Friday, October 28, 2011

How I Made Over 10K In One Month!

Hi Everyone!
It's been ages since I've created a post on our blog. I truly apologize. I've been keeping everyone updated via my newsletter this year but I promise to create more post here as well.

Feel free to sign up for our newsletters below:

Well , I'm so excited to bring this post to you. I always like to give tips on how to optimize your site, market your site and on and on...
I also like to show you proof of what a particular tactic can do for those of you who are serious about being successful online. That's exactly what I am going to do in this post. I'll try to keep this one short so it won't be so overwhelming.
To make a long story short. I am not only a seo specialist, I also own and operate several online pet boutiques. I have recently started 3 new pet sites this year. This email is going to focus on my very specific niche dog Halloween costume shop ( ). I began this site in February of this year because I am a firm believer in creating niche sites/ spinoff sites or in other words, sites that are based off of one specific theme. This is always a great idea especially for those of you who know your industry in and out.
When I first started off the traffic was slowly but surely creaping in as you can see below. Within the first month, I got over 800 visits. Not bad for a new site but nowhere near where I wanted to be for such a popular type of market.
So instead of letting the site sit there, I started doing some keyword research and found the perfect keyword that I was going to use as my main targeted keyword : Halloween Costumes For Dogs. You can see below that this keyword is pretty popular as far as searches per month is concerned. I also complied a list of about 70 other keywords I wanted to target and started optimzing my site right away:
The goal for this site was to make sure that I optimized it earlier enough to get in the top searches in time for Halloween shopping time. I wanted to make sure I was on the first page of Google for my main keyword by the end of August which is around the time customers start shopping for costumes.
As I optimized more and more categories and products. My traffic started to increase. So I started my next step in optimizing : Link Building. I started link buildng with my main keyword as well as my main categories so I could make sure I was ranking for my lower competition keywords as well as my highly competitive keyword.
Low and behold, my SEO campaign paid off. I decided to check my stats last week to see how well the site had done for it's busiest months i.e. September and October. I knew that I was super busy and had to hire someone to take orders but didn't think I had done that well for the past month. From September 23rd to October 24th I had done over $10,000 in sales and my traffic was way over 20,000 as far as visitors were concerned.
The best things about all of the stats above is this:
  • My site is only 8 months old!
  • I am on the first page of google for my targeted keyword : Halloween Costumes For Dogs
  • The marjority of my traffic comes from organic search results : 70.76%
So if you get nothing else from this newsletter. Please take away this:
  • You don't have to be in business for a long time to acheive 1st page rankings and get your desired amount of traffic to your site.
  • If you are an online business now and you are doing pretty good with a particular product type, think about starting a separate business just based off of that product or category. Niche businesses bring in a lot of traffic and sales. Especially around peak shopping times.
  • Don't let anyone tell you that you don't have to worry about optimzing your site. SEO really does help when it comes to ranking for your desired keywords and you can definitely make it to the top page for your targeted keywords.
I hope this newsletter inspires you to keep your dreams for your online business going. Wishing you tons of success and prosperity.
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to just reply to this email or Contact us with any questions.
Have a wonderful day!Smile
My SEO Gal

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

You Pick Your SEO Savings!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

10 Quick Tips To Convert Your Traffic Into Sales

So you've made the decision to start an online business. You have worked on making sure that your site is properly optimized and maybe have even done a few PPC (Pay Per Click Campaigns) but still aren't seeing any sales. Frown These are both great steps to take to get the traffic you deserve to your site and definitely vital to your online success. But if you are not getting any sales, you must be asking yourself  
At this day in age converting the traffic that you are getting to your site is very important to your online success. Without any sales, you may find yourself closing the website down that you have put so much work into.
No Need To Worry! Help is on the way!!!
Below are 10 tips that I use on a daily basis to convert traffic into sales for my clients sites as well as my own. These are not listed in any particular order : )

