Advertising

Five Pro Tips to Setting Up an Online Shop

Advertising
Five Pro Tips to Setting Up an Online Shop

With creating a personal website being easier than ever, the trend is still swinging wildly upward when it comes to the “everyday-people” building anything from a personal blog or a small online shop, to even soon-to-be huge companies (we all wish, anyways). No longer is your website just the gateway into your business; it’s a one-stop marketing/buying/publication/customer service shop. In that way, your website really does hold the key to growing the exact kind of business and lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of.

shutterstock_85858168

    Optimizing your site for conversions is one thing when you’re a web designer or developer, but it’s another thing entirely for the rest of us. While you could certainly learn some basic code to up your game, it’s best to save the landing page design for the designers, and focus on the marketing strategies you can do on your own. Here are five things you can’t afford not to consider.

    Advertising

    1. Brand Yourself

    With the world open to you via the web, there’s a place for just about every niche, and even among those that are already crowded, there’s always room for one more unique and compelling voice. To really brand yourself, you’ve got to:
    Find a niche and stay there. If you already have expertise in or passion for something, great; start there. For most website owners, however, I can guarantee you that your supposed niche is too broad because, well, that’s just the way newbie entrepreneurs roll. Use the Google keyword tool to find what your audience is searching for, narrowing in on keywords with high search volumes and low competition rates. Then adjust accordingly based on Google Analytics data (see below) or according to the levels of user engagement. And don’t worry, you can always expand your focus later. Better to start narrow and widen from there than to be known (or not known at all) as the Jack of all trades, master of none.
    Establish your distinctive voice. Remember the days when the personal and the professional were to be kept entirely separate? Yeah, not when you’re running a website in a flooded market. If you have a distinctive sense of humor, use it (as long as it’s not too offensive). If you’re great at telling stories, tell them. If you’re an expert in law enforcement issues and work at an ironing board rather than a desk, become the iron desk law officer. Draw comics. Share photos. Get up close and personal with followers on social media. This is one case in which being as distinctively you as possible is more than just a confidence booster.

    2. Make an Editorial Calendar

    editorial cal

      One of the most assured ways to get noticed online is to have an SEO-minded content strategy. Developing an editorial calendar is a great method for keeping your site engaging and keyword rich, while also encouraging conversions. Great content, after all, is just the thing you need to pull casual visitors into a newsletter sales funnel. A few things to think about:
      Establish goals from the get-go. Are you looking to sell products? How about advertising space? Or are you just looking to build an engaged community or establish yourself as an expert so that you can secure better jobs? Clarify it upfront, and let these goals guide your content strategy.

      Advertising


      Use data to brainstorm. Sure, you can free associate for a while, but most often, the best ideas come out of the data. Look up important dates in the industry to be sure you have something relevant to write around that time. Again, use Google Adwords to get a better sense of what customers are asking, and then use that to brainstorm expertise posts. Build in time for brand-building personal posts, guest posts, experimental or themed posts, and spontaneous posts for whatever comes up during the year. While the monthly and weekly template calendars at the Content Marketing Institute are useful, those a regular calendar can work just as well.

      3. Do Some Market Research

      Before you can target your audience, you have to know who they are and what makes them tick. How else are you going to not only hook them into your site, but also motivate them to answer your calls to action? A good look into demographics and psychographics will be well worth the effort. A few good questions to ask:
      ● Where do my customers live?
      ● What is their level of income?
      ● What level of education do they have?
      ● What are their hobbies, interests, and personalities?
      ● What is their biggest problem?
      ● Do they have kids?
      ● What do they really want to know?
      ● [Insert your questions here, gleaned from your industry expertise].

      Amazon’s Ecommerce Software offers some great case studies for those looking to do a little homework on people who have already gone through the entire process.

      Advertising

      4. Monitor Bounce Rates with Analytics

      Launching a successful website is like doing a science experiment. Your first launch is for your first set of hypotheses, and then it’s time to do your measurements and adjust accordingly. For a good grounding in analytics, I highly recommend reading this excellent Google Analytics guide, which covers everything from getting going to advanced subjects, like setting up segment reporting.

      While you’ll use your Google Analytics dashboard to adjust your SEO strategies, one of the most important things you can track will be your bounce rate, which is, essentially, when someone visits your page once and never returns. This can indicate a lack of interest in the content on your site, or a deep interest in only that single landing page as opposed to further material or products located deeper in the site. If you’re seeing high bounce rates, you might want to tweak your Calls to Action and make sure they appear above the fold, while also linking to more of your own internal pages throughout your posts. You’ll also want to pay attention to the posts where users spend the most time and consider adding more of similar content.

