UK Online Sweet Shop

by 61 comments
I've setup an online sweet shop, my prices seem to be cheaper than my competitors along with shipping, I also have some hard to find sweets in the UK such as American candy. I'm currently running an AdWords campaign and a lot of traffic is coming from that currently, but even though I've made a few hundred in the first few weeks - it's not outweighing the AdWords costs. I want to try and get my site some more organic traffic but I'm struggling, does anyone have any tips on how I can rank higher up (I'm a bit concerned in getting mass backlinks, but I'm struggling trying to build natural ones).

Does anyone have any advice?

Here is what i have done up to now:
  • VAT Registered
  • Cheap shipping
  • Cheap sweets
  • freebies for customers
  • Blog (some good content)
  • Facebook (few hundred likes)
  • Twitter
  • Google plus page linked to site (about 50-60 +'s)
  • Links on wikipedia
  • Heavily customized design (I think it looks good)
  • Opencart SEO plugins
  • 400+ Products (about 200 have product descriptions)
#ecommerce #online #shop #sweet
  • Profile picture of the author Jason Perez O'Connor
    Honestly if you're targeting the sweet niche I doubt you'll need to invest in tons of backlinks. Some good onsite optimization and the usual stuff should work. Perhaps offline marketing would work great in this instance for you.
  • Profile picture of the author bushell86
    Yeah, I was thinking that - I'm hoping to get into dmoz and then hopefully maybe some links on wedding/party sites - then I guess flyers? I was just wondering if I have missed anything obvious. The main competitor for retro sweets has some strong linkbacks.

    Thanks for your response
    • Profile picture of the author Jason Perez O'Connor
      Originally Posted by bushell86 View Post

      Yeah, I was thinking that - I'm hoping to get into dmoz and then hopefully maybe some links on wedding/party sites - then I guess flyers? I was just wondering if I have missed anything obvious. The main competitor for retro sweets has some strong linkbacks.

      Thanks for your response
      Without knowing the competitor site, or the brand of sweets etc I can't give any proper advice other than what I think the sweet niche would be like.

      Either way you should start with targeting some main keywords for your front page, and then specific sweets on product pages. I don't know what crowd you'd target because when you think of sweets you think, kids. But there are a lot of sweets that actually appeal to older crowds, depending on what they are. Like liquorice sweets for example. Either way party related marketing would probably be your best bet.

      If you actually think about why someone would order sweets online, these come up in my mind:

      - Bulk buying for a party
      - Themed party that needs specific sweets
      - People who want sweets that can't be found in their area/country
      - Corner Shops or Sweet shop owners who want to add variety to their sweet collection

      Those, in my opinion would be the sort of people looking to buy sweets. Going by that, I would perhaps want to advertise in magazines related to parties. Newspapers in the appropriate section. Submitting your site to a local/national news paper may prove to be a great story, and if they want to run the story it could give you some potential customers. Also contacting corner shops, sweet shops around your area/country may give you a constant flow of buyers who need to buy your stock in often.

      Tons more but you get the point now
  • Profile picture of the author paidsurveys
    Local bulk SMS marketing will give great results for sweet niche
  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    Build useful and engaging content around your products.

    You have 400 of them - GET STARTED!

    Originally Posted by bushell86 View Post

    ...I'm struggling, does anyone have any tips on how I can rank higher up?
    Dont build your site around Google! This will be a HUGE mistake!
  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    Bushell, out of interest, how much $$$ have you invested in this project so far?
  • Profile picture of the author bushell86
    Thanks, some really good advice here - really impressed. I'd like to know more about the bulk SMS marketing.

    I have invested probably around 250 in the site in terms of design, customization and some plugins.

    200 in AdWords

    Luckily the mrs is helping and she added a lot of products and content. We're just find it hard to write a product description about some sweets.
  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    Bushell, heres a few tips.

    Consider videos.

    Do short 4-5 minute videos weekly, and start hitting your list with them.

    Talk about ...

    1. News. Be the reporter, talk about whats happening in the sweets industry.
    2. Health. How eating certain sweets can be detrimental or beneficial to ones health
    3. Questions and Answers - have your subscribers send in questions about certain sweets - and you answer them.
    4. Product descriptions - talk about certain sweets, where theyre made, what they taste like, the price etc
    5. Specials - talk about what specials and promotions are happening in your business.
    6. ....etc etc etc

    These are just ideas off the top of my head.
  • Profile picture of the author bushell86
    Actually thats one thing we have done, a video how to make wonka nerd cupcakes. But some great tips there John, big help!
  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    Here's one of my sites.

    Chasing Clients for Content Sucks - Here's 2 Ways You Can Put a Stop To It

    You can see the power of videos. Its an excellent way to build a relationship with your customers.

