The Measure Of Success – E-Commerce Web

I learned this lesson in the early days of the Internet. I was in selling real estate at the time and specialized in commercial hospitality properties, such as bed and breakfasts and inns. I started building e-commerce websites in order to get beyond the local marketing in the newspaper and Multiple Listing Service (MLS) database. The only other option was taking out full-page color ads in magazines, which was a very costly proposition.At the end of a very profitable year, I reviewed the performance of the e-commerce website to see where I should invest my time and efforts in the next year. In that review, I found a concept that would change my life.I averaged about 40 leads a month from visitors who found the e-commerce website via search engines. I learned to rank well very early and applied these practices to rank for hundreds of terms in the search engines. Search engines provided about 80 percent of the traffic to my e-commerce website and hundreds of subscribers to my content. However, I did not make a single sale from those thousands of visitors. They were nice, big numbers-impressive but ineffective and unprofitable.My sales were all traced back to a single advertising link that I had purchased. That link was an advertisement for my e-commerce website on a bed-and-breakfast website directory. I purchased that link for $35 a year. A small investment yielded a thousandfold return.The lesson was reinforced as I learned to apply more marketing principles toward this new online channel. The right message in the right place to the right person can be more effective than high rankings, high visitor counts, and a great conversion rate:What counts, more than anything, is profit.Make It RightOne of my favorite shows to watch has been the Home & Garden Television channel’s Holmes on Homes. Mike Holmes is a contractor who fixes the additions, repairs, and incompetent work of other contractors. In doing so, he educates the homeowner and the viewer and advocates for better consumer rights against poor contractor workmanship.I am inspired by this show, because it mirrors my job in the online world, even to the point where I use many of the catchphrases of Holmes in my everyday work of evaluating and fixing e-commerce websites: Make it right.
Get it right the first time.
Rip it all out.
Gut it; start over.
Bring in the right people for the right job.When evaluating how e-commerce websites were programmed and built, it became apparent that so many were not built with marketing in mind. The misunderstanding of what search friendly meant and how it was interpreted made for a mess of code that never helped the companies that paid thousands of dollars for a website.Unfortunately, and unlike the home improvement industry, there is no licensing body overseeing website development and marketing. If someone builds a bad website, there is no way to recover, much less a decision-making authority that can judge a bad website.As Holmes has preached, the best way to protect yourself from a bad investment is to educate yourself and learn all the questions that you should ask. Prepare you to ask the right questions and have the right information with which to make better and more informed decisions about your e-commerce website and marketing strategy.

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