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Online Marketing / Tools For Startups

Top 5 WooCommerce Themes For Selling A Product

Now that we’ve decided on WooCommerce for the site’s shopping cart, now it’s time to grab a theme for it.  Basically a theme is a premade template that will help you speed up your whole design process.  Instead of designing an entire site from scratch you can pick out a theme that you feel meets you needs best and then just tweak it to have your own look and feel.  It’s pretty mind blowing that something that only a few years ago would take thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars to have designed and integrated now only takes around $50 and a few hours of your time to modify it!

Here are the top 5 designs I found for selling a physical product using WooCommerce.   I’m a big fan of keeping things simple and clean and focusing mostly on the product so you’ll see that reflected here.  Remember this should basically be a rough draft for your site, on most of these themes you’re able to change the color schemes and graphics around to really match your new companies brand and personality.   One other thing you should look for is a “responsive” theme, what this means is that the theme will look good in both desktop PCs and mobile devices.  With mobile becoming more and more popular it’s a smart move to start out with a website design that is responsive from the get go.

#1 – MinDig Theme (Click Here To See The MinDig Demo)
I really liked this theme, its super clean and has a good look and feel to it.  It’s responsive and n the demo link above you can see how well it works on different mobile devices.
Mindig Screenshot

 

#2 – Swagger Theme (Click Here To See The Swagger Demo)

Swagger is another really clean and easy to follow layout.  They have a nice selection of modified versions too so you can pick the one that meets your products needs best.  Swagger WooCommerce Theme

 

#3 – Maya Shop Theme (Click Here To See The Maya Shop Demo)

This is one of the most popular themes out there for WooCommerce.  Its a couple years old, but it’s a classic with a bunch of solid support since it’s been around so long.  Its really clean and I like how it’s a little bit more texty which helps a bit when it comes to SEO.


MayaShop Screenshot

 

#4 – Captiva Theme (Click Here To See The Captiva Demo)

Captiva is a really nice full width theme.  They have a great navigation setup on the inside pages which really allows for customers to click around.  Keep in mind though if you don’t have a bunch of products this might not be the best fit for you.
Captiva Screenshot

 

#5 – Humble Shop Theme (Click Here To See The Humble Shop Demo)

Humble Shop is a great for people who only have a few products or even one product to sell.  It lives up to it’s name as a super minimalistic theme which is good for beginners.  I’d highly recommend this if you have only a few products and then work your way up to something different as you need it.
Humble Shop Screenshot

 

The biggest tip for picking a WooCommerce theme is not to waste a lot of time doing it.   You should seriously spend no more than about 45 minutes picking one.  Just go with your gut on what you think looks best and has the features you need.  The beauty of using WooCommerce is that you can always switch to a new theme down the road.  So start with something easy just to get the ball rolling and get some sales coming in, then go with something more elaborate in the future.   Time is money and the last thing you want to do is waste your time contemplating tiny differences in theme designs that no one will ever notice.

Online Marketing

Unintentional Guerilla Radio Marketing Income

Radio Marketing

Radio Marketing

About 10 years back one of the local morning radio stations where I lived did a stunt with their intern where he tried hitch hiking around the country on Semi’s for a week to see where he ended up. It was a pretty popular show at the time, I’m not sure how many listeners they had tuning in but it was the only morning talk show in the area so it definitely had a good market share.

So, they send this dude off for a week and after the first week he makes it about 5 hours out of town and they were checking in with him a few times throughout the show. It was a pretty funny skit and people kept calling in to ask where he was. That first night I threw together a little site with a big map of the US and made a map of where he was going and where he was headed with a cut out pic of his head from their site. I figured it was worth a shot so I emailed the show the website URL that night; not thinking much of it.

The next morning I’m sitting there working, listening to the show and sure enough they said something along the lines of “one of our listeners put together this website to track him, check it out” and they read the site over the air. I couldn’t believe it, I almost fell out of my chair laughing and then ran to check the stats (good old extreme tracker!). Sure enough, the traffic started coming in. Throughout the day I’d just update the map in Photoshop with where the intern was at the time, and they kept reading out the URL. It wasn’t massive numbers, I think around 1-2k a day, but it was pretty cool for me at the time. Wanting to keep the traffic around for a bit I threw a quick Vbulliten forum up so that people could chat with each other, hoping that would be sticky enough and make it fun.

