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Review Of Pdwsoftware.com, Please Be Gentle :)


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19 replies to this topic

#1 Priest

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 02:30 PM

Hello Good People!

My web address is pdwsoftware.com. I would like any suggestions on maybe SEO and design or layout that I can get and or just what I can possibly do to improve rankings and just the overall user experience. Also if someone can suggest some different marketing ideas (shoestring for now) that would be great. I have been playing with this idea for 4 years and just now have put some real focus towards it.

In the future I will add search when I have more products. Of course I want to make money but my main goal is to provide a good, simple, clean customer purchasing experience.

General
is this site completed or under construction? Completed but its always being retooled.

If completed:
How long has the site been up? 2 + years. I have continued to adjust the look and feel of it. This is the first time, I feel good about whats there.

SEO
Do you have incoming links? Yes.

What keywords are you targeting? Custom computers, software, pc, hardware, computers, buy software, buy computers, cheap custom computers, cheap computers

Do you want your code reviewed for errors or improvements? Sure, if any one is up to it.

Marketing (I would love to be the baby Dell with better support and customer service and systems) well then I guess I want to be a better PDW 
Who is your target audience? Just about any and everyone.
Gender: I realize its Male but again I would like everyone.
Nationality: Everyone
Age Range: Everyone
Education level: Everyone
Likes/Dislikes: Everyone

The more you tell us about your target audience, the better. We don't know them- you do! Again, everyone, honestly!

Why is your site different from sites selling/offering similar info/goods/services? Why will someone want to do business you? Clean, navigation is simple, great service and products at good prices.

How important is usability? Extremely important!

What is the purpose of the site? (Inform, sell, online community, support B&M business, contact info only, etc) sell computers and software at great prices.


Design
Do you want design suggestions? Yes! Thanks!


#2 torka

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 03:09 PM

Haven't had a chance to look in detail at the site, but FTR, your target audience isn't everyone. If you want to improve your marketing, and you want us to help you, you'll have to do a better job than that of defining your audience.

For instance, I suspect my six-year-old son is not in your demographic. For starters, he doesn't have a credit card and his allowance isn't sufficient for him to be able to buy his own computer anytime soon. smile.gif

Likewise, somebody who's struggling to make ends meet on a minimum wage job isn't a good fit for your products, either. I can't speak for everyone, but if the choice comes down to paying the rent and buying food for my family versus getting a new computer, I'm pretty sure I know which one I'll pick. Computers are discretionary spending. Food and shelter are not.

So, right off the bat, you want people who have enough disposable income to be able to pay for your products and who have the ability to make independent purchasing decisions. Which means you're not really looking at "all ages" and you're not really looking at "all income levels."

My mom is likewise not a good fit for your products. She's plenty intelligent and she's got enough money to easily afford a computer, but she's absolutely uninterested. Bordering on a little nervous around them. She can send email on her own (took her a couple of years to work up to that), and do some basic document creation with Word... but other than that, she never touches the computer.

At least the way the site is structured now, it's clear you're targeting a fairly tech-savvy audience, whether you know it or not. Just look at your menu. My mom would have no idea what the difference is between a "value computer," a "gaming computer," a "performance computer," and a "barebones computer." To her, they're all just "computers" and she has absolutely no grasp of the meaning of any of the technical specifications or why she should care about them.

Her idea of computer shopping would be (1) call me up and ask me to pick one out for her, and if I for some reason weren't available, (2) to go to Best Buy and let the sales person steer her to a "good" computer. If you really want to target people like my mom, you've got to do a lot more explaining and hand-holding than what you're doing now. Starting with convincing them why they would even want to buy their own computer to start with.

As to nationality, do you really think (for instance) a Masai herdsman is going to be interested in your computers? How about somebody who speaks and reads only Croatian or Japanese? Will they find content on the site in their language? On your shipping policies page, you do mention "International", but you follow that with "(Canada)". And all the other options clearly refer only to the USA. So you're not really targeting the world -- you're targeting English-speaking North Americans.

So let's take another look at your target audience (at least the one your site is targeting now): probably male (or exceptionally geeky females), 18+ years old, tech-savvy, possibly a gamer, English-speaking, North American, with at least a bit of cash (or credit) to spare but interested in getting the best value for their money. Somebody probably doesn't need a lot of hand-holding but who'd still rather build a relationship with a smaller supplier than deal with an impersonal corporation.

Once you're honest with yourself about who it is your site really targets, you can decide if that's who you want to target. If it is, then wonderful! You've got a great start. Keep that audience in mind as you build out your site further and make sure you continue to speak to their needs and preferences.

