Received an email from the supplier to say that the order was on its way, so hopefully it won’t take too long! Time to get the site a little more “ready”.
We really like to start with around six images on the home page to begin with, although this can vary by niche. Our experience has shown that people seem to gravitate towards clicking on nice imagery rather than using the menus, so it’s important to give them a pleasant experience on the homepage, as well as giving them some ideas, and helping them to filter out the products that they might not be interested in.
Because we don’t actually have any products to take photos of, I had a look at a few stock image sites to see if there were any images that might work. Doing this is difficult, as stock images don’t always contain the products you’re trying to sell, and even if they do, the images can all be in different styles, or difficult to add text to. If you can use them though, it’s an easy an relatively cheap way to get your site going. In our case, we did okay – not perfect – but good enough. Perfectionists need not apply!
Doing this also forces you to figure out what product categories you’re going to setup. Sometimes (if you’re lucky) your keyword research will help guide you. In our case though, while there are a bunch of scattered keywords (all under 100 searches), it really comes down to our primary keywords like “pocket watches” and “fob watches” which isn’t too helpful (as they are the same thing). We’ve got “Nurses Watches” as well that we’re going after, so this is an easy win for a category. While I don’t get too hopeful about any searches under 100 being that useful, without any other information, we’ve used some of the following keywords to round out our categories:
All Pocket Watches / Fob Watches
skeleton pocket watches / fob watches
black pocket watches / fob watches
half-hunter pocket watches / fob watches
full-hunter pocket watches / fob watches
nurses fob watches
These will be our initial homepage banner categories, although we’ve added a couple of others as well:
gold pocket watches / fob watches
silver pocket watches / fob watches
Contacted the photographer to let him know that the watches will get to him probably early next week. Also gave him examples of what kind of photos (angles etc.) that we want so that he can start getting ideas of how to make it happen.
The “Nurse Watch” discussion. As previously mentioned, while doing keyword research for pocket watches, we found the two search terms “nurses watch” and “nurses fob watch” (2900 and 720 searches per month respectively). Give the additional number of searches, and the similarity of the product, it seems crazy not to add this as a category to our site.
What we’ve found while searching for the actual product is that while there are a few classy designs that will fit well in our higher-end classic feel that we’re going for with fobandco.com.au, most of the nurses watches available seem to be cheaper silicon style watches, that would not fit at all into our branding.
They would however, make for a great site of their own. The searches are high enough to stand on their own as a niche, the competition suits our criteria, and while we couldn’t charge a particularly high amount for this style of watch, we do have the ability to sell more than silicon case at a time (the little watch piece snaps into the silicon cases), and brand it amazingly. Tess of course is now super excited about it, and it will be impossible to stop her from doing it anyway now that she can picture it – so I guess we’re starting another niche!
We’ll still be trying to rank fobandco for those same terms (the classy “nurse graduation present” nurse watches will still be best for this branding, but won’t work for the colourful, fun everyday nurse watch style site), but it should be a lot easier to rank the dedicated nurse watch site due to its much higher relevance, and ability to have way more designs. It will be an interesting experiment, as we’ve never tried to rank two sites for the same terms before (although we’ve often thought of it).
We also need to think more about what will go with the packaging. We’re struggling to get any calico bag suppliers to get back to us, despite sending multiple emails, but we’re going to keep trying. It will take a while before our other pocket watch case samples all arrive too, so we’re playing the waiting game there as well. It’s starting to look like it will be the packaging that might stop us from getting this site up as quickly as we want to, as even when they finally arrive, there are no guarantees that any of them will be good enough for what we need. In many ways, packaging is even more important than the product when you are trying to get a higher price for your items.
We also like to include some extra inserts with every order. It doesn’t even matter what they are in a way, it’s more about the customer feeling like they have lots of “stuff” when they get the delivery. It has to be nice stuff though, and not too “salesy”. Things like care instructions, warranty cards, what to do if the item is not your liking etc.
For this niche, we’ll need to do the how to use instructions, as well as some kind of warranty card. We like to use business cards to do this, as they are small, can be done with class, and are easy to get printed fairly cheaply (we use vistaprint).
The suppliers we’ve been in contact with all seem to have the same instructions for the watches, so this will be a good place for us to start.
I’ve now whipped up two cards and ordered them. One is an instructions card about how to use the watches (based on the supplier’s information) and the other is a “thanks for purchase, please contact us with any problems” style card.