Initial Intentions Of Test Phase 1
The goals and intentions of Test Phase 1 were the following:
- Build the test sites.
- Generate traffic to the test sites.
- Measure the amount of work to get a site running and producing traffic to shops.
- Design an internet marketing campaign to promote test sites as well as shops.
- Initial estimation of costs in production.
The main goal being to generate traffic to the etsy shops to increase sales for the shop owners. By performing SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) techniques for both the test sites as well as the shops they point to, the traffic will be increased and the ranking of both the test sites and the shops will rise.
More traffic = more sales. By leveraging organic search results, the value of the visitors to the shop is raised. Likewise for the test sites. The reason for the higher value of visitors is because with organic search, the visitors are targeted, which means they are already interested in the items they find in the shop and on the websites because they were searching for them.
The value of the visitors being sent from the test sites to the shops is boosted even further because they are likely already interested in buying something they found on the test site and they are passing through to the shop in order to purchase and have a high potential to buy other items while in the shop. Conversion rates for these visitors is expected to be higher than visitors coming directly to the shop from a search engine result. Buyer intent is increased because they are essentially being pre-qualified by the test site.
What We Learned
The learning curve for setting up these test sites and performing the SEO on and off the sites and shops consisted of to main things:
1) Finding a balance of website content that will enhance the level of traffic attracted to the sites while at the same time not competing or taking away the potential of these visitors to visit the shops. This took a bit of research and ate up some time, but we did find what appears to be a good solution for the types of content to post on these sites.
2) The original plan was to perform SEO on the test sites as well as the shops themselves. This has been found to be very difficult given the goal of keeping costs low for the shop owner who is paying for this service. By performing SEO on the test sites as well as the shops, the costs and efforts are basically doubled. This will mean higher costs for our clients and extra work for myself and my team.
For the most part, everything is going to plan the way things were originally intended with the exception of only performing the backlinking campaigns and other off-site SEO techniques against the test sites and just send traffic to the shops. This will keep costs low for the shop owners who are paying for this service as well as
We are going to be focusing SEO efforts on the test sites alone and only funneling traffic from the sites. In other words, instead of building backlinks to the shops and the test sites, we are only building backlinks to the test sites. There are a few exceptions such as links that will likely be directly from video sites such as Youtube, but the main source of traffic will be directly from the test sites.
This will keep costs low without sacrificing the ultimate goal of generating traffic to the shops. This also adds an extra layer of protection for the shops as there is next to zero chances for any red flags being raised for the search engines.
NOTE ABOUT RED FLAGS: Sometimes when performing offsite SEO, it is possible to get negatively impacted by the search engines if things like the backlinking campaigns are too aggressive or unethical. While we try to make every effort to do things the right way and abide by best practices of internet marketing, there is no guarantee how some search engines will react since their decisions for ranking and indexing are proprietary to a large extent.