  • Easy Navigation: Make sure your site is easy to navigate. Place all the important links at the top of your site i.e. Home Page Link, Contact Link, Policy Link etc.. If you sell products on your site, make sure your categories are easy to follow and preferably in alphabetical order. This will make your visitors shopping experience less stressful.
  • Payment Options: Place a logo picture of the type of payments you accept in a visible area on your site.Some people like to know what type of payments you accept before they begin shopping on your site. If they can not find an image of the type of payments you accept or a note, you could risk losing a buyer.
  • Promote, Promote, Promote: If you have any promotions going on, list a banner at the top of the website, right above the fold (the area that your visitors see when they first get to your site) that displays your current promotions i.e. free shipping, special sales etc.. That way visitors see immediately what type of sales your site is offering. Make sure the sales show up on every page. If they show up on just your home page, visitors who land on your other pages may not know about your specials. If you are not familiar with adding banners above the fold, consult with your designer or hire a professional that is familiar with adding these type of banners to your website.
  • Phone Number : I know many sites are Leary about placing a number on their site especially if you work at home. Consider looking into a company that offers 800 services. These services usually allow you to get an 800 number that can be customized to your needs i..e you can enter in the times you want the phone not to ring, set up voicemail option only etc.. A phone number is a great way to establish trust and look professional to your online visitors.
  • Checkout Process : A lot of online websites end up with a lot of abandoned carts. Make sure once your visitors have gotten to  your checkout page, that it is as easy as possible. If a cart is to complicated visitors will abandon their cart. Top reasons why they abandon carts: shipping cost is way to high, to many pages or complicated wording that makes them nervous to continue their order. To eliminate confusion and abandoned carts, you can implement a flat rate shipping fee. For Example: Your entire orders ships for 9.99 (us residents only). I just opened two new sites and they both have a flat rate option, both have been online for 2 months and have already started to get orders in. If you can't offer flat rate shipping, try to set up a page that outlines your shipping charges and which carrier you use to ship your orders.
  • Be Emotionally Appealing (Sorry this one will be a little long but worth it) : Let's face it. We all love to shop and shopping online adds a extra special touch when shopping. The thought of finding unique items that may not be available in local stores and getting a nice package at the door with all of your goodies is really exciting. What does that really mean? Online buying is an emotional experience. So your job is to tap into the emotions of your buyers. Get to know your market! Are you marketing to Moms, Dads, Pet Owners, Geeks, Electronic Gurus etc.? Whatever your market, their is an emotion associated with it. Don't be afraid to step outside of the box. The one thing I always do with all of my online retail sites that I set up is to pick out images that are appealing to my market. I always have images on the home page that show a model in one of the products or similar products. For instance: If your main target market is mommies. What do mommies love? Cute adorable pictures of babies, toddlers and kids in the items they are interested in. If you can capture their emotions with your images, then you are more likely to convert your traffic into sales. With most of my sites, I take a funny approach when it comes to images. I try to think of concepts that will make people want to buy just because the site makes them feel happy. Playing into emotions is definitely a great way to increase sales and gain new customers. Which is always a plus. You can find royalty images for your site by doing a search for Royalty Free images. Most images only cost 1.00 each but may require you to purchase 10 to 15 credits up front for their images.
  • Best Sellers : Show case some of your best sellers on the site and use bold graphics that say BEST SELLERS or Customers Favorite Picks. If you have products that are best sellers, chances are, your new visitors may think they are pretty great as well.
  • Products: Whether you sell your own items or offer vendors items. It's very important to make sure you have a nice selection of products for your visitors to choose from. Although this is not the case all the time and there are some exceptions to the rule. It's still very important that when your site is live that you have products available to your visitors. Make sure not to have a lot of categories that do not display any items. Visitors may get frustrated or may think your site is not professional. If you have categories set up that may not have products in them for a couple of weeks. Think about disabling them until you have some products in them.
  • Social Media : Incorporate social media if you can. You can do this by simply adding a Facebook "Like" button to your website. The more followers you get the more you can promote your sales to. You can add a "Like" button to your blog as well. Social Media is a really great way to get new customers. So this is something that you definitely want to make sure you add to your marketing goals.
  • SEO  with long tail keywords: As you know it's very important to make sure that your site is properly optimized with your keywords but did you know that there is a way to get sales from choosing out the right keywords. Many online website owners look at targeting 2 word keywords that can be very competitive or that may take months or even years to rank for. Try focusing on the long tail keywords in addition to your 2 word keywords. Research your keywords and pay very close attention to keywords you find that are 3 words and longer. Research shows that buyers are most likely to make a purchase if they are using long tail keywords to land on your site. Make sure you are optimizing the proper page with your long tail keywords. There is not worst then when a visitor arrives to your site using a keyword phrase to find out that the page they land on, has nothing to do with what they are looking for. You lose a visitors and your Bounce Rate goes up!
I hope you can use some of the above tips to increase your sales!

Carla Phillips

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Things To Consider When Changing Hosting Companies

WOW! It has been a long time since I've posted. Sure I've sent newsletters, Facebook post, and even a Tweet here and there but my poor ole' blog has been neglected due to a super busy 2010 and a refreshing 2011 thus far.

