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ecommerce Archives - STRYDE

E-Commerce SEO Best Practices

By | eCommerce, SEO, SEOchat | No Comments

If most of your business’ revenue comes from online purchases, then you know well that ’tis the season for your best marketing performance of the year! While you may already have your promotions in place, and email and twitter blasts are well on their way, you’re not fully maximizing the return on your marketing efforts if SEO isn’t on your top priority list.

By tweaking your product pages and adding a few SEO-focused tactics into your online marketing strategy, you might surprise yourself with a jolt in holiday sales. Last week’s #SEOchat focused on the best practices to incorporate SEO into your e-commerce marketing strategy. Here are some of the highlights from what we covered:

Q1: When should a brand begin an SEO campaign for the Thanksgiving/Christmas holidays?

Q2: What does your content strategy look like for the holidays?

Q3. Let’s pretend you’ve been hired as an SEO consultant for a website that sells cameras and camera accessories. How would you begin competitor research?

Q4: Which area of the customer buying cycle do you execute on? Do you outsource anything?

Q5: Walk us through your auditing process. Our camera site sells 26 brands. Would you optimize every product page? Why/why not?

 

Q6: What’s the right balance of transactional and informational keywords you should target?

 

Q7: How would you recommend organizing category pages in the navigation? By BRAND, by TYPE or other?

Q8: What linkable asset would you create for the camera site to drive traffic and social shares?

Q9: What’s your favorite site to shop from for the holidays?

Trends in SEO are constantly on the move. Let’s keep up on #SEOchat! Join in every Thursday at 1 pm ET.

How are you using SEO as part of your holiday marketing strategy? Share your thoughts below!

How to Deal With the Post-Holiday Traffic Dip

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The last week of December and the whole month of January can be brutal on your ecommerce and retail businesses. The Christmas rush has come and gone and now you’re feeling those post holiday blues kick in. So, what can you do to leverage that December peak season and keep customers buying even after Christmas? Here are just a few tips that will surely change your holiday blues into money green.

1. Give out“Bounce Back” Coupons

To turn holiday shoppers into repeat customers, give out or email coupons to holiday customers that are only valid after Christmas. The coupon should be time sensitive and give the consumer only 5-10 days to redeem their coupon. This will instill a sense of urgency for buyers, thus making them more likely to convert.

2. Beef up Social Media

Ecommerce businesses may be working overtime for the holidays, but that’s not the case for all professionals. Many people take off work for the holidays to spend time with their families. While these professionals may be disconnected from work and emailing, they are often still connected via social media. One of the best ways to connect post holidays is through your social networks. Reward customers for being connected by providing social-only incentives.

3. Keep up Holiday Marketing Efforts

“Many retail and ecommerce businesses make the mistake of cutting off their email, search, and social media efforts when the holidays come and go,” explains Mike Sprouse, CEO & president of Sprouse Marketing Group. What companies fail to realize is that people are still in buying mode weeks after Christmas. People are cashing in gift cards, exchanging items, and looking to spend money they received from relatives. Sprouse’s advice: “Stay aggressive right up until the new year with post-holiday specials and marketing.”

4. Recoup Sales From Abandoned Shopping Carts

Oftentimes buyers use their shopping cart to keep items they plan to buy later or to view and purchase on another device. Head of product at ecommerce software provider Magento, Jimmy Duvall says, “most shoppers expect to be contacted about their abandoned purchase — and that a special offer to complete the purchase is welcome. If you’re able to capture an email address on abandoned carts, you should have a qualified pool of shoppers to market to and keep your sales momentum moving after the holidays.”

5. Launch a New Product or Service

According to Susie Wang, cofounder of cosmetics company 100% Pure, one way to entice customers to visit your store after the holidays is to launch a new product or service. Another idea to consider is giving away a new product with any purchase during the month of January.

6. Deepen Discounts for Trendy Items

Styles and fads come and go. Rid your shop of all items that may seem outdated in the new year by really discounting those products. This will help you avoid losing money on them. According to this Hubspot article, “Even selling them at cost is better than a whole warehouse full of products you won’t be able to sell later.”

