You can buy a copy in hard copy or kindle version. But before it gets released to iTunes and to Audible, we’d like to give it to you as a free trial. We hope you look forward to some of the other things that we’ve got that you’re going to get absolutely free here and at www.moreprofitlesstime.com.
CHAPTER 6: TAKING IT ONLINE
- Step 20: Your Online Presence
- Online Marketing Techniques
- Backlink Generation
THANKS FOR LISTENING!
Until next time!
TRANSCRIPT: BONUS EPISODE 7
Title: How to Turn Your Idea Into a Multi-Million Dollar Business (Chapter 6, Part 1)
Date Published: October 9, 2015
Running Time: 13:25 minutes
Hi, this is John Millar. I’m the Naked Business Coach, stripping business back to its bare basics. As a special bonus, we’re giving you a free copy of all the chapters in How to Turn Your Idea into a Multi-Million Dollar Business.
Now this is available in Amazon and you can buy a copy in hard copy or kindle version. But before it gets released to iTunes and to Audible, I thought I’d give it to you as a free trial. I hope you enjoy it, took me some years to write. And I hope you look forward to some of the other things that we’ve got that you’re going to get absolutely free.
Thanks so much and welcome to The Naked Business Coach Podcasting Channel.
The Entrepreneur’s Guide Series
How to Turn Your Idea into a Multi-Million Dollar Business (And Avoid the Mistakes that Send Most Business Owners into Bankruptcy)
By John Millar
Chapter 6: Taking it Online
Since the mid-1990s, the business world has undergone a massive transition from offline to online, and most companies now have some form of online presence. If your new business does not have a good online footprint—and more importantly does not embrace the available tools—then you will slowly be left behind by the competition. There are simply too many Internet-based automation and communication tools to ignore. Some old-timers have still not fully accepted the online experience as a valid business platform, but you will need to embrace—in some fashion—the online world if you want to succeed in your new business.
This section deals with the prominent topics you need to understand to ensure that your new business remains competitive and prospers in this rapidly evolving landscape— or should I refer to it as the rapidly evolving cyberscape? I think so.
I do not present an exhaustive treatment of online marketing in this book; rather, I present the main concepts, especially those you must understand to launch your company and compete effectively in this increasingly online world. In order to give you a good foundation, I will get a little bit technical, but I think this area is so important that I want you to spend the time necessary to read this section closely (maybe twice) so you can make the important decisions with respect to online marketing and transacting your business online.
Step 20: Your Online Presence
Almost everything you do online will fall into two main categories:
1) Online Marketing
2) Transacting Business Online
The first has to deal with advertising and your online footprint; the second category relates to those automation tools you will use to facilitate your daily transactions (for example, email). Since so many things in the offline world are being (have been) replaced by an online counterpart, you will need to have an online presence and the sooner the better. You do not necessarily have to create an extravagant website before you start operating your business. You can build it after you are up and running if you want, but it is a very good idea to understand what you will need at the outset. If you are asking yourself the question, Should I start my business offline first or develop the online footprint before I start my business?
Think of it this way: In a sense, we have the proverbial “chicken-and-egg” situation here, and I don’t want you to spend so much time and money designing and creating your online presence (the chicken) that your new business (the egg) never has a chance to hatch!
Sometimes it is better to get any bugs out of your new business before you create the online counterpart. You can develop your online presence (website and online business automation) as you go. You will want to do some things from the get-go, one of those being online marketing.
Online Marketing Techniques
Some online marketing techniques parallel the traditional offline techniques, so they are easier to understand. For example, email marketing is very similar to traditional postal service marketing. You have mailing lists in both realms and you send messages and run promotions in both realms. There are differences, but the concept is similar.
Other forms of online marketing do not have such clear counterparts in the real world. They are less intuitive in nature and therefore more difficult to understand. For example, pay-per-click advertising. In the online world this activity refers to a type of advertising where the advertiser pays each time a prospect clicks on the advertisement and is transported to the target webpage. This would be comparable to advertising on a road sign and then each time a prospect read that advertisement and contacted your business (as a result of reading it), you would pay the owner of the sign for advertising. This might be a good way to advertise and many businesses would probably agree to pay for each prospect arriving at the door in this fashion, but in the offline world it is simply not possible to accurately track such leads. Many businesses ask a client where they heard about the business, and some businesses do give rewards for delivering new customers, but it is just not as feasible in the offline world as it is in the online world. Everything is tracked online, so it is much easier to manage. When a prospect clicks a link online and then is delivered to a business website, that business can instantly determine who sent them there and pay a resulting commission. Thus you have pay-per-click (affiliate marketing is also based on this).
