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Nov/Dec Q/A Roundup
Hey it’s Opossum here! Welcome to my free monthly Q/A Roundup. Today’s post is on some of the best questions in the last month (or 2 if I was too busy…). Each week I write about a new topic or analyze a new digital business. If you’re not a subscriber, here’s what you missed this month:
First, thank you. I love seeing this project grow and help people.
Secondly, I feel like many of you are missing some context about this Substack and Twitter account. It is not designed like a normal newsletter. I’m not going to send out emails just to send out emails.
Every new subscriber should read that post to catch up on why this Substack exists.
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Should I replicate this crappy looking website that get’s a ton of organic traffic?
Traffic is about SEO, not how pretty a site is. While some UX factors are ranking signals, it’s mostly about links and content.
Figure out what they’re doing and replicate that. Not their UX. Not their niche.
UX is about wayfinding and pushing your users to take a desired action. Niche is going to determine the amount of traffic out there, the competitiveness, and the monetization methods you can execute on.
Once you figure out what what’s causing them to rank so well, it’s probably going to come down to a few things.
They’re pumping out a lot of content
They’re doing good targeting KW research
They’re writing to the KW intent very well
They’re doing a lot of link building
They’re linking internally very well
They’re sourcing/linking their information from authoritative sources. IE - .gov websites, Google source, and original source that Google loves.
They’ve been doing all of the above for years
Should we do both UA and GA4? Or just GA4?
We’re currently 6 months out from Universal Analytics (GA3) being deprecated. At this point, there’s no need to even implement it. Being 6 months out, you should start focusing on how to make GA4 useful and learning it’s functionality.
Why am I not growing?
This is usually because one of a few reasons.
You haven’t found product market fit
You are focused too much on the product and not enough at marketing
Your marketing isn’t focused on providing value or you’re just not marketing
Your retention sucks and you’re burning more customers/followers than you’re gaining
Twitter for example. A lot of people that are using Twitter as their growth channel are doing it completely wrong.
Your timeline probably doesn’t incite me or anyone else to follow you. When people click on your profile to see if they want to follow you, they look at your bio, your pinned tweet, and your last few tweets.
Most people’s bios aren’t interesting. Their pinned tweet isn’t within their niche. Their timeline is nothing but retweets and barely any value added. As a rough guage, our timeline should be 70%-80% value ad tweets (yours or an appropriate retweet), 10%-20% shitposting or tweets about yourself, and 0-10% of promoting other people not related to your niche.
Was wondering if you could help me understand why BTB says in the Substack article “E-Comm Look Back” regarding demand testing where you do don't charge the card as this may affect your future ads/traffic you run to the site? For reference we are using our real Shopify/ad account so don't want to do anything to compromise it. Right now the cart is disabled and if they try to initiate checkout it goes to an error page so can either test this way or enable cart and do refunds.
If you do charge the card, two things will happen.
Your ad account will eventually be shut down
When you reverse the transaction, you still have to pay the transaction fees
Clicking on “add to cart” is not a sale though. A lot of people will click cart or even go to checkout and not purchase.
It's a false signal.
At every step in a funnel, there’s drop off. Only 10%-25% of your users that add to cart are going to purchase. If you’re using add to cart, you may think you have a great ROAS of 6 on your campaign but in reality, it’s a 0.6-1.5 ROAS. Likely not profitable when you include shipping.
Enable checkout and set Shopify to "manual" payment capture. That way they make it through the funnel, purchase, and their card doesn't get charged. Then send an out of stock email when you cancel the orders.
Is selling X or Y Ecommerce route scalable?
Almost everything is scalable if you’re smart enough and willing to build the business. The problem is people aren’t smart enough or don’t want to build an actual team.
I completely get the not wanting to build a team route. Having employees is a pain but they can make your life easier and allow you to get more done. Selling anything online is scalable to 7 figures without a team as long as it’s not services (time for money). Even then, service businesses are scalable if you can hire the right talent.
If you’re looking for the current market cap of current company’s business models to see if it’s possible (it is)..with no original thought on how to make it more efficient, do this. Note that this isn’t perfectly accurate but it will give you an idea.
There’s a bunch of ways to do this but the easiest way is to just Google the product and start clicking on the top 5 organic results and all of the ads you see. You can also find them on TikTok, FB, etc. but this will likely bring up most of the bigger players.
Download the SEOquake browser extension and signup for a FREE SEMRush account. Go to website and click on the extension. Now you have a *very rough* estimate of their monthly traffic.
Estimate AOV (Average Order Value)
Just take the average of their products and multiply it by 2.5. That’s a good reference for what their average order value is.
Just use 2.5%.
Now that you have all of the numbers, use this basic formula and estimate their revenue.
Revenue = Conversion Rate X Average Order Value X Traffic
Now you have a rough estimate of their monthly revenue. Multiply by 12 for the yearly.
What you’re going to find is most things can be scaled online to a large degree. Even thing that you wouldn’t think as probable. IE - Used boats.
Lastly, realize that even the biggest website you’re analyzing unlikely has even 5%-10% of the market cap or TAM. So the TAM is probably 20X+ higher.
If you’re subscribed to this newsletter, you need to keep in mind why we’re here.
Your boss and company, no matter how nice, doesn’t care about your future. Nobody outside of a few family members and select friends care about your growth and your future.
You are the only one that can save yourself and make your life what you want it.
Single player. Just you.
This Substack is here to help you build a business and build the life that you want. I’ve laid out the basics to understand, analyze, & grow most any online business.
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Disclaimer: Nothing written here should be construed as legal for financial advice of any kind. These are opinions and observations, written by an anonymous cartoon Opossum, built up over years working in e-commerce & affiliate marketing.