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  1. #1
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Category Page & Link Updates
    Hey all, we just finished updating our category pages for what should be much higher conversions. I also added links to our newest categories (gold concentrators and clearance items) into Shareasale. I have a few products I hope to add by this weekend as well.

    In my opinion, category linking can be stronger than single product linking, and I really wish more merchants would make them available.

    Category links work well within editorial content marketing a general theme (panning for gold, using a sluice box, metal detecting in Florida, etc), where product links can work better within a shopping oriented environment (mall, comparison, product search, review, etc).

    With content in our niche being so easy to rank for, category links seemed like an important piece of the puzzle. Plus I don't want affiliates getting frustrated creating custom links like I always do when wearing my affiliate hat...

    Anyway, hope those of you in our program enjoy the links and see some improvement in our conversion arte from the site updates.

    Have a good one!
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    Gotta get on the stick and DO something with your metal detecting/gold mining stuff!

    I signed on a few months ago and still haven't got my act together with your stuff. I was attracted to the program because 1) I dabble a bit in writing Westerns, i.e., "historical novels set in the Old West," might be the current politically correct label, I guess, and, 2) I went through a spell a few years ago where I was ready to sell the house, pack up the wife and young'uns, and head West to pan gold.

    That phase died quietly when a buddy of mine and I decided we had to grow up after all, alas. (On the bright side -- my son's interested in getting a good metal detector, so I'm working on him. )

    Gary the Writerguy

    Edited to add this: When you say you're adding some new products this weekend, how many do you have in mind? I notice you've only got 58 at present -- all terrifically interesting and well-niched it appears! -- and more products would be a delight.

  3. #3
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Gary,

    Please let me know if there's anything I can do to help you get started. I'm available via email and phone most days, and always happy to talk marketing. Contact details are in my signature.

    I think your "dabbling" in Westerns could easily translate into some powerful marketing. Would love to get you on board.

    On your second reason, it's probably easier making a living as an affiliate than panning for gold, but it's not as hard to find as you'd think. Just so long as you're not expecting to pay the bills on it...

    BTW, tell your son you know a great place to get a detector.

    As for products, I hope we can keep adding more for the next couple years. We launched the site back in November and have been adding products as fast as we can afford the inventory. For this weekend I have several new map sets that need to be added to the site and a handful of new products already on the site that need adding to SAS. My current count of live products is 75, but I notice it still says 49 when I log into SAS. Hmm...

    And again, seriously take me up on the offer to help. I'm happy to offer any advice, tips, answers, etc I can.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    Thanks, Eathan, for the kind comments. I will indeed contact you for help, hand-holding, whatever, as I dig into this gold mining affiliate stuff. (Sorry. Couldn't resist that "dig into" thing. I know, it ain't much of a joke if I have to explain it. Ah, well.)

    Gary the Writerguy

  5. #5
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    I have to explain about 80% of my jokes. Let's just call ourselves deep thinkers...
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  6. #6
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    Eathan, I have nothing online even close to being relevant for this niche, but you've shared some information and insight that's valuable across many other verticals and which can, as we speak, be applied to some of my current projects.

    I'd like to thank you profusely for some dynamite ideas.

    [And I do seem to remember you from over at Jim's place, God rest his dear soul]

  7. #7
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webworker
    Eathan, I have nothing online even close to being relevant for this niche, but you've shared some information and insight that's valuable across many other verticals and which can, as we speak, be applied to some of my current projects.

    I'd like to thank you profusely for some dynamite ideas.

    [And I do seem to remember you from over at Jim's place, God rest his dear soul]
    webworker, you're very welcome! I'd hoped my post would be relevant to more than just our small set of affiliates. Category links have been on my mind as I've had to use the custom link generator for my own affiliate efforts more often than I'd like lately...

    [And amen to that. Jim was a good guy and I enjoyed my time at SEF. Just got too busy with work to mod after a while. I think I remember your name as well.]
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  8. #8
    Member DoradoVista's Avatar
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    Ethan,
    I just placed a few strategic pans, sluice boxes and highbankers on the site. Not many bites yet, but a lot more lookin going on. page count up and time on page/bounce rate is better. I just need to sprinkle a bit more gold around the web :-)

    Jess
    Gold Prospector just Prospecting Sales! :coolsmile

  9. #9
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Jess,

    I saw the page. Looking good!

    I didn't notice if you're already using it, but the afftrack variable can be pretty handy not only for tracking PPC keywords, but also which specific link on a page is getting the click. When you have quite a few links on a page, it's nice to know which ones are compelling visitors to click. Can learn a lot from the traffic you already have in prep for the traffic you're going to get.

    BTW, opening weekend for a few streams up here. Should start seeing things pick up quite a bit as more of the West opens up. Now I just need to get on the ball and get our Father's Day promos sorted...

    Take care!
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  10. #10
    Member DoradoVista's Avatar
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    Ethan,

    Just Great,

    I just need to get my Dredge Permit and Fishing License, oh and some time off work too! Well, two out of three isn't too bad... is it?

    I will re-read your afftrack= instructions again, I found them elsewhere on this forum. Then I plan to go afftrack=happy this weekend. I've got to break the ice jam on my SAS projects. A bit more data will go a long way.

    Jess
    Gold Prospector just Prospecting Sales! :coolsmile

  11. #11
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    If you need any help with that, let me know. I'll be back in the office sometime Tuesday.

    BTW, along with more testimonials and such, what do you think about us starting to rotate pictures of customer finds? I think it'd be both inspiring to shoppers and build some brand loyalty with customers.

