Week 11 Reflection (B250)

Along with the week that we actually designed our webpage, this week was one of my favorite weeks because we learned how to assess the landing page that is placed in our advertisements. Using the statistics given in Google Adwords, we can evaluate what needs to be changed in order to bring more views and purchases.

In order for a landing page to be successful, it is important to ask if the landing page shows what is promised in the advertisement. If someone clicks on the ad and doesn’t see what they are looking for easily, then they will leave the page quickly. This is known as the bounce rate. A landing page needs to be visually appealing, but also needs to be usable by the viewer.

Here are a few articles that I used to help evaluate my own landing page:
https://support.google.com/partners/answer/2404197?hl=en
https://moz.com/blog/6-essential-ppc-landing-page-optimizations

The next thing we learned about was the basics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Before this week, I didn’t really understand exactly what SEO was, or how to implement it. This video really helped me to understand what it is and what changes can be made to my webpage to increase traffic:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hF515-0Tduk&feature=youtu.be

While learning about SEO and creating a successful landing page, I was able to come up with a few things that could be changed in order to make my website better. I used this article to base my answers off of:
https://moz.com/blog/visual-guide-to-keyword-targeting-onpage-optimization (The first graphic is very helpful!)

1. Text, images, and multimedia are remarkable: My images are not the best right now because they are temporary images that my friend who makes the jewelry for the company took on her phone. This is one of the most important things that I need to update because it makes the page seem less appealing.

2. The page loads quickly: It takes a lot longer for the first image that appears on the homepage to load than the rest of the content because it is such a large file. I need to either resize the file or choose a different image that will work better for the page.

3. Primary keyword phrase is the first words of the title element: I don’t know what the title of my webpage is right now. I need to figure out how to use HTML to change the title for my site however, I don’t think that Wix allows me to do this. I will need to find an alternative way so that search engines can read my sites title and show up in search results.

4. Mobile friendly: My website takes longer to load on a mobile device and the content isn’t arranged the way that I want it to be. I need to take the time to make my website mobile friendly especially because all of the people who have clicked on my link have come from a mobile device.

5. Primary keyword is found in the body content two times: I don’t have much body content on my page right now but I know that I need to add content so that my website will appear more in search engines.

 

Week 10 Reflection (B250)

As we have continued working with Google Adwords and Google Analytics, I feel that I have learned a lot about the different techniques of creating successful ads for google. When I was in middle school and high school, I always said that I wanted to either be a nurse or work with advertisement. This week has taught me that I still have an interest in advertisement. Even though I am just barely brushing the surface and still have a lot to learn, I could see myself continuing to create ads and monitor the success of each ad. It is really interesting to me to watch what draws a person to view the ad.

This week we learned a way to see if the advertisements are actually drawing in success. The best way to tell is by looking at the conversion tracking. Conversion is the action that happens after a user clicks on the advertisement and is brought to the webpage. On my webpage, the conversion is when someone purchases one of my products. Each purchase averages about $18. Knowing the conversion rate is helpful to knowing how much profit I will bring in.

The way to determine how much you are making with advertisements is to look at the return on investment (ROI). It compares how much you’ve spent on the ad to how much you’ve made on the ad.
Here is a helpful article to calculate the return on investment:
https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/1722066?hl=en&topic=1713968&ctx=topic

We also evaluated the performance of our ads by looking at the statistics that are provided in Google Ads. Assessing my current statistics was helpful because it allowed me to see that I still have a lot to change about my advertisements and webpage. My advertisements have been viewed over a couple thousand of times which really excites me. However, I have not received anywhere near as many clicks. This helps me to see that there is still a lot of changes that need to be made.
I used these two links to help me assess what changes need to be made in order for my site to see my growth:
https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2453976?hl=en
https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2404196?hl=en

Overall, this week has helped me to see that I still have a lot of improvements to be made on my advertisements. I will continue to work hard to make sure that I see the progress that I need in order to draw traffic to my website.

Week 9 Reflection (B250)

We are still working with Google Analytics and Google Adwords this week. I was amazed to find out that Google Analytics does so much more than I previously thought. Not only does it track the views that each of your pages receive, but it also points out the geographical location of where that click came from. It can also tell you what directed a viewer to your page and if the click came from a different webpage, it can tell you the link. This is not all that Google Analytics can do. There is so much more to be discovered!

Here is a great link to a lesson on what Google Analytics is, and what it can do for your business:
https://analyticsacademy.withgoogle.com/course/1/unit/3/lesson/1

The specific video that I linked in lesson 3.1 talks about how google analytics actually works. I thought that this was a useful tool for me because I am uncertain of the limitations of Google Analytics. I have yet to activate my campaign on Google Adwords, but once I get everything rolling, I think that I will be able to understand the abilities of Google Analytics.

The most surprising thing this week has taught me is that I really enjoy looking at statistics and the trends of webpages. I think that I have sparked an interest in thinking about social media management where I could create the content for a company and analyze the data that comes from Google Analytics and other sources. I think that it is interesting to see the different trends based on statistics.

Week 8 Reflection (B250)

This week we have been continuing our project for Google Adwords. This time we focused on the actual text of the ad, or what shows up to users in Google searches. It is very important to do the research on what makes a successful text ad. Creating a text ad with grammatical errors will cause viewers to scroll right past the ad. Even though there is a limited number of characters available for a text ad, it is important create the appropriate words that will grab their attention. Using action words like “shop now” or using sales promotions help to get clicks.
Here are a few useful articles that helped me to determine the text for one of my ads:
About Text Ads
Write Successful Text Ads
12 Tips to Successful Ads

In the end, this was the text ad that I created for the Ad Group Handmade Jewelry

Unique Handmade Jewelry | Boho and Basil
www.bohoandbasil.com/shop
Spice up your wardrobe with new handcrafted pieces. Shop one of a kind, boho chic jewelry.

