ecommerce marketing basics

Ecommerce is a very attractive business model for a variety of reasons. It has low overhead, can be run by very few people, is easy to get started in, and brings with it, in some cases, the promise of a flow of revenue without ever having to handle the products. Sounds pretty simple to get set up, but the next step of finding customers is where many eCommerce businesses fail to get off the ground. That is where the eCommerce marketing basics come in. Knowing how to bring in sales right away and developing a long-term lead generation strategy takes a lot of know-how and lot of hard work to accomplish. Working on SEO, content marketing, email marketing, and advertising from the get-go will ensure you can compete with others in your industry and stay viable over time.

SEO

The reason SEO is the first major point in this article is because organic traffic should be the main source of orders for your eCommerce business. This doesn’t have to happen right away, in the beginning many businesses have to rely more heavily on paid advertising, but a majority organic orders should be your goal. If you get the infrastructure for SEO established early on with your website, you should expect the organic orders to grow and grow over time. With organic traffic being free and paid traffic being, well, paid, it should be pretty obvious why SEO is so important for eCommerce. No one wants to have to pay out x% of every single order in ad fees.

Product Pages

The working core of your eCommerce site is your product pages. Some websites have tens or products, some have tens of hundreds. Creating these product pages the proper way will colossally affect your SEO.

For each product page you absolutely must have a page title, product name, product description of 100+ words, images, and the meta information needs to be filled out properly. Select a good keyword (see this article if you aren’t sure how to do keyword research) and make sure that keyword is used in every part of your page – this is how people will find your product organically.

Content Marketing

Once the essential parts of your website are optimized for SEO, move onto a content marketing strategy. Google and other search engines like to see websites that are updated frequently and that offer a variety of engaging content. If you are not familiar with content marketing, it is a type of digital marketing that focuses on creating content like blog posts, infographics, how-to guides, and more that would be helpful or interesting to your target customers.

As far as what kind of content to create, put yourself in your target customer’s shoes and think about what sort of questions they might ask about your product or what they might find interesting related to your industry. For example, if you are an online refrigeration retailer, a guide to what size of refrigerator you might need based on the number of people in your household would make a great infographic. The idea is that by creating this infographic and sharing it out into the world, customers in the market for a new refrigerator might see this infographic, find it helpful, click back to your website to read more, and then make a purchase from you. Not only is content marketing a lead generation tool, but it is excellent for SEO too!

Build Your List!

One of the best marketing tools in eCommerce marketing basics is building an email list and emailing on a regular basis. The simplest way to do this is by gathering the email addresses of every customer you obtain, and sending them monthly/weekly emails about your new products, sales, etc.

A more advanced form of email marketing is creating some sort of lead generation tool on your website to gather the email addresses of those who are not yet customers. This can be done in the form of signing up to receive a coupon, downloading a how-to guide from your content marketing portfolio, or a variety of other techniques. By signing up for your lead gathering tool, you know these users are already somewhat interested in your product. You can now practice some “lead nurturing” and gently guide these leads into becoming customers.

Paid Advertising

The main ways to utilize paid advertising for your eCommerce business are social media and Google Ads. There are pros and cons to each platform for every type of product, so I usually recommend experimenting with both types of ads before you choose to go with one over the other.

Social Media

Generally, social media is better for consumable goods and things people don’t have just one of. Think clothes, food products, gifts, etc. Targeting in social media has been getting more and more vague with the privacy issues that keep arising, so the chances are that the audience who sees your ads in social media are not actively shopping for the product you sell. This is fine for impulse buy items, or products where it’s common to have multiple of, but this is not great for something like a mattress or fridge that most consumers only shop for when they need one.

Google Ads

Google Adwords or Google Shopping are generally great platforms for grabbing shoppers who already know when they want, and now you just need to convince them to buy it from you. Largely, Google Shopping is great for retailers, Adwords search campaigns are great for local businesses, and there is a lot of overlap and strategy to be developed in between. I highly recommend working with a Google Ads specialist to run your campaigns effectively. It is very easy to watch thousands go out the window if your campaigns are not set up in an effective way.

