Friday, 5 September 2014

How to Make Your Online Shop Work

Today I would like to share my experience in how to attract target customers to your website/online shop. I have devoted a lot of time, efforts and also have failed a lot to get these things all together. Seem to work now and want you trying implementing this and share your experience. Maybe we can find something to improve there as well?
Sure, many of the ways to attract your potential customers to your online store are well known however you can try to have a look under a different angle here and see what can be done else.
IMPORTANT! Attracting customers is one thing however you should remember that behind a good quality website MUST be a good quality business.
Target audience is the most important to be attracted to your website. Attracting all possible prospects can bring nothing because visiting your website and creating traffic without conversion equals your efforts to nothing.
Let’s have a look on a handmade online shop as an example.
Before starting targeting your potential customers, make sure you know who they are. Create a detailed description of your potential customer. I won’t come back to this topic. On this blog I have devoted a couple of articles to this ( about finding a target audience and also I have a video about target customer for handmade goods).
After you found out your target audience, you need to find the way top reach out. For the handmade it’s normally women.
After you know who you want to target think on what you sell and how much it suits. Think again.
So now we go..
We need to work on inside and outside website optimization.
1)      When you launch a website, make sure you put TITLE and META tag for each good you place there.
2)      Description for each good should be unique and not Copy+Paste
3)      Each photo should be unique, not searchable in Google images and have ALT tag
4)      MANUL link with similar good. This will help to increase number of pages visited, time spent on the website plus increase cross selling.
5)      Pages with goods were optimized under specific keys.

After 2-3 months search engines should recognize and index your webpage and now you need to optimize your “outside” appearance.
-          Writing articles with useful info
-          Overviews of products
-          Free e-stuff
-          Articles
-          Participation in forums connected to your web store goods, etc.

Attracting traffic to your website:
1)      Select similar portals to your topic
2)      Use bloggers
3)      Use aggregator websites
4)      Advertise where possible on different advert boards and classifieds
5)      Use forums (involves a lot of manual work however create a great traffic). In case there is an opportunity for paid adverts there try one week and see what happens. Never try to buy a lot of time without testing. See and compare your results. Use most effective ways.
6)      When there is an opportunity for free advertising:

-          Comment articles with links to your website
-          Write articles about your website
-          Create record about you in the catalog of this website
-          Create a topic in the forum with Q&A options for your potential clients
Your priority should be website with low number of participants however YOUR TARGET rather than a lot of participants and slightly your target. In last case you have simply less chance to reach out to who you need and just be lost in the posts.
-          Create Live Journal

Social networks
Working with social networks is important. Make sure to follow several rules:
1)      Never add 100000 people liking your page or group. If that’s not your target, it brings zero conversion and no orders.
2)      Write interesting articles. This will attract more potential customers.
3)      Arrange contest and initiatives however never make rules too easy or too hard to take part it.
4)      Create Q&A sessions.
5)      Use target advertising.
6)      Use twitter to share news and updates.

Offline advertising
Take into account how much you invest and what conversion you get.
Handmade examples:
-          Showroom
-          Exhibitions
-          Business cards
-          Flyers
-          Free advertising n magazines with exclusive goods
-          Taking part in offline events and presenting something or some topic
-          Advertising in companies who arrange events and birthdays, partnering with them

“Word of a mouth” method
Ask happy customers about recommendations. Ask customers who didn’t like you and convert them to happy ones. 80/20 rule!!

For even more effective business:
-          Make sure you have high quality customer service
-          Quick delivery
-          Be original in style and packaging
-          Give presents with every purchase
-          And show your customer you value him!!

There is no better recommendation than the link left by your customer on a forum with his positive feedback. The best way to do that is to provide excellent customer experience!

So we plan the work than work the plan!
1)      After website launch start Google adwords.
2)      Inside and outside SEO.
3)      Forums, blogs.
4)      Social media.
5)      Offline marketing.
6)      “Word of a mouth” campaign.

You can see where your customer is coming with the help of Google analytics.
In offline case, make sure to follow up and see what works and what doesn’t.

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