Today, we are going to talk to Jonas Lindblom in an interview about SEO and Ecommerce.
Jonas Lindblom is a partner in www.patroner.se via his family company www.artamus.se and he divides his time between Patroner and www.evenemang.se where he is also holds a partnership. He has also been working with a company called SiteDirect where he is currently involved in a new project within the SiteDirect Group. Jonas has worked with Internet marketing for more than ten years, both in-house and as a consultant.
Here we go with the questions!
- When did you start your e-business? Do you run various web shops today?
Patroner.se was launched in the Internet already in 1998 and has been successfully run by Ola Gustavsson, @PatronerOla, during the last few years. I joined during the autumn of 2011 as a partner and the focus lay in changing the platform and boosting SEO and SEM within the company. I do not run any other e-commerce but I am involved and am working with strategy at www.evenemang.se, particularly with SEO and SEM. Now, I am also involved in a company called SiteDirect that develops e-commerce solutions with medium sized companies.
- What led you to start working with e-commerce?
My interest for e-commerce began sometime around 1998 when I took a practical course on information system followed by C and D business economy with a focus on electronic business during 1999 – 2000. After that, I began working in a consultancy that sold E-commerce solutions. We were also partners in a niche insulation company that was a small player in the global market. It was then my interest for SEO grew. How were we going to reach the possible customers and partners with out product? The feeling I got when we globally topped with the search word “spray insulation” in google.com was like sweet poison and since then I have worked with SEO, sometimes full-time and sometimes half-time.
- How much work is it required to run your own operation? Has the amount of work increased or decreased during the last few years?
Today we are four full-time employees. The work is of course fairly constant even though it has moved from handling to marketing and development of the sites during these last few years.
- What made you start working with SEO for your web shops? How has this affected your result?
Patroner.se lay quite behind in this area and it was one of the reasons I went in as a partner. The company was well managed, had a strong trademark both online and offline, but because it lay on an obsolete platform (for e.g. the solution) and had not actively worked with SEO and SEM and I saw it as a number of ripe apples ready to be plucked.
- How do you work with your SEO? Do you do it yourself or do you have some help from an external actor?
We do a whole lot ourselves in-house, both for on-page and off-page and later, we take in expertise from different areas.
- How involved are you in the daily SEO work?
I work with SEO on a daily basis.
- Which elements do you optimize in your web shop?
We work continuously at optimizing and adapting our web shop, so we work with all elements. We have had some problems with for e.g. with speed, and on how we can structure our information depending on the content we take in from the supplier through web service, but that is going to be eliminated during spring.
- How has SEO been developed for ecommerce during the recent years?
Today most ecommerce companies work more or less with SEO which gives rise to a difficulty in getting a top placement in large amounts of search word. Even though so many work with SEM and are good at it, it effects the work with SEO, when visibility for the organic result decreases. More and more chains have come to life and with strong sites and big budgets, they can rank well even if they do a bad SEO job.
- Do you have focus on on-page or off-page optimization with it comes to SEO?
Both. It is the combination that determines. In such a hard segment as printing, off-page is crucial.
- What is the most boring aspect of working with web shops?
There is nothing boring about it really. Tired suppliers perhaps.
- What is most enjoyable with it?
That, one can see directly when a campaign is successful or a failure. Sometimes I become completely dependent on GA in real time. Although there is a very short distance between input and measurable result, for e.g. if one reaches high on a highly convertible word, one sees it directly on the bottom line.
- Do you work internationally or only with Swedish market? If you work internationally also, what are the differences?
As of now, we at patroner.se work only nationally but we are about to launch in the other Nordic countries.
- What do you use as different forms of traffic-driving strategies in order to get visitors in your sites?
Our greatest source of traffic today is Adwords, then organic traffic. We have worked with direct marketing for a long time, for e.g. Sverigehäftet and Uppslaget. We run some advertisements in the local press and work partly with affiliate marketing.
- In what magnitude does the income from your online web shop business lie?
The turnover for Patroner.se is one million per month or so.
- What tips do you have for others who run web shops? What are the mistakes they make and what should they focus more on?
Choose a platform that scales so that you can grow quickly and not need to change in the middle of an expansion. Think bigger than Sweden already from the beginning. Look at the big picture and measure as much as you. Work with conversion-raising actions especially if the traffic is costly. Work creatively with links, particularly if it is a “boring “ product. Write as much unique texts as you can (I know that it is a difficult job which often lands further down in the priority list)
- A beginner who is going to start his/ her own web-shop. How should he/she begin? What should he/she think of?
Invest in something that involves recurrent purchases. Start with a simple solution with low costs, but one that is SEO compliant. Start working early with link work. Do not go in and dump prices in the market. It will serve neither you nor your colleagues in the branch in the long run. Have a substantial marketing budget, learn as much about SEO and SEM as possible but count on the fact that you will need to take in expertise. Something that many forget is to invest in the logistic from the beginning. Think about the platform construction, business system, right premise, right position in everything! It is there where the problems often arise otherwise, if sales take off, it’s great! it is after all what one wants.
- What can one do to secure their business in future?
There is no room to feel safe in this branch because the day you feel safe, you are already overrun J. Invest in good customer service, fast delivery and make sure that you can match the prices at a decent rate if some big dragon arrives within your niche.
- Which branches should one invest in and what niches should one avoid?
Avoid our branch; it is a red sea today with fierce competition. Jokes aside, there are not many niches left. Most of them are becoming mature and I think this year many e-traders will either be bought out or will simply quit.
- Finally, please give us three of your best tips in order to make an income with the help of a web shop
Do not look at the e-commerce venture as a hobby project (those days are gone). Go all-in if you can invest. Become an expert within your area. Write blogs, tweet etc. (can give good side-income in lectures etc.) Work holistically from getting visitors to the site, to getting them to add items to their baskets, transact purchases, quick delivery, monitoring and re-purchases.
Thank you for the interview Jonas. It was fun to get to know a little closer and to know more about how you started – and think about search engine optimization and e-commerce.
If you want to know more about what Jonas works with, visit his webpage www.patroner.se
Once again thank you Jonas Lindblom for taking part in this interview with me on this site.