You’ve just developed a spanking-new product. Or, maybe you’ve just signed a deal for a new product. It’s shiny. It has all the bells and whistles. It’s amazing. But, you’ve hit a marketing brick wall. What do you do?
You’ve Got To Understand What E-Commerce Is All About
Do you even know what e-commerce is about?
Sounds harsh, but many don’t. There are several models but they all share the same basic premise: they all focus on how the product works and who the ideal customer is. It doesn’t matter if you sell to other businesses or to consumers. You still have to create something valuable to educate your prospects on what you’re selling.
Focus on education. No, it doesn’t have to be strictly didactic. In fact, that could get quite boring. Good education is actually a mix of storytelling and “hard education.”
Most e-commerce companies don’t do it, or don’t know how to do it, so they hire an SEO consultant to help.
That’s probably a good idea.
Of course, you’re going to want to set goals first. Stick with proven templates, like SMART goals, for example. A SMART goal is one that is:
It’s a classic formula that was heavily promoted in the 1960s (though they didn’t call it “SMART” back then. It was more commonly referred to as “managing by objectives).
In any case, SMART goals are something you want to learn about, and do.
How To Design A User-Friendly Site
Design has always been important, but the focus on good web design became even more important after the Hummingbird algorithm update. Fortunately, figuring out layout and basic design isn’t really that hard – not anymore.
Basically, find out what makes your users happy, and give it to them.
Your website needs to look consistent across all platforms and devices, and you should be focusing on usability. Specifically, navigation and product descriptions. You want your users to easily find products they’re looking for. You want the descriptions to be easy to understand and intuitive to navigate. You want to provide most users with a broad overview of what you offer, but you also want to provide detailed spec sheets for the “geeks” out there.
Today, advanced site design encompasses multiple, different, disciplines.
For example, you need to understand the buying cycle, and how to design your site to accommodate users. The buying cycle is the process users go through before they decide to make a purchase.
Each stage in the cycle gives you a chance to differentiate your brand and products from others.
Another thing you need to understand is keyword research, specifically, product keywords. Obviously if you can rank high for a product keyword, you’re going to see an uptick in traffic and more sales.
Usually, with e-commerce, you’re getting sales from customers typing a specific product name into a search engine box. These searches are done by people who already know what they want. They’re familiar with the product, even if they’re not familiar with you. They’ve heard about this product via T.V. commercials, infomercials, other blogs or maybe a celebrity.
Since not everyone is ready to buy, you also want to target intent keywords that suggest the buyer is in the beginning stages of buying – information-gathering. Of course, you do want those “buying keywords,” but don’t forget that you also want to capture all potential buyers.
For people who are in the information-gathering part of the cycle, you want to feed them valuable information about the quality of the product, who uses it, and the specs.
A tool like KeywordTool.io can help you determine search intent of users.
Getting Off The Ground
Probably the most important marketing tool you have are past customers. But, what if you’re just getting started? For most marketers, you’ll have to commit yourself to buying ads, landing guest posts about your product (if that’s possible), or joining forums and being a generally helpful and useful person.
Alternatively, you should find another marketer with a large list, and ask about being promoted in that list to that newsletter’s subscribers.
The Elusive Linkbuilding Problem
Link Building is a huge problem for many marketers, especially e-commerce sites. Because you don’t run a content-focused site, you don’t have the same leverage opportunities available to someone that does.
In other words, if you’re retailing products, especially commodities, you’re going to have a hard time writing interesting posts about them. One strategy being used by some marketers is broken link building. Broken link building relies on you finding dead links buried in old content. Then, you take that content, improve it, put it on your site, and ask the linking site to point their link to your resource.
These resources could be in-depth product reviews, “history of” content pages, or anything that’s interesting and captures users’ attention.
Another strategy is to donate money to get links from non-profit sites.
Finally, establish yourself with .EDU and .GOV sites. They can take you from obscurity to a #1 spot in just a few days.
Anthony Yap is the founder of eBusiness Masters, a Seattle based SEO firm. His company works hand in hand with clients to achieve greater profits through proven traffic generation strategies such as social media, search engine marketing, and video marketing. For a complimentary consultation to see what they can do, contact them via their discovery page.