A Home Page Is Not A Shop Window

by Jim June 26, 2019

Heading back to Cairns soon to do another revenue workshop. It’ll be a bit more SEO based and focused on helping those businesses that aren’t quite ready to move on to our fully fledged revenue model. I’ll be teaching the low touch, high impact’ points to ready a site and explain why you need to stop thinking of your homepage as a shop window.

What I learned

  • The revenue model isn’t for everyone but we still like to help
  • Your data needs to be ready
  • What are your low touch/high impact changes?
  • Don’t copy the big end of town
  • Your. Homepage. Is. Not. A. Shop. Window.


Hey, welcome back Rankers. It`s three degrees in the studio this morning, so I`m going to be quick. Melbourne. Winter. We`re here.

Interested in a Cairns workshop?

I`m doing a workshop in Cairns, 25th of July, this year, and it`s the revenue workshop that we just ran at Retail Global, as well. I stopped running SEO workshops back in about 2010, and I`ve just started doing these ones again, because there`s a lot of businesses we`re just not going to take on as clients. Right? We`re very choosy about, as I`ve said this before, about who we can take on and who we want to work with, and whether those people want to work with us, quite frankly. Life`s too short to not work with nice people, and have a good time, and make a lot of money while you`re doing it, as well. Right? So, we`re very picky about who we work with.

The workshops are ones for people who don`t fit the model, who aren`t going to be able to come on board because their structure might be too big, so they won`t be able to move as quickly. Or maybe they`re not ready yet. We looked at a potential new client the other week and we just said, `Sorry, your data is just not ready. You`re just not ready to go there yet. You`ve got to go away, do four or five things to get to the point where, `Okay, now we can take you on.“

One of the things I`ve been doing with this workshop is, I`ve been going through as many Cairns retailers as I can find. Over the weekend I went through a whole bunch, and on Shopify and Magento sites, and that`s a sample of them there. But then I`m scoring them all based on what I think, how they`re performing, and the sorts of things that we look at.

Every one of those sites had major things that you could do really easily, and when I say major, I mean major impact, not major tasks, not major costs, none of those sorts of things. These workshops are all about finding those and highlighting those. There`s been a bit of press lately. Certainly one international company, ASOS, got into trouble because their SEO went bad. A whole range of things. There was another Australia company, another ASX listed company, recently said the same thing in one of the reports to their shareholders is that their SEO went bad. It has a real major impact on your revenue, and your bottom line, and your shareholders. But there are other things you could be doing that you may not think of as SEO, but would actually help your rankings. But more importantly, they`ll drive revenue and increase sales.

I`m just going to have a look at ASOS for you and show you what I mean. Here`s the mistake, and I`ll often get asked, `What`s the big end of town doing? What is big business doing that smaller or medium-size enterprises can take advantage of, move quickly?` Well, I would say in most cases with eCommerce, avoid what the large brands are doing. Avoid what big business is doing, because they`re doing stuff like this, and it`s horrible.

It`s not a bloody shop window!

The reason it`s horrible is, okay, so we`ve got a thing saying this is ASOS. Obviously, the site`s not meant for me. I`m not part of their demographic there at all. But okay, so we can shop men or shop women. Right? That`s fine. But this is horrible. This is horrible, right? This huge … Once again, you know what this is? This is your shop window, your classic. It`s not as bad as some, but it is a shop window. Because, okay, it`s got some USPs, which is great. It`s got some call to actions, which is great. But it`s still a bloody shop window. This is the mistake that most retailers make, is that they try to, when you get to their site, they still sort of say `Come in, come in, come in.` No. We`re in the shop already. We`re at the front counter saying `Give me my stuff. Where is it? You haven`t got it? See you.` That`s the mistake that most retailers make, is essentially treating their home page like it`s a bloody shop window when it`s not. Okay?

When you`re thinking about retail, and your clients, and everything else, yeah, you`ve got to do all those content marketing things. There was some great content marketing that happened over the weekend, although it probably happened months and months and years ago. I don`t know how long ago. But there`s a little bakery in Melbourne called the Oasis Bakery. They`ve got a grocery store, as well. They just wrote some awesome copy around all their herbs, and it just went ballistic, and overnight or over the weekend, they would have got smashed with traffic. When you get smashed with traffic, always make sure you go and have a look at Google Search Console, and check out the bot, and check out to see if the bot has come in and crawled over your whole site. I would say in their case it probably has, because they were getting a lot of traffic worldwide. This is the United States looking at the whole Oasis Bakery in Australia over the weekend. And you can see here it`s had one big kick, and then it`s dropped, then it`s had another big kick overnight. Spices. It`s all about their spices. Because they`ve just got fantastic copy.

But the site`s got heaps of problems. You`re doing all this thing right. I saw the same with some of those Cairns sites that I was looking at. They`ll get one thing right, or they`ll get a couple of things right, and then they`ll get five things wrong. When you`re doing that on a retail site, unless you`re looking at the data really, really carefully, you don`t know whether that thing has actually worked because this thing has actually brought it down, or this thing didn`t work, but you can`t see that it didn`t work because revenue came up in another area. That`s one of the issues. Like these guys, look at that, look at that traffic. They would be getting huge amounts of traffic. Problem with the site, though, is that it`s got heaps of duplication. Yesterday it was ranking, I think, in the lower twenties for herbs and spices. Today it was number 14. A whole range of phrases will be jumping up for it now, because people are looking for it, and Google knows that.

Google is a populist engine, and Google is always going to show the most popular thing that it thinks you are looking for at the top of the search engines. When you are thinking about your customers, and this goes for everyone, this isn`t just retail sites. Right? I mean, accountant sites, lawyer sites, all sorts of sites suffer from the same problem. They think, and this is a design problem. This is an industry problem. The industry has, in a lot of ways, educated site owners to think this way, is that `Okay, now we`ve got a nice big splashy homepage with beautiful design.` Not, `Sorry, you`re at the front counter. How can I help you?`

That`s it. Hopefully, that`s helpful, and we`ll see you next week. Please subscribe. Please share. And if you know anyone in Cairns who might be interested in a workshop, please tell them. See you next week. Thanks very much. Bye.

Jim’s been here for a while, you know who he is.

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