I certainly want to sell more products ... but I want to do it without spending the earth. Is that a false eceonomy? What have people's experience been with using internet marketing agencies?
Is it false economy? Unless you have the skills, time and devotion to commit to it without it making other parts of your business suffer then it's an overwhelming yes.
Ask yourself...what do you really want to be doing. Running your business or spending hours at night reading Internet Marketing for Dummies and searching through forums?
You mentioned people's experience with IM companies. (They're a shower of b******s! ) Obviously, I'm going to say all our clients have great experiences but the thing is - we can back it up and show real results. I wish the industry was regulated but it's not so you have to look at what the IM company is offering and what successes they've had. That's your basis to make a decision.
There are many reputable companies out there that will provide you with good solid advice and more importantly portfolio case studies of projects that have been successful.
You rightly said you want more sales from your website. You can do it one of two ways.
1. DIY - spend 2-3 years learning all the methods, practices, the Google Algorithim, countless hours on forums, linkbuilding etc etc. During all this time where is your company in terms of sales, profitability etc? What time have you invested? Have you neglected service to your customers in the process?
2. Get professional help. Concentrate on your business and let the IM company concentrate on increasing your sales. Yes you will spend money but you will increase sales in a much shorter period of time than were you to do this yourself. As your sales increase, your website and brand will become more prominent resulting in a firmer growth.
You have to equate your time and services of DIY against what it would cost you if you were to employ an IM company.
Far too often I see SMEs trying to save money doing their own SEO/SEM only to come cap in hand when they've exhausted theirselves trying and for very little reward. Every single time we get "I wish I'd listened to you in the first place".
If you have to do your own SEO/SEM then the very least you should do is invest in a SEO/SEM audit which is worth it's weight in gold. Audit reports however are not cheap and can span 50-100 pages, but they give you detailed step by step instruction on where your website is at and what you should be doing to improve matters. If you do go down this route then be prepared for a lot of hard work. It is not easy and you will be up against professionals who generally have several staff working on such products.
I had a quick look at your site. It could really do with some tidying up as it's a bit confusing and I found a couple of bugs. You've went slightly overboard on the onpage optimisation (most of what you've done is ignored on Google).
Take this hypothetical example:
I'm a visitor looking for garden furniture. I'm googling and I'm looking for a site that makes things easy for me as a buyer. You have between 4-8 seconds to convince a me to make a decision whether I want to buy from your site or go to a competitor. I get to your site. Some links don't work, some of the photos don't match the descriptions and you use popups. I have a popup blocker on my browser because I'm at work and our IT people make sure that certain scripts don't get onto our PCS. Your site makes it hard for me to make my decision so the end result - I'm shoot off to look at another company who makes things easier for me.
One thing that stopped me in my tracks was your order stage. When I clicked the buy button, it went straight to the cart and added 3 other products. I immediately went whoa - what's going on here? At that point I thought it's added more stuff that I didn't want and my natural instinct was to click right out of your site.
Hope that helps