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  • #982789
    Jen G
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    • Total posts: 21
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    Hi All!

    Myself and a few other ‘like’ online business owners have created a small network group and catch up once a month to discuss key topics relating to our businesses. One topic that consistently gets brought up is ‘how can I increase my online sales?’ Most of us are small boutiques, maintain good facebook and social media pages and have a solid online store with quality products – quite a few of us have spent lots of money on Adwords with no ROI. So I thought I’d see if anyone on the forums had some good feedback or advice on helping us with this ‘hot topic’.

    Feel free to check out my site to give you a better idea on my business and the products we stock http://www.hopscotchboutique.com.au

    Thanks in advance! :)

    #1138856
    James
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    Hi Jen,

    Looking at your website, you have a first rate design, and a very functional layout. You certainly have the framework for a successful store.

    AdWords is certainly a great place to start. Creating campaigns that give some ROI is challenging, but from what I understand it is something you develop over time. Many campaigns will be unsuccessful so you just have to weed those out quickly. My 2 main understandings in PPC is to bid on emotional and action-taking terms like ‘buy childrens shoes’ and ensure traffic is going to targeted pages, often even specifically created landing pages.

    The essential component of most websites is organic search traffic. This is something I understand a lot more.

    Having a glance around your website it is missing a few key steps for on-page optimisation. SEO is an enormous field but if you can find the time to learn the ins and outs your website will be much more successful for it.

    I can give you a quick example of some easy fixes. I will pick out the Shoes page for an analysis: http://www.hopscotchboutique.com.au/shoes

    1. The title of the page is just ‘Shoes’. In actual fact the content of the category is kids or childrens shoes and sandals. The title of your page is one of the most important factors in search so change it to something more specific. People looking for these shoes are looking for kids shoes. Something like ‘Childrens Shoes for Boys and Girls’. That way people searching for ‘shoes for boys’ or ‘childrens shoes’ may encounter this page.
    2. Google ranks pages on their usefulness to the reader, primarily by referencing the text content of a page. On the Shoes page there is no text content except pictures of shoes. Write a paragraph of text to sit underneath the ‘Shoes’ heading that describes childrens shoes.
    3. Returning to usefulness, Google really likes helpful content. Get a blog or article section on your website and write a few pieces that are going to be useful to your target audience, mums and dads. ‘Measuring your kids feet at home’ and ‘Why it’s easier to buy kids shoes online’ are a couple of options. These articles genuinely help the people you are targeting, but have a double impact in that Google will rank them well for targeted searches. You can then link to these articles from your Shoes page and Google will see you are trying to provide useful information.
    #1138857
    Jen G
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    • Total posts: 21
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    Hi James,

    Thanks for you tips and feedback on my site. I’m still getting my head around doing some SEO and content tweaks using the opencart system and am currently working on a few of the things you mentioned, so great to hear I’m on the right track.

    Everyone says – Adwords, Adwords, Adwords! I’m one of 5 in the group that hasn’t had a good experience. I’ve tried doing this myself and have also tried outsourcing to a few different ‘specialists’ one being one of Australia’s top Adwords company’s with literally no ROI and huge monthly expenses for them to manage. So I’m feeling extremely burnt – even my Accountant after seeing how much was spent on Adwords is very wary of me trying this again.

    Thanks again for your feedback.

    #1138858
    John Debrincat
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    Jen G, post: 158398 wrote:
    Hi James,

    Thanks for you tips and feedback on my site. I’m still getting my head around doing some SEO and content tweaks using the opencart system and am currently working on a few of the things you mentioned, so great to hear I’m on the right track.

    Everyone says – Adwords, Adwords, Adwords! I’m one of 5 in the group that hasn’t had a good experience. I’ve tried doing this myself and have also tried outsourcing to a few different ‘specialists’ one being one of Australia’s top Adwords company’s with literally no ROI and huge monthly expenses for them to manage. So I’m feeling extremely burnt – even my Accountant after seeing how much was spent on Adwords is very wary of me trying this again.

    Thanks again for your feedback.

