If you have an idea for an ecommerce venture or are thinking about taking your retail business online, now is the time to seize the moment and start taking action. Below we have compiled a few general strategies for those interested in pursuing ecommerce as a new road to success.
Just like a brick and mortar business, ecommerce requires that you understand the market for your products. The first thing to do is see if consumers are looking online for the products or services you are planning to offer. Google's Keyword Tool should provide you with the traffic volume data you need. Enter a list of 20 or so keywords which best describe your products and see if the results offer viability in terms of demand. Low traffic keywords doesn't necessarily equate to low viability. Certain products, by their nature, will manifest low numbers, but may in fact be ideal for your ecommerce efforts. Also try searching your desired keywords in Google just as you would from a consumer’s standpoint. This can help you gauge just how competitive these keywords are, in accordance with traffic data. Are companies bidding on your keywords in the paid or sponsored listings? How many sites are competing in results (found just below the keyword entry box)? If competition is low, you might be able to carve your niche on many desirable keywords.
Software for ecommerce is expensive but it can provide a strong foundation for online retailers with a lot of products. A good system carries a number of features that includes seamless integration with merchandizing, product tracking and reporting, as well as sales and conversion data. When researching ecommerce software, look for integrative features like SEO and CMS functions, content editing, and if the program includes “back office” functionality for warehouse management and stock control. Last but not least, a solid software platform for ecommerce should have an effective payment system that enables seamless authorizations and product settlements.
There are several excellent ways to market your website and its products. And because many of the techniques for ecommerce marketing are highly specialized, many experts will agree that consulting with an experience ecommerce Internet marketer is the best approach. This way, you can rest assure knowing that the right tools and strategies are in place to maximize your website and product’s visibility. Ecommerce marketers commonly use a combination of organic SEO, Pay Per Click advertising, affiliate marketing, and social media. Typically, search engine optimization ideal for low-competition markets, such as those products that Amazon and other powerful websites are not optimizing for. When SEO deems too competitive, many Internet marketers utilize paid search advertising and other forms content marketing and direct online marketing. Consultancy services are also a good route to take for ecommerce marketing, especially if your inventory is small or if you have a very niche product line that you know best. Here professional Internet marketers can offer insights and training on how to establish your own SEO or PPC program.
Ecommerce is becoming more and more prevalent, particularly through mobile devices. And because consumers are shopping on there smartphones, having a mobile-friendly shopping cart is going to be the new “must have” for online retailers. Keep reading the Web Ecommerce Solutions blog to stay fresh on the best practices of ecommerce and online marketing.continue...
Calling all ecommerce PPC marketers! Here we will share an expert Pay Per Click advertising tip to maximize your ecommerce PPC efforts. Some of the real professionals in PPC may already be familiar with this neat little ninja trick, but for many mid-level ecommerce advertisers, this is a tool that offers tremendous direction and insight.
To find the foundation to this trick, click into the Campaigns tab in Google AdWords. In the lower sub-set of tabs is an option toward the right side called Dimensions. The Dimensions tab reveals valuable data about your campaigns' performance.
In the Dimensions tab, you can better learn the nature of your audience how it's reacting to your ecommerce PPC advertising efforts. On the left side, note the various View options. Here you can find different categories of information, such as the Search Terms that are triggering your ads, as well as the Times of Day in which your ads are being shown. In essence, the Dimensions tab can show you how well your impressions are truly panning out.
From the Dimensions tab, you can reveal many profitable opportunities and advancements in your Pay Per Click endeavors. Pinpoint areas to expand into new ad groups, find out when to pause and activate select campaigns, and target certain keywords that simply do not apply (negative keyword research.)
The Dimensions tab is particularly valuable for PPC advertisers who use broad and modified-broad phrase match bidding. The Search Terms View can show you the precise search terms that are triggering your ads. This data can help pinpoint keywords that resulting in wasted impressions. Additionally, this View enables you spot keyword phrases that profitable and worthy of their own ad groups.
Begin exploring the Dimensions tab and start advancing your Pay Per Click ecommerce strategy to the next level.continue...
The wrapping-up of the holiday season would usually mean a marketing halt for most ecommerce stores. Many online businesses assume the peak of storm has calmed, so they slack on their post-holiday sales strategies.
In today’s digital age, many the opportunities for ecommerce extend well beyond Christmas and into the new year. Below we outline a list of reasons why ecommerce web marketing and sales strategies should continue well beyond the holiday season.
