Getting Your Online Business Started

Any business starts with an idea. Turning the idea into a profitable business takes time and dedication. It doesn’t happen overnight. There are a few fairly easy ways to turn your business into a profitable website.

Online businesses are part of the internet. The internet is full of people searching for things from all over the world. This is one reason to have a website. You will be able to reach many more people than a local business. In order to get your website started you need to have a domain name. This is the name of your business online. You can search through places like GoDaddy to find available website or domain names. Usually a domain name will cost about 7.99 and up for a year. You will need to pay this cost each year to keep your website or business name online. You want to be sure that your domain name fits with the type of business you have online. If you sell clothes you don’t want to use a domain name that goes with selling pet food. You also have to make sure this is a unique name that is only used by your business.

So you’ve got your domain name, but that’s not all. You have to choose a web host provider. In order for your website to function right you need a good company to host your website on their server. Some good web host providers include BlueHost, Startlogic and Resellers Web host. Make sure it is a reliable company with good reviews. You don’t want to have your website with error messages or saying this website is under construction. If you can’t see your website chances are other people can’t. If you wish to avoid this choice you may wish to use a company like Wix which will do these things for you for a monthly fee.

Now you need to list your business and product information. Even if your business is an Ecommerce website it is still important to have good content. In other words, describe your products well. Also make sure you have good pictures of your products. A picture says a thousand words. Even if you go through a company like Wix you are responsible for managing the pictures, products and information on your website. If your website is more of a blog or information website you may wish to go through WordPress which is free for blog type websites.

In order to be a profitable business you need to make money. You may need to use money to advertise but make sure you are reaching a targeted audience. You want people to come to your website who are looking to buy from you. There are several ways to advertise your website for free. Social media like Twitter and LinkedIn are great ways to do this.

In order to get the right people to your website, be sure to do some good SEO or Search Engine Optimization. WordPress Ecommerce is a great program to use in order to make this step easier. There is a learning curb but if you check forums and do some research you will learn how to do this step yourself. You may wish to hire a programmer if it is too complicated. Be sure to use good keywords and keyword phrases. If you are selling perfume, you don’t want to use keywords like pets, food or words that have nothing to do with your products.

These steps may seem a bit overwhelming, but study each one at your own pace. Stay focused and keep doing what you know to do. It takes time to get your website to be a productive online business but it is very possible. Keep learning and stay encouraged.

Is Your Company Name Killing Your Online Business?

Ahhh… your company name.

Your identity. What separates you from everyone else.

I would be willing to bet that you spent a good deal of time coming up with the perfect name for your company. Am I right?

Something catchy, easy to remember, and unique. How am I doing so far?

What if I were to tell you that your company name is possibly the single biggest hindrance to your business’s success online.

Unfortunately, for many companies it is.

Choosing a name for your business online is much different than choosing a name for a brick and mortar business.

You see, in the real world, a business with a catchy, easy to remember name will get traffic simply from people driving by on the street or walking by in a shopping center even if they have never heard of you before.

Unfortunately, this is not how things work online. Online, there is no drive-by traffic, no people walking in to your business because they were next door shopping.

Online, you must be found among a pool of tens of thousands of other businesses.

Online, people don’t casually browse with friends to pass the time.

Online, people search… and unless your name is Microsoft, Wal-Mart, or another extremely well known and well branded name, people are not going to search for your company name.

Studies show that approximately 80% of Internet users find what they are looking for by way of search engines (i.e., Yahoo, AltaVista, Excite, etc.), and I guarantee you, they are not going to be searching for your wonderful catchy name, they will be searching for the topic they want.

Let me give you an example. Let’s say you own a gourmet coffee business called “The Brewmaster” that you decide to take online. Of course you love your name and create your online identity around your offline name. You reserve the domain name “http://www.brewmaster.com,” keep your company name, and title your site “The Brewmaster.”

You’ve submitted your site to Yahoo as well as all the other directories and search engines. Ahhh… life is good. Orders should start rolling in any minute now…

Guess what? Unless you have a HUGE marketing budget for banner ads, etc., you’ve just doomed your business.

Let’s look at why.

First, let’s look at the…

*Site Title*

Whether you’re dealing with a directory or a search engine, the site title is the single most important aspect of your listing. For search engines, the text found within the title tags of the page is given more weight than any other single factor on that page (i.e., keyword density, keyword frequency, heading tags, etc.). In a directory, your entire listing is comprised of two things, your title, and your description.

In both cases, if the keywords related to your business are not found in your title, your chances of coming up in a search are virtually non-existent. If your site is about “gourmet coffee” then those words, or at the very least, “coffee,” should be somewhere within your title.

*The Company Name*

Just as your site title should have your most important keywords within them, so should your company name.

Why, you ask?! The answer… directories.

