Friday, December 12, 2008

Google, Google, come and ogle

The first question most new store managers ask is a vital one: "How do I get listed on Google?" Vital because it seems more than 70% of us go straight to Google when we want to find anything, and links to your own store will either play in the traffic, or go unseen!

So, here's how it works. Googlebot finds pages in two ways: (1) through an Add URL form and (2) through finding links by crawling the web. Web addresses submitted through the Add URL form are widely considered less valuable than those it finds through link crawling (links on existing web pages), so the absolute best way to get started in natural results is to build strong incoming links from respected sites to your own. It's a popularity contest, and quality incoming links are votes in your favour.

Never choose to participate in link building schemes and such without careful consideration; it's just not worth your search engine rankings, and Google especially has been penalizing web sites for participating in such things (yes, hypocritically). Just fire us an email if you're in doubt and we'll be glad to review any promo efforts you're considering.

So, start scattering as many links out there as you can -- whether or not you're also using Google AdWords (but you won't be on page 1 for good keywords without AdWords, not in the first years, since Google ranks domain age as a major trust factor). Links can be spread for free, too! Sign up to forums and leave helpful replies with your link in your signature. Comment on people's blogs, participate in health-related communities, and generally become loud in your area of business; when your presence is felt, Google will automatically do what it does best; notice and index your site in a matter of days.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

On Profit and Cost

This is an email conversation which ended up being quite a useful Q&A session for any of our store managers. Names and sensitive information have been replaced, of course. Here is a reply I sent a minute ago to Jane; her questions might bring you some welcome answers, too.

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Hi Jane,

Thanks for taking the time to write to us.

Q: How does the DistributorsTools store work?

A: You get your own web site which comes pre-loaded with every South African Herbalife product. Months of development has gone into making the store convert visitors into shoppers. The best way to see how it works is to see it in action. Go to http://www.distributorstools.com/demo.php

Q: How do I generate profit?

A: Herbalife Distributors buy product at 25-50% of the retail price, and sell it for 100% of the retail price. It is a good profit margin, but the Herbalife training puts too much emphasis on recruiting more Distributors to the network. We think you should focus on retail sales, where there is more immediate profit.

Q: What is the profit guarantee?

A: I have never heard of such a thing. Anybody who offers you a profit guarantee is a scam artist. If you advertise your site on Google and such you will profit. If you don't advertise you will not profit.

Q: What is the cost in doing this?

A: There are two costs involved:
1. A Herbalife Distributorship, so that you can buy products from their warehouses at a 25-50% discount.
2. A DistributorsTools web store subscription, so that you can sell products from your web site -- maybe even before you order them from the warehouse, if you live nearby! ;-)

If you are not already a Herbalife Distributor just write back or talk to the person who introduced you.

I hope this email has helped with your questions.

Shamus
--
Floogy Support
http://www.floogy.com
AU: +61-7-3102-5622
UK: +44-207-193-3547
US: +1-800-881-3179

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Stores on Steroids

Your stores are about to be revved up, in the geek's equivalent of a red Corvette!

After putting in some long hours behind the scenes, we and are just about prepped and ready to seamlessly migrate the store software and database to blazing new machines.

The difference should be noticeable, and the experience of your visitors just a little faster than before. We're simulating the migration to be sure it all goes smoothly, and expect the real transfer to be done in 3-4 days.

Estimated downtime: 00:00:00

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Free SMS Notifications

Speed. Response time. Shoppers love and respect stores who fulfill their orders quickly. If you have ever shopped online you already know this. With instant SMS notifications the minute an order is placed, now you can offer your own shoppers the joy of having their orders processed faster than ever!

From midnight, all store owners will have free SMS notifications enabled, sponsored by Floogy. See, sometimes good things even happen on Friday the 13th...

To activate this service, just make sure that your store profile has a mobile number specified. Enjoy.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Setcom Saves the Day

South African store managers, rejoice! Your most requested upgrade has just been introduced. You can now accept credit card payments directly from your own shoppers.

As a South African store manager, what do I need to do?
Create your Setcom account being sure to select Seller (Merchant Account). Next, login to your store's manager panel (yourdomainhere.co.za/manager), click "preferences" and fill in your Setcom Merchant Identifier. We've done all the grunt integration work for you.

Where can I find my Setcom Merchant Identifier?
Login to your Setcom account and look towards the lower-right of your main page (the one with currency balances).

What are Setcom's credit card processing fees?
At the time of writing the fees are published here on Setcom's web site.

I've heard bad things about Setcom...
It's true that Setcom has not yet achieved the user-friendliness and simplicity which other international payment processing services have, but they well and truly are the only option for South African store managers. We at Floogy are in touch with their developers and constantly advise them on smoothing out the kinks. Rest assured that we have not encountered any major issues with the service itself; those kinks are all related to usability and their interface.

What happened to MoneyBookers?
Floogy disabled integration with the MoneyBookers system upon being advised that their terms of services lump herbal products in the same category as pharmaceuticals, which they do not support. This well and truly leaves Setcom as the only viable alternative for South African store managers.

Is Floogy involved in my transactions any more?
Not at all. You are truly a Herbalife Independent Distributor when you accept payments directly from your shoppers and deliver products directly in return. The entire process has been greatly simplified with the roll-out of this upgrade.

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We <3 PayPal

After months of battling South African economic restrictions on allowing those store managers to conveniently accept their own payments, enabling our Aussie and Kiwi managers to do the same has been breath of fresh air!

I am a store manager in Australia or New Zealand. What must I do to accept my own payments?
Login to your manager panel and fill in your PayPal address. Yes, that's it! We've done all the programming and integration for you.

But... but... I don't have a PayPal account?!
No worries, mate! Just create your PayPal account first.

What are PayPal's card processing fees?
This depends on where you are and which type of account you have, but expect cheaper than the 5.5% advertised when you signed up for your store! See PayPal's own breakdown of fees for Australia or New Zealand.

Should I upgrade to a PayPal Premium Account?
Yes, because though PayPal-to-PayPal transactions are free to accept with Personal accounts, credit card payments are substantially more expensive. Premium accounts have a far better pricing model for accepting credit card payments. See the difference between Personal and Premium accounts for Australia or New Zealand.

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About This Blog

Welcome to the HerbalifeTools Weblog.

This blog is for subscribers to the HerbalifeTools software, currently available in Australia, New Zealand and known as DistributorsTools in South Africa.

It will be updated whenever...
  • Significant upgrades are made to the HerbalifeTools store software.
  • Feedback is wanted from users of the software.
  • Helpful articles about promoting or using your store are written.
Bookmark this address, and enjoy!