I feel that I have learned a great deal this week even though we only focused on one assignment. Creating text ads is an important step in the process of forming an online business because that is what draws viewers to a webpage.

Week 7 Reflection(B250)

For this week, we focused on getting started with Google Adwords. Google Adwords is a tool that is used to place ads on Google using specific keywords. When a user searches the keyword, the ad will appear in the search results based on the budget that has been set. The business then pays that amount on a pay per click system. When setting up an Adwords account, it is important to consider the following questions:

  • What geographic locations do you want your ad to show in?
  • What devices do you want your ad to show on?
  • Do you want to use automatic or manual bidding?
  • What is your daily budget?

In my opinion, setting a daily budget is one of the most important parts because it determines how well your ad will show up in the search results. I chose $3 to start with as my daily budget. While this is not much, I think that it is a great starting point for what I am doing and I also don’t have enough to pay more.

Here is a link to a video about Adwords for future reference:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyfaSuO7m6E&feature=youtu.be

The next step is to choose keywords to use for your ads. This is a very critical step in the process of setting up Google Adwords. The best thing to think about when selecting keywords is to think about what actual users would type in if they were searching for a product related to yours. It is important to think about what characteristics make a successful keyword and vice versa. Here is another useful video about selecting keywords:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFeOCCRpk8s

A very helpful feature with Adwords is that you can also select negative keywords. Negative keywords are words that aren’t associated with your product you are trying to advertise.
This is a great article from google about how to select negative keywords:
https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2453972?hl=en&topic=1713958&ctx=topic

This week’s assignments will be helpful in completing my next project which is to activate an Adwords campaign. I think that it is a useful and unique skill to know the basics of using Google Adwords. It is a great skill to have on a resume that will stand out from others since building advertisements is essential to a successful online business.

Week 6 Reflection (B250)

This past week has been incredibly insightful and frightening at the same time. I learned about choosing a legal structure and understanding taxes. There was a lot of information to absorb as I studied various websites for hours trying to understand exactly what I need to do in order to keep my website legal and risk free.

I found this website very insightful for the state of Tennessee, which is where my location will be based out of:
http://www.tn.gov/ecd/topic/how-to-start-a-business

On step 2, it lists each legal structure and it looks at the pros and cons of each option. This website also gave me a good foundation of the requirements for starting a business. It is a trustworthy source because it is a .gov website. I think that it is so important to get information form a reliable source because it could save you from conflict down the road.

Here is my thought process while researching these topics (for personal, future reference):

Licenses, Permits, and Special Regulations

Business licenses- My city requires that you get a business license if you gross more than $3000 a year in receipts. I don’t expect to make more than $3000 in a year.
http://www.murfreesborotn.gov/index.aspx?NID=133
DBA- This article recommends that I get a DBA because the name of the business (Boho and Basil) will be different than my legal name.

https://smallbiztrends.com/2012/03/does-your-business-need-a-dba.html
Permits/ Special Regulations- None that I can find

Income Tax

Federal income tax-

https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/business-taxes
State income tax- There is no state income tax in Tennessee

 Sales Tax

State- If you sell more than $4800 a year in revenue, then you’re required to register your business for sales tax. I don’t think that I will make that much so for now I do not need to register for sales tax. However, I will still need to register my business for taxes (http://www.tn.gov/revenue/article/register-with-revenue). The cost is $15 and I am in classification 3.

 

https://revenue.support.tn.gov/hc/en-us/articles/204309679-I-m-setting-up-an-online-business-in-Tennessee-Am-I-required-to-collect-Tennessee-taxes-
National- My business is not known as a nexus and therefore does not require me to include sales tax.
https://www.sba.gov/starting-business/learn-about-business-laws/online-business-law/collecting-sales-tax-online
Local-Same as above with the state tax. I will not be making enough to have to pay sales tax in my county.

 

There has been a lot of information to take in, but I feel confident in moving forward with this business and the legal structure.

Week 4 Reflection (B250)

At the beginning of this class, I assumed that I would build my website from the ground up using HTML/CSS. It offers so much more flexibility in designing a website. I find drag and drop websites frustrating as they limit what you can truly do. In fact, that is one of the reasons I got interested in majoring in web design and development. However, I simply do not have the time to do this so I have decided to use a website builder.

With all of the website builders out there, it may seem like an easy task to get a website up and running. I have learned from this week that this isn’t always the case. There are so many different websites to choose from that it is kind of overwhelming. The most important things to consider when choosing a website builder is how much you are willing to put into the website. Some website builders are free but that restricts the resources you could be getting. Websites like Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly provide you with a program that makes it easier to start an online store or any type of website. They also provide things like domain names and additional storage. I have decided to choose Squarespace as my website builder and host. I will discuss what I learned throughout the process.

While searching for a website builder, the three most important things that I looked for were price, flexibility with design, and level of difficulty. The price of the basic online store package is $26 if you pay annually. This seems like a very steep price compared to other site builders however, there is a 50% student discount. There are so many tools that come with this plan that will be helpful with starting an online business and I think it will be worth the price. Squarespace is known for its flexibility with design. You start by selecting a template that can be changed however you want. It also provides you with a mobile ready site which is very important for an online store. Overall, Squarespace seems very simple and easy to use. They offer 24/7 support and have said that they will respond to emails within an hour.

Choosing a host was a simple task for me because Squarespace will host the website that is built. In the future, when searching for hosts, I will need to look for a host that provides a domain name and offers a large amount or unlimited storage.

Even though it was difficult to chose the right website builder and host, I look forward to moving on with building this website and hope that my decision will be beneficial to me.