December 20, 2008 at 7:47 am #964011::
I thought that this might be a big picture problem issue which everyone can discuss with problems and solutions for the benefit of the forum …. of course, I am curious to hear your problems but I will not post until the thread is dying so it doesn’t seem to be a sales pitch threadDecember 21, 2008 at 10:21 am #1002078GurujuMember
- Total posts: 3
As a sole trader who provides business services and is an author of a business book I had two issues. The first was having a website that could be easily found on internet searches and could be a first port of call for anyone who sees me or gets a business card at a function etc. The other aspect was a need to be able to sell my book online. It is very easy to get ripped off or pay too much for online presence.
I took a long time to find a small provider here in Perth than actually tries to help its clients do more re marketing via online and offline. My web host (GTP icommerce) is very reasonably priced, always accessible and makes it easy for me to amend my site when required. They also ensured that I keep up the top of the search lists. The shopping cart facility was built in from the word go, even though I wasn’t ready to use it for about a year.
The second part was working with my bank (St George) to get a corporate account and then merchant services so my website cart linked through St Georges secure processing for credit cards. My book sells around the world and the funds get deposited the same day they are processed. GTP did all the hard work behind the website based on St George’s technical info and it has just all worked so well for me.
In summary then, make sure you have a good website host and get to know your bank or change to ones that are helpful to small business.
JuliaDecember 21, 2008 at 2:25 pm #1002079peppieMember
- Total posts: 525
This is part of a long journey (still and always in progress) to find out for myself how this all works. I subscribe to the idea that even if you get someone else to do it for you, you need to be able to fully understand yourself how it is done. If you don’t know, how are you going to know what to ask for???
Yes being found online is important, but do your research and don’t just trust to someone’s sales speal. For example, anyone will tell you that you need your site name out there. But most search sites (like google) will only look at quality links, that is, a link from a site that is relevant to your business. Paying someone to just get your site name in 1000 sites of all sorts could actually damage your chances.
The other main search issue is keywords within your site that a search engine can pick up on. Just by choosing keywords and their placement carefully I managed to get my site fairly high and I can fine tune it from there.
For small scale online sales, the best option I have found so far is Paypal. Your can set up a business account that allows people to pay you with a credit card if they have a Paypal account. But even better, you can use Paypal’s own shopping cart from your site. Your clients click a Paypal provided button to take them through a Paypal cart and they don’t need to have a Paypal account.
Even better, you can use a 3rd party shopping cart from within your site that uses the Paypal transaction system and its all within your site. Best of all, you don’t have to set up a merchant account with a bank.December 21, 2008 at 9:11 pm #1002080MissieKMember
- Total posts: 234
For me it’s time – there are so many different things out there – blogging, social networks, ebooks, etc, it’s hard to fit it all in! And also knowing what is working and what is worth my time doing.
MelissaJanuary 6, 2009 at 8:45 am #1002081::
Well my fellow flying soloists you have certainly intimidated me by your lack of challenges because it took me ages to get my head around just the list below for starters…
seo & traffic & keywords
moving the free line
screencasting & video
the correct flow of an ebook
google adwords & adsense
affiliates & commissions
outsourcing; eg elance
membership site platforms
So thank you Julia, Paul & Melissa for your comments
… and for those of you who have read all of the way to the bottom of my post… here is a tip…. have a look at ClickTale | Web Analytics by ClickTale | Visitor Movies, Heatmaps & Form Analytics where you can receive a free video of where people are clicking on your site… it gives a great insight into what about your site is grabbing your visitor’s attention so you know what you have to work onJanuary 13, 2009 at 12:53 am #1002082::
I was intrigued to know more about the quality of your SEO and how you managed to fine tune it. I’m an online gift book and chocolate company http://www.coconoir.com.au and have tried to fine tune the SEO to get higher click rates and conversions. I’ve used the google adwords and tried using variations which other competitors don’t use. How long did it take you and any advice on improving the click rate and conversions?January 13, 2009 at 1:07 am #1002083LeelaCosgroveMember
- Total posts: 634
One of the best, quickest and cheapest ways to improve your SEO is to have actual content on your website – even if it is a shop.
By having articles on your website that correspond to well researched key words and phrases, you’ll instantly improve your ranking.
I do a lot of work for clients who are heavily involved in Virtual Real Estate – Website Flipping … that is, buying crappy websites, fixing them up so they have more traffic and are making money from Google Adsense and Products … and then selling them for a significant profit – so I’ve learned a LOT about how to do this just from doing it for them.
I think – like everything in business – where most soloists struggle in this area is in STRATEGY.
Soloists have a real tendency to just kind of flit from one thing to the next – to dabble in things – and then wonder why they don’t work.
It’s important to have an online strategy. To know exactly what you want and to not get distracted by things that don’t get you to your outcome – no matter how interesting they are or what a great opportunity they are!January 13, 2009 at 1:29 am #1002084::
Thanks for the information Leela. When you say content, are you also referring to blogs on your website. I wanted to have a focus with my blog and not just ramble on about anything. So the content may not necessarily relate to the keywords. Is this a bad thing – this may be a silly question?January 13, 2009 at 1:53 am #1002085Tristan BoydMember
- Total posts: 55
The list of areas that you can research is endless, as you have pointed out Warren. I think the first big challenge is to work out what it is that you should research.