ECommerce Marketing Basics

Ecommerce businesses, when done right, can bring in great revenue with low costs. They are an ever-growing business model, but with that, competition is growing too. Keep your business in front of customers by investing in these eCommerce marketing basics. Following these tips will help you bring in some immediate revenue and develop a long-term method of bringing in leads as well!

how to do keyword research

Knowing how to do keyword research is one of the core pieces of an effective SEO strategy. Having an accurate idea of which keywords are attainable, which are just not worth going after, and the keywords that might be worth the long-term effort is invaluable information. Follow these essential steps to perform thorough keyword research.

It All Starts with a List

Start by making an initial list of what words and terms potential customers or visitors to your website would use to describe your business, or type into a search engine to find you. Include different ways to phrase things, different word orders, and some with regional keywords added, like “shoe repair phoenix” (if applicable to your business). Before you want to look at competition and search volume, first make sure you are wording things in ways that search engine users would.

Next, plug your terms into a service like SEOMoz or SEMRush and see what keywords are suggested based on your initial ideas. A free way to do this is to google your term and glance at the suggested searches at the bottom of the first page, but I recommend a paid tool. This will either tell you a more common way to phrase that keyword or can give you ideas for similar search terms to expand your list.

Modify and add to your list based on these suggestions until you have a list of terms you feel pretty confident are commonly searched and relevant to your website. These “keywords” can vary from one word to a 3-4 word phrase.

Narrow and Refine Your List

What you are Looking for in a Keyword

Ideally, you want to find that sweet spot of a keyword with high search volume and low competition (that are of course relevant to your website). These are your low hanging fruit and should be given priority as they won’t take a lot of time or effort to rank for. You don’t want to ignore really good keywords for your website thought that might have a lot of competition if they also have a high search volume. These will take longer to rank for and are more work, but if you have big plans for your website, what better time to start working towards those high value keywords than now?

Research the Volume of Searches

Before we start eliminating keywords we want to rank them by how often they are searched. Search volume has to be weighed against how stiff the competition is, so either create a scale to rate keywords on or just write down if the search volume seems high, low, or medium. Do take notes though, because in a moment we will compare the volume to the competition and start whittling the list down.

One way to check search volume is to type your keyword into Google Trends, but I prefer a paid tool like SEMRush or SEOMoz. However you do it, search volume is key to the strategy.

Look at the Competition

Next, to gauge the competitiveness of a keyword, you need to get an idea of who is ranking for a certain keyword and how good the page they are linking to is, and how good their entire website is. The weaker or less relevant the people already ranking are, the easier it will be for you to sneak in there and grab a top spot.

The long (free) way to do this is to type your keyword in a search engine and click some of the top 10-20 links. If all of the results are strong, healthy websites that are linking to pages directly relevant to the keyword, competition is stiff. If by search results 2 or 3 you already start to see web pages only vaguely talking about the search term, and websites that don’t seem updated often, competition is weak.

A tool that will do this for you will often have a scale of 1-100 gauging difficultly, or will tell you that competition is high, medium, or low for certain keywords. They take everything into account mentioned above (and then some) to arrive at these ratings.

Picking Your Priorities

Before you start picking the keywords you want to go after, take into account how strong your website is, how much time and resources you have to work on SEO, and what your goals are for organic traffic.

With all of that in mind, I recommend picking a handful of the low hanging fruit (high volume with low competition) keywords and a few of your extremely relevant keywords that probably have more competition. You can sort your keywords into groups based on priority, by how you want to implement them (these are for the blog, these are for website copy), or however works for you and your SEO strategy. Remember, the trick here is weighing search volume against competition, all while still keeping in mind how relevant of a keyword this seems to your website.

Update the List Every Few Months

The internet is a fickle place, so make sure you update your list often and re-arrange your priorities based on changes in competition in volume. These metrics are generally slow changing but can have major disruptions depending on current events, fads, websites shutting down and starting up, etc.

