B250 Wk 13 Reflection

The Search Engine boost machine is in full motion this week. Rankings don’t just happen, so I’m posting a linkback here in hopes of boosting my web presence.

www.speedyscrapbooks.com

How about an anchor tag.

For pre-made Halloween scrapbook pages, visit www.speedyscrapbooks.com.

The web business course is coming to an end and the results of my ad campaign are in. I think I did pretty well with my campaign, I just picked a snoozer product. If I were going to sink all the money under my mattress into this business, I would change my product to pre-made scrapbook kits because that keyword was more promising.

Results Screenshot
Not a good ROI.

So I’m down almost 25 bucks, but I’ve learned a lot about marketing and analysis. I feel like there is so much to learn and experience.

B250 Wk12 Reflection

Social Media Marketing

I don’t use social media to it’s fullest. I visit Facebook to see what friends and relatives are up to. I don’t really follow any companies or business. Twitter seems to be all about celebrities, or a way to chat about what’s trending. Tweeting seems like a long hard road to building a customer base. Google Plus seems late to the party, but I’ve learned a few things about the application which seems to position it well for business use.

I read an article this week warning against the pitfalls of social media marketing. Users have such short attention spans and get distracted by cute videos and trending headlines. I myself am guilty of forgetting my purpose after logging into Facebook and seeing the video of the adorable squirrel waterskiing. The author of said article recommends using electronic mail such as Mail Chimp to get content in front of customers. I like this idea. I see the value in social networking to build my customer base and brand loyalty/trust, however it may not be the most reliable tool for delivering content.

I learned about service providers such as HootSuite who can manage social media marketing for business owners. This may be a smart option if one is seriously committed to building a web business. The investment may be high, but the returns could be worth it.

I started Project 5 this week using WooRank. The analysis revealed some weaknesses in my website, which I’m not sure I can resolve due to the fact that I’m using a web building tool. I will research those issues this week and see if I can improve my score.

B250 Wk11 Reflection

When I first experienced Google AdWords and looked at the report, I had no idea how relevant the data is to a business person. Now that I’ve actually started a campaign and had some experience, the picture is becoming clearer.

AdWords Report Snippet
A wealth of information can be gleaned from this table to help maximize marketing strategy.

Using this report I can see how well keywords are performing and what the Quality Score is for each one.

This week I’m working on improving ad performance by examining my landing page. I’ll be making some improvements to hopefully convert visitors into customers.

UPDATE: I’ve added a few more pages to the website and more products/images. I still want to change the hero images on the home page, but I don’t know if I’ll get it done.

B250 Wk10 Reflection

portrait-317041_640This photo pretty much sums up how I felt earlier in the week about tracking web business activity. I have discovered that web building tools are not best as part of a package from the host provider. I wish I had forked over a few bucks and gone with the stand alone web building product, because most of the support documentation I find fits that scenario. Also, using Paypal to handle transactions just adds another player to the party called “chaos.”

This week we were assigned to set up mechanisms to help track activity on the business website. Having so many different players on my team, Bluehost, Weebly and Paypal, made it hard to find a winning combination. In fact, I found some documentation on tracking conversions suggesting I enlist another party called Zapier. I decided to pull the plug at that point and take my chances with the tracking information I would see without Zap. Here’s a link to Loves Data, a website that had in depth information for tracking. Be warned, some web developer knowledge base is needed.

After some reluctance, I started my Adwords campaign. I’m not really confident there’s a market for what I have to sell. My business website and the product I’m pushing is the result of analyzing what I could do to satisfy the requirements of this course with the best use of my time and resources, not what’s going to make me a millionaire. Now that its go-time, I’m not willing to throw a grand opening party.

My immediate goals are to improve the web content and continue to evaluate its performance.

B250 Wk9 Reflection

There’s been a lot of build up to this week. My Google Adwords campaign goes live on Wednesday. Before that day, I need to add more content to my website. My time has been stretched thin with deadlines from other course and personal life, but somehow I must find the time to upload more product options. I don’t want to start advertising my site only to have visitors disappointed by the lack of options.

I also need to create more than one ad before starting the campaign. Writing the one ad was a challenge because I felt that my keywords are limiting. Now I will have to get more creative.

Before online marketing how did business people track leads and success? I’m sure it was done, but I like the ease of using Google’s analytics to see what’s working and what’s not in regards to my website.

B250 Wk8 Reflection

Buy my stuff. That’s what this week was all about; writing ads to promote our websites. I found it more challenging to write my own ad than to help other classmates with suggestions for their ads. I found the discussion board activity extremely helpful this week. Sharing our proposed Google Ads provided me with feedback from real people who are not as close to my product as I am. Therefore, they offer a different perspective. I provided two different ads, and I got mixed reviews. Some chose one ad while other chose the second ad for the opposite reasons. So I will have to weigh their comments carefully.

screen shot Google Ad
Original Ad

 

screen shot of Google Ad
Revised Ad

One peer gave me suggestions that were completely new for my ad. I think the best approach will be some incorporation of all the advice, and going with what my gut says. I wanted to utilize a tool on the Adwords webpage to see how my wording measured up, but I don’t think that’s possible until I actually post the ad. That seems backwards, so it’s possible I misunderstood.

I received my state business license in the mail this week. Now I feel official. I’m almost ready with my Google Ad to go live and then wait for the product to fly off the shelf, so to speak. Before I do that I want to add a few more product categories to the website.

B250 Wk7 Reflection

This week’s focus for my web business class has been Google Adwords. Before taking this course, I had no idea how one could go about advertising their website. Of course I’ve seen the little ‘ad’ icon at the top of my search results, but hadn’t really given it much thought. After this week, I’m aware that there is a lot to know about promoting a web business.

There’s a quality score which is based on relevancy and content. Much like an academic grade, it seems to take a lot more effort to recover from a weak score than start with a good one.

Since this is such new territory for me, I’m setting my daily budget low. I don’t want to lose my shoes while learn how to tread the waters of online marketing. I’m also realizing that I don’t necessarily want to have my website promoted too well. That might lead to customers who will buy and then I need more inventory and then… I’m a middle-aged mom with a family and I still have 15 credits to complete before graduation.

Without newspapers and with streaming video, business have to promote in different ways than 20 or 30 years ago. I’m glad I’m not a marketing major.