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The vast majority of web sites are destined to fail before they are even built. Why? Because people building sites almost always put the cart before the horse. Actually, most don’t even include the horse.

Evolution of Your Site

New sites follow a typical evolutionary process.

1. The first stage involves slaving over the design of the site to get just the right look;

2. The second stage is the publication of the site;

3. Third comes the first thought about how to get traffic to the site;

4. Fourth, the discovery of pay-per-click options;

5. Fifth, the pursuit of PPC campaigns and realization of sales!;

6. Sixth, the “misery stage”, occurs with the realization that sales are being made at a loss!;

7. Frustration, frustration, frustration;

8. The “extinction stage” - With profitability seeming impossible, the PPC campaigns are closed and the site just sits there.

Does any of this sound familiar? You need not suffer this evolutionary extinction! Taking one step before you build a site can save you a lot of wasted time and money.

If You Build It, Will They Come?

The first step to developing a successful web site is keyword analysis. Keywords are the anchors of each page of your site, a collective summary of your products and services.

The first step to developing an online business is to identify whether there is sufficient traffic for your business product or service. Let’s look at a very simple example.

If your are selling boating products, each page of your site should incorporate boating-related keyword phrases. You must analyze whether there is a sufficient number of searches each month to make your boating site a viable entity. A free method for doing this is to use the Overture inventory tool:

http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/

In our example, we would do a search for “boating” to see how many searches there are for the keyword as well as other boating-related keyword phrases. A quick search shows there were over 100,000 searches for “boating” and over 4,000 searches for “boating supply” in March 2005. These numbers suggest that there clearly is enough traffic to build a site selling boating products.

Alternatively, assume that we want to build a site promoting our hiking guide service in Nevada. If we do a search for “Nevada hiking” using the Overture inventory tool, we find that there are only 100 or so searches a month. Should we go ahead and build the site? Probably not. There simply isn’t enough interest to justify spending the time and money.

Unfortunately, we often talk with site owners that have spent significant amounts of money building a site only to find that there is little interest in their product or service. By performing keyword analysis, you can determine whether a site should be built before you spend the time, energy and money on it. There is little reason to build a site that has no chance of success.

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