case study - small business - store

Case Study : Small Business and eCommerce

Website + SEO for a Physical Store and eCommerce

Liam Ng is not a techie and didn’t know where to start. He got a website made by a local web designer that he thought he was happy about, that never really received much of any traffic or users, but that he accepted was normal because everyone else he knew was under that impression with their own sites. Also because his (physical, offline) store was his main business anyway and having a website only made sense because everyone else seemed to have it, never mind concepts like eCommerce that he always heard about, but never imagined for himself or his company.

eCommerce SEOLiam notes, “It’s funny how my previous web designer insisted I use search directories, stat counters, link exchange networks, keywords and other old methods to help make my website friendly to search engines. I didn’t realize that was so 1999, and this from a web pro! My website languished and that was that.”

Fast forward to mid-2016 when he joined a private beta of Instastartups, and with his membership, the team immediately went to work on his site, first giving it not just fixes but a structural overhaul and then made various optimizations to it.

They showed him the potential of eCommerce and opened his eyes to this untapped and wholly new revenue channel he hadn’t even considered before, and according to Liam, “I was just blown away! Here’s a totally new income generator for me, and I don’t even have to open an store, and I could serve people not just in my city, not just in this country, but all over the world. It boggles my mind. Not just the power of eCommerce per se (that’s been fairly known already), but how different you perceive it when it’s finally you doing it and then getting these benefits from it.”

WooCommerce was installed on his site along with other related plugins. Liam never had more fun adding products to his catalog as orders started coming in, trickles at first, and growing steadily, but just awaiting more optimizations to kick in. “I’ve never been more excited or happier,” says Liam, adding, “I checked other ecommerce and website providers like Shopify, BigCommerce and other providers, and no matter what their offerings or peoples’ opinions were, the singular point that stuck to me was that they all help you get a website, but none of them every help you with a true, human-made work that makes all the difference.

“Even though they claim to have ‘SEO-optimized’ offerings, in truth these are the most basic of what I now know of proper formatting (or ‘on-page’ if you will), and leave you at that. It is essentially a do-it-yourself (DIY) approach that all of them are offering, when what you want is a full-service offering that unfortunately, other far more expensive specialists of unsure ability is what litters the landscape.”

He continued, “On the one hand, there are excellent website builders that leave you with a website and nothing else (practically all of them). On the other hand, there is the hit-or-miss industry of SEO from which you can get burned with months of expensive recurring payments and not much results either. There is no middle ground.

“This is like the way getting your building materials from HomeDepot is great for your home and personal projects. But when you need an architect and interior designer for your retail store, and find they’re very expensive, you accept it that they’re just a cost of doing business.

“But now, with Instastartups, I get access to the finest SEO and digital marketing pros– and to use the DIY analogy, it’s as if I get access to the finest architects and interior designers– but in a package that has magically affordable rates, especially for the assets and services provided, in an easy subscription package that is a fraction of what I would have paid under normal circumstances, and at a quality level that far exceeds them.”

It started moving fairly quickly in only a few months and the site started to rank in search engines. Liam notes that “they promised significant movement in 6 months, which I accepted, only to find out they kept this to be conservative about it. It then shot up on Google for several local and ‘organic’ (as they called it) terms and my traffic never looked back since.”

He adds, “I know that what I should love about Instastartups the most is how stupid simple they make it seem—knowing how many complex things go into each member’s site. But in truth it is the entirety of the process– the holistic nature of what they do– taking your website and marketing as one, as part of a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts, and thereby getting all the benefits of a professional team dedicated to your website at a far less cost and headache than what you’d normally expect. All without the member having to worry or do any work beyond directing them to what he or she wants.”

“One of the clearest examples of this is how they helped me change my website copy and design to go beyond just looking nice,” Liam said, continuing, “although my old site looked great and professional, it really wasn’t doing me much, and the team updated it to one focused on results! Particularly, conversion.” CRO, or conversion rate optimization ensures the optimal path visitors take as they convert to become paying customers.

He continued, “They turned the conversion rate from zero/non-existent (it was just a static site after all) to one where people not only arrive on the site in greater numbers, but more of them actually make purchases directly online on my site now. Before, they were only meant to see information and was intended to be directed to visit my store offline and make the purchase there, the way it works for most of my neighbors and friends’ shops.”

In this regard, it follows the philosophy about how no amount of SEO or marketing will help you if people arrive on your website and it doesn’t do its job to make them act (convert), such as join your email list, buy your course, or make a purchase. What good is all that traffic, after all, if they arrive and then just leave and forget you? That’s almost not much better than having no traffic at all.

eCommerce SEOThis is where conversion optimization comes in, and Liam Ng proclaims, “This is where Instastartups really shines, opening new avenues of potential and sales for us that we never even expected before, or thought existed.

Liam notes another specific example, noting “They helped me with my email and lead funnel, my first opt-in form, then my autoresponder (via Aweber). Then they even went out of their way to help me with my first Facebook retargeting campaign to generated significantly higher conversions.”

“I am highly impressed and could not recommend them enough, except only that I hope my competitors don’t get wind of them so I keep my nice local monopoly secured.”

He adds, “Seriously though, joining them was one of the best business decisions I ever made. I told them they should charge more, even more than 10x the monthly subscription they currently charge simply because it would still be cheap and a bargain compared to the greater sales and results members obtain from the process.

“But I see how streamlining the process, practically commoditizing and consolidating a fragmented SEO industry, makes a lot of sense, and that simplicity of abstracting all that complexity into a neat black box of push-button subscription to ‘gain the world,’ makes the message much simpler as it is more powerful than I’ve ever seen beefore.”

He concludes, “Honesly, I don’t even believe that because it is clear they really just want to help people, and can somehow help them more, and help more of them, this way.”


About the Author Nicholas

Publisher, SEO & digital marketing consultant, web developer, graphic designer, Wordpress coder, copywriter. Martian.

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