Setting Up an E-Commerce Shopping Cart Properly
Selling products or services online is a simple process and there are many options. However when thinking of adding a shopping cart to your site it is important that you get the basics right.
There are a number of free shopping carts available that can easily be installed via fantastico or softalicious which can be found in your cpanel. OS commerce, cubecart, roman cart and magento cart are the most common.
With os commerce the basic install is free and there are a load of add-ons free and paid as well as templates to change the shape and look of the site available to really make your e-commerce website stand out.
Most of them can be setup relatviely easily and look pretty good out of the box.
The thing to remember though, is if you want to sell online then your site has to look professional. You are trying to get people to part with their money and if your site is poorly designed, with spelling mistakes and poor content then you will not look credible and you will not make sales.
When I first started out I tried all of the free options to see which suited me best and I ended up using oscommerce. The website, www.glasstablesandchairs.com has, of course evolved over the years and still sits high on the first page of the search engines for a lot of highly competitive keywords. The back end of this site still uses oscommerce although the front page has been totally re-designed.
After setting up a number of e-commerce sites I now use interspire shopping cart. You can either pay for a hosted version or download and install onto your own servers.
I use the self hosted version personally but the hosted version is so easy and very fast to setup and get going.
The one thing about the interspire shopping cart is that it looks great right out of the box. It is easy to edit just drag and drop. Here is one of the latest ones that I helped to setup. www.loveyourwater.co.uk. This website was set up and running in a week-end.
The basic version is $395 and the ultimate is $1795. Not cheap but well worth every penny if you are serious about running an online business selling products or a variety of services.
The cost of interspire works out to be a lot less than it has cost to update and customise the glass tables website.
They have a free trial so you can test it out for yourself and I really recommend that you do. Check out the link below.
This is an affiliate link, so if you buy via this link I will receive a commission. You can go right to the site directly if your choose. You will pay the same amount but they will keep it all
If you DO buy through my link, I will be happy to help you set it up and answer any questions or queries you have via skype, phone or email. See, I am happy to work for my money :-)))))
Direct Holiday Investments Beating the System
If you do a search for Direct Holiday Investments in google you will see that there are around 4,500,000 results for that particular keyword phrase.
However if you type in the term “Direct Holiday Investments” using inverted commas that is looking for a phrase match there are no results in the SERPS at all.
This means ranking for the term Direct holiday investments is going to be easy.
Why is this important?
Well, when setting up a new company and you need a name or are looking for a new domain that you want to rank fast, then there are a few things that you need to think of now that never mattered before.
Traditionally, when searching for a company it was always in alphabetical order so you just went to the yellow pages and then looked down the pages in alphabetical order and bobs your uncle.
However, not only do more people now search for you on the internet they tend to use a search engine rather than a directory like yell or localpages. The search engines do not use alphabetical listings they use relevancy amongst other things.
This means that you have to do what you can to get the advantage. If you are going to advertise and promote the company name using traditional offline marketing methods then you really need to think of a name that you can rank for fast.
This means that once your name is out there and people start typing it into the major search engines you will be at the top of the SERPS in a flash which is always good when looking to generate more business from your website and build credibility and trust.
When people these days will do a search on your company name they want to find you and the higher up the SERPS you are the more people will trust you. This is because people trust the search engines. Google spend a lot of time promoting themselves as the credible search engine. IF they therefore rank your website highly then you in turn will benefit as this trust will rub off on you.
If you have a name that has millions of results then you will get lost in the crowd and if people have trouble finding you then you will lose a bit of credibility and trust.
Once you have come up with the name of the company in this case Direct Holiday Investments then you need to make sure that the domain is available.
In this case www.directholidayinvestments.com is available which means that we shoul dbe up the SERPS in no time.
I am about to go and buy this domain name and see how fast we can get it ranked in the top of the major search engines.
It is now 11.29 on the 20th September when I posted this article and it was indexed on the first page of google by 11.48. Not bad for a phrase with 4.5 million results.
I have just bought the domain name www.DirectHolidayInvestments.com so lets see how well we can rank for that and in what time period.
In the meantime search for Direct Holiday Investments and see for your self where we are in the rankings.