In addition to determining where website traffic originates, you can also track everything a customer does when they visit your website: which pages they go to, how much time they spend in a certain area, and every time they click their mouse button, and on what they click. This provides a tremendous amount of vital data you can use in your marketing efforts.
Let me give you one big reason to have an online presence with your business, and nobody can argue with this: people are increasingly using online search tools to find the services and products they need. It’s a fact that landline telephone systems are being phased out; replacing this traditional communication platform are cell phones, tablet computers, and laptops. While in 1995, almost everyone used some type of telephone directory—mostly in hardcopy format—to locate the contact information for a business, in 2014 almost no one does. The old telephone book directory has gone the way of the newspaper classified section (or the dinosaur)—most of it is now done online. The bottom line: if you want your prospects to find you, you must get online, and if you fail to do so at the outset, your new business will suffer from the get-go.
Backlinks are probably the most important concept in online marketing, so you should understand them first. Simply put, backlinks are the links on a webpage that when clicked, take you to another place on the Internet. Here is the key concept with backlinks: Goggle search is driven mostly by backlinks, and to get a higher position in the search results, you need to have “quality” backlinks that point to your website.
For example, the developers of Google created their search engine with the goal of providing relevant search results. In their 2004 prospectus, they stated their mission as:
“To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
In order to accomplish this mission, every few weeks Google runs a program that “spiders” the entire Internet (this means they visit each webpage, assigning a rank or number to each webpage. This is a complicated way of saying that they look at all the webpages and rank each page according to several factors, one being the number of other pages that link to it. If a lot of webpages on the Internet link to your site, your site will appear higher in the search results, and usually this translates to more business. Simply put, Google believes that if many websites link to your site, then your site must be more important. More weight (meaning a higher ranking) is given to your webpage if a webpage that points to yours has a high pagerank itself. So backlinks have more power to rank you higher if they are located on a higher ranking site. The number of backlinks you have is not the only thing that determines your ranking. Many other factors come into play. One example is the quality score of your website.
So what do most savvy Internet marketers spend their time doing?
Building backlinks. They want their money site to appear higher in the search rankings, so they build quality backlinks to increase their traffic and get more conversions. In the online marketing world, everything depends on backlinks.
But there is one thing about backlinks that you need to understand: you cannot just go around the Internet posting links to your website; you need to have content associated with those backlinks. And the higher the quality of that content, the higher your site will appear in the search results. You cannot generate pages and pages of random text that contains links to your webpage. The search engines are smarter than that and they will realize what you are up to and actually lower your ranking as a result.
In the early days, enterprising online marketers did just that: they tricked the search engines by creating thousands of keywords that were invisible to the eye because they were displayed in a font with the same color as the background of the webpage; this made the page seem more important because of all the keywords. To illustrate, suppose a website sold plumbing parts. The web programmer would build a page with thousands of words about plumbing that actually made no sense if read by a visitor (remember, visitors could not see it because of the font color), but the search engines then were very primitive and surmised that any webpage with so many words about plumbing must be a good site for people who were searching for plumbing parts and that site was assigned a high score based on this faulty logic. Even so, the owners of that site sold more parts. As the search engines grew smarter, they disallowed these types of “tricks.” The online marketers then did other things to get higher rankings and the search engines adjusted again.
I am relating this story because it illustrates very well the ongoing relationship between online marketers and the search engines. It is very much like a cat and mouse game with both sides constantly evolving and adapting to changes by the other. You will need to understand this game, or at least have a good business coach on your side who can help you navigate this turbulent sea of online marketing.
In essence, the search engines simply try to determine the best sites to return when a searcher types words into the search box. To do so they must first go out and gather information about the many available websites. This is where the spidering process comes into play. The result of that process is to assign every webpage a score based on the keywords found on that page and the related backlinks, and when a searcher types those keywords into the search box, those webpages with the highest score appear at the top of the search results. The searcher clicks on those links, and then is transported to the webpage and conceivably buys products and services from the owner of that website.
This is how it works in the simplest form, but as with everything else, it is much more complicated than this; other factors come into play, such as the quality of your website content and the different types of content your backlinks are associated with. During the spidering process, the search engine considers the various types of content you make available on your website in addition to the external backlinks to your site. Here is a partial list of the possible content types where backlinks can exist:
- Online Newsletters
- White Papers
- Mobile Apps
- Press Releases
- Social Media
- Mobile Content
- Annual Reports
- Case Studies
- Branded Content
- Syndicated Content
- Other Forums
So if you want to be higher in the search rankings, one way to do it is to generate the above content forms for placement on your own website and or on other websites as well; inside this content, or around it, you place backlinks to your website.