Featured

Welcome to my Blog!!

Thank you for visiting jamesdodge.com. I plan on using this blog to share things going on in both my personal and my business life (and now my school life too!).  You can also find me on various different platforms by clicking any of the buttons to the right. Thanks again for stopping by – we’ll talk to you soon!!

Starting my Entrepreneurial Journal

This week has really been busy, as we have started a new semester at BYU-Idaho.  I have to admit, this semester I am feeling a little overwhelmed this first week.  But at the same time, I am really excited at what we are going to be learning.  For the next few months (and hopefully continuing on for a long time after this class ends), I will be posting each week to share what I am learning, and my thoughts, in regards to my Introduction to Entrepreneurship course.  This will serve as my Entrepreneurial Journal, and I hope to create a habit that I will continue far into the future.

As we start this course, I am already loving what we are starting to learn.  We had to watch quite a few videos this week, as well as read several different readings.  I want to share the video that affected me the most this week.

In 2002, President Gordon B. Hinckley spoke at BYU Idaho.  You can watch the video here, and I would recommend doing so.  The thing that really stood out to me the most during this video, was President Hinckley talking to us about how much potential we all have.  And how we need to not sell ourselves short.

As I start this semester, and as I struggle with feelings of being overwhelmed, this talk keeps coming to mind.  Things have been tough at work for me recently also, and this talk helped to remind me that I really can do anything.  I can be successful in business, in my family, in my calling, and I can succeed in the courses that I am taking.  I am really looking forward to the next several months, as we learn about how to become successful in our lives.

Optimizing the Website

We’re getting really close to the end of the semester here, and we’re really starting to analyze what is good about our websites, and what can be improved upon.

This week, we looked into the different keywords that are driving traffic to our sites.  We looked at those that are doing good, as well as those that need to be improved.

We also looked at woorank.com to see how our sites are being ranked.  Now that we have done these things, the last part of the class will be made up of making some changes, and trying to improve the ranking.

This class has been great, and I’m looking forward to finishing the semester next week, and continuing on with the business.  Although I haven’t had any conversions yet, I have made some sales, due to the fact that several people that I know have gone on to make purchases.

Now that I have the basic understanding of what to look for in regards to Google Analytics, and Google Adwords, I am really excited to start concentrating on growing this business.

I think that most of my attempts have not been successful, due to the fact that I’ve only been pushing to sell one product.  And that one product is used sparingly by a select number of people.  I have several different products where I have reached deals with the manufacturer’s, and I will start promoting soon.  I think these additional products will help me appeal to more dental laboratories, and help me to make more sales.

Social Media

This past week, we’ve been learning about social media, and how we need to use it to drive traffic to our sites.  I think we all know how much impact social media has had on our lives over the past several years, so of course we need to try and utilize it to help us with our goals.

Many people will check their phones multiple times throughout the day, and we need to have a strategy in place, in order to capitalize on that.  As we come up with this strategy, we need to track the traffic that is coming to our sites, and identify that which is coming through social media.  This will help us to refine our presence online, and hopefully drive more traffic, and ultimately, more conversions.

I am going to start a Facebook page for my company this week, and try using their Facebook Ads, to see if I can drive more traffic to my site.  I’m hoping that I will be able to target even more people, and start to see some conversions on my site, in this next week.

This week has been very interesting, and it is nice to see how all the strategies we have been working on are starting to come together.  I’m looking forward to the last couple of weeks of class, and I’m excited to keep this going past that point.

Landing Page Optimization and SEO

This week has been rough for me in terms of working on school assignments.  I have been at scout camp for this past week with the Young Men from my ward, and I haven’t been able to turn everything in that I have been working on.

The area we were camping in, was not near any spots that could be used to get onto the internet and/or submit any assignments.

For this weeks reflection, I am going to discuss what we are working on, and how I will catch things up this week.

