Thursday, June 10, 2010

Bonanzle Boardroom podcast June 3, 2010 Episode 9

An entire week has passed since the Bonanzle Boardroom podcast June 3, 2010. And I thought it was time to perhaps remind everyone of some of the invaluable information covered in the podcast.

First the changelist..

Bill has been incredibly busy. not only expanding the Bonanzle team but coding more features plus cleaning up bugs in the current system.

Phaedra Stockstill of Bonanzle Boardroom and attheboutique covered the "inside" scoop concerning what is the next big thing on Bonanzle.

Here are Bills comments.

Q:ith all the recent exciting news - Funding, Board of Directors, New Hires - What is the bottom line, What does it mean to the average Joe/Jane seller on Bonanzle?

A:The bottom line is that this is going to enable us to create an environment that allows our sellers to be more successful.

To understand what our future holds, I think it helps to understand what our strategy has been to date, and why that needs to adapt. So far, Bonanzle has succeeded beyond anyone's expectations because we have obsessed over creating the easiest (and most well priced) way to post "everything but the ordinary." Sellers get excited about this, and they tell their friends, and in less than two years we have three million items for sale. And the more merchandise we have, the more juice we get from Google. That has been the basic equation for Bonanzle's success so far.

But it isn't a perfect solution. Many Google visitors have never heard of the site before, and so they convert into sales at a relatively low rate. And if they don't come back, there isn't residual value there. The same principles apply to advertising -- you can buy a visitor, but once they arrive, if they've never heard of the site and can't immediately see how it's different from other sites, there is a relatively low probability that they will buy or that they return.

The offshoot of this is that we have a lot of sellers who make a fair number of sales per month, but we don't have many sellers who can quit other marketplaces and sustain themselves wholly on Bonanzle at this point. We want to change that, so that people can earn enough on Bonanzle alone to sustain their business.

In essence, we believe that the key to taking Bonanzle to the next level lies in earning repeat buyers who visit Bonanzle before search engines or other marketplaces. And the key to that lies in differentiating our buying experience from what a buyer can find elsewhere. For a buyer, it isn't enough just to be "easy," because lots of marketplaces have "easy" buying processes. For buyers, we need to create an experience that is fun, interactive, and catered to their specific tastes.

Frankly, building this experience, and building it right, is going to be one of the hardest projects we've undertaken so far. Which is why we've decided to grow our full time development team from one person (me) to five people. It is going to take a usability tests, creativity, and a lot of horsepower to build something that differentiates itself to buyers from the first click. And, critically, we need to enhance this buying experience while we continue to provide the best marketplace selling experience -- we can't sacrifice a great selling experience for a great buying one. We need both.

That is our goal. Our bottom line objective we're working toward is to make Bonanzle a viable place for the average Joe or Jill to run a hearty, sustainable business by giving buyers an experience they can't find anywhere else."

The next big thing covered was the Google organic algorithm change, referred to as the "Mayday" change.

It isn't as scary as the Bonanzle sellers or any seller imagines actually. The change is actually a good thing. Judy Oglesby of the Bonanzle Boardroom and bluepennyladyaddressed the changes:

Google has been launching changes for the past two years.. AS many as 350 to 400 changes per year. They will continue to make changes. Just a fact of life.

[Quote from Bill] There were a couple changes Google made to its search algorithm last year that sent Bonanzle traffic down quite a bit, but even in those cases, it always came back around. Google's ultimate mission is to show a searcher the most relevant page possible, and if sellers are creating relevant items (i.e., lots of details, good pictures, good prices) they're putting themselves in the best possible position to be highly ranked.

The recent algorithm change is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, for Bonanzle sellers it can be a very good thing. So look at it as a "can do" This change is about quality links rather than quantity of links.

First , Bonanzle has lots of quality inbound links. Especially recently with the Bootstrap award, $1 Million dollar Angel funding, all the news releasese, press, blogs, tweets as well as interviews with Bill.. All are linking back to the Bonanzle site.

Long tail search queries are going to reduce the garbage being served up in results. The long tail search queries are going to do good things for the Bonanzle sellers right off the bat. Lazy older sites that have not done anything to keep their sites relevant are going to drop off the search results. And bringing the long tail queries into play will clean up search results nicely.

Sites with tons of links on their pages that are totally irrelevant to the site content will also negatively impact those sites rankings. Relevant links are good. It is about quality not quantity now.

Google analyticals enables a seller to "Know" precisely what keywords are being used in search queries to locate their items. That is what impacts the long tail search queries. Keywords in content rich descriptions and title lines are their friend.

If you know what keywords searchers are using then those terms can be included in title lines as well as description fields.

If you don't have Google analyticals, then studying the organic search results will help. Those listings that appear ahead of your listing must be studied so you can determine what consistent thread is running through them in terms of keywords. Same thing we have always done.

Blogs, website pages with inbound quality links all help drive the ranking up. So rather than linking to a listing page, link back to a category in your booth. And then keep that category populated so a searcher doesn't come to the booth and find no items listed. And clicks back out quickly increasing the bounce rate. Keep listing pages clean so they load quickly.Slow loading pages are often penalized... Hence Bill has spent a great deal of time making the Bonanzle site clean and tweaking the page load times.

The Canonical URL's are important. Bill just implemented those recently so google knows what to index when there are multiple URL's such as our booth URL"s have two renditions.

This is not panic time.. OR the sky is falling, This is happy dance time! Bonanzle sellers have a better chance of being seen.. Newer site, fresher well laid out dynamic content with relevant quality links inbound...

Don't forget to drop by the first sponsor of the BonanzleUP 2010-Exploding Forword booth,,Bubblefast

Plus there was tons of other information covered. So if you missed it live, then by all means drop by talkshoe and listen to the podcast. It is well worth the time..

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