| 1:32 am on Aug 28, 2002 (gmt 0)|
I would say if that happened you should watch the email group it by subject and see which ones accumilate the most. Then expand your site include this? Never had this problem it would stink to have that low of a conversion rate but possibly if you had the info the emails are asking for they would have bought?
| 1:44 am on Aug 28, 2002 (gmt 0)|
I liken it to having a 'corner hardware store' with 'Walmart-type' traffic.
Again, I'm not in the widget-selling game...YET. It was just a dream...but I could see it becoming a nightmare.
Phone call at 3 AM:
"Do you have widget 42?"
Yes, we do.
"How much is widget 42?"
It's on the website-right in front of you.
"I know, I see the price, but I was wondering if I could get it for the same price that widget-mart is selling them for..."
No, you cannot. Widget-mart buys/makes 52 million widgets at a time. Ours are custom-made widgets.
"But Widget-mart has them cheaper"
They aren't the same widgets!
"Can't you at least match their price?" (it's 3:05 AM now...)
All-right-I'll match their price...where do you want them shipped?
"Ahhh..nowhere...I just wanted to know if you'd match their price...buh-bye"
| 1:46 am on Aug 28, 2002 (gmt 0)|
LOLZ gawd that is scary. I havent had this happen to me maybe someone else can give their stoy.
| 2:39 am on Aug 28, 2002 (gmt 0)|
Great stories thanks!
Moral of the story which I know you are making: Ranking on popular keywords is not everything, targeting on keywords that will bring qualified traffic is everything!
Unless I was selling advertising on my site (one strategy), I would far rather have 5 qualified enquiries a day, than 100 broadly sort-of relevant enquiries.
So to me the key is -
1. research what your prospects would type into a search engine and optimize on those words
2. make your description or google ransom notes (You CAN predict roughly what your ransom note will be for specific phrases) as targeted and specific as possible.
This is a great topic. There is too much here on how to rank higher, but very little on how to target better!
The second challenge is actually much harder and less straight forward so that explains why it is addressed less, other than the urban web myth that still persists that raw number eyeballs is the main route to online success.
| 3:23 am on Aug 28, 2002 (gmt 0)|
ohmi Scott, what a great writer you are and how you made me laugh! Yes, yes and yes!
The people who call are giving you really cheap consumer feedback. And hints. You can take the phone calls and mutiply them by 1000x versus your log files for your intended keyword phrase(es).
I sell an offbeat product and am number one all over the place. I have a toll-free number and to tell you the truth, I kind of bury it on each page on the site. The tele number is certainly on each page but I don't put it in red font size 36 at the top; it is located at the bottom in a most respectable fontsize of 11.
This is a dream sequence you are having, right? ANYone, web or otherwise, who has engaged with the general public in any retail fashion, will have four beers' worth of stories if they lasted even six months in the job. You can easily say, 'People are stupid' or you can say 'fascinating'. Choose 'fascinating', it hurts less. And it's more rewarding.
There is no such thing as #1 keyword he11.
Be nice, be wonderful to everyone who calls. If you are in it for the long haul, there is nothing, N O T H I N G that beats great customer service and gentle people on the phone.
After Pollyanna-ing all that, <rant>hate people who call and chew their lunch</rant> <rant2>hate people who call while they are surfing (have to listen to my own darn pages loading)</rant2><rant3> . . . . hi, ummm </rant3>
Oh brother . . . when your dream comes true and you are number one . . . me? I'm looking for a warehouse and staff . . .
| 3:42 am on Aug 28, 2002 (gmt 0)|
Every site has its own unique repetitive inane questions, the solution is an FAQ and an autoresponder. You compile all the frequently asked questions, put them in the....you guessed it, the FAQ and reference the FAQ link in your auto response, at which point you can safely delete the "do you carry the 1956 model widget?" emails without worrying about it.
