Yahoo Stores: Internet Marketing Plan

You know, I've been building, maintaining, and fixing Yahoo Stores for small business folks for over 5 years. I've researched, designed, maintained, analyzed, and/or owned and operated over 300 Yahoo! Stores since the Viaweb days in April 1997.

How Do I Get More Traffic?

"How do I get more traffic" is my most frequently asked question. The answer is pretty simple: Internet Marketing.

Knowing what to do is hard enough, and implementing it is another thing entirely!

What is Internet Marketing? It's pretty much anything you do using the internet to drive customers to your website. Most folks think it's getting ranked in the top ten in search engines "Search Engine Optimization (or SEO)." That's an important part of what we do, but there's a lot more to it than that.

Internet Marketing includes getting listed in Search Engines, buying Directory listings, bidding in Pay-Per-Click programs, and opting in the Yahoo! Shopping database. It also includes writing good META tags, email marketing, referal programs, cross-linking strategies, creating affiliate programs, buying banner campaigns (or maybe not!), and looking at site sponsorships, e-mail newsletters, content creation, and more!


Keywords

The MOST IMPORTANT THING about Internet Marketing is knowing the most popular search terms buyers use to find what you sell! These are your Top 20 KEYWORD PHRASES.

Once you know what exact KEYWORD PHRASES your customers are looking for, you can do everything you can to make your site come up as high as possible in the search results for those specific words and phrases in the directories, search engines, and pay-per-click results. You can also track these results and compare how well you rank with your traffic and sales. When you know what your Top 20 KEYWORD PHRASES are, you don't have to worry about every single word.

One of my clients is #1 on Google for her #1 keyword phrase, a brand name of a particular girls' toy. She was a little concerned when she wasn't on the first page of search results for a very specific keyword phrase, so she gave me a holler. We did a quick check and the GOTO/Overture tool said: "No suggestions for ___." No one was looking for this particular keyword phrase, so it didn't matter! The main thing is to be highly ranked for WORDS THAT COUNT. (how do you do that?)

"How do I discover my TOP 20 KEYWORD PHRASES?"

There are two place to look to find your TOP 20 KEYWORD PHRASES :

Look Inside - Look at your log files / references to see what phrases are already drawing traffic. These phrases are already working for you. Yahoo! Store owners should look at MANAGER > References > Details to see what the top KEYWORD PHRASES are in your existing Yahoo! Store. You can rank these by sales, orders, and traffic. Usually your top ten sources of traffic are the best to look at. You can get a pretty good idea of your better words in about 15 minutes, but I usually spend up to four or five hours to consolidate all of the data. [See KEYWORD DATAMINING]

Look Outside. Use whatever internet resources you can to find ALL relevant keyword phrases. This includes keyword databases, search engine "related results," related sites' meta tags & keywords, competitors' pay-per-click lists, industry-related sites, glossaries, manufacturer sites with brand and product names, synonym generators, and anything else you can think of using.

This new list will probably include your existing keyword phrases, and you will be able to see what words and phrases you might be missing and see where your current TOP 20 KEYWORD PHRASES rank in and around the big list.

In the old days (1997), it was hard to find out what people were looking for on the internet. There was one public list of most searched terms on Yahoo!, and half of those were for porn. Now there are a lot more resources to find out exactly WHAT people are looking for. The best free, public example is the GOTO / OVERTURE search suggestion tool (Ask me about this or look at my links page at http://ystore.com/links.html) We have access to many more, and we've learned a lot about how to put your site in front of this traffic to sell them stuff.

"Okay, then how do I get more traffic, NOW?"

Hire me! I'll show you. I'll even do it FOR you. Our stores have sold MILLIONS of dollars of products through Yahoo! Store.

You also get my 15 years worth of "bricks and mortar" retailing, marketing, and small business owner's experience.

You get a proven road map to building your site's traffic, and a list of elements you can use to jump-start your traffic. I'll even do the marketing leg work FOR you.

An Internet Marketing Plan that Works

A new client did a great job of checking out my references. He said that if I could convert client love into money, I'd be set for life. He said my clients pretty much said the same 4 things: (1) I had a contagious enthusiasm for what I do (results-based internet marketing using Yahoo Store), (2) I was honest about what I know and don't know, (3) I listened to my clients, and (4) that my clients made more money as a result of hiring me for marketing consulting, Yahoo Store design & development.

What can the Ystore.com Guys do for me?

We're Rob & Steve Snell. I'm Rob (the one with the goatee on the left), the internet marketing consultant, & Yahoo Store guy. Baby brother Steve is my business partner who runs our other 2 companies and keeps the things going behind the scenes at Snell Brothers.

I think of myself as the guy who makes the slings and stones that other "little guys" use to whoop up on Goliath, i.e. big box category killing large corporations. I work for the small business guy.

As a retailer, myself, I know where you are coming from! We just sold the last store of our retail hobby company to a local customer, so I can concentrate on what I do best - selling stuff over the internet. From 1989 to 2001, we turned a $500 student loan into a 5-store chain of brick and mortar hobby stores with 10 company-owned Yahoo! Stores, and an order fulfillment warehouse. We own the Copy Cow, a copy shop in our college town of Starkville, MS, that we started with $50 when the local Kinko's closed. Our other family business is gundogsupply.com which sells dog stuff on the internet through Yahoo! Stores.

