Cheesy panic stations!

I sabotaged my own business this week. 🙁

Just for those who may not know my alter-ego – ann of annmade.co.uk slate-ware – it is this business I am talking about – not the novel writing,

So there I am looking at the google adwords – you know those that appear beside the main body of searches and in the faintly (and getting fainter) pink block across the top.You probably know that all these ads are paid per click – so each time you click on one of these, the business who placed the ad pays google some money. Sounds vague – well this is because the business owner has to put a bid on how much they want to pay for their ad to be displayed when a range of specific keywords are put in by the potential customer. And it is vague. You are given ‘guidance’ like – “the average bid for page 1 is 15p” – meaning that you need to be bidding something in that region to get your ad on the first page.

Now, for certain items like slate plates and slate place cards my products naturally (organically) appear on the first page of the seach results. Fot these I do not usually advertise as well. However, some of my products do not appear on the first page, like slate clocks and slate cheeseboards, and for these I do.

So, I put in the search box one of my paid-for keywords, ‘slate cheeseboards’ – and expected to see my ad appear. It was not there! I tried another – still no ad. I checked that I had not had my limit already spent that day (You can set your own limit for how much you want to spend – but that can quickly get used up at this time of the year and I often have to increase it in November) however, it hadn’t all been used. What was going on?

Exploring my ad campaign, I found that google were now suggesting that this keyword would need an average bid of 49p for the ad to appear on the first page. Call me a miser if you like, but 49p a click !!! At that rate I’d have to put the price of the cheeseboards up, and that would never do!

Better by far, I thought, to get onto the first page naturally – but despite having one of the widest ranges of slate cheeseboards available on the Internet, my slate cheeseboards did not show until page 3 – which I am sure you will agree, is further than most people tend to go to look for items.

My webmaster advised that if I wanted that particular term to show up I should have it in my item names (they mostly said cheese board or cheeseboard) and to put them into a separate group – not just within Tableware.

I then spent hours doing this – adding the plural – setting up the new category, finessing the categories the cheeseboards appeared in to reallocate them and then, feeling please with myself, I tried a search.

Arghh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

All the results that appeared only led to an ‘error’ page for my website!

What do you do if the product you were looking for only gives you an error page – ….yep you just click it off.  Every single one of my dozen cheeseboards now led to an error page!

I had successfully sabotaged my own business! And at the most important time of the year!!  Which is pretty cheesy!!

Hot! Cold! Could I remember the exact words for each to put them all back? What of my bid for organic first page ranking? Panic, hair pulling  – you get the picture.

An URGENT message to my webmaster and a lot of holding my breath and crossing my fingers and the answer came back – maybe it can be sorted out!

***                        ****                           ******                     ********                *********

Fast forward a few days and my wonderful webmaster has almost sorted it all out – the links that have been developing all over the Internet over the past five years since I started my slate-ware business, once again lead the customer back to the correct page!

And everything is apple-pie again 🙂

Have you ever tried to improve something but got yourself into a worse predicament than when you started? Does the ‘mind’ of the Internet lose you along the way? Do share and make me feel a little better 😉

 

For FWT cheerleaders – same as last week – so close! Just  a pound and a half to go!

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2 thoughts on “Cheesy panic stations!

  1. Oh dear oh dear oh dear! Thank goodness you sorted it out. I don’t sell anything – or only on eBay sometimes – so while I feel your pain I can’t share it quite in that way. But do have one bad eBay tale I could tell if you really wanted me to… Probably better not!

    Best wishes from wet and windy Liverpool, Maggie

  2. Hi Maggie,
    Thank you for your comments!My webmaster pointed out that he said I ‘should have had that term in my titles’ not to actually change them – but to put them into the new category instead – so I could have saved myself time as well as trauma if I’d taken more care to understand intead of rushing in!
    Ah? An eBay tale – one for your blog?

    Wet and Windy! Yeah! here too – and flooding in places we don’t ususally get flooding. What is the weather coming to? And some people still don’t believe we are in a climate change situation.
    all the best – Ann

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