A warm welcome to the Objitec business metrics and progress report for November 2015. We make these reports public so that others can learn, comment on even advise us on where to improve. All comments are welcome at the end of the post.
Google Analytics And Google Search Console
Slight change to our site list this month as we decided to drop the squash.planit-bookit web site. It would be way too complicated having a different web site for every market sector that we enter. So instead we have decided that we are going to focus the bulk of our content marketing efforts on planit-bookit.com
Given all my recently purchased (and some handed out) business cards had the squash.planit-bookit url on them we set up a permanent redirect with our hosting provider from squash.planit-bookit.com to planit-bookit.com.
PlanIt-BookIt will now contain a menu option for each market that we are in / want to be in. So for example we intend to have a sports menu with sub menus such as golf, squash, tennis, football, etc. And perhaps in the future we may also have a Beauty menu with sub menus of beauticians, hair stylists, etc, etc.
So the sites that we manage as part of the Objitec company now include…
objitec.com : This site, used for tracking metrics and other company related activities. Will provide links to all company products and activities.
online-booking-system.net : For marketing only and for now will just be one or two pages that link to planit-bookit.com. In the future we could write a few posts that include the ‘booking’ keyword on this site. But it’s main aim will still be to direct traffic to planit-bookit.com.
planit-bookit.com : Main product page. Incorporates all the different business sectors in which PlanIt-BookIt is implemented or would like to be established in. Aim is to drive content to this site via well written and researched articles that are relevant to the sector in which bookings could or would be made.
Interesting Google analytic’s results this month. The planit-bookit site in which I have focused most of my efforts on has gone down in traffic. This web site has increased slightly which is what I’d expect and then online-booking-system.net has had a massive increase. I guess it’s still early days!
Watch this space in future months reports to see if I can get the planit-bookit traffic increased.
Web Site Improvements
Did some experiments with a new landing page type look and feel for the online-booking-system.net web site. Idea was to copy a multitude of other sites which appear to have a rather nice image with text and a sign up today button placed on top.
Given that we’re offering PlanIt-BookIt free for the first 2 months and that setup is a process that (at the moment) will require our assistance to complete we have decided to direct the sign up button link to a page entitled “We would love to work with you” – which includes a nice image of Toronto’s skyline, a little bit of info about what we’re offering and then a sign-up contact page.
[bctt tweet="We're offering PlanIt-BookIt for free for the first 2 months"]
We also did a similar set-up for the planit-bookit.com web site. Although with different images. For PlanIt-BookIt’s main web site we used a nice image of a computer that we found.
And then same for the sign up in terms of directing to a contact us page however this time we found an image of a pretty girl…
Pretty girls are always good for sales or at least so I’ve been told!
We now have a twitter account… @objitec please follow us and I will try my best to follow all back. I have added a click to tweet plugin on the main PlanIt-BookIt web site. This clever little plug-in allows your readers to easily tweet your favorite quotes. Hopefully with the goal of ultimately increasing overall traffic to your site.
We also have an Objitec Facebook page and a PlanIt-BookIt Facebook page. Neither of which have been pushed out to friends and family as of yet but would be very grateful if you could like these pages for me.
This month we got to a point where the player ranking system was working. However after extensive testing we were slightly unhappy with some of the results that the system churned out. Players losing 3-1 got penalized more for losing against higher ranked players than lower ranked.
We spent some more effort modifying the code and eventually got it to work just right. We also decided to keep track of a players previous rank, that way we’d be able to roll back rankings in case of any dispute between players.
We went live this month with the new ranking system and it went down well with the members of Rothwell Squash Club. Only comment we did get was that players could only submit scores the day after they had played. This wasn’t ideal as most people want to submit scores as soon as they have finished playing. So we added a fix in for that and additionally displayed whether a player had a provisional ranking or not.
The algorithm we used was a slightly modified version of the ELO ranking algorithm which I believe was originally created for chess players. This algorithm suggests that a ranking is provisional until 20 scores have been submitted. However we set it to 5 as we process the algorithm once for every game won and lost. So if a player won a match 3 – 2 then our routine trundles off to the algorithm 5 times for one match score submission.
Below is a screen shot with how the rankings look after some early use…
One slight bug was reported… The ranking systems submit score modal pop-up doesn’t work too well on an iPad running Safari. Interestingly it seems to work fine on the many other platforms and devices running Safari that we tested it on. A few Google searches reveals that modals moving and re-sizing is a common problem on iPads running Safari. We managed to fix it in the end by simply adding style=”min-height:1000px;” into the form tag of the page.
Business Bank Account
We were planning on not opening a business bank account just yet. Instead the plan was for our customers to pay directly into our PayPal account. However both Steve and myself wasted lots of time on the PayPal set up process and are still unable to get it to work correctly. What a poor sign up process for such a large business. We had issue after issue…
- Our customer was informed that they couldn’t pay without a card even though they had linked and confirmed their bank account.
- Email confirmation links failed to work.
- Uploading proof of business documents failed to name just a few of the problems.
Next step is to call PayPal support if that doesn’t work then we will look for a new payment provider.
Meanwhile we decided to bite the bullet and we opened a business account with HSBC. They didn’t have the best deal but we all had previous dealings with the bank so thought this might be an easier option for us.
This month we had an inquiry from an Astro Turf (all weather) pitch. They want a booking system for football teams who book either the full pitch or half a pitch in 1 hour sessions. The manager of the association who runs the pitch said he’d get back to me after he’d spoke at his committee meeting. Sounded quite positive though.
We also have had an inquiry from someone who would believes she can get us a number of customers just for the membership piece of PlanIt-BookIt. We said that we will offer her a commission in return for any new business in this market.