Mobile Search Marketing Is The Future
Ok, Ok, so I am being a little theatrical here, but there is no doubt that the massive growth of the smart phone and tablets has seen a growing differential between the number of searches done on the desktop computer and mobile devices. With this in mind it is important that if you have any type of business online or offline, then you must have a mobile marketing strategy.
Ensuring that your website can be viewed easily on a mobile phone as well as a desktop computer makes sure that you are ahead of your competitors, giving you the edge.
Text message marketing has been around for a long time and the drop in the price of setting up and running mobile messaging campaigns has made it more popular allowing small and medium businesses to take advantage of this very successful marketing method.
As mobile internet speeds have increased, so has the amount of time that people spend online, searching and even buying products and services.
Smart phones are now outselling standard phones by 5 to 1 and anyone ignoring these numbers will lose out in the near future, to those that take advantage of these numbers now.
Just think of how you, your friends and other members of your family use your mobile phones these days. We carry them with us 24/7 rarely do we switch them off.
Here are some of the most recent figures.
Mobile Phone search Figures
- 66% use mobile search while watching TV, something which should get advertisers thinking.
- 61% said they use it at work.
- 75% said mobile search makes their lives easier.
- 63% said access to mobile search has changed the way they gather information.
- 32% said they use Mobile search more than search engines on their computers.
- 84% use mobile search to look for information on local retailers, such as opening hours, address and contact details.
- 82% look for online retailers.
- 73% find a specific product or manufacturer website.
- 71% learn more about a product or service having seen an advert
- 68% use it to find the best price for a product.
Facebook is Top of the Mobile website
Don’t Be Scared of Keyword Competition
It does not matter how many competing websites there are for a particular keyword phrase, what matters is the strength of that competition.
To give you an example, lets consider you going into a motor race and there are 1000 cars in that race. That is a lot of competition and winning is going to be hard if all things are equal. Now, lets look at another perspective. The car you are driving is a formula one car and the others are all standard road saloon cars. Now, it does not matter how many other cars are in that race, you are going to win it.
The same goes for your niche and the keywords that you want to rank for.
If you are looking for a niche do not be scared of the competing pages, you need to look at the strength of the competition. Try and stay away from the niches that have tough and strong competitors. These include life insurance, credit repair, gambling or accident lawyers.
These markets are very lucrative and therefore have a lot of people and companies involved spending a lot if time and money. They also are up to date with all the latest techniques on how to rank well. You are racing against formula one cars with more experience and money than you.
If you are already in one of these tough niches then you have two choices, dump it and go for something else or dig deep and be prepared for a long drawn out and tough fight.
If you have any questions just ask them via my contact us page. I will do my best to help you.
How To Get Clickable Links on YouTube Videos
If you use video marketing then you need to know how to get clickable links on youtub videos.
Getting clickable links on youtube videos is really simple and free to do.
The one downside is that this method does not allow you to get links on you tube. However, you can embed your youtube videos into your blog or website and to other blogs and forums.
Clickable Links On YouTube Videos
Go to youtube and find the video that you want clickable links on and copy the end of the url see below.
Go to http://www.linkedtube.com/
Paste the code into the box and then button text which is what your viewers will see on the top right hand side of the video, then the url of the page you want to link to. I leave button mode as show always. Add your hover title and hover text.
You can view it at anytime by clicking preview. Once you have finished click on save and get code. You will then have a number of choices.
I use embed code. Copy this code and add it to your website or blog. Your video will appear with the links.
Getting clickable links on youtube videos is really easy to do. Try it and see for yourself.
It will help you get fast google rankings
There is a way to get clickable links on youtube videos on the youtube website. This is a bit more involved and will cost a couple of dollars but I will do a video of this process soon.
Clickable links on youtube videos
Keyword Research Choosing Effective Keywords – Get Traffic To Your Website
When it comes to keyword research, many of us when we first set out to build a website do not understand the importance of doing right from the start.
Setting up a website without doing keyword research or planning the structure around these keywords is like building a house without foundations or a set of plans.
Most of us know that it is important to write a business plan if we are going to setup a business and to have goals to aim for. Not everyone does it and I think that most who do not tend to fail. Not having a business plan is like setting sail on the ocean with no charts or navigational equipment, you will soon be lost at sea and lucky ever to see land again.
