Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The World of Web

The latest question comes from Nicole Garza, founder of Mally Bibs. Nicole’s home-based business now serves a few hundred retail stores in North America and online customers through her website.

What are some key things you can do to increase your website traffic and more specifically, increase web sales? I would sure love to increase our online sales from a few orders a day to a few dozen!

Since starting Robeez, one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is recognizing my own strengths and shortfalls. I think it’s important to recognize when you need help and to actually ask for it. Prior to starting Robeez, my work experience was in financial management. I knew all about debits and credits but when it came to search engine optimization and cookies, I knew I needed help. So for today’s question, I am taking my own advice and calling on someone who knows a lot more about the web than I do. Today’s “motherly advice” comes from another mom on the Robeez team, Lori, our Ecommerce Manager. Here are Lori’s tips for increasing website traffic and online sales:

  1. Pay Per Click programs – adopting pay per click programs from search engines such as Google can be costly but extremely effective at driving traffic to your website.
  2. Search engine optimization – make it easier for search engines to find your site. One quick(ish) thing you can do to add visibility is to create individual product pages. These should include titles with your product name and copy that includes “key words” and features.
  3. Linking strategies – ranking in search engines is determined by a number of factors. One of the many things search engines look at to rank websites is the number of qualified links to a website. The more websites that link to you, the higher you are ranked. (An interesting note: reciprocal links are less valuable.)
  4. Ecommerce basics – reading up on ecommerce basics on websites such as Internet Retailer and Website Magazine can help keep you up-to-date on the latest tips and tricks in the world of online sales.

Lori’s input makes me think of a secondary topic: hiring. As Robeez grew, I knew that I needed help to take it to the next level. When hiring your first (and subsequent) employees, I recommend someone with a complementary skill set. If selling is not your strong point, hiring an employee who is equally shy is not going to help you. While skills are important, it’s also extremely important to look for someone with values and personality that work well with yours. Without realizing it is happening, by hiring employees you are forming the company’s corporate culture. Find talented people who are passionate about your product and your company. I attribute much of the success Robeez has achieved to the amazing people who helped along the way.

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