Day 18: Road to Knowlo’s Beta Launch
In today’s update, we’ll be continuing where we left off in Day 16 and we’re going to be working on our MVP go-to-market plan. we’re still making great progress building the Knowlo MVP, you can read all about it in Slobodan’s update on Day 17.
But while we wait for the MVP to be ready, CofounderGPT and I can continue to work on building our mailing list so that we have more people to test out the Knowlo MVP once It’s ready.
Before we get into the fun part of actually running ads to bring people to our site, we need to do some housekeeping first.
Updates to the WordPress website
On Day 16, we asked CofounderGPT to come up with a few iterations of a landing page based on the StoryBrand framework. We ended up mocking up a simple landing page to replace our homepage and we also added an About page.
You may have noticed that our homepage has been updated to the new StoryBrand design we came up with on Day 16 and that we’ve also added an About page with some information about the founders.
I would love to tell you that I was the one who did all the changes on our website. But I didn’t. Instead, I’ll tell you this little story which may help some people who are looking for freelancers.
When I bought the WordPress template and imported all the test data, I ran into a few problems with the template. So I got in touch with the person who made the template and who was selling it on Themeforest. He quickly helped me resolve the issues. And then he offered to do freelance work for us if we needed help customizing the template. Since I already had a developer lined up to help us, I politely declined.
Then as I was getting ready to start building our new StoryBrand homepage and about page, I took a look at the documentation to see how I’m going to do all the stuff that’s needed to get the WordPress pages to look like the mockups. I realized quickly that it’s going to take me a few hours to read through all the docs, figure out how the template works and do the layout properly. At that point I remembered that the person who made the template offered to help so I reached out to him, sent him the two mockups from Day 16, and asked how much he would charge to implement this for us.
He came back with an estimate of $50 USD. So the decision was: do I spend 2-3 hours doing this myself or do I spend $50 and have someone else do it instead of me?
I don’t see much value in spending 2-3 hours to learn WordPress and the template better. I would rather spend those 2-3 hours working on something else for Knowlo, or learning about AI and LLMs. And I value my time at much more than $50 per hour.
This decision is a no-brainer. The freelancer took care of business for $50 and I got to write this article and take an LLM class that I’ve been putting off. The website is not perfect, there’s still a few minor things I’m waiting to finish. But I think it conveys the message well enough for us to start bringing some traffic to it to see if we can capture a few more email addresses.
Let’s take a step back and talk about how you measure the traffic on your website.
The screenshot above is from the main dashboard page of Knowlo’s Google Analytics account. As you can see, we’ve had 369 unique website visitors in the last 28 days and they spent an average of 2 minutes and 28 seconds on our website. This is an approximately 30% increase over the previous 28 day period.
This is the kind of information you get from a tool like Google Analytics. You can also track where your traffic is coming from, how people are behaving on your website, what types of browser or device they are using and much more.
While there are several tools that you could use to measure your website traffic, we’ve always stuck to Google Analytics because:
- Google has basically been running the internet for the last 20 years (we’ll see for how much longer, many people are now writing Google’s obituary). So we assume they have the best insights on traffic patterns. Also, Google generally has the best data on the internet since their mission is to organize the worlds information and make it universally accessible.
- Google Analytics is free to use while most of the smaller competitors charge for their services.
- There are lots of videos and tutorials for Google Analytics that can help you set up goals, events and other advanced features. Google itself offer a whole course on Google Analytics.
Disclaimer about Google Analytics: Google is in the process of migrating all their customers to version 4 of Google Analytics. Many people around me are complaining about version 4, saying that It’s buggy and not as feature-rich as the previous versions. So I am not sure how this is going to play out over the next year or two. But for the last 10+ years, we’ve primarily been using Google Analytics for our web sites.
Setting up Google Analytics is really simple. WordPress has plugins which let you take the code that you get when you create a new site in Google Analytics, and just paste it into the plugin in WordPress. We did it right after we launched the Knowlo site which is why we have some data already on website visitors.
But when we set up Google Analytics, we didn’t set up any goals because we didn’t need them at the time. Now that we are going to run some ads, we want to see if any of those ads are going to “convert”. For us, converting means leaving an email address in one of the forms on this website.
As of today, we’ve had 2 sources of traffic from which the emails on our list come from:
- When we post our articles on social media, it usually drives those spikes in traffic that you see in the graph above.
- Organic traffic coming from Google search, It’s not a lot of traffic but there is some
we’re not really sure which of these two sources the emails on the list came from because we haven’t set up conversion tracking in Google Analytics yet. Now that we are going to add a third source of traffic, one that we are going to be paying for, It’s important at this point to know if some of the paid traffic is converting. In fact, that’s the whole point of this experiment.
