Nine years ago Darrell Rude retired from his day job and decided to open an eCommerce store to keep him busy during his retirement days. Little did Darrell know that he was creating one of the most successful websites that sells truck toolboxes. Darrell has spent countless hours working on his website, but most importantly he has become very knowledgeable about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Take a second to Google Truck Toolboxes – you will notice that 4truckaccessories.com is on the FIRST page of Google! I recently spent some time talking with Darrell about his experience in building an eCommerce business.
What was your plan for 4Truck-Accessories.com when you launched the website?
Darrell: When I launched 4Truck-Accessories.com my thought was that we would become a power house for truck accessories. I built relationships with well known vendors to sell their products. I had everything ready to sell truck accessories. I soon realized that 90% of my business was generated from toolbox sales alone. I fought trying to specialize my business for awhile, but soon I learned to embrace it. Being an online retailer you have to set yourself apart from your competitors. We set ourselves apart by selling truck toolboxes.
You mentioned that you have relationships with vendors – how did you go about setting up these relationships?
Darrell: I had a personal relationship with DeeZee Inc, so that one was pretty easy to setup. When I started 4Truck nine years ago companies were not interested in building relationships with eCommerce providers. Since eCommerce has become more acceptable companies are more open to develop vendor relationships with us. I highly suggest contacting a company to see if they would be interested in partnering with your business.
Your website has a great SEO presence — what is your secret to developing good SEO?
Darrell: I do all of my own SEO. We have worked with a few companies in the past, but I read about every article there is on SEO, so I have extensive knowledge in this area. It is easy to get yourself on page 1 of the search engines with Pay-Per-Click advertising, but we haven’t done PPC in 6 or 7 years. I have spent all of my time focusing on SEO because that is how the search engines find you. One of the best tools that I use to help me with my SEO is SEO Power Suite. I have tried a couple of different SEO software programs, and this one is the best in my opinion.
Starting an online business can be difficult, if you could give a newcomer to eCommerce a piece of advice what would that be?
Darrell: Patience. It takes time to build an eCommerce store. We have been in business for 9 years, almost 10 – we have had our ups and downs. We once redesigned our website and Google did not like the change. We just had to wait for our site to be found again. I would search for my website in Google and I couldn’t find it within the first 20 pages, but then one day we popped up on page 4 and have made our way to page 1. So be patient – it will happen.