Author Topic: Trying to start an E-commerce site - need some feedback  (Read 642 times)

Frznrth

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Trying to start an E-commerce site - need some feedback
« on: January 24, 2019, 07:39:52 AM »
Hi
I'm a speech therapist.  I started this site, www.speech-therapyathome.com to try to sell speech therapy programs to parents.  A few months ago you were all kind enough to give me some good ideas on how to improve my site.  I've done what I can to improve it.

I've done a little advertising on Facebook - enough I think to know that it still needs work - Hardly anyone ever buys. 

I would appreciate it if you could take a quick look and give me your first impressions.  Does my site create a sense of "trust" and or "buy in"? 

I am working on fixing the pictures at the bottom so they aren't cut off - So far I haven't figured this out. 

Any comments would be welcomed.

Thanks for your time. 
« Last Edit: January 24, 2019, 08:01:06 AM by Frznrth »

tralfamadorian

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Re: Trying to start an E-commerce site - need some feedback
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2019, 08:07:26 AM »
It looks good! A few suggestions:

- You mention the acronym SLP several times. I would either write out speech language pathologist or identify what SLP means once per page.

- You mention your extensive experience in the area but use an avatar instead of your real name. When you’re selling a product, IMO it is necessary to identify yourself by name and general location. I would also expand that initial paragraph with a couple extra sentences around your expertise (how many thousands of children have you helped, etc).

- The photo collage at the top does not make a good impression. I would look for one photo that feels more authentic instead of those taken against a blue screen and photoshopped to death.

Frznrth

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Re: Trying to start an E-commerce site - need some feedback
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2019, 12:34:15 PM »
Hi
Thanks for the input.

I didn't realized I was using SLP without explaining it.  Good point.

Not giving my name I'm sure is a huge disadvantage.  I work for govt. health where I do this therapy for free with families.  Technaically selling this service to someone who could come get it for free is an issue - maybe.  I should probably see if giving my name would be a real problem or not - I was trying to play it safe. 

I made the collage to try to show that I was helping kids to "grow".  I'm not sure how else to represent this.  An actual photo of three kids together rather than collaged?  or something different entirely?  Maybe a pic of a parent working/talking to their child?

Smokystache

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Re: Trying to start an E-commerce site - need some feedback
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2019, 01:18:46 PM »
Here's a couple of thoughts (I also have an online site and am beginning to sell an online course, if that helps)

- Too many options on the home page - the viewer is overwhelmed. They are facing 6 different menu headings, each with several options. Make it easy for them to follow a path to buy: (for example)
Step one - here's a video to let you know if you should be concerned about your child's speech (common speech problems)
Step two - here are a few free tips and helpful techniques
Step three - here are some guides you can purchase to help these problems

Other big concern: You don't have a lead magnet to get their email address and a way to continue marketing to them directly. Literally every person I know who sells a service like this has a way to get prospective buyer's email addresses

In essence, I'm not seeing a well-crafted "funnel" where you take a prospect, educate them about their challenges, provide them with some valuable information, educate them about how your product solves their problem, and then ask for a sale. I'd highly recommend "Launch" by Jeff Walker &  "Expert Secrets" by Russell Brunson. Despite the slightly scammy sounding titles, these books will help you create a funnel to sales while delivering free content and value to those who do and don't buy.


I wouldn't sell on your home page. Give value here. Have there be one or two buttons to take the to the next "step" make it easy for them to follow a path that ends with them buying a product.

Other comments:
- I'd change "My opinions" to something more authoritative. You're a professional with professional training. You don't have "opinions," you have "expertise" - Actually, given that this would allow you to reduce the number of headers, I'd drop this and create a blog post or video that summarizes the information that you could include in your email sequence .


Second to Last thing: You've got to create some videos. Video is where it is at. Your competitor can write an amazing book and if you create second-best videos, you'll still sell more than the book. Many people don't want to read (besides, speech is a performance activity). So create a course with decent videos in it and you can:
1) charge a premium over written materials, and
2) you'll sell more

Last thing: You will need to make a decision about whether you can add your name to this. Is it illegal or against a contract to offer your services to those who pay? You mentioned above that families could come get these services for free - but that may not be true in the state they live in. What if this family is in rural North Dakota and their state doesn't pay for these services or they can't drive in to town to use the service? Or maybe they have another reason for not taking advantage of state services. If you feel guilty about it, then create a video or blog post that says "Hey! You might be eligible for free services. So be sure to check on that. But in the meantime, I have some great self-diagnostic videos and some techniques every parent can use to help their child." 
Make a decision about whether its ok to do this or not. If so, put your name, picture, bio, and a video of yourself up so that you can build a relationship with your audience.

Hope this doesn't sound harsh - good luck with everything!



Frznrth

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Re: Trying to start an E-commerce site - need some feedback
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2019, 06:41:45 PM »
Thank you very much for all of that advice.  Lots to think about.  I will check out the books that you mentioned.  Last time someone suggested the Don't make me think book - that had some great ideas too.

I like the funnel idea.  I'll see what I can do.

Videos might be harder - maybe - they definitely would be a good draw and add value.

I do agree that the my opinions section isn't helpful.  I'll get rid of it.

Thanks again. 

patrickza

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Re: Trying to start an E-commerce site - need some feedback
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2019, 03:04:51 AM »
I'm not a huge fan of the domain to be honest. I prefer to either have all dashes or no dashes. With it mixed it looks a little off. How about: home-speech-therapy.com or <cityname>speechtherapy?

