How to Succeed with an Online Business

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Succeed with Your Online Business


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There are many things you can do to help bring success to your online business. While there are many sources that you will probably use, we've found the following information helpful to both us and our clients.

1.0

Getting Started

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1.1

What NOT to do

2.0

Submitting to Search Engines

3.0

Title, Keywords, and Meta tags on your site

4.0

Pay Per Click Advertising

5.0

"Amazon Suggests"

6.0

Email Marketing

7.0

Community Advertising

8.0

Adding Your Own Products through Amazon.com or eBay

9.0

Customizing Your Website

 

- Your banners, images, or text
- Format for text
- Sending Requests to us
- Restrictions
- Adding Additional Pages

9.1

Make Additional Money with your Site

10.0

Additional Help or Suggestions

1.0 Getting Started

As you may already know, just by having a web site on the Internet does not mean that visitors will come flocking to your site. Amazingly, many people think "If you build it, they will come". This would be nice, but not a reality. The fact is you will need to promote your site so that customers can find you. The good news is that by doing some very basic promotion, you will be doing more than most sites online today. This will give you the advantage and greatly increase the likelihood that you will succeed.

Building a successful online business also takes time and patience. You will hear this over and over again from the most successful people and businesses online. Here's a great quote on this:

"Building a business is a lot like raising a child. It takes time and patience. If you're going to start a business and you're only willing to give it six months to prove itself, don't start a business. That probably isn't even enough time for a franchise. Would you throw out your child because it can't fend for itself six months out of the womb?"

Source: How NOT to Build a Successful Online Business

At eBiz-U, we want you to succeed. Our philosophy is that is that we can't be successful unless you are. So we put together the guide below with suggestions on how to promote your site as well as how to customize your site if you want to add additional features. You should remember to use this as a guide and then make decisions that work best for you. We will update this guide often, and we're always here to help.

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1.2 What NOT to do

While starting on online business is exciting and you want to get as many customers to your site as quickly as possible, there are some things that you should not do. These methods will not bring you targeted customers and you will probably end up wasting your time and money. Not to mention, you risk having your web site shut down.

  • Do not sign up for programs that promise you hundreds, thousands, or millions of visitors or clicks to your web site. Most of these are scams and will probably only deliver "false hits" to your site. This also can put a strain on your web site and the server which will cause us to shut down your site.
  • Do not use pop-up or pop-under programs. Most search engines do not like to see sites with this and may end up banning you from getting listed with them. Plus, studies show that most online shoppers do not like pop-ups and will leave sites that use them.
  • Do not spam. Spam is sending out massive amounts of email to people who did not request to receive email from you. Using an email distribution list for newsletters is a great way to get customers, but you should either build your own list or go with a reputable company that can supply a targeted list of people who have opted in and agreed to receive email.

If you have questions about a particular program that promises to drive traffic to your site, you can always ask us what we think of it. There are many ways to get honest traffic from truly interested online shoppers, and by doing things right, both you and your customers will be happier.

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2.0 Submitting to Search Engines

Most Internet users (over 85%) find what they are looking for by using a search engine. Below are some links to pages that will help you get your site submitted. Keep in mind that it takes a while after you submit your site for search engines to find you.

Top ranked search engines for manually submitting your site:

Top ranked programs or sites that handle multiple submissions (some require fees, so please read carefully).

Top ranked sites for advice and tips on search engines

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3.0 Title, Keywords, and Meta tags on your site

When your site is built, the title, keywords, and other meta tags will be included in the HTML code. If you would like to change any of these, you can do so by using the online editor. If you need help with this, you can always submit a Request and our developers will help out.

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4.0 Pay Per Click Advertising

Looking to get listed with search engines fast, and ranked high? Then you should probably look into Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising. These types of programs allow you to choose how much you want to pay relative to the position where your ad will show up in a search. You also don't pay unless someone clicks on your ads. However, you should always approach PPC advertising carefully to avoid spending too much.

Pay Per Click advertising programs that will cover the major search engines of Google, Yahoo, and Bing:

Google AdWords - Probably the most well know PPC advertising program.
Microsoft Advertsing - Advertising with PPC on with Bing and Yahoo! Search

 

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5.0 "Amazon Suggests"

Keeping a healthy and sustainable flow of traffic to your Web site can be a key to success, but also one of the hardest tasks to accomplish. To help you crack the traffic puzzle, we've assembled different solutions, tips and case studies.

