Home Forums Tech talk Are you prepared to put your money where your mouth is?

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  • #1160595
    The Copy Chick
    Member
    • Total posts: 963
    flower-child, post: 185427 wrote:
    Thanks Copy Chick.

    Just so I know exactly what I’m looking for, who would do/be responsible for this?

    As far as creating your content, you’re probably best to enlist the help of an SEO copywriter rather than a straight-up SEO consultant. The pure SEO people are probably much better for working on backlink creation and taking care of the technical aspects behind the scenes (such as speed, navigation, searchable PDFs etc.), but that doesn’t always make them great marketing writers.

    An SEO copywriter can help with things like your meta, alt and header tags, and the on page SEO stuff like creating copy which has rich headers, sub-headers, and carefully positioned keywords – as well as copy which is targeted and engaging enough to persuade your audience to buy.

    While I (or any of the other very talented SEO copywriters on this site who’ll come up page #1 in a Google search for SEO copywriter Australia) could help with the content based issues on your site, you still may need someone with the right SEO expertise to help with some of the other technical aspects mentioned earlier.

    Most of us have a reasonable idea how to do most of these things, but it really depends on what else you need done.

    I hope that helps.

    Anna :)

    #1160596
    JohnW
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,642

    What Aidan said, plus…

    From a “top down” market research/planning perspective you should be considering factors like:

    • purchase frequency
    • repeat purchase potential
    • customer life time
    • profitable order size, etc.

    Some times an online market is too small to be profitable.

    Your market has inherent issues to do with:

    • Its very small size. There are only around 300,000 babies born per year in Aust.
    • Customer life time. You only have 6-12 months(?) customer longevity.
    • Level of competition. (Subjectively, it seems to me there are a lot of people competing for this tiny market.)
    • Competition: Why should people buy from you instead of your competition?

    Can you create an online business based on these characteristics?

    I can’t help but feel you may have put the cart before the horse in expecting traffic to generate sales.

    It is consistently reported that some 70% of online ecommerce transactions are not completed and these are outside the influence of SEO and PPC.

    SEO and PPC activities are concerned with delivering your Internet information to people.

    The major part of the online equation is convincing page visitors to take an action.

    PS. As an SEO and PPC consultant, I think you will find it hard to find better than Aidan.

    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1160597
    Calcul8or
    Participant
    • Total posts: 469

    The response to this thread has been phenomenal! So many eye-opening perspectives and considerations that a complete ignoramus like me could hardly have thought up on their own.

    But the crux of the matter is that while the things many of you have contributed sound impressive and solid, is there really noone out there who is prepared to take on Sal’s website as an ongoing demonstration of SEO in action, pointing out all of the wonderful insight you’ve brought to light so far, as they come up so the rest of us can start do develop an understanding of the magic you weave, and perhaps even spend some money with you?

    I mean lets face it, maximising our chances of generating business via Google is what it’s all about. So far, a mixture of skepticism and ignorance has prevented me from diving in or taking someone on. I would dearly like to be convinced that SEO is really worth giving a damn about.

    Someone? Anyone?

    #1160598
    SalenaKnight
    Member
    • Total posts: 604

    So, there seems to be a load of things that could easily be done to increase the traffic and usability of my site.

    Surely that works in your favour, yet no one is brave enough to step forward and ‘work their magic’.

    This skeptic will wait and see if there is a knight out there…..

    #1160599
    rmck
    Member
    • Total posts: 35
    Calcul8or, post: 185472 wrote:
    The response to this thread has been phenomenal! So many eye-opening perspectives and considerations that a complete ignoramus like me could hardly have thought up on their own.

    But the crux of the matter is that while the things many of you have contributed sound impressive and solid, is there really noone out there who is prepared to take on Sal’s website as an ongoing demonstration of SEO in action, pointing out all of the wonderful insight you’ve brought to light so far, as they come up so the rest of us can start do develop an understanding of the magic you weave, and perhaps even spend some money with you?

    I mean lets face it, maximising our chances of generating business via Google is what it’s all about. So far, a mixture of skepticism and ignorance has prevented me from diving in or taking someone on. I would dearly like to be convinced that SEO is really worth giving a damn about.

