1 Create your Business Model Canvas
We are in an environment where digital transformation is no longer a near future, it is a present.
We are no longer talking about web pages , we are talking about digital businesses . Therefore, we are going to treat the websites as online business models that are alive and that evolve very quickly.
Before making a website, you must be clear about your business model and to do it the most useful and practical thing is to use the Business Model Canvas .
2 Search what you offer on Google
To start validating our business idea through SEO, there is nothing better than knowing the size of the market , in terms of competition.
Depending on the size of our market, we will have more or less ease on the profitability of our entrepreneurial idea.
Search for your main service on Google and look at the number of results it offers
That number gives you an approximation of the number of competitors that exist.
But, ojimeter, if you get a lot, don’t be scared.
It may be that despite the number of results, it is a sector with little competition in the digital environment.
This metric is equivalent to TAM (Total Addressable Market), the total possible market.
3 Do Keyword Research
Doing a keyword analysis will allow us to take the pulse of the demand.
Each keyword is associated with a certain number of searches.
That number of searches is telling us the interest that this topic has in the market.
It does not mean that everyone is going to buy from us, but it helps us to get an idea of the complexity that we will find when positioning ourselves in the market.
A very high number of searches means that what we want to sell generates a lot of interest and that it will be very difficult to position for those keywords.
Through a study of keywords we will be able to establish the positioning strategy because we are not interested in going for a certain segment and it is more profitable to bet on a micro-niche.
Thanks to keyword research we can establish the SAM (served available market). The SAM is the market that we can supply through our business model.
It is important that you take into account the types of keywords that exist and their profitability.
4 Analyze the competition
As I said, the number of results should not paralyze you if it is very high.
It may be that despite the existence of many companies that offer the same as you, they do not have a very good job of positioning themselves on the web.
Or that they have worked very hard on web positioning but do not have a presence on social networks.
Also, through an analysis of the competition we will be able to determine possible competitors likely to promote the development of strategic alliances through the outsourcing of some services so that we can reduce costs and increase efficiency.
One of the things that this analysis of the competition will make clear to us is that in the markets there is no single solution and that is good.
At this point, and thanks to the previous phases, with the study of the competition we will be able to estimate who will be the buyers of our product. It is known as SOM (Serviceable Obtainable Market) and it consists of hitting the target and defining what type of clients you are going to “attack” first.
It is important to be clear that “everyone” is not a market segment and much less profitable.
5 launch a minimal viable website
One of the key activities that we have had to include in our Business Model Canvas is the management and promotion of our website, since it serves as a means of attracting customers.
Therefore, our website has to be minimal and viable.
We are validating an idea, a sophisticated website with a multitude of pages and forms or endless blogs is not necessary.
We look for the minimum to move forward and that is viable, that allows the contracting of services or the purchase of products.
At the beginning it is not necessary to invest many resources in this, when we start to generate income we will invest what is necessary to have a website adapted to our goals.
Some essential characteristics that we must take into account:
- Include the keywords of our keyword research, finding a balance between informative and transactional.
- The web must work well the UX.
- Be conversion-oriented: contact forms (with their corresponding email marketing strategies), testimonials, accessibility to the product or service, a demonstration video…
- Talk about benefits, about what your client is going to get when they buy what you offer.
And avoid these typical SEO mistakes:
6 Link building
Especially if we want to enter a very competitive market in digital terms, we must work on link building (external links that point to the web).
We are going to focus on putting links on the pages whose users are possible clients of our entrepreneurial projects, in this way the exposure of our business idea will be done in a segmented audience and it will not be like going blind.
You can put links in directories that you consider appropriate, however the most effective thing is to find those websites where you can find your potential client (through alliances of any kind).
Keep in mind that the links must point to the parts of the web that really add value to your positioning, do not put all the links pointing to the home page.
7 Track urls
Tracking URLs is especially important when you want to validate a business idea on the Internet.
It will allow you to detect which channels are where your potential customers are , and thus be able to focus your efforts on them.
Is there any point in generating content on Facebook if the return it gives me is residual or almost?
It is always said to make your weaknesses strong. I am more into making my strengths stronger, because increasing performance by 10% gives me more results in my strengths than in my weaknesses.
Remember that before you start selling, there will be a period of time in which you will generate micro-conversions (visiting more than one page of your site, or staying for a certain time or leaving your email, among others)
These are 7 points with which to validate a business idea through web positioning. Although we can do many more things.
Other actions to validate a business idea
We can establish many strategic partnership relationships with which to expand the internal capabilities of your business.
Have strategic partners with whom to collaborate in the creation of new product and market opportunities.
The ones that will give us more clues when it comes to how to approach the online project is keyword research and the analysis of the competition .
Thanks to both studies we will be able to determine the value proposal or an additional proposal, to know if we are going to direct it to a broad market or if we are going to re-segment it into (apparently) unprofitable niches and that joining several are profitable (as is the case with Aliexpress or amazon)
We can also test the price to set based on different proposals, implement a 15-day trail (in the case of an app)
What you should not forget, once you launch your online business and have the first purchases, is to encourage feedback.
It is through customer feedback that you will be able to improve your product or service by adapting it to the needs of your customer.
And a silly thing that we do not usually do is try our product or service. Look at it as if it were not yours and evaluate it with that look. You will be surprised by the number of clues you will get to improve your online business.
Conclusions on validating an online business idea through SEO
It is as simple as it is complicated… If experience tells me anything, it is that the previous analysis is going to give us a lot of joy.
If it is your first business idea, it will give you many headaches because starting a business is not easy and requires you to improve yourself.
Although it may also be the case that your company is consolidated and you want to adapt to these new times of Digital Transformation, whose incursion has accelerated covid-19
The Internet is not magical, it is not about opening an account on social networks or working on a website and succeeding.
Testing a business thanks to the internet requires knowing the rules of the game, in the same way as running an “off line” company: it requires analysis and a lot of work to ensure that your project is known and recognized by your market segment.
Nor have we taken into account advertising (either on Google or on social networks) to validate the business idea because it involves an outlay that is not always available when starting a business.
It makes no sense to spend money when you don’t know if it will generate a return.
If your company has been active for years, you will be more used to having a certain predictability, to having everything collected in several reports that you carefully keep in a file cabinet (in addition to having its digital version).