Let’s take a look at FTD over the past few months for some guidance. In December, FTD reported a decrease in orders because they decided not to play in areas like Google’s AdWords, since keyword bidding is becomming so expensive (http://www.internetretailer.com/dailyNews.asp?id=17140 and http://www.internetretailer.com/dailyNews.asp?id=17389). Granted, FTD was part of the problem in inflating keyword prices, but they’d rather we didn’t consider that. Total revenue was up slightly for the last quarter, and recently, FTD announced its 2006 Valentine’s Day orders were up 14% year-to-year (http://www.internetretailer.com/dailyNews.asp?id=17691). What are we to take from FTD’s experiences?
- Keyword bidding for floral-related search terms is expensive, with the big players pushing each other around
- Reducing online marketing efforts will probably reduce online orders
- Customers are buying more and more everyday flowers online
- More and more customers are buying on-line at the holidays
- Customers are using search engines to research for floral purchases
Now, here’s a very interesting study that came out recently:
A new study says that though a majority of shoppers use the internet to research products, nearly half still prefer to make their purchases through bricks and mortar retailers.
This is outstanding news for us local florists, especially the ones with a good website. Probably the #1 facing local florists is simply getting found in the search engines. Aside from the big players bidding keywords way up, and the skimmer sites, it’s tough to be found. And that’s where a blog comes in.
Blogs are quickly and happily indexed by search engines. Your posts themselves will become pages in the search index promoting you. If you’re a member of a site such as floristblogs.com, links in your blog posts to your site will count as inbound links to your site. Blogs also help build your brand. People know about FTD, and familiarity builds confidence. Your blog will give your customers a good idea of what you’re about. You want to try to write your blog posts as if you were conversing with your customers face-to-face.
Here are today’s reasons to blog:
- Blogs are cheap. Even FloristBlogs.com works out to $5/month.
- Writing a blog will increase your on-line marketing efforts
- Your customers will find you easier, and get a feel for your brand