Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Sales Are Back to Norm!

After a slow spell there between mid-December and the first week or so of January (2-3 weeks, total), sales seem to be getting back to normal... which is NICE. I'm referring to my new 'affiliate site' which was just launched in November '04.

Here's the scoop:

Google now has 245 pages indexed, and Yahoo is showing 122. We are working on obtaining high quality Inbound Links every single day - consistently. Sometimes focusing on the main page of the site, other times on a particular category or product page. It takes time to get those links up, of course - while many of them are automated (using scripts), others are adding them manually. And then it takes time for the search engines to notice and count them, of course.

Well worth the wait, so we just keep working at it diligently. Adding the directory (LMA) has been a huge help, and a real time saver. Google has already indexed the directory, so once it begins to rank, much of the 'link exchange' process will be automated (as webmasters will approach us, instead of the other way around). With the automation of LMA, and it's reciprocal link checker, that will be a real plus.

The stats are looking good - traffic is way up from December. Showing 2,000 visitors during the entire month, versus almost 3,000 already for January (and it's only the 19th). Sales are decent - just about to pass the total from last month, and with almost 2 weeks to go. It would be nice to double sales from last month by the 31st.

Looking at my stats, there were 20 visitors this past week that came in through the same search term. A quick look shows that my product page is #1 on Google for that term (didnt find it in the top 40 on Yahoo). WordTracker doesnt show ANY daily searches for the term... but there must be a reason this particular product is popular all of a sudden. Very nice :)

In addition to continuing on with my SEO strategy, I also purchased a small add on a very popular site. I placed the ad specficially for one of the product pages - not the main site. It was inexpensive - $15 for the month, I believe - and a very high traffic site. Keeping my fingers crossed that brings good results ;)

I also decided to start an Adwords campaign for another product category. These items are higher priced, so the campaign should pay off nicely. They keywords are very competitive, but once the affiliate links begin dropping out (due to Google's new Affiliate Policy), my ads should move way up and get a lot more exposure. I'll keep a close eye on this one - it certainly seems to have a lot of potential.

All in all, things are moving along quite well. I've been looking at templates, but havent really decided on one that suits me. The site is very plain as it is, but is definitely 'clean' and easy to navigate. I'm up in the air on that decision, but considering a more 'fancy' look.

I'm also in the process of adding a mailing list, so that I can collect opt-ins. I'm going to set this up through my Aweber account this week, and hopefully add it to the site by the weekend. Originally I decided I didnt want to commit myself to managing a list for the site, but I'm reconsidering.

The problem is that a general 'newsletter' would be... well, too general. There are many categories and sub-categories, and most of them completely unrelated. The key to success with email marketing would be to set up a specific list for each category - and then perhaps send out updates or additions once a month.

Having 20 or 30 small (focused) lists would be much more profitable than one main list with a wide variety of interests. Seems like a lot of work, doesnt it? Of course, I wouldnt have to send out a "full newsletter" - perhaps just periodic updates.

So that's what's on the table at the moment, in a nutshell. Small steps, one day at a time, towards growing the site and the traffic - and the profit potential ;)