    Someone? Anyone?

    I think what most are concerned about are the assumptions that SEO is the magic bullet to improving ROI. People have mentioned quite a few potential issues that are unrelated to SEO.

    If someone were to take this on as an SEO only project the client would possibly not see satisfactory results unless other issues were first addressed.

    I think Aidan and others have done a good job of highlighting the issues (unrelated to SEO) that need attention.

    Regards,

    Ryan

    #1160600
    Calcul8or
    Participant
    • Total posts: 469

    Fair enough Ryan, and a point well made. Obviously it will need to be a joint operation, and if I was in Sal’s shoes, knowing that changes need to be made that don’t necessarily have anything to do specifically with SEO, it would be pretty awesome to know what to change.

    So from an SEO perspective, would it be possible to get a consolidated idea of what the site needs in order for SEO to deliver the best possible result?

    That way, Sal can start making those changes as time allows, and be working towards a formula, so to speak.

    #1160601
    rmck
    Member
    • Total posts: 35
    Calcul8or, post: 185475 wrote:
    Fair enough Ryan, and a point well made. Obviously it will need to be a joint operation, and if I was in Sal’s shoes, knowing that changes need to be made that don’t necessarily have anything to do specifically with SEO, it would be pretty awesome to know what to change.

    So from an SEO perspective, would it be possible to get a consolidated idea of what the site needs in order for SEO to deliver the best possible result?

    That way, Sal can start making those changes as time allows, and be working towards a formula, so to speak.

    Hey Calcul8or,

    I can confirm everyone that has contributed to this thread so far has given good solid advice.

    It would be advantageous for Sal to read over the responses thoroughly and to ask questions about anything that does not makes sense.

    Failing that, my advice is to have an audit done. This should seek to analyse the end-to-end customer experience, and highlight anything that is a potential barrier or deterrent.

    An audit will not increase the ROI by itself, but it will provide Sal with an actionable list of items that will.

    An audit should also seek to fact check the competitiveness of the product offerings.

    Cheers,

    Ryan

    #1160602
    Greg_M
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,691
    flower-child, post: 185425 wrote:
    5 (edited) – passed this onto my developer who said that as the site is hosted in Brisbane, the speed test is not accurate, as it runs from the US.

    A very interesting thread, just a quick comment on the tech side.

    Your developer response is not correct … the issues highlighted by Google themselves have no correlation to server location.

    The way the Javascript loads is inhibiting the load time, as does a lack of browser caching, minifying of javascript, redirects … plus some more … none of them rocket science to fix.

    On a more general note.

    Despite the great answers and suggestions here, from those that do know what they’re doing, my opinion that a huge proportion of SEO / online marketing guru’s out there are rubbish, has been reinforced further.

    Often in these type of threads you see what are basically pretty B grade online businesses trying to be more than they’ll ever be … but for for me this one is very different.

    The OP, does have a proven record of sales, plus B&M businesses, is not frightened to spend money, listen to experts, or lacking in patience to see results.

    The site itself while having some identified issues, is a long way from being a disaster and meets many of the criteria I see promoted here for a successful ecommerce site.

    I think if I was in a similar situation I’d be mighty jaded in my view of “experts” and probably a little “gun shy”.

    While it’s reasonable that a business may not want to run a public display of exactly how they deliver ROI in a public forum, I’m beginning to think you’d be a bit silly to outlay capital on the process unless proven case studies and client referrals confirming results can be supplied.

    It’s all very well to say “it depends”, or “how long is a piece of string”, but at some point someone must have changed a baseline business to a more (measurably) successful one … I for one, would love to see just one case study of what worked … not, what’s wrong and needs fixing.

    #1160603
    Calcul8or
    Participant
    • Total posts: 469
    estim8, post: 185493 wrote:
    It’s all very well to say “it depends”, or “how long is a piece of string”, but at some point someone must have changed a baseline business to a more (measurably) successful one … I for one, would love to see just one case study of what worked … not, what’s wrong and needs fixing.