    If youre not building a list - start immediately.
  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    Im off to bed. Its 5 am here. Good luck.
  • Profile picture of the author bushell86
    Thanks again, useful info I'll have a read through
  • Profile picture of the author Jason Perez O'Connor
    One question, do you want people to know what site you own?
  • Profile picture of the author bushell86
    Not bothered Just didnt know if it was against the rules to post URLs
    • Profile picture of the author Jason Perez O'Connor
      Originally Posted by bushell86 View Post

      Not bothered Just didnt know if it was against the rules to post URLs
      Ah ok was just wondering because you didn't mention it. So are you working at a loss currently or at a profit? Ignoring any design and coding costs. Simply marketing costs, small profit, small loss or breaking even?
  • Profile picture of the author bushell86
    A small profit, I really mean ever so slightly - but I'm struggling for a plan when my adwords runs out.
  • Profile picture of the author Jason Perez O'Connor
    Right, well that's good news, it means it converts and if you had a better source of visitors you would be making a profit.

    Are you making money targeting general terms on adwords only?
  • Profile picture of the author bushell86
    Up to now it's mostly from Adwords, I think one or two sales may of been from organic searches.
    • Profile picture of the author Jason Perez O'Connor
      Originally Posted by bushell86 View Post

      Up to now it's mostly from Adwords, I think one or two sales may of been from organic searches.
      Have you been trying to run ads on specific sweets, since you have 400 of them. They'll be considerably cheaper to bid on and you'll get better conversions as people already know what they're looking for.
  • Profile picture of the author Reddevil007
    OP check my pm i might be interested in your sweets do lemme know.
  • Profile picture of the author bushell86
    I'm doing keyword for the sweets yeah, and putting 'Buy' in front of the sweet name. I can't respond back to your PM, my post count isn't high enough. PM your email address and I shall contact you tomorrow.
    • Profile picture of the author kjr
      Have you done any press releases for your site? They usually help to give you a boost.
      Also, consider contacting your local press (newspaper, radio, even tv) and see if they are interested in featuring your story.
  • Profile picture of the author Jacob Anthony
    Have you tried using site like ebay and amazon to drive customers back to your store? You could also drive traffic to your site by writing some articles on using Candy Buffets at weddings and posting them on wedding related sites.

    hope this helps

    Jacob
    • Profile picture of the author davedenholm
      Hi Bushell,
      All of the suggestins based around more general marketing are great and you should look into them.
      However, a large portion of your time should still be cracking the google code of PPC and SEO for e commerce.
      So go back to your PPC campaign and now instead of looking for turnover look for profit. So you should target your adverts in a much narrower way i.e. by brand or type. and concentrate on making sure that after you have paid for the sweets and the PPC you are making profit even if it means less sales.
      Now take the profit and invest in SEO. SEO is medium difficulty for sweets in the UK and the reason for this is people like aquarterof have been around since almost the start I remember them launching at the begining of 2000 or so not long after firebox. Having said that I had a quick peek at their site today and it looks like they have not updated it since 2000! So thats handy for you.
      If you scared about doing the SEO yourself, look for a reputable company that will get you results.
      Good luck
      David
  • Profile picture of the author bushell86
    Really great advice here guys, it's much appreciated - it's good to get someone else's thoughts and ideas. I'm doing pretty much everything, which is making it easy for me to look over. Some good points picked up Dave, aquarterof dominate the market, there SEO is spot on, but like you say there site does seem somewhat dated, but it works.

    Just some quick questions, should I not focus on backlinks at all? if so where should I try and get backlinks from? directories, blog posts or something else?

    Would something like prweb benefit?
    • Profile picture of the author davedenholm
      First get analytics installed so you know where your sales and traffic is coming from, then you can tell what is and isn't working.
      Then get your PPC sorted.
      Then get your on page sorted. (do 10 pages first and concentrate on them).
      Then absolutely get some backlinks. I'm a tad reluctant to tell you where to get your links from there is no one size fits all and we haven't seen your site yet.
      Another thing is everyone on here has a different idea and frankly probably they got it from a WSO rather than first hand and most WSOs do not tell you how to rank an ecommerce site in the UK.
      However, to answer the question you asked yes directories will work as google would expect some directory submissions for a UK e commerce site (not everyone on the warrior forum would agree). Will they have the best possible "link juice"? NO but they will not get you penalised and will be a good base as link diversity is a major factor in not getting penalised.
      DON'T buy a 1000 links from anyone that can get you penalised.
      PRWEB will benefit you and is also something I would do at the start of an SEO campaign (again after the on page is correct). As a cheaper option get someone to write the Press release on fiverr for $5 then get someone on fiverr to look over the Press realease to make it better another $5. Then get someone to syndicate it on fiverr which includes google news and someone else who perhaps gives you a few more sites but without google news and for $20 you have the slightly more complicated but cheaper "poor mans" press release option. Again don't buy from the person who is going to syndicate it to 1000 sites thats never good in google's eyes.
      Hope that helps.
      David

Next Topics on Trending Feed