Toll free numbers can be tucked into the pages that are only accessible after clicking a purchase button, it keeps the gadflys away and I don't mind legit buyers calling, it is also at this stage (after a "purchase click" has been made) that the toll free # offers another level of comfort for the online buyer.
| 1:42 pm on Aug 28, 2002 (gmt 0)|
I managed to get a site listed on top for several keywords and I do understand the "unique" questions that come with being number one. For every customer willing to purchase your hand-crafted widgets, there are a thousand who want to know if you carry cheap, pre-molded plastic widgets (which you don't).
After 8 months of standing tall atop the SERPs, it's still a hassle. I now look at it a little different. For every hundred "window shoppers" I get, there is always that one person who buys, and if your good, really, really good...you may even get the large order that makes your year.
I would much rather be on top and handling the silly questions, than buried 10 pages deep and wondering what went wrong.
| 2:21 pm on Aug 28, 2002 (gmt 0)|
And you also get more of the "We are located in (Japan/China/Ghana/West Gibralter/Outer Space/Somewhere Else You've Never Heard Of) and we sell (widgets)..." emails and phone calls.
But it is easier when companies phone to offer you a great deal: First page search engines results for just $... :) Erm... no thanks.
| 3:00 pm on Aug 28, 2002 (gmt 0)|
|(after a "purchase click" has been made) that the toll free # offers another level of comfort for the online buyer. - john316 |
|(there is nothing, N O T H I N G that beats great customer service and gentle people on the phone - pshea |
Another important point. You are a great writer yourself pshea, this is a colorful discussion with kudos sent to ScottM for starting it.
As is often the case I agree with chiyo about targeted traffic and I think we could benefit from discussions along those lines.
| 3:04 pm on Aug 28, 2002 (gmt 0)|
As a real life example:
I get at least one e-mail a day asking if I make pre-1984 widgets. Interestingly enough, it is the first question I answer in my FAQ's. The FAQ section is right on the front page, right in the middle...and they just ignore it. (But they found my e-mail address..)
What part of 'We do not make pre-1984 widgets' don't they understand?
| 3:06 pm on Aug 28, 2002 (gmt 0)|
Telemarketer: Hi, i am wondering if you are interested in changing to company long distance service
Jerry: Sorry i was just going out, but if you give me your home number i can give you a call
Telemarketer: Sorry we are not allowed to do that
Jerry: So i guess you don't want people calling you at home
Jerry: Good now you know how a i feel (hangs up)
Customer Service :)
| 4:28 pm on Aug 28, 2002 (gmt 0)|
I would love to have your kind of problems!
| 4:59 pm on Aug 28, 2002 (gmt 0)|
|Toll free numbers can be tucked into the pages that are only accessible after clicking a purchase button, it keeps the gadflys away and I don't mind legit buyers calling, it is also at this stage (after a "purchase click" has been made) that the toll free # offers another level of comfort for the online buyer. |
We would lose half our sales if we removed our 800 number from its prominent position on every page of our site. We sell high ticket items/services that people like to talk about before purchasing. Even if they don't call us, the fact that an 800 number is displayed gives a warm fuzzy feeling.
And also, I welcome competitors shopping us. I challenge any competitor to beat our prices. Early on, I realized that our customers would be "shopping" for the best price on the internet for our product/service, and I set our prices to be the best in the industry.
|Be nice, be wonderful to everyone who calls. If you are in it for the long haul, there is nothing, N O T H I N G that beats great customer service and gentle people on the phone. |
I can't agree more with the above. If we don't sell what the caller needs, or if they truly don't need our product or service, I tell them so and send them to a competitor if necessary. (It is wise to establish friendly relationships with competitors to do back-and-forth referrals.) I have had many people call back later and place orders when they did have a need for us. People appreciate, remember and reward honesty in business dealings.
| 6:30 pm on Aug 28, 2002 (gmt 0)|
First, don't answer the phone at 3:00 a.m. Turn on the voice mail after hours. If they take the trouble to leave a message they're a decent lead. I know, I know... it's a terrific pain in the neck to understand what their phone number is on the voice mail. When you call them back, however, they tend to have a good attitude.
If they don't like the price, pitch quantity discounts. They won't normally go for it but the decision is then in their court and they shut up.