Go where the traffic starts: working with Search Engines

Most web surfers start their sessions at a search engine. There are a number of different methods you can use to capture their traffic and drive it to your site. We've provided an outlined overview of suggested best practices below.

1. Buy it: Pay-per-click Search Engine Services

One of the best methods of purchasing Web site traffic involves leveraging pay-per-click services offered by many major search engines.

Most of these search engines require you to bid on key words or phrases that users type in. The highest bid gets the highest ranking on the search results and the advertiser pays the amount bid every time someone clicks on their link.

Some basic guidelines:
Choose key words carefully: pick words that match your site content or visitors' interest. Remember, sometimes the most obvious / popular keywords are the most expensive. You can be frugal and benefit from thinking of more specific, but less obvious search terms that may convert higher for you at a lower cost--if they match your content or site expertise.
Do the math: consult your Associate reports to see how many visitors to your site ultimately make a purchase. If your average is one out of one hundred visitors, then bidding $.05 for a position on a paid search engine placement will cost you an estimated $5.00 per sale. If your gain per sale is greater than $5, you're in good shape. If it's less, you will need to continue to optimize your results.

Test where the traffic is: search engine traffic has consolidated greatly over the last couple of years. The following search engines all offer pay-per-click services and are widely used by consumers:

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2. Optimize for it: Get the most from Search Engines

Building up an advertising budget isn't the only way to get the most out of search engine listings. Here are some steps to take to optimize your search engine placements:

Add keywords and meta tags to your site
Search engines provide search results based on the relevancy of the site content and its popularity. Make sure that the copy on your homepage that contains many keywords that users might search on to find your content. The higher the frequency of the keywords, the more relevant your content can be deemed.
Note: eBiz-U creates your site with keywords and meta tags built in. You may also change them yourself or request us to change any of your keywords or meta tags at no charge.

Leverage links
Web sites that have lots of other sites linking to them are often deemed more popular and get a higher rank because of that. Contact folks with sites similar to yours and ask them for a link back to your site.

Domain names
Getting your own domain name gives your site added credibility and can help you get listed higher in search results. Make sure the name you pick is a logical name pertaining to the subject matter of your site and isn't too long to remember or easy to misspell.

Register your site
Manually register your site with major search engines, or let a partner like Submitnet.net to do it for you.

Some search engines don't index dynamic content on framed sites. If your site is dynamic, think about ways to modify your homepage that will make it easier for search engines to index.
Note: eBiz-U does not create "framed sites" so this should not be a problem for you.

3. Encourage your current traffic to return: Produce an email newsletter

Starting an email newsletter is a great way to create repeat visitors. Make sure your newsletter contains useful information beyond just a link to your site. Content updates, editorials & product reviews make great content. Keep it informative and determine a reasonable frequency for emailing your newsletter out.

If you're looking for a partner to help get your email newsletter off the ground, we recommend you check out Constant Contact. We've worked with the team there to put together a great offer for Amazon.com Associates.

4. Content is king:

Provide rich site content and update it frequently to give people a reason to return on a regular basis. A loyal and interested audience can be a lucrative asset for Associates.

5. Keep on top of your traffic:

Monitoring the number of visitors to your site and where they come from is a vital step in the traffic-driving process. It helps you determine not only what's working, but how and where people find your site.

Use traffic counters so you can see how much traffic you're getting, what pages on your site get the most visits and where users spend the most time. These are pages you'll want to optimize.

Know your visitors: make sure you ask your visitors for feedback about your site. Feedback forms, polls and opportunities for customers to review your site content not only let you know how you're doing, but offer you insight into who values your site as well.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Check out the top-trafficked sites on the web. You may find great content, layout and site features you can adapt for your own site.

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6.0 Email Marketing

Marketing by email is one of the most effective ways to gain and keep customers. By keeping them informed of new features or special features on your website, you can keep a steady stream of traffic to your site. However, it should be noted that you should ONLY send emails to those visitors who have requested (opted in) and given permission for you to send email to them. Not getting permission is regarded as SPAM (unsolicited email) and can get you blacklisted from your ISP and your account terminated with eBiz-U. This being said, if you go about building an email list over time, you will have a loyal following of subscribers, and customers.

The following is a program that is great for beginners or experts in email marketing. It also provides you with a free 60 day trial, and you pay nothing until you have over 50 subscribers.