    Long story short, a guy recently bought a detector. Sent an email when he got it, sent a pic of a Mercury dime he found a day later and a couple days after that sent a few pics of a gold ring appraised at more than the detector cost! My wife seemed ready to pull one off the shelf for herself, so that sort of imagery has to inspire.

    Probably work on that some next week, as well as the June offers, Father's Day graphics, newsletter, etc.

    Best of luck with your ongoing efforts, especially getting that time off work!
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
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    Hey, testimonials and pictures!

    Sounds like a good idea to me.

    Gary the Writerguy

  13. #13
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Thanks, Gary. I'll make it happen. Now I best get!

    See you all on Tuesday.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  14. #14
    Member DoradoVista's Avatar
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    Eathan,

    As I mentioned in my email. It looks like the category and web page optimization on your and my side is beginniing to pay off! The detector sale is the biggest so far, but I look forward to more in the future. I'm still debugging the MaxCTR issue, no root cause found as yet.

    I am very thankful for your assistance and I look forward to continuing with you as your merchant affiliate in the future!
    Gold Prospector just Prospecting Sales! :coolsmile

  15. #15
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    I still owe you a reply on that email. Sorry it's taken a few days longer than expected. Great to see everything starting to come together though. Awesome to see your detector sale come through! Glad your efforts are starting to pay off.

    Not sure if you noticed, but we added a related products system this last week, sort of an upsell. It's early yet, but it looks like we've started to see an increase in related product sales. Also added some more testimonials and such, especially around the concentrates. They've been really popular lately.

    Have a few new products to add this week, including coil covers which should add an extra $20 onto some of the detector sales - most I'd think. The real push this week though is likely going to be further improving category pages. I want them to work a bit harder on the sell.

    Also, remind me if I don't mention it again, but I put together a pretty nice little piece of creative I thought you might like to try.

    Talk to ya' soon.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  16. #16
    Member DoradoVista's Avatar
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    I talked this over with my son and we like the idea of customer find pictures in rotation. Maybe per major category, Detector, Panning, Highbanker, etc. Adds an element of realism to the prospect.

    We like the idea of a monthly sale creative link, see an example at doradovista.com\Prospecting_tools for our example using your sites June sale connected to a link thru SAS to you. It would be nicer if you just had one for us to place and it tracked your sales.

    Concentrates and concentrators should have almost as much traffic as pans.

    Coil covers are an essestial tool, the factoid to sell them with is that if you're not scraping the coil on the ground you will miss a lot of the gold. Detectors drop off in ability to sense the smaller stuff very quickly. My Minelab does its very best when I'm scraping right along at the top of the soil. Air between the detector and the soil does not hold much Gold, last time I checked. This means any air gap is that much less soil you are scanning for Gold.
    Gold Prospector just Prospecting Sales! :coolsmile

  17. #17
    Member DoradoVista's Avatar
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    BTW -- It's our turn to venture into the prospecting field. Our 6 inch dredge and sampling tools are packed & ready. We'll be out for a while, this time we are taking digital pics and video. I'm driven to prove Google wrong about the interest and relevance part of the site. More later on that campaign.
    Gold Prospector just Prospecting Sales! :coolsmile

  18. #18
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoradoVista
    I talked this over with my son and we like the idea of customer find pictures in rotation. Maybe per major category, Detector, Panning, Highbanker, etc. Adds an element of realism to the prospect.
    As we get more pictures sent in I'll definitely look at doing something a bit better/more compelling with them. Category rotation might be a nice way to go, but right now there's only just the few in the main rotation, so can't really break them out much. Am going to keep up the requests though via both the monthly newsletter and the "shipped" notices. Hopefully we'll start seeing a lot more come in from that.

    We like the idea of a monthly sale creative link, see an example at doradovista.com\Prospecting_tools for our example using your sites June sale connected to a link thru SAS to you. It would be nicer if you just had one for us to place and it tracked your sales.
    The URL of the specials page and the URL of the specials image remain the same month in and month out, so if you're pulling from our site it should update without the need for any changes on your end, but I also need to get that in as a permanent addition to our available links. Thanks for the reminder on that.

    Concentrates and concentrators should have almost as much traffic as pans.
    Pans and kits are still the top sellers, but concentrates have been oddly popular lately. I had assumed they'd slow down as summer hit, but they see a lot of repeat sales as well. We've often had the same customer order concentrates several times in only a couple weeks. Concentrators have been a bit slower, but should do better when we add a couple other options.

    Coil covers are an essestial tool, the factoid to sell them with is that if you're not scraping the coil on the ground you will miss a lot of the gold. Detectors drop off in ability to sense the smaller stuff very quickly. My Minelab does its very best when I'm scraping right along at the top of the soil. Air between the detector and the soil does not hold much Gold, last time I checked. This means any air gap is that much less soil you are scanning for Gold.
    I think they'll be a pretty easy upsell. I like your factoid. I'll probably also throw in the "cheap insurance" angle, as most would rather wear out a cheap piece of plastic than an expensive coil. Just need to get some photos sorted and get the page up.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  19. #19
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoradoVista
    BTW -- It's our turn to venture into the prospecting field. Our 6 inch dredge and sampling tools are packed & ready. We'll be out for a while, this time we are taking digital pics and video. I'm driven to prove Google wrong about the interest and relevance part of the site. More later on that campaign.
    I'm jealous, though I'll be out myself on at least an overnight very soon. I found an 8" wide crack running from the channel up the bank a ways that I plan to work for a couple days both in and out of the water. I have a sneaking suspicion it's going to be pretty rich...
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

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