There is a saying “fail to plan and you plan to fail”
I believe that keyword research is as important as your business plan.
So how do you go about doing effective keyword research that will drive traffic to your blog or website?
Well, it is not as difficult as all that. It just takes time and a bit of a thought process.
If you are using wordpress to build a site, which I highly recommend, then building the structure is relatively easy, even for a beginner. The beauty of word press is that it already has the structure in place all you have to do is add the page names and all is done for you.
There are two type of keyword research that you need to do. The first is the theme keywords. These are the keywords that you would use for your website pages. The second ones are your money keywords.
Theme words are what people will use when they are looking for information on your topic or subject. I have seen many articles advising people not to bother with these but just to go for the buying or money keywords but I do not agree. Ranking for the information seeking keywords is as important in the long term future of a website. Becoming an authority on a subject will have a sustainable effect on your long term rankings.
Once you have the reputaion as an authority website then it becomes much easier to rank for the more valuable money keywords.
Lets say you were setting up a website about The Isle of Man. A small Island off of the West coast of England.
You could well have the following as your themed keywords.
- The Isle of Man
- Main Towns
- IOM Villages
- History of the Isle of Man
- The manx (search it for yourself 😉 )
- Isle of Man books
- Travel guide to the Isle of Man
- Things to Do on The Isle of Man
- Fishing on the Isle of Man
- Sea Fishing on IOM
- Fresh water fishing on the IOM
- Scuba Diving on the Isle of Man
- Places to dive on the Isle of Man
- Dive centres on the IOM
- Cycling Holidays on the Isle of Man
- Hiring a bike on the Isle of Man (link to relevant page on the Getting about section)
- The Isle of Man TT Race (a very famous annual motorbike race they have on the island)
- Getting to the Isle of Man
- Fast boat
- Swimming (only joking)
- Shopping on the Isle of Man
- Walking Holidays on the Isle of Man
- Night Life in the Isle of Man
- Places to Stay on the Isle of Man
- Isle of Man Hotels
- Guest Houses on the Isle of Man
- Campsites on the IOM
- Getting about on the Isle of Man
- Public Transport
- Private hire
- Hiring a Car
- Working on the IOM
- Type of jobs
- How to find a job on IOM
- Living on the Isle of Man
- Buying a house
- Legal requirements
- Cost of buying a house
- Estate agents details
- Renting a house
The above list covers a lot of the main themes that people will be looking for when they search for information on the Isle of Man. There are probably more that you can think of to add but this should give you the basic idea of what you need to do for your website. The bolded keywords are headings and the others are sub headings.
Once you create these pages then you need to add content. Some of the headings will only require a small amount of content.
The second type of keywords are the buying ones and these are far more important but without the first ones you will have difficulty getting found for these money keywords.
Some of them are also in the main page headings as you will see.
Keyword Research For Content
when you begin to add content then you will use keywords like.
- flights to the isle of man
- plane tickets for the isle of man
- booking a ferry to the isle of man
- scuba diving clubs on the isle of man
- cycling holidays
- bike rentals
- car hire companies
- booking a hotel
- where to stay in the IOM
These keywords are what people will use when they are closer to making a buying decision. Not only will you get traffic from google for these keywords but visitors to your site that see links to other parts of your website will also click through and go from information seekers to buyers.
This is quite a lengthy post and I hope it gets the main point across that you really MUST take the time to research your keywords before building your website.
As always if you have any questions or do not understand then just let me know on the contact us form and I will do my best to help.
Keyword research – An important part of SEO.
Recently our daughter Katie, has been really quite poorly. She has been in a lot of pain that has made her virtually housebound She was in hospital for two weeks where they did a number of tests and even removed her appendix which did not solve the problem. They diagnosed several possible causes even though it was clear from her symptoms that this was highly unlikely.
The hospital ruled out several possible causes based on unfounded facts. We were told that it could not be caused by one condition as she is only 14 and too young. It turns out after we did our own research that children as young as 11 can suffer from this particular problem. Unfortunately, this was not the cause of all her pain and so the Doctor was right, albeit more luck than an accurate diagnosis to rule it out.
