Marketing your website is the final step to do when starting your eCommerce website. Your website will be one of 550,000 websites published on the day and joining a whopping 1.6 Billion other websites already on the net (MILL for Business, June 2018). So, how on earth will your website be found in the vastness of the internet?
Well, it’s marketing after all! Therefore you need a marketing strategy for your website. Intriguingly however is that you need to market your site for machines (web crawlers) to read and also for humans visiting your website.
However, here the marketing of your website for machines will be discussed.
Marketing your website for machines to find
The machine has no feelings, it feels no fear and no hope … it operates according to the pure logic of probability. For this reason I assert that the robot perceives more accurately than man. MAX FRISCH, Homo Faber: A Report
As you’re getting more familiar with your website and read about useful apps or plugins, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Paid Search (PPC) need special attention.
It will be ideal if your website’s link appears on the first page of Google when somebody is searching the web for products that you sell. Indeed, research shows that websites on the first search engine results page receive almost 95% of web traffic, leaving only 5% for remaining search results pages (Madeline Jacobson, Leverage Marketing).
So, you need to start practicing search engine marketing soon after you’ve published your website.
Search engine marketing
There are two approaches to get a higher ranking on a search engine result page. The first approach is Search Engine Optimization, a marketing discipline focused on growing visibility in organic (non-paid) search engine results. The second approach is Paid Search where you must pay for an ad to appear on the first page of the search engine’s result page.
Marketing your website using SEO will now be investigated.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the process and discipline of improving the quality and visibility of a website in order to increase its ranking in search engines, thereby increasing visitor traffic 1.
NEILPATEL gives the following guidelines to do SEO:
- Keywords – when it comes to keyword optimization, keep it simple – think of up to five keywords or keyword phrases for each page on your website and optimize for those. Also, if you’re not sure what keywords to use, try entering some preliminary ideas on Google’s AdWords Keyword Tool to get suggestions.
- Title Tag – the title tag on pages of your website tells search engines what the page is about. It should be 70 characters or less and include your business or brand name and keywords that relate to that specific page only.
- Meta Description – the meta description on pages of your website gives search engines a little more insight into what your page is about.
- Internal Links – link building isn’t just reserved for external sites linking to your website. You can help search engines learn more about your website by internally linking to other pages on your website within your content.
- Header Tags – are tags that help break the content into sections as well as let search engines know more about what each section of content is about.
- Image Name & ALT Tags – if you use images on your website, you should think of good keywords for both the image name and the alt tag.
- Bolded Text – occasionally bolding a selection of text to get a reader’s attention can also help search engines distinguish other important information and keywords in the page’s content.
If you are using WordPress then adding the tags and links are very easy. Furthermore, the Yoast SEO plugin will help you to optimize your website’s SEO.
But if you have money to spend, you may consider paying to get your website on the first page…
Marketing your website with Paid Search remains the easiest and fastest way to get traffic to your website. Generally speaking, the main function of using paid search with an engine revolves around your paying for ad placement. Like an auction, you bid on a term to show your ad in a paid system. The rule of thumb is that the higher your bid, the higher your ad placement is on the page at the search engine 2.
The most popular platform for Paid Search advertising (also known as paid per click [PPC])is arguably Google’s AdWords.
Perry Marshall, Mike Rhodes, and Bryan Todd writing in the Entrepreneur give the following steps on how to start with Google’s AdWords:
- Select your campaign type and name. First, choose the campaign type, then give your campaign a name.
- Choose the geographic location where you’d like ads to show. Next, decide how large or small a geographic area you want to target.
- Choose your “bid strategy,” and set your daily budget. Change the default “Bid strategy” to “I’ll manually set my bids for clicks.” This gives you more control and will help you learn AdWords at a greater level of understanding.
- Create your first ad group, and write your first ad. More people click on ads when the headline includes the keyword they’re searching on. So use your keywords in your headline when you can.
- Insert your keywords into the keyword field in your account. Paste in your keywords.
- Set your maximum cost-per-click. Set your maximum price-per-click now (called your “default bid”), but realize this: Every keyword is theoretically a different market, which means that each of your major keywords will need a bid price of its own. Google will let you set individual bids for each keyword later. It’s better to bid on low-cost keywords so that your ad can be seen by as many people as possible. Due to the limitations of any budget, if you’re going after high-priced keywords, you’ll exhaust your budget quickly and your ads will only be seen part of the day rather than for a full 24 hours.
- Review everything. Double-check your ad and keywords to be sure they’re the best possible match. Check your cost-per-click to be sure you get the positions on the page you want. Double check your daily budget to be sure you don’t unwittingly drain your bank account right out of the gate.
Marketing your website is for sure the most important thing to do after publishing your website. Indeed it’s part of my lifestyle – I’m doing it every day. Remember that search engines such as Google and Yahoo change their algorithms of how they select the usability of websites quite often. So, keep stay informed about the trends and surprises that are part of Search Engine Marketing.
Marketing your website for humans will be discussed in a subsequent blog.
A well researched and written Business Plan helps to get your business started the right way.
1 David, M. 2015. WordPress Search Engine Optimization, Packt Publishing Ltd.
2 Forrester, D. 2010. Turn Clicks Into Customers: Proven Marketing Techniques for Converting Online Traffic Into Revenue, McGraw-Hill.