What Should a Digital Marketing Plan Consist Of

Every business owner knows they should have a digital marketing plan, but many don’t quite reach the step of getting something on paper and creating an implementation plan. Sure, having some sort of strategy swirling around in your head is better than nothing, but not much. Some common stallers in putting together a solid digital marketing plan include: How do you know which digital strategies apply to your industry? What is the most important thing to start working on today? What sort of ROI should I expect? How often do I need to work on it?

Every digital marketing plan is unique, but there are some core pieces that should be considered for every plan. As digital marketers that deal with a wide variety of industries, here are some key pieces we think every business owner needs to consider for their digital marketing plan.

Your Target Customers/Clients

Before you begin building your digital marketing plan, you must know who your target customer is. Your entire plan will be based around this person or “persona.” Some businesses only really have one specific type of person they target, while others can have several. For the sake of your digital marketing plan, just focus on one persona. If you have multiple target clients, select your largest segment.

Things to identify about your target customer/client:

  • What is their age and gender?
  • Where do they live – is it a specific part of the world, urban or rural, do they rent or buy, etc?
  • What is their socio-economic status?
  • What social media platforms do they use?
  • Where do they get their news?
  • Do they enjoy pomp and flashy advertising, or just want to get straight to the point?
  • Do they like to shop around or do they tend to commit to a purchase quickly?

By identifying exactly who this target person is and how and where they shop, many other parts of your plan will fall into line.

SEO

Since we are talking digital here, SEO is a necessary part of every single digital marketing plan out there. If you can’t get people to your website, you are failing before you ever begin. Work with a professional to identify good keywords to pursue in your field and begin building your website around that. This is something that you can DIY but it will take a decent amount of self-educating.

Yes, you can get users to your website tomorrow by simply paying for traffic through ads, but that is not a good idea as a long-term strategy – it is simply too expensive to be sustainable forever. A well-rounded digital marketing plan includes strategies to grow both paid and organic traffic.

Content is Still King

We have been hearing this phrase for a few years now, “content is king.” Well – it’s still true! Content, in the form of blog posts, videos, infographics, white papers, etc. continue to be an integral part of a digital marketing strategy. Content should be a part of your SEO strategy, your social media plan, and can even be part of paid ad campaigns.

Social Media (non-paid)

Social media should be included in your digital marketing plan, but how central it is to that plan will be based on your industry and your target customer. Young moms for instance are known to frequent Facebook and Instagram, but most 50-year-old male business owners only spend minimal time on social media. Consider your target persona and how they spend their time online.

Another factor to help you decide how much a part of your plan social media should be is, how visual is your product? Something like a clothing designer or event promoter will do great on social media, but if you are a massage therapist, there is not much regular engaging content to share online.

Experiment with social media and see if your page gains traction or if no one seems to want to follow you. Base the time and energy you put into social on the demand for your presence there.

Paid Advertising

The two main platforms for paid advertising are Google and Facebook. Paid ads are a great way to bring in immediate traffic and leads, but should be part of wider plan for lead generation. If you solely rely on paid advertising to generate revenue you will forever be stuck taking a huge chunk out of your bottom line to pay for ads. Investing in a diverse digital marketing plan with paid ads as just one part is the best way to go.

Implementation Calendar

After you decide what the components of your digital marketing plan will be, you must commit to an implementation schedule. Break the pieces of your plan down into tasks, and get them on a calendar! Then STICK to this calendar! If you just don’t have the time to stick to the plan and schedule you’ve outlined, hire someone else to do it for you. Consistency is key and a successful digital marketing plan takes a long-term effort.

A Digital Marketing Plan is Always Custom

There is no one-size-fits all digital marketing plan, if only it were that easy. Your plan will vary based on your industry, location, size, business goals, and many more factors.

