Many people in ecommerce worry when their store doesn’t do as well as they first hoped it would and often have major doubts about its future. If this sounds all too familiar you will need to look seriously at how to promote your online store, especially if it is not showing up in the search engines.
The eventual success of your online store is going to depend on several promotion factors, the single most important one being how and where you are indexed in the search engines, especially Google.
Many online stores don’t follow the rules of SEO so if you implement even the most basic SEO techniques on your own site it should give you a real advantage over your competition.
Begin promotion for your business by putting lots of ideas together into a workable and affordable action plan and then use this action plan to drive more and more traffic to your site. Aim to spend at least one hour a day on promotion; in no time you'll find you've made a lot of headway.
To help you get started we have listed some tried and tested ways to help promote your online store.
1 - Choose the right domain name
While this might is obvious those with online know how many people still make the mistake of picking a domain name that is nothing to do with what they are selling. Don’t come up with a clever or cute name – they simply don’t cut it for search engines. Be clear about what you are selling and include the name of product type within the domain name so that the search engines will find you under the correct keywords
2 - Ensure that each and every page has a unique title and a proper meta description
This is one of the most vital parts of effective SEO since the title tag (or page heading) and the meta description lets the search engine know what the page is about. Be sure to include a title that accurately describes the page or product that you are on and also make sure that you write the “description” meta tag to accurately summarize the page. If you don’t know how to do this employ a web designer that does – this is too important to ignore simply because it is beyond your capabilities.
3 - Write good quality original content to complement your products
By placing good quality, original content on your site you will automatically enhance your online shop; especially if the content is utterly connected to or enhances your products.
We all know that the search engines love original content and that if you add new content on a regular basis they will keep coming back to check your site and eventually list is higher and higher; but what about your customers? Well they too will enjoy reading informative, entertaining and possibly life-enhancing content. If they see regular updates, ideas for upgrades, product reviews and useful information that really helps them they will return again and again simply because they will feel that you care and therefore are to be trusted.
Also don’t just rely on a pathetically short description with a photo to describe each product. Write at least one proper enticing descriptive paragraph for each product. This should all help to get you indexed quickly.
4 – Use relevant keywords in your individual product URLs
Try to use the relevant keywords in your individual product URLs because in the main search engines don’t index dynamic pages very well. So for example if you are selling lace garters on a wedding goods site have the URLs read like www.weddingstore.com/lace-garters.html. This immediately puts you in a better position with the search engines and puts you ahead of your competition if they haven’t bothered to do this one small thing.
5- Put a sitemap on your website
A sitemap is exactly what is says on the tin it tells the search engines where all of the relevant pages are on your site and points the way. It is also a good way of spelling out which pages a search engine should visit on your site. Most of the main search engines such as Google and Yahoo have a way for you to submit your sitemap directly - so advantage of this feature.
6 - Get as many inbound links as you can
Set out to get as many good quality inbound links to your site as you possibly can. The emphasis should always be on quality first and the number of links second. There is no point whatsoever in having a mass of links, all pointing at your site, if they are coming from poor quality websites that have little or no page rank.
A good way to get a fair number of inbound links is to sign up for as many of the relevant free online directories that you can find – but avoid new ones with a poor page rank. In the past, people used to spend a lot of time and energy setting up reciprocal links with other sites as a way of increasing the number links going to their site but now it is possibly a waste of time as the search engines have less regard for mutual linking than before.
One of the best ways to get lots of high ranking inbound links is to submit articles, containing a link to your site, to the better known article sites. However you must submit good content – if you write rubbish or simply copy stuff off the web you won’t get anyone clicking through to see what you are all about.
7 - Other promotional ideas for your site
You can also try any of the following which have different rates of success for different people; it rather depends where you put your energy and spare cash.
- A related blog on your website
- Offline advertising
- Regular newsletters
- Word of mouth
- Joint ventures / strategic partnerships
- Writing articles for the local press – they always like free writers
- Participation in online forums / discussion groups
This article was written by Web Copy Expert