Do you remember when all you needed to run a successful business was a great location or a great domain name? When there were tens of games in the app store instead of thousands? Those were the glory days when you could build a great product and all of a sudden you had customers!

Fast forward to today’s competitive landscape and building a successful business is about so much more than having a great product. Here are a few questions (with answers and examples) to get you started.

1. Does Google Know You Exist?

Have you tried Googling your company name? When I Google “LightningAI” my actual site pops up (phew!). Google might not rank you for a variety of reasons, but at the end of the day, if you’ve got a product people are looking for and when you tell them your company name, you need to show up.

Back in college, I was the President of the University of Maryland Model United Nations team. Now when you search for UMD Model UN, you’ll see a whole host of results (go ahead, try it). But back then, there was nothing. I built us a website, but it was buried in the depths of the University of Maryland server space. I didn’t own the website, so I couldn’t use any of the SEO recommended tricks. And at the end of the day, there I was with a website and an ambitious group of students. So I got creative.

I opened an AdWords account in December of that school year. The first month, we got 17 clicks and the average CPC was $0.30 for position 1. I just bid on branded keywords, and since there weren’t any other University of Maryland Model UN clubs, the auction was barren. I put $30 in the AdWords account and it lasted for years. Within a month, the site was listed as #1 in organic search results. Sometimes there are easy ways and hard ways. At the end of the day, I paid $5.10 for a #1 organic search result listing and it probably took 30 minutes. You’d be surprised how much an effort as small as this is looked over by small businesses and startups early-on.

2. Are You SURE They’re Not Coming?

How many visitors do you get a week? A month? (let’s be honest, if you’re measuring in daily active users and it’s not an embarrassing number, you probably shouldn’t be here).

Make sure you have all of your analytics and tracking set up properly. The sooner you do this, the better it will be for everyone. You, me, your eventual growth team — everyone. Set up Google Analytics. Here’s the directions for how to set it up with SquareSpace. This will help you track the number of people coming to your site (new and returning) and the user flow within the site.

You’re not done yet. Now you need to figure out what these numbers actually mean! Draw your funnel. Here’s mine:

Do you remember when all you needed to run a successful business was a great location or a great domain name? When there were tens of games in the app store instead of thousands? Those were the glory days when you could build a great product and all of a sudden you had customers!

Fast forward to today’s competitive landscape and building a successful business is about so much more than having a great product. Here are a few questions (with answers and examples) to get you started.

I track visit and email on my site directly, and then it moves over to the database (read: Google sheet) to finish tracking. That way, I know how many people are actually going to each page to sign up and where they’re submitting their emails (PS: it’s the homepage).

3. Do You Look Like a Real Company?

For my last venture, LiveFantasyTV, I literally stood over the shoulder of every single person I could find and watched them follow us on Twitter and download our app. Once we had more than 500 followers, real people actually started following us back and reading our Tweets. Not just people who were hanging out watching TV — people who were actually in the shows! We looked real. We’ve got 2.6k followers now (and counting!) and when people make Bachelor Twitter accounts now, they always follow us.

Literally message every single person you know and ask for help. It’s not weird. It’s not desperate (OK, maybe it is). You can’t build an empire on your own.

At the end of the day, there are no rules in startups. You’re here to change the world. Do anything and everything you can think of to get there.