About the only thing worse than finding out your app has been cracked is when you have one of those “I should have thought of that” moments. Last week when poking around the Sites for Sale forums on Sitepoint I came across another website/application for sale where the software helps people recover their content if their blog has been deleted. In his sales copy he says:
A Google search for “deleted my blog” returns 12,100 results.
After reading this line my first thought was “I wonder if that domain name is taken.” It wasn’t, so now I’m the proud owner of DeletedMyBlog.com.
I’m no SEO expert, but my experience with the term microISV has taught me that a domain name that matches a common search term will consistently rank high in the search results if it has enough valid content. By not registering the domain, the owner of the site missed a great opportunity to build a site that could provide a lot of information and eventually push the person over to the other site to sell them the software. Or, skip that altogether and make that the site for the software.
At some point, missing the obvious happens to everyone and it usually happens often. Just ask Eric Sink, he has a post devoted to this very blog about it. [waves]Hi Eric![/waves]
If your goal is to launch a successful microISV product, there’s no doubt you have your hands full and your mind cluttered. You may be Getting Things Done but you’re not going to think of everything. So how do you avoid missing the obvious?
- Ask for help - 10 points if you ask for opinions on your product from a non-programmer, 25 points if it is someone in your target market. I hear Bob Walsh has set up shop as a microISV consultant, he could probably help you find something you’re missing.
- Set up a content site related to your niche - This will take time to implement and get indexed so you’ll have to start early, but the benefit is that you can track keywords that drive people to your site.
- Set up RSS feeds for terms related to your product niche - You’ll stay up to date on news that could affect you and possibly get ideas for things you might be missing
- Hang out in niche related forums in newsgroups - You’ll learn more about your target market and you will probably end up with more credibility in your niche
- Purchase and/or research your competitors and document the differences between your offerings - This should be obvious in and of itself but some people still just build what they think people want, not what they really need. Identifying your competitors shortcomings is a huge selling point.
- Test niche-related terms with Google Adwords - Similar to #2 above. If you use the broad match option to show your ads, you can see the terms being searched, drive traffic to your site quickly, and gauge response early in the development process.
- Look at every major feature in your product and ask yourself “What is a completely different way to solve the same problem?” - You may come up with a completely innovative way of solving your customer’s pain.
Chances are I’ve missed something obvious in the list above. If you have any more suggestions, please share it in a comment.