If it's not, then you need to study the people who are in your desired target market much more closely. (And it's not "everybody"!) Figure out what makes them tick, what their hot buttons are, what keeps them awake at night. Then overhaul your site as needed until you're speaking to them.

My penny.gif

--Torka mf_prop.gif

#3 Priest

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 03:19 PM

well, I appreciate that. The only reason I say everyone because Even if your grandmother is interested in a computer regardless if she knows the lingo, rather then going to Best Buy, I rather her come to me. I have a response for each one of your scenarios but I really appreciate the input and will truly look into it more from that perspective.

#4 nethy

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 07:25 PM

A few suggestions. This definitely doesn't cover everything

I agree on the segmentation point. The site targets tech savy bargain hunters. You service a wide range of performance needs. You can service tech savy bargain hunters who need a cheap email/surfing machine or tech savy bargain hunters who are graphic designers or tech savy bargain hunters who are gamers. But, you do not target torkas moms, regardless of their computor needs. (at the moment)

I like:
1.the graphic design, nice & clean
2.The site covers a relatively small scale of products making it easily to navigate. With these sorts of sites finding what you want easily is everything.
points to consider:
3.'search products' option
4. copy. I believe you dont have original copy. Your range of products is relatively limited so you can consider maybe writing your own copy at least for main products.
5. taking point 4 further. You jump straight to features, no benefits. Your snippet is part of the features described in a essay style paragraph then you gop to a feature summary list. Even the tech savy (& definitely torka's moms), will probably prefer the snippet to give benefits information that differentiates the various options. Option one at $250 needs to explain how it differs from option 2 at $320. Identify who this product is for & what needs it can serve.

-example-

"The Sempron 3400 is a great option for those of you who need a reliable machine for all of you who need a computor that will do all the basic, well. Check emails, surf your favorite sites, write word documents an all the rest with ease. read more>>>"

''The Athlon 64 is for those who need the basics plus a little extra. If you sometimes run several programs at once this may be the machine for you. Listen to music while you check your emails, chat & message your friends. read more>>>"

That said, given that the site target the tech savy bargain hunters youll want to display some basic features- processor, memory etc.on the category page in awaythats easily scanable.

6.More on the topic: This is where segmentation plays a part: Your current target market - tech savy bargain hunters, will likely ahave arough idea what they want and will be looking for a package that they like for cheap. You will likely be competing on price & minor differentiation. Make the site scanable, make it easy tofind what you were looking at before.

hope it helps biggrin.gif

#5 nethy

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 09:21 PM

BTW, why pdwsoftware and not pdwhardware?

#6 Priest

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 09:34 AM

QUOTE(nethy @ Aug 1 2007, 09:21 PM) View Post
BTW, why pdwsoftware and not pdwhardware?


Thanks nethy! You have some awesome points! Exactly the kind of stuff I was looking for. Thank you, that has brought out alot. I called PDWSoftware at first because before I planned on only selling software but then I had a bright Idea to do both....hehe. Any who, I bought the domain pdwcomputers becuase software is in computers but your question is on point that computers is not in software. I will then be setting up a 302 redirect. Thanks again!

#7 1dmf

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 10:33 AM

QUOTE
I will then be setting up a 302 redirect.
do you only 'temporarily' plan on redirecting the domain? in NOT then you need to use a 301 redirect!

#8 Priest

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 03:36 PM

QUOTE(1dmf @ Aug 2 2007, 10:33 AM) View Post
do you only 'temporarily' plan on redirecting the domain? in NOT then you need to use a 301 redirect!


Yep it's only temp, until pdwcomputers can build cred.

#9 Ignoramus

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 04:38 PM

Torka at the risk of being called a silver-tongued flatterer, that was one of the most elegant critiques I have read. You have a knack for getting to the nub then presenting your comments in a way any simpleton like me can grasp.

Whatever they pay you in your current job its not enough.

QUOTE(torka @ Aug 1 2007, 09:09 PM) View Post
As to nationality, do you really think (for instance) a Masai herdsman is going to be interested in your computers?


Somewhat off topic have you ever met a Masai herdsman ?

I have. Shortly after a group of them speared a tourist for going back on a deal to photograph them. It wasnt the money they minded it was the breaking of the contract. The Masai may not be big on computer technology but they are big on honour.

Personally, I prefer the latter. Oh dear. I fear a rant is coming on. Must stop now.


#10 nethy

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 06:43 PM

SOme woman not far from here (somewhere in melbourne) is married to a masai herdsman she was on a tabloid/news show a while back. Maybe he has a computer.

I say, make a computer store for masai herdsmen.

