As an online merchant, having affiliate marketing connections can be pretty useful when it comes to attracting traffic and actually earning money. However, affiliate marketers can only do so much to promote your brand. At the end of the day, your revenue still depends on your site’s performance once the customer forwards their orders.
If you’ve been in the e-commerce domain recently, attending to your online store and dealing with your affiliate marketers can be challenging. The good thing is that there are a number of affiliate marketing guides you can use to make sure you’re on the right track.
You can also do much more for your e-commerce site. Here are some suggestions you can use for promoting e-commerce businesses and improving the performance of your online store.
Spread the Word
The Internet may be a more fitting subject for the description “a place that never sleeps,” but it doesn’t mean you should leave to it all the work. There won’t be any smoke where there isn’t any fire. Your target customers will not hear about your e-commerce site unless you drive them to it. Here are some ways you can grow awareness of your site:
While there is value in writing reviews about the products you are selling, it is also quite predictable. A good alternative would be asking well-known bloggers to write about your merchandise. Get in touch with them through e-mail or social media and work on building a relationship by introducing yourself and what you do. Then, ask them if they would be willing to accept products from your shop and, in turn, write a review about their opinion of it. Many bloggers are open to this as it gives them an opportunity to try a variety of products from virtually every industry.
Add shopping widgets to your e-commerce site.
A cardinal rule among e-commerce sites is that they should be easy to navigate just like the way customers would want the aisles in the supermarket. Make shopping in your site a lot easier by including shopping widgets such search boxes, a shopping cart, and calculators. You can also enhance your site’s promotion by adding social media buttons in your site so that customers won’t have any trouble telling their friends about your store. This is also why it’s important that you provide them a satisfactory shopping experience so that when they share their story, they’ll have something pleasant to talk about.
Make the choice fun.
When it comes to actual stores, among the many nightmares shoppers can have is not having that particular item in this specific size and color. This lapse can be the bane of your e-commerce site’s existence since customers can’t browse an actual store—they would just have to live with whatever is on your site, unless they go as far as making personal inquiries. But you can avoid this mishap by making their shopping experience an interactive one. No, you don’t have to have your own JARVIS. You just need to have a comprehensive catalog.
If, for example, you are selling different kinds of shoes, make sure that your cart provides specific details such as size, color, availability. You can also include categories like price range, purpose, and gender. By giving your customers everything they need at their fingertips, they are likely to have a more pleasant shopping experience in your site.
It may not sound surprising at all that the tried-and-tested way of advertising (putting up banner ads) is also effective on the Internet. The usual banner ad consisting of your brand name and logo is a must, but to make this more appealing and successful, you need to make your ads relevant to your customers and the seasons.
For instance, the Yuletide season is usually the busiest for a lot of people so why not offer something that can make your customers shopping easier? Whether it’s gift-wrapping, personal shopping, or seasonal delivery services, make your latest offerings known by coming up with creative and powerful ads. And don’t stop at simply posting these to your website. If you have the resources to pay for ad space on popular sites, then by all means pay and post!
SEO Strategies for Your E-Commerce Site
Now that you have ideas on how to spruce up your e-commerce site’s facade, it’s time to work behind the scenes. Here are some search engine optimization (SEO) techniques that you can use to make your website more customer and revenue-friendly.
Improve your site’s architecture.
It is only logical and wise that you ensure that your e-commerce site’s architecture is optimized, just like how you’d expect an actual store to be built on a solid foundation. Having good site architecture allows for easier navigation, and it also helps search engines find and rank your site better.
To have a better idea on how you should revamp your site’s structure, you can study how the websites of industry and niche bloggers function. Check the products that have the most ratings and popularity and see how far their links go. Then, examine how their techniques can be applied to your own site or whether there’s a need for it at all.
Conduct on-page optimization.
This process can be tedious but you also have to know that optimized pages can drive traffic to your site. In a nutshell, on-page optimization refers to the enhancing of the elements that make up your website so that search engines will be able to index it properly and identify which part of results page your site ends up. This process basically covers site architecture but apart from that, you also need to optimize your keywords, links, social media features, and your overall content e.g. text and images.
The proliferation of smartphones raised the demand for many websites to launch a mobile version. Having a version of your site that is friendly to mobile devices enables your customers to shop conveniently wherever they want, whenever they want. And while they can simply go to your website using their device’s browser, 61% of customers are found to visit your competitor’s site if yours doesn’t load on their devices properly and quickly. Keep in mind though that your online store’s mobile version also needs optimization and a well-designed site structure.
Put up a blog.
It goes without saying that your products and services should have well-written descriptions with a healthy dose of keywords. However, it would be more advantageous for your e-commerce site to have a blog where you can post more pieces of content such as related articles, comprehensive reviews, infographics, video tutorials, and then some. You can also make use of internal linking so you can direct your readers to more content that is related to what they wish to purchase.
Running an e-commerce website and generate income from it is not a cakewalk. Just like a physical store, you need to make sure that what customers see – your merchandise and your services – look pleasant, and what they don’t – the overall construction of your website – is responsive. Try these tips and to make sure that your site does its job — gains more customers for you, earns you more money, and becomes the successful brand you’ve always wanted.
Ava Adair-Allen uses her experience in managing e-commerce sites to write about practical tips that will help entrepreneurs who want to achieve financial success online. Ava is a proud mother and supports her family through her blogging and affiliate marketing efforts. You can reach out and connect with Ava through Google+.