Skip navigation

Something that has been on my mind no end just lately – growth. We’re falling into a recession, defined by the fact that growth in the economy is zero or negative, it’s not completely illogical to see sales and business growth at the very least stall. It eases my mind to think that this is happening to everyone and so I should just sit tight and wait, I’m impatient though – I don’t want to wait.

That aside I’ve been thinking about the size of the market in the first place. I want to double the sales for our main product in the next 6 months. To do this I’m going to get us better SERPS (as a starting point anyway) but what happens if we rank #1 for all our keywords and we still don’t see an increase in sales….then I guess we’re reaching the complete market. Then what? I guess then we have to consider other types of marketing as opposed to solely online (promotion, advertising etc). By reaching #1 we capture the entire market that BROWSES for our product but what about all those people that simply search by brand name. So therefore we need to strengthen the brand and raise awareness so that more people search for us as opposed to just our product, if we can also add an intrinsic positive feeling with the awareness that would also help battle some of the ‘buying online’ demons that people still have making it even more beneficial.

Complete brain fart there, but I feel like I’m getting somewhere.

Oooooh I gots myself a new toy to be playing with 🙂

The new browser form Google does everything that you would expect it to do and in true Google fashion, it has a few nice little extras. For example it’s a really simple idea to add thumbnails of your most visited sites on the start up page – but it’s a really nice touch (I never could get to grip with my favourites-I have too many and they get lost in the list). Another quick favourite of mine is the ‘incognito browsing’ even though I may never use it I can see the value. Many of my friends work in organisations that don’t allow Facebook, ebay or even news sites (believe it or not) and yet don’t have the capacity to block them through employees computers – this will be useful for my friends to hide their secret browsing activities more easily. It’s great for covering up gift-shopping activities too.

Something that I had not read about prior to getting my little clicker to Chrome was the Crash control, because the tabs operate independently if one goes there is no dominoe effect on other things that you might be working on. Loving that! My favourite thing about Google Chrome is that the web page fills my screen, it’s only a small change but it really makes a difference not having those thick borders, buttons and options all over the place!

I’m yet to find a fault with Google Chrome, I know I will but I haven’t yet and I think that’s thanks to Google’s wonderful simplicity.

Google 1 – Microsoft 0

Just a really quick one, the new Samsung innov8 has a camera with an 8MP camera. I wonder if they have managed to improve the technology behind it – my 5MP Samsung is a million miles behind my partner’s Sony Erriccsson 5MP…I might wait for them to bring out their 8.1MP.

When did advertising become about the things that we had all expected anyway?

An insurance company in the UK has spent money advertising the fact that they give lower premiums to small cars, people that do less miles and people with more experience….SO DOES EVERY OTHER INSURANCE COMPANY! It’s like Tesco’s advertising that they charge less for 6 eggs than 12. Infuriating. I hate it when companies presume that consumers are so idiotic. Even more than that it infuriates me that the marketing budget has been wasted in this way. Their targets were clearly about differentiating themselves in the market place (as opposed to building the brand, raising awareness or gaining immediate sales) and yet they have done the opposite. How did that meeting go?

-HEAD – “we need to make people see what we do that is different from everyone else, how can we do that?”

-MARKETER – “I know we could run a TV campaign highlighting all the basic fundamental principles that all insurance companies use to set prices”

-HEAD-“Fantastic, here’s a £1m budget, go get em tiger”.

What the hell?!

I’ve managed to get some product into the new site, and I’ve pretty much done all the keyword research that I can and come up with our main targets for the SERPs. I don’t have any firm pricing though so we can’t go live yet…then it’s the long slog from here on out. Plus our techy guy has NO eye for detail so I am constantly e-mailing him requesting changes in text or links when really he should be getting it right in the first instance.

Primary product periphery terms are starting to pick up now albeit pretty slowly.

On top of this our most recent batch of our most popular product is faulty AND we have no instructions for another so I have people shouting at me from all angles…keeps me on my toes though.

Apparently eBay are trying to move away from Auctions and go more for buy it nows rivalling Amazon. That sounds like nothing but fantastic news to me as my experience (within work) Amazon are incompetent to the point of negligent, allow illegal activity within the site un-monitored and have no drive for development in the slightest. A bit of competition may be just what they need.

Dominoes Pizza are opening up there menu to now include an oven baked sandwich in 4 different varieties (notice there is no vegetarian option currently available).

Personally I just don’t get it, especially when the options are so limited and so….ordinary. This is something that Subway does – and Subway does it particularly well (hey even McDonalds do it fairly well).

However, although I would probably never try one (other than through sheer curiosity) I can almost see where they are coming from although I don’t think they have it yet. Had I been a part of this team I would have tried to go more down a health line. Let me explain a little better.

