10 Essentials to a Successful Online Business

There is a lot of advice out there about what to do in order to achieve success online. Here are Ten Essentials that are free or very inexpensive to implement in order to achieve success.

1)    Register a domain Name for your business (www.yourbusiness.com)    

The most important thing you can do, if you are serious about your online venture, is to register your own domain name. I use Network Solutions. There are other registrars that are cheaper, but they also carry with them possible additional frustration in the future if you should decide to move your site or otherwise make changes. Click here to register your domain name now. For articles regarding the importance of domain names click here.  

2)     Use your Domain email address (info@yourbusiness.com)

Check with your web host to see if you are able to use your domain for email. Set up your email program for this new account and use it for all of your correspondence. Here are just a couple of  advantages to using your domain email address:

  • You are branding your own domain rather than your ISP

  • If you change ISPs, you usually end up having to change your email address. If you use your domain email, you never have to worry about your address changing even if you move your site to a different hosting service.

  • Domain email vs. ISP email article

3)    Include a signature in EVERY email you send out

Create a few different signature files to use with your email. One signature could contain just your name, business name and url. Another signature file could contain a short promotional feature for a new product or service. Be sure to create a signature inviting recipients to subscribe to your newsletter if you publish one. ALWAYS include your url in your signature. If you are unfamiliar with what a signature file is or how to create one click here for additional information.

4)    Include your URL on ALL advertising and offline literature

I can't tell you how many times I see print ads for companies that I KNOW have a web site, but their URL is NOT in their ad. How are people supposed to know that you have a web site if it is not included in all offline materials. Advertise anywhere ad everywhere, including your letterhead, business cards and any offline literature that leaves your office.

5)    Get listed on your local government sites

Many government web sites allow businesses to place a link on their site. Here are just a few:

Start here http://www.50states.com/ 
http://www.state.id.us/ (replace id with your state)

6)    Get listed on trade organizations sites you belong to.

Do you belong to trade organizations? Check their sites to see if they offer links to their member's sites. Are you an online professional? Let your visitors know...become an iCop  member (International Council of Online Professionals). 

7)    Link to related sites

Search engines are starting to pay attention to how many related sites are linked to yours. Find those sites and request an exchange or other joint venture. For information read my article How To Find Sites To Link To

8)    Submit your site to the search engines and related directories

Be sure you have submitted your site to the search engines and directories. The Internet Marketing Resource Center makes it easy to submit your site just click here. Each link to the search engines opens in a new window. Submit your site, close the window and click on the next one. The whole process can take less than an hour.

9)    Form alliances with related web sites

This is related to finding sites to link to. While you are looking for sites to link to, you will run across sites that would make great joint venture partners. Follow your ideas with these sites. You never know what kind of relationship may develop.

10)    Track your efforts - utilize log analysis software

I can't stress the importance of knowing how much traffic your site is getting and where the traffic is coming from. Check with your hosting provider. Click here to read an article regarding the importance of log tracking to your business. 

Think of your website as a marketing tool with an unlimited world-wide audience, and although you can do many of these things on your own, we realize that you probably prefer to spend your time doing what you do best running your business! Clearwater Web Solutions would be pleased to help you establish your online presence.

We have the experience and professional resources to turn your Website into a valuable online working tool. Why flounder in cyberspace, losing money from lost sales while you teach yourself the strategies and techniques necessary to succeed in this fast paced online market place of the future!

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Pam Jones specializes in offering quality information and services that will keep you on the right track with your online marketing to help you increase your profits. Visit the Internet Marketing Resource Center at http://www.i-m-r-c.com, for tips, tools, resources and helpful articles. Or find out about web hosting, website design or redesign, domain name research & registration, online marketing & promotion and website maintenance services at affordable prices for small to medium sized businesses at Clearwater Web Solutions at http://www.clearwaterwebsolutions.com.

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