The Dilemma for VoIP Providers?
What does it take to be a successful international VoIP provider? Price? Quality? Customer Care? Using the most common search phrases the result shows common business principles such as price, quality and customer care as not sufficient to get to the potential customer's attention. Search Engine Optimisation seems to be the critical success factor.
PR9.NET December 15, 2005 - Every sound business concept should be based on a good product combined with a good service and offered at an appropriate price. Being able to offer that, all you need is to direct your potential customer's purchasing intention towards you. But what good does it do if average Joe does not know that you exist. And where does Joe look – on the WWW, most likely using the search engines Google, Yahoo or MSN to find his new "VoIP provider"?
A research project conducted by www.myvoipprovider.com revealed the shocking truth that Joe is not going find what he is looking for – at least it will be very difficult for him.
Using the 9 most common search phrases (VoIP, Internet Phone, Broadbband Phone, VoIP service, VoIP phone, VoIP solutions, business VoIP, VoIP service provider and VoIP provider) as per Overture for October 2005, on Google, Yahoo and MSN and reading through the first 10 pages (100 entries) – a patience Joe most likely won't have, the result shows that on average he will find only 11 VoIP providers in the top 100 search results. He will also find news, plenty of blogs and just as many spam websites, which raises another question - Are the search engines neglecting their own "raison d'etre"? -.
Most of the listed VoIP providers Joe will find are from the USA, have deep pockets and spend large amounts on online advertising. These few VoIP providers, such as Vonage, Broadvoice, Packet8 and Skype to name a few, have used every trick in the book for optimizing their online presence and now belong to the fortunate few who will be noticed by Joe. But they are not necessary the ones with the best product and price, they are the ones that managed to win the "Ranking Game".
What about the hundreds of other VoIP services?
The VoIP industry is a product of the internet and as such the first place to find a new VoIP provider. If new start-up VoIP services think that by offering very competitive rates, a fantastic service, brilliant customers care and a really good web presence they are bound to make money – well think again. They will be picked up and used by the computer geeks and the internet savvy users, but with VoIP slowly going main stream it is highly unlikely that the average user will ever know that they exist. Some providers will have to seriously "beef up" their online presence, some have to hang in and frustratingly see how long it takes to move up the search engine page rankings. And time is what one does not have in these fast moving times - so the business model needs to be questioned. .
MyVoIPprovider.com has compiled a directory of 550 international VoIP phone companies with 5-10 new VoIP services being added on a weekly basis. Quite a number of these providers will not be around in the next 24 months if they do not expand on their online presence.
The key to their success will be Search Engine Optimization and making sure that while they are slowly moving up the rankings they are listed in as many VoIP related directories as possible. Some comprehensive directories can be found on www.myvoipprovider.com, www.voip-info.org, www.voipreview.org, www.sipcenter.com, www.voipproviderslist.com etc. For any end user looking for the most suitable and not just any VoIP provider the chance of being successful is directly linked to the use of these online VoIP related directories, which in return means that providers need to make sure that they are represented in these directories. Does that shift the power? Most probably, but to the benefit of the end consumer who will receive the kind of information they were looking for by adding an intermediary – the directory provider.
Let's just hope that the intermediaries are not being caught in the same "non-visibility" trap.
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About My VoIP Provider
MyVoipProvider.com is the leading VoIP consumer guide offering a comprehensive directory of internatrional VoIP services and a VoIP comparison search engine to compare the call rates of hundreds of VoIP providers.
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