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The site that sells books well has a very specific niche topic. The one that didn't sell books had a broader topic. I took the links off the broader topic site and will just use the site now for passing PR to my other sites. I'm now only making niche topic pages for books and that seems to be working out better for me.
See the new look Altavista.com? That's what people want, Google-like simplicity. Amazon gives me a headache just by looking at it. My eyes don't know what to look at :)
We often get only one sale for 200-300 targetted visitors we send to them :(
I have had 200 visitors click through my book links to amazon in two days, but no orders. Is this normal?
I had a similar experience. I sent them about 400 unique visitors over a period of 6 weeks and got 0 orders, so I packed it in.
A small brick and mortar business is said to be doing great if they are breaking even after 5 years. (That means the first four years were running at a loss.) Giving up after two months means you weren't serious about it.
I waited until I saw the results from 2,000 uniques to Amazon before I would decide whether or not to quit. It took five months to get that far. At the end, I was seeing a sale a day, and 75 daily uniques to amazon.
It's not like I threw a site up with some Amazon links and waited. I worked for it, and I still do. (No more than 10 hours a week while I still have a day job. I average 3 hours a week currently :) )
Read Brett's 26 steps to 15K a day [searchengineworld.com] for starters, though that can get overwhelming when you have an off-line life.
I follow a more toned down approach that works well when combined with real life:
--25 pages of content
--ideas for at least 10 more pages (ideas will come over time if you keep at it).
--Submit to DMOZ.
--Build content: one page a week per site
--Build links: find one relavent per site per month
--Build sites: find a new niche every 4-6 months. Works well if it's interesting to you.
I have made around 30 cents an hour over the past 7 months, but if I look at it week to week, I'm at $2/hour for this last week. Compare that to 25 cents an hour 2 months ago.
I look at it as a video game, but instead of "nintendo thumb" and bragging rights, I get a quarterly check. It's nowhere near instant gratification, but it's faster than a brick and mortar business, and a lot less work.
Are people coming in looking to buy things already? Or are they coming in looking for information and you're hurling products at them?
Is it obvious by your linking strategy that when they click the link that they're going off to buy something? Or have you 'cleverly' sent them to Amazon thinking they'll find more information on it?
There are as many factors to conversion success - as many as go into Google's ranking algorhythm. My site used to send several hundred visitors a day to Amazon and I'd sell about 4 items a week (or a 350:1 ratio). Finally, I realized what my traffic was looking for and created pages designed to handle the job of either a) Getting products into the face of people who are already qualified buyers or b) Getting the information people are looking for in their face and hope that that information makes them a qualified buyer by the time they get down to the bottom of the page where the link is.
With that done, I sent far fewer people to Amazon - my traffic has increased 500% in two months, but my referals to Amazon have only increased about 100% (i.e. merely doubled). The bottom line, though, is that my conversion ratio is 16.6:1 (or 1 item for every 16.6 visitors I send to Amazon.)
Actually, I made a few more little tweaks at the end of October and if I just take my results from November 1 through the 10th, my ratio is 9:1 (9 visitors = 1 item sold).
I'm hoping to get it down to a 5:1 by the end of the year. Is that a realistic ambition? I'd like to think so. But believe me - it's not just a simple matter of puttin up afiliate links. If you give your visitors what they want, they'll give you what you want. If you don't, they'll close your window and go back to the SERPS to find a site that will.
Date - Unique - Clickthrus - Sale (Amazon) - Sale (marketplace)
November 1, 2002 636 761 2 0
November 2, 2002 562 690 3 0
November 3, 2002 632 804 2 0
November 4, 2002 647 794 3 0
November 5, 2002 681 814 7 0
November 6, 2002 699 887 6 0
November 7, 2002 670 827 8 1
November 8, 2002 626 777 4 0
November 9, 2002 606 782 7 1
November 10, 2002 586 728 7 0
[edited by: rcjordan at 8:43 pm (utc) on Nov. 12, 2002]
[edit reason] no references to specific sites, please [/edit]
Would you mind sharing some of your secrets? It is amazing to have 2000 uniques in a site which started only 13 days ago. (Assuming 13 days do not get you in any search engine or directory listing. Well, may be Yahoo! directory will list in less than 13 days). Adwords? Overture? My site is about 4 months old. I am getting may be 200 visitors per day. Am I loosing a big time?