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BiyoArt Business Update


To briefly summarize : it's the beginning of a new year and from the looks of the overall economy it's going to be a tough one on the artwork sales side of things, but 2008 was also an interesting year as far as attendance and sales. The 2008 attendance at a majority of the art festivals was down 30-50%, but our sales, in general, were up at a few of the shows. A couple of milestones this season also included the artwork sales of well over 200 pieces and dollar amount also well over the 10 thousand mark. It would also appear that our online advertising campaign with Google AdWords has paid for itself again this past year and with customer input, slight improvements, as well as new designs, the website will achieve more sales per Click this 2009 season. Now, the details of the story . . .

After reviewing last season's numbers it became very clear that we will not be returning to 3 of the art festivals, all of which are in New York. Two of them were first time shows; Montauk, Long Island and Park Ave, Rochester, with the third being Corn Hill, also in Rochester.

Montauk, at The End of Long Island, was a new show for 2008 and the artists attending were some of the elite in their fields from the Zapplication site. Since the town is out beyond the Hamptons, it is not only expensive to stay within town, but hard to get to on its one and only through road. The show originally advertised with most of the local vendors and motel websites as being held in the center of town on the rotary Green. But the show organizer seemed to increase the attending artists numbers and could no longer fit the festival at the Green and moved it around the corner to the Lion's Club soccer field. It would have been nice to have had advertising signs pointing the way to the festival not only within Montauk but at the rotary surrounding Green as well; we walked a couple blocks to and from where we stayed in a few different ways and noticed the lack of functional advertising. As a result, limited attendance and the moving of the show to the Green for 2009.

Prior to attending the Park Avenue festival in Rochester for the first time, Google Street View on its map search provided exact detail to our booth space surroundings and piece of mind to setting up. But, as we found, the Park Avenue area has some of the healthiest people from that of any of the festivals we have ever attended; because all they did was walk-in one big mile long loop, chatting with their friends and not looking at most of the booths. We usually give a festival a couple years to prove its worth, but not if there isn't interest in, not only our artwork, but also everyone else's in the general area. We heard that the mustard lady did real well at $5 a jar. To top off the event, the local beer distributor does its best business for the year that festival weekend. The local university attendees, it turns out, plan their drinking activities for that very weekend of the festival, as we had been warned at the previous Corn Hill, Rochester festival. We typically leave the artwork hanging overnight, and since being setup in front of a church we believed our booth safe for the evening festivities. We fared well for the evening, but two booths down didn't fare as well, for a few revelers decided to have a little party on the church side steps and destructively entertain themselves within the booth. An isolated incident would not a decision make, but several such did as the daylight dawned . . . oh well.

The third show, Corn Hill in Rochester, we have been contemplating not returning since the previous year. This was their 40th anniversary and the free rib dinner was very good, but the construction on the nearest highway, which closed many exit and on ramps, as well as other highly advertised events in the area limited the attendance and sales. The festival is very well organized, easy access and parking, as well as closing off the entire neighborhood to traffic. But it is the very neighborhood with booths on all the side and main streets that adds to the attendance issue with the festival. People have just stopped coming to the festival not only due to sprawl, even though the organizers have been cutting streets back, but the push towards public transportation in the area that had quite a few patrons complaining ; " If we come to the festival to buy artwork, we certainly do not want to be riding the bus home with our purchases...".

Finally got one years worth of AdWord data from Google to go through and make some what of a decision(s) as to which keyword(s) get paused. The years worth of data would take the campaigns through their respective active sport season as well as the holidays. Also, turned the gift(s) keywords back on for the holiday season at the end of October and will continue them through the new year to again catch each respective active sport season throughout the year. After pausing a few campaigns near the beginning of the year (bike, football, golf and surf) for various reasons, we managed to get our desired campaign results of average first page ranking of sponsored link position(s) of 5 to 7, with a Click-Thru-Rate (CTR) of around 4% at around $10 per week ($50 per week during the 2 month holiday season). The final numbers for the year 2008 on Google AdWords were 166,592 impressions, 6438 clicks, click-thru-rate of 3.86%, $0.18 average per click cost with an average position of 5.2. The final tally has yet to be determined, but at this point we're pretty close to having the AdWord campaign pay for itself.

Just having the Google AdWord advertising campaign(s) pay for itself is not the best of desired results and changes are currently underway to help with potential sales missed. One of the site updates is a Dedicated IP to allow the site to utilize its own SSL certificate with visual TrustLogo from Comodo, instead of the shared secure server certificate of which no visual authentication, other than the lock symbol, was obtainable. The TrustLogo is a Point to View Authentication which will alleviate any customer doubts as to site authenticity or security. Another issue is landing page quality, as determined by Google, which effects not only click pricing but, since the site is still frame based, the page search rank position. Still need to figure out, short of a complete redesign to CSS, how to get the full page template of content and not the frame call function. But, in the end, it's still amazing how many more sales are completed based on the increasing number of designs . . .

Google AdWords, it appears, possibly in an update, also informs its account users if there are limiting factors, such as daily cost limits, on the account that impede potential sales and inform the user by how much of a factor and what increase would be required to bring in the potential sales. It potentially gives more money to Google, yes, but it also give our website more impressions, possibly more clicks and hence possibly more sales.

We dropped our advertising campaigns with both the network and Yahoo Shopping. Both were not costing very much to have products listed out on the web, until both required a substantial increase in funds deposited to the account. In one case $250 minimum deposit to keep the account active. Since our log files indicated not one sale concluded through either network, made the decision an easy one. Our one advantage to the Yahoo Shopping network was the site linkage back to our website, as recognized by Google, which helped with page rank and hence CTR.

Also, found it interesting in the latest Google AdWord site maintenance and evaluation of account data that it questioned our screen name of BiyoArt. Non-conforming said they . . . oh really, said I. Sent in the justification which basically stated that if our registered, corporate EIN company name of Biyo LTD made toys it would, in kind, also subsequently be named BiyoToys. Who knows where they're going with this one . . .? Google : oops . . . never mind . . . for now.


It's been real
We'll have to do it again real soon.
Talk at ya.

- yO

10 - January - 2009


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