NeedMoreBeer.com

Report Date: 09/27/03 00:03:30


We doubled our search engine traffic, tripled our sales and it took only 4 hours of our time. This is how we did it.

The internet landscape is littered with failed businesses and I think that the single biggest cause is marketing, the lack off marketing, or spending more money promoting your business than you can possibly recoup from the promotion.

In internet terms NeedMoreBeer.com has been around for ever, but we too forgot about the basics. It took one bright idea, 4 hours of work, and we doubled our search engine traffic, tripled our sales - all within 2 weeks.

I am going to share with you what we did, in the hope that you too may find this information useful. (Except if you sell beer online. In which case, please note that this information is not intended for you and you should leave now.)

1. Keyword Research

In a nut shell this is it. It is called Keyword and Search Term research. One day someone at our office had a very bright idea. The idea was to find out what it is that people are actually searching for when they look for beer on the internet. I find this surprising, but we never took the time to do this before and frankly, the results were earth shattering. WHY?

Let me give you an example. When people search for german beer, they type in "German Beer" in a search engine. (And there are a lot of queries for german beer on the internet let me tell you.). To my surprise, on our site we had things like "The best beer from germany", but as it turns out, almost no one searches for "beer from germany". So JUST on that one term, we were missing out on thousands of potential customers every month.

So, do I have your attention now? :)

Another example, "mail order beer" is a very popular search term and it is what we do. But not once was this phrase mentioned anywhere on our web site. We had, "order beer from needmorebeer.com", but again no one searches for "order beer". By re-wording that sentence, we had hundreds of additional customers come through to our site.

The problem is that we have hundreds, if not thousands of pages. To find out what our webmasters did "wrong" when they were designing our content is not a small task. If you have 1 or 2 pages, you can do this yourself, but there are services you can use and have this done for you. The service we used provided a comprehensive keyword analysis report for our site.

The report was correlated with the most popular queries users actually search for. It was a gold mine of information and this was our starting point.

Looking at the results, we found that out of the top 100 search terms incorporating the keyword beer, we had beer, beer making, beer mug, and budweiser beer. Those were very bad results for someone who has been selling imported beer online for years.

We used the report to tweak the content to incorporate the most commonly used search queries within our pages. We re-worded our page text, titles and meta tags and included all the relevant (and actually searched for) queries. It took our Webmaster just 4 hours to update the main pages.

We ran the report a second time to compare results. This time we had beer brewing, beer making, german beer, mail order beer, and so on.... try a search on google for "mail order Beer" and we come up #2. You can't get any better than that. (well you can, and yes we are working on it).

Before

Search TermSearches
beer212801
de beer24671
beer brewing10970
beer making9469
guinness beer6687
miller beer6632
german beer6265
mail order beer6209
beer picture5989
beer recipe5894
beer mug5857
de beer diamond5536
root beer4690
beer sign4635
beer can4485
beer bottle4253
beer of the month club4148
corona beer4021
beer steins4017
neon beer sign3804
beer store3701
beer pong3444
beer label3134
beer quote2859
beer law2794
beer cooler2777
beer magazine2683
budweiser beer2670
beer club2626
beer machine2593
beer commercial2527
beer belly2525
all about beer subscription2506
beer calorie2156
beer taps2138
beer keg2134
beer company2113
beer distributor2034
beer bong2019
beer poster1991
beer wallpaper1980
beer glasses1917
beer history1877
make beer1849
beer bread1843
beer can chicken1826
beer game1735
tit beer1734
coors beer1688
beer alcohol content1596
beer stein1586

