Table of Contents:
The Complete Ecommerce Startup Guide
- An Introduction to Ecommerce
- Defining Your Niche, Strategy, and Goals
- Picking an Ecommerce Platform
- Setting Up Your Store
- Designing Your Website
- All About Ecommerce SEO
- Offering Amazing Customer Service
- Time to Launch!
- Ecommerce Marketing Methods
- Common Mistakes to Avoid
- Long-Term Ecommerce Website Maintenance
- Further Reading & Additional Resources
Here’s a short list of some of the most effective ways that you can advertise your new business online, and drive traffic to your store that ultimately results in conversions.
“Why do I need PPC ads if I’m going to rank for all of my keywords organically?” Great question! Unfortunately, unless you’re in a niche with tons of traffic and zero competition, you will probably want to rely on pay-per-click advertising to get your business noticed and drive some clicks, at least initially.
Google’s AdWords program allows you to set up simple ads that show up on searches for specific keywords. They are often extremely inexpensive, and often pay for themselves as long as you are targeting the right keywords. PPC also helps your brand be more visible for keywords that are highly competitive. For example, you may have better luck getting clicks through to your site via a PPC ad for “sneakers” than you might trying to outrank large sellers.
We’ve already covered social media in our section on customer service, and considering 73% of all online adults use it, chances are pretty good that Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social networks need no introduction to you. However, you may be wondering whether or not social media is right for the promotion of your store.
Generally speaking, there’s no reason not to create a presence for your brand on social media. Your customers will probably expect it, after all. Social media is a free way to get the word out about new products, events, promotions, and so on—what’s not to love? However, keep in mind that once you create a page, you really can’t go back, so be sure that you have the time and resources to commit to it before starting.
If you need help determining whether or not a specific social media network is right for your brand—or if your customers are even going to be found there—see our blog post about social media audience targeting for some additional advice.
Blogging & Content Marketing
Again, we’ve already covered setting up a blog, as well as the importance of website content, in a previous chapter. Search engines love content, and the creation and distribution of it can help boost your rankings in a big way. But humans love content, too!
A content marketing program can take many forms. You may only have the time to create and maintain your blog, but don’t be afraid to try new things. For example, you may want to create a downloadable guide to benefit your customers in some way. If you sell gardening supplies, this guide could be about the best time to plant certain kinds of flowers – using your supplies, of course.
The key to success with content marketing is creating content that is truly useful – not just for the sake of getting words on a page. Chances are, if you can help a customer in some way, they’ll be loyal to you.
“Print advertising? For a website?” Absolutely! Although the ROI of print is notoriously hard to track, the right kind of printed ads can drive traffic to your site. Since so many businesses are moving away from print, you actually have a chance at standing out if you rely on this method.
Print doesn’t have to be expensive. For example, you can have some small business cards printed that have your website name and URL on them, and hand them out at conferences or to interested consumers. If your ecommerce store sells primarily to local customers, consider placing an ad in a local magazine or newspaper. You can even scale up to national print advertising if you want – but keep in mind that this may not be as cost-effective as something like PPC.
If you’re looking for some additional ideas to help you market your store online, check out our page on creating an ecommerce marketing plan. This page covers the above topics in a little more detail, and also discusses tactics like SEO, A/B testing, email marketing, and more.