QUESTION ON Starting a URL Submission Service
Do you happen to have any articles on URL submission services? How much they cost, what does it take to start them, where do they advertise for clients etc. I am looking into starting such a service and would like to know just what kind of competition I am up against and if it is cost effective. Thanks in advance
EDITOR’S NOTE: This question and answer was published in 2001, where website owners have to submit their URLs to the search engines for indexing. Since then, search engines have improved their indexing capability that site owners need not use a URL submission service to get indexed. Instead of simply a URL submission service, consider starting a search marketing business.
URL submission is one of the most popular and in-demand small business on the Internet. However, expect competition in this business to be tough, for several reasons:
1. There is simply a lot of online businesses offering this service. This is a low-cost and high-demand business, with little barriers to entry. Hence, the business attracted many mom-and-pop operations.
2. You will be competing with businesses that have been on the Web for years now. Many have established reputations with a long roster of customers. For you to succeed, you must find a niche and offer services that are currently not being made.
3. You will be competing with businesses that offer FREE URL submission services. URLSubmitter.com, for example, submits URLs for free to over 7,400 search engines, and thousands more of directories, classified ads and FFAs. You must give good reason why a client should pay you instead of using free services.
To get an idea of your competitors’ pricing and products, just run a search on any engines and it will give you hundreds of thousands of sites offering the same service. Study their offerings and determine how you can improve their services. Prices charged seem to range from $9.95 to $100. One such service charges $39.95 for the top 25 sites, and $79.95 for the top 50 sites. Some charges a yearly fee, where clients can expect a monthly report.
You may consider adding complementary services such as site optimization (e.g. meta-tag and keyword creation), domain name registration, website monitoring and positioning services, internet marketing consultancy, and web design. Start-up costs for this business is low. All you need is a computer, Internet access, phone, fax, and a web site. Costs can be minimal if you design yourself, as you only have to pay for web hosting services and the HTML editor software.
Your costs can increase substantially if you will still hire a designer to create a site for you. Your biggest expense may be in developing your program to automatically submit the URL to search engines and directories.
Failing to automate URL submissions can be very time consuming and inefficient. You would also need to think of ways how you can collect payment from your customers.
You can open a merchant account, or use other means of payment such as PayPal.
Marketing this business is just like marketing any other online venture. You can use the search engines, buy search engine keywords, banner advertising, placing ads in email newsletters, article submission. The article “Inexpensive Ways of Marketing Your e-Business” at http://www.powerhomebiz.com/vol41/inexpensive.htm discusses the various ways you can market an online business.
Nach M Maravilla
Recommended Resources on How To Start a URL Submission Service
- The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Internet Wealth: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Portable Empire
- Building a Web Site for Dummies
- THE savvy way to successful website promotion; Attracting on-line traffic; Guide to top positioning on search engines
- Google Advertising Tools: Cashing in with AdSense and AdWords (Animal Guide)
Article originally published in January 2001. Updated March 10, 2012