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It’s easy to get an eCommerce site up that looks good. Anyone can do that. Getting it to securely take payments, attract and convert customers at good margins 24-7? THAT is the tricky part.
I was on my way. I had decided what to sell. I had a name – I Still Call Australia Home. I had created a logo, style guide, and had found a graphic designer / web company to create my website. Great. I knew to pay a good price for this as I know my website is important. So far, so good. Then the reality started to hit.
Below are the seven biggest realisations I had on the way that I wish someone had told me about before I started!
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – getting on the first page of Google, for free, for what my ideal customers are typing into Google search – is the best way to get people to your website and I’ve been so burnt by ‘experts’ who haven’t given me results, that I’ve learned how to do it myself.
So if, for example, someone types “Australian gift hamper to send overseas” into Google, I take up the first three organic positions for this. Which means, statistically, 50 per cent of the people who see those results will click through to my website. I’ve done the same for over 400 search terms.
It has been my biggest success after a year in business. Last year, customers would ring me and say ‘I am so glad I found you, I’ve just spent three hours on the Internet trying to find a company that sends Australian gifts overseas’. Now I sometimes have over 500 people a day to my website and orders just come in. Nobody calls me up saying they’ve been on the internet for hours trying to find a company like mine – they now find me immediately on Google. And while it took me a lot of time to work it out and do it, it now doesn’t cost me a cent to be on there.
Read about SEO, do an online seminar or go to a short course … this will be a make or break element of your business.
My other piece of do-it-yourself advice is to smarten up and measure everything you’re doing. It’s called ‘Growth Hacking’. Try, test and measure. If it doesn’t work, stop doing it. Make sure the people working on your website are assessing what they do too. Whether it be a social media expert, Adwords specialist or SEO provider, find out what they are ACTUALLY doing to attract visitors to your website. If they cannot measure what they are doing by showing you how many people it is sending to your website per day, it’s a waste of your time and money.
Google Analytics is free to every website owner and shows you every single thing about every customer who comes to your site. There is no excuse anymore for digital marketers who are not measuring the effectiveness of your advertising or social media dollar in terms of getting you real, paying customers. And no, it won’t take six to 12 months before you see a return. You should get results within six weeks.
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