Frznrth

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Re: Trying to start an E-commerce site - need some feedback
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2019, 07:33:28 AM »
Thanks  I know the domain isn't ideal.  It seemed like the best choice at the time.  I have a year with it already though so I would rather not change now. I hear age helps with SEO

civil4life

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Re: Trying to start an E-commerce site - need some feedback
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2019, 07:51:16 AM »
The biggest thing is getting the contact information.  One of the easiest ways to do this would be to take the Helpful Ideas tab and make it into a free ebook or newsletter email.  You have 3 key areas on that page.  Some ideas "Easy Home tips"  "Top 10" tips xxx."  You could make a series of 3 emails over a couple weeks.  Once you have that setup then completely remove that information from the website.  This could easily be done with the Great Sites Page as well.  Also that may sound better as "Resources".  Sounds a little more authoritative.

Next I would incorporate the testimonials throughout the home page and buying page.  That will eliminate another page.  Also, if the person is willing it sounds a bit more real if you maybe put a state or country. 

When you give people all the options of different products they get distracted trying to figure out which one to buy.  I think if you consolidated it into a single book it makes the decision for the buyer.  If you do that you may share a TOC or a sample lesson that is in the book.  Again potentially offering something for free in exchange for the contact information.  The other option maybe is to sell it as a bundle.  Is one book more comprehensive and the others add-ons?  If that is the case you can do something like this...When you buy A you get X, Y, and Z free.

Doing this eliminates all except the home page and the Contact Page.  It gets rid of the distractions, that take people away from buying the book.  On the single home page create multiple links to the purchase page.

Here is an example of what I am talking about.

https://shivshenoy.teachable.com/p/pmp-exam-last-mile-prep-pro-for-pmbok-6/


« Last Edit: January 25, 2019, 03:46:08 PM by civil4life »

Frznrth

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Re: Trying to start an E-commerce site - need some feedback
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2019, 09:06:07 AM »
Thanks - those are all good ideas.  I was hoping to simply offer a helpful product at a fair price along with some good free advice and info to parents.  I don't know if I could pull off the whole gathering contact info thing.  I have given my contact info to several other sites that are a bit similar to mine.  One I don't mind - she does it well and offers good free info along with the option to buy more in-depth - I have actually bought her resources.  The other though just seems spammy - I haven't and likely won't buy from her.  It must also be more work to keep something in this format running and current.  I was dreaming of just adding a couple of blog posts here and there and collecting a few sales.  Doesn't seem that easy.  Definitely something to think about.
Thanks again for your time and advice. 

civil4life

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Re: Trying to start an E-commerce site - need some feedback
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2019, 01:20:07 PM »
Using of others contact information can be a conduit for whatever you want.  Updating on new research, blog posts, or new products. 

You kind of have mixed goals.  1. An e-commerce site 2. an informational site.  Yes you can combine them, but it most likely would not optimize either of them.  You could always have the e-commerce  site and a completely separate site that is not linked to the other to provide resources.

Frznrth

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Re: Trying to start an E-commerce site - need some feedback
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2019, 07:27:55 AM »
I was hoping the Info side of the site would help draw people in.  Come look at an article or two and then maybe buy a program.  I'm still not sure about collecting email - Id rather not be "that site" - but it might something to consider down the road. 
Thanks for the help.

AlexMar

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Re: Trying to start an E-commerce site - need some feedback
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2019, 09:48:52 AM »
I'm not a fan of Facebook advertising for most businesses, especially one like yours.  AdWords/Bing would be more effective.  Facebook you are just randomly advertising to groups who "may have higher interest" - on a search engine, you are advertising to people specifically looking for what you are selling.

The thing about AdWords is that it's a true competition.  Are you as good or better than your competitors?  If you can't make the numbers work, then your site and pitch needs work.  Start VERY carefully with a very low budget and collect data.  Learn the different between exact/broad/phrase match, etc.  Track conversions.  AdWords is like an ATM if used correctly and it's worth learning it.

Frznrth

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Re: Trying to start an E-commerce site - need some feedback
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2019, 06:44:39 PM »
Thanks.  I did try ad words a few months ago.  I'll try again next.  I haven't had any success with Facebook - least not yet. 

AlexMar

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Re: Trying to start an E-commerce site - need some feedback
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2019, 05:44:50 AM »
Thanks.  I did try ad words a few months ago.  I'll try again next.  I haven't had any success with Facebook - least not yet.

It may not be what you want to hear, but I have generally felt that if you can't succeed using AdWords, then you don't have a real business (generally speaking).  It's the purest form of competition.  You are competing with others exactly in your space, for people who are looking for exactly what you are selling.  If you can't make a profit on that, then you need to re-evaluate the business, your pitch, lead generation, etc.  You (generally) need to be able to spend money on advertising and generate more business than the advertising costs.  If you can't do that, you don't have a business.  It's not my intention to sound negative, but what I'm trying to get you to think about is your landing page, lead generation, maybe the keywords you are selecting, etc.  Go extremely targeted.  Bid low.  If it's using your entire budget, bid lower.  Exact match for VERY specific keywords/phrases that have a high likelihood of someone needing your service.  As opposed to someone merely researching speech therapy, for example.  Start there.  If you can't get incredibly highly targeted traffic to convert in a meaningful way, then you need to be working on your sales pitch and website more.

The beautiful thing about this, is that once you start figuring the formula out - you slowly ramp it up.  Becomes like an ATM.  Where you give Google the biggest budget you can because it's converting like crazy.  Just need to slowly and carefully work out the formula (site design/lead generation + keywords).

neo von retorch

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Re: Trying to start an E-commerce site - need some feedback
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2019, 06:48:36 AM »
I didn't see it mentioned, so here's one little thing - if you have complete control over the code, fix the navigation image/logo and any others that are pointing to http:// and not https://, as most modern web browsers will put up a little "alert" icon in the address bar, rather than a nice green lock. Some people could be hesitant to enter payment information if the site doesn't seem "totally secure."

(I know that images being sent over HTTP doesn't actually affect security, but it's more about presentation.)