As a search marketer for over ten years and CEO, I decided last year to start my own business and have Google to thanks for it’s success to this day. Here are a few key insights to help any CEO or business owner looking to start their own business online.
Align Your Business To Search Behaviour
One of the first marketing 101 lessons at any school is that the pathway to success in 99% of cases is to meet an existing ‘need’. Google has the perfect free tool called the keyword planner which can help you understand what people are searching for and therefore the most popular sets of ‘needs’ in society.
In this case of my business, I knew I wanted to start a website that targeted skilled immigrants coming to Australia but was unsure which visa subclass to target. Using the keyword planner I could see key search volumes including:
- 457 visa = 18,100 searches
- 485 visa = 2,400 searches
- 417 visa = 720 searches
Just from Google alone I could see that the 457 visa market was the most popular and therefore potentially the most lucrative.
Doing the process above may seem like just common sense over the past decade I have met dozens of new business owners who were about to launch their product or service only to come to me and find out nobody is actually looking for what they created.
Understand Your Future Competitors And Their Relationships
One of the easiest way to gauge your future competitors is simply to search for relevant terms and see what websites appear on the first page. This can be a good starting point from which you can use http://www.similarweb.com/ which shows where traffic to these sites come from. This can identify the areas your future website should be tailored for and any customisations to your products/services you may need to make.
In my case, I identified that most traffic came from insurance sites, migration forums and government websites. Therefore, I needed to ensure I had content that was useful for new migrants that the forums and government websites could source. I also needed to ensure I had insurance information covered.
Build A Site Based On Your Learning
With the search and competitor analysis completed, the key now is to develop your product/service and then create a new website based on:
- Choosing a logical domain name that matches search behaviour
- Choosing product/service names that also align to search behaviour and competitors
- Create content on the site that will attract traffic from relevant websites
In my case which was going to target the 457 visa market:
- I named the website www.457visacompared.com.au (which has the term 457 visa first)
- I named my products what people search form such as ’457 visa health insurance’
- I created 457 visa checklists and guides to gain links from forums and government sites
Overall, ensure your site is aligned to relevant websites and search behaviour with a key focus on developing original content to help drive traffic and maximise your rankings on Google.
Maximise Your Traffic Online
The last step is to focus on the competitor analysis done earlier. Understanding the websites that competitors receive their traffic can help you adopt a strategy that reaches out to these site’s webmasters to get your site featured. This is critical to maximising your search rankings!
Finally, look at where traffic is navigating to within the site and find changes that will maximise your conversion rates. This field termed ‘conversion rate optimization’ and is the modern day ‘competitive advantage’ for any online business. If you plan to run online advertising (such as Adwords) it is often the difference between achieving an ROI and wasting your money.
About the Author: Justin Grossbard is the CEO of 485 visa insurance, 457visacompared.com.au, and oshc-compare.com.au which are comparison sites for those looking to move to Australia. He is also the co-owner of the search marketing firm Innovate Online.