Landing Page & Site Optimization, and Vomiting

First, the Vomit Part

I could throw-up kayaks right now. I’m tired of the topic and tired of looking at my site trying to figure out ways to make it better. I’m burned out. If anybody says you don’t need a personal passion behind a topic to create a business around it, I’ll call b.s. What I’ve slowly re-learned during the past few weeks is that short of hiring or partnering with somebody to generate website content for you, there is no way to consistently write engaging, high-quality articles around a topic unless you already know a lot or are passionate enough to learn about it.

When it comes to kayaks, I neither know much, nor am I passionate enough about them to learn. And because of that, my content comes across as dull, forced, and manipulative.

I should have expected this, because it’s a problem I’ve experienced before. I look at the market metrics of a topic, see that numerically I can compete, get excited, and quickly start a new project around it. Eventually the burnout from boredom is overwhelming because I had no innate interest in the topic to begin with.

Yes, I’m whining here, but the point is valid. At least for me, when it comes to creating my own content, passion trumps market metrics every time. Thankfully that won’t be the only lesson I learn from this project, but if it were, it would be well worth it. Going forward I either need to: a) only create web businesses around a topic I really am passionate about; b) hire or partner with somebody to write content for me if I don’t want to; or c) figure out how to create web businesses that don’t require in-depth and ongoing articles.

I’ll be happy to light a metaphorical match under KayaKaroo after this semester, but to take this experiment through to conclusion let’s press on.

Optimizing it All

I created a new ad group last week that includes “buying” related keywords around kayaks, and I created a new landing page for those keywords: here’s the new page. I hoped this would improve my overall ROI. While it did improve affiliate click-throughs from my site to Amazon, ROI is still effectively nil. The only thing I’ve sold since then is a $10 kissing gnome salt and pepper shaker set, for a total commission of a whopping 63 cents. Yeah, go figure.

The interesting thing is this: although the buying related ad and ad group result in higher click-throughs from my site to Amazon, my Adwords CPC on those keywords is still about 1/3rd that of my other ad group (which results in far fewer affiliate clicks). I think this means I’m getting more focused leads from Adwords. As I suspected, these visitors are more in a buying mindset and are looking to purchase; hence the higher affiliate link click-through.

My big question now is why aren’t more (or any) of these clicks to Amazon resulting in purchases? I know this is a good market, and I know people are buying in this market. So why aren’t they buying after clicking from my affiliate links? Are they waiting to make a purchase beyond the 24 hour cookie that Amazon gives them for my commission? Is there something I can do better to prepare them for buying immediately?

I’m not sure how to answer those questions, but I’ll be thinking about them more as I try to figure out how to solve this issue of non-buying behavior.