Sunday, May 25, 2008

Find a Web Business Idea in Columbus

Before going into business on the Web, you need a good Web business idea. It makes sense to really evaluate yourself and the Columbus business environment before choosing an idea. But before you can evaluate these things, let us think about some general Web business types.

1. Selling products is the easiest of all business types to match to your interests and skills. Just about every item you could sell offline in Columbus could be sold on the Internet, and some you couldn't sell offline. Whatever you enjoy buying and are good at buying you'd probably enjoy selling. In most cases, it is easier to sell things on the Internet because you don't even have to inventory the products yourself. You can either sell them as an affiliate for another company or sell them yourself. In the latter situation, the distributor will often handle shipping the item directly to your customers. You also have the option of selling electronic media such as e-books, software, and music that can be delivered straight from your site to the customer.

2. Selling services on the Web is probably the most difficult type of business to match to your interests. These generally require you to have a very specific set of skills or to be able to find qualified employees or third-party providers, since you'll be in Columbus, and delivering the services won't be easy due to geography. But selling services generally provides you with a more intimate connection with your customers and your company than selling products. Some of the most common types of services sold on the Internet are writing, computer programming, travel planning, Columbus Web Design, project planning, and consulting.

3. Providing content on the Web is one of the easiest businesses to implement. All you need is to make content and/or provide third-party content that will be interesting in a specific niche. News and article websites are a more traditional type of content. Blogs and personal video recordings are quickly gaining momentum as popular content types. Many find success mixing all of the content types with content discussion forums. The content can be in the form of text or multimedia. You generate your profits through advertising rather than sales, so the quality and uniqueness of your content offerings determine your level of success to a greater degree in this type of business, whereas selling products requires a greater degree of promotional effort.

So now that you know what the general Web business types are, you need to evaluate yourself. What do you find interesting? What are your hobbies? What do you spend your free time in Columbus doing? What do you have experience doing? What have you felt successful at in the past? Let us now think about how you can identify a Web business match for who you are.

1. Take note that it can take a long time before your Web company becomes profitable. If you're more of a type A personality, you need to really have an interest in the company or you will burn out fast while you wait for it to become profitable.

2. If you are a good manager, you may find more success hiring employees in Columbus and starting up a specialized type of business. If you are more of a do-it-yourself type, you need to find a more general Web business opportunity for which you are qualified to handle all of the daily tasks yourself.

3. If you are someone who is good at planning, you may do best starting with a large cash flow and a clear business plan. If you are not very good at planning, you may be much better off making a smaller cash investment and a larger time investment into the operations of your Web business, or partnering up with a Columbus Web Design company that can share some of the website design and marketing costs.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Useful Tips for Your SEO and Link Building Efforts

If you want your website or online company to rank highly in the search engines, you would use search engine optimization (SEO). SEO involves identifying and using keywords and phrases that people in your niche would heavily search for. Keyword optimization and link building are two types of SEO work commonly used by Columbus Web Design companies today. Link building is SEO work wherein you try to increase the number of incoming links to your website or a specific page on your website.

Keyword Optimization Tips From a Columbus Web Design Company

1. Find the heavy keyword phrases in your niche or industry using keyword suggesting tools.

2. Avoid using general or one-word keywords or keyword phrases that may make it hard for your website or online company to achieve high rankings the search engines. However, avoid using keyword phrases that aren't being searched by people. In the search engines, it is often better that you be a "big fish in a small pond" than be a "little fish in a big pond" because your website or online company is unlikely to rise to the top of the search engine results if you're the latter.

3. Use keyword phrases throughout your website, particularly in titles, subheadings and near the beginning of texts.

Building Incoming Links

If you want to improve your website's search engine rankings, you also need to work on increasing the number of websites linking to your website. This SEO work is referred to as link building. Be aware that search engines also factor in the number of websites linking to your website (incoming links) to determine how highly in the search results your website or page ranks. The incoming links to your website tell the search engines that it is of high quality and can be recommended to visitors.

Link building, however, can be manipulated in several ways such as buying banner ads or text link ads in other websites. Because of this, search engines also look at the incoming links to your website and consider some to be more valuable than the others. When you hire a Columbus Web Design company to do this for you, be sure they are building quality website links.

Columbus Web Design Link Building Tips

1. Work towards increasing one-way incoming links instead of reciprocal links. Search engines consider one-way incoming links as "honest votes" than reciprocal links.

2. Aim to get relevant websites (those that are in your same niche, topic or market) to link to your website. Avoid generic link farms.

3. Aim to get "authority" websites linking to your website. Authority sites are those that are popular and are known to have high quality content.

4. If you are purchasing online advertising, go with one-page, content-based text ad links instead of banner ads. To search engines, text ad links in specific content pages appear to be a natural way of linking.

5. If you want a specific content page on your site to have a good search engine ranking, work on building links to that specific page instead of your site's main page.

For more tips, just talk with any web design professional in Columbus, or hire one today!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Social Networking as a Columbus Internet Marketing Tool

What do MySpace, Orkut and FaceBook all have in common? They are all social networking websites that give Columbus Internet users the opportunity to communicate with others in Columbus quickly and create online communities consisting of like-minded people. Social networking groups can range from small groups of friends to professionals and businesspersons, and is now a major source of professional networking between Columbus professionals.

To Internet marketers in Columbus, these networking groups are a virtual gold mine because they can reach their target audience in social networking websites inexpensively or even for free.

However, social networking sites have become subject to abuse by unscrupulous marketers. This is the reason social networking websites are cracking down on new types of spam, such as bulletin spam and message spam on MySpace. This type of social networking spam results from attempts by marketers in Columbus to artificially inflate their "friend" count or how many people are in their social network. They do this through mass-adding and bots. Most of the time, these people market their own products or services to their "friends" or they charge a fee for others to advertise through their social network.

In general, social networking spam does not work. This does not mean, however, that it won't convert; it means that this method of social networking for Internet marketing rarely yields a decent ROI or return on investment compared to other Internet marketing tactics employed by Columbus Web Design companies.

Below are three reasons social networking spam is ineffective:

1. The big social networking accounts rarely have target members. Thus, if you try to build your social network through mass-adding and bots or by paying someone in Columbus who owns a large social network to blast your advertisement to his group, the people who will see your advertising message are not likely going to be people who are in your target market.

2. If you pay a web design company that has a big social networking account to send your advertisement to his friends, be aware that most of the people in his network are not going to ever see your ad or message. This is because your ad is only going to be visible to them if they are logged in their accounts.

3. If your target members ever do see your message, it is more likely that you'll have a very low response. They will read your message, but there is no guarantee that they will do what you want them to do in your message, such as check out your link or offer and actually buy from you.

You can still use social networking websites effective as part of your Internet marketing efforts. Here are some tips from a Columbus Web Design company:

1. Build your "friends" list naturally. Resist the temptation to use bots or mass-add people to your network.

2. Make it a habit to personally welcome anyone who joins your social network.

3. Send out your bulletins and messages to members of your social network when they are likely to be online. For instance, sending your bulletins during a holiday or weekends would give your message lower exposure because the people in your network are highly likely to be away from their computers.

4. Instead of just sending links to members of your social network, take the time to actually craft something that would prompt them to read and check out your offer.

5. Regularly contact members of your social group. However, avoid contacting and sending them too many message too frequently because you'll look like a spammer.

6. Search social networking sites for groups related to your niche. Join these groups and make sure you read and understand the posting rules there before you send out your message or ad.