When getting started on internet marketing, and deciding that organic traffic is best for your business, you start finding out about SEO. Before you know it you have read article after article and got yourself lost and confused. The truth is that basic SEO is relatively simple stuff. If your lucky, and tonnes of people link to you, then even terrible SEO will not matter. However most of us are not so lucky.
For relatively un-competitive search terms simply having a great descriptive title tag using the keywords people are most likely to search for and only a couple of links can be enough to give you a first page ranking. This is one of the easiest things to optimise normally too!
In most web software, either blogs or ecommerce, the title of the article or product automatically becomes the pages title. This is not always perfect though and you might want the title to be more optimised than simply the name of the product. Most ecommerce software lets you adjust the title separately. WordPress users can download the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast which allows them to do this quickly and easily!
Once your titles are sorted – you need some links.
Search Engine Optimisation can be a tricky thing to address. Businesses want quick results so they can see if it is worth continuing with their investment. Agencies want quick results to prove they are worth the money they are being paid in order to extend their contracts. Yet SEO due to its very nature is a long term play. It is all about organic traffic and building authority – these things take time and dedication.
Any company that offers immediate results is selling too strongly. If it sounds too good to be true it normally is. One major issue with bad SEO is the long lasting damage it can do. A lack of technical savvy might lend a business to try out some SEO tactics which are not best practice and may even yield good short term results. However in the long term, these tricks, whatever they may be will be found out and measures taken against them. 2012 has been a big year for big Google algorithm updates and a lot of companies have suffered.
Focus on best practices and building for the long term. You will be better off in the end.
What business does not want to increase revenue? It is important to gain as much exposure as possible for your brand and that means looking outside of your own website. Selling directly from your own website is of course the best option – your margin is greatest that way. However some of the other sales channels have the advantage of huge traffic volume which is worth taking advantage of.
The main advantage of using alternative sales channels is simply huge traffic of buyers. There is a second important one though, and that is trust. People like buying on Amazon and other major online stores as they know the name, probably have an account already set up and they have dealt with them before. This creates a massive amount of trust which in turn increases the chance of a visitor converting to a sale.
The downsides are the strict control on listing formats and what you can say to sell your product. The other major downside are the fees and commissions you will have to pay out. In terms of Amazon this usually works out at 20-30% of the selling price, so unless you have a good margin, it can be problematic.
In my experience these sales channels can be well worth testing. Some products are more suited than others. It is important to give them a decent length test as well – I have found it takes months for the sales volume to build up, but it can build to a level which becomes well worth the effort it took to set it up.