The Project: Drop Shipping – Chapter 1

By Roger Bryan

So today while I was in the middle of a conference call on internet marketing we were talking about finding the right domain for your project while at the same time I was chatting online with a client who has started a successful wholesale business (the industry will be given later) and it hit me – I want to give drop shipping a try.  I’d never done it before and rarely have heard anything good from those that have tried.  It was just one of those moments where I had a gut feeling that now was the time.

I had be doing some research for my clients site and had developed an optimization plan for them.  It was pretty straight forward with a keyword based anchor texting campaign to move them up in the rankings.  I had outlined for them exactly what they needed to do in order to make this work.  They had been working for this for about a month now at their own pace and had managed to get their site up to a ranking of #14.  Which isn’t bad seeing how they have a very small budget and are doing the actual leg work themselves.   The client has found a niche and has been developing a product to sell to wholesalers who then sell the items retail form online stores.  Not necessarily drop shipping but more wholesale to sellers who then reship to end users.

It looked like they were ready for the next level of marketing assistance only they really are not looking to get into the retail business and would prefer to stay on the wholesale side.  I really don’t blame them as their margins are nearly 40%!  This gave me an idea.  What if I was to launch a site selling their product retail so that they don’t have to.  What does the competitive environment look like?  Could I make this work?  So I started my research.

First I looked at who are the top five competitors meaning who are the people who rank on Google in spots 1-5 and how firm is their presence at that ranking?  Here is what I found

Competitor #1 = Weight based competitive ranking 3.6 (out of 5)
Competitor #2 = Weight based competitive ranking 3.5 (out of 5)
Competitor #3 = Weight based competitive ranking 3.3 (out of 5)
Competitor #4 = Weight based competitive ranking 3.3 (out of 5)
Competitor #5 = Weight based competitive ranking 2.6 (out of 5)
* For now I have to leave their names out or I could risk skewing my experiment
** My ranking systems are also proprietary so you’ll need to be a client to get access to those

I will say this that when I measure a competitors site the highest score someone can get is a 5 this would be for something like keyword: Insurance Quotes and Result: www.allstate.com (actually they are a 4.7).  This would be near impossible to unseat.  When a company gets a ranking of 4 that means they are well established and it would take a lot of time and money to get any where near their ranking.  What I was surprised to see about this niche is that there were no 5′s or even a 4!  This means that the best in this niche is only average at internet marketing and search engine optimization.  This is only part of the needed research.

Next I need to look up the relevant keywords so that I can find their monthly search volumes and also their Commercial Intent Rating.  After doing this I was able to develop a keyword list of 10 search terms all of which that ranked above a .81 with eight of the terms being .95 or higher on the CIR (commercial intent rating) and  a search volume of almost 350,000 searches a month.  This is a prime niche if I’ve ever seen one.

The last step was to find a domain.  My models showed me that I could spend up to $2430.00 on a domain for this niche.  The domain would have to rank as high as a 4 in order for me to be easily able to crack the 1st page on Google.  I did a little research and was able to buy a 100% match .org domain form Godaddy.com for a total of $806.21 (after fees).  This was perfect.  I had tried for a 5 ranking domain but the .com’s I was looking at were $5000+ so they were outside my models acceptable range.

So as a summary I had measured my competitors and found that there were no 5′s or 4′s in the industry.  I had developed a strategic keyword list that fit my needs.  Finally I had purchased a 100% keyword match domain.  So far I’ve spent 2 hours and $810.00 (round up for easy math).  The project is looking good.

The next step will be Web Development.  I’m going to save that for Chapter 2 as I need to work on my RFP and also work with my client to get the needed images and documents from them to put onto the new site.

Invested:
Money: $810.00
Time: 2 hours

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