Hi Owl :-)
For more information about SEO (search-engine optimization) and SEM
(search-engine marketing) take a look at the particular forum topic
here on SuN (startup nation).
I took a look at your site, and what strikes me the most directly is
how passive it is. Awhile back, we had someone in marketing make an
excellent point. A Web site, just as most sales conditions, should have
two basic principles at work:
- The customer journey -- a pathway for people to move through a store or site, offering information and branches according to choice and interest,
- The call to action -- points along the way that ask viewers and shoppers to do something, to take action.
Left on their own, the two terms are simply slogans. But if you begin
to examine the slogans, taking them apart, and seeing what knowledge
and advice went in to forming the shorthand, they`re very useful.
I clicked on your site, arrived at the home page, and that was the end
of the line. There didn`t seem to be anywhere interesting to go, nor
was there any sort of reaching-out call to me to do something. Even to
You have a whole lot of images splattered across the page, not the same
size, not the same style, and there`s nothing really explaining them at
all. Obviously, they`re decorations, but so what? I can go to a
hardware store and see lawn decorations stuck on shelves too.
I believe there are two basic philosophies to sales and marketing. The
one is to let the product sell itself, where the owner/creator does
nothing but sit back and collect money. The other is to get involved
with shoppers, explain things, and get them interested then exicted
about the product.
For the most part, to have the first method work requires either a
monopoly on a crucial and necessary resource, or a product so
outstanding and difficult to replicate that people can`t go anywhere
else. Yet they must really want the product.
Lawn decorations aren`t crucial and necessary. Nor are they difficult to obtain.
Why are these your passion? How did you wake up one morning and decide
you wanted to dedicate your professional life to lawn decorations of
this particular type? I`m betting that if you could translate that
passion into words and images on your Web site, you would immediately
improve your sales.
One thought would be to take a close look at your photographs. The
ladybird bird house is an excellent benchmark. ALL your photographs
should be along those lines, where you show the product (close up), and
ALSO the context.
But look at the frogs in a row---the green frog hooks. I have no
context for them. Why aren`t they shown on a pine-panel wall or with a
coat hanging from one of the hooks?
The 1-line descriptions are useless, excepting if someone already knows
about the product, already knows about you, already knows how to use
the product, and has already decided to buy one. They`re simply looking
for a convenient store, lowest price, and most reliable shipping. They
could care less about you, your site, your products, or anything else.
They`ve *already decided* and have no interest in being sold.
For those customers, your 1-line description simply verifies they`ve
found the right product. Probably, they already saw it somewhere else
and it was out of stock, or your price is lower.
Are those the people you`re trying to attract? Or are you trying to
find people who sorta-kinda know about birds, maybe would like to have
some humming birds because they`ve heard about them, and have no idea
what to do?
Why not have some really useful, interesting, and educational
descriptions about your products? Not all of them---coat hooks are
self-explanatory. But think about the Roosting House. Why is it
"roosting?" Why would I want one? What sort of roosters need a house,
and how come it`s not a Hen House? :-D
Suppose I want hummingbirds. How can I search your site to find out
about what attracts them, how they feed, what they need, what areas of
the country they frequent, and (most of all) what products you have
specifically for hummingbirds?
Finally, you could use some humor and fun on the site. If I wanted to
shop a site like yours, I`d go to Pet-Smart. There`s no personal
interest, nothing I can learn, and nowhere to ask anything. Unless I
already know all that I need and don`t need your own involvement.
You can go to McDonald`s or you can go to a fancy french restaurant.
Right now your site is McDonald`s. But your mistake, in my opinion, is
to believe that your product is so well known---so self-evident---that
you don`t need to *sell* it. It just sells itself. I`d suggest that
your sales numbers indicate that`s a bad assumption. :-) Y`know?
PS: I used the search box, typed in hummingbirds, and found 1 feeder.
With 1 line that tells me nothing. The picture was small, but being the
crafty, wiley, and highly-trained Internet shopper that I am, I clicked
to get a larger image. I`d think it might help to have a "click for
larger image" link, if nothing else. But mostly, a better description.