We recently had the privilege of interviewing Heidi Baker, co-founder of RefrigeratorPro.com for our Publisher Spotlight. RefrigeratorPro is a leading refrigerator review website and a Dynamic Asset specialist, you may remember them for our Effective Display Tactics post.
Jade: Heidi, you’re a co-founder of RefrigeratorPro. How did the idea of creating the site come about?
Heidi: My partner and I have a long history of working within the home improvement industry. When we started to explore what type of site we should focus on, we realized that kitchen appliances was an arena we didn't feel was being adequately serviced by the internet community. There were a lot of 'consumer review' sites and online stores, but very few sites that went into depth on what was available. As a consumer, it's easy to get lost in the myriad of choices, so the goal of our site was (and still is) to provide our users with as much relevant information as possible to help them make an educated decision. Because it's a staple of most kitchens, we started with refrigerators and are in the process of launching similar sites on other kitchen appliances.
Jade: Why did you decide to use the Shopzilla Publisher Program and how do you implement our content to RefrigeratorPro? How has your total experience with the program been thus far?
Heidi: Frankly, Shopzilla was something we just stumbled upon. We were looking for a way to enhance the content as well as further monetize the site and found the Shopzilla Publisher Program suited our needs. We had been with other sites that gave us widgets that were intriguing, but that either didn't blend seamlessly into the content or simply didn't pay enough to justify keeping it up on the site.
What has worked best with Shopzilla was using the dynamic assets. We input the topic of the page into the topic of the ads and everything seems to flow seamlessly. The best part is that if our customer finds the information they are looking for on that page then they very well might really need the ad next to it. We've done this with both more broad categories as well as with specific items using the product pod ads.
Other than a few minor hiccups, we've been happily surprised with the program and plan to implement it into our entire network of sites within the next few months. We've been grateful to your support staff (Bryan Byrne in particular) for resolving any issues along the way and we're excited to see what the future holds.
Jade: How do you stay up to date with new refrigerator models and technology?
Heidi: It's definitely tough to keep up to date as there are so many different manufacturers and so many changes made from year to year. We have a relatively small in house staff, but we utilize consultants on the outside who gather information directly from manufacturers, retailers (both online and brick and mortar stores), repairmen and consumers. As we mentioned above, we're in the process of a redesign which will allow us to provide more functionality for our users giving them the ability to see our content on a wide variety of platforms.
Jade: Does traffic ever peak during a certain time of year? If so, why? Do you think traffic peaks for similar niche sites reviewing other kitchen appliances?
Heidi: We have traffic peaks during the holidays as consumers try to take advantage of holiday sales. Refrigerators are expensive, so consumers try to save what they can, when they can. Regarding other sites, I can't speak on their behalf, but we've seen similar spikes with other 'kitchen appliance' sites within our network.
Jade: Do you have any tips or advice for our affiliates that also run niche or review sites?
Heidi: The best advice we ever got was don't get hung up on SEO (or as we like to call it, B.S.EO). Users will find you as long as you're providing useful information. If you spend time on gathering accurate, usable content then the traffic will come. Spend too much time on look and feel and SEO and it probably won't.
Heidi, thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions in this Publisher Spotlight! We strongly recommend any of our publishers using dynamic assets to check out RefrigeratorPro.com. Their site design, content, and integration of our assets will quickly show why they were an obvious choice for a Shopzilla Publisher Spotlight.