The first thing that we realised was that they were carrying out tests in a linear fashion rather than in parallel. They would do a blood test and then wait for 2 days the results, then when that showed nothing they tested her urine and when that came back with E-coli they stopped all other tests and exploration while they treated her even though they were all in agreement that it was not and could not be the cause for the type of pain and in the area that it was.
There was no reason why she could not have carried out the scans and other tests during the 5 days she was in hospital being treated for this mild form of e-coli, which by the way had no symptoms or was causing her any problems. Apparently, we all carry the bacteria.
Whilst the surgical team were dealing with her pre and post op, the paediatric doctors did not get involved. Then when she was passed over to them they then repeated tests that they had already done which was another total waste of time.
On our last hospital visit they told us that it could be psychological and that she would just have to learn to live with the pain. As you can imagine we were fairly robust in our response.
I cannot imagine how they would even suggest that just because they had not found anything after numerous blood tests, scans and x-rays that there was nothing wrong and that it was all in her head!
My response was to ask how on earth they could consider stopping now. They had not explored every possible avenue and therefore surmising. Their opinion was ill informed and without the benefit of all the facts.
Katie has been poorly and in pain for around 9 weeks now and living on pain killers which is not good for a young girl.
We no longer put all of our trust in the doctors and consultants at the hospital. Now don’t get me wrong, the National Health in the United Kingdom is a fantastic thing and I am sure most of the staff try to do their best in what is an overcrowded, understaffed hospital which does not allow them to give the time needed to each patient. This leads to an inefficient system, they are fire fighting trying to do as many things as they can in the time they have. I would be very surprised if there were no serious incidents on occasions. We are lucky that although Katie is in a lot of pain sometimes, they are confident it is not serious or life threatening which is of course a blessing.
Obviously, we love and care for our daughter a great deal and after our experience with the medical teams, it is clear to us that there are major procedural problems at the hospital and this has lead to us carrying out as much research as we can on every possible cause based on her actual symptoms and made sure we questioned everything with the doctors in detail.
This has made a big difference and whilst we were told we would have to wait for another 4 or 5 weeks for an MRI scan we managed to get this moved forward and was done in 2 days!
We are now waiting for the results to see what if anything this has found. The next step is a CT scan which they do not like to do, especially on young children as it has high levels of radiation.
So, after this rather long winded post (rather therapeutic though ) It made me realise that if the Doctors, the ones we trust with our lives can be made to rethink with a bit of in depth questioning then surely we really should question everything when it comes to all aspects of your personal and business life too.
When, you read about these latest guru techniques and magic strategies don’t just take their word for it question their tactics in detail, don’t just blindly follow them.
So many of these courses are rehashed crap that is either flat out dangerous to implement, will never produce the income that justifies the time required to implement or just don’t work period.
If you are interested in a product and have been seduced by the sales letter as I often am ;-( drop them an email and ask as many in depth and pertinent questions as you can think of that are not answered in the sales letter.
Check to see if the stats and figures add up.
If they know their onions, it is a great product and they are really interested in helping you succeed then they will have no problems replying with the details that you are looking for.
Good luck and I will try to make the next post shorter, without the whinging and not so self indulgent…… No promises though…
How to Use Onlywire Properly
You need to know how to use onlywire properly if you are going to succeed.
If you are not careful you can spend all your time setting up the 42 accounts only to get them banned or cancelled very quickly.
What Does OnlyWire Do?
Onlywire will bookmark your web pages to a number of social bookmarking websites. You setup accounts on each of them and then add the url of the webpage you want to promote. Alternatively you can use a plugin that will help do this for you on autopilot.
On the face of it to use onlywire looks like a simple process and, in principal it is. However, you need to understand what it does and think the process through!
If you use one onlywire account and only bookmark the same urls’s the social bookmarking sites will cancel you account very quickly and maybe ban you too.
This means that all of your hard work will have gone to waste.
As with all your SEO efforts you need to make it all look as natural as possible.
How natural do you think it looks to have your website the only one that is bookmarked? The social bookmarking websites have plenty of checks in place to weed out those that are not using their service properly.
There are a number of ways to help ensure that you keep your accounts open and working for you.
To use onlywire properly and get the best results you need do the following.
Setup at least 2 different sets of accounts.
