the traffic to the relevant page on your website.

Using the data you’ve collected, determine the exact value of each keyword.  Google Analytics

Understanding the Long Tail of Keyword Demand

Another lesson search marketers have learned is that long tail keywords often convert better, because they catch people later in the buying/conversion cycle. A person searching for "shoes" is probably browsing, and not ready to buy. On the other hand, someone searching for "best price on Air Jordan size 12" practically has their wallet out!

7 Mistakes Your Business Website May Be Making

1. Websites with outdated material
2. Lack of timely response to questions, concerns or suggestions
3. Incomplete, missing contact information, directions
4. Confusing, hard-to-navigate websites.
5. Limited or no ability to engage/interact/communicate with the business owner via website.
6. Websites lack the “personal touch” and one-on-one approach they like about small business.
7. Finally, technical issues—such as websites being too slow, crashing or freezing up too often or being hard to use on a mobile device.