    Hi Jen,

    Adwords can be a challenge and can soak up a budget pretty quickly. There was an article just posted on Power Retail about saving money on Adwords which is good information. There is also Adwords online training that you can do provided by Google which is pretty good.

    Adwords is just another tool that you can use in your marketing but used effectively it can get good results.

    The most important issue with any marketing is to be able to determine the ROI. If you were getting no ROI with Adwords then I would hazard to say that your campaigns and landing pages were probably not setup well. It is not just a matter of throwing money at Adwords there are connected implications with ad text, landing pages and even issues like your pricing.

    Most small business owners can run their own campaigns but need to take some time to learn about the platform and its features.

    John

    #1138859
    Jen G
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    Thanks John! I completely get that adwords once tweaked right can do wonders but as I said to the last 2 specialists how long is a piece of string – how much time and money does it take to get any ROI.

    I seriously would love to know if there is anything else out there apart from Adwords that can help drive traffic and sales as I’m so not willing to go down that path again after my experiences. It would seriously need to take a lot for me to try this method again especially after using one of Australia’s best Adword company’s.

    #1138860
    FindYourIdealCustomers
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    • Total posts: 12
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    Hi Jen,

    I’ve been running adwords accounts across many 100’s businesses for over 10 years now.

    Until the end of last year I managed the Paid Search Division at Australia’s largest online marketing companies. It stands for very little which company you choose to work with, it comes down to “the person” whom is making the decisions on your account.

    If you would like a complimentary review of what was done and whether adwords has potential for your business, I’m happy to look at your data and provide feedback.

    Cheers,
    Jayson

    #1138861
    JohnTranter
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    Jen G, post: 158402 wrote:
    I seriously would love to know if there is anything else out there apart from Adwords that can help drive traffic and sales as I’m so not willing to go down that path again after my experiences. It would seriously need to take a lot for me to try this method again especially after using one of Australia’s best Adword company’s.

    I don’t know what your budget is, but have you considered Google Shopping, MyShopping, GetPrice or Shopbot?

    #1138862
    MatthewKeath
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    Jen G, post: 158402 wrote:
    Thanks John! I completely get that adwords once tweaked right can do wonders but as I said to the last 2 specialists how long is a piece of string – how much time and money does it take to get any ROI.

    I seriously would love to know if there is anything else out there apart from Adwords that can help drive traffic and sales as I’m so not willing to go down that path again after my experiences. It would seriously need to take a lot for me to try this method again especially after using one of Australia’s best Adword company’s.I would not let your experiences totally give up on the idea, as I think Adwords has something to offer.

    As for one of ‘Australia’s best Adwords companies’ who said that, them? :p

    #1138863
    Shaukat Adam Khalid
    Participant
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    Sales is about effective communication preferably via story telling. It’s 80% science and 20% art but comes down to consumer psychology.

    Does your group discuss topics around copywriting, story telling and influential communications?

    Btw, adwords is all about target marketing and testing headlines. Roi usually takes a few days if you have a good marketing system in place.

    Adwords on it’s own is not sufficient.

    #1138864
    JustJames
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    • Total posts: 104
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    Are you getting phone calls as well as sales orders? With my site I find I get a number of phone calls, and I’ve learnt that some people are just more comfortable placing an order over the phone. I prefer people to order via the site, but even more, I prefer them to order from me, so I don’t put an obstacle in the way of a sale.

    Your only phone number is a mobile number. It’s easy and inexpensive to get a 1300 number which you can point to your mobile, but which gives the impression of being professional and established.

    I’ve added an online chat to my store – in my case Zopim, but there are others – and I’ve found that it’s a great way for people to make real time enquiries. When I’m not online, it’s another way for people to email me their questions.

    Finally, engage with your customers. I aim to send a newsletter – which I try to populate with some real content which relates to whichever parts I am pushing for that month – on roughly a monthly basis. I also send an automated follow up email two weeks after each sale asking for feedback and if a customer signs up but doesn’t place an order, I send an automated email asking if there was something that they were looking for but unable to find.

