E-Commerce Times Talkback
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So, you have a product or two. You want to expand your reach. The Internet sits at your fingertips. If you build it, will they come? Not necessarily. That is the big lesson of the bubble years -- and a quandary for small e-commerce companies at a time when venture capitalists are not feeling adventurous. How can small sites build a reputation, drive traffic and foster brand loyalty? This is not an easy task in tight economic times, but if a company is resourceful, several tactics can lead to e-commerce success.
I used to advertise with both Yahoo and Google, and it ended up costing me an arm and a leg and didn't aid my businesses one iota.
Almost no matter what anyone says the most important factor in getting your website noticed is TIME.
Sorry, please allow anyone to contribute their 2 cents to guide us in the right direction to get our name out there and let the proof be in the pudding. 16 years in Vietnam, even an old American like me can find the gold if I can get the secrets. Thanks to all for your idea's. An old American trying to provide a service to all the old fashion way, with our friends, but I could use a bit of help in marketing tips. Thanks
I'm a potter who has just decided to have a go at full time. I'm finding the biggest challenge to be the marketing which from what I read, should be no surprise to you. I have my own website, but I don't know how to get search engines to display it. Also, what's the best way to charge for work? Credit card, check, PayPal? Any advice would be great. Thanks!
Dear Brad Hill,
I spend all my time when I read this marketing stuff and getting new software stuff being exasperated because I am not as able as that. My qualities lay elsewhere. I always have wondered why marketers and management advisers talk the talk with no comprehension about time management. For artists a working day never gets fulfilled and that is without marketing and so on. Does it not appear so that someone like me needs a connected interested party who can succeed in getting me and therefore them income? That is team effort. I am a specialist with special concerns and problems including disabilities. Only got two hands.>>allen
sawdustart, as a new partner in a small pottery company I understand exactly. I am an Internet applications computer programmer by day, and am now creating an ecommerce site for our pottery company as my second job. I was surprised to discover that online marketing is a very complex issue. For example, one note that I saw nobody else mention is that you can unknowingly add things to your site that get you blacklisted by search engines. This, and a thousand other issues, make online marketing daunting even for an Internet professional. For my pottery company I'm responsible for all ecommerce tasks, so I'm becoming something of an expert with online marketing techniques. And it's no easy task, as you're finding out. But I find it very interesting as a computer professional and now a small business person. So, two co-workers and I are starting a consulting business to help folks like you - small business people who need help with online marketing. It's not off the ground yet (so this is NOT a solicitation), but I'd be glad to start sharing with you for free (see, no soliciting) now what I've already learned and as I implement techniques for my pottery company I'll share them with you. I'm brand new to this board but apparently we can send private messages. If you respond to me, or to this post, we can get together.
by mid september my site will be up-and-running.
Site will sell holistic and negative ion products. How can I get ahead of the pack on search engine listings? Any assistance will be appreciated. How can we link up to possibly help each other. Please send information in 'layman terms.'
It is so daunting to get ahead of the pack for name recognition. My site will start mid September. Any information (in layman terms)how I can jump start exposure? Any assistance will be appreciated.
it looks like you are going to be busy helping people I already wrote you and gave you my website address but my email is email@example.com
My daughter and I are trying to start a retail website we are doing pretty good on the site I think anyway I may be too old for this but want to try could use some ideas about how to get the site noticed I read everything and then get confused anything you could tell me would be very helpful you can check out our site it is lmsproducts.com tell me what you think
I checked out your website, and would like to offer some advice.
Firstly optimizating a website is a complex subject, but with minor changes significant improvement can be made at no cost.
The success of an optimized webpage depends on three factors:
1) The HTML code structure for your webpages
2) The No. of incoming links to your website
3) The competitiveness of the keyphrase you are optimizing for. If its too competitive, then you have little chance, or if it is not competitive, then you may end up with a webpage optimized for a keyphrase that no one really searches for. There needs to be a balance somewhere in the middle.
I had a look at the link popularity website <a href="http://www.linkpopularity.com">http://www.linkpopularity.com</a> and found not too many links here.