Gift Cards: Ecommerce stores that offer gift cards should definitely keep up their web marketing efforts, however with a slightly different approach then a pre-holiday strategy. Consumers will be more apt to add more goods into their online shopping carts with incentives like "free shipping on purchases over $50" or "buy X amount, get Y for 50% off." These promotions will have gift card recipients checking-out with balances exceeding their gift card amount.
Inventory Clearance: The post-holiday season is a popular time for deal seekers. This is the ideal time to dedicate product categories to after-Christmas specials and post-holiday mark-downs. Not only can this help get rid of old inventory for next year's models, but this can also be a way to attract new customers through creative web marketing.
Complementary Shopping: A DVD player is not complete with a few favorite movies to enjoy. Many online shoppers are looking for complementary products to enhance the gifts that they have received during the holiday season. Particularly for digital devices, focusing on complementary shoppers and their motives is wise web marketing move.
Learn from the Holiday Storm: The evaluation of key online sales data after the holiday season, such as that of Google Analytics, can offer a wealth of information. Pinpoint strengths and weaknesses based on your ecommerce web marketing efforts over the holidays, and target specific areas to grow and improve.
The end of the holiday season does not mean the end of the shopping season for ecommerce businesses. Your web marketing and sales efforts should be refined and continued for several weeks beyond the peak of the season. Get creative and find ways that will incentivize the post-holiday swarm of shoppers.continue...
Pay Per Click advertising is powerful form of online marketing for ecommerce sites. Ecommerce PPC enables online retailers to advertise their products in very targeted and precise manner. And although some keyword categories are highly competitive in the paid search playing field, employing the right ecommerce PPC strategy can be a highly profitable endeavor.
Before starting an ecommerce PPC campaign, it is critical to have specific metrics defined for which you'll measure the success of the campaign. Your initial efforts should focus on goal creation and how you intend to measure the success of those advertising goals. So whether your goals are to capture new website visitors or generate more sales conversions, know exactly how you'll measure success is an important consideration.
The greatest factor in deterring the success of your ecommerce PPC efforts is pinpointing the break-even point of your investment. Two important metrics that you'll want to focus on for break-even are cost-per-click and cost-per-conversion. These metrics define how much you spend versus how much you're making.
Another great way to improve your ecommerce Pay Per Click advertising strategy is research and learn all that you can about your target market. PPC advertising enables marketers to reach a very precise market since the marketer is control of which keywords trigger the ad.
If you are well aware of the search behaviors of your target audience, you better minimize your PPC expenditure and save on advertising costs. To learn more about specific market segments, thorough market research is essential. One way in which you can conduct research is assess the demographic data of you ecommerce sales. This will enable you to employ more targeted advertising strategies which are very powerful of Google display advertising.
It's also very important to consistently split test ads and track how different creatives and concepts are working. Once you have learned which ad variations are performing the best you can constantly refine and build upon the techniques that are working the best.
By improving the quality and effectiveness of your ecommerce PPC ads, not only can you improve your CTR (click-through rate) but the quality scores of your ad groups can also potential rise. Take the time needed to perform good content experiments and build the best presentation you can for you market.
To best manage an ecommerce PPC campaign, create a solid plan and establish the PPC ad groups you will use to run your ads. When doing keyword research, segment keyword groupings in very tight and highly relevant categories. Once you have broken apart your keyword list into related groupings, you'll be able to write a targeted ad (or multiple ads to split-test) for each ad groups.
Lastly, don't become too overwhelmed by the fierce competition of big budget advertisers. Focus on carving your very unique ecommerce niche and improving your efforts. There are a number of online resources that can offer great advice on how to reap the greatest profits from your ecommerce PPC services. Additionally, allocate a budget for ongoing education and learning. Pay Per Click advertising has a very steep learning curve (using Google AdWords) so you should be well versed on how to execute essential functionality.continue...
A recent Google study by Searchmetrics.com revealed that "more than 33.3% of Google search results take into account Schema.org rich snippets. However, only a small fraction of websites are actively utilizing rich data markup."
This information was released at the end of March 2014 is is based on Google's U.S. search data. In the study, more than 500,000 web domains and tens of thousands of keywords were examined.