There is a middle ground between completely DIY-ing your marketing plan and hiring a marketing employee/ agency. At Dualism Marketing, we offer a service where we work with you to create a custom digital marketing plan and schedule, but we can hand it back over to you to either implement yourself or split up between you and your team. Learn more here.

You’ve got a Google Adwords account, and you have Google Analytics set up for your website, but now how do you connect the two? It is a process that only takes about 2 minutes but is very important to do. After you link Google Adwords with Google Analytics, you will be able to see additional performance metrics of your ads and keywords in Adwords, can set up a re-marketing campaign, and can import your conversion goals.

How to Link Them

  1. Log in to a gmail account that has full access to your accounts in both Google Analytics and Adwords.
  2. Once in your analytics account, click the ADMIN button at the bottom left of the page, marked with a gear icon.

Link Google Adwords with Google Analytics 1

3. Once you are in settings, under the Property column, click on Adwords Linking.

Link Google Adwords with Google Analytics 3

4. Select the Adwords account you would like to link from the list of Adwords accounts associated with that email address.

Link Google Adwords with Google Analytics 4

5. On the next screen, turn on sharing for the view you would like to share. In this example it is called “All Website Data” but if you have set up multiple views they will appear here. Also check that yes, you would like to share your Analytics data with linked Adwords accounts.

Link Google Adwords with Google Analytics 5

6. Select Link Accounts and you are set! It can take 24-48 hours to populate in Adwords.

You will now be able to view valuable engagement metrics in Google Adwords, like bounce rates for certain keywords and session durations for each different ad. These aren’t the only reasons link Google Adwords with Google Analytics though. This next section will explain two more valuable ways you can now use Analytics and Adwords together.

Why Link Google Adwords with Google Analytics?

In addition to seeing your Analytics data like bounce rates and session durations in Adwords, you can also now set up re-marketing campaigns and import your goals into Adwords to enable conversion tracking. Let me explain why these two things are so important.

Re-Marketing

A re-marketing, or re-targeting, campaign is when you show ads to users who have visited your website in the past. These types of ads are excellent for pretty much every type of business. Seeing re-marketing ads will keep your business in front of people during their decision process and will help catch leads that weren’t quite ready to commit the first time they visited your website.

Now that your Analytics and Adwords accounts are linked, you can use Analytics to start building an audience to advertise to in Adwords. To learn how to do this, check out this article.

Importing Goals and Setting Up Conversion Tracking

If you have goals set up in Google Analytics, you can now import these goals into Adwords. You will do this in your Adwords account under Tools, and then under Conversions.

Link Google Adwords with Google Analytics importing goals

There you can select which of your goals from Analytics you would like to also be tracked in Adwords.

The benefits to setting up conversion tracking in Adwords is that you can now see which ads and keywords were associated with conversions, and if you’d like to, you can use some of the bidding strategies that require conversion tracking.

Linking Google Adwords with Google Analytics

Every business that is using both Adwords and Analytics should have these two accounts linked. It gives you a chance to better analyze your data which means better running campaigns and better spent money. It’s a small task many don’t even realize they need to manually do, but is well worth the 2 minutes it takes to do.

How Does Re-Targeting Work

Have you ever been browsing online and noticed an ad from a website with items you were just looking at? If you’re a business owner, your first thought was probably – this is genius! How can I show something like this to my website visitors? These ads are called re-targeting ads and are an important part of a digital marketing strategy. For those without the knowhow though, these sorts of ads can seem challenging to set up. So how do re-targeting ads work?

The Basics of How Re-Targeting Ads Work

There are a few different ad platforms that do re-targeting ads, but by far the most popular way, with the furthest reach, is through Google Adwords. Here is the basic concept of how it works: when you visit a website that has re-targeting set up, you/ your browser is given a cookie, which is essentially a tracker marking that you have visited that website. The website owner is then able to tell Google to show ads specifically to people who have that cookie. So, when you continue on your way to other websites, Google knows to populate the ads you are shown on their partner websites with ads from the website that tracked you as visitor.