After

Search TermSearches
beer212801
de beer24671
beer brewing10970
beer making9469
guinness beer6687
miller beer6632
german beer6265
mail order beer6209
beer picture5989
beer recipe5894
beer mug5857
de beer diamond5536
root beer4690
beer sign4635
beer can4485
beer bottle4253
beer of the month club4148
corona beer4021
beer steins4017
neon beer sign3804
beer store3701
beer pong3444
beer label3134
beer quote2859
beer law2794
beer cooler2777
beer magazine2683
budweiser beer2670
beer club2626
beer machine2593
beer commercial2527
beer belly2525
all about beer subscription2506
beer calorie2156
beer taps2138
beer keg2134
beer company2113
beer distributor2034
beer bong2019
beer poster1991
beer wallpaper1980
beer glasses1917
beer history1877
make beer1849
beer bread1843
beer can chicken1826
beer game1735
tit beer1734
coors beer1688
beer alcohol content1596
beer stein1586
This report displays the top 100 most searched for terms that incorporate the specified keywords.
It includes the relative search popularity of each term. This is an indication of each term's importance, to help you decide which ones you should target and optimize your pages for.

- Search terms found in your page http://www.needmorebeer.com are highlighted in Red.
- Search terms found elsewhere on your site are Green. *

Generally, pages that contain the exact search phrase receive the highest search engine rankings. Pages that contain one or more of the search term keywords individually, but not together as the exact phrase, may come up in the results, but will not rank as well.

This means that for popular terms, that are NOT highlighted, you have very little chance of receiving ANY of the available search engine traffic.

Note: The above is an actual extract from the Keyword Analysis report who get their keyword data from this amazing KeywordDiscovery.com - Keyword Research Tool.


The Results

The results were very impresive. From a screen shot of our logs below, you can see the increase in traffic towards the end of the graph. We went from an average of 9000 hits per day, to over 19000 hits. That is more than double.

What is more imporant however, is the quality of this new traffic. Because we targetted specific search phrases, the new traffic is much more qualified and converts to more sales.

Also significant, is the fact that all of this new traffic is free and not charged per click. This reflects well in the bottom line.



I try not to think about all the sales we lost by not doing this earlier, but sometimes that is hard to do. From our experience it is clear that a well designed, well optimized web site, can mean the difference between another failed internet venture and a real success story.


The Report

The cost of the Keyword Analysis report is $95 US, we ran it before and after, so our total cost was $190. I have placed a copy of this report online so that you can see what it actually looks like. Click here to view it.

Considering we spend thousands of dollars on advertising to get the same number of customer, 4 hours of our Webmaster's time and $95 for the initial report was probably the best marketing investment we have ever made. And yet, it is just so simple.

The report takes about 2 working days to obtain, and you can get if from GlobalPromote.com


Optimizing your Listings

Having the right phrases in your content is a good start, but you can go much further. The next step is to look at the content surrounding your keywords, and the page titles themselves. This is important because even if you get listed in the TOP 10 search results, you are still competing with 10 other companies offering the same services. Always keep in mind that a customer will click on what ever page looks to be the most relevant or interesting.

The best way I have found, is to tailor your page titles to what the customer is searching for. Also work on the text surrounding your search phrases, as this will get included in the search results. This is simply so that the customer has a chance to read a glimpse of your sales pitch.

And yes there is a problem.
The problem is that most major engines update their index every 2-4 weeks. If you do make a change to your page, you have to wait a long time to see the results of that change. If you make a mistake, that can also be very costly as you have to wait a long time before you can correct it. Luckily there is a solution.

Most major engines now offer paid inclusion services. The engines charge a small yearly fee to list your URL, but in return, they will re-index your page, usually every 24 hours. This means that you can make changes to your web site, and see the results the very next day.

It does not matter if you are listed in the engines already, this service alone is worth the annual fee. It is expensive to list every page, so we only list our key pages where we want to advertise specials, try new product lines and seasonal offers. Once we know that a page works, we move it elsewhere and try something else.

The cost of these services vary from engine to engine and starts from around $16 per URL, per year. To take advantage of the various paid inclusion services, we use PrioritySubmit.com. There are no additional fees for using this service and you can manage most engines from a central account. This saves a lot of time. You also get some nice traffic reports, although we mostly rely on our own tracking.

Conclusion

If you have found this information useful, which I hope you have, why not repay the favor and order some of the best European beer online from our online beer store: NeedMoreBeer.com.

(notice, how I placed a hyperlink on "online beer store". The aim there is to increase the popularity score of our own site, but that is a topic for another day.)