So we need to set up a goal in Google Analytics. The way we’re going to do that is through a link. When someone signups up to our list, the website will redirect them to a thank you page such as http://www.knowlo.co/newsletter/thankyou (not the actual thank you page). And whenever someone lands on this link, Google Analytics will consider this a conversion. It’s pretty straight forward to set this up, you can check this Youtube video for step-by-step instructions.
Sitemap and Google Search Console
Another Google product that we need to take into account is Google Search Console. Here is CofounderGPTs 3-sentence explanation of what Google Search Console is:
Google Search Console is a free tool provided by Google that helps website owners understand how their site is performing on Google’s search engine. It provides useful information like which keywords are bringing in traffic, if there are any issues Google has when crawling the site, and how the site is performing in terms of mobile usability. Essentially, it’s a dashboard for monitoring and optimizing your website’s presence in Google search results.CofounderGPT
At this point you might be confused about what the difference is between Google Search Console and Google Analytics. So I asked CofounderGPT to provide a 2-sentence explanation:
Google Analytics is a tool that provides comprehensive data about your website’s visitors, such as where they are coming from, what pages they visit, and how long they stay, giving you insights into user behavior on your site. On the other hand, Google Search Console focuses more on the website’s visibility on Google Search, offering data on search queries, indexing status, and website technical health, helping you understand and improve your site’s performance in Google’s search results.CofounderGPT
As I’m writing this article, I realized I forgot to set up Google Search Console. So I went and created an account, verified that we own Knowlo.co and then gave Google Search console a link to our sitemap. This will allow it to regularly get updates on new pages when we publish them on the website.
With Google Analytics and Google Search Console set up, we have the ability to track What’s happening on Knowlo. Next, we need to figure out how people are searching for a tool like Knowlo.
This is my least favourite part of this process: doing the keyword research. But the good news is, I saw something on Twitter the other day which might be helpful:
According to this thread, Bramework is a ChatGPT plugin which does keyword research and analysis. So I installed this plugin and gave it a try. As a side note, everyone who has ChatGPT+ now has access to plugins. Check out this video which explains how to activate them.
Instead of writing out a step-by-step of what I did with the Bramework plugin, here is the complete battle I waged with ChatGPT and the plugin to get the results that I wanted: https://sharegpt.com/c/NyHVgjC
In that link is the entire conversation. As you can see, my workflow with CofounderGPT and with ChatGPT has been to ask for several iterations at each step. I end up using pieces from each iteration and I add some of my own ideas. But overall, I work much faster with the help of AI even if it doesn’t always cooperate the way I want it to.
In the end, I have the keywords we are going to start with along with several iterations of the ad copy. Here is an example of one of the results:
|Keyword||Difficulty||SERP Results||Search Volume||Headline|
|Create interactive user guide||Low (0.0)||Low (< 100,000 results)||Low (< 50 searches/month)||1. “Guide Creation? Nailed It!”<br>2. “Unleash Interactive Guides!”<br>3. “Knowlo: Your Guide Guru”<br>4. “Revolutionize Your Guides!”<br>5. “Interactive Guides? Sorted!”|
|How to create interactive user guide||Low (0.0)||Low (< 100,000 results)||Low (< 50 searches/month)||1. “Master Interactive Guides!”<br>2. “Guide Creation? No Sweat!”<br>3. “Knowlo: Guide Creation Ace”<br>4. “Interactive Guides? We Can!”<br>5. “Guide Creation? Check!”|
|AI help desk||Low (26.0)||High (>= 2,000,000 results)||Low (< 50 searches/month)||1. “AI Help Desk? We Rule!”<br>2. “Revolutionize Your Help Desk!”<br>3. “Knowlo: AI Support Champ”<br>4. “AI Help Desk? Sorted!”<br>5. “AI-Powered Support Here!”|
|AI help desk software||Low (31.0)||High (>= 2,000,000 results)||Low (< 50 searches/month)||1. “AI Support? We Excel!”<br>2. “Knowlo: AI Support Pro”<br>3. “AI Help Desk? We Shine!”<br>4. “Software for AI? We Reign!”<br>5. “AI Help Desk? We Rock!”|
|Interactive tooltip||Low (0.0)||Low (< 100,000 results)||Low (< 50 searches/month)||1. “Tooltips? We Innovate!”<br>2. “Knowlo: Tooltip Master”<br>3. “Tooltip Magic? We Deliver!”<br>4. “Interactive Tooltips? We Win!”<br>5. “Tooltip Transformation? Yes!”|
And an example of some of the possible descriptions to go with them:
|Keyword||Description 1||Description 2||Description 3|
