This is my blog about the trials and tribulations of setting up our web site.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Research, research, research - And then feel like an idiot

All aspects of your web site should be thoroughly examined, whether it is function, style, seo, usability, etc. Here is a perfect example, we have been using Canada Post to ship all our packages as the price is right but shipments to the USA take usually around 8 business days to get there (they say allow 9-12 days). So we have been looking at FedEx and other carriers and going through all the usual cost analysis stuff. What we didn't look at was Canada Post. On their web site we found that if we electronically prepare the documentation and customs information for them we will not only get a reduced price (which I knew about) but also the delivery times for the USA would go down to 5-9 days. That makes a HUGE difference for our customers. That 1 little piece of information was well worth the 3 hours it took of digging through the mess they call a web site.

I feel like an idiot (for posting this) but also for not exploring all the options. If it is looking on a web site, or calling your supplier, look for new suppliers, etc. you never know if there there is a better deal out there unless you look and ask. The 3-4 days we can knock off of shipping time to the USA could mean the difference between repeat business and no repeat business, and it is repeat business that will mean the difference between a sucessful store or a side line hobby.

This can be applied to all aspects of your business such as every year end take a look at the numbers and see where you can cut costs. Research other suppliers to make sure you are getting the best deal or ask you current supplier "is this the best you can do", reorganize your work day to cut down on the number of miles you have to drive or the time it takes to get to work, etc. And my #1 tip for the day; plan your to do list before you go to sleep every night, that alone will cut your work day by 30%.

I know this seems like common knowledge but everyone needs to be reminded of it sometimes.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Keyword rankings after 1 week of being live

Our new site went live on the 9th so I thought I would do an update for how we are doing with our keyword rankings;

coffee Not found
coffee shop #510
bean coffee #67
bean coffee shop #1

coffee NF
coffee shop #408
bean coffee #114
bean coffee shop #1

coffee NF
coffee shop NF
bean coffee #192
bean coffee shop #1

(actual results may differ as this was done using a rank checking site)

Can this be improved "yes", am I going to play with the keywords right now "no". It has only been a week so I want to see where things end up and then try and figure out "why" they are in the postitions they are. Then I will tweak the site to try and improve the results. All our header images are for the keyword "bean coffee shop" so it is no wonder that we are at #1 but I would much rather be at #1 for "coffee" instead of "bean coffee shop", but the race is long and it has only just begun.

One interesting result is for sassafraz which is one of our customers we rank;
Yahoo #15
MSN #72
Google #436
This page is in a subdirectory on our site and I am very incouraged by this result so far.

Also when writing in your blogs don't forget to target your links by using your keywords for the links and also adding the alt and title tags to the links. I just didn't want to overdo that here. :)

Another idea I am floating around is to get another domain and a second hosting account and just have a coffee forum on there with rotating banner ads that will target my keywords. If set up properly it could be good for my keywords and also might generate some targeted traffic and who knows, maybe even some income from selling ad space.

Thanks to search engine genie for their great ranking tool that is available free on their site.