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Thread: Please help me with SEO/ Marketing

  1. #1
    New Member Branditude's Avatar
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    Question Please help me with SEO/ Marketing

    I have started my own online store for corporate gifts and branding.
    It is peak season for us at the moment but unless I have googleads running non-stop we are dead quiet.

    I know I havent done my SEO since i created my site on wordpress and slowly altered the site to be what I need it to be. I have NO clue how SEO works. Is SEO something i can do for myself or would the help of an expert be the way forward?

    When looking for SEO experts, what should I look for as I have found so many people offering the service but of course some are much cheaper than others which makes me worry. "you get what you pay for" springs to mind and in the end will choosing a one man "company" to help me end up costing me more in the long run?

    Does anyone have any pointers on how to get my name out to corporates??
    I use FB, gumtree and all other free forms of advertising at the moment but as I mentioned, only google ads is bringing in the clients.
    And lets be honest here, google ads is a rip off at times!

    If you have any criticisms, pointers or even just an idea I will really appreciate it! I created this on my own so it is difficult at times to look at it and see the errors.
    www.branditude.co.za


  2. #2
    Moderator IanF's Avatar
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    Hi Brandi
    I am not an expert but would suggest the following. Submit your site to google.
    Google loves words more than pictures, but clients love pictures so you need both.
    Natural SEO takes time especially for competitive segments. So I would use Adwords just make sure you set a budget and maximum click rate.
    Your site loads slowly so I would optimise the pics for the web and consider hosting in South Africa if you host overseas.
    I found your popup chat window annoying so I closed your site, get rid of the beep.
    Only stress when you can change the outcome!

  3. #3
    Gold Member Mark Atkinson's Avatar
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    Hi Brandi,

    Right off the bat, there are a number of things that I picked up, some of which have been mentioned by Ian already:

    - The site loads slowly. Your website seems to be hosted in the US. My first recommendation, assuming you are targeting South Africans mainly, is that you switch to local hosting. It's more expensive, but will shave a good few seconds off your load time. Having a look at your Page Speed score, it's not terrible, but there are a few things you can/should do. For example, there is no compression enabled on the server.

    - There is not nearly enough content on your website. You need to spend time and effort creating unique product descriptions that are more than just a list of dimensions/specifications.

    - Related to there not being enough content on the site, there aren't enough "trust factors" which are in plain view. If I'm a visitor on your site, some of my questions might be: Where are these guys based? What is their refund policy? How does the order process work? How can I pay? How do they ship it to me? Is there any authority brand/company that they are aligned with/who can vouch for them? Can I collect products? What sort of warranty do I get?
    After spending more time than I usually would on a website, I couldn't find this information easily/at all. You need to fix this or you will not get (many) orders off your website, regardless of how much you spend on SEO.

    - Content is also probably part of the reason you feel Google Adwords is a rip off. You aren't doing enough to show Google that your site is quality and relevant enough to the ad you're showing, so they're pushing up your cost per click, etc.

    - Please, please fix that pop-up chat window. It goes off EVERY time you navigate to a new page, which is intrusive. Live chat is great, until it's not anymore. Have a look at the service we use, which is fantastic: Olark Live Chat - You can set rules for how often/when your live chat window pops up, etc.

    - There are a number of things that aren't particularly great from an SEO point of view. Your images aren't optimized, your title tags could be better, etc.

    - I'm not sure exactly what product catalogue system you're using, but if you are looking for a fantastic online store system for Wordpress, I suggest you look at WooCommerce. It really is brilliant.

    - My suggestion to you, regardless of whether you would like to hire somebody to do your SEO for you or not, would be to make sure you learn at least the fundamentals of SEO. I've got a list of beginner's resources that I'm busy compiling into a blog post. If you're in a hurry and interested, however, I'm happy to email you the list. Just drop me a PM.
    It's crucial that you understand the basics of SEO before you go hiring somebody to do your SEO work for you. Before I take on an SEO job, I usually ask the client to buy a couple hours of consulting time with me where I literally explain what is wrong with the site (after doing a full audit), what we do during our SEO process, etc. I'm really not concerned that my clients know what I'm doing, in fact I encourage them to learn. People hire me because they're too lazy to perform what is a very time-consuming process. They don't hire me because it's rocket science.