How to Set up Google Re-Targeting Ads

Re-targeting ads that show up on seemingly random website are more than not created with Google Adwords. Google has a network of partner websites that make money by showing ads on their websites.

As a business owner, to set up re-targeting ads through Google, you need two things set up first:

  • Google Analytics
  • Google Adwords

Once you have both Google accounts created and linked to your website, the steps to create a re-targeting ad are as follows:

  1. Create an “audience” in Analytics to begin tracking website visitors. If you sell individual products, setting up an audience for each main category is a good idea, while if you only sell one product/service, just tracking all website users together should be good.
  2. In Adwords (make sure you analytics account is linked to Adwords) create a Display Ad campaign.
  3. When selecting who the ad will be shown to, select the audience you created in Analytics.
  4. Then, create the ads you’d like to show. Keep them consistent with your audience; if you are showing ads to all website users, keep them general. If you have a few audiences based on specific products, show them ads related to those products.
  5. You are all set to begin re-targeting! Your audience must reach 100 users before ads are shown, but if everything is set up correctly, the ads will automatically begin showing once you reach 100 users in your audience.

Why Re-Targeting Works So Well

While the first step in digital marketing is simply to get visitors to your website, getting a conversion is easier said than done. Many of your daily website visitors might just be doing preliminary research before they make a purchase, might be interested but need more time to think about a purchase, or might even have all intentions of buying from you but get sidetracked and forget where they found you. Since so few industries have an instantaneous conversion windows, that is where re-targeting comes in. By setting up re-targeting ads, you can stay only a click away for customers that want to return to your website and learn more or make a purchase. Conversion rates on re-targeting ads are higher than general search ads, and often even cost less. They are a no-brainer for businesses in the 21st century!

How to Optimize Facebook Ads

You just set up your first Facebook ad campaign, picked a budget, wrote some copy, selected a few images, then a week goes by… maybe two… but no leads. You think your ads seems great, and you are getting clicks, but no one seems to be converting. What’s the issue?

If you are going through a scenario like this, you aren’t alone. Facebook can be an amazingly effective advertising tool when utilized well, but can be a big cash burner if you don’t know how to optimize Facebook ads. Take a look at the 3 top things I focus on when trying to beef up under-performing ads –targeting, ad content, and your landing page.

Narrow Down Your Targeting

One of the biggest challenges, but also most powerful tools, in Facebook advertising is targeting. If your ads aren’t getting in front of the right people, you will waste dollar after dollar on clicks that aren’t converting. If you’re a credit union trying to get more home loan applications, chances are that a 75 year old retiree is not going to be among your typical clientele – so don’t waste any money showing ads to them. Instead, narrow your targeting down as much as you can by demographic (while still staying in 6 digit potential reach estimates).

If you aren’t completely sure who your target client is, run some split tests to determine the age range, income level, marital status, location, etc. of who is the most likely to convert at the lowest cost. Facebook’s new split test feature allows you to evenly test an ad to groups with one variable in each test. For example, you can show the same ad to 25-35 year olds and to 35-45 year olds to easily see which age group responds better. Test and test until you’ve come up with a fairly specific person to target. 30-35 year old married women who graduated from college will still be a huge amount of people to advertise to. Only spend your valuable ad dollars on those who have the best possible change of converting.

Test Your Ad Content

Video, carousal, or single image? The ad type that performs best can vary based on your product or service. In general, carousals and videos are preferred over images, but a really killer single image can still compete well.

What’s the best way to find out what sort of ad, and what content is the most effective? Split test! Run however many tests you need to feel like you’ve landed on the best ad to get you good leads and a low cost per result. I would start by testing a video against a carousal against a single image. Then, once you’ve decided on the format, test out different copy to accompany the ad, or perhaps different videos or images against each other.

Once you have the best performing ad, pair it with your best demographic, and you should have a winning combination.

How is Your Landing Page?

