What type of online business model are you? At first glance, this might seem like a rather mundane question but it is critical in optimizing your micro and macro conversion strategy. So let’s narrow down the scope a bit by defining some general categories:
Search Engines and Directories: It is possible that you have created your own search engine that is a more specialized version of a site like Google and Bing. For example a search engine that specializes in finding the best prices on a particular brand of ladies shoes. A directory site is an online index of just about anything, mostly other websites that are listed by category and subcategory.
Informational: This type of website could be a website about a local attraction, a website about the planet Saturn, or a website that offers information on subjects such as ‘how to build a butterfly kite’.
Blogs & Diaries: This could be an online personal diary or blog. These are often very personal or topical.
Content Publishers & Online Magazines: Think buzzfeed, or salon.com.
Company Websites, Brand Service or Product: DriveCustomers.com is a company website featuring information about our internet marketing services. Another good example of this might be a company that leases copier equipment, which has information about their copiers and lease terms but does not necessarily sell their equipment online.
eCommerce: Any website where you can buy a product online. It is also possible that you might offer services in conjunction with the products you sell. I would still categorize this as an ‘eCommerce’ website as long as the primary goal was to make online sales. Amazon is a great example of an eCommerce website.
Web 2.0: This could a website that offers web services, such as ‘wordpress.com’ or an online classified such as ‘craigslist’. This also includes sites like YouTube and Flickr under this category.
Social Networking: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter; you get the picture.
Forums: A membership website where people gather to host moderated discussions. Most forums are dedicated to very specific topics, i.e., nutrition or ‘Halo’.
File Sharing: DropBox, We Transfer, Jump Share. Etc….
Manuals/Online Support: This could be a site dedicated to tech support for a specific brand or grouping of products, that might include a dedicate support forum or live chat as well as detailed product manuals.
Freemium: The name says it all; a website that is dedicated to offering free products or services.
This is basic list will cover nearly 99% of online business models out there and will hopefully help you to find other similar type websites and competitors, so you can best compare user experience and sculpt the best possible conversion strategy.