In directories, when a visitor uses the search function (which is what the vast majority use) you will only be found if the search term the visitor uses is found either in your site title or your description. Unfortunately, virtually all directories require your site title to be your actual company name. Remember that directories are powered by humans, not software. A human reviews the site, and assigns the title and description that he/she decides is correct. Yes, they all let you suggest a site title, but ultimately, regardless of what you submit, your title almost always ends up as your company name.

Looking again at the above example, this would mean that your title in almost all of the directories would be “The Brewmaster.” This means the only place you would have left to put your keywords would be the description, and this again is up to the editor. This means that any site that has the search term “coffee” or “gourmet coffee” in both the title and description would come up far ahead of your site in the search results, costing you traffic and sales that could have been yours.

*The URL*

Here is another very much overlooked tool. Whenever possible, your URL should contain your most important keywords. Many engines and directories will give your site a boost if your keywords are found within your URL. Also, when you submit your site to the directories, if your URL, your company name, and your site title all match, that will virtually guarantee that you will get the title you requested.

Let’s tie the three previous areas together with an example of what you could have named your site instead of “The Brewmaster.”

Here’s one possible alternative: “Gourmet Coffee Brewmaster.”

The above alternative would give you a company name that includes your most important keywords and the perfect title for your page.

You could then reserve the domain — [http://www.gourmet-coffee-brewmaster.com] — giving you a perfect trifecta. The same company name, page title, and URL — practically insuring that you get the directory listing you want.

Of course, this is only one possibility, but I think this should illustrate the point.

To Summarize

  • Unless you have a huge advertising budget or are an extremely well branded business, DO NOT name your online business something like the above example.
  • Use a business name that contains your most important keywords.
  • Use this business name as your site title.
  • Use a URL that contains your most important keywords and whenever possible, is the same as, or as close as possible to, your keyword-laden business name.

Follow these rules and you should have no trouble developing a very steady flow of large amounts of traffic from the directories, and you will be well on your way in the search engine arena as well.

The Nigeria New Country Code Domain Extension Dot NG Is A New Internet Business Boom

The Nigeria new domain Country code extension is a force to be reckoned with and there is no doubt about that, but the question that runs across my mind every time, is; will it be a blessing to this great country or another curse like the black gold or call it petroleum.

Nigeria Internet Registry Association has released .ng to further improve the usages of internet names. However, .ng is not restricted to Nigerians alone; the new Country Code that has just been released has been embraced by bing.com and Google and others to protect their brands, also embraced by some domain business gurus. The new extension is a new source of money income for Nigeria and those who have the ideas for domain business.

The extension will surely improve the economy of the country like that of petroleum, if taking into consideration some important factors as early as possible. .ng ccTLD is a second level extension that rings bell for every caliber of domain traders.

WHY is .NG A FORCE To BE RECKONED WITH?

Unlike.com.ng extension, .ng is far more virtuous for those who have the knowledge and foresight for domain business; this particular extension cut across all industries of mankind ever known in existence, like the king of domain extensions known as.com; the .ng enable one to get premium names that are no longer available when add .ng instead of.com; it also makes premium domains available when add .ng to some unavailable premium names that has to do with vowels; most generic words such as the following: ki.ng Instead of king.com also bi.ng instead of bing.com while gives ri.ng instead of ring.com.

As I am writing this message, most of the premium names with .ng extension have been registered or secured, because they are no longer available or been reserved by the Nigeria Internet Registry Association.

As of now within two months, some highly profile domains have been registered such as property.ng insurance.ng, banking.ng, banki.ng, mortgagi.ng, hosti.ng and so on. Also most of the premium short four letters are now rear like that of the.com extension i.e. sex.ng, etc. I am not very sure if USA.ng will be available now or soonest. The extension was just released on 16th April, 2013 and now in May, for one to get the highly profile generic is like passing through the needle eye.

The extension has to do with any industry be it law or whatever trade or business you can mention, you even need it more when you have the.com, so as to avoid some traffic or lost of customer to your competitors.

This is another source of making money for Nigeria as a nation and individuals if quickly invest in the right domains now before acquired by someone else; domain is far profitable in hard currency. Most of these domains are sure to cost millions of dollars in the nearest future.

I am now inviting business entrepreneurs to come and invest in this lucrative market before all the good ones are taken by others; though, domain business is highly investment in nature, but it appreciates in good time like the landed properties, it is unlike stock; domain is highly profitable if you can get good generic now and this is the actual time to invest real money in the business.

This is a business that brings wealth far better than stock exchange, every individual can buy/register any available short generic one word and highly profile domain in this new country code extension.

Lastly, I am writing this, to invite Nigerians to avoid loss of bulk of our internet fortune shares or opportunity to many readily learned individuals of other nations to come in at the right time to have their own share in the internet virtual property as early as possible.