If you settle on a great ad and find your best demographic, but your clicks still aren’t converting, the next thing to check is your landing page. Are you driving clickers to a page with a clear purpose? Does the page match the content and vibe of your ad? Poor conversions could be due to not having a clear call-to-action on the landing page. If your landing page doesn’t provide a continuous experience from your ad, that could be the problem too. If someone clicks an ad with an offer for 10%, but doesn’t see anything about that at the top of the landing page, 9 times out of 10 you will lose that lead immediately.

How to Optimize Facebook Ads

Don’t give up on Facebook ads just yet. When leveraged well, social media advertising can give you the lowest cost-per-acquisition out there and get you in front of a huge audience. Take some time each week to watch ad performance and tweak here and there where needed. Don’t be afraid to run tests often to refine your ads and targeting whenever you see that CPR getting a little too high.

Etsy Photography Tips

When it comes to selling on Etsy, one of the most important features of your listings is the images of your product. It can be challenging to get good photos though, especially if you’d like to take them yourself. They way your items look in your photos is the main deciding factor for a purchaser. It is absolutely vital to take photos that are both flattering and informative. As a successful Etsy shop owner, here are a few of my best Etsy photography tips. I’ve also included links to the items I use to help me get stunning photos, every time.

Have the Right Supplies

White Foam Boards

It may seem a little odd to have white foam boards on the top of my list of photography supplies, but I have found a lot of uses for these guys. If you’re not sure what I mean, this is the sort of board I am referring to. I have used them as backgrounds, light reflectors, and underneath my light box to stabilize the products. They are inexpensive and very handy to have around for photography.

Tripod

Whether you are using your cell phone with a good camera, or a professional camera, always use a tripod to achieve the best photos. Using a tripod gives you the ability to adjust your product and lighting until you get it perfect. Every time your camera moves, you are getting a slightly different angle and lighting. It is nearly impossible to get a photo perfect when every time you adjust, your camera is moving too.

Tripods are not very expensive and fold up for easy storage. I use one made for my cell phone, I bought it on Amazon here.

Photo Light Box

For most items, a foldable studio tent is the best way to get amazing images from all angles. As I photograph glass, it was absolutely vital for me to get one. This is the one I got from Amazon – it comes with lights and different options for background colors as well. With a light box, you can set up a seamless white background and create soft, diffused light for your items. I don’t have photoshop on my personal computer so getting perfect photos with just my camera was important to me.

Lighting

When photographing merchandise, natural lighting is ideal. If you are able to go the natural route, either set up your light box near a bright window or set up your own little studio. One way I sometimes photograph my items is by using a few white foam boards and working with surfaces I already have. If you have a table with a nice, plain surface, move it over to a well-lit area and set up one of your foam boards as a background. This is great set up when creating lifestyle photos for home décor.

If you have trouble with natural lighting, or like me have to photograph glass, try using small photography lights with your light box. The light box I use is designed to diffuse the light to prevent glares and shadows, so I am able to get my products better lit with photography lights than with natural light.

What Sort of Photos to Take

For each item, I would recommend putting up five to seven photos. Take at least three showing it at various angles (including the back, even if there’s nothing there), at least one close up, and at least one “lifestyle” image. A lifestyle image shows your product in action in a flattering way. For example, if you were selling a headband, take a photo of the headband being worn by a stylish model. Give users an example of what the product could look like on them or in their home.

Work to have your photos looks as professional as possible. If you aren’t quite sure how to make your image look professional, look up online businesses that sell similar products for ideas. For your merchandise photos, use as plain a setting as possible. Do not have any glares on your products and beware of reflections when using glass. Never settle for “good enough” when it comes to photography; work until you capture the best representation of your image as possible.

Etsy Photography Tips

These tips should get you on your way to taking professional quality images for Etsy shop at home. Have any tips to add? Let me know in the comments!

marketing on etsy

For Etsy sellers, especially those new to the game, getting your listings found by potential customers is half of the battle. You may have an amazing product at a competitive price, but without any marketing or SEO, it will never be seen. There are marketing tools within Etsy to help your listings appear in searches, but there is a lot you can do outside of the paid options to help as well. Below are some tactics for marketing on Etsy that I have used in my own shop and gotten great results!

