How to promote an online store.

Attracting and retaining customers, various advertising methods and website SEO-optimization require certain knowledge and skills. If you act haphazardly, then the result will be short-lived, or not at all. Therefore, we share systemic recommendations on the main methods of promotion and how to promote an online store yourself.

We will tell you how to start promoting an online store and what working methods of promoting an online store to use to attract traffic and increase sales.

From the article you will learn:

Who should be promoting.

You can act independently, or you can order the promotion of an online store from a contractor. Each option has pros and cons.

Effectively promoting an online store with your own hands is possible, but it will take time. At the same time, you can transfer some of the laborious tasks to specialists – so as not to delve deeply into the specifics of copywriting, SEO and programming.

In the case of working with contractors, you do not need to understand all the intricacies, but you will have to spend money. How to work with contractors correctly and what nuances to take into account – we will tell you along the way.

The main work to promote an online store.

The main list of tasks for website promotion should include:

Adding a site to the price aggregator. Setting up contextual advertising. Optimization of SEO-site settings. External SEO promotion. Advertising in social networks or SMM.

These promotion methods are not limited, but they are enough to make a profit.

Price aggregator.

Price aggregators are catalog services where users can compare the price of a product from different online stores. At the same time, not only prices are displayed, but also the rating of the store and customer reviews about it. Therefore, the choice does not always fall on the lowest price offer.

After creating a site, you can add it to the price aggregator. This way you can receive your first orders almost immediately.

To add an online store to a price aggregator, you need to follow three steps:

Register on the site. Conclude cooperation agreements. Upload the price list of the store to the site.

This method works if you offer highly competitive popular products. If you have a unique product, it is better not to post it on such resources.

You don’t need to add an online store to all possible resources. It is better to post it on the most popular and visited ones. For the Ukrainian audience, it is relevant to use the following price aggregators: hotline.ua, obyava.ua, price.ua, sravni.ua.

Contextual advertising for an online store.

The main goal of the first launch of contextual advertising in Google Adwords is to collect data for further work. That is, you need to understand if an online store is capable of selling before investing in other types of advertising.

If you have no experience with Google Adwords, then it is better to immediately contact a specialist and here’s why:

You can most likely waste your advertising budget. Take a lot of time to set everything up. The specialist will ask for $ 75-500 one-time – it all depends on the skills, tasks and scope of work. You can spend many times more money and time to figure it out: several paid courses and 2-3 months to study.

We advise you to create an account in your Google Ads office yourself and provide the contractor with access to it. This must be done to insure yourself against unpleasant situations.

What you need to do your first ad test:

Find a contractor. Use search to find a studio or freelancer. You can also see our recommendations.

Set a task. First, you need to set up ads based on commercial requests for product category pages with the maximum range and a more attractive price than competitors. Usually these are search queries that include the words “order”, “buy”, “price”.

Run ads and wait. Take your time to analyze your 20-click ad results and don’t jump to conclusions. It is impossible to name specific numbers by which you will understand that the ad worked. Everything is very individual: it depends on the niche, category, advertising budgets, purchase cycle. Discuss interim results with the contractor. If you think it is worth double-checking his actions, consult with another contractor.

After that, analyze this data:

Average cost of 1 visit to the site, or user cost. Conversion cost, ROI, ROI. Here you need to further analyze your niche in order to understand which indicator to strive for. There are also reports on average conversion rates for niches and product categories, such as those done by large agencies. But this is nothing more than just statistics that does not speak of efficiency. For example, you can look at the 2019 ecommerce market research in Central and Eastern Europe. Conversion / transaction cost for 1 paid item. This will allow you to understand how much you need to invest in order to receive at least one order.

Remember, advertising rarely pays off immediately and in direct sales estimates. There are niches and categories that do not pay off even for several years. A test launch failure can be evidenced by many factors, which also depend on your niche and product category.

In general, you can get quick results from contextual advertising with little investment, but here a lot depends on the topic.

Minuses :

Payment for each transition. Formation of bids per click based on the auction principle. With high competition, there may be no profit.