    I could not agree more, Estim8. The whole SEO thing seems to be a trade in maybes. And while it is not a very pleasant thing to be critical, it has to be said that expectations are quite rightly for something a bit more substantial.

    I was thinking that perhaps it’s a little unfair to ask someone to bare their souls and publicly demonstrate how they achieve the results they claim to. But then I put myself in that person’s shoes and realised I’d actually love the opportunity to be scrutinised in that way, because I am 100% confident of being able to provide not just examples where I have delivered way more value than I’ve costed someone, but also be willing to take on someone’s “problem” and provide a solution that works, and be able to explain every step of the way to everyone here how I achieved it.

    In fact, if there is anyone out there looking for a faster, cheaper, more accurate and more productive way of doing something through automation, I would be happy to provide a solution free and publicly, and to explain each step on this forum!

    If you’re not sure of being able to deliver a result yourself, then you can’t expect anyone else to have faith in your ability to do so either. And a solution should never be about what the client needs to do to make conditions absolutely right for you to then waltz in and perform miracles. It’s about applying your expertise to fix the problems they have, or at least being clear about exactly what needs to done, why it needs to be done, and the the benefits that will be achieved by doing it.

    #1160604
    Greg_M
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,691
    Calcul8or, post: 185496 wrote:
    I could not agree more, Estim8. The whole SEO thing seems to be a trade in maybes. And while it is not a very pleasant thing to be critical, it has to be said that expectations are quite rightly for something a bit more substantial.

    I was thinking that perhaps it’s a little unfair to ask someone to bare their souls and publicly demonstrate how they achieve the results they claim to. But then I put myself in that person’s shoes and realised I’d actually love the opportunity to be scrutinised in that way, because I am 100% confident of being able to provide not just examples where I have delivered way more value than I’ve costed someone, but also be willing to take on someone’s “problem” and provide a solution that works, and be able to explain every step of the way to everyone here how I achieved it.

    In fact, if there is anyone out there looking for a faster, cheaper, more accurate and more productive way of doing something through automation, I would be happy to provide a solution free and publicly, and to explain each step on this forum!

    If you’re not sure of being able to deliver a result yourself, then you can’t expect anyone else to have faith in your ability to do so either. And a solution should never be about what the client needs to do to make conditions absolutely right for you to then waltz in and perform miracles. It’s about applying your expertise to fix the problems they have, or at least being clear about exactly what needs to done, why it needs to be done, and the the benefits that will be achieved by doing it.

    Open processes have always worked for me too, I have no secrets, just years of practise and learning … my clients pay for this, they don’t have the time or interest in reinventing the wheel, and want to spend their time on what’s their area of expertise (and most profitable to them), not trying to second guess whether I have any idea about what I’m doing.

    Like you, I have a little trouble getting my head around “trust me” I “might” get a result, but don’t expect it to be cheap.

    I’ve spent most of my working life in an industry that only pays for results, not maybe’s … in fact if you don’t deliver your clients will possibly try to relieve you of your assets.

    I can’t see why there’s such a problem in stating, this is site A, it was crap (and why it was), we did, XYZ … it cost …$, traffic increased by whatever, we implemented this strategy for conversions at this cost … and sales, or just traffic increased by this much (if you don’t want to take the wrap for actual sales).

    It seems to me from what I read here and elsewhere, that you now need an integrated approach from marketing and developing combined … but not too many that have this organised as a total package … lots that claim to, but not too many with successful case studies to back their claims.

    #1160605
    SalenaKnight
    Member
    • Total posts: 604

    @ Estim8, thanks for that clarification on speed, I’ll hound the developer again.

    And thanks to Calcul8tors and yourself for the vote of confidence.

    I know that if I could find a company that was transparent, and if I could call their clients and ask them what kind of % increases have they gotten, on average how long before their fees were being covered etc, I would be more confident in hiring.
    In the past, I’ve hired on recommendations, and it hasn’t worked.

    I pondered last night, is there a (very good) chance, that people who employ these services don’t actually run a cost/benefit analysis? Do they just go ‘Wow, I’m first on Google’ and ‘I’ve got more sales’, without actually working out what the cost is?

