Author Topic: How to grow my business?  (Read 1652 times)

markram

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How to grow my business?
« on: December 29, 2020, 02:45:56 PM »
Hi everyone,

I tried checking if a post like this is allowed, but couldn't find anything. Mods, if this post breaks any rules, feel free to remove it.

I currently run 2 websites - a Personal Finance site and a Gift site. While I've had some modest success with the Personal Finance site, I haven't been able to replicate that success with the Gift site.

I've compared my content to the content that ranks on Google, and in my (biased) opinion, it matches up well. However, none of the 70+ articles on the site have managed to rank.

When I use Google CPC on this site, the results are actually pretty good - people are staying on the page for a long time, clicking links to the gifts I recommend, and interacting with the site how I envisioned they should. For example, This Gag Gift Article has the following metrics from CPC clicks:

-an Average Time On Page score of 24:31
-Over half of users scrolling to at least the 50% mark of the page (and around 40% get to 75%)
-Well over half of my users click at least 1 link on the page

In my experience, these metrics mean the page has content that users enjoy. However, that hasn't been enough for this page (or any page, for that matter) to rank in Google.

Does anyone have any ideas about what I can do?

v8rx7guy

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Re: How to grow my business?
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2020, 04:08:39 PM »
Hi everyone,

I tried checking if a post like this is allowed, but couldn't find anything. Mods, if this post breaks any rules, feel free to remove it.

I currently run 2 websites - a Personal Finance site and a Gift site. While I've had some modest success with the Personal Finance site, I haven't been able to replicate that success with the Gift site.

I've compared my content to the content that ranks on Google, and in my (biased) opinion, it matches up well. However, none of the 70+ articles on the site have managed to rank.

When I use Google CPC on this site, the results are actually pretty good - people are staying on the page for a long time, clicking links to the gifts I recommend, and interacting with the site how I envisioned they should. For example, This Gag Gift Article has the following metrics from CPC clicks:

-an Average Time On Page score of 24:31
-Over half of users scrolling to at least the 50% mark of the page (and around 40% get to 75%)
-Well over half of my users click at least 1 link on the page

In my experience, these metrics mean the page has content that users enjoy. However, that hasn't been enough for this page (or any page, for that matter) to rank in Google.

Does anyone have any ideas about what I can do?

I'm a fellow entrepreneur in the gifting space.  I feel your pain... it's a rough space to be in and difficult to rank.  I finally ranked on the first page of Google (results #2 and #3 for my best search words/phrases) right before this Christmas season and it was game changing.  It took almost exactly 3 years to get there... and I tried a LOT of the tricks (meta data, tagging, keywords all over the place, back links, etc.) .  I am not sure if this is documented or not, but I could SWEAR that Google has some sort of 3 year waiting period or something.  I did not make any changes at all and the all of a sudden BANG I was on the first page and people started finding me organically and it made a massive difference in my sales this season.  The only other thing I can think of is that I spent some time on my Google Business page and my ranking started when I got 2 or 3 positive reviews for my site.

To me, it sounds like you're doing all the right things.  How long has your site been around?  Do you have a Google Business page populated?  If you can be profitable using Adwords or Facebook ads for a few year, just keep slogging away, that's my best advice.  Best part is people start to come back too.

Here is my site if you care to check it out:  www.washingtoninabox.com

You should be able to find me on google for "washington gift box", "washington gifts" and hopefully "made in washington"... the last one is my big competitor and it's tough to steal business from them, but I am pretty sure I am at this point!  I haven't checked out your site yet since I don't feel like following your link at work, but I'll check it out later.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2020, 04:10:54 PM by v8rx7guy »

markram

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Re: How to grow my business?
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2020, 07:08:04 PM »
I'm a fellow entrepreneur in the gifting space.  I feel your pain... it's a rough space to be in and difficult to rank.  I finally ranked on the first page of Google (results #2 and #3 for my best search words/phrases) right before this Christmas season and it was game changing.  It took almost exactly 3 years to get there... and I tried a LOT of the tricks (meta data, tagging, keywords all over the place, back links, etc.) .  I am not sure if this is documented or not, but I could SWEAR that Google has some sort of 3 year waiting period or something.  I did not make any changes at all and the all of a sudden BANG I was on the first page and people started finding me organically and it made a massive difference in my sales this season.  The only other thing I can think of is that I spent some time on my Google Business page and my ranking started when I got 2 or 3 positive reviews for my site.

