Silly Sale Season

24th June, 2008 Comments Off on Silly Sale Season

It’s 10:30am and ShopCodes has already received more unique traffic than it did in a whole day in March. Yesterday was it’s highest traffic day since the heavy sales period of 27th and 28th December.

The majority of this traffic was not for people searching for codes. It’s Silly Sale Season and many high street stores such as Debenhams, Dorothy Perkins and Laura Ashley are offering up to 50% off.


My highly optimised site – for codes – is now converting visitors at up to 35%. So one in three of my sale-searching visitors are clicking through to the merchants pages and spending thousands. If only I knew this before.

You see I own a domain with the word ‘codes’ in it – a fact that will soon see my commissions being decreased by Dorothy Perkins – and I have always prioritised codes over any other type of promotion. This was down to the templating of my site and the fact that with a sale you just don’t know when it ends.

Only yesterday I generated 3,500 worth of sales to one of Dorothy Perkin’s high street competitors, netting me a substantial 400 worth of commission. And this was just one merchant, others which have not performed for me before have started to take spots in my Top 10 merchants list … once dominated by Figleaves and JD Williams.

This is not a fluke. Since my recent return of holiday I took a different approach to adding content to my site. As I had 3,500 emails to catch up on and hundreds of codes to add, I ignored them all.

I then worked on the last email in approach. So if the last email was about a code, I’d add it. If it was about top 10 products, I’d add that content. If it was about a sale, I’d add that content.

The result is I’ve a lot less codes on my site than I really should have but have now got a variety of alternative content, that is converting well

… with no ‘Click to Reveal’ in sight.

Google Pushes Up ShopCodes

By the time I have finished editing this post it will be dated. For the first time ever my code site is on page one of the Google organic search results pages for 3 popular code-related search phrases.

This is significant as I don’t specifically target these keywords. I put my effort in the more lucrative long-tail keywords with 3 to 5 words included.

It is a sign that Google is trusting my site more to deliver on each of the three sets of phrases I’ve highlighted. Generally I feature on the bottom of the ‘Voucher Code’ page and then on page 2 for the other two search phrases.

The time of day makes a difference. On the mornings I may feature on page 1 for ‘discount codes’ but in the afternoon it will be page 2. Then the next-day the same pattern or the reverse happens.

The result of this increased exposure is that up to 10% of my traffic now arrives from these generic search terms. So I am attracting a brand new audience to my site. This is reflected by my RSS and email newsletter subscriptions.

I usually just increase my subscribers by one a day. This weekend an extra 20 have entered their email address.

I best send out a newsletter for the first time in a month then.

Saturday was Just Grand

Grand National Saturday was also a grand day for ShopCodes as visitors searched the site for their 10 free bets.

I didn’t promote the Grand National specifically as I’d left it a little late but that didn’t stop hundreds of visitors looking for a bookmakers offer in time for the big race.

My Coral page saw the most attention of all the sports betting pages I promote. Coral have lots of bonus codes for sports betting, casino and poker and I update their offers monthly.

The ShopCodes Coral page had 274 page views and at 5 commission and 2% revenue share, it looked to be a grand day.

From all those views though, only 3 sales were made generating 15 in commission.

Not a good conversion rate. I wonder how much more commission I’d have generated if I didn’t openly display the promotional code but enforced a click by using a ‘click for code’ button or used an iframe to the Coral site?

Coral have looked after me in the past though so I am not concerned that I only converted 1% of visitors.

The bookmakers rewarded me last year by sending me 200 in Thomas Cook travel vouchers which have no expiry date and I am still looking forward to use.

4 Steps to Financial Fitness

3rd April, 2008 Comments Off on 4 Steps to Financial Fitness

I’ve been to the gym twice this week, no chuckling at the back please and exhausted myself in two spinning sessions. Spinning is cycling to dance music so it’s a great motivation to go to the gym. That and the nice scenery.
The spinning classes this week have been full with fit women trying to get even fitter and the classes appear to be busier than January.

So that means one thing, it’s lighter nights and people are frantically trying to burn off that chocolate for those holidays coming up.

So whilst I was sat in the gym sauna I was thinking of what tasks I’d do this evening and I’ve gone for one that ticks many boxes.

  • REFRESH MY HOME PAGE
  • MAKE CONTACT WITH MERCHANTS
  • PROMOTE NEGLECTED CODES
  • PROMOTE RELATED MERCHANTS
  • ATTRACT ATTENTION FOR NEW EXCLUSIVE CODES
  • PROMOTE USE OF 88×31 MICRO BAR CREATIVE
  • EASY TO IMPLEMENT

So, in five minutes I’ve dedicated the most prominent position of my site to those health related merchants that provide voucher codes. Not only that but I also found four I could highlight from my vast collection of Exclusive codes.

The ‘Healthy Codes’ line replaces my ‘Hot Codes’ section at the top of my home page. I was going to play with a tag line along the lines of ‘Five a Day’ and list offers that are either 5 or 5% off.

Then at the last minute I changed the strap line to ‘4 Steps to Financial Fitness’. This is perfect for my site as throughout every code page I say, ‘Here’s how to save money with Shop Codes in 4 easy steps’ and bullet point the steps to use a code.

I’ll let it run for a while and see if those merchants listed generate more click-throughs and sales. I’ll rotate the highlighted merchants but that is where I will struggle.

Merchants, please help me help you get healthier. All I ask is not for an Exclusive code, or even a generic code. Just please add and keep an 88×31 micro bar creative in your mix.

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