Thoughts On Market segementation
E marketing opens a whole new world for segemntation. Some of the rules change. Not the principles mind, the rules. The basic principles of segmentation that marketing 101 txtbooks would all assert are that a segment must represent a viable market (volume & purchsaing power mostly). It must be distinguishable (you can't just say people who want computers).And it must be targetable (this is where things change online). In terms of SEO/SEM we segemnt slightly differently keywords can actually be thought of as representing a segment. There may be an underlying real world market segment (with common demographic or some other distinguishing features) but that doesn't nessacrily matter. A keyword market segment is 'targetable, distinguishable & the desicion to target it is actionable. If you go with the flow set by adwords you are optimising your content to attract retain & appeal to certain keyword searchers- a segment. If you simply change your page title or go the hardyards and reorganise the page & serve up a 'cheap computers' page an 'affordable computers page' & a 'bargain computers pages' depending on keyword segmentation (easy with ppc more difficult with organic) you are targeting & appealing to a segement. Understanding the other characteristics of the segment may help you do this but they are in effect, incedental. The characteristic making them targetable, are the keywords & you have many things that you can do to appeal to the segent by with just this knowledge.

Also, it's more viable to say you are targeting 'people who want to by a computer online' when you are e marketing. Although this is a feature of any 'pull' promotional platform (including print directories, the internets evolutionary fathers).

Being a recent marketing and business graduate I am surprised at how behind the academics are in taking into account this new world of marketing.

Edited by nethy, 02 August 2007 - 08:31 PM.


#11 torka

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 12:28 AM

Keywords don't buy anything. People do.

You can build pages to target the keywords that people use to search for your product, but you still need to appeal to the people who entered those search terms if you want to make any sales. You need copy that appeals to them -- that speaks to their needs, that offers them benefits that matter to them, than answers their questions and that makes them feel comfortable with buying from you. You need a design they find credible and appealing. You need a site architecture that makes sense to them, and that guides them in a way they find clear and comfortable to your most desired action.

It's not just about coming up in search for the desired terms, or even about getting people who entered those terms to visit your pages. Once they get there, you need to motivate them to buy from you. And you really can't do that effectively without taking into consideration the motivations, preferences and fears of the people behind the phrases.

Online marketing is a different medium, with different "rules" for presentation and content. But the basic rules of marketing aren't any different. For maximum results, you still need to understand your audience (people, not keywords) at a very deep level and give them what they're looking for.

My penny.gif YMMV

--Torka mf_prop.gif

#12 nethy

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 05:57 PM

keywords don't buy in the same way that income brackets or home ownership brackets don't buy. Segmentation is all about recognising an identifiable feature of a group, targeting them and appealing to them. Having just keyed in a keyword is enough to apply a person to a segment for these purposes. Within keyword segementation you can do just about anything you could do offline with demographic segmentation or any other segementation.

#13 ScottSalwolke

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 09:38 PM

A couple of things I noticed. On the home page your missing an image and a price for McAfee. Any error like this will automatically make prospects wary of purchasing from you. Another thing that seemed strange is the about us. It talks about the web sites you've done and the SEO work. This seems like something for anothe site as there is no mention of this on the home page. Instead the about us should focus on your computer business and perhaps include testimonials from satisfied clients.

#14 adybee

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 07:27 AM

Your main product - AMD Sempron 3000 - is below the fold - I would've naturally gone to the main menu rather than take a look at this product.

nethy's product descriptions is where you should go - simple, easy to understand and with links through to the technical info should it be needed.

btw value, performance, gaming what about business computers?

#15 Priest

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Posted 06 August 2007 - 10:11 AM

QUOTE(nethy @ Aug 5 2007, 05:57 PM) View Post
keywords don't buy in the same way that income brackets or home ownership brackets don't buy. Segmentation is all about recognising an identifiable feature of a group, targeting them and appealing to them. Having just keyed in a keyword is enough to apply a person to a segment for these purposes. Within keyword segementation you can do just about anything you could do offline with demographic segmentation or any other segementation.


Thanks! I appreciate that. It was just a system glitch that has since been fixed. Thanks again!

QUOTE(Copywriter39 @ Aug 5 2007, 09:38 PM) View Post
A couple of things I noticed. On the home page your missing an image and a price for McAfee. Any error like this will automatically make prospects wary of purchasing from you. Another thing that seemed strange is the about us. It talks about the web sites you've done and the SEO work. This seems like something for anothe site as there is no mention of this on the home page. Instead the about us should focus on your computer business and perhaps include testimonials from satisfied clients.


Actually, this was meant for you...sorry

"Thanks! I appreciate that. It was just a system glitch that has since been fixed. Thanks again! "




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