An increasing number of budding entrepreneurs are turning to the internet as the catalyst for their business endeavors. Many recognize the low startup costs, minimal overhead and instant access to a global market and dive into an internet business headfirst, not taking the time to research their options thoroughly. Just as with a brick-and-mortar store, it’s imperative to do your due diligence to conceive a marketable product with adequate levels of supply and demand, establish a breakeven point and determine if you have the time, money and perseverance required to make your business a success.
Regardless of the product or service you are selling, ranking highly in search engines will be paramount to your success. As you probably know, search engines are the primary way that people browse the web and locate information. To that end, you need to take steps to ensure your site is optimized for the various search engines. The first step is to choose a platform for your business.
Your platform obviously needs an interface that is easy to navigate, but it also needs to be search engine optimized. Certain platforms are more search engine-friendly than others are, but these differences can be difficult to discern for the untrained eye. Some basic things to look for include indexable content, numerous shopping cart options and a high level of freedom to make systemic changes.
Literally hundreds of companies offer ecommerce websites, so it can be difficult to determine who to go with. If you are forced to switch platforms it will be detrimental to your search engine rankings, so when you make your decision, you want it to be for good. Here is a helpful online shopping cart guide to help you start comparing the features, fees and startup costs of various companies.
Most people have the misconception that once a site is up and running, you simply sit back and let the orders roll in. In reality, managing an online business often takes just as much time as a brick-and-mortar store. You will want to research SEO strategies online to learn how to make basic changes to your site, such as updating the meta and title tags, creating consistent inbound links, utilizing keywords and manufacturing effective URL structures.
Several online tools, including Website Grader, will give your website an SEO score, letting you track your progress and recognize areas that still need work. It’s also a good idea to look into plug-ins from reputable companies to help with search engine optimization. (The All in One SEO Pack from WordPress is one of the most popular).
Eventually you’ll reach a point when all of your tags are in place, you can’t possibly write anymore content and you are ranking well in the search engines—but your job still isn’t complete; you have to keep yourself at the top. And the most effective way to do this is through inbound linking. These links are one of the most critical components of search engine algorithms, and as such, should be at the top of your priority list too. Business blogs are one of the best ways to create consistent, relevant links and should be included in every SEO strategy.
These tips will serve as a launching pad for your business but this is only the tip of the iceberg. The online landscape is constantly shifting, and in order to stay on top, you have to be adapting with it.