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SEO optimization of an online store.

It is important to understand that the promotion of an online store in search engines is a constant work on improving the internal and external factors, on which the results of a site’s ranking in search engines depend. This is how you work to increase the number of user clicks from search to the site.

In order to independently engage in SEO optimization, you need to read at least one sensible book on SEO promotion or take a basic free video course. This knowledge will also help to control and understand the work of contractors if you decide to delegate the task to specialists.

Optimization and promotion of an online store includes the following SEO tasks:

Collecting keywords for which the site will be optimized: creating a semantic core of the site. Creation of the structure of the site categories based on the semantic core. Writing SEO-texts for the site: you will additionally need a copywriter. Optimization of the technical part of the site. For example, fixing website engine errors that negatively affect SEO is a task for a programmer. Writing meta tags. Optimizing images. Adding a site to Google Webmaster Tools. SEO audit.

You can find more information on SEO optimization in the thematic section of our blog.

If you decide to trust an SEO specialist, then there are several options for cooperation.

Option 1. Optimization of an online store in an online marketing agency.

It is better to look for a studio according to the recommendations of your friends. At the same time, it is important to get factual data on its work: traffic growth indicators for a certain period, how many words and for what period it was possible to promote it to the TOP 10 of Google, after what period the investments in SEO-promotion paid off – but here a lot depends on the topic. Also look for real testimonials about your chosen contractor.

It is necessary to supply the studio with the correct technical specification. It’s not enough to say, “Optimize my site.” This approach will not generate income. Examples of correct tasks:

Get more sales from your SEO channel. Increase organic traffic for the online store to the clusters of pages of interest. Analyze the reasons for low positions in high- and medium-frequency queries. Develop an action plan to bring targeted queries to the TOP.

In addition, at the start, you need to determine the KPIs by which the work will be monitored.

After the task is completed, it is important to understand that everything was done correctly. The main KPIs to track include:

Semantic core visibility. Keyword positions. Website traffic. Brand traffic growth. Achieving goals or conversions. The cost of the targeted action. Visitor acquisition cost. ROI indicator. Behavioral factors.

If you do not have the necessary SEO knowledge, order an audit with a third-party SEO specialist to identify gross mistakes made by the studio. If a specialist finds them, you have every right to submit the report to the studio that did the site optimization.

It is important to understand that the main task is to optimize the website as high-quality as possible, and not to poke a studio’s nose into flaws. Everyone has their own methods of work, so each SEO-specialist will find “mistakes” in the work of the other. Therefore, it is important to get detailed explanations of the audit from the studio that did the optimization.

Option 2. Working with a freelancer.

There are even more freelancers on the market than studios. Therefore, here, too, be guided by the recommendations of friends. When working with a freelancer, it is important to consider the following points:

Check out the portfolio. View online resources promoted and optimized by this specialist. Get “live” reviews. Chat with freelance clients if possible. Set deadlines on the project with a margin. The specialist does everything himself, and the deadlines can be delayed. Enter into a contract.

A freelancer is usually contacted if you need to save as much as possible. Therefore, it is unlikely that you will apply for an audit of the work done, because this will entail additional costs. Then you need some SEO knowledge to check it out for yourself.

Option 3. Hiring an SEO specialist on the staff.

An experienced professional of a good level will require a fee slightly higher than the average agency. At the same time, an SEO studio can have 6-12 projects at the same time. And your SEO employee will only work on your tasks. If your budget doesn’t allow for that salary, you can find a freelancer.

SEO promotion can seem expensive at the start of a project. But it has a big impact on sales. And the profitability of this channel will grow every month with the right strategy. Using this promotion method, you get a number of benefits:

You do not have to pay for each transition of a user to the site. The return on investment will continue to rise.

External promotion of an online store.

When you have optimized the site for all the keywords, you can proceed to building inbound links from other sites to your resource.

Consider important points for building inbound site links: place your site’s links on other resources only in unique articles.

Keep in mind that the article where the link is posted must be relevant in relation to your resource.

