August 10th, 2010 by Kyle West
I have been getting a lot of questions lately along the lines of “Kyle, what can I do to boost my sales?” The problem with that question is there is no single answer and no guarantee that whatever I tell you is going to work in your situation. You can, however, stack the deck in your favor by doing a lot of little things well.
Below I’ve listed what I’ve seen working. If you’re asking yourself the question: “what can I do to boost my sales” you may want to check them out.
RPMWare makes it so easy for you to setup shop and offer your customers 200 product lines. That is an immediate recipe for failure unless you have the resources to learn about 200 different product lines. We’re not selling bubble gum here guys, and, generally speaking, your customers are going to need some support for whatever they are buying. If you can’t deliver they aren’t going to buy from you because they can’t trust you.
Bottom line: pick a niche and focus on it. You can do 350Z parts, or drivetrain parts, or product lines that start with the letter B, it really doesn’t matter. What matters is you know the lines you are selling and can speak about them intelligently when a customer gives you a call.
Now that you’ve trimmed your offering it is time to focus on them and make your shop the go-to source. To start, make sure your pricing is competitive. You don’t have to be the cheapest guy on the block, but very, very few people are going to pay a $50+ premium to do business with you.
RPMWare makes it easy to set your pricing, and gives you a lot of flexibility in how you choose to do so. Take some time and scope the competition, see what they are charging and make sure you are in the same ballpark.
Raise your hand if this is on your website somewhere: “We offer you the best prices and the best customer service.” Of course you do, and so does everybody else. Nobody is going to put on their website: “Our prices are 10 times higher than the competition and our customer service is crap.” You must do something that can really set you apart — your shop cars are a great example. Make it the hero of your website.
Your site is how the majority of your customers will know you. You should spend some time to make it an accurate representation of your brand. We offer some design packages or your own designer can make your site really stand apart from the crowd.
Once it it looking good you should spend some time to add some original content. The RPMWare about us page is one of the most popular on this site. Consumers want to know who they are doing business with and are far more likely to do business with someone they like.
First: please, please, please do NOT pay anyone any sum of money if they call themselves a SEO expert and promise to “get you on the first page of Google” or make any other ridiculous claims. Google is a behemoth and its first page is very valuable real estate if anyone knew the secret to getting results on the first page, they wouldn’t be after us, they would be after clients with much deeper pockets.
That said there are things you can do to get yourself moving up the ranks. The most important thing Google tracks is PageRank. It’s basically a popularity index based on what sites are linking to you and how many of them there are. If you could manage to score links from CNN, Ford, Yahoo, Digg, Facebook, Fool.com, TechCrunch and Gizmodo you’re PageRank is instantly going to be better than the guy with one link from Bob’s Muffler Barn. So get out there and get the word out. Write articles for online magazines, start a blog, submit pictures of your shop cars. Basically whatever you can do, aside from spamming, to get your name out is going to help your PageRank.
Second, invest some time and create some custom descriptions for your top selling product groups. Make sure they are absolutely awesome, loaded with the keywords (terms people may be searching for) and extremely helpful. You can do that in any product group’s detail page under SEO Extensions.