Marketing Within Etsy

Use Strategic Names and Descriptions

The most basic step in getting your Etsy listings found is to give your products names with good keywords, and then to mention those keywords again in the description. To help you find great keywords for your products, put yourself in the shoes of your customer. What would they type into google or Etsy to search for your product? Check phrases that come to mind by testing them in a Google and Etsy search. Are the products that come up similar to yours, or completely different?

Here is an example of how you can refine a product name: Imagine you sold handmade puppets. If you had a princess puppet, your first instinct might be to name it it’s actual name, “Princess Aurora.” The reason you wouldn’t want to leave the name at this though, is that your puppet will only show up if someone searches “Princess Aurora.” This person would be looking for anything – a Princess Aurora dress, a kid’s bet set, or even a painting of Princess Aurora. A name this vague could bring up any number of things. Instead of naming your product literally the name of that item, focus on how a customer will find you. They would probably start with a search more like “handmade puppet” or “princess toys” or “puppets for kids.”

Once you have search engine friendly keywords, work them into your product title along with the item’s literal name. You can develop your own style, but I like to write titles like this: “Princess Aurora // Handmade Puppet // Fairy Tale Toys // Puppets for Kids.” That way, you can grab people searching a few different ways that could lead them your item. Use those key phrases you researched again in the description, and voila! You just used SEO to get found on Etsy.

Paid Marketing on Etsy – Promoted Listings and Google AdWords

There are a few paid marketing options on Etsy, those being Promoted Listings and Google AdWords. Promoted Listings increase your chances of being seen within Etsy, and Google AdWords will show your listings when someone searches a relevant term in Google.

Promoted Listings is a great tool if you are brand new to Etsy or have a decent sized advertising budget to work with. I personally stopped using Promoted Listings once I was able to show up on the first page of relevant search terms by my titles and descriptions alone. But, if you are selling a super competitive product, or are too new to show up on the first page with just your title and description, consider using promoted listings.

Google AdWords through Etsy takes your products into a whole new market. It is possible to show up in Google listings organically (for free), but with paid ads, you will get a lot more traffic. I still use AdWords for my top selling products, but I keep a close eye on the cost vs. my sales through AdWords. AdWords definitely helps get more traffic, but its not necessary to get sales if it starts to really cut into your margins.

Marketing Outside of Etsy

Social Media

The simplest way to market outside of Etsy is through social media. Instagram, Facebook, and even Twitter can be great platforms to show followers a “behind the scenes” look at your process and promote your products. Simply take photos here and there as you work and of new items and post them to these platforms. There is a great community of Etsy sellers out there (especially on Instagram) and a strategic use of hashtags will help you reach potential customers too.

If you have a good advertising budget to play with, social media paid advertising can draw in a lot of business to your Etsy page. Paid social advertising is a step I would recommend after the two paid methods inside of Etsy, though. It takes more work to set up and can require a decent budget to take hold.

Marketing on Etsy

Selling on Etsy can be a great way to bring in additional income, or even as a full-time gig. Finding success on Etsy, though, is not just about having a great product. To really bring orders you have to know how to get your shop found by potential customers. Spending time marketing on Etsy will ensure you are doing all you can to keep those orders rolling in!

why does seo matter

For those not familiar with the inner-workings of website traffic and Google algorithms, SEO can be one of those things that everyone tells you to pay attention to, but you aren’t really sure why it’s important. SEO may seem like a complex topic, but it has one central goal: to attract more traffic to your website. Search engine optimization (or SEO) is, essentially, the strategy used to bring organic traffic to your website. So why does SEO matter? Well, you want to get users to your website, right?

What is Organic Traffic?

First of all, what is organic traffic, and why do I want it? Organic traffic is defined by how users get to your website. There is paid traffic (from ads or paid advertising), there is referral traffic (a link to your website from another website, for example, from Facebook), and then there is organic traffic. Organic traffic is when someone naturally, or “organically,” comes to your website. This happens through search engines, like Google.

