Guide To Effective eCommerce Marketing For Small Businesses
You’ve rolled with the punches over the last year, moving your business online in an attempt to broaden your customer base and stay afloat. Good for you! But why isn’t the internet going crazy over the awesome items you’ve got lined up in your shop? You may be missing one key part of this whole process. Marketing your eCommerce site is all about increasing your site’s visibility, humanizing your brand with video, and building relationships through social media. Effective marketing is essential for driving your online store to success! Here are some of the basics to get you going…
eCommerce SEO And You…
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the first step in eCommerce marketing. There are some quick and easy tweaks you can make to improve your site’s visibility on search engines.
When you set up pages on your site for individual products, you probably spend a lot of time telling your customers about how terrific your product is. You need to tell the search engines about it too! That’s what SEO is all about, telling search engines like Google what’s on your page. You need to know what they look for and put keywords in the right places for your products to show up in search results.
Let’s say you own a bridal store. When someone does a Google search for ‘purple bridesmaid dress,’ you’d think the corresponding page on your site would automatically display in their search results. It won’t without a little help from you. Here’s what you need to consider on your product pages:
- Keywords – Think of keywords as searches. When someone is looking for something on Google, they’ll usually put a short description of what they want to find, like ‘white bridal shoes’ or ‘ivory lace veils.’ These are your keywords. You want to keep in mind how people search when they’re looking for products like yours.
- Page Titles – Once you have your keyword for the page, include it in your page title and URL. Keeping it short, simple and to the point is key here.
- Image Alt Text – In your website’s dashboard (where you upload and store the images for your site), you can add hidden captions called ‘Alt Text’ to your pictures. These are generally used for accessibility so that visually impaired individuals can get a description of the image, but Google looks at these to determine whether or not to display your page. Be sure to include keywords that describe your product with your image’s Alt text
- Headers and Product Titles – Use the same thought process of ‘What would someone be searching for on Google to find my product?’ include relevant keywords in your page headers and product descriptions. It may sound simple, but including short and descriptive keywords like the above example of ‘purple bridesmaid dress’ in your product title will have a huge effect on customers being able to find your products.
- Product Descriptions – Google loves content, so making your product descriptions at least 1000 words in length will help your pages rank better. The ranking algorithm Google uses is designed to identify sites that have high-quality and helpful information, and it favors sites with lengthy and informative product descriptions.
Using these tips can help your products show up in search results, so take an afternoon and sit down with your website to update your product pages. You’ll be amazed at the boost in traffic (and sales) you can get just from this!
Blogs Are A Great Marketing Tool
Another aspect of effective eCommerce marketing is blogging. Adding a blog page to your website can really help you get noticed! If we continue the example of a bridal shop, having relevant blog posts like ‘How to plan a wedding’ or ‘Choosing the perfect wedding cake’ will naturally bring traffic to your site.
Being successful in today’s digital marketing world means providing value before anything else. Savvy consumers want to be informed and they do a heap of research before making a purchase. They will be more likely to return when they’re ready to buy because you’ve gained their trust by effectively answering their questions in your blog.
SEO applies to every part of your website, so here are some key tips for making sure your blog posts show up in search results:
- The title of each blog post should contain keywords relevant to the content.
- Google puts a heavier weight on keywords found near the top of your page, so your main keyword should appear at least once in your first paragraph.
- Any images you have on your post should have keywords in the Alt Text. This is just like what we did with your product pages.
- The URL should be short, descriptive, and reflect the title of your blog post.
- Once you get your blog going, find other sites to write guest posts for where you can link back to your own site. This is called a backlink, and they also factor into Google’s ranking algorithm. The more sites that link to your eCommerce store, the higher you’ll rank.
Your blog is the fun part of your business! Be creative and really put some effort into sharing your knowledge with your customers. Establishing yourself as an authority in your field will give you instant credibility with your audience.
Video Content For eCommerce Marketing
Having product demonstration videos is a vital part of marketing your eCommerce site and setting your brand apart from the crowd. Seeing something in action is much more persuasive than seeing a simple picture of it. People also naturally tend to trust other people, letting your audience get to know you can build loyalty and trust. If your marketing budget doesn’t include room for a professional videographer, don’t worry! There are some things you can do to add a polished feel to your videos.
- Always use a tripod, even if you’re using your phone’s camera to film. Let me say it again. Use a tripod to stabilize your camera! The very first mark of an amateur is a shaky, handheld video.
- Use the zoom sparingly. Zooming in and out repeatedly makes the video hard to watch and will turn people away.
- If you’re going to be shooting outdoors, pay attention to the sounds. Everything, and I mean everything, will get picked up by the mic. Birds, weather, traffic, other people, all of it will be competing with you on the video. It’s a good idea to scout your location beforehand. Close your eyes and listen to what’s around you. You may want to adjust the time you film to when there will be less activity in the area.
- Lighting is key! Grainy, poorly-lit videos are counterproductive and will leave a bad impression on your audience. Natural light is always best. However, if you’re indoors, getting a few portable lights (like a Ringlight) will help your video shine.
- Be yourself. This is actually the most important tip here because people want to connect with other people. Be authentic, relaxed, and natural on camera and people will respond to you.
Start a YouTube channel with your company’s videos and you can share them on social media as well as imbed them into your product pages! Once you get the feel of making video content, try expanding beyond simple product videos. With eCommerce marketing, you have to get your customers to connect with your brand on an emotional level. Use videos to share why you do what you do, what the inspiration behind your brand is, or even behind-the-scenes of how you produce your products. Your audience will eat it up!
Wait, What About Marketing On Social Media?
Don’t worry, I didn’t forget about your huge Instagram following or all the Tweeting you need to do. Once you’ve got your website optimized so Google can find it and you’re creating awesome videos, use social media to bring it all together.
In years gone by, before the internet was a part of our daily lives, advertisers and marketers had to do a lot of legwork to get to know their customers. Social media is a marketer’s dream. You can listen to your customers in their daily lives, learn what’s important to them, and build a loyal community.
- Listen to what people are saying about your brand. Always respond politely, professionally, and genuinely try to help if a customer has an issue. Keep it positive! Don’t get dragged into name-calling or any other form of negativity.
- Participate in groups where your target customers gather. Listen to what’s important and exciting to them, and if something resonates with your brand, post about it.
- Share excitement about sales, promotions, and any new content you’ve created. Always keep the conversation going!
This might sound like a lot, especially if you’re busy trying to do your thing and run your business. There are ways to lighten the load, however.
$99 Social has expert copywriters who can curate daily posts to Facebook and another network of your choice for only $99 a month! We can get the word out when you have a new blog post or video, share about specials and sales, and take the work of making those daily posts off your hands. Get in touch with us today to learn how we can help your business grow!