I also had a look at the HTML code and found improvements could be made here. For an example of a search engine optimized website have a look at my website at <a href="http://www.robodesignsolutions.com">http://www.robodesignsolutions.com</a>, if you click on "View", then "Source" then you can see the HTML code optimized, with the keyphrases appearing as you go down the document.
Hope this is helpful and best wishes with your venture.
I am very new in business on the internet and was very interested in your comments on: how small sites can get noticed.
I am trying to understand the whole process myself as i also am starting to promote myself on the internet with my Digital photography site, but am blind as far as understanding the process to increase possible viewing on my site?
Your comments were very interesting and it would be very helpful to learn more.
I wonder how to sell a product online can be a competitive price? Since there is a courrier charges and others charges like tax. Maybe selling a non virture products only limited to individual country only. Because easier for transporting or delivery.
I've started a new business, and am very interested in marketing tips. TheInitiative, I'd really appreciate any tips you have regarding search engines etc... I am also a mild-mannered computer programmer by day, and trying to get my business started every other time. You can reach me through my web site www.etransportationsystems.com (choose any of the e-mail addresses listed) My market is VERY specific at this point and VERY spread out, with only a few customers in each city/area. I've got one initial product, which is a reservation / scheduling system with integrated e-commerce web site for passenger service companies. Any help would be appreciated.
Hi, Initiative. I just saw your message and would be grateful to hear from you regarding what you have learnt in your quest for online marketing.
I'm not sure how to PM my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
i have a small business and i'll tell you what i've learned
i've a home decoration site selling interior furnishings, maybe this is industry specific but people are just not buying online.
i have 1/500 conversion rate for over 350 products, all i had was good feedback regarding the products and the web site but people are very reluctant to buy online. I've had over 50000 unique visitors so far with only 100 customers. With this conversion rate there is no point doing business if not for wholesale buyers. I think internet is yet to mature in terms of online sales but it's a great way to drive business through exposure to "other" buyers out there.
I've been in the automotive accessory business for over 15 years. For the last year I've been trying to get my web site off the ground. I too would be interested in what you have learned. To contact me; www.slamair.com or email@example.com
I run a small business as well, and I'd be interested in hearing what you've learned so far. I'm not sure how to do a Private message in here so I'll drop my email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am planning to start small perfume business online soon. Can you share your ideas with me in terms of marketing?
It sounds like everyone is interested in SPECIFICS, so I will share some practical knowledge with interested readers.
When most people think about getting their website noticed, they think about ranking well in the search engines. The importance of ranking well cannot be understated -- since people who enter keywords into Google, find a site, and then visit that site are essentially pre-qualified customers. That is, they have already stated an interest in what your website offers.
But how do you get to the top of the list? The short answer is good text on your webpages and good links to your site. And by "good" I mean text pages that the search engines (the most important being Google) will decide are most relevant for a given set of search criteria. This of course begs the question "how do I make my pages relevant?".
When a visitor enters a few keywords into Google's search box and clicks the "Search" button, Google ploughs through its database to find pages that have the most RELEVANT match to the keywords. While the exact method of determining the relevancy score is a closely guarded secret at Google (as it is at all search engines), it is well known to be heavily based on two key factors. 1. Key word density, and 2. Link Popularity.
Key word density follows that a document is considered a good relevancy match if the keywords entered into Google are used frequently and match closely the words on a webpage. Also, the location of keywords matters to some degree. Keywords found in HTML tags for headlines and page titles tend to add more weight to the ranking than keywords found in paragraph tags or in footnotes.
Link Popularity says that if many "high quality" sites link to your site, then your site must contain valuable information. In Google's view, "high quality" links are links from other popular sites with good content.
So, to make use of this info... the simplest way is to decide on 5-10 keywords that people are likely to type in to Google when searching for topics relevant to your site. Then write good copy, and use your keywords generously, but not in a way that looks like you have "stuffed" your text with keywords. Make sure keywords end up in page titles, section titles, and throughout the text -- again, in a way that supports the overall flow of your information.
