Economic Stimulus for Shop Owners
Its very easy to become discouraged when times are tough and sales aren’t where we want them to be. Many shop owners will reach out for additional paid advertising, get rich quick schemes and other means of promoting their stores. While I have no desire to judge anyone…. Are you using your time, energy and marketing dollars wisely?
How Does FREE Sound?
Yes, I said that magic “F” word. Lets just relax a minute and go over some free marketing and optimization techniques and venues for shop owners.
Sure, free sounds good… But is it really free? My dad said never to answer a question with a question… But here I go. What have YOU done for your store lately? This sounds so simple to most, but all to often I deal with shop owners who have not even taken the time to EVER even open their hosting control panel. So in addition to some free marketing ideas, today I am going to help you make your Internet store…. Better.
Managing your shopping cart software, products and marketing in house (this means you!) will not only save money, but expand your skill set to save you long term money. Sound good?
No matter what you know how to do, there is ALWAYS more to learn. So whether you take this time to add great content to your pages, attend Google’s Conversion University, learn some SEO or just learn to code a hyperlink and make CSS changes… You will be advancing your skill set and saving money!
The first step in any good idea is a plan of implementation. Decide what you need to do for your store… Sounds easy enough, let me give you some ideas.
- Learn to optimize your pages content, coded elements and page titles. On page optimization will freshen stale content and has a great return for the time invested. Small SEO Touches with BIG Results.
- Got Link Bait? Do you know what link bait is? Well, you should as great link bait can easily make you a success.
- Do a usability study…. Use real people to shop your store and REALLY LISTEN to what they have to say. So often we are so familiar with our own sites… we lose sight with what the rest of the world sees. Grab 5 or 10 friends, kids and co-workers and enlist them to find and buy something on your site. I promise you will find some pretty amazing things you have been to “involved” to see. I had a customer point one out to me today!
- Get really in to Analytics…. It is a endless goldmine of information to make your store successful. Where is your traffic from, what sells best, who spends more time on site…. Which visitors are converting better than others. Are shoppers bailing on your checkout?
- Read, read, read and then read some more. Read about your niche, about SEO, about marketing and most of all read to learn and expand your own ability and increase your own positive impact on your business. Don’t know where to start? Google for blogs and other niche related forums and groups. I also highly recommend you checkout the Google Webmasters Blog.
- Do you have duplicate content, which is suppressing your ability to rank and be successful? Find duplicate content and fix it. Let’s face it, if Google was your business, would you deliver your shoppers to a page with 10 duplicate items? Hell no… Get your head around the user’s experience, roll your sleeves up and create great unique content.
- Link building… Do you do this? Well, link building, like most SEO… NEVER ends. Very simply, to sum this up, Google and other search engines follow links around the web to find and understand pages. Link building is really a pretty complicated issue… But I will give your some pointers. Don’t buy links (Google does not allow this), link out from your website with great link text and to related sites, forget about PageRank (it won’t pay the bills)… Instead solicit links from other quality websites that you would be glad to be associated with. So whether you are writing articles, participating in a community forum, blogging or just doing manual link building… Think about it like taking this person to meet your mom, are you going to be embarrassed? If so find a link you are proud to have.
- Learn about and use social media religiously… Start here with Tim Nash. Tim can bring you fully up to speed and get you started. Social media, when used correctly can provide links and qualified traffic… Best of all, its FREE.
- Pick a page a week and learn to fix the errors and check for misspellings and such. Valid pages are happy pages.
- Sometimes even just a nice fresh, fast and updated redesign of your store can breathe new life in to it and YOU.
- Checkout free shopping feeds and comparison shopping sites that will list your products for increased exposure.
I guess my point here is that you are your own most valuable asset…. If you’re not learning you’re dying.
If your answers here today are all about what you don’t know… Then you have arrived here my mistake and should likely leave.