Are You Desperately Trying To Sell Online?

internet business market researchSelling products or services online is not an easy thing to do.  It is hard work.  Anyone that would say otherwise is leading you down the wrong path.

In order to succeed you need to not only emulate what other successful individuals do, but ensure that the product or service you are selling is in demand and that you are able to market it.

For example, you are a web designer.  However there are millions of other web designers on the Internet.  How are you going to set yourself apart?  You could…

  1. Spend hundreds (or thousands) on PPC campaigns, OR
  2. Spend time spreading your name and building your reputation, OR
  3. Combination of the two, with less emphasis on PPC

What would you do?

The obvious choice, in my opinion, is #3 – spend MORE time building your name and reputation, but combining that with well placed PPC campaigns or other forms of advertising where you will get results. 

How do you know what will get results?  Couple of ways.

  1. Trial & error – but it could cost you dearly with very little payback,
  2. Testing + trial & error – you quickly identify what works, and what does not.  This really isn’t trial + error, you are testing specific items such as headlines, font style, font sizes, etc.,  I’ve got some information on testing for a future post…

In building your Internet Marketing Business, you need to combine several techniques to bring visitors to your site — visitors = traffic.  But it doesn’t stop there.  You then need to convert those visitors, the MONEY is in the conversion.  The money might also be in the list, but it start out at CONVERSION.  Once you’ve converted a visitor into a purchaser, chances are that you’ve got a customer for life.

How do you know if your product or service will sell?  Market research.

Performing market research is very simple.  You already have the tools available to you.

Performing Market Research Using the Internet

As you head into a lucrative market place, you need to ask yourself these questions about the business you wish to undertake:

  • What needs are you trying to fulfill?  You should know this already, this is the first step in conducting your market research.
  • Whose needs are you trying to fulfill? In other words, who will be your customers?  This is one of the questions you are going to answer through market research.
  • Why will customers buy from your business? Do you have a special edge, something that differentiates you from your competition?
    • How will you fulfill their needs? In other words, what products or service will you provide?
  • How will you market to and reach prospective customers?  Again, this is another question you will answer through your market research

What you are trying to find out through market research is:

  • Is there a market for the product or service I am trying to sell?
  • How big is that market?
  • How crowded is that market?  Who is the competition?

There are several ways to do this.  You can get quite a bit of information by performing research using Google websearch or you can purchase reports developed by market research organizations that may have gone through and already conducted research on your area of interest.  There are some areas that sell no matter what:

  • How to make money online, the make money online niche
  • How to lose weight
  • How to look younger
  • How to look better
  • How to save money
  • How to find a job
  • How to live longer

Get it?  Vanity sells.

Using CraigsList, eBay, Google or AdWords to Perform Market Research

CraigsList, and eBay are excellent tools to use to perform market research.  If you have a product that can sell to the CraigsList or eBay crowd, chances are you can be successful. 

CraigsList does not provide any tools to mine their database, you will need to do things the ‘old fashioned way’. 

eBay does provide a market research facility, but you do need to pay for it – http://pages.ebay.com/marketplace_research/ you can also try http://labs.ebay.com/

As I’m not to up on eBay, I can’t share as many resources with you – HOWEVER I am doing my own research into eBay market research tools and will share that with you once it has been completed.

Google & AdWords can also be used to conduct market research.  Do a search for say “dog grooming supplies” and look at what is returned.

In my search, Google returned 2.7 million hits.  There were also numerous AdWords advertisements for the search term.  But it doesn’t end there.  You need to find out if those sites are making money — they won’t tell you, but you will have to make some conclusions (based on assumptions).

Here is a website that could help you out – http://www.spyfu.com - here is the link to the particular term I mentioned (dog grooming supplies) – http://www.spyfu.com/Term.aspx?t=461548.

dog grooming supplies oibo dot org

SPYFU tells me that the cost per click is anywhere from $0.68 to as high at $2.34 and that the cost per day is between $5.88 and $30.00.  The CPC is getting pretty high, but the fact that advertisers are willing to pay that much would mean that there is money in this market.

I clicked on the first link in Google for dog grooming supplies, to see what types of products this site sells (www . prodoggroomingsupplies . com).  They sell many products, and various prices.  Being at the top of Google organic results means that they will get a lot of hits to their site.

I also checked the AdWords advertisers (I did not click on their links, to avoid them getting dinged for an exploratory look as I have no intention to purchase any dog grooming supplies).

I found the same thing – the company www . pooch . ca sells many types of dog supplies such as dog carriers, dog apparel, dog boots, dog life vests, dog training supplies – in short A LOT of items for the pooch in your family.

Something else to think about when conducting your market research:

A point to bear in mind is some keyword research tools use the data from pay per click search engines to calculate the number of searches conducted for a given keyword, and this figure is not that realistic. Keyword research utilities such as WordTracker use data from the major metacrawlers like Dogpile to calculate very realistic keyword search statistics, and will give you the number of times any given keyword or phrase was searched for during the previous three months and a predicted count for the next 24 hours. (source: http://www.paldredsolutions.com/home/articles/authors/273/Gregg-Hall)

There are also many online tools out there to help you perform your market research.  Here are a few that I’ve used and have been very happy with:

Tomorrow, I’ll go deeper into performing keyword research using FREE tools and how you can determine whether a niche is worth getting into.

Here is an additional resource that will help you think about what the type of internet business you should get into and what you should be thinking about:

James had this to say about generating traffic (emphasis is mine):

As I mentioned earlier, traffic is just people.

If you aren’t getting a lot of traffic to your site then one of three things is occurring:

1. You aren’t offering anything that people really want.

2. You aren’t offering it in the way people recognize that they want it (actually a copywriting issue).

3. You don’t have enough roads leading from where the people that want what you offer are… to where you are.

If you have a particular interest or burning question – comment on this post and either Robert or I will do our best to answer that question for you.

 

About Rob 'n Mo

I'm a man of mystery. I like anonymity, but on the WWW there is not much of it...
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