7. Gear up for the New Year

Use the holiday peak of your business as leverage to learn more about your consumer. Dive into your analytics and decipher what your most successful and unsuccessful products were, which consumers made repeat purchases, and what marketing tools were the most effective. Two things Hubspot suggests that you should consider:

a. Segment Contact Lists

The post-holiday sales are the perfect time to send customized offers to select groups in your contact database. For example, for every person who bought a Samsung Galaxy from your website this year, you can send out your unique offers for accessories for that specific phone only to those who purchased. By doing this, you won’t need to worry about annoying your customers with irrelevant offers, for one thing. In addition, you can also focus solely on those items you really need to move before new inventory comes in.

b. Bundle Packages

Hubspot suggests, “Leading into the holidays you might want to think about packaging products that are purchased together into gift bundles. Post holidays, you can use this information suggest new products to existing customers.”

What are you doing for your ecommerce business to survive the post-holiday traffic dip? Let us know in the comments below!

Top 10 Ecommerce YouTube Channels: Ranked by Awesomeness

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Video is a powerful tool for any business. It’s a great way to engage your audience with movement, visuals and sound to tell your company’s story. More and more ecommerce companies are trying to incorporate video into their marketing strategy. A lot of ecommerce sites dabble in video, but don’t really know how to do it in a meaningful way. Here are 10 YouTube channels that get it right.

1. Vat19

Subscribers: 975,997
Total Views: 574,770,173
Why it’s awesome: Vat19 consistently pumps out hilarious videos that actually feature all of their quirky, fun products. It’s a rare combination of humor, relevance and awesomeness. #FTW
Subscribers: 142,239
Total Views: 101,989,773
Why it’s awesome: ThinkGeek creates simple yet catchy videos demonstrating the usability of their quirky electronic products. They definitely have the “less is more” approach with their videos – they know how to keep their videos intriguing by letting their creative products speak for themselves.
Subscribers: 744,500
Total Views: 248,251,268
Why it’s awesome: What’s not awesome about destroying a brand new iPhone or your favorite action figure in a blender? It’s like every kid’s dream. These guys were one of the earliest ecommerce success stories from YouTube. Their YouTube success ultimately drove the success of their business.
Subscribers: 12,850
Total Views: 6,101,110
Why it’s awesome: Goldie Blox empowers little girls to build and create. They make videos that break all the stereotypes for the little ladies. If a girl wants to skip playing doll house, and create a Rube Goldberg machine instead, that’s perfectly okay! Girl power!
Subscribers: 21,721
Total Views: 1,778,361
Why it’s awesome: Although the subscriber and view numbers are lower than many of the other top 10 channels, the Beard Brand goes after more of a niche audience. It’s all about the bearded lifestyle. Plus, beards are just awesome – especially during “no shave November.”
Subscribers: 28,095
Total Views: 9,831,203
Why it’s awesome: These guys take a more traditional approach. Their videos are useful, instructional videos about cycling and bike accessories. The videos are well done and very educational. They are awesome ’cause they know their stuff, and they’re not afraid to share it.
Subscribers: 49,933
Total Views: 4,649,315
Why it’s awesome: Linda’s Pantry is filled with how-to-make videos. For beginner to expert cooks, she breaks down step by step on how to make delicious and healthy dishes. This channel differs from the other channels as it provides you with a go-to service (FOR FREE!), instead of a product.
Subscribers: 20,292
Total Views: 4,687,380
Why it’s awesome: Grow Organic helps people missing a green thumb learn to properly harvest their own fruits and vegetables. Not only that, but they provide you with all of the necessary tools and seeds you need to get your own home garden started. I love that this is a one-stop shop for both a service and product!
Subscribers: 12,244
Total Views: 2,039,637
Why it’s awesome: These people show you how to create hand crafted furniture from start to finish in just a matter of minutes. It’s pretty cool to see how wood furniture is created! Plus, it gets all the viewers pumped up to order their own custom made furniture from Doucette & Wolfe Furniture.

10. Orabrush

Subscribers: 190,171
Total Views: 43,321,448
Why it’s awesome: Their videos feature an obnoxious guy dressed up in at tongue costume as their mascot. What’s not to love about that? Using video, they created a whole new product category of product: tongue brushes–which Orabrush owns.
What are your favorite e-commerce YouTube channels? Or do you know any secrets in driving YouTube followers to your channel? Share your ideas in the comments below.

On Instagram-How Freshly Picked is Slaying Social Media Marketing Sleeping Giant

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Susan Petersen, founder and CEO of Freshly Picked, loves Instagram. In fact, she might even love it more than her husband.

She spoke about her astounding Instagram success at Inbound Marketing SLC on Oct. 2. She said that at one point, she was spending so much time on Instagram that her husband jokingly said that he wished she loved him as much as she loved Instagram.