Possibly pay for a web copywriter or re-work the copy. The right wording can eliminate tons of b.s. calls.
One of my favorite calls is when the guy wants to re-order, complain, check on order status or return something from the company next to you in the SERPs. And, then they act like its my fault they called the wrong number. :)
| 6:45 pm on Aug 28, 2002 (gmt 0)|
Excellent reads, hah would be a nice bathroom reading material book - of course followed with the answers and promotion tactics to handling them.
Nothing I sell on the web is truely competitive, its mostly single item or double item shopping carts for niche market items that dont bring much traffic.
If I were to achieve #1 position and it brought in the leads I'd have to figure out a way to manage them. One thing I commonly do is research before hand, if i were going to sell cables that connect to computers and other devices I'd see which one was more popular and seeked upon.
| 8:14 pm on Aug 28, 2002 (gmt 0)|
People who complain about price are, in my experience, 100 times more likely to want their money back if they do buy.
They're just complainers by nature. Don't lower your price for them. You should really raise your price because they're going to be a he11 of lot more trouble than your average customer.
If they complain about price from the get-go, dump 'em.
| 8:50 pm on Aug 28, 2002 (gmt 0)|
>>We sell high ticket items/services that people like to talk about before purchasing.<<
Obviously, you wouldn't want to hide the toll free number in that situation. Talking is different than clicking :).
It really depends on what and how the product is sold, combined with your resources on the backend. If you don't have the staff available to chat with tire kickers, don't encourage them to call.
I have some sites that have the "call toll free now!" bit repeated 3 or 4 times per page, the resources are available. I also have sites that do very well without any toll free number.
| 9:19 pm on Aug 28, 2002 (gmt 0)|
I should add that my experience was with B2C and an average ticket of $60.
B2B and high ticket products would have, I assume, a different dynamic with their customers.
| 6:00 pm on Aug 29, 2002 (gmt 0)|
aol users are the dumbest
being #1 for a keyword at AOL means having to answer and ignore a lot of dumb-ass questions :-¦
| 10:34 pm on Aug 29, 2002 (gmt 0)|
Got some top spots for a few keywords for all of my sites... Got one person asking how I did it... dropped down to position 40 a few weeks later. Had the top spot for several months (still do) but still not rich.
| 5:10 pm on Aug 30, 2002 (gmt 0)|
put a "call-me-back"-button on your page for those late-time-phone matters.
if you do it nice it will work well :)
| 3:01 am on Sep 1, 2002 (gmt 0)|
>> Any experiences like this out there?
Not so much in the last four years - I learnt my lesson early on and now always ensure my clients are prepared for it (or at least have been warned).
What I can tell you is that this affects larger corporate sites far less than it affects SME's (Small-Medium Enterprises). When a site looks corporate, well, people are far less likely to try to barter, (though it does still happen, I assure you).
First, if you are getting too many waste-of-time calls, then, yes, your site is failing to communicate effectively. The whole strength of a website over any other form of advertising is that it should be interactive. Your website is capable of answering any and all queries you can possibly conceive of. Does it succeed?
Secondly, consider your image. Is your site making you look like an amatuer, and so getting you the kinds of requests people make of moonlighters and amatuers?
Thirdly, if you include your telephone number on your site, make sure you also state your office hours (it makes you look more professional) and consider using scripting to display your time to visitors from other time-zones.
This kind of stuff is predictable: It is an obvious rule of thumb that the more visible you become, the more idiots and time-wasters will see you. I bet anyone here who has improved their online presence to any degree at all, soon found a commensurate increase in B2B offers they didn't want or need.
One thing above all though - If your sales don't go up as high as the waste of time stuff does, then you have probably been targeting the wrong keywords all along...
There are always more people who browse out of curiousity than actually search with a serious intent to buy. If you go for the keywords that get you the most traffic, then you're obviously choosing to include all of those idlers and time-wasters in with your traffic.
If the waste of time stuff affects your productivity (i.e. costs you time you should be spending on marketing to better leads) then you need more specific keywords.