To me, it sounds like you're doing all the right things.  How long has your site been around?  Do you have a Google Business page populated?  If you can be profitable using Adwords or Facebook ads for a few year, just keep slogging away, that's my best advice.  Best part is people start to come back too.

Here is my site if you care to check it out:  www.washingtoninabox.com

You should be able to find me on google for "washington gift box", "washington gifts" and hopefully "made in washington"... the last one is my big competitor and it's tough to steal business from them, but I am pretty sure I am at this point!  I haven't checked out your site yet since I don't feel like following your link at work, but I'll check it out later.

Thanks for the advice! I'm definitely gonna keep doing what I'm doing. I get that the gift niche is tough, but I was hoping to rank for some of the easier, lower volume keywords - unfortunately that hasn't happened so far.

The site has been running for about 7 months. Yes, it's still very new, and I definitely am not close to giving up yet. I was just hoping to have seen a bit more results wise by now based on my previous site and based on what others have told me.

I checked out your site - it looks good! Hopefully I can follow in your footsteps and get a huge increase in traffic some day :)

Kroaler

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Re: How to grow my business?
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2020, 08:33:01 AM »
I keep hoping that one day an MMM SEO superstar emerges in this space like SeattleCPA is to the accounting space.

Hasn't happened yet, but I keep hoping.  Obviously you don't know what you don't know... 

I played around with Ahref and Semrush for a while.  Not sure if you've heard of them.

If the above poster hit rank 2 on anything, go them and obviously they sort of understand the rankings.

I've always read that your backlink profile is super important, not sure if that's still relevant.  Have you used tools like Ahref so you can see exactly why your competition is outranking you?

v8rx7guy

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Re: How to grow my business?
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2020, 09:07:22 AM »
So I checked out your link and I'm a little confused.  Do you own the Amazon store that you are linking to in your article?  Or is your business a referral-type business where you get a cut when someone clicks a link or makes a purchase at Amazon?

markram

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Re: How to grow my business?
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2020, 11:56:30 AM »
So I checked out your link and I'm a little confused.  Do you own the Amazon store that you are linking to in your article?  Or is your business a referral-type business where you get a cut when someone clicks a link or makes a purchase at Amazon?

The second one is correct - my site is an Affiliate Marketing site.

markram

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Re: How to grow my business?
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2020, 11:59:08 AM »
I keep hoping that one day an MMM SEO superstar emerges in this space like SeattleCPA is to the accounting space.

Hasn't happened yet, but I keep hoping.  Obviously you don't know what you don't know... 

I played around with Ahref and Semrush for a while.  Not sure if you've heard of them.

If the above poster hit rank 2 on anything, go them and obviously they sort of understand the rankings.

I've always read that your backlink profile is super important, not sure if that's still relevant.  Have you used tools like Ahref so you can see exactly why your competition is outranking you?

Yeah, I've played around with Ahrefs quite a bit. The issue is it's almost impossible to build high quality links without breaking any of Google's rules unless you're at the top of search results. But links are one of the ways you GET to the top of search results, so it's a bit of a catch-22.

Many claim that links don't matter as much as content. It's hard to determine exactly how much each factor matters, but I'd definitely assume that you're right and my lack of links play a part in my struggles.

v8rx7guy

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Re: How to grow my business?
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2020, 12:12:43 PM »
I keep hoping that one day an MMM SEO superstar emerges in this space like SeattleCPA is to the accounting space.

Hasn't happened yet, but I keep hoping.  Obviously you don't know what you don't know... 

I played around with Ahref and Semrush for a while.  Not sure if you've heard of them.

If the above poster hit rank 2 on anything, go them and obviously they sort of understand the rankings.