    - Before you pile your money into SEO work, you really want to make sure that your site is converting what visitors you are already getting. There is no point bringing hordes of traffic into your site if they are just going to leave before too long.

    - Another tip: Consider starting a blog on your site and post fresh content regularly that ties in with the products you're offering. Something like "The Top 5 Gifts for your Female Employees this Christmas" might be useful to your clientele.

    - As for getting in front of corporates, my suggestion would be to start building a mailing list and leveraging social media. At this point in time, people are looking for corporate gifts for Christmas. Have a designer compile a catalogue and find ways to get it to the people at corporations. Connect with executives/business owners on LinkedIn, build an email database through your website (10% off if you sign up for our newsletter?) etc etc.

    - One of the best ways to get ideas is to investigate your competition, particularly in an online space. When a SEO specialist does an audit for you, it's likely he will do a full competitor analysis at the same time. This is crucial, as it shows you what you need to be doing to get the same sort of exposure as your most prominent competitors.

    Online marketing takes time, money and dedication. I don't know many people who do it really effectively. Most of the time it's because they are too lazy. Just don't expect Rome to be built in a day. Expect a substantial outlay of resources before you see much return from your site, especially in a competitive e-commerce environment.

    One of the sites we designed, developed and carry out an online marketing campaign for is this one: https://bfore.co.za/ - It's a lot more complex than what you're trying to achieve, I think, but you can see how certain things I've talked about above are carried through. There's still a long way to go before he can compete with the highest level of competition, but he'll get there. My guess is that if I told you how much he spends on his online marketing, you'd have a heart attack. The sad reality is that what we charge him is actually a pittance in comparison to what the bigger places spend, or even what comparatively sized entities spend overseas. (P.S. He's actually pretty much a one-man show. Doesn't hold stock and handles everything himself, so don't be fooled into thinking it's a big business. )

    Good luck with your venture. Commit yourself fully to the project and you will reap the rewards.
    "The way to gain a good reputation, is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear." - Socrates
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  4. Thank given for this post:

    Branditude (09-Nov-12), Dave A (30-Oct-12), KimH (30-Oct-12)

  5. #4
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Given the title, it was only a matter of time before the SEO flies descended - I've already had to can the first attempt at stuffing a link onto this thread.

    This is fair warning for those "SEO experts" who are going to try it on - I'm going to be really strict on standards and relevance with this thread. Please don't test me.

    Mark has set the standard - make sure you meet it or do better if you want your post to make the cut.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  6. #5
    New Member Branditude's Avatar
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    Hi Ian,

    Thank you. You definitely right about the chat and the loading speed.

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    New Member Branditude's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Hi Mark,

    Thank you for the amazing advice! Just adding the "trust factors" has already helped with our bounce rate and SEO!

    We are looking into wooCommerce now too, thanks for recommending it!
    I do have a bit of a FB page running that is doing quite well but a blog is a great idea as I have tons of information I would like to share with our clientele.

    The chat pop-up is gone

    Thank you so much for all the effort and time you took to help me with this! I appreciate it so much

  8. #7
    Gold Member Mark Atkinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Branditude View Post
    Hi Mark,

    Thank you for the amazing advice! Just adding the "trust factors" has already helped with our bounce rate and SEO!

    We are looking into wooCommerce now too, thanks for recommending it!
    I do have a bit of a FB page running that is doing quite well but a blog is a great idea as I have tons of information I would like to share with our clientele.

    The chat pop-up is gone

    Thank you so much for all the effort and time you took to help me with this! I appreciate it so much
    Glad I could help.
    "The way to gain a good reputation, is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear." - Socrates
    Mark My Words - Arbitrary thoughts on ordinary things

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