The next couple days were a blast, people on the forums chatting; and the radio station giving out the URL a few times a day. The people in the forum even started a Photoshop contest putting the intern in all sorts of compromising situations. It was pretty wild, the radio station loved it and told people to check out their pictures on our site. Then all of a sudden I get an email…

It’s some local guy who wants to buy advertising on the site. I’m like “holy crap”, so I just threw out a $500 per month price for a banner ad and the guy doesn’t bat an eye. He immediately sent me over the 500 bucks via PayPal. About 30 seconds later I throw up a link on the bottom of the site saying “Advertise Here” and overall I wound up getting about 5 more people who bought spots. It was pretty surreal especially since it wasn’t the plan going into it. To be honest I’m pretty sure if I did have the advertising links up there at the beginning they would have never read it on the air, so it worked out well to put them up on the tail end of their week long stunt.

After a month or two the forums slowly died out, the traffic dried up, and that was the end. Maybe someone out there can take away something from it and try to do something similar next time their local morning show is doing some zany stunt on the air. These radio shows usually have horrible sites & no marketing budget so they get a huge kick out of it. If you have a chance to do something similar it might be worth a little bit of time trying to hack something together and see what happens.

Online Marketing

Make The Most Of Your Adwords Free Credit

This is really geared towards people using adwords for the first time. However, people looking to cut down their ad spending might benefit from this information as well. Basically, it’s just information on how to target your ads in the best way possible to make the most of your adwords account balance.

If you don’t have an adwords account yet, Google has been nice enough to send out some promotional codes which will give you $50 to play with when you create a new account. I’ve heard of promotional codes out there for up to $200, but have yet to see them myself. If you don’t have a promotional code try looking around on Google, sometimes people post them up on forums. If you don’t have any luck finding one for free, head over to eBay where you can usually pick one up for a few bucks.

Once you’ve got your account setup with your promotional code you will have a balance of $50 to spend on PPC ads. The biggest mistake people make that are new to PPC is to bid on some big generic terms relating to their business and blow through all 50 bucks in one day with nothing left to show for it. After that, people usually vow adwords sucks and either keep throwing money at it hoping to make money back or walk away from it, losing a powerful sales funnel for their business.

This is what I feel is the best way to stretch out your traffic at first.

Let’s pretend you are Joe and your company sells exercise balls. You know, those giant inflatable balls for yoga, which are good for sitting on at your desk, or throwing at unsuspecting friends. Let’s say you have JoesYogaBalls.com setup with 10 different colors of yoga balls for sale.

Instead of going to adwords and bidding on “Yoga Balls”, which seems like the most logical thing to do for a first timer, you should try to be as specific (aka targeted) as possible with your terms. Let’s start with something more specific; a color. So bidding on “Orange Yoga Balls” would be even more specific and is a good start especially if you are on a tight budget. You only have 50 bucks so to make it even more targeted, you could bid on “Buy Orange Yoga Balls”. The reasoning behind this, is the person searching for that is more likely to be ready to buy something right now. You could even go one step further and bid on “Buy Orange Yoga Ball Online” so you’re pre-qualifying that the person isn’t looking to buy one locally, but wants to buy one online.

From there you could bid on a couple of variations such as; “Where to buy orange yoga balls online”, “who sells orange yoga balls online”, etc. Now you’re cooking! You can go back and make a separate ad group in google for each color and do the same thing for every color yoga ball that you sell.

Now this next part is important, it’s called a matching type. This is where those new to google adwords often get killed, so pay attention. You have the following types of keyword matching:

Broad Match – Google takes your keyword and shows your ads for a bunch of variations of your keyword. This can spew out some crazy stuff and is best not to use until you have some cash to play with for a budget. I believe google sets this as the default match type.

