When it comes to advertising, an ecommerce business is not that much different from a traditional one. If people don’t know you’re there, it doesn’t matter what amazing product you sell or how good your offers are. This turns advertising or marketing into an incredibly important pillar of your ecommerce business.
While you learn how to promote your ecommerce site, keep in mind the fact that countless advertising options are available, while your budget will most likely only be able to cover a few. In other words, choose wisely!
Social Media and you
Although they complain that it brings in little profit, all major ecommerce businesses use Social Media for advertising purposes. In truth, it is fairly difficult, if not impossible, to calculate the exact ROI (Return on Investment) of a Social Media campaign, but one thing is certain – if it wasn’t good enough, huge businesses wouldn’t waste as much money as they do on it in the first place.
The platforms most commonly used to promote online businesses are Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest. If you’d like to know more about how to advertise your ecommerce site on Facebook, for instance, you first need to become familiar with your tools. These are your personal, profile page and your Business’/Brand’s page. To begin with, there’s nothing wrong in a little advertising of your business on your personal page. In fact, this is a great way to let your friends, family and other acquaintances know that they can come to you for a specific product.
Ultimately, however, you’ll want to set up your Business Facebook page, and to do so, you’ll need to understand the concept of “permission marketing”. Illustrated in our particular case, permission marketing means that only people who have liked your Business Facebook page will see your updates. To get this to happen, you’ll want to avoid spamming links to your ecommerce website. Instead, share interesting, industry-related news and trends, as well as little stories about your own business. Only about 20% of your posts should directly advertise one of your products or your ecommerce website.
Starting a great blog
Another way to promote your ecommerce site without spending a lot of money is by creating an excellent blog in your field. Naturally, you won’t necessarily be blogging about your products in a direct fashion, but rather about the industry you’re in and interesting things happening in it. For example, if your business is into selling DVDs, blog about new movie releases or offer interesting reviews.
Once you get your blog going, you can link it to your ecommerce website and vice-versa. This way, if someone enjoys reading your blog, they will most likely take a look at what your business has to offer as well. Moreover, you can use blogs to promote your ecommerce site even if you’re not into writing yourself. Simply buy advertising space on a well-known blog in the field. Needless to say that this will cost you more than doing it yourself, but in the long run, it might be worth the investment.
Getting SEO for your website
As you find out more about how to advertise your ecommerce site, you should look up SEO solutions or Search Engine Optimization for your website. Basically, this a technique that makes it easier for search engines like Google to find your website and rank it higher in a search.
There are a few things that can improve the SEO of your ecommerce website. These include the number of “natural” links that point to your website from other websites, the authority and trustworthiness your site has in its niche, the age of your domain name and the optimization of site structure and “on-page” elements. Of course, you can probably sprinkle a few relevant keywords in your text and try to keep the content as useful as possible, but if SEO technicalities are not your thing, then you can always hire someone to optimize your ecommerce website for you.
Using comparison shopping engines
When you’re an online retailer trying to promote your ecommerce site, comparison shopping engines become a great place to put your products in front of the masses – for a fee. To do this, you must first complete a Microsoft Excel or other type of spreadsheet with your products and save it as a CSV file. The information required usually includes the product title, price, description and image location, but you should check the specific requirements of your preferred comparison shopping engine to be sure.
The issue with this type of advertising is that it will force you to lower your prices on most occasions, which can be truly detrimental to your business in the long run. After all, the people using these engines are most likely bargain hunters who are always looking for the lower price and will most likely display little fidelity to your ecommerce website.
To be able to benefit from the advertising power of comparison shopping engines and avoid flunking your prices, you can resort to two options. If you have a unique product on sale, then you won’t need to reduce its price in the first place. Otherwise, you can choose only a handful of your products to throw on comparison shopping engines as bait. This will get visitors on your site, while also maintaining the prices you desire on most of your products.
What’s with “pay per click”?
Still learning the basics of how to promote your ecommerce site? Then “pay per click” is probably a new term for you. Usually, PPC (or pay per click) refers to promoting your website by purchasing ads in a variety of different manners. Currently, the most successful PPC techniques include Google PLAs (Product Listing Ads) and retargeting.
Google Product Listing Ads present searchers with a picture of what they’re looking for, which can then be accessed and linked to your ecommerce site. This yields a higher conversion rate than search text ads, mostly because the buyers are already “qualified” before they click a PLA. In other words, they already know what the product looks like, how much it costs and who is selling it. If they proceed to click in these conditions, then they will most likely purchase the item as well.
Retargeting, on the other hand, focuses precisely on those users who do not convert to your website after visiting. Basically, it places a cookie in the user’s computer so that when they access a similar website, your ad shows up. This technique is becoming increasingly popular nowadays and it is proven to greatly increase conversion rates, although it does come at a fairly spicy price tag per campaign.
From incredibly cheap but effective options like social media campaigns and blogging to using the services of comparison shopping engines, paying bloggers to advertise you or buying PPC solutions, there sure are a lot of ways to get your ecommerce website out in the open. If nothing else, this means you’ve many alternatives you can try in order to find out what exactly works for your online business.