The Top 10 e-Commerce Challenges for Business Owners

Having a successful e-commerce website can be a major boon for the business owner. To begin with, an online website reduces the costs inherent in running a “brick-and-mortar” operation, including rent, licensing fees, insurance and employee salaries. Likewise, an online store is conveniently open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year, enabling business transactions to occur no matter what time of day. Finally, an e-commerce website has the advantage of proximity; customers can be from any part of the globe yet have immediate access to its virtual storefront.

While the benefits of having an e-commerce website are numerous, there are some challenges as well. To begin with, many merchants do not understand the amount of time and effort required to set up and maintain an e-commerce website. Effective e-mail marketing, site optimization, content generation, template creation and shopping cart installation all require a significant investment of professional resources. [Read more…]

How to Make Your Ecommerce Photos Stand Out and Get Noticed

When advertising products on your ecommerce website, the presence (or absence) of quality photos that accurately portray your products is critical to making (or losing) a sale. After all, customers cannot touch, smell or try on your listed products; they can only read your descriptions and look at the included photos. If customers are unable to discern what exactly you are selling or how it might fit them or their needs, your competitors will probably make the sale.

Unfortunately, taking quality product photos is harder than it appears. How many times have you encountered poorly lit, grainy or out-of-focus product photos on online selling sites such as Craigslist or eBay? How many times have you gone to an ecommerce website and discovered generic or incorrect photos that did not correspond to the items being described? Such frustration can easily lead to website and shopping cart abandonment. [Read more…]

10 Ways to Generate Targeted Traffic for an e-Commerce Website

E-commerce merchants often focus on improving their business website’s SEO in order to place it high on the SERP and generate site traffic. However, focusing only on SEO and generating traffic can lead to a low site conversion rate. This is because site customers are typically derived from targeted traffic streams where the visitors already have a vested interest in the online business’s products/services. To increase your site’s visitor-to-customer conversion rate, you need to focus on generating targeted traffic streams. In the process, you’ll still improve your website’s SEO- as well as its bottom line. Here are 10 methods for generating targeted traffic streams on your e-commerce website: [Read more…]

The Do’s and Don’ts of Shipping and Delivery for E-commerce Sites

Shipping and delivery are vital parts of any e-commerce website. Recently, customers have come to expect free online shipping and almost instantaneous delivery, even on Sundays and holidays. E-commerce merchants who fail in either of these two categories are often passed over for those who will ensure free shipping and timely delivery. However, even when you can’t promise the moon to your customers, at least you can provide clear and concise information about your website’s policies regarding shipping, delivery and exchanges/returns. Such information goes a long way towards enhancing customers’ experiences on your website and increasing the odds of their return. [Read more…]

Using Social Media for Brand Management: Overview

Effective brand management through social media involves more than just posting Tweets and status updates about product sales or store promotions. Posting quality content, engaging visitors in a dialogue instead of a monologue, addressing consumer concerns, and generating excitement about the company products or services are some of the ways in which customers can be included in product branding. Likewise, using social media monitoring programs such as Tweet Scan, Google Alerts and socialmention can keep a business informed about the latest news on its brand or even competitors’ brands. When performed well, brand management helps a business not only reach a larger audience, it also helps improve its online reputation and search engine rankings. [Read more…]

Optimizing Your Online Sales Funnel to Increase E-commerce Sales

Understanding the online sales funnel helps you understand how your customers navigate through your e-commerce website, from its basic introductory pages to its resources and information, and finally to its purchasing (i.e., landing) pages- or not. By mapping out your site’s sales funnel, you identify how potential customers find out about your site and what “triggers” motivate them to visit it. You also discover which pages they land on, enabling you to craft a message that resonates with their intent. Staying relevant to your customers’ motivations lowers your site’s bounce rates, increases the number of pages viewed and total time spent on your site, and helps achieve higher conversions once the customers enter the funnel. [Read more…]

PPC : How to build a keyword list

Arguably, the most important step in creating an effective pay per click (PPC) ad campaign is building a comprehensive keyword list. The keyword list is a set of words and phrases that Web users might input into a search engine when looking for a product. An effective PPC ad should contain keywords/phrases that match the search terms being used, so that the ad is displayed on the search engine results page (SERP).

While search engine optimization (SEO) and PPC ad campaigns both utilize keyword lists, the process of selecting the actual terms is different. SEO attempts to match the most commonly used search terms and deliver relevant content on the SERP. The PPC ad also attempts to match search terms, but it may include less commonly used keywords/phrases in order to target a specific audience. Other commonly used keywords/phrases may even be excluded from the keyword list. This helps ensure that the visitors clicking on the PPC ad are truly interested in the advertised product and will make a purchase. By targeting only those visitors who are likely to become customers, a PPC ad is better able to achieve a high conversion rate and a lower cost per sale. This improves its overall return on investment (ROI). [Read more…]

In-depth SEO Off-Site Optimization Tutorial

So, you’ve taken your time and have come up with a concrete, effective on-site optimization strategy for your website. After implementing all of the important SEO-related techniques – and using them continually, day after day – it is time to really maximize the potential of a full-fledged SEO campaign. If you think that the work is done once you craft an efficient on-site optimization process, think again: you have to turn to off-site optimization to get the most bang for your buck. In this article, we will take a look at the most important things to keep in mind when undertaking an off-site optimization strategy. Step by step, we will take an in depth look into the various ways to execute off-site optimization successfully. [Read more…]

How to design a great Banner

Banner ads are ubiquitous around the Internet, and have been practically since its inception. If you’re looking to advertise online, then you can’t ignore the need to design a great banner ad. By putting a decent amount of thought and effort into your banner, you’ll be able to make it truly effective. In turn, you’ll draw large amounts of traffic to your website with ease. Below, we’ve provided an overview of the basics of designing an exceptional banner ad. Familiarize yourself with these key concepts in order to craft banners that will really work for you. [Read more…]

In-depth SEO On-Site Optimization Tutorial

You cannot run a website today without tackling search engine optimization – commonly known as SEO. By ignoring SEO, you are missing out on giving your website the tools necessary to succeed in the search engines. If your site isn’t ranking well in the major search engines for your most important keywords, then it’s largely invisible to most Internet users. In many ways, failure to use SEO is like owning a bricks-and-mortar store – and not putting up a prominent sign. How are people supposed to know you’re even there? Fact is, they won’t.

There is much more to SEO than simply stringing together a handful of targeted keywords. Search engine optimization falls into two basic categories: on-site SEO and off-site SEO. In this tutorial, we will be taking a focused look at on-site SEO. We will outline the basics of accomplishing effective on-site SEO for your website, then take more detailed looks at the technical aspects of the strategy. When all is said and done, you will have the knowledge necessary to execute an effective on-site SEO campaign. [Read more…]

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