I think Leela is bang on the money. Strategy is key.
Here are a few of the things that I think are important, and challenging.
Who are your current customers? Create a profile.
Why do they buy your product? Create your sales pitch.
Where in cyber space can you find more of them? This is another of the big challenges. Search engines are one source, but there are communities on the internet for just about every imaginable demographic. How to find the most cost effective strategy? SEO might not be the best option. Pay Par click Adwords is moving into the “silly money” end of town for some industries. Need alternatives.
How can you get the message across? What is the best tactic to attract the all important “click”? More clever copy writing, a competition, a free give away, buy one get one free???
How do you close the sale when they hit the site? Creating the landing pages, make the payment gateway look professional, what information will they want to read when they arrive…?
I think the first big challenge for a small business is to create a comprehensive plan for the website including marketing strategy (online and off). It’s boring, but once that’s done then everything else will start to fall into place.January 13, 2009 at 1:54 am #1002086LeelaCosgroveMember
- Total posts: 634
Yeah, Blogs are good too because they are constantly updated.
Look, the only real point of business blogs is SEO. Sure, sure there’s all this rhetoric about interaction with clients etc etc – but most people who have run a blog for a couple of years (self included) can tell you that’s just NOT the case.
Which means every one of your blog posts should contain keywords. You’re right – you don’t just want to ramble on about anything.
You want to use a tool like Overture and research what keywords people are using to search for sites like yours. Then you want to make a list of those phrases.
Alternate the keywords in each post (that is, don’t use all of the keywords in every post – mix it up a bit) and use each keyword (key phrase) a minimum of three times.
You also want to ensure that you use proper grammar, because Google takes this into account when ranking as a measure to bypass people who through a bunch of gobbildy gook on their website to improve ranking.January 19, 2009 at 5:29 am #1002087::
The reason I listed so many things is that the internet and internet marketing is evolving constantly and what worked yesterday may not work today.
The days of throwing a website up and waiting for the money to roll in are long gone and as the competition increases you have to improve your skills or find suppliers who can also act as mentors. No different to offline marketing really. Everything has to be considered holistically.
Peppie made a very valid comment with: If you don’t know, how are you going to know what to ask for??? So it can be tricky coming up with a strategy when you don’t know what you don’t know.
…. and I also liked Guruju’s comment about finding a provider who actually tries to help its clients do more re marketing via online and offline. Again, it’s not about just having a website.
Take a look at http://www.alexa.com which is a site that gives world rankings for sites based on traffic and content. Just type in your site and you will see that you currently rank 9,031,691. Now if you start researching your competitors and look at their ranking you will start to see a basic pattern of what your site needs to improve your traffic. Conversions are another subject.
To give you some perspective, Flying Solo is currently ranked about 106,933 which is great and my site is 385,267.
Now I know that what I have just said probably doesn’t give you the specifics that you need and I have looked at your site…. so if you want to go to the contact us page on the 360 Digital Performance website and leave your details with “coconoir” in the subject box, I’ll send you a past ezine of mine that has specific comments that are very relevant to what you can do to improve your site …. as well, my weekly ezine went out today and it’s going to cover a lot of topics also relevant to your position over the next three months so you might want to keep receiving it.
Regardless, I encourage you to check out other sites in your niche for ideas plus keywords and to check their Alexa ranking as a point of reference against your ranking.January 21, 2009 at 1:21 am #1002088::
Thanks so much for the information. Greatly appreciated. I’ve sent you an email requesting the ezine on how to improve my website.
I get what previously worked in the past may not be relevant today and so it’s about getting creative and building quality relationships with your customers. Coconoir only went live mid last year and so I wasn’t expecting a flurry of instant hits. I’ve been told it takes time and it’s the quality of hits that’s important. That being said, it’s still a learning curve for me and one I’m particularly enjoying.
Sharing ideas and knowledge with fellow soloists is certainly a great and enjoyable way to learn.July 31, 2009 at 7:23 am #1002089mexhamMember
- Total posts: 302
Hey, great topic.
Leela really liked your comments on the blog side of things, thanks. We’ve been working on our blog as a SEO tool as you mentioned, but you made some great points about keywords and grammer, I’ll recheck my posting to see they are well optimised, thanks.
In regards to Alexa, from what I read Alexa ranking is quite flawed as it only ranks you for visitors that visit your sites who have the Alexa tool bar installed. http://pietpetoors.com/blog/how-does-the-alexa-ranking-work/August 1, 2009 at 1:04 am #1002090Abby EagleMember
- Total posts: 26
For me the biggest challenges in internet commerce is the admin work. I build and maintain my own websites to promote my meditation school… and i find that an inordinate amount of time goes into repairing the website… for example:
– webhost shifted the site to a new server.. which destroyed the mail program and shopping cart.
– websites got hacked. the result was a serious loss of business and once again server side programs destroyed… including my blog… i hope i can access the data from the database.
– dealing with spam.
– hard drive failure… lost three hard drives last year and one mother board.
– need i go on?
What i need is someone in the office who can look after these issues.
Getting page one rankings… that is the easy bit… you just have to be methodical. I keep a record of my google search positions, then make a change to the page and check a few days later.August 3, 2009 at 3:26 am #1002091
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.