      5. Test the Speed of Your Site

      Advertising

      site speed

        Plain and simple: speed matters. If your site doesn’t load in a matter of seconds, that viewer will be out of there. Since many users have outdated modems, you’ll have to account for a wide range of connections, ensuring that your site takes no more than 8 seconds to load on a 56K modem. That’s a tricky thing when you’re simultaneously trying to engage viewers with large photos or videos. Test out your site speed with a site speed tester, and if it’s too slow, consider hosting your site with a Content Distributed Network (CDN), which powers faster site speeds, video encoding, and video streaming.

        Along the same lines, make sure that your site layout is intuitive. Users shouldn’t have to (and won’t) click more than a few times to get to where they want to go. Get ‘em in there quick.

        Take-Away

        There’s a lot to do when you’re marketing a new website, but starting with these five basic tips is a great way to get going. Plus, they’re fun to do, too, as you find your site’s distinctive personality. Explore these various techniques, and see what takes!

        Advertising

        More by this author

        How to Encourage Youthful Entrepreneurship Parenting Advice You Really Should (and Shouldn’t) Follow How to Protect Your Privacy on Your Mobile Devices How to Increase Your Chances of Smiling During the Day How To Sell More On Etsy

        Trending in Work

        1 20 Ways to Describe Yourself in a Job Interview 2 How to Start a Side Hustle While Keeping Your Full-Time Job 3 Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career 4 How To Boost Employee Motivation During Difficult Times 5 7 Effective Ways To Motivate Employees in 2021

        Read Next

        Advertising
        Advertising

        Last Updated on November 15, 2021

        20 Ways to Describe Yourself in a Job Interview

        Advertising
        20 Ways to Describe Yourself in a Job Interview

        “Please describe yourself in a few words”.

        It’s the job interview of your life and you need to come up with something fast. Mental pictures of words are mixing in your head and your tongue tastes like alphabet soup. You mutter words like “deterministic” or “innovativity” and you realize you’re drenched in sweat. You wish you had thought about this. You wish you had read this post before.

        Advertising

          Image Credit: Career Employer

          Here are 20 sentences that you could use when you are asked to describe yourself. Choose the ones that describe you the best.

          Advertising

          “I am someone who…”:

          1. “can adapt to any situation. I thrive in a fluctuating environment and I transform unexpected obstacles into stepping stones for achievements.”
          2. “consistently innovates to create value. I find opportunities where other people see none: I turn ideas into projects, and projects into serial success.”
          3. “has a very creative mind. I always have a unique perspective when approaching an issue due to my broad range of interests and hobbies. Creativity is the source of differentiation and therefore, at the root of competitive advantage.”
          4. “always has an eye on my target. I endeavour to deliver high-quality work on time, every time. Hiring me is the only real guarantee for results.”
          5. “knows this job inside and out. With many years of relevant experience, there is no question whether I will be efficient on the job. I can bring the best practices to the company.”
          6. “has a high level of motivation to work here. I have studied the entire company history and observed its business strategies. Since I am also a long-time customer, I took the opportunity to write this report with some suggestions for how to improve your services.”
          7. “has a pragmatic approach to things. I don’t waste time talking about theory or the latest buzz words of the bullshit bingo. Only one question matters to me: ‘Does it work or not?'”
          8. “takes work ethics very seriously. I do what I am paid for, and I do it well.”
          9. “can make decisions rapidly if needed. Everybody can make good decisions with sufficient time and information. The reality of our domain is different. Even with time pressure and high stakes, we need to move forward by taking charge and being decisive. I can do that.”
          10. “is considered to be ‘fun.’ I believe that we are way more productive when we are working with people with which we enjoy spending time. When the situation gets tough with a customer, a touch of humour can save the day.”
          11. “works as a real team-player. I bring the best out of the people I work with and I always do what I think is best for the company.”
          12. “is completely autonomous. I won’t need to be micromanaged. I won’t need to be trained. I understand high-level targets and I know how to achieve them.”
          13. “leads people. I can unite people around a vision and motivate a team to excellence. I expect no more from the others than what I expect from myself.”
          14. “understands the complexity of advanced project management. It’s not just pushing triangles on a GANTT chart; it’s about getting everyone to sit down together and to agree on the way forward. And that’s a lot more complicated than it sounds.”
          15. “is the absolute expert in the field. Ask anybody in the industry. My name is on their lips because I wrote THE book on the subject.”
          16. “communicates extensively. Good, bad or ugly, I believe that open communication is the most important factor to reach an efficient organization.”
          17. “works enthusiastically. I have enough motivation for myself and my department. I love what I do, and it’s contagious.”
          18. “has an eye for details because details matter the most. How many companies have failed because of just one tiny detail? Hire me and you’ll be sure I’ll find that detail.”
          19. “can see the big picture. Beginners waste time solving minor issues. I understand the purpose of our company, tackle the real subjects and the top management will eventually notice it.”
          20. “is not like anyone you know. I am the candidate you would not expect. You can hire a corporate clone, or you can hire someone who will bring something different to the company. That’s me. “

          Featured photo credit: Tim Gouw via unsplash.com

          Advertising

          Advertising

          Read Next