When my partner and I go to Dominoes we HAVE to order a large and we have to have something that is dripping in fat and calories. As a woman (who has a beach holiday coming up especially) I would like to have an alternative and I think this new sandwich idea could really catch my eye. The sandwich would have to have that same ‘luxury’ feel to it but without the hidden calories and fat – by the looks of this youtube video, I think it does. I’m not saying rival the Subway <6% fat campaign I’m just saying a ‘healthy’ alternative to a very fatty pizza.

The other thing about the new Dominoes sandwich idea is the delivery, I like the idea of having a sandwich delivered to the office for $5….but there are about 40 cafes and sandwich shops near me that do that already.

If Dominoes are really backing this wholeheartedly then why does the website not mention the launch at all?

In summary I can’t see this lasting longer than a year, but nice effort (and get a vegetarian option).

One of the main issues that we have found more recently is that we have some nice SERPS for our main product base, but we’re really struggling with the more periphery terms for the other non-related products. That’s logical I know but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. I want to be on page one for everything. Inside I know that because the terms aren’t related my task is impossible (hence the second website).

We have chosen to split out some of the less related products into the second site. Personally I think that we could tread down a dangerous path if we’re not careful. One thing we can’t do is over specialise, it’s too limiting. It would be a lot easier to optimise a website that only sold tyres to the term ‘tyres’, but what value would that hold for the shopper? Also I think it gives people less choice and there is less chance of cross-over from other products. Not the path for us anyway.

We have a competitor that sells the exact same product as us (made in the same factory even – literally the box and our superior manual is the only difference) and yet they have branded theirs ‘x’.

Now I’m all for branding – as long as it carries a value that the customer can understand.

With our competitor there is no information about what the brand means, where it came from etc just the logo. They even have the cheek to advise against other ‘cheaper’ versions of their brand and yet when I called to ask what the difference was exactly the sales advisor couldn’t tell me – she even said ‘it’s just something we thought of, it’s the same product really’.

What makes this even worse is that they use the same brand on a completely different product! Is the consumer really this daft? Do they not think ‘what the hell is ‘x’, sounds like a loads of bull? I would…

We are going to be branding a future product for the second site and have already gone to the trouble of setting up a mini site, creating a backstory, logo and information page on our regular site to explain how wonderful ‘m’ is – in the vain hope that the consumer can use this as a distinguishing factor against our competitors. It wasn’t even that hard.

Tut tut…….rant over

Today I am mostly listening to the excellent Kid Carpet – Casio Royale

I think the value of actually doing exactly what you say you are going to do has been overlooked online. I also think I know why.

When you walk into a high street store you can look through the window, see the kind of people that are entering/leaving the store and see at the very worst a sample of their offering. Online this is not the case. When you consider that the advert/clickthrough is your store window the consumer has no information other than that which you have provided. It would be like plastering the windows with adverts so that you couldn’t see inside…just like Next do at sale time come to think of it….

This made me think that the value of actually doing what you say you will is extremely important. Ok so this might seem obvious but not from mu experience today…..I need some new trainers and I know the kind of thing I want so I did a google search. The top ten sites all claimed (of course) to having the best prices, the most choice and that they were of the style I was searching for. Not one of them was. Not only did this leave me 20 minutes later still without my shoes but also made me feel really disappointed for those sites and their marketing managers. They’re con artists and what is worse is that they are not even that good. The con is too transparent.

With the site I work on if we don’t have the best price – we don’t say that we do. In descriptions I make sure I use terminology that accurately matches the site. Our differentiating factor is normally quality and customer service – so I make sure that at 8.30pm if someone calls, I answer the phone and sound like I want to talk to the person on the other end. I make sure that the site appeals to our target market aesthetically. I’m not on the moral high ground here – I do all these things because I think that they will help turn that click/call into a sale.

Now I know I’m relatively new to all this but shouldn’t this be the base that all sites work from?

We made it to page one for our three target KW within about 6 months of me starting here (we came from page 20 so personally I don’t think we did too bad). But then our focus changed – inspired by a change in the seasons. Unfirtunately we didn’t start working on the new terms until the season was upon us and so even though our SERPs for this second batch of KW did improve drastically, it just wasn’t enough.

So now I am putting my focus back onto the original products….periphery terms if you like. See the thing is that I actually think these periphery terms hold more value to us than the original terms did (I think we got our KW research wrong). As always we won’t know for sure until we get great SERPs and then I can analyse the difference in traffic etc.

Back to the title then, this week I have mostly been updating text.

We have over 100 product pages (probably a lot more – I have never actually counted) each within categories. I am basically sorting through each product to increase the density of the specific keyword (rather than the more vague ones we were using before). At the same time I’m trying to keep in the vague terms so that we don’t slip in the SERPs for those.

Thing is – we have.

The main problem being that we made 2 or 3 relatively large changes around the same time so I don’t know what has caused the (slight but still more than I am happy with) drop. It could just be natural forces and competiton but I don’t think so…

I’m going to keep plodding on making text changes but I’m also going to keep a watchful eye on our original KWs. Hopefully it’s just a blip.