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How to Increase your Brand’s SEO

Posted on October 14, 2015 by Alexander Diegel

SEO has been something of a buzzword lately. But what is it? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and is described by wikipedia as “the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results—often referred to as “natural,” “organic,” or “earned” results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users.”

What that means for a business owner is, whatever search terms that resonate in your industry, you want to be at or near the top of the listings that appear whenever people put that term or phrase into Google. The more people that see your site, the more people will shop on it, and the more shoppers you have, the more sales you’ll get.

Follow these tips to maximize your SEO to see your webstore’s traffic spike, and the sales roll in.

Identify Keywords and Phrases

You need to figure out what key terms and phrases you want to trigger your appearance in a search. For example, if you’re a high-end shoe retailer, then you’d probably want to have an appearance when customers search for “High end shoes.”

Maybe you’re not ready to take on Nordstrom’s or Barney’s (the first and second results to appear on Google when you enter that phrase) and you still do a high volume of sales inside your physical store. In that case, your location can help you drive customers to online and offline sales, such as “High end shoes in Pennsylvania” or more specifically, “High end Shoes in Philadelphia, PA.”

Content-Driven Traffic

Whatever you determine to be key terms and phrases, maximize their use through fresh and engaging information on your web store. Running a blog is a great way to keep new content on your site. One thing you don’t want to do is force these keywords into the content. It has to seem natural, as it will turn off readers/shoppers, and will be recognized as a forced attempt at maximizing SEO by the search engines.

The more fresh content you have, the more traffic will come to your site. And, again, the more traffic you have is the more opportunities you have for sales.

Share on Social Media

Whatever new content you have, be sure to share it on any and all social accounts that you have associated with your store. These are just more channels for you to attract traffic. Sharing on Google plus, specifically, will directly help your ranking on Google’s search listings.

Blogs, news about your company, and new/featured products are the kinds of things that you want to share with your community. Social media is having more and more of an impact on ecommerce, so start sharing now.

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Ecommerce Product Description Best Practices

Posted on October 07, 2015 by Alexander Diegel

You can have the best products in the world, but if you can’t communicate that quality effectively, how are customers going to know? And, more importantly, how will they feel comfortable clicking that “buy” button? Here’s some tips and advice that will help you seal the deal.

Show Don’t (Only) Tell

We’re not here to tell you NOT to tell the story behind the product (in fact, look at the next point) but don’t ONLY tell. Include multiple high-quality images of your product. Show different angles, viewpoints and elements of your goods.

Remember, you’re selling online. Your customers don’t have the option to hold and feel and get comfortable with the item they’re about to buy. So do your best to recreate that in-store feeling by providing big, beautiful images of your goods. Provide 360 degrees worth of angles or, even better, make it a gif.

Tell The Story Behind the Product

Your business has a story, and so does your product. Tell it. For inspiration, check out Ayr’s blog, Editions. Ayr, a women’s fashion startup, releases new apparel every season, and additions to their line receive a one-paragraph story of the goals and thought process behind the design.

You don’t necessarily need to include such in-depth descriptions on every product, (you don’t want to get too wordy) but new and/or featured products deserve extra attention, and are worthy of a story behind their production.

Emphasize Uniqueness

Your competitors are going to have similar products, but there’s something about your inventory that makes you different. Whatever it is—the design, the manufacturing process, the price—make sure you emphasize this in your descriptions. If your customers don’t know why your products are better/different, what’s to stop them from going to the competitor next time?

Include an Obvious Call to Action

You’ve got the customer interested. They’ve looked at the product images, read the story behind the product, and really like what they’ve seen thus far. Now it’s just a matter of sealing the deal. You can push the customers over the edge by simply providing a “Buy Now” or “Add to Cart” button within the page that features your product description. If they’ve made it this far, they’re already interested. Turn the opportunity into a sale with a strong call to action.

Allow Customers to Easily Share their Experience

If your customers have a positive experience shopping with you, they’ll be willing to share your product with their friends and family. Now they won’t write a blog about it, but if you provide simple buttons to like, tweet, pin and/or share, it will open their friends and followers’ eyes to your brand.

Word of mouth has always been a great sales/marketing tactic. Social media has given the opportunity to spread the message faster and to a wider audience than ever before. Take advantage of it!

The Bottom Line

You’re going to have competitors; it’s unavoidable no matter the industry. But you can set yourself apart with unique and effective product descriptions. Making that sale is the first step to turning a customer into a “brand ambassador.” Once they see why you’re the best option for them, they’ll keep coming back—and sharing with their friends.

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Best Practices for Ecommerce Design

Posted on September 30, 2015 by Alexander Diegel

You’ve got the best products, and pride yourself on completing your deliveries on time, every time. That’s a great start, but if you don’t attractively display your items on your website, how are your customers supposed to buy them? These best practices will ensure that the quality of your products is accurately displayed on your website, every time.