Phrase Match – This takes your keyword and will show it if people search for it in a phrase. So for example if your keyword is “Yoga Ball”, if someone searches for “Yoga Ball Videos”, your ad could appear since “Yoga Ball” is within their search string. Phrase Match is good if you’re specific with your keywords and it helps you find new keywords you haven’t thought of before.

Exact Match – This is what you want to use starting out with adwords. This means your ads will only be displayed if someone searches exactly for your keyword. So if you’re bidding on “Orange Yoga Balls” it will ONLY appear if someone searches for “Orange Yoga Balls”. This is your best bet because you can control exactly when your ads are shown. You won’t end up with random irrelevant searches, because it’s only going to show ads on exactly what you have bid on.

So make sure that you’re using exact match on your keywords. If you don’t know how to do this, let me know and I can do a more detailed post on where all the adwords settings are.

Using the above technique you can expect to make your budget last a bit longer, however, don’t expect a deluge of traffic since chances are not many people are searching for “Buy Orange Yoga Ball Online” every day. However, you can be sure that the people who click it are people who will have the best chance of purchasing something from you. Once you get more comfortable with adwords you can start expanding out your keywords, trying different match types and really digging into everything that it has to offer.

Online Marketing

Increase Your Sales With A Phone Number

If your company sells a product or service and doesn’t have a phone number on the website you’re leaving money on the table, easy as that. These days competition is tight and with this one little trick you can boost your bottom line with a few minutes of work. Whether you’re selling a product on an e-commerce site, offering a SaaS, or even a design shop offering web & graphic design; this will work for you.

Increase Sales With A Phone Number

Route your calls to any phone number you want.

The reason behind the effectiveness is because it makes your company look more legit. If a potential customer is about to whip out their credit card to pay for something; seeing that phone number gives them a sense of security that they can easily get a hold of someone if there’s a problem or issue. Most of the people who order won’t ever call but just by seeing the phone number they’ll feel much more comfortable doing business with you.

Of course the downside is that now you’re going to have people calling into your business that you’ll need to reply to. If you’re like me, when I first started I spent a lot of time on the computer and rarely if ever interacted with customers aside from an email here and there. The good news is it’s really not that bad, I swear. It’s actually kind of nice to hear from your customers, don’t be afraid to ask them questions about your business and if there are any suggestions they have to make it better. You get jaded after looking at your own website over and over so these people provide invaluable feedback that you can use to evolve your business. We had a suggestion from a customer on an older business of mine that completely pivoted the entire business growing our revenues exponentially, but more on that another time.

So now that you’re ready to get your phone number up and running here’s how to do it…. You are ready right?

Services like RingCentral or Grasshopper are only around 15 bucks a month and will give you everything you need. You’ll be able to decide between a local number or a toll free number. I’ve always used toll free if the company was nationwide, it makes the company appear larger which is good for most businesses like that. If the company is hyper focused on a specific geographic location I pick a local phone number with an area code of that area; it’ll give potential customers that warm fuzzy feeling of down home small time business.

Once you’ve got your phone number picked out you can setup where you want it to forward to. You can send it to your cell, skype line, voip, or landline. The nice thing is when a call is forwarded to you; when you answer you’ll get a message asking whether or not you want to answer the call. So if you’re out at happy hour slamming a couple back you might want to let it slide to voicemail.

You can also setup your business hours of when you want the calls forwarded or to voicemail and all that fun stuff. For your recordings do yourself a favor and go over to Fiverr.com and pay someone 5 bucks to record some nice professional sounding recordings for you. Not only will they sound better, but it’ll make your company seem bigger so it’s not you on the recording & answering the phone.

Adding the phone number will be a huge step in the right direction for your business. You don’t even need to ever answer the phone, but you need to be vigilante about spending some time and returning those calls every day. As your business grows or if you currently have the capital to do so you can hrie someone to do it. However I’d highly recommend still answering the phone every now and then to get in touch with your customer base.

We have full time customer support people now but I still have the phone ringing into my office on occasion just to chat with customers and get a feel for how they are liking the service. It’s pretty awesome deal if you think about it; your customers provide you with advice and ideas while paying you at the same time. Now go get a phone number up on your site!