8 Essential Tips to Building a Successful Online Business

Are you building a strong foundation in your Internet Marketing efforts by building a strong foundation doing the proper keyword research and a doing full audit of your competitors?

This past week I received a telephone call from a prospective client.

She explained that she had an outside agency develop her website a year ago who promised her that the site would be on the top of Google within months. As it is over a year and with no rankings anywhere she fired the agency and was looking for help.

She related that she wanted to be #1 for only one keyword and she was willing to do what ever it took to achieve that goal.

While she was on the phone, I took a peak at her website and here are a few of the things that I noticed very quickly:

  1. Lack of content – Her website was only five pages deep. A home page that was basically a collage of before and after photos, an about page and a product page that had very “we-we” content that did not explain the benefits of the product, a order page and a contact page.
  2. Lack of onsite optimization – The overall site architecture and on-site SEO was poor. Improper page titles, title tags, meta description and no keyword anchor tags anywhere on the site.
  3. Lack of incoming links – There were only 6 incoming links to the clients website from two domains. Both of which were links on old websites that were not in Google’s cache.

I ran a quick report and found that she was competing against 6,000,000 other webpages in her niche and for her to be anywhere on the first page of Google’s she would needed 2400 incoming anchor tag links.

However, while I was also running this report, I discovered various other keyword phrases that had very low competition and very high search volume and told her that she could get immediate results by targeting those keywords, getting instant traffic and hopefully conversions.

What she said next totally caught me off guard “Read my lips, I don’t care about those long-tail keyword phrases, I only want to be #1 for (her highly competitive keyword)!”

Well I tried to explain to her that in order to achieve her lofty goal that she needed to have content on other pages on her site that focused in some of these other various long tail phrases as Google felt that it was relevant to her niche.

Again was taken back by her next comment in that she had already gotten quotes from other SEO agencies who told her that they could make her #1 for (her term) in only 3 months and they quoted her $3000.00 a month and again she wasn’t interested in any of those other terms.

Well I realized at this point that I was dealing with prospective client who was shopping around for an easy fix by trying to find an agency that would resort to “black hat” tactics to trick the search engines.

The problem with this type of tactic, it really doesn’t work for the long term. You may get up there in the SERPS for a few days or weeks, but as soon as the Google Algorithm identifies that you’re using these tactics, your site will be excluded from their index.

If you’re serious about building a long term sustainable online business, here are 8 tips you should consider before you even build out your website.

  1. Keyword Focus – If you don’t know what keywords are important for your niche, the search volume, your competition, the OCI (Commercial Intent) you will not know what the focus is for the various pages on your website.Therefore extensive keyword research is critical for your success and is the 1st step in development of a website.
  2. Content Organization – You need to map out the various pages of content for your website. What pages are needed, what content is needed for these pages, what is the overall theme for this content, how will it interlink with the other pages you have on my website.
  3. Content Depth – How much content do you really need to have on your website to be competitive?  Every niche is different and depends on your competition. After my conversation with this lady who wanted to be #1 for a certain keyword in her niche I fired up SEO Recon and based upon her competition she would need a total of 1500 pages that were between 750 to 1200 words.
  4. URL Structure – All to often web designers do not grasp the importance of using keyword terms in the naming or the pages therefore the URL strings cannot be properly seeded without doing the proper keyword research in the 1st place.Your site architecture is critical for your online success and this is just one of the basics.
  5. Inbound Link Planning – Only through proper keyword research and doing a site audit with a program such as SEO Recon will you know the number of inbound links, the anchor tag keyword phrases and the important websites that are in your niche that you should target for inbound links.
  6. Social Media Needs –  You are blindly shooting in the dark if you’re not doing a proper site audit and keyword research so you will understand the demographics, needs and wants of your target audience.You cannot become viral until you understand and use the proper triggers in your social media messaging.
  7. Understand the Production Costs – Using the example of the lady who called me this past week, there is no possible way she could effectively rank for the highly competitive keyword term for the long term spending only $3000.00 a month.Based upon here competition, the search volume and the PPC spend the keyword that she is targeting has an exact SEO value of $2700.00 a day!The preliminary keyword research that I had done identified a handful of very popular keyword phrases that had allot of search volume and had very low competition. I felt that it would be reasonable to tell her that we could rank for these keyword phrases in a very short amount of time and then she could reinvest a portion of her profits and develop a budget for that highly competitive keyword that she was after.
  8. Keep Your Sanity!By 1st doing the proper keyword research and doing a proper site audit you will have a full understanding of the road ahead and a roadmap that you can follow to your online success.

I’m sure the prospective client wasn’t appreciative when I explained to her that the tactics she was considering would be counter productive and that the only way I would consider her as a client is if she made a commitment to building a long term online business that would be sustainable for the long term and to build out her site by creating articles for these other long tail keyword terms.

My feelings are if you make your client successful, you will reap the rewards. If you set up your client for failure by taking short cuts, you will fail.


Your thoughts?

Certified Master SEO Instructor by the Search Engine Academy and CEO and founder of SEO Training SW.
Roy Reyer
Roy Reyer
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3rd April 2011 9 Comments

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