Overview Of Business Model
Marketing research has revealed that when researching online, approximately 85 percent of Internet users find what they are looking for through search engines. It is also a well-known fact that users rarely go beyond the first three screens of search results. Because of this, it is highly important that businesses have their Web sites appropriately submitted to the major search engines. There currently are hundreds of search engine submission services online that promise results, but many never come through on their end of the bargain. They typically do one mass submission of a business’s URL to the search engines using a submission tool and choose to ignore proper submission techniques. This provides you with an opportunity to offer services that surpass those of many of the competition.
Since this business’s sole purpose is to submit a client’s URL to the search engines and directories, this will be the main source of revenue. You have to know the various search engines’ ranking criteria and ensure that your client’s site is conducive to high ranking before you submit. A Web site has to have appropriate keywords in its meta-tags, Alt-tags, and page titles, and throughout the text on its site, as well as having a significant number of links to its site. As an additional service, you could develop these for your clients as a valueadded service (see Search Engine Optimization Service). This will not only generate additional revenue and add to the overall professionalism of your business, it will also increase the chances that your clients will receive high search engine rankings.
You should know how to submit appropriately to the various search engines and directories. You should be knowledgeable about the Web site ranking criteria of the major search engines.
Cost To Start This Business
If you decide to launch this type of business, you will have to pay for the development, design, and hosting of your Web site, a high-speed Internet connection, computer hardware, computer software, and a printer. If you currently have some of these items, your initial start-up costs will be considerably lower. Other costs that you will incur are related to the promotion of your Web site. Estimated cost is $10,000 to 20,000 to start.
Number Of Employees Needed To Start
At first you may need to work at this type of business part-time, but as your service requests increase, you might have to work with this business venture full-time.
Since businesses from around the world are outsourcing this activity to professionals, this business venture has strong international potential.
Important Business Issues To Be Addressed
Since search engines change their ranking criteria constantly, it is very important that you stay up-to-date on the latest advancements in search engine technology. Not knowing what a search engine is using to rank the sites in its index could seriously hinder the success of your search engine submission service. Being knowledgeable about the latest advancements in search engine technology will not only enhance the professionalism of your business, but will also increase the chances that you will receive repeat business from your clients as you will develop a strong, trusting relationship.
You should inform your clients that many things factor into receiving high search engine rankings—things such as an effective Web site design, proper meta-tags, keyword prominence throughout the site, page titles, Alt-tags, and, most important, link popularity. Many of the major search engines are now using link popularity—that is, the amount of incoming links to your site—as one of their ranking criteria. If your clients are unwilling to outsource the development of these to your business, it is essential that you inform them how important they are to receiving high rankings. Once you submit their URL to the search engines, if your clients don’t receive high rankings, you can again inform them that it was because they didn’t comply with all of the requirements of the search engines’ ranking criteria. This will save the professionalism of your organization and will ultimately result in the sale of your additional search engine optimization services.
Online Marketing Techniques
- Participate in newsgroups and discussion forums related to Internet marketing and online business. Remember to use a cleverly designed signature file with a catchy tagline and hypertext link that will send newsgroup readers to your site. Potential taglines could include “Ask Us about Our Search Engine Submission Services” or some variation of this phrase.
- Develop as many links as possible from Web sites, directories, and metaindexes related to your target market. There are thousands of Internet marketing- and business services-related sites on the Internet that would provide a great linking opportunity for your site. These sites will provide highly targeted traffic to your site.
- Providing valuable contributions to Internet marketing and online business- related mail lists and e-zines would be a great way to create exposure for your business. This will allow you to display your professionalism and generate awareness for your services.
- Launching a monthly search engine news newsletter or e-zine would be a great way for you to stay in touch with your current clients and potential customers. This could be offered via e-mail or an RSS feed. Offering sound advice is a great way to enhance your corporate image. When your newsletter readers implement your suggested submission techniques, they will want to check their results. This provides you with an opportunity to offer your search engine submission optimization services.
- You could have your search engine submission services listed in cybermalls related to your target market. You could list your site in industry-specific cybermalls related to technology or doing business online, or you could simply have your site listed in categories related to business services.
One way to earn additional income for your business is by offering a search engine reporting service. Many people regularly submit their URL to the search engines but never take the time to actually know where their Web site is ranking. This service would complement your current submission service and would be a great way to earn additional income for your business.