“I do too,” she responded.

It’s not hard to see why she loves the image-sharing network so much. She’s closing in on 275,000 followers on the social network (as of this writing) and says the average value of each follower is $0.31. She delights her followers by posting beautiful images of children wearing Freshly Picked moccasins, and she also uses the platform to announce new products, promote user generated content, stage giveaway promotions, or to let people see what she’s up to.

She realized that her “community” was on Instagram a few years after starting her company. She had 600 followers at the time and immediately set a goal to get to 10,000 by the end of 2012; she hit that mark on December 28.

Winning with Instagram requires more than just posting cool images. Her company is very active in the comments, and she ensures that each question gets an answer. And whenever someone posts a picture and uses a Freshly Picked hashtag, they will like and/or comment on it to let their customers know that they see them, love them, and are going to reward them.

Susan raised the money she needed to to start her business by hammering windows out of old window frames and recycling the aluminum. She was paid $200 and used it to by the leather she needed to make moccasins. She told this story when she appeared on Shark Tank earlier in the year, and Mark Cuban said it was “the best story to start a company” that he’s ever heard.

She said that she has begrudgingly accepted the fact that her story is a key selling point of her business. And so she lets people get to know her a little bit on Instagram by posting to the account as herself and not as a business entity. So, for example, she uses “I” and “me” and will occasionally post pictures of herself to give followers glimpses of her life.

According to Global Web Index data, Instagram experienced the biggest rise among social networking sites in active user numbers between quarters 2 and 4 of 2013. People will always be leery of brands using the network as a money-making platform, but Susan has proved that a compelling story and beautiful images can delight customers and turn them into raving fans.

3 Gut-Wrenching Truths About E-Commerce

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The Best Design (Alone) Will Not Make You Sales

It has long been said that good design will not bring you sales. I’m here to tell you that the sad truth of the matter is that whoever said that was right. Design doesn’t make sales. There are a lot of terribly designed sites out there that make gobs of money.

craigslist

Craigslist is a great example. It’s an ocean of standard blue text links. The logo isn’t really even a logo. It’s just a serif family font in barney purple. The same purple that shows up on a visited text link. There are no fancy images or calls to action enticing you to post your item there. In fact, there isn’t really any marketing copy on the site at all (with the exception of user generated content).

Yet, Craigslist makes over $122 Million dollars a year.

esigns

In the signage industry, esigns is a good example. The homepage looks like a unicorn vomited that morning’s rainbow cereal all over the page. Their testimonials look like they are in 6 point Arial font and they have banner ads beckoning you to leave to other sites. Oh, and go ahead and try to get to their banner product page from the homepage. It ain’t pretty.

Yet esigns is a major competitor in the sign industry.

There are plenty of other examples, but the fact of the matter is, you don’t need good design to make you sales. A good product, or good marketing can easily make up for bad design.

The Best Conversion Optimization (Alone) Will Not Make You Sales

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is all the hype. If it’s not part of your online marketing strategy, you might as well call GoDaddy right now and tell them to shut down your account. CRO definitely has its place in a marketing strategy. I’m not contesting that. However, CRO alone will not make you sales. I know. I know. That’s holy marketing blasphemy. But let me give you an example:

Let’s say you own a Hawaiian clothing store called Coconuts Clothing and you somehow manage to secure the domain name coconuts.com to sell your clothing through. Because of your premier domain name, you already receive 1,000 visits per month of direct type in traffic or from organic traffic from the keyword “coconuts”. You could hire the best team of CRO gurus in the entire world, but I bet that all the design and copy changes they could dream up wouldn’t be able to convert much more than the people that were already converting before you put your last $50k into their pockets.

No. Conversion optimization alone will not make you sales. It’s gut-wrenching e-commerce truth number two.

The Most Traffic (Alone) Will Not Make You Sales

By now, you should already know where I’m going. You could get a million unique visits to your Coconut Clothing site, but if they’re the wrong type of visitor, or if the conversion rate of your site is zilch, you won’t make a single sale.

A Single Marketing Focus is Next to Impossible, And Probably a Bad Strategy!

Ultimately, the last gut-wrenching truth about e-commerce marketing, or any marketing for that matter, is that you can’t just do one thing right and make it. You have to do a lot of things right. That’s why having a solid team with various skill sets is essential to your company’s success.

About The Author

Nelson James is an internet marketing professional and entrepreneur. He co-founded SEO.com and is currently running the start-up Signs.com which sells custom banners and signs online.