So I wanted to take some time to address a question that I keep getting about what to do and what to expect when you want to change from you current hosting company to a new one.

Will switching effect your current keyword ranking, what should you expect to happen when you change hosting company as far as SEO is concerned and how long will it all of this take.

Below are some tips that you can use to smooth over your transition.

For starters before you switch over to any hosting company, please make sure that the company you are switching to is SEO friendly!! I know that's an entirely different post but it is very important to make sure the hosting company you are considering switching over to is SEO friendly.

Some features that you want to look for is the option to add individual meta tags to each of your pages, categories, sub categories and products. There's nothing more annoying than working on a site that only allows you add meta tags to your home page. Then find out that every single page has the very same meta tag. If you have the same meta tags on every single page, how in the world are the search engines supposed to know which page is relevant to a search query?

Next, it's also helpful to go with a hosting company that has search engine friendly urls, ones that list your keywords in the url.

Here is an example of a search engine friendly url:

Here is an example of a not so friendly url:

Although you can still rank for your pages if your keywords are not in the url, it still gives an extra added bonus to have search engine friendly url's.

Those are just a couple of features to look out for when choosing a hosting company for your site. I'll make sure to do a blog post next week on what features you should consider when choosing a hosting company.

Now back to some tips you can take to make your switch a stress free one:

Tip 1: Before you switch your hosting company, take some time to copy and paste the url's of your main pages, important pages, pages that are ranking high in the search engines and any on page content that is currently on your site and add all your information into a word document or excel sheet and save it.

Once you have saved all of the work on your site just copy and paste it into your new pages,categories, subcategories. The reason being, is so you can redirect your old pages to your new pages. That way your site is not returning a bunch of unwanted and unneeded 404 Page Not Found messages in the search engines. Too many of those can effect your ranking, because the search engines think that your site no longer exist or is not being maintained which brings down the quality of their search engine results. No search engine wants to send their searchers to websites that are returning blank pages, or websites that are constantly giving a Page Not Found message. So you want to make sure you take care of those redirects as soon as possible. As a matter of fact, make this your number 1 thing on your to do list once you have your new site set up.

Copy your url's to your main categories that are currently listed on your site.
Set up your new categories with your new hosting company. Then create 301 redirects from your old categories to your new categories. You can usually do this via your cpanel depending on which hosting company you switch to.

Tip 2: Make sure you have copied your meta tag information from each of your old pages as well if they have been properly optimized. If not, simply do some much needed keyword research and enter in your keywords into your meta tags and copy them to all of your new page that you have set up with your new hosting company.

Tip 3: Once you've done your meta tags, 301 redirects and you have all of your pages/products added to your new hosting company site. Create a new sitemap and submit it to the major search engines. This will allow you to let the search engines know about your new urls/website pages.

You can create a free sitemap at the following link. This site will create up to 500 pages for free:

When you switch hosting companies you should expect to start to get broken links and 404 error messages. You can usually see these in your cpanel traffic stats information or in your Google Webmaster Tools account, if you have one set up. If you do not have one set up yet, please make sure you set this up before you switch. Your webmaster tools account with Google, gives you all type of great information about your site as well as any crawl errors. They even allow you to remove those dreaded broken links/404 pages that are listed in your crawl error reports.

As your 404 error (Page Not Found) messages start to come in, start requesting a page removal via your Google Webmaster Tools account by clicking on Crawler Access and then Remove Page. Google is pretty fast with approving the request.

The number of 404 error pages you get will be determined based off of the number of pages you have in the search engines result pages. Just keep an eye on them and request removal as soon as you can. The quicker you address any broken links or pages that no longer are going to exist on your site the better.

Keep in mind that you may drop in ranking after switching to a new hosting company but the drop should be temporary and you should be able to return back to your normal ranking position. To offset any drop in rankings, try to build some one way links to your site from high quality websites while you are waiting for the search engines to update their search engine directory with your new website pages. As the search engines are updating their directory with your new website pages, they may redirect your traffic to your home page. This redirect may be temporary.

So if you are considering moving your site to a new hosting company make sure you follow some of the tips above and do some research on other tips and suggestions that you can use when change hosting companies. If you are not familiar with creating redirects, requesting url removal make sure to consult with a SEO specialist, website designer, the new hosting company etc.. Any website professional should be able to assist you with making your switch as stress free as possible.

I hope you enjoyed my tips as much as I have enjoyed giving them to you! Stay tuned for the next tip coming soon.

Carla Phillips