Setup two different onlywire accounts and then go to each bookmarking website and register with all of the bookmarking websites.
The more the merrier. Then, alternate the onlywire accounts when bookmarking.
Work With Other Friends Or Colleagues
An alternative to using multiple accounts is to work with a number of other trusted people that will ALL use the same onlywire account.
If there are 5 or 10 different people in different niches and markets using one account this will look far more natural.
As like anything that you do when you are doing SEO think it all through first and understand the full implications of what you are about to do.
Onlywire is a great tool but abuse it and you will find your efforts have been wasted.
If you have any questions or do not understand this fully then as always just send me a message from my contact form and I will do my best to help answer your query.
Google social search Is It A Game Changer
Google social search has been around since 2009 but it recently has had some recent changes. There is a good reason for this. Read on and you will see why.
The thing is, as internet marketers, we carry on with what we do and some of us spend a lot of time on SEO forums and blogs to try and understand the nuances of the latest search engine optimisation techniques and tricks.
Not all of the participants on these sites know anything at all about SEO, they just spout stuff that they have read on other sites or even worse, make it up as they go along. I always find it best to do my own tests and make up my own mind based on the results of my testing. I often find that different strategies can have varying effects depending on the types of websites and niches.
For example an technique that works really well for an e-commerce site will not work as well for a niche blog site.
A static site that is not updated on a regular basis can rank very well if you do certain things. Carrying out these same tasks on a blog will not have much impact. that is why testing is so important.
I read in an email from a supposed seo expert the other day that read “it if we could figure out the google algorithm then we could rank on the first page of google as easy as pie.”!!
Actually, google DO NOT hide the secret to first page results. It is simple but time consuming and takes a lot of effort. You have to produce and provide value for your visitor. Relevant information related to what the searcher is looking for.
Google even provide a whole section of their website dedicated to helping webmasters learn the basic of SEO the google way. here is the link google webmaster help
Few of us pay enough attention to the facts that are out there. This is because a lot of this information is hidden amongst lengthy technical data which can be difficult to dissect and gleem the golden nuggets.
For those that do spend time reading these long winded white papaers and the SEO news releases you will have seen the recent announcement by bing and facebook. They are going to fully integrate the social data from facebook into the bing search results.
Why is this link between facebook and bing so important?
Well after the announcement, Google made an almost instant repsonse and you can bet your bottom dollar that this will not be the last change.
This intergration will change the way that google brings back results. Especially if you use gmail and are usually logged into your google account when you use the google search.
Why is Google Social Search A Game Changer?
The changes to the google social search will change the way the search engines deliver results. This may not have an immediate effect on your rankings or traffic. However, over time it will do and so it is important that you take the time to understand what it is google social search does.
If you want to stay ahead or even get ahead of your competition then learn all you can about social searching and then take some action to ensure your website is the one that is served up to those searching for your product or service.
As always use the contact me page if you have any questions, I will be happy to helo if I can.
Here is the video
Mark my words the next thing that will be hot all over the forums will be google social search.
Search engine optimisation is about so many things. You will read many different theories on the rights and wrongs of ranking your website, design factors, on page optimisation, W3C compliance and the like.
The thing is this can all be done over time and I would always recommend that you first get it up (if you pardon the pun) and then work on getting it right.
When trying to rank your website in the search engines, produce a new product or even to design a new website, the first thing is to get it up and out there.
Whilst of course it is important to get it right waiting for perfection is a problem we should try and live without.
Every time I look at my website I find of something that I think I can improve. I also get comments from visitors either praise or criticism which is great. Any form of feedback is very much appreciated as they have taken the time to put finger to keyboard and type me a message.
I have tried many different ways to make the site better. Most of the improvements these days revolve around faster speeding times as this makes a difference to my google rankings and, of course, the visitor experience.
Over time, I believe that my website has improved in the way it looks and the overall onpage search engine optimisation.IT is still far from perfect but, I think that it is doing ok. It ranks well for a number of highly competitive terms with very few backlinks.
However much you are tempted to wait until everything is just right, I suggest you get your site online or your product launched as soon as possible and you will reap the benefits.
As always if you have any questions or comments then do not hesitate to email me via my contact us form.