When someone searches for something relevant to your website, they will naturally see your website in the search results. That is the idea, at least. The problem here though, is that if your website is not set up or maintained in a way the search engines like, your website will be overlooked. This is where knowledge of SEO or use of an SEO consultant is key – many of the things search engines look for in a website would not be obvious to those with little knowledge of how search engines work.

Benefits of Organic Traffic

Organic traffic is the most desirable type of traffic. Why? Because it’s free! Of course, you have to spend time and resources working to get your website to a good place SEO-wise, but you don’t have to pay a penny for users that finds your website organically. The best part is, the more you work on your SEO, your organic traffic will increase exponentially. If search engines see more and more traffic coming to your site organically, they will give your website a higher rank in search results. So, the better you are at attracting organic traffic, the easier it will become to get it.

SEO as a Long-Term Strategy

SEO is not a one-and-done type of project. It is an on-going strategy that will bring in more traffic the longer you do it. SEO is important in everything from the way your website is set up, to the copy on each web page, to how often you update your website.

So why does SEO matter? Not only is it absolutely vital in getting users to your website, but it’s a strategy that snowballs overtime. The more time and effort you put into SEO now, the more benefits you will reap down the line!

How Soon Can a New Website Rank

So you just launched a new website. You’ve been working on filling it out and creating great content, but you still are getting next-to-no organic traffic. What gives? Well, it turns out that where a website ranks in search engine result pages has a lot to do with time. So how soon can a new website rank?

According to ahrefs, who crawls nearly as many pages as Google, the average page ranking in the Top 10 of search engine results is at least 2 years old. In fact, only 22% of pages that currently rank in the Top 10 were created within 1 year. And to give you even more perspective, pages in the #1 spot are, on average, almost 3 years old.

So this means two main things:

  1. Don’t get discouraged if you aren’t ranking yet, these things take time!
  2. Start your SEO strategy as soon as possible. The sooner you start, the sooner you rank.

Factors of How Websites Rank

It is possible to rank earlier or later than 2 years due to the many factors that go into SEO. If you are determined to rank in your first year, pay close attention.

Competition

When you are working to rank in search engines, you are essentially just trying to beat those who are trying to rank for the same keywords. If your competition is stiff, it can take more than 2 years for your website to rank, and less if your keywords don’t have a lot of competition.

A way to work around this is to pick easy-to-get keywords while your website is young. Still build towards those big keywords with lots of traffic and lots of competition, but also make sure you go after some easier, possibly only loosely relevant keywords. This will make sure you get at least some traffic in your first year.

The Quality of Your website

Do you have a lot of broken links, pages without meta descriptions, or hardly any content? Making sure that your website is well built and well maintained is a big factor in how soon you can rank. It’s important that users that reach your website don’t leave immediately because of a bad website. Search engines will notice a high bounce rate and penalize you for it.

Updating your content regularly and adding new pages consistently is key to SEO. The larger your website becomes over time the sooner one or more of those pages can rank. When you write content for your website and new pages, be sure they are keyworded well. Do your research and work the keywords in naturally.

Don’t Try to “Cheat” Search Engines

Perhaps you think you found a loophole, or someone told you about a sneaky strategy to get to the top page of search results. Don’t waste your time on any methods to try and “game” the system. Google and others will catch on (usually pretty soon) and close the loophole. They are never left open for long, and maybe you can get to the first page for a day or two, but once they notice not only will you be back where you started, but you might even be worse off. Search Engines now see your website as spammy and untrustworthy and it will take even longer to gain their trust back.

Using a good old content marketing strategy and SEO to build up your website is the best method to one day have a website that will bring in huge numbers of daily organic traffic. Organic traffic is incredibly sustainable. It might take time and effort to reach the front page of SERPs, but once you are there, you will have more traffic coming in than you will know what to do with.