One week ago if you searched for "dresses" on Google what do you think would have come up? What if you did the same for "bedding" or "area rugs" or "skinny jeans"? It could be hundreds of companies. But it was just one retailer: JC Penny.
The New York Times chronicles JC Penny's unscrupulous Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tactics and what they did to get to the top of search. And it follows them as, just as quickly, they get knocked off of their search pedestal.
Is anyone doing this in the flower business? Is this something you need to be concerned about for your florist website? Almost certainly someone is doing it -- read on to find out what you can do about it.
First, understand how Google ranks sites. It comes mainly down to one factor: links. The more links (and the mor…
Flower-eating giraffe photographed on a safari in Savute, Botswana.
All business owners know the best kind of recommendation is a personal one.
A friend recommending a product or service beats a TV or radio ad any day. So how can you generate word-of-mouth advertising for your florist website for Valentine's Day?
In the era of social media, getting people talking about your business isn't too hard. Here's what we have done for our own flower shop. It's three simple rules that add up to: "Love Your Customers And They Will Love You Back."
1. Collect Emails From Customers
You should be collecting email addresses from customers every day. Get addresses when customers call in, put a sign-up form on your counter for walk-ins, and gather addresses on your website. Always make sure to tell people you will give them Discounts and Coupons -- that w…
The already too competitive flower business just got a bit more competitive.
Alongside supermarkets, wire services, and order gatherers, the retail florist can now add event flower providers.
The online-only corporate florist event company H.Bloom has raised more than $2 million to steal your corporate customers. The money, which comes from ventur capital firm Battery Ventures (which has raised $3 billion in its lifetime) will most likely be used to bring the company's New York and Washington D.C.-based business across the country.
So how does it work? H.Bloom doesn't have to have a retail outlet, so their overhead is cheaper than a retail florist. Because they have stable, recurring customers base, they can bulk order flowers directly from the grower more cheaply than a retail bu…
The biggest mis-understanding about search engine optimization is that it is something you either have or you don't.
Some sites are better organized for Google crawlers and that is an essential part of getting traffic to your site. But more than that, SEO is an ongoing process of site marketing. Here are 5 key tips for Search Engine Optimization for your florist website:
1. Know Your Ranking
Download the Google Toolbar -- once installed, just roll your cursor over the bar icon on the toolbar to see your 1 - 10 ranking. A ranking of 3 or 4 is a great ranking.
2. Metatags, Keywords and Sitemaps, Oh My!
Make sure your front page and product pages have Metatags and Keywords. These tags are invisible to your customers, but they help tell a search engine robot that a rose bouquet is a r…
It isn't your birthday or Christmas -- but here are some free gifts for your flower business.
These 10 Free Services are surprisingly good and useful, in some cases even better than the paid versions.
Free Marketing Tools for Florists
Still spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on Yellow Pages? If marketing is important to your business, social media offer free, powerful ways to communicate with your customers. It isn't just Facebook anymore -- every business be managing their social media. Twitter is a great way to communicate with your customers without being intrusive. And Tumblr.com lets you create a blog instantly in minutes. Before you spend a dime on Google advertising or other online ads, make sure you're using free marketing.
The Un-Microsoft Office for Flo…
Teleflora™ just updated its product catalog.
Great you think? Fantastic new seasonal photos for my florist website, great new products for my customers? Well think again.
Teleflora™ updated its product catalog and is now charging its member $399 each plus $14.99 per month for ongoing updates -- total $580 next year for new cost.
In addition, florists need to buy new containers, adding additional cost! If we assume conservatively that florists stock half of the 11 new containers, that they need to buy them by the dozen, and that the vases cost $3 above a plain vanilla container -- that's an additional $180 in container cost per florist over the next year, bringing the grand total to $760 Teleflora will charge the average member florist!
So let's do some quick math. Telef…
The future of retail Point of Sale is here and it's square.
Right now retailers need fancy cash registers and point of sale systems. But what if your flower shop could charge a customer just using your mobile phone? Square is doing exactly that -- add a simple device to your iPhone and you can charge customers' credit cards (without credit cards, with great, flexible rates).
Keep an eye on Square -- think about how your flower shop can get more flexible and start saving on non-cash transactions.…
FTD will start offering flower sites to funeral homes -- how bad is this news for the retail florist?
FTD's partnership with the largest provider of funeral home websites will allow them to immediately gain thousands of new customers. That means more sympathy buyers going to FTD, fewer going to local florists. And FTD can easily drop-shop sympathy products, cutting out the retail florist entirely.
FTD Florists to Benefit from New Online Sympathy Program for Funeral Homes
A Partnership with Funeral Homes Located in the U.S. and Canada Will
Drive More Orders to FTD Florists.
FTD has entered into an exclusive agreement with Batesville Casket
Company, the leading provider of caskets, cremation products and funeral
home websites, to provide customized…
Facebook announced today a new offering for retailers - "Facebook Deals". Make no mistake, this will change the way people buy. And it should change the way the retail florist industry advertises.
Facebook's social network allows people to friend one another, creating online versions of real-world social networks. The site is quickly changing the ease and speed with which friends can share with their contacts photos, personal updates, and likes/dislikes - particularly about companies and brands.
How does Facebook Deals work? Facebook users with mobile phones can "check in" when they go to a store. In exchange for this "check in" (which announces to all their hundreds of friends which store they are shopping at) they get a coupon from that store. So it'…