When it comes to marketing & design consulting, I'm pretty much a one-man-band. I do have some production folks at the Copy Cow who help resize jpegs from time to time.

My most successful client sites ...

...have been projects where I participated in the entire process on a weekly basis over the first 13 weeks or so of a new store. I have recently changed my "business model" to reflect this. I work with about 10 folks at a time, and instead of being Joe Fixit for more and more Yahoo! Store clients, I now offer this turnkey service to a limited number of long term clients and it's really catching on!

First, we help you target a specific niche in your industry. The most important aspect of starting a web-based business is FOCUS. Pick a profitable, popular niche to focus your business on, but not one too broad, or with too many competitors. We put together a list of targeted keywords, and I search for marketing opportunities on the Net. Next, we help you pick the right products. We make sure that enough people are looking for what you want to sell by testing the popularity of your search terms in the various search engines. I also suggest a list of product categories and the specific brands you can focus on to maximize your business.

Finally, we help you prioritize based upon your interest, price point, margin, competition level, or internet opportunity. There are usually several breakout subcategories in a single Yahoo! Store that would be worthy of their own Yahoo Store, so doing this now gives us leads on the next few quarters' worth of projects, and there's enough time before the 4QTR 2003 to get ready for that Christmas sales spike.

"Why a new site rather than drive traffic to my existing site?"

The primary reason? Accountability. You'll be able to look at your traffic stats on your new site and see exactly what is working or not working. Does your Yahoo! Business Express listing pull traffic? Does it convert into sales? Does your Looksmart listing pull folks from MSN? On what keywords do THEY spend the most? Are your GOTO Overture folks converting better on the new landing pages? Do they call the new 800#? What about email addresses collected on the new site? Does marketing to them drive sales?

It is SO much easier to see results from a new marketing project when that project stands alone from your existing site. It's also easier to build a new site from scratch than it is to "fix" a site that's been around for a while, and we're not messing with anyone else's baby or design project.

After the initial project is completed, you'll have several directory listings, be well-positioned for the right keyword phrases in the most important search engines and directories, and have more traffic than you can shake a stick at.

(Orders? Sales? A lot of that is up to you, i.e. quality of your offering, brand names you carry, pricing strategies, etc., but I can help with conversion as well!)

You ask, "What's it gonna cost me?"

Your investment in a new Ystore.com project runs usually between $2500 and $4995 for design, development, & consulting with a few additional expenses in the initital marketing push for directory listing fees, PCC initial accounts, domain name registration, etc. We usually get a deposit of $999 to begin the project and spread the other payments to coincide with specific benchmarks and deadlines along the way.

You get a package price for my experience, brainstorming, research, store development, action planning and implementing the plan, as well as a block on my calendar every week.

Another way to look at your investment is what some folks pay for traffic. Think of this spin-off projects as the same thing as buying about 20,000 pairs of eyeballs because that's how many folks you would get with your $5000 from GOTO/Overture at the average price of a TOP-3 positon at .25 per click. Remember: All the traffic that comes after the site has paid for itself is gravy.

(Some people are concerned about Return On Investment. I shoot for 100% within a year or the project is a flop in my eyes. Anything faster than 13 weeks is a breakout hit and needs to be juiced.)

"Ok! I want my Complete Internet Marketing Plan!"

Call me at 1-800-332-7601. I'll get a personalized order form right out to you. After that, I can usually schedule our first call within a week or so. You will begin to see immediate results within 3 to 4 weeks of ordering.

As always, you get a Risk-Free 100% Satisfaction Guarantee: You like my work or I fix it to your satisfaction, or you don't pay!

Give me a holler or drop me a line!

Rob Snell,
Managing Partner,
Snell Brothers Web Development


email rob@ystore.com
Call 1-800-332-7601 / 1-662-320-9196
662-320-4000 COPY COW / 662-324-5246 home


P.S. My personal goal is for any project to pay for itself within 3-6 months. Over half of my projects now are for previous clients. I'm completely confident you'll be more than delighted with the results!

Feel free to contact anyone in my portfolio, and I can give you a happy clients reference list for marketing research, design, maintenance, support, or illustration projects!

MARKETING CLIENTS: Several of the folks I've done marketing work for the past 3 or more years don't want to be listed in my portfolio or as a reference in general marketing materials because they don't want anyone to know what they are selling, but if I ask, they'd probably talk with you.

Stuart Bazley at Ebodylogic.com is great. He'll tell you stuff I wouldn't tell you. He's the guy who says "don't tell me what you have to do to the chicken, just keep the voodoo working" to keep the sales and traffic coming.

He'll also admit to you how the only thing he's selling these days is stuff I helped him market with a spin-off site which is what I told him last Fall. Visit Stuart.

Stuart'll tell you how I translate a lot of stuff I do into "English" for civilians. We've done design, marketing, and merchandising research for new property development.

Also, contact Tom at http://chair-mats.com. He's a little busy with orders right now, but he said he'd be happy to give a reference!

Remember! As always, you get my Risk-Free 100% Satisfaction Guarantee: You like my work or I fix it to your satisfaction, or you don't pay! Call me! 1-800-332-7601.

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Make more money with your online store.

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  • How to make your store more Google-friendly for more free SEO traffic.

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