Why a Domain Name Is of Immense Significance to Your Business

Choosing a domain name is one of the important steps that every business website owner has to take to launch his online business. An effective and strategically-chosen domain name can help you achieve your business goals by driving more and more traffic towards your business website. There are so many things that should be kept in mind while going for a unique domain name registration. It involves creativity, language skills, in-depth online marketing knowledge, research, innovation and imagination too. It has also been said that a domain name must be chosen on the basis of what comes first to your mind when you start thinking over it.

The domain name chosen by you represents your brand in the entire web world while creating the online identification of your business. It is as important as your mailing address. Hence, you have to choose it after a profound research. You can simply go to the domain naming experts if you are finding yourself unable to ideate a unique one at your own.

The domain naming experts are well-aware of this process, and they can be very helpful in finding a suitable domain name for your business. The process of perfect domain name registration involves so many things including language skills, choice of appropriate words, length and suitability to the concerned business. When it comes to getting the best business web hosting solutions, you may be confused about which company to choose. Almost all the web hosting companies are offering the same kind of services, and it may be very difficult for you to differentiate.

Here the only suggestion that I would like to give you is, just be prepared to do some homework before you finalize a web hosting company for your business website. Have a look at the performance of the company by reviewing its recently-accomplished assignments. You may also need to talk to the existing customers of the concerned company. An ideal web hosting solutions provider always works just like your business partner while ensuring its individual growth only with your growth.

Suggesting a good and suitable domain name is both an art and science. Only a very few professional have experience and expertise to accomplish your job. The uniqueness of your domain is something that remains associated with your business for a long time, therefore, it should be finalized after profuse considerations and an in-depth thought process. It is necessary for you to take time.

How Domain Name and Web Hosting Affect Your Online Business?

Since the globalisation has set in, the need of online presence has increased to a great extent. Working in an isolated manner is not an option as everything is interlinked. Hence businesses have to mark a global presence so that they can increase their reach in the market and improve revenue generation. For these reasons, business setups are looking for options, which can help them in getting enough traffic on their websites. But having enough traffic does not guarantee success. There is a need for relevant and valid traffic on the site to increase the sales. Now, the big question is what should be done to attract relevant traffic to the site. There are multiple ways by which one can accomplish the aim of attracting genuine leads, such as choosing the right domain name and having a reliable web hosting service with high up time.

Choosing the right domain name is of prime importance in order to provide a proper sense of the kind of business one is into. While choosing the name, one has to make sure that it adds value to the official website of the company. It is always better to select a name that is easy to memorise and spell. The name should not contain more than two or three words and it is also advisable to include keywords so that your site becomes more result-oriented on search engines. An appropriate domain name can not only generate leads but also help in establishing a brand name for your business. With an easy-to type and memorable name visitors can easily search your website.

A reliable web hosting service for high uptime is recommended for any website. The quality of the web hosting solution can make a huge difference in the performance of the site. Choosing a reliable service provider is one of the prerequisites for a successful online business. With the advancements in technology, not only large companies but also SMEs (small and medium enterprise) can afford having a website of their own. But every provider can not do justice with the website and therefore it becomes crucial to opt for a provider who ensures high uptime for the site. A bad server can ruin the performance of your site and give a bad impression to the visitors, which in turn can hamper company’s sales. Hence it is important to ensure while making a final decision about the website hosting service provider that he facilitates good bandwidth as well as uptime. Making a note of these things can save businesses from losing potential customers. A website with the uninterrupted access can have a great impact on the company’s online business as visitors can navigate the website any time they want to. Proper running of the website is vital and it can be considered as a pivotal factor for a website’s success.

Therefore, a right domain name, domain registration and a trustworthy hosting service can elevate the value of the web portal. The need for quality website hosting and appropriate name forms a crucial part of running an e-commerce website.

Free Domain Name Registration – A Blessing For Small Business Owners

Small business owners (SBOs) are very indispensable in today’s world, consequently, they are very vital to any economy. However, since the demand for online presence by SBOs is increasing day in day out, many of them may not take the full advantage of different offers available online, including free domain name registration. While some of them may have gone through the wrong approach to register their free domains, others have misconceptions about the idea.

If you are a small business owner and you want free domain name registration to be a blessing for you, it is very essential for you to make use of the right approach. It is interesting to note that not all free domain names are good for a small business owner. You must ensure that you get a free top-level domain (TLD) and not a sub-domain. A TLD consists of a name and its extension (e.g. ‘book.com’, where.com is the extension), while a sub-domain is derived from a TLD (e.g. ‘science.book.com’).