Next, find several sites that are complementary to yours, that also have good content. Preferably ones that are already ranked well on Google for specific search terms. Propose to these sites that they link to yours. You might approach customers, suppliers, or other sites of relevance to your own. It is recommended you stay away from "Link Farms" -- pages that just provide piles of links to other sites, but offer no real content.. Google is well aware of these sites and the rumour is that in some cases it will diminish your site's ranking in the eyes of Google.
I hope these few pointers will help improve your rankings and help get your site noticed.
Thanks for your usefull information. We need to learn a lot about keywords ect. If anyone are able to give us more detailed advice about simple web-desighn and how to get at the top of search engins PLEASE do so.
I am new to the Internet and even to typing on a computer but have a WONDERFULL DEGREE BIBLE SCHOOL COURSE to offer. How do I get better sales? Please help. No Cash-flow at this stage.
PASTOR LOUIS DE BRUIN
To Brad and others looking to save time mktg for the real challenging creative work to be done..
1st..don't fret, mktg and sales is time consuming but once you've found the programs you feel are effective, it will be less timely to monitor and update them. Your best bet for ecommerce sites is to go for payperclick programs...the top ones include (and the only ones I use) Google, Overture and Findwhat. There are others but google and yahoo get you 80%!!! of the net. Next polish the site...never think looks don't matter..they do. We changed our colors and layout, bid high on critical keywords and increased business by the hundreds of thousands while only investing under 5,000!! in site! Another great time-saving approach...anything on "Guerilla Mktg by Levinson and Rubin"..they will remind you to diversify all your sales efforts...then get back to work on the creative!
As a smallest participant my budget has been stretched so I wonder how I am to get anywhere as the website I got is meant for income not out spending endlessly?
In answer to your question: As I am in the same position myself and understand the problem, why not join my site where you can use the bb and also get some useful informationand leave a link or advert.
Having recently launched an online portal business on community tourism in South Africa, I find it extremely difficult in marketing my services. The reason being that my target clients which include tour operators, eateries & accommodation establishments all don't have access to internet.
What advice would you suggest to a person like myself in order to be able to have a good marketing strategy?
I was hoping to be able to send this reply directly to cybernation99, the South African Tour operator as I have a facility that will possibly an ideal answer for him / her. So cybernation99, I hope you get this. You can contact me via www.nvsion.co.za.
Ps. How does one respond directly to a person who places an entry on this service?
sawdustart - Getting the most for your money is the secret to starting small and getting bigger. In order to do this, you need a way to track the success of your marketing programs.
I am continuously surprised by the number of companies that do not know their return revenue on their marketing programs. Not having this information leaves you in the dark.
Once you have this tracking system in place, then you can make small marketing experiments. Spend more money on the marketing sources that provide you with the best return revenue relative to money spent.
I'd start by getting good placements in the search engines for keyword terms that are highly targeted to what you do. Getting high placement for "Art" would be great. Though, that is a highly competitive term and would be difficult to get a good placement.
By adding more words to your keyword phrase (i.e., Rustic Art), you increase your chances of getting visibility for that term. At the same time, the quality of visitors that you attract will be higher since they are looking for what you sell.
Use www.wordtracker.com to find keyword phrases highly related to your business that deliver significant traffic. Optimize your home page on 2 to 3 of these terms. Create separate pages for each of your products as these will act as doorways for more targeted traffic for keyword terms related to these specific products.
Also, focus on getting listed in a few of the CPC (cost-per-click) engines.
Always evaluate your website to make changes that will improve your conversion rate. (the number of people who make a purchase out of 100 people who visit your site).
Continuously repeat and refine the process.
interesting topic. i will start off by saying a good compliment to word tracker is a keyword generator called GOOD KEYWORDS (found at www.goodkeywords.com it is 100% free) to use and can target good keywords for your company based on traffic. i have done the hard road in marketing online and have tryed to just about everything!!!! including all the ebooks on offer that say such like get a number 1 listing on google, and top secerts of the big boys all which just do not work and a waste of time. I would gladly pay 50% of my earnings for 1 year to someone if i could get a rank of 1 on google for my site. but thats not going to happen. or if someones up for the challange then that would make a great story..