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How to market your E-Commerce site

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How to market your E-Commerce site

Setting up a website alone is no longer enough – with competition fiercer than ever it’s important to market your website effectively to ensure it becomes successful. 

This is particularly important for E-Commerce websites, where the website isn’t just there to provide leads – rather it should be providing cold hard cash!

Here are some top tips to help you get started marketing your E-Commerce website.

1. Decide your strategy

Hopefully you've heard your web developer harping on about Google Analytics (or other web analytics program).  This is where it comes in handy to help you decide what to do:

  1. You’re getting hardly any visitors - perhaps the website is new, or scores poorly in search engines.  Your strategy should be to increase visitor numbers
  2. You’re getting lots of visitors, but hardly any orders.  Your strategy should be to focus on the conversion rate of your website (how many visitors buy something).
  3. Your website is doing well, but customers hardly ever come back.  You need to focus on customer retention and encouraging repeat business.

2. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

If your strategy is to increase visitor numbers, you need to focus on Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO for short.  This means tweaking your website and trying to build links to it from other sites, so that it appears higher in search engine results pages.

If you find you’re getting lots of visitors, but your conversion rate is low, SEO is useful to ensure the keywords being targeted are relevant.

3. Send e-newsletters

Everyone hates spam.  But that doesn’t mean you should neglect the humble email newsletter, provided that the people on your list have opted in.

Every E-Commerce site should really have an E-Newsletter, especially if your strategy is for customer retention and increasing repeat business.

4. Submit a product feed to Google Shopping

You may have seen the Google ‘shopping’ results – this is a great way for customers to find your products!  First you need to submit a database of your products to Google so that it can add them to its results.

If your website uses our iEvolution CMS we can set this database up for you – get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.

5. Include a promo code in every parcel

Print out a small leaflet or slip of paper with a special offer (for example, 15% off your next order), and enclose this in the parcel with every order.  This can help persuade the customer to buy again, or better still they may pass it on to a friend who may become a customer too.

6. Start a blog

Creating a blog can be a great way of engaging your customers, and can help your SEO efforts too as your site fills up with juicy relevant keywords.

It must be said, and the same goes for Twitter and Facebook too, that your posts shouldn’t be overtly salesy.  Think about what your customers are interested in and put yourself in their shoes while writing the post.  However, a great idea is to include a special offer in or at the end of each post to reward your readers and encourage them to buy.

7. Create a Facebook page

Facebook has become a great way to engage with your customers, and reach out to new potential customers too. 

Bear in mind that you may sometimes face the odd disgruntled customer when engaging through social media.  Don’t delete these messages – instead keep very calm, and respond professionally and do everything possible to rectify the problem.  Going above and beyond what the customer would expect puts you in an excellent light, and will help earn the respect and trust of other customers.

8. Create a Twitter page

Creating a Twitter page and garnering a following is a great idea – especially when your strategy is to build visitor numbers.  Again, be sure not to only tweet about your own offering – instead share useful information, make friends, and become a useful source in your industry.

If you’re confused, take a look at your competitors to see how they’re managing their social media.  What works well?  What doesn’t?

9. Use Pay Per Click (PPC)

Pay-per-click adverts are the sponsored listings you see in Google, Yahoo, Bing and others whenever you do a search.  You generally only pay when someone clicks on the advert.  It’s possible to measure the return on investment (ROI) for your adverts by having your friendly web developer insert some code whenever an order is placed.

For a brand new website, your SEO efforts can take months to have a real effect, so it may be particularly worth considering PPC at this early stage to get some visitors. 

Pay-per-click can cost a lot of money without getting you any customers at all if you set up your adverts or keywords incorrectly, so it may be worth having an expert manage your campaign for you to get the maximum ROI.

10. Monitor your turnover

With so many ways of marketing your site these days, it can be easy to lose track of what really matters.  But for any E-Commerce site ultimately it’s the turnover (and resulting profit) that really counts.  Whatever your website marketing efforts, they should all be focused on increasing sales – and if they don’t work after a few months, change your tactics.

I hope you've found these ideas useful - if you want to discuss your web marketing strategy do get in touch.

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