    On average, if I’m paying out $1000 p/m for services plus $1000 p/m for adwords, I need to increase my sales by $4000 for the month to pay those bills That’s not even taking into account other overheads.

    My other question is that are these experts not providing an end-to-end service, without communicating that to their client?

    For example:

    Are they, on the clients brief, focusing on increasing traffic, or getting on the front page of google, WITHOUT then explaining that all those those problems I have that were listed above, also need to be addressed, and without that, they are unlikely to see their results?

    Are the clients not setting targets, and just going with the flow, because they are trusting an expert to work on something they know nothing about. A bit like a mechanic. A good one will fix the issue you went for, but highlight other problems they see. A bad one just fixes the problem (hopefully).

    My guess is a combination of the above.

    #1160606
    Calcul8or
    Participant
    • Total posts: 469
    flower-child, post: 185503 wrote:
    A bit like a mechanic. A good one will fix the issue you went for, but highlight other problems they see. A bad one just fixes the problem (hopefully).

    And a shonky one will tell you your headlights need a halogen top up.

    #1160607
    rmck
    Member
    • Total posts: 35
    estim8, post: 185493 wrote:
    Despite the great answers and suggestions here, from those that do know what they’re doing, my opinion that a huge proportion of SEO / online marketing guru’s out there are rubbish, has been reinforced further.

    I agree that the SEO industry is seriously tainted and full of shoddy operators. I know first hand the devastating impact that questionable SEO techniques can have.

    I have been in the thick of the aftermath, from breaking the news to the client that their “SEO company” has stuffed up big time, to spending weeks working to remove back links, preparing spreadsheets, cleaning up with the disavow tool and submitting reconsideration requests.

    You’re right to state that a huge proportion of SEO / online marketing guru’s (globally) are rubbish, but I do not agree that the advice in this thread from those that do know what they’re doing reinforces this opinion.

    There is some very good advice in this thread, and much of it has nothing to do with SEO.

    ROI from PPC traffic has nothing to do with SEO, so unless the OP is happy with the conversion rates for PPC traffic, SEO should be the last thing to invest in right now.

    If this does not make sense, please ask and I will do my best to clarify what is unclear :)

    Regards,

    Ryan

    #1160608
    The Copy Chick
    Member
    • Total posts: 963
    estim8, post: 185500 wrote:
    It seems to me from what I read here and elsewhere, that you now need an integrated approach from marketing and developing combined … but not too many that have this organised as a total package … lots that claim to, but not too many with successful case studies to back their claims.

    Bingo! I don’t believe SEO on it’s own would produce the right results, neither would attending to the content alone, or any technical site issues. These things all need to be working in conjunction, but it’s not necessarily something one person or one business (unless they’re an agency with the right people) can resolve.

    Perhaps that’s why nobody has put their hand up to say “I’ll take it all on”, because there is more than one area that needs attention and it’s damned hard to find someone skilled in all of these areas.

    Certainly I’d be willing to help with the content, but depending on what other off-page SEO strategies are required, or developmental issues there may be, I wouldn’t feel comfortable saying I could manage all of these alone.

    However, I do hope Sally has now has a lot more information so she can start working on a ‘to-do’ list to attend to some of the issues flagged.

    #1160609
    Greg_M
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,691

    My limited experience of building client sites is that very little is done to establish a cost benefit analysis (probably not done anywhere else in their businesses either), flying blind on a “good idea” seems to be the rule (talking about very small businesses here).

    “I want to be no 1 on Google” is also a pretty common, if simplistic theme … which I think leads to an open market slaughter of the innocent (perhaps stupid) client.

    “My other question is that are these experts not providing an end-to-end service, without communicating that to their client?”

    I think this sums up a lot that I take a closer look at … I’m not sure it’s always intentional … a lot of them actually believe their own bullish*t it seems.

    Expert seems to be a very loose term where web development is concerned … I’ve been working with web technologies for quite a few years now, and realise in many respects that I’m still a dangerous amateur, but I constantly see businesses marketing themselves as digital experts, both from a technical and marketing perspective that actually have little idea of what they’re really doing.

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