    Selling online is all about making it as easy as possible for customers to interact with you and to buy from you.

    James

    #1138865
    John Romaine
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    Are you capturing leads?

    Where is your optin?

    Are you selling repeatedly to the same customers? If not, why not?

    There is no content on your site apart from product descriptions (unless I have missed something)

    There are far too many things to discuss here in this thread. I wouldnt be spending money on Adwords unless you have exhausted, or at least investigated other traffic channels.

    Have you?

    #1138866
    Ozzcouple
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    • Total posts: 17
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    Jen G, post: 158402 wrote:
    Thanks John! I completely get that adwords once tweaked right can do wonders but as I said to the last 2 specialists how long is a piece of string – how much time and money does it take to get any ROI.

    I seriously would love to know if there is anything else out there apart from Adwords that can help drive traffic and sales as I’m so not willing to go down that path again after my experiences. It would seriously need to take a lot for me to try this method again especially after using one of Australia’s best Adword company’s.

    Hi Jen G
    We too had a bad run with Ad words & I canned the promo 2 weeks into it before wasting all my budget. Same thing we were promised great results but had no conversions.
    Our new web designer who was recommended by a good friend (the best way to find one) told us not to use Ad words until all SEO work and web page setup is at its best other wise you just throwing money out the window.

    We have found it better & cheaper advertising on blogs related to you web site. Most of these only cost us $35 per month for a premium listing.

    We also us Google Analytics to monitor hits to our site. This is a great tool to find were your hits are coming from E.g. Organic search, Facebook or from Flying Solo etc. Also shows if you promo’s are driving traffic to your site.

    The comments regarding each page name like shoes instead of kids shoes is 100% correct and makes a big difference to any search wether it is ad words or from a organic search from Google.
    A good SEO person or web designer can help you sort that out.

    We are currently using a SEO person in India found him on http://www.odesk.com there are 100’s based world wide to choose from just look closely at their work history / experience. You can place an ad for each job you want done and either set a fixed price or pay by the hour, rates by the hour can be from $1.11 to $20 plus depending on what you need done. I set a fixed rate of $100 for a 1 month job and are getting 95% of what I want done to our site as we speak. I will then work out a ongoing monthly fixed rate to maintain the SEO work.

    We would be interested in joining your group and sharing ideas for the benefit of all.

    Hope some of what I have said helps.

    Cheers Peter & Kim (Ozzcouple)

    #1138867
    John Romaine
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    • Total posts: 1,108
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    Paying someone in India $1.11 an hour to do SEO is just asking for trouble.

    Avoid it.

    #1138868
    Jen G
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    • Total posts: 21
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    Hi Peter + Kim,

    Thanks for a fellow business owners take on things. I’m currently tweaking our site to enhance our SEO and also looking into increasing my content and ensuring it’s dynamic as others in this thread have suggested. I’ve got a great web team who’s assisting me with this.

    I too use Google Analytics and also Webmaster Tools – both excellent ways to track and monitor your site and see where your traffic is coming from. Just only today I’ve started looking at the possibility of blog advertising and selecting those that are relevant to us [e.g. target market]. There are so many blogs out there [many overseas], do you have a particular method of finding/sourcing suitable blogs?

    Also happy to be available to bounce/share ideas, I think this is a great way to learn and grow our businesses. :)

    Thanks for your feedback.

    #1138869
    John Romaine
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    Jen G, post: 158863 wrote:
    I’m currently tweaking our site to enhance our SEO

    Jen, why are you doing your own SEO? Do you know what you’re doing? I don’t mean to be rude, but if you don’t – don’t do it. Hire someone.

    Jen G, post: 158863 wrote:
    … and also looking into increasing my content and ensuring it’s dynamic as others in this thread have suggested.

    Good. Your site needs it.

    Jen G, post: 158863 wrote:
    I too use Google Analytics and also Webmaster Tools – both excellent ways to track and monitor your site and see where your traffic is coming from.

    You should also be using the Google URL tool, because if you’re not, then its likely you have no idea what source is converting. Have you setup active campaigns/goals?

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