Write articles on behalf of your site: Use promotional articles for your online store.

Focus on the ratio of your competitors’ anchor and non-anchor links. Learn more about what anchor and non-anchor links are.

Then you can post external links yourself:

Register with one of the article marketing systems. Understand how this service works. Contact a copywriter for writing articles for links. Submit articles.

This approach will save money. A studio or a freelancer will do this for money: on average, the cost of placing 1 link with a unique text is $ 12-15.

If you are ready to do the optimization yourself, then first you need to learn how to select an article marketing system or donor sites and distinguish good resources from bad ones.

Our article will help you with this: ➔ How to select donors.

SMM for an online store.

Another type of advertising for a site is SMM promotion of an online store, that is, advertising on social networks. This method is more suitable for getting to know the brand and finding an interested audience.

Businesses are usually advertised on Facebook and Instagram.

You can figure out on your own how to promote an online store on social networks. But it should be said that the advertising tools in them are constantly changing. Therefore, it is sometimes difficult to find up-to-date instructions for using these tools. It will be easier to pay a one-time fee in the region of $ 100 for a complete ad setup.

The main channels for promoting an online store in social networks:

Targeted ads will give you:

Access to a very large audience. The ability to increase the number of brand subscribers in addition to sales. The effect of content dissemination by users themselves. Flexible and wide targeting settings. Very low threshold for advertising start.

Due to the variability of display algorithms, it is difficult to predict the results of a targeted campaign. Combine contextual and targeted advertising to get a wide audience reach.

Type in a keyword into the search and filter the results by selecting the “Groups” parameter. Select the groups with the largest number of participants and press the “Join” button. When all the moderators confirm your participation in the groups, you can post publications offering your products, services, as well as add links to the site.

It is better not to use explicit advertising in groups. This is the path to spam and ban marks. We recommend using articles from your store’s blog. These can be collections, reviews.

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Additional methods of website promotion.

If you have set up the main promotion channels, you can add additional tools for promoting your online store. We will briefly describe additional methods.

Display ads or image ads.

Such ads can be placed through Google Ads. There are many formats: from 120×600 to 336×280. The most effective are 728 × 90 and 300 × 250.

In addition, the promotion of an online store on Google is very clearly configurable by:

User region. Interests. Required sites.

Image ads advertise well:

Promotions and special offers. New items on the site. Events and products that you want to draw the attention of your users.

Banners.

Banner advertising is the placement of graphic banners of your site on other resources. When a user clicks on a banner, he goes to the main page or advertising page of your resource. Such advertising is paid for by a pay-per-view model.

You can place banner ads in the following ways:

Agree with the site owner directly. Use a display campaign in Google AdWords to advertise on partner network sites.

Benefits of using banner ads:

Maximum audience coverage. Attracting targeted visitors to the site. Building brand awareness. Profitability.

Teaser advertising.

Teasers are ads on websites with intriguing headlines, text, and a vivid picture. They actively attract interested users to the site. For this method to work, you need to be able to compose attention-grabbing ads with text that makes you want to click and see.

This promotion method is not very popular, but it can provide additional audience reach. Typically, these ads are found on large portals with entertainment content.

Low cost. Simple ad creation and campaign management. More attention grabbing than banners.

In Ukraine, teaser advertising campaigns can be launched using the Admixer.ua advertising network.

Advertising from bloggers.

The number of subscribers of some bloggers may be the envy of small media outlets. Moreover, the level of trust in them can be much higher. Therefore, the promotion of an online store in social networks from the “lips” of bloggers can be effective. Look for personal blog site owners, Facebook, Instagram, and popular YouTube channels.

Advantages of blogger advertising:

Subscriber trust and word of mouth effect. Reaching a large audience. Individual style of advertising. You can negotiate on barter terms.

YouTube channel for an online store.

This is a tricky way to promote your store. There are a lot of YouTube channels, so you will have to work hard on interesting, or better, unique content in order to interest users. But you can get a number of benefits if you invest the time and effort in promoting your channel.

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