A sub-domain cannot be a blessing for you as a small business owner because there are restrictions to its usage. You will be denied access to the domain name system (DNS) which is basically used for domain management. You may also discover that your web pages are full of both relevant and irrelevant adverts which you don’t even benefit from. The worst part of it is that you can be denied access to the site if the owner of the domain deems it necessary. Hence, in order to avoid all these troubles, it is very important to register a free TLD and you should not forget to choose the right extension. Even though the.com extension is the most popular, there are other extensions that can be used as well, e.g. .biz (for business sites), .info (for blogs), .net (for internet-based businesses), .org (for organizations), .pro (for professionals) and so much more.

Free domain name registration will facilitate the process of setting up your website and automate majority of your business functions, such as finance, sales management, book-keeping, tax remittance and so on. Consequently, as a small business owner, it is very important for you to take advantage of this initiative and ensure that you make use of the right approach. Your domain registration should be carried out by an ICANN certified registrar in order to be sure that you are dealing with the right channel.

Every Business Needs a Domain Name

As a business owner myself, I cringe whenever I see other business owners – for both online and "brick-and-mortar" businesses – use the free email and website hosting supplied by their Internet service provider (ISP). I am sure you have come across such businesses yourself, ones that do not have their own domain name but rather use that of their ISP, often their cable or phone company. But these business owners do not realize that they are making a big mistake by not getting and using their very own domain name.

There are two major problems with a business that does not have its own domain name. The first is an issue of control and flexibility, the second has to do with branding and long-term marketability.

ISPs love it when you use the free email and hosting services they supply. It hardly costs them anything to support those services and it is an easy way to discourage you from switching to a different ISP.

Think about it: if you have your ISP-supplied email address plastered over all of your business cards, you will hesitate to switch to a different ISP, because you will have to abandon the old email address as part of the process. The ISP effectively holds you hostage because you are using something they control – their domain name – as part of your business operations. Not the best place to be, really.

If, on the other hand, you have your own domain name, you can switch ISPs whenever you want with only minor disruption to your business operations.

Branding is perhaps the biggest problem when it comes to not owning your own domain name. You spent a lot of time choosing the perfect name for your business. So why do you not control the online version of the same name?

Your own domain name is a powerful marketing tool. For one thing, it makes your business seem bigger than a hobby business run out of someone's house, even if that is really what it is. It also makes it easier for your customers to remember and find you. And search engines will be able to place your business on their maps and provide all kinds of useful information – your phone number, fax number, email address – with hardly any effort on your part.

Registering and using a domain name is a lot easier than you think it is. You can register a domain name for around $ 10. You can host the domain almost anywhere for less than $ 10 / month, which includes multiple email accounts and a website. Cost is definitely not the issue here.

How Many Domain Name Variants Should You Book For Your Business?

Many businessmen and entrepreneurs book several different domain names and domain name variants when starting a new business or launching a new project. Most of the names are not renewed and are sold in the open market later. Whichever name is selected for the business' online presence is supported by a website. This article discusses whether it is worth booking multiple domain name variants and whether there is any use for so many names.

Cost of Registration and Renewal

Initial registration is only a small aspect of securing the domain name of your choice. After that, the main headache that you need to bare is renewing the names on time and ensuring that they are put to some use and not idle. If you miss renewal of any name, it may become available to others and the whole exercise of pre-emptive registration is dissolved. Some registry's allow booking the domain names for upto 10 years at a stretch, while others insist on a maximum period of 2 years. There are many instances when domain names which were booked for 10 years, lapsed after their 10th year expiry, due to the domain owner forgetting about the domain name registration or having lost control of the email address which they used 10 years back. In other cases, the domain was registered on an ex-member or ex-employee's name and thereafter, no one in the company bothered to take control of it. These are some of the downsides of blocking many names and not being able to manage them.

New tlds

With the advent of hundreds of new top level domain extensions, booking multiple names has become more difficult and also more expensive. While early online entrepreneurs had to worry about just a few variants like.org, .net, .biz, nowadays it is practically impossible and terrible expensive to book all variants and keep renewing them. Even if you take an average of $ 10 per domain name per year, if an organization books 100 tld's they will end up spending $ 1000 and getting virtually nothing for their money. Besides this, many countries offer multiple variations of domain names, which may double or triple the registration count.

Trademark Monitoring

There are numerous online services which monitor your brand names and trademarks and continuously search for domain name bookings which may infringe your trademark rights. This means that they will point out similar or confusingly deceptive names which may lead people to believe that the infringer is you. But these services are expensive and all that they can do is alert you about the infringement. Thereafter, you have to fight out a legal battle to enforce your rights. Assuming that you do win, the question would be whether it is worth the effort that you have taken to defend your mark.

Lack of enforceability

In many cases of cyber squatting, even if you do file a case in a court of law and win the case, it maybe very difficult for you to enforce the court's order, due to the international nature of domain name infringement and registration. In some countries it becomes very difficult to defend your trademarks and pursue cases for damages or profits and hence, it may not be worth the effort.