Send an Email Campaign Now - Get Results Instantl

Another great way to let people know about your store through email is by adding your store web address on all of your personal email. Think about how many emails you send to friends and family, and how many emails get forwarded on to others. You can let them all know about your new business as well as how good your prices are. They'll thank you for saving them time and money when they see your store and products in comparison to traditional retail stores.

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7.0 Community Advertising

Get the word out in the area where you live! People in your community make excellent customers since most prefer to buy from local merchants, and those they know and trust through community organizations.

Some great ideas include:

  • Flyers around your neighborhood
  • Advertising in local papers
  • Postings at your local coffee shop (many have bulletin boards)
  • Get included in your Church flyers
  • Post flyers with local merchants (that you wouldn't compete with)
  • Let schools know the great deals you have on supplies, computers, educational games, etc.
  • Look around your community for other ideas!

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8.0 Adding Your Own Products through Amazon.com

Just follow this link and the directions. Your products will automatically be included in your store under either Used or Third Party links for those particular products. Not only will your products show up on your site, but also on Amazon.com and other sites so you will get great exposure.

Sell Your Stuff with Amazon.com

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9.0 Customizing Your Website

At eBiz-U, we want you to be able to customize your store how you wish. With the Online Editor, you can add or change just about anything you want. In addition, we will work with you one-on-one to create additional features that will make your store a unique experience and help you make more money. For simple additions there is no charge. However, if you want more significant changes, there may be fees associated with this type of request.

- Your banners, images, or text
Adding your own content is simple using the Online Editor. You can also request us to add banners, images, or text if you wish. All you need to do is supply us with the HTML code, images, or text and tell us where you want it on your page. You can submit a request from the Request Form.

- Format for text
When adding your own text or sending us a request to add text, we ask that you have everything formatted as you would like to see it on your page. Keep in mind that you should use "web-safe" fonts such as Arial, Times Roman, or Verdana in order for the text to display properly for your visitors.

A great place to start adding your own text is on your home page where you can replace what is there when the store is set up. You should try to limit the amount of text so that it will fit nicely on the page. You can also add text to other parts of your site by selecting those pages using the editor.

- Sending Requests to us
If submitting requests for adding banners, images, or text, you should use our online Request Form. You need to supply us with your name, domain name, description of what you would like, and . We will follow up with you on all requests you make.

You can access the request form from the top of this page or go to:
http://www.ebiz-u.com/requests.htm

- Restrictions
For any additions you request, we do not accept objectionable material or subject matter. This is per our discretion. We also can not accept any additions that may interfere with performance of the site in any way. All requests will be evaluated before and after implementation to ensure there are no negative effects.

While we try to accommodate all reasonable requests, there may be instances where an addition is not possible for either technical or aesthetic reasons.

- Adding Additional Pages

You can add additional pages to your site easily by using the Online Editor. Instructions on how to do this is located here. If you would like us to add additional pages to your site, we can do this as well. Just use our Request form. If the work involved in this is more significant, there may be additional charges, but that is usually rare.

(If you plan to accept payment online for your own products you will need to have some understanding of either PayPal or 2Checkout.com so you can enter the proper information and code for your site.)

Images - If sending us images through the Request form we ask that you attach the images in standard image formats like .gif, .jpg, or .png so that we can upload them properly to your site.

Payment buttons - When adding payment buttons, we recommend using payment processors such as PayPal or 2Checkout.com who provide you HTML code that you can enter into your site.

Download pages - If you are selling downloadable products (like eBooks), this would require you to create an additional page for your customer to return to after making payment.

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9.1 Make Additional Money with your Site

A key to success in online business can be summed up with 3 words: "Multiple Income Streams". This is the method of generating income from many different sources rather than relying on just one to make money with your website. Best of all, it won't cost you money to make money this way!

There are thousands of businesses online that want to drive more traffic to their sites, and they are eager to share the revenue they make with you if you send customers their way. All you need to do is place a link or banner on your site which contains a unique code that identifies you as the referring site.

Luckily, you don't have to search far in order to get these types of links and banners. The following online sites represent almost every major company in the world where you can get professional links and banners to place on your site.

 

IMPORTANT - Remember to use our Request form to add links and banners so that we can place your requests appropriately.
http://www.ebiz-u.com/requests.htm

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10.0 Additional Help or Suggestions

If you need additional assistance with anything, please use the Contact Us page for the appropriate contact to use. We will make every effort to help you no matter what the question or problem may be. Also feel free to email us with suggestions. After all, the best ideas sometimes come from our customers!

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