Thanks to an excellent holiday abroad with friends in California, I missed last months update. So all is back to normal this month with our September update. As usual we make these reports public in case you would like to comment or have any advice you’d like to share with us. All comments are welcome at the end of the post.
Google Analytics And Google Search Console
The following link is a reminder of the sites that we manage as part of the Objitec company.
As I missed a month here are the Google Analytics reports for both August and September…
Below is the data for August with quite a healthy spike in traffic for this Objitec site. Click on the image to view it full screen with better clarity.
Traffic for our online-booking-system.net site is down but we are seriously considering dropping this site completely. We originally purchased the domain thinking it would assist us with getting more traffic for the “online booking system” keyword – but after more thought it just complicates things and we don’t really want our potential customers to have to flick between a number of different product sites.
The traffic for planit-bookit.com has kept relatively the same.
The traffic for the PlanIt-BookIt application itself is down 7% but we can attribute this to less people playing squash during the summer months.
Below is the analytics traffic report for September…
With quite a poor result for this site – hopefully it will improve again soon.
Once again I’m not to bothered about the online-booking-system.net site as we will likely drop it from our portfolio and the PlanIt-BookIt site and app have relatively stable traffic throughout September.
The following table shows our latest measurements.
|Objitec Traffic||39||12||Not great – but not really selling anything from this site yet so won’t worry just yet.|
|PlanIt-BookIt Traffic||116||121||Very slight increase|
|@planitbookit Tweets||27||30||Little effort this period.|
|@planitbookit Following||126||129||Little effort this period.|
|@planitbookit Followers||33||37||Little effort this period.|
|@objitec Tweets||30||42||Did a little bit of tweeting this period but still not enough|
|@objitec Following||5||33||Started following a few more this period.|
|@objitec Followers||6||30||Starting to grow nicely|
|Comments across all sites||0||0||Need to add some quality articles|
|Customers||7||7||Had one enquiry, so here’s hoping|
|PlanIt-BookIt Facebook Likes||5||5||Not promoted this FB page yet.|
|Objitec Facebook Likes||2||2||Not promoted this FB page yet – although did slightly update the banner of the page.|
A number of changes and improvements were made to our SalesTalk application this period, including:
- Lots of form validation to ensure the entry of correct data
- Disabled the tab that shows the items within a template if it’s a brand new template
- Improved the change password functionality so as to pop up a modal requesting your old password before a new one can be created
- Enabled deletion of a template if no items exist within the template
- Created a link to allocate the next available customer number
- Implemented paging on the customer list as this was loading slow for customers with many of their own customers
- Dormant customers that no longer make orders can now be flagged as inactive. You have a choice of viewing active or inactive customers from the customer list. However the call diary only shows active customers
- We also made a few cosmetic changes to SaleTalk for example not displaying the pipe symbol that separates an item from it’s variant if no variant exists
In terms of improvements to PlanIt-BookIt this month we enabled the message that is displayed to members as their membership is close to expiring to be specific to each client if required. We did the same for expired membership messages too.
We had a request from some members to turn the members directory list off so we’ve made this into a plugin that is configurable by client.
Also this month we started development of an event booking module. Most of our riding school customers had been requesting this functionality to manage the horse riding competitions and events that they put on each month. Plus it could also be used for booking squash or tennis competitions so it seemed like a good thing to implement. We’re haven’t fully decided how to charge for this yet. We’re considering a small transaction based fee.
The Cloud Fell Out Of The Sky!
We had a big issue for just one day this period when the Microsoft Azure cloud database failed. You can read all about it here – Global DNS outage hits Microsoft Azure customers
Luckily Microsoft managed to fix the issues and our customers were only down for a few hours – still it took quite some apologizing and back pedaling after I’d told most that the cloud is highly robust and reliable and never fails. I will learn!
Azure Cloud Database
On a similar note this month we also experimented with different versions of Azure cloud databases.
Our SalesTalk product runs off of an Azure cloud based database and works great however our PlanIt-BookIt product which is much more database intensive runs off of a database that we manage ourselves and which sits on a cloud based server. Moving to a fully cloud managed database would move the backup responsibility from us to Microsoft.
Our tests concluded though that without paying quite a bit more in cloud hosting fees the performance would reduce if we moved over, so for now we plan to continue as is.
Equestrian Blog Articles
This month, thanks to our guest author Jan Birley we published the following two equestrian articles…
I have enrolled myself on the following free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) from Edinburgh university Introduction to Marketing: Tools to Set Enterprises Apart. So far I’ve only completed the material for week 1 and it’s a 6 week course but so far it’s proving to be very useful and interesting.
This month I also read the following book which is excellent. Marketing to Win: How Small Businesses Can Do More With Less by Jacqueline Biggs. Each chapter explains marketing ideas and concepts and then concludes with a set of action items to complete. I’ve started on one or two of the action items, the rest I have added to a to do list within Google Keep.
I’ve also started following a number of content marketing and blogging experts to try and gain more advice on how best to market our software products online.
For example I’m finding the information put forward by Dan Norris to be very useful and interesting. Dan is a serial entrepreneur who’s first success was creating a service company that provides 24/7 WordPress support to small businesses. He’s since started another project – a crowd funded Australian micro brewery. All fascinating stuff. I have since read one of his books, which I highly recommend… Content Machine: Use Content Marketing to Build a 7-figure Business With Zero Advertising
I’m also finding some of the information provided by Neil Patel to be very interesting. In his blog he covers all aspects of content marketing in great detail.
Plus I have started reading some of the articles published by Darren from problogger.
Mail Chimp and SumoMe
As a result of all my efforts reading blogs and studying online courses, etc. I keep hearing about different tools that are available to assist with the process of content marketing. One is Mail Chimp which I briefly touched up in my July business report update and the other is SumoMe.
SumoMe is a suite of tools that are used to help grow traffic to your business. I’m not fully sure what they all do yet however that said I have installed most of the free versions that are available and have already had some success in terms of receiving an actionable customer lead. I plan to learn more about what these tools can do for me over the next few weeks and to see what benefits you get from the paid, professional versions of the tools. I have read that the paid version of the product you can get to link directly with Mail Chimp.
I have signed up for Mail Chimp but I haven’t fully read up on what it can exactly do yet in terms of email marketing. If you’d like to be one of the first to sign up to my MailChimp driven email list you can do so below…
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No new business this week, although as I mentioned earlier we have had a customer enquiry in relation to our PlanIt-BookIt product.