|Create interactive user guide||“Revolutionize your app with Knowlo!”<br>2. “Boost user engagement and reduce support tickets!”||“Unleash the power of interactive guides!”<br>2. “Get first 6 months free as a beta user!”||1. “Interactive guides made easy with Knowlo!”<br>2. “Join our beta and enjoy 6 months free!”|
|How to create interactive user guide||“Master interactive guides with Knowlo!”<br>2. “Improve user retention and cut onboarding time!”||“Empower your users with interactive guides!”<br>2. “Beta users enjoy first 6 months free!”||1. “Interactive guide creation simplified with Knowlo!”<br>2. “Join our beta for 6 months free service!”|
|AI help desk||“Streamline your support with our AI help desk!”<br>2. “Reduce costs and improve response time with Knowlo!”||“Revolutionize your help desk with AI!”<br>2. “Join our beta for 6 months free service!”||1. “AI help desk sorted with Knowlo!”<br>2. “Beta users get first 6 months free!”|
|AI help desk software||“Transform your support with our AI software!”<br>2. “Improve productivity and deliver 24/7 support with Knowlo!”||“AI support software here with Knowlo!”<br>2. “Join our beta and enjoy 6 months free!”||1. “AI help desk solution with Knowlo!”<br>2. “Beta users get first 6 months free!”|
|Interactive tooltip||“Improve app navigation with our interactive tooltips!”<br>2. “Enhance user learning and boost confidence with Knowlo!”||“Interactive tooltips now with Knowlo!”<br>2. “Join our beta for 6 months free service!”||1. “Tooltip transformation here with Knowlo!”<br>2. “Beta users enjoy first 6 months free!””Tooltip transformation here with Knowlo!”|
we’re all set to get started with Google Ads. But this article is already getting kind of long and I’ve used up a lot of the hours I have for Knowlo for this week. So we’ll need to leave the Google Ads for the next article.
I don’t feel right just ending on the keyword research. It doesn’t feel like we’ve done anything today to get the word out about Knowlo. So I want to do at least one thing which could bring a few people to check out Knowlo.
When we were getting started with Vacation Tracker, we were faced with a similar problem of getting that initial word out about the product. And I remember one of the websites we created a profile on was Indie Hackers. It’s a website that’s a community of independent product builders and side hustlers, kinda like us. So it seems like the perfect place to create a product page and make a post asking if anyone would be interested in being part of our beta program.
Since both Slobodan and I have accounts associated to Vacation Tracker on Indie Hackers, it was simple to create the profile for another product we’re working on. I filled in all the required information for the Knowlo profile, I created an icon quickly with Midjourney (to be fixed up later) and the profile is now waiting for approval. You can see it at this link.
Next, I went back to CofounderGPT with a browser, and asked it to review the first article I wrote about the Birth of CofounderGPT. Then I asked it to write a much shorter version of this article in the same voice and writing style as the original. And I posted that as our starting post on our Indie Hackers profile along with a link to the original post.
Then I asked CofounderGPT to write a short post for Indie Hackers letting people know that we’ll be launching the beta soon:
We’re about to launch the beta version of Knowlo and we just made a profile on the Indie Hackers website for Knowlo. Now we are going to write a post to the Indie Hackers community and I need your help to do it. Here are some instructions to follow:
– it should explain a little bit about Knowlo and specifically mention it’s a startup being worked on with CofounderGPT
– it should announce that we are launching the beta version of the product in June
– it should offer 6 months free for those that signup before launch and special Indie Hackers pricing after that
– mention that this is a product for Indie Hackers that have software startups
– use my voice and writing style for the post
– keep it short and concise
As usual, the first iteration was average and after a few tries, we got enough material to work with for a post on Indie Hackers. Then I asked for several variations of a catchy title and I posted it on Indie Hackers.
Hopefully we’ll be able to get a few Indie Hackers interested with the offer we made in the post.
Doing all this stuff in the update, I spent an entire working day spread out over the week. We also spent on the freelancer and our OpenAI monthly bill.
Time spent today: 8h
Total time spent: 121h
Investment today: $70 USD ($50 to the WordPress freelancer and $20 for ChatGPT)
Total investment: $1,029.54 USD
Paying customers: 0
Slobodan and CofounderGPT will continue working on the MVP while I get our Google Adwords mini-campaign going. we’ll also look at how to do some startup sales.