A successful online business will have a few things in common, but first, here are a couple of concepts you really need to be clear on.
- You can build the very best website on the planet, but unless people can find it, you won’t sell a thing.
- You can get hundreds, even thousands of visitors to your site every day, but unless you are offering what they are looking for, you won’t sell a thing.
Both of these concepts are what search engine optimization is all about. Getting found for exactly the phrase (or product/service) that your potential customer is looking for.
The marriage of search engine optimization and online marketing techniques is what this article hopes to clarify for you. You see, building an effective business utilizing online marketing techniques takes more than just coding web pages.
It takes a plan. It takes a deep understanding of who you are talking to and what language they use. It takes an automated sales funnel. It takes an automated follow up system. And it takes optimizing each page of your website for the keywords they are already using to find a solution their business pain.
Let’s break down the essential elements of a successful online business plan.
Defining Who You Want To Talk To
This step isn’t as simple as it sounds. The knee-jerk answer is “anyone who wants to learn Real Estate Investment Strategies” or “anyone who needs a blue widget”, but that doesn’t really tell you anything about who you are talking to.
It doesn’t tell you their current business or personal pain. It doesn’t tell you why they are online looking for a solution. It doesn’t explain what the solution for them would look like.
You need to spend a little time really getting specific here. You want to define your ideal audience. Your perfect prospect. Your target market.
You need to know exactly what they are looking for and why. You need to know what motivates them, what scares them, and what will inspire them.
Understanding Their Language
If your ideal audience is a real estate professional looking to increase their worth (or bottom line), then you will need to use their “language” in your sales copy, keywords and content. This will include professional terms unique to all real estate professionals (please note, I will be using Real Estate Investing as a sample throughout this document, just replace with whatever term makes sense for your business).
However, if your target market is someone who don’t know anything about real estate investing, but wants to get positioned to profit from an upturn in the housing market, then your “language” can NOT include terms only a broker would know.
This concept translates heavily into what keywords you target. If “John Q Public” with no real estate experience is your target audience, then you can’t optimize for keywords like “short sale buy strategies”, because John Q Public doesn’t know what that means.
He is more likely to be searching for terms like “buying and selling houses quickly” or “profit on flipping houses”. Remember, you are going to have to educate your clients. But first, they have to find you.
Optimizing On The Right Keywords
The obvious keyword choices are often the wrong keyword choices. Remember, you are asking to speak to someone who doesn’t know what you know, yet. He doesn’t even know what to ask at the search engine. He will ask in his “language”, so be sure you are optimizing on the words he is using at the search engines.
Think a little outside the box when doing your keyword research to ensure you are optimizing for words he will be looking for. Be sure to include common derivations. To get a head start on this, ask a friend who doesn’t know anything at all about your business what they would type in the search engines to find “the solution you provide”. Careful you don’t put words in their mouth during this exercise.
Injecting Yourself Into The Conversation
Once you know who your target market is and what “pain” he is trying to resolve, you can inject yourself into the conversation. Remember, there is a sales “process” going on here. Each of your prospects first identifies their pain, starts looking for a solution, compares available options and then purchases.
Your part of the conversation has to make sense to them and match up with where they are in the buying process. Are they still identifying their pain? Do they understand what they need? Are they ready to compare options?