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# Biz United> Business and Internet Articles> Tips for Starting a Successful Website Business
Wholesalers and Driopshippers
Starting a Successful Website and Online Business
The ultimate goal that most people hope to achieve with their commercial website is to receive lots of orders and leads from people who see the site and have been convinced by the online offering. Unfortunately most websites never satisfy their owners and fail to deliver the goods. If you are starting out with an online venture, you can avoid this fate by planning properly and executing the plan backed by good knowledge or using professional assistance.

I have set up a number of commercial websites in the past few years, following a simple set of rules that usually leads to success. Here is how I go about it:

1. Choose a proper domain and name and register it
The first stage in establishing a commercial website involves choosing a domain name, getting web hosting, and setting up the site. It doesn't take long to select a domain name or to register it, but it is extremely important to choose a domain name that will help you to brand your site as well as to give you a bit of advantage in the search engines. An easy to remember name that also has a keyword that is relevant to your business is the best. Take some time to research the possibilities. Often the best names in a particular field with the .com extension have already been taken. Keep working at it until you have a name that you wish to register.

Register your domain name with a reputable registrar. Don't try to save a few dollars a year and end up with a registrar that will go out of business in a few months, possibly jeopardizing your ownership of the domain.

Registering and setting up the domain can be done fairly quickly. Once your domain is registered then choose a host. As with the registrar, select a well-known and reputable hosting firm, one that provides good support and is easy to contact.

We have used Midphase Webhosting for several websites that we own and for our clients.

2. Formulate a Design and marketing message that is appropriate for your business
The next step is to plan your site's design. If your material is already well organized and you know what you are going to say, and what you want to achieve with your site, than this stage will not take too long, depending on the skill of your website designer.

One important thing to consider is that designers are generally not skilled in marketing. A very fancy or graphically striking website may not help you commercially. The ability of a website to engage, educate and convert a visitor into a customer is the not a question of design expertise but of marketing skill. If you can't do this work yourself, hire people who can both formulate your message and put it into effect on a good looking but easy to use website.

This work may take several weeks to complete.

3. Launch a Systematic Promotion Campaign
A website does not promote itself. You have to make a sustained effort in order to bring visitors to your site. The first step is to get strategic links from complementary and already well established websites in your field of activity. If you are already in business and just transferring your activity to the web, then ask your business associates to link to your new website.

Another means of promotion is to submit your site to directories such as Biz United, www.business.com, the Yahoo directory and any directory related to your particular business. A combination of links from other businesses and good directories should enable your site to obtain some Google PageRank within four months.

You can also submit online press releases using services such as www.prweb.com or to publish articles on other websites and blogs with links back to your site.

A promotion campaign can take as long as one year to reach fruition.

See our guide for submitting to web directories written earlier.

4. Check your Visibility in the Search Engines
If you have worked hard on step three then within six months to one year your site should be visible in the three top search engines: Google, Yahoo and MSN. Depending on the skill with which you have done the promotion and the competitiveness of your field, you should be able to achieve listings on the first few pages of search results for your important keywords in a six month period. If you are in a particularly competitive field, such as selling real estate in a major market, you may have to use pay-per-click ads, such as Adwords, to break into the first pages of search results. In case you do opt for paid advertisements, continue your promotion so that your performance in natural, unpaid search improves.

5. Monitor Your Traffic and Conversions
The last step is to carefully track your traffic and see if this traffic is converting into actual sales. While the big problem for most websites is simply to get enough traffic, another problem is having a site that cannot convince a visitor to take further action, such as joining a mailing list or ordering a product. After you have recorded visits from several hundred or several thousand unique visitors, you should hope to get conversion rates approaching one per cent or more. If you do not reach this target, then go back to step two and work on your marketing message. One tip, do not change everything at once. Change one headline, change the price, change the images, change the colors, but do them one at time. Sometimes it is a simple change that can make all the difference.

Follow this step-by-step process and you will achieve the goals that you have set for your new online business.


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Starting a Successful Online Business Website

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