As an online business owner, driving targeted traffic to your website will be key to success.
But if you’re new to E-commerce and don't know what to focus on, you're probably missing out on a slew of customers and sales.
This is where marketing basics come into play.
In this article, learn how to maximize your opportunities and success in E-commerce.
Related Article: Helpful Feedback: What Customers Like to See in an E-commerce Site
Not All Websites Are Created Equal
Some sites are built to inform. Some are built to entertain. But any website that provides a digital shopping experience can be described as E-commerce.
This advice is geared towards smaller E-commerce websites that are just starting out.
Some examples of smaller E-commerce websites can include:
Other E-commerce websites include the selling of specialty services instead of physical products:
My advice can be divided into three specific areas:
- Making sure your website is accessible and crawlable.
- Providing the best possible shopping experience for your customers.
- Having your products/services visible online in places other than your website.
The better equipped you are at tailoring your E-commerce website to excel in these three areas, the more likely you are to achieve online traffic, sales and revenue.
1. Ensure Your Site Is Crawlable
Whether you call them "spiders", "bots" or "crawlers", these are the programs that Google uses to find content on the Internet. One of the most important things you can do is to make sure these crawlers can do their job as effectively as possible. For example, you need to make sure your robots.txt file is doing exactly what you want it to do. Specifically, you can decide which of your pages need to be indexed and which should be ignored.
Related Article: Opening New Doors: E-Commerce Tips for Small Businesses
Another thing to keep in mind is that crawlers love HTML and textual content, so images and flash files are almost invisible to them. If your website is image heavy, then you should be explaining to the spiders what each image is about by utilizing image titles and alternate text.
In addition, if your pages don’t have links directed towards them, it's not likely the crawlers will even find your website. Be sure you have a user-friendly inner linking structure that points directly to the pages you want to appear in search results. You also need to have reputable inbound backlinks that connect you with other credible websites in your niche.
Tip: To see how a search engine spider views your website, try this free search engine spider simulator tool.
2. Provide the Best Shopping Experience
Successful E-commerce websites know how to attract and convert potential buyers by utilizing different marketing channels. They understand how to optimize the customer's journey. With the enhanced E-commerce capabilities of Google Analytics, business owners are able to analyze potential problems areas along the consumer's path and improve their overall shopping experience.
Are you losing potential sales due to slow page loading times? Is your website streamlined for mobile viewing? All of these factors (and much more) come into play to give visitors the best possible shopping experience. If potential customers are only spending a minute or two on your site or your shopping cart abandonment rate is sky high, you absolutely need to find out why before you invest time and effort driving traffic.
3. Think Outside Your Website
In our ever-expanding digital age, you would be hard-pressed to find a business that isn't taking advantage of online marketing. Luckily, there will never be a shortage of places to market yourself online. The real difficulty is deciphering which are best suited for your brand.
For an E-commerce website that sells physical products, getting listed in places like Google Shopping should be a no-brainer. Affiliate marketing is another way to spread the word about your business. In a nutshell, you are able to promote yourself on someone else's website, which can increase your ROI significantly.
The days of word-of-mouth advertising are long gone. Building a strong online presence for your new E-commerce website will be imperative if you're serious about climbing the ladder of E-commerce success. By focusing on these three aspects of digital marketing, you can take control of your online destiny.