I've always read that your backlink profile is super important, not sure if that's still relevant.  Have you used tools like Ahref so you can see exactly why your competition is outranking you?

Yeah, I've played around with Ahrefs quite a bit. The issue is it's almost impossible to build high quality links without breaking any of Google's rules unless you're at the top of search results. But links are one of the ways you GET to the top of search results, so it's a bit of a catch-22.

Many claim that links don't matter as much as content. It's hard to determine exactly how much each factor matters, but I'd definitely assume that you're right and my lack of links play a part in my struggles.

Wow... 'ahrefs' is $99-$1,000/mo.  I have actually never heard of it, I'll be looking into it a bit this long weekend to see if it's worth laying out that kind of money!

SeattleCPA

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Re: How to grow my business?
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2020, 01:59:06 PM »
I keep hoping that one day an MMM SEO superstar emerges in this space like SeattleCPA is to the accounting space.

Hasn't happened yet, but I keep hoping.  Obviously you don't know what you don't know... 

I played around with Ahref and Semrush for a while.  Not sure if you've heard of them.

If the above poster hit rank 2 on anything, go them and obviously they sort of understand the rankings.

I've always read that your backlink profile is super important, not sure if that's still relevant.  Have you used tools like Ahref so you can see exactly why your competition is outranking you?

Wait, what?! :-)

Michael in ABQ

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Re: How to grow my business?
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2020, 02:07:58 PM »
I keep hoping that one day an MMM SEO superstar emerges in this space like SeattleCPA is to the accounting space.

Hasn't happened yet, but I keep hoping.  Obviously you don't know what you don't know... 

I played around with Ahref and Semrush for a while.  Not sure if you've heard of them.

If the above poster hit rank 2 on anything, go them and obviously they sort of understand the rankings.

I've always read that your backlink profile is super important, not sure if that's still relevant.  Have you used tools like Ahref so you can see exactly why your competition is outranking you?

Yeah, I've played around with Ahrefs quite a bit. The issue is it's almost impossible to build high quality links without breaking any of Google's rules unless you're at the top of search results. But links are one of the ways you GET to the top of search results, so it's a bit of a catch-22.

Many claim that links don't matter as much as content. It's hard to determine exactly how much each factor matters, but I'd definitely assume that you're right and my lack of links play a part in my struggles.

Wow... 'ahrefs' is $99-$1,000/mo.  I have actually never heard of it, I'll be looking into it a bit this long weekend to see if it's worth laying out that kind of money!

I follow the online marketing space quite a bit an Ahrefs and SEMrush are considered to be among the best SEO tools and fairly comparable. $1,200/year is a lot for the cheapest plan, but if you're serious about SEO one of these types of tools is probably necessary. Obviously if you have a website making $500 a year it doesn't make a lot of sense - unless you're trying to grow it to make more and willing to invest the time and money.

v8rx7guy

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Re: How to grow my business?
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2020, 02:20:18 PM »
I keep hoping that one day an MMM SEO superstar emerges in this space like SeattleCPA is to the accounting space.

Hasn't happened yet, but I keep hoping.  Obviously you don't know what you don't know... 

I played around with Ahref and Semrush for a while.  Not sure if you've heard of them.

If the above poster hit rank 2 on anything, go them and obviously they sort of understand the rankings.

I've always read that your backlink profile is super important, not sure if that's still relevant.  Have you used tools like Ahref so you can see exactly why your competition is outranking you?

Yeah, I've played around with Ahrefs quite a bit. The issue is it's almost impossible to build high quality links without breaking any of Google's rules unless you're at the top of search results. But links are one of the ways you GET to the top of search results, so it's a bit of a catch-22.

Many claim that links don't matter as much as content. It's hard to determine exactly how much each factor matters, but I'd definitely assume that you're right and my lack of links play a part in my struggles.

Wow... 'ahrefs' is $99-$1,000/mo.  I have actually never heard of it, I'll be looking into it a bit this long weekend to see if it's worth laying out that kind of money!

