A few thoughts on optimization

There have been many posts asking about optimization. Aside from the fact that your well-formed key word rich content is what matters the most, the title tag is arguably your most important tag. Let me say though that if you are selling Motorola cell phones and your title tag is Motorola cell phones, it matters not how well formed your content is. You simply will not rank well for Motorola cell phones because the competition is too enormous for you to overcome no matter what you do aside from paying an enormous fee per click…



The main objective for any e-commerce start up is to find a unique product that you have researched fully and either hope that there is a market for it, or create a market yourself.



I sell supplements (and I kick myself in the butt every day for doing it) and the only supplements I sell are provided by one manufacturer and that is only because that manufacturer has a following and I undercut other resellers’ prices. It won’t matter one iota how well optimized I am for vitamin C because I won’t sell any and I haven’t in 5 years because I just cannot compete with the competition.



So all these questions about optimization really don’t mean very much unless you’ve approached your e-store as you would any brick and mortar store. Would you open a music store on the same block as J&R Music World? Hopefully the answer is a resounding ‘No’! Unless you are selling albums that are unique in nature that nobody else is selling, you will not succeed.



Does this mean that you should close your store and get a job at McDonalds? Maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad idea. You’ll certainly not want to quit your day job while you wait for the Internet millions to roll in. While you’re waiting, by all means optimize your hearts out. It won’t hurt but don’t expect miracles unless you’ve done your home work and have the patience of a saint.

Now that’s cutting to the chase and fundamentally correct.

Hello Roban,



Good post!



Yes, on Internet, it’s [COLOR=“Red”]NOT[/COLOR] “[COLOR=“Red”]Here is what I want to sell[/COLOR]”, but more humbly “[COLOR=“Green”]What CAN I sell?[/COLOR]”.



Study many market[COLOR=“Red”]s[/COLOR]. Not one, not five, but dozens.



Yes, everything is possible, but if you can, avoid to compete with big (or clever) competitors.



More competitors you have, and more it’s difficult to sell.



More smarter competitors are, and more it’s difficult to sell.



It’s better to be ranked on first page on a niche market, than to be ranked on thirteenth page on a big market. Your business will be more profitable. Much more.



And don’t be afraid to close a site where you don’t make enough money with. Close your website. Tell CS-Cart you turn off your website. Find a better market. Open a new website. Tell CS-Cart you open your new website, they will change the license for you.



So, choose your market with care.



Your first step to success is there.





Lee Li Pop

I agree to some extent but honestly regardless of the market on what you are selling, you can succeed!



Customer service, quick shipping, competitive prices all play a roll in the success of an E-Commerce website.



Take mine for instance Sporting Goods, I have been live not more that 2 months in a market where the competition is extremely large! I won’t give my gross sales for the month of Dec but I will tell you I am over whelmed by the response and have gotten great feedback from my customers as to the service.



Our profit margin is very low as we build our customer base but our sales has been much more than ever expected so quickly, heck we are not even listed on Yahoo yet! Google Base has been our main advertiser and I must say it has been a blessing to us.



I believe (and this is just my personal beliefs) that whatever market you are in, you only need to be honest with your customers, be prompt on shipping, don’t be afraid to bend over back words even if it means loosing a profit on an item to gain the loyalty of that person because he has a mouth and he will talk about your service and its quality or dis-quality.



lastly, is time… You must be willing to work at your site daily giving it new content, new offers searching for new vendors for better pricing and most of all don’t get greedy!



Net 30 terms is a great way to also get started, ask your distributors if they offer net 30, this gets you the product quickly without waiting for funds to hit the bank, drop shipping is another bonus if they will do that for you.



CUSTOMER SERVICE CUSTOMER SERVICE CUSTOMER SERVICE

Hello MySportingGoods,


[quote name=‘MaySportingGoods’][…]Our profit margin is very low[…][/QUOTE]



Thank you, indeed…



In your markets study you need to consider the profitability of your website on 1, 2 and 3 years to come. Trying to find the net result of your website when one has low margins is interesting.