Further, the study revealed that 36.6% of Google's search results incorporate a minimum of one snippet with information obtained from Schema.org. The highest integrations were noted in various types of offers and movies at 21% and 27% respectively. These are followed closely by product and TV series tying up in the third position.
Schema.org is a joint effort by Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo to improve Web search by providing a structured data markup Schema that is braced by all major search engines. On page data markup helps search engines understand data and information on webpages making it easier to provide users with richer results.
Further, a Shared markup vocabulary makes it possible for webmasters to establish a suitable markup schema, and reap optimal benefits from their efforts. Few Domains Using Schema Markup
Regardless of high prevalence of rich snippets in Google search results (note that Yandex, Bing and Yahoo also use snippets from Schema.org but they were not sampled in the study), the study showed that only 0.3 percent of the domains were using markup codes on their websites.
In the words of Google CEO, "this is shocking since many domains are generated using structured data and which is mostly stored in databases. With this data formatted in HTML, it becomes very hard to decode it into the original structured information. Search engines benefit directly from immediate access to structured data. It enables them to quickly understand the information on the web page, and offer users high value results. As such, websites using snippets from Schema are ranked favorable. It is a great SEO strategy that we should adopt."
The study also revealed that large sites (particularly those invested in ecommerce and enterprise-level SEO) are more likely to utilize Schema markup. However, the study did not defined what makes a website large or small. This leaves the long pending dilemma on whether small websites may benefit from taking advantage of the rich snippet opportunity unresolved. Many people have argued that Schema markup codes are for big websites.
However, the bottom line as revealed in the study is that snippets are a valuable component in SEO. If you are not already using Schema markup, you are missing a lot. I recommend you get started today. 33.3% of your competitors are already in it.continue...
With today's univeral Google SERP (Search Engine Results Page), SEOs are now competing with news items, products, image results, social media content, local listings, and other types of searchable content that was not otherwise being displayed in the regular SERPs of the past.
So, how does an SEO review the SERP to determine the actual content they are competing with the results page so as to improve the quality of their strategy? Below we share some solid insights as to how you can embrace SERP analysis to help shape a solid SEO strategy.
The starting point to every SEO procedure is identifying the right keywords to optimize a given website or web content. Depending on the uniqueness of your niche and the extent of your SEO exercise, you can settle on a couple of keywords to review the SERP. There are various tools that are available to help you get the ideal keywords to optimize for a given website. Three of the top tools that you can use are:
Some of the SEO tools and resources can help you shape a click centric SEO strategy that's data driven and actionable.
Once you have identified the keywords to use in your SEO campaign, you will then review the search results page of each of the keywords. For a start, you can focus on the organic results. Of importance to note are the type of content that is on the results page and the target market of the content available in the results.
Are there any predominant types of content? How much social media back-links point to the websites? Are the websites from specific brand and authority domains or from regular websites? Are the results blended, that is, news results, images, videos, shopping, local search or other Google categories? Are there any predominant characteristics of the websites on the results page?
Google has over the years evolved its results page to have more dynamic results in a bid to meet the needs of divergent searchers. Some people want straight answers, infographics, PDF results and other non-typical results. These changing results now demand for a paradigm shift in the way SEOs optimize and compete for SERP slots.
The in-depth review of the SERP page will reveal who your true SERP Competitors are, where your direct competitors rank and how this plays out in your optimization and search engine marketing campaign. The tools that you can use for this SERP analysis will include:
Another important analysis of the SERP is the sponsored links and paid advertisements featuring in a results page. The type of advertisements will give you an indication of the perception that marketing have to a given keyword.
Some keywords will have localized advertisements, price focused advertisement, variation keyword advertisements and other more sophisticated advertisements. The wording, locations and designs of the advertisements are also important to note. You can also analyze the type of predominant advertisers.
Are the advertisers manufacturers, big distributors, affiliates, providing a free product or service, or networking websites? You can also review the level of competition for a given keyword. All these factors will give you a more in-depth perspective about the keywords that you are seeking to optimize. For analyzing the paid results, you can use various tools including:
The SEO analysis of the SERP will significantly impact your SEO tactics. You may need to adjust your landing page and redesign it in a way that is more favorable to the results pages. You may also want to consider non traditional content for landing pages including blogs, PDFs, question and answer (Q&A) pages, images, forums and social media pages.
You must also manage the expectations of the leads from the search results pages to ensure high conversion rate. This may call for more creativity and a paradigm shift of how to get to your target market.continue...
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