e-Celtic SEO Blog
August 9, 2012 - Posted by Mario Marchetti under Blog

Our research tells us that the Central Statistics Office does not include online retail sales in its retail sales figures in Ireland, something that confuses me year in year out. It’s as if online retail sales in Ireland do not exist and are perhaps even a myth. This Year, April in Ireland we have seen a Consecutive 37 month decrease in retail sales so one would make an assumption that online sales are decreasing; this is clearly not the case, online sales are increasing every year and E-commerce is one of the fastest growing markets in Europe.


Our Nearest neighbour the United Kingdom has seen impressive growth over the last 4 years in this sector. Based on CRR, research commissioned by Kelkoo, 2011 sales in the UK were £50.34 billion (€59.4 billion) or 12% of UK retail trade. In 2008, online was equivalent to only 8.6% of retail sales. This research tells us that growth is in between 0.6 – 1% which could be worth as much as €5 billion. Forecasting sales is always a tricky business and it can go horribly wrong if you don’t do your maths correctly. I would go with the adage that you should always “under promise and over deliver.” If you wanted your company to achieve annual sales in the region of €200,000, dividing this by your average order value (E.g. €50) to determine the volume you would need to achieve this end of year target; 4000 Units or about 10 Sales per day would be needed.


Sales Funnel

A conversion which is the number of unique users which come onto your site divided into sales or Actual Customers. Your conversion rate on your site would have to be in the region of 2% to achieve this level, and you would need approximately 500 visitors per day to achieve your targets. Conversion rates based on your industry have been known to fluctuate, dependant on whether your product simply is seasonal (Halloween, Christmas, Easter) or is a high convertor like cosmetics or books (16%). Schwans has an impressive 40.1% conversion rate; it’s an online food delivery retailer which has been around since the 1950,s.


However there are other factors such as reliability of product, trust of the site/brand and let’s not forget price. Price has a heavy impact on conversion rates, just as easily as a consumer can check your site online it can be even easier for a consumer to go to your competitor’s site and get the same branded consumer good €50 cheaper. We advise every E-commerce site to have a Unique Selling Point that differentiates them from everyone else, whether it’s a Fantastic Customer Service Experiences or even Price point or you will simply not be beaten on price and would be happy to price match any brick and mortar store within a 100 Mile radius or even online.


Another tip we try to point out to clients is that Seo and general Marketing is very important when it comes to forecasting sales. Still to this day people are producing websites, some good and some bad – that have little knowledge on how to drive targeted traffic to a website, on how to successfully promote a website. Doing this is not an easy process and takes skill and years of practice – If your site cannot be found no matter how great your information or products are, no one will ever see it. We see SEO as a long term marketing effort.


Traffic will increasingly come to your site the higher the search engine ranking position for any chosen keyword on your website. For instance using the free google keyword tool, “Batman Suit” is a popular costume name, but is very seasonal. Trends on Google will show you all through October for this keyword traffic increases tenfold, but the other months of the year traffic has a steady search volume.



Another example would be “men’s jumpers” Demand for this keyword is steady enough all year round despite it perhaps being a seasonal item. Although the keyword is broad you could narrow the search down to “black Cashmere jumper.” As you can see keyword selection is very important when it comes to bringing traffic to your web page, targeting men’s jumpers and having only 1 colour will lead you to have a poor conversion ratio.


Trying to forecast your sales based on your niche can be tricky business, ultimately you don’t want to grossly over inflate your demand estimates – we have plenty of case studies where David and Richard point out that figures can and do vary from time to time. We have mentioned above the most popular sometimes inaccurate Google Keyword Tool but some of the better paid options such as webtrends and also omniture give a better reflection and improved accuracy on the possible sales data from traffic conversions but are costly.


Your conversion rate would increase when people are searching for “black jumpers” because it is a buying keyword, people are looking to purchase this item as opposed to going online to shop around and browse. You have to sell your items, so make the descriptions clear, tell people what to do and most of all make your website secure, SSL (Secure Socket Layer) ordering is a must for any Ecommerce site. If some of these changes helped your website achieve a target rate of 10%, overall sales could achieve sales of up to €1 million.


In conclusion there are a few ways to groom keyword data that although may be indicative of how many searches you will get, it may not be an end game to your Sales forecasts. It can be determined that it is a best guess and along with some of the other tips above should help you improve your risk assessment in the near future when it comes to online Forecasts.

August 1, 2012 - Posted by Brian Martin under Blog

It’s been a while since our last update but we’ve more activity on the way. Since our last post we’ve been busy at the Asia Pacific Ireland Business Forum and also celebrated our 10th birthday :)


Anyway straight to the chase, these’s are our click worthy links for August.


1. Why demand for SEO professionals has never been so high.

2. Kenya – the forefront of mobile commerce believe it or not

3. Microsoft have launched the new http://outlook.com recently but check out this wonderful rebrand

4. We know what you’re doing http://www.weknowwhatyouredoing.com/ 

5. Why you’re links should never say click here (except this one)

6. The one about the company advertising on Facebook only to find out that 80% of clicks were bots.

7. RescueTime – productivity tool that helps you manage and monitor your time

8. How many of these top tips are you following for a finely crafted website

9. 10 Types of Tweets that will get your business retweeted

10. Why discounting isn’t your best pricing strategy:

11. SEO for your Facebook page: http://www.distilled.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Seo-For-Facebook-Pages-Resource-PDF.pdf and bonus link on this topic: http://postrocket.wpengine.com/2012/05/facebook-edgerank-101/


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