We are working on optimizing our landing page for our websites.  This needs to be done, because we want to make sure that as people are looking at our ads, and clicking on them, they are taken to a spot that will help them to spend money.  Our whole goal as a business, is to make money, so we need to make sure that when someone clicks on our ad, it is easy for them to buy what they are looking for.

I will be optimizing my landing page over the next couple of days so that when someone goes there, after clicking on my ad, it will show them exactly what they are looking to buy.

The other thing we are looking at, is our SEO, or Search Engine Optimization.  This is important, as it is what helps determine if the search engines can find us or not.  We want to utilize good techniques and good keywords, so that the traffic to our sites starts to grow organically, in addition to our ads.  Without the proper set up, and the proper keywords, it can be difficult for the search engines to differentiate our sites from thousands of others out there.

Over the next couple of days, I will get my assignments finished off and submitted.  Unfortunately, I know that I can’t go back and do the discussion boards, as these are needing participation by others, and the time is past for them.  Hopefully, I can continue to finish off the next few weeks, and continue to build this online business that has been created.

Launching our Campaign

This week, we started our campaigns so that we can start tracking them.  It was a great week, and very interesting as I can start to see the benefit from utilizing adwords and tracking those that come to our sites.

At first, I was a little disappointed, because I thought that I would see some impressions right away.  After starting my campaign on Monday night, I checked my account Tuesday morning, but only had 10 impressions.  I’m not really sure what I expected, but I was hoping for more than that.  Plus, there were no clicks on my ad.

I had to wait a couple of days, but I started to see that the traffic is being increased, thanks to the ads I have running.  I still need to look closer at how to adjust the campaign and change up the keywords so that I can get more traffic, and start to get conversions as well.

Since the whole point of this business is to make money, it really doesn’t matter how many people see my ad, or how many click on the ad.  If they don’t convert, and actually spend some money, it’s not worth it.

As I’m writing this, my number of impressions has grown to 7,213, and the number of clicks has risen to 78.  I think this is great, but I know I still have a lot of work to do.  I look forward to this next week, as we work on enhancing our ads, and trying to get conversions for our business.

Google Analytics

This week we’ve been working on the keywords for our ads, and we installed Google Analytics onto our websites. I have looked at Google Analytics a little bit before, but I have never spent much time trying to learn about it.

I think it will be interesting to see what we learn in the upcoming weeks, as we monitor the analytics of our sites, and make changes in response to what we learn.

One other thing we did, was link the Google Analytics account to our Adwords account. I think this will be very interesting to see how the two line up with each other, and I’m interested to see what we look for from these programs, in order to make our campaigns and our websites work better.

I think that having the Analytics installed on the website will be a huge help to us, as it will enable us to see who is actually visiting our site, and what they’re looking at while they’re there.

These past few weeks have been really good, as we’ve been building a good foundation to move forward. It will be interesting to see how the next few weeks go, as we learn what to look for, and what to change, to attract more traffic to our sites.

Adwords

This week we continued working on our sites, and we also started to get more into our adwords campaign.  We had to create an ad, and post it for our classmates to critique, and offer suggestions for improvement.

I really enjoyed this weeks lessons, and I can really see the benefits to using an adwords campaign to help boost traffic to my site.  In the past, I always thought it was better to just try to drive traffic to a site organically, but I can see that the approach needs to be a balance of utilizing adwords, while working on improving the SEO.

I’m interested to see where the class goes in the upcoming weeks, as we continue to work on our sites, and start tracking the traffic that is coming to them.  I am really enjoying this class, and can see many applications for the business I created, as well as other businesses that I am associated with.

Here is my ad, as it was written out for the campaign:

Dental Laboratory Instant Adhesive – Cyanoacrylate

http://www.lasvegasdentalsupply.com/store/

The best Instant Adhesive you can get for your Dental Laboratory!

It hasn’t been launched as an actual campaign yet, but I’m assuming it will be in the next week or two.  In the meantime, here are a couple of photos of what the preview of the ad looks like:

We’ll see how things go in the next couple of weeks.  In the meantime, if you need any glue, feel free to go check out my store, and buy some!