1 - How much will I spend?

2 - How much will I earn?

3 - What will be my break-even point?

4 - And so on…



[url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Break_even_analysis[/url]



All this is, of course, a part of any serious business plan:



[url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_plan[/url]



But here, we leave the Internet to talk about business management, which is another interesting facet of business :wink:





Lee Li Pop

[quote name=‘MaySportingGoods’]I agree to some extent but honestly regardless of the market on what you are selling, you can succeed!



Customer service, quick shipping, competitive prices all play a roll in the success of an E-Commerce website.



Take mine for instance Sporting Goods, I have been live not more that 2 months in a market where the competition is extremely large! I won’t give my gross sales for the month of Dec but I will tell you I am over whelmed by the response and have gotten great feedback from my customers as to the service.



Our profit margin is very low as we build our customer base but our sales has been much more than ever expected so quickly, heck we are not even listed on Yahoo yet! Google Base has been our main advertiser and I must say it has been a blessing to us.



I believe (and this is just my personal beliefs) that whatever market you are in, you only need to be honest with your customers, be prompt on shipping, don’t be afraid to bend over back words even if it means loosing a profit on an item to gain the loyalty of that person because he has a mouth and he will talk about your service and its quality or dis-quality.



lastly, is time… You must be willing to work at your site daily giving it new content, new offers searching for new vendors for better pricing and most of all don’t get greedy!



Net 30 terms is a great way to also get started, ask your distributors if they offer net 30, this gets you the product quickly without waiting for funds to hit the bank, drop shipping is another bonus if they will do that for you.



CUSTOMER SERVICE CUSTOMER SERVICE CUSTOMER SERVICE[/QUOTE]



Agreed 100%

[quote name=‘Lee Li Pop’]Hello MySportingGoods,







Thank you, indeed…



In your markets study you need to consider the profitability of your website on 1, 2 and 3 years to come. Trying to find the net result of your website when one has low margins is interesting.



1 - How much will I spend?

2 - How much will I earn?

3 - What will be my break-even point?

4 - And so on…



[url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Break_even_analysis[/url]



All this is, of course, a part of any serious business plan:



[url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_plan[/url]



But here, we leave the Internet to talk about business management, which is another interesting facet of business :wink:





Lee Li Pop[/QUOTE]



Very Good point and all very factual…



All I know at this point is that I have had no out of pocket expense other that the cs-cart and it has been paid back by the company, our sales despite the low margins are paying for our LLC. (Process starting in Jan) it has also allowed us to start planning advertising campaign all of which has been achieved in 2 months.



What I meant as a point in my first post was simply any market can succeed maybe using thine own was not a good example but I do believe customer service, fast shipping, and a good product is your key along with steady research on ways to keep prices low and competitive.



Thanks for the web page links, very informative… Oh and no company can servive without a business plan this is a must!

Hello MaySportingGoods,


[quote name=‘MaySportingGoods’]Oh and no company can servive without a business plan this is a must![/QUOTE]



How many small business owners develop a business plan? Too few in France it seems… Is it the same in the US?



I recommend you to read this very interesting thread:



[url]http://forum.cs-cart.com/showthread.php?t=14097[/url]



Especially, posts from Traveler :wink:



In fact, he says like you: Do your best for your Customers!



Yes! It’s very important, but, is it enough?



I don’t think so. Customers are blood of a business. Without this living flow, a business cannot live. In this way, SEO can bring this living flow.



I come back to the philosophy of my first message on this thread:



Commit to a niche where a business will not have enough of this living flow, is at risk not to be enough profitable and be viable.



This niche can be a small one, but without enough customers, even if you are ranked on the first page…



Or this niche can be bigger, but with many competitors, leaving us bread crumbs for living… Because competition is quite strong and “margin/work” level is too low…



Does SEO can make a successful website? Customer service? Both?



I don’t think so. This is why a market[COLOR=“Red”]s[/COLOR] research (study) is necessary as much as a business plan!



[url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Market_research[/url]





Lee Li Pop