Thanks in part to COVID-19 and the emphasis on doing just about everything remotely, eCommerce is more important than ever for generating sales. However, not everyone has a great understanding of how to generate sales digitally, and it’s not the same as every other way to make a sale. Therefore, this post will focus on specific strategies you can use to make more sales through your online and eCommerce platforms in an ever-changing marketplace.
1. Content Optimization
If you have blog posts or articles on your website, that can be a great way to get eyeballs on your website. In the early days of the internet, that was as simple as just stuffing a bunch of keywords into a blog post and watching the traffic roll in. Unfortunately for website owners, those days are long gone.
But the real reason that no longer works is because no one wants to read content like that. Thus, if you really want to help your website visitors, you’ll have to create content that is not only interesting and engaging but that actually solves their problem. This takes a lot more time than the content you might have seen 15 or 20 years ago, but you can feel good about the fact that you’re actually helping someone.
One way to make it engaging is to speak directly to the reader and bring them into the conversation. Where appropriate, you can use illustrations and graphs to make your content more enjoyable.
Lastly, to be sure your content answers all of the reader’s questions, you can use a content optimization tool. The reason you would use a tool like this is to be sure your content is as complete as possible. Not only does that keep your readers happy, but it also helps ensure they don’t have to leave your website to find the answers to the rest of their questions elsewhere. You can’t sell to someone if they leave your site!
2. Repurpose Old Content
If you have a website that has been around for years, you might have some old content that is, shall we say, not great. Things change often on the web, and what was effective just a few years ago won’t do you any good today. But even if your old content isn’t pulling its weight, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not covering an important topic.
Instead of creating all-new content, though, you can always repurpose what you already have. There are a number of steps you can take, including those mentioned in #1 above. The idea is not to reinvent the wheel; if you already covered a topic, you can save time by overhauling your old post. Pro tip: if you do decide to repurpose old content, change the published date to whichever date you are republishing, as Google may give it a temporary ranking boost.
Repurposing old content is a great way to drive more traffic to your website and make more sales so you can invest and grow your wealth.
3. Local Search
Using a search engine is often how people find information on their favorite companies. However, if you have a small business that services people in your area, you should be using local search. For example, if you have a craft store that mostly sells to people in the Chicago area, you would want to be sure to include words like “Chicago craft store” or something to that effect on your website.
There are tools you can use to find the relevant keywords for your business, although Google’s natural language processing (NLP) has made exact-match keywords slightly less critical than they used to be. Regardless, be sure to include region-specific language on your website as well as your contact information. This will help Google find you and also verify you are where you say you are.
4. Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to make a sale, for multiple reasons. For one thing, email marketing gives you the chance to build trust with your potential buyers as you appear in their inbox. That means you can get people thinking about your products without having to get them to your website first.
Plus, building an email list allows you to have your own list of potential buyers. All email marketing platforms allow you to export your list to a spreadsheet, so that list becomes yours. You no longer have to worry about the platform being shut down, and you can segment users to market specific products to specific people.
5. Link Building
Link building is crucial to increasing traffic, particularly if you want to bring people in via Google and other search engines. These links are called backlinks; simply put, a backlink is a link from another website that points to yours. They are important because more links pointing to your websites makes you more trustworthy in Google’s eyes, which contributes to ranking higher in search results.
And yet, as many as 95% of websites have no backlinks. There are many ways to generate more backlinks, both ethical and not-so-ethical. However, the best way to do so is to create content that is extremely useful and people want to reference. Studies, surveys, and statistics often suit this need (see the link earlier in this paragraph).
In addition, there are a number of SEO tools that can help you make sense of SEO. You can gain much greater insight into what your competitors are doing, which keywords to target, and which keywords have the most monetization potential.
6. Content Promotion
Of course, one of the best ways to get visitors to your site is by promoting it—especially if you don’t have very strong SEO yet. The most common mediums for paid ads are Google itself as well as Facebook.
Needless to say, it’s not a good idea to start spending large amounts of money on ads without a plan in place. Spending a lot of money on ads might get more eyes on them, but that won’t do much good if no one clicks! You should have excellent copy that makes people want to click on your ad, plus enticing images for Facebook ads. Having a great business logo design is also important for Facebook ads.
If you want to test the waters, you could always spend $5 here and there on ads to see if that entices any visitors. You should also check the ad manager on the relevant site to determine what is working and what isn’t; that can help you with future ad placements.
If you can’t afford ads at all yet, you can work on building up a social media following, then linking to your content there. As an aside, it takes time to build up your social media followers. In addition, you should give out a lot of free, valuable information to build trust. If all you do is link to your products, you probably won’t get much engagement.
The Bottom Line
Marketing your products and services online isn’t always easy, but there are a number of ways you can increase your relevance and build trust with potential customers. Although paid promotion is an option, you don’t need a multi-million dollar marketing budget to get started.
Steps such as improving your existing content, optimizing new content, and building links will go a long way. These things do take time, though, so if you have more money than time, paid promotions can be a quicker way to give yourself a boost. And if you do generate more revenue, you’ll have more money to invest.
How you decide to move forward will obviously depend on your business, how much time you have, and the resources available to you. Nevertheless, implementing any of the steps above will put you on the path to a more successful marketing campaign.
Founder Dinis Guarda
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