How to Plan, Part 1

As you get started with setting up your online business presence, the most important thing to do is to plan, just as you would do with an offline business. You will quickly realize that the online marketplace is very competitive, that new ideas come and are rapidly replaced by others. For you to stay in business you must develop a deliberate plan that will sustain you in spite of the competition and the constantly changing landscape. Here are some steps to take as you plan to bring your business online.



Competition analysis and research will help you determine what your business is up against. This type of research will give you in depth insights about the profitability of your niche online and what you can do to stand out from the crowd. However, remember that competitor research is only as effective as how well you use and apply the results. Be sure that you analyze your competitors from your target market’s point of view. Important areas to analyze include:

Pay Per Click Analysis

Search engine advertising analysis of your competitors will show you the type of advertisements they are launching, the click through rates and the effectiveness of their ads. First, you need to identify who your competition is. You may think that it is just one company when there are ten more that have a similar service or product offering as you. You will also want to analyze how savvy the competition is in terms of their website, the content they offer there, as well as their social media pages. How are they using retargeted ads and are they leveraging pay per click best practices. Consider using Google Alerts and social media platforms to stay abreast with any changes in terms of paid advertising.

Consider the type of messages that they are putting out to their target audience. Are their paid search ads compelling, unique and have the same or different message as your business? In addition, what is their target audience? The answers to these questions will help you determine whether you can improve the message to your target audience and therefore create better ads.

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