Ecommerce is the future of shopping. As such, it has drawn a lot of interest from entrepreneurs who are building startups solely based on this business model. But this has also saturated the market.
With more competition in online retail than ever before, it’s critical to know how to stand out from the crowd. Yes, this will allow you to maximize sales, but more importantly, it allows you to create a brand associated with quality products and appealing customer experience.
So, if you want to know how to grow your ecommerce store, all you have to do is stand out with your offer. And here’s how to do it.
Step #1: Understand Ecommerce
At the base level, ecommerce is a business model. And like every other business model there isn’t any single approach that’s right or wrong way to do business. However, all ecommerce business models share two key features: knowing what you are selling (how products work) and who you are selling to (the ideal consumer).
So, whether you’re selling to businesses (B2B) or directly to consumers (B2C), you need to understand these two concepts first. Only then can you rally your efforts to stand out from the competition to drive more traffic to your website.
Step #2: Establish Smart Goals
Every major business plan starts with a goal. But it’s going to be at least twice as successful if you set up smart goals. Like all other goals in life, they will guide your decisions. When you do it right, you know exactly what you have to do each day, week, month, quarter and year.
Basically, smart goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound. For example, a good smart goal is generating a traffic volume of 500 visits in 30 days or selling 15 products in 30 days.
Smart goals should clearly define the path for your e-commerce website. From where you are at the moment, to how much you want to grow your business and where you want to be in the future.
Step #3: Design an Ecommerce Site Focused on Good UX
User experience is a key feature of a good ecommerce platform. UX is what allows visitors to easily use, navigate and shop on your site. It’s also what drives customer satisfaction and makes the site user-friendly.
First, focus on customers. What do your customers want? What makes them enjoy using your website? How do they want to interact with the site? What kind of headlines and product pages do they want to read? Are they getting all the information they need? Try to determine this before you start building the site.
Then, focus on interactive design. As there are 3.7 billion mobile users in the world, your ecommerce site should be responsive and mobile-friendly. Moreover, the design should also be attractive enough to encourage communication (i.e. interaction) between the site and your audience. You can use e-commerce marketing tools to check your results.
Keep in mind, you will also need a user-friendly payment page. But creating payment pages is expensive. That’s why many ecommerce stores bypass the problem with alternative solutions and use Amazon and Shopify instead.
After you set up your storefront and product pages, you can integrate the final call-to-action (CTA) with Shopify. A Shopify agency specializing in UX design can help create a seamless transition from the website to your account on Shopify that won’t interfere with the user experience during purchase.
The second option is to link each “Buy” or “Complete Purchase” button with a product page on Amazon. The user will have an additional and unnecessary click, which reduces some of the user experience but saves you a lot of money in the process.
Step #4: Understand the Benefits of Ecommerce SEO
Ecommerce search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of adapting your web store to increase ranking on search engines, like Google, Yahoo, and Bing, to generate more search volume organically.
In layman’s terms, you are trying to optimize your website to get a high position at the top of a search engine results page (SERP) so when people search for a product, your product page pops up.
For example, if you sell red sneakers and someone is looking to buy them online, the goal is to make your store and product visible on the first page. So, when Google or Bing show the results for the search term “red sneakers”, the potential buyer can click on your product page.
A few years back, a study revealed that only 4.8% of searchers visit the second SERP on Google. For page three it was just 1.1%. So, if you’re looking to stand out, neither page two nor three can cut it for your ecommerce business.
Step #5: Keyword Research
Keyword research is the first step to a successful SEO strategy. All this means is identifying the specific and valuable search terms associated with your products that potential buyers are using. And there are a few ways to go about it.
First, keep in mind that ecommerce keyword research is nothing like regular keyword research. While a regular long-tail (a keyword phrase) might go along the lines “How to shop for clothes when you don’t have a lot of money”, an ecommerce long-tail will be “red jogging sneakers for men”. Both long-tails help you rank your site, but the difference is buying intent (ecommerce) vs. searching for information (blogs and info sites).
A simple way to see what people are searching for is to use Google and Amazon suggest. Those are related search terms located at the bottom of a SERP (Google), or faded text in the search box on Amazon. This gives you pretty good insight into high-volume related terms you might want to optimize for.
Another way to conduct keyword research is to use keyword research tools. This type of software gives you accurate insight into traffic volume, average use, competition, cost per keyword, and other metrics that help you select the right words to describe your products. Some of the most popular keyword research tools include SemRush, Google Search Console, Ahrefs Keyword Explorer, and Moz Keyword Explorer.
Step #6: On-Page Optimization
Once you have all your keywords on one list, you need to optimize the website for your users. And while SEO is an effective acquisition channel for 85% of retailers, there are more than a few factors that affect on-page optimization, including:
- Website analysis
- Competition analysis
- Keyword research and analysis
- Website structure optimization
- Meta tags optimization
- Content optimization
- Image optimization
- Sitemap Creation
- txt creation
But the most important thing to keep in mind is to focus on the customer and conduct ecommerce SEO to solve customer pain points according to their shopping mannerisms. But, you should also look to use actionable on-page SEO tips and optimize:
- Site speed – optimize for fast load speed, less than 2 seconds. Compressing product images and investing in a good content delivery network is among the best ways to increase site speed;
- Category pages – adding category pages and structuring the website according to those categories makes it easy to navigate and increase usability;
- Product pages – create keyword-friendly URLs that match your products and write original product descriptions which are informative and include long-tail keywords;
- Homepage – use a clean, crisp design, a big headline, a visible menu, and a CTA.
Once you have optimized your ecommerce site, you can expect to see a much higher traffic volume. And leads and inquiries won’t be far behind.
Step #7: Take Action
The final piece of the puzzle is to use the impeccable storefront you have created to boost sales. Using link building tactics is a good option, but you should always focus on your customer and provide them with what they really need from you – a great experience.
The ecommerce competition may be fierce, but taking action to achieve this goal is what will make you stand out from the crowd. So, use these simple steps to help you develop a brand that solves problems and sells products, and your ecommerce business will sing success all across the web.
Victor T. Miller, a Sydney-based business and marketing specialist who expands businesses over 5 years. I am a person who loves to inform people about the latest news in the industry also as sharing tips and advice based on my professional experience and knowledge.