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The website that grew, part 10

7th March 2013
Categories: google, seo, tWtG

(for previous episodes, try the "The website that grew" category)

Nancy was surprisingly willing to trust Kate's judgement, but had a few questions.

"Can you tell me what factors might prevent the shop from taking 500 online orders every month?"

"I suppose - if people don't find us, or find a cheap competitor, or find a competitor's website easier to use."

"OK, those seem like they might be real difficulties."

"We're investing money with Hugh; he's going to make sure that the website is found."

"Hmm, it doesn't say that on the cost breakdown."

"OK, I'll ask him about that."

"And what about competitors?"

"We need to put effort into the website to make sure it's providing great value, great service, and it's unique.  I think we've learned our lesson there."

"But your job..."

"I'm going to get John and Martin on board.  They can make updates when they're not serving in the shop.  And I will check up on them at least once a week."

"You're very keen on this."

"Yes, I suppose I am.  Seeing what Hugh's done in the past, I can see us running a successful online business here."

Nancy asked if Kate had spoken to her husband John about the proposed developments.  Kate told her that she really wanted Nancy's agreement in principle first, and so Nancy agreed to go ahead with the idea as long as they had a manageable budget for search engine work, and if John was happy.

Hugh proposed a mixture of Google ads and what he called "natural search".  

Google ads appear on the right hand side of the search results whenever you conduct a search on Google, and sometimes at the top.  For your ad to appear, you must bid on a price per click - whether it's 10p or £1, it's your choice.  But you only pay when your ad is clicked.  You can make the ad appear for a number of different search phrases or partial phrases, and you can create different ads and watch how they convert into sales.  For example an ad that advertised your product as "cheap" may get lots of clicks but not generate any sales - so normally you will run diferent ads and compare their performance before whittling them down.

"Natural search" refers to all of the results that are not advertisements.  Google will quickly run through the web pages it knows that are relevant to the search phrase that has been typed, and compare them, for importance and relevance, before displaying them in an order derived from that comparison.  To become more important and relevant takes work on the website copy and structure, and looking at how other websites refer to and trust the website you're trying to promote.

Hugh proposed a sliding scale of costs, starting with a small dip into Google Ads to test the water.  At last Nancy was happy with the proposed costs and Kate spoke to John.

John was happy too, so the work began.

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