I follow the online marketing space quite a bit an Ahrefs and SEMrush are considered to be among the best SEO tools and fairly comparable. $1,200/year is a lot for the cheapest plan, but if you're serious about SEO one of these types of tools is probably necessary. Obviously if you have a website making $500 a year it doesn't make a lot of sense - unless you're trying to grow it to make more and willing to invest the time and money.

I'm in the 10's of thousands currently... maybe worth the free trial :)

Kroaler

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Re: How to grow my business?
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2020, 07:40:57 AM »
That was me.  I utilized the free trial and learned to use it pretty quickly if say.   I was able to see why my competition was out ranking me and also found some handy places to try and build links when I have time.

But more importantly I was able to calculate the time and effort it would take to build a strong organic search presence.  - Ultimately it's not the best marketing spend for me at this time.  I'm going to stay in the PPC space for now because at my current revenue it's a better ROI coupled with customer referral bonuses. 

Maybe later when my PPC click monthly cost is higher it will make sense to invest heavily in the organic search.   But for now my math doesn't support it.

Kroaler

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Re: How to grow my business?
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2020, 07:49:08 AM »
I meant to mention customer acquisition cost.

Do you know yours?

For PPC mine is about 17$ (being super aggressive)

For referral it's about 10$.

So it makes sense to pour more into referrals. 

For my business referral marketing is on exponential growth while ppc has remained consistent.     So in the beginning it was 70/ 30  ppc to referral.   Now it's 40/60.   My goal is to get 90% new customers from referral since it's cheaper per.

I did the math (and I don't remember it from my phone) - but building organic searches to the volume I wanted was going to cost more than my 10$ and 17$ per customer acquisition  even doing everything myself.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2021, 08:05:57 AM by Kroaler »

v8rx7guy

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Re: How to grow my business?
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2020, 08:06:39 PM »
I meant to mention customer acquisition cost.

Do you know yours?

For PPC mine is about 17$ (being super aggressive)

For referral it's about 10$.

So it makes sense to poor more into referrals. 

For my business referral marketing is on exponential growth while ppc has remained consistent.     So in the beginning it was 70/ 30  ppc to referral.   Now it's 40/60.   My goal is to get 90% new customers from referral since it's cheaper per.

I did the math (and I don't remember it from my phone) - but building organic searches to the volume I wanted was going to cost more than my 10$ and 17$ per customer acquisition  even doing everything myself.

I think you're referring to the OP, but just for another data point, mine is about $5.  On FB, I see a $0.10 CPC and a conversion ratio of a out 2%.  With Adwords I see more like a $0.50 CPC but a much higher conversion like 10%.  My transactions are only about $50 so that actually represents a decent chunk of my potential profits though.  @Kroaler I am assuming your are referring to the beauty shop (?) Space you have talked about in the past?
« Last Edit: December 31, 2020, 08:09:52 PM by v8rx7guy »

Kroaler

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Re: How to grow my business?
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2021, 08:22:43 AM »
Yes. It's interesting that your cost per is only 5$.  But like you said 50$ sale.

For my industry i say average ticket hovers around 70$, however, there's alot of repeat business so the acquisition cost isn't so bad, and then they go send someone else.

(Got that one from "the one page marketing plan" - one of the key points is to have your customers bring you more customers)

I haven't done much with facebook, but on AdWords I have around 6-12% click through, depending on outdoor weather. (It was like 1% in the beginning. I've tweaked the campaigns alot) I dislike the "smart" campaigns, I get substantially worse results then the harder to set up normal search campaigns.  I also don't use Google's partner network or even youtube as it wasn't converting well and was wasting money, almost intentionally it seemed....

The next digital space I want to use commercially is instagram.   I did the math on if I should use an Influencer with 50k followers or so or use instagram PPC and again the PPC came out the better value.   I must mention, in my early back of the napkin calculation, instagram advertising cost appears 1.5-2x as much as AdWords.


At OP - This won't help you with digital sales and SEO specifically - But check out "the one page marketing plan" I recommend it for everyone who wants to have a business.