By Clarence Walker, Newsblaze Business Writer
As a business writer and columinst, newsmedia reporter, an internet commerce consultant, a copywriter, as well as a marketing writer for ecommerce businesses, I have experienced my share of conversations with entrepreneurs who own online businesses – a terminology called ecommerce.
There are millions of ecommerce stores on the internet. The most-discussed issue among us is how to keep sharpening our skills to effectively use search engine optimazation (SEO) to ensure that search engines like Google rate the entrepreneurs’ ecommerce stores with high page rank, and ways to mix business wisdom with skills to boost sales to reel in lots of revenues – aka money.
Some entrepreneurs understand the optimazation process of a website and what it takes to run a profitable online business, while some just don’t. Some even think all a person must do is throw up a website with products to sell, and that as soon as this is done, people will automatically in a magical way go straight to a site and spend thousands of dollars.
What a dream!
Online business just don’t work that way.
Okay, let’s talk. Whatever you read online regarding the use of SEO website techniques and revenue conversions is mostly outdated information or misinformation spewed out like a running faucet (Read How Google Affects Online Marketing
To make purchasing decisions to buy products or pay for services, customers rely on the internet and mobile devices to assist them to make consumer decisions. Both internet and mobile devices like cell phones and notebooks with internet connections are the world’s most powerful communicators for mass populations.
First I will impart my valuable knowledge.
Have you wondered why you get the first page results you get after typing words into a search bar? For example, let’s say you type into a search bar the word “Walmart or Amazon,” the chances are an Amazon or Walmart video will appear. Or how does Microsoft know which products to recommend to potential customers to buy? Or how does Google know when an internet user types “ip” in a search bar?
Consider this: Have you asked why “Big Brand Names”: return search results so fast?
The answer is simple. Like clockwork, “Big Companies” invest heavily in Search Technology to optimize their ecommerce sites to provide internet users a pleasurable experience while promoting products and services to make sales.
An online merchant can also boost sales by having a website capable of downloading content for people that use mobile devices daily to shop online. These days millions of Americans own cell phones. As of January 2014, the Pew Research Institute Project reported that 90% percent of American adults alone (not counting teenagers) own a cell phone while 58% own a Smartphone, with 32% owning an e-reader, and that 42% owned a computer tablet.
So what about you as a small time player in the ecommerce world? Here are a few examples illustrating basic techniques on how to make your website or blog attractive enough to get more traffic to boost sales at your ecommerce store.
(1) Customers Need Excellent Visual Images: The appearance and feel of your online ecommerce site(website or blog), should be professionally designed, functioning properly, and easy to use, and capable of engaging customers to hold their interest to remain on your site. Equally important is to have clear visual images of detailed products as well having effective written content or audio to communicate how products or a service benefit customers that can influence them to purchase your offers.
(2) Attracting New Customers Using Search Engines: Having effective search engine optimization applied to your ecommerce site can reel in tons of traffic. Just like physical retail is the driving force behind “Name Brands” – these online retail business are hard-driven by search engine traffic. This is how potential customers, while experimenting with keyword phrases wind up clicking on the link of an ecommerce website. As already mentioned, when search engine traffic finds your site the results can possibly bring in paying customers.
(3) Mobile Devices: Mobile networks carry data for cell phones, fancy ipads, e-readers and computerized tablets. These in-demand devices are used by millions of Americans, including foreigners. According to 2014 news media reports, approximately 50 percent of internet traffic result from a mobile device. So it is necessary to have your site built to accommodate all electronic users. This is easily done with the development of “responsive web design” – a techinque used by webmasters to create websites optimized for various screen sizes and devices like cell phones.
(4) Loading Your Site Should Be Fast: Time is so important especially when it comes to customers eager to shop online. This is where Google sets their own standards for using a page-rank system to rate the value and design of a website, which also depends on the speed of your site. If it takes Google more than a few seconds to load your site then why should it take a potential customer more time to find a product at your online store. To deliver your content faster, get a larger server with more memory or simply find a good cloud-based hosted service that can quicken your site. For example, Shopify uses what is called a CDN – a massive network of servers placed on computers across the world to make sure customers can load their website from a server close to themselves, making pages load faster, no matter where they may be.
(5) Accept Reputable Payment Methods: Online shoppers often enjoy using Paypal because this method saves shoppers from giving out their credit card information to website merchants. If you don’t have Paypal; why not sign up for an account free. Plus, with a Business Account, you can accept credit cards like American Express and Discover. Additional payment options include a payment system called “Stripe,” Amazon and Authorize.Net
(6) Google Keyword Tool: Google keyword tool is a mechanism that allows you to view thousands of search terms that internet users use to look for products and services. This valuable tool is recommended to assist in optimizing your site to attract traffic your way.
(7) Learn Your Customers Needs: To learn your customers needs you should capture their personal information by having registration forms on your site. Utilizing customer information provided on a registration form, and placing cookies on the customer’s computer, allows an ecommerce merchant to access much information about customers. Benefits gained on this level can be used to communicate relevant messages. Example: If a person searches for a certain product on Amazon, they will automatically be shown listings of related products. Furthermore Amazon can also email them about related products.
(8) Keyword Research For Ecommerce Sites: Keyword research for ecommerce sites is totally different from doing research for a service-based site. Experts say that the more specific a keyword phrase is, the closer the internet user is to making a purchasing decision. If you’re not familiar with this process, you can hire a content developer with “search engine optimization skills.”
(9) Learn How-to Write Unique Web Copy: Of course we know when it comes to creating original (your own) content for your products it can be a daunting task depending on the size of your site. It also depends on your writing skills. If you’re unsure of your writing ability, there are hundreds of affordable website writers on the internet to help you.
Here’s what most important: if you use the same copy on your site also used by other resellers, Google’s page-rank process will no doubt have a difficult time evaluating the true value of your site containing duplicate material that’s been used on other websites. If you have too much duplicate content on your site, Google will filter out your web pages because they don’t offer unique value. That means few people will ever see your pages.
If you must reuse duplicate material, you should add other original content on the same page. Try including a “customer review” or a Q&A section. Or write about the history behind your products. There are many ways to add valuable content to your product pages to offset the constant use of duplicate content that affects the ranking of your site.
There you have some of my advice based on my experience in dealing with the development of ecommerce businesses. But there is more. Links below deal with 100 ecommerce store tips and 30 most effective practices to boost ecommerce sales.