I am currently considering building a web site at NetPaymentServices.com.
A lot of people have been curious about the "process" of site building, so I figured I would start a topic to talk a bit about it.
The start of any site is the identification of a customer need.
In this case, I was the customer. My need was "find alternatives to PayPal." Hewlett-Packard used to have a mantra about building products for the person at the next desk over. This is just one desk closer.
So I did some research to find PayPal alternatives and I found out a few things:
- There are a lot of PayPal alternatives.
- Most of the available services are poorly marketed and hard to find.
- The services offered are wildly confusing and ridiculously difficult to understand.
It occurred to me that a solution might be one central site which documented a large number of these systems for transferring money. A site like that could be very useful to a lot of people.
Then I jumped the gun. I was evaluating (i.e. playing with) Domains Bot and I registered netpaymentservices.com. Mostly, I just needed a place to store notes while I did research. It's only $9, but I feel odd taking these steps out of order.
I threw a copy of Joomla on the domain to give myself a scratch pad to work with. I could have used plain HTML, but I wanted something more collaborative. I could have used WordPress, but I wanted something with better tools for organizing data.
I made up lists of companies related to "paypal alternatives" or better yet "ways to send money online" and I made a pathetic attempt at categorizing them. This effort was somewhat futile, as the categorization really can't be done well without deep research into each companies service offerings. But, I just needed a high-level overview, and that's what I got. Those lists went on the web site.
My initial thought was to have one-page descriptions for each company listed. I took that data to WordTracker and... well... most of these companies are so poorly marketed that no one searches for their company names. Only PayPal and Western Union are getting a lot of searches related to their company names.
But... here's where things get sticky. Those pages would make the site an authority. They would make the site stand out. They would make the site linkable. But is it really worth spending thousands of dollars?
Well, that depends upon how much revenue the site could bring in. Revenue is a function of CPM and traffic. CPM-wise, this niche "feels" good. I haven't done hard research, but I'm not so worried. Traffic-wise, this is a hot topic in a small niche of the Internet -- but it's a growing niche. This is going to be a big thing in the future, IMHO. Globalization is going to make international money transfer a much bigger topic in the next few years. But... we still have to bring in that traffic -- and that's going to require keywords.
I had all the data I got from pouring those company names into WordTracker stored in Open Office Spreadseet. I sorted the output by Count and deleted every keyword with a count below 10. This reduced the number of rows from 422 to 148. I then resorted the list by KEI and looked through the list manually.
I did find just a few keywords that look to have promise:
- help with paypal standard payment setup 169
- how put put paypal donate on your site 144.5
- current paypal online coupons 112.5
- chase epay on my statement 100
- can you tell me more about the paypal system 95.04
- disadvantages of paypal 39.98
- how do i cancel paypal account 24.14
- paypal telephone number 15.34
- nearest location for western union 14.72
- explain paypal 9.22
- how much does paypal cost 8.82
- banks that accept payments from paypal 4.34
- paypal collectible 3.91
- paypal ammunition 2.79
- paypal redemption codes 1.72
- how does paypal work 1.54
- what is paypal 1.17
It looks more like the market is telling me to build a PayPal support site than a more generic site about spending money online. But, that's just a function of the keywords I entered into WordTracker.
The next step is to identify better keywords.
To be continued...