Show Don’t Tell

“This is the best shirt/coffee/makeup in the world.” Who wouldn’t say that about their own products? Displaying images of satisfied, real-life customers is a much better way to display the quality of your goods. If you have an active social media profile you can kill two birds with one stone here by displaying your Twitter or Instagram feeds in a section of your site.

Another strategy you can implement is to dedicate a portion of your site to a community and/or press section. The community section can feature the images of satisfied customers sent in through your social profiles, as a varition of—or enhancement to—the above recommendation. Any positive press or reviews from accredited reviewers should be displayed in a press section.

Basically, a good rule of thumb is anything positive said about your service or products from someone outside your company should be displayed on your website, or at the very least shared on your various social profiles.

Focus on What Makes you Unique

What is it about your products that makes them unique? Shoppers will have an almost infinite amount of places to buy a shirt, but why should they buy your shirt? Is it the materials? The manufacturing? The price? Any and all of these reasons should be featured.

This content can accompany the featured products that are displayed in a prominent section of your website. You should also include this in all of your product descriptions. You don’t need to tell the whole story of the first stitch of thread to production, but a brief “This hand-crafted gingham-style shirt was designed with the professional in a business casual office setting in mind.”

Tell Your Story

Product descriptions are one way to feature what makes you different than your competitors. Another way is to briefly tell your story. This should be in a different area than where your products are displayed, such as an “About Us” section.

Why did you get into retail/ecommerce? What is it about your products that shoppers won’t be able to find anywhere else? If you have a personal connection to the goods you sell (“After a Minor League Baseball career, I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the game, so I opened John’s Sporting Goods") these are the stories you want to share with your customers.

Make Shipping Options Clear

Different customers are going to have different shipping needs. Some may be casually browsing and don’t mind if their products don’t get to their house in a week. Others might be procrastination shopping (think: Holidays) and are willing to pay extra to get the item the next day.

Make sure any and all shipping options are made available to your customers as they’re checking out. The last thing you want is to lose a sale because the customer thinks they won’t get the product in time or—conversely—because they only see expensive shipping options.

Draw Attention to Sales

This is a tenet that goes across all mediums of retail. If you’re running a sale—show it. Shoppers have been haggling for the best possible deals for hundreds of years. This hasn’t changed just because you’re selling online now.

The Bottom Line

What’s the common thread here? Originality. Your website is more than just a place for customers to buy things. It’s a piece of your business, and your business is the only one like it out there. Stress what makes you different from your competitors, and this uniqueness will be recognized by your customers, who will become loyal to your brand and never think of shopping elsewhere.

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How to Make Blogs work for Ecommerce

Posted on September 22, 2015 by Alexander Diegel

The most important aspects of running a successful ecommerce business are quality products and dependable service. It doesn’t matter what else you do if you can’t deliver a good item within a decent amount of time. Outside of those essentials, however, are a number of different things you can do to increase awareness to your brand and, most importantly, increase your sales. One of them is maintaining an interesting and relevant blog.

A blog, you say? How is a brief article going to increase my sales? Well, consider it the law of averages. The more people that come to your website, the more that are going to shop for your products, and the more that shop are more that are likely to click “Buy.” But where does the blog come in? Creating a well-written blog is a great way to keep readers coming back, and turning them into buyers.

Take Into the Gloss and Glossier for example. ITG started as a popular blog that provides fashion tips, advice and articles featuring interviews with models and fashion professionals. It became so popular that the founders decided to venture into ecommerce with Glossier. Glossier has been a retail success and Into the Gloss continues, pointing readers to Glossier.

Of course, building a business off of a blog first isn’t the traditional route to ecommerce success. Ayr, the popular women’s clothing retailer, also maintains an active blog presence. Ayr’s blog is more image-heavy, telling the story behind its newest and most fashionable products.

What’s the connection? Both brands have gone beyond the norm of retailers, creating a sort of news room circulating content pertaining to their respective industries. This will help create an army of “brand ambassadors” who will go to your site for more than just a sale, and will in turn recommend your site and products to their friends and family.

Maintaining a blog and combining it with a social media presence will create a culture of brand loyalists that wouldn’t dream of going to your competitors, even if they have a similar product. If you’re selling sporting goods, blog about the importance of using the right equipment on the field. And if you’re products are being used in a high-profile way like, if we’re using the sporting goods example, by a Major League player or in the Little League World Series, you’re darn right you better write about and publicize that!

Look, we know that writing isn’t everyone’s specialty. If you don’t have the budget to hire a content marketing specialist, you can always find a freelancer for a reasonable price. If you do write it on your own, make sure you read over your copy several times, or have a friend do it. Having typos or simple grammatical mistakes is a great way to look unprofessional.

If properly executed, your blog will keep customers coming back to your store again and again. Just keep the content fresh and at a high quality and watch the traffic—and sales—roll in!

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