How To Be An Effective E-Commerce Business

Whether you are just planning to put up an E-Commerce business or you already have one that is not so effective, read the following tips to get your business back on track.

 

Product Descriptions

 

Give clear, concise and attractive product descriptions. The best copy is 75 to 200 words. Be sure to include details such as size, color, measurements and weight of the product.

 

High Quality Photographs

 

If you don’t have the budget to hire a professional photographer, you can take the pictures yourselves. All you need is a regular point and shoot camera, a place with good lighting and background and you are all set. If you have photo enhancing programs, just tweak your photos (but not too much as you want to maintain the integrity of the product) a bit before publishing them.

 

Publish large photos and take photos of your product from multiple angles.

 

Shipping and Other Policies

 

These are the important pages of an E-Commerce website that you should not miss:

 

  • FAQ’s
  • Policies and Procedures
  • Disclaimers (if applicable)
  • Customer service hours and contact details
  • Shipping and Returns Policies

 

Probably the most important page is the Shipping and Returns Policies. Most customers check out your rates, returns and exchange policies first before placing an order. You need to clearly state where you ship and the modes of shipping. Prices should be clearly visible. If you can, place the shipping fee in the product description.

 

What happens if you ship a defective product? What if your customer wants to return or exchange an item? Who will shoulder the cost? These questions should be answered in your website.

 

Keep Track of Your Website

 

You need to know where your traffic is coming from. You also need to know what keywords they use to find your site. You also want to pinpoint your bounce rate and which page in your website that happens most frequently. Improve this page so that your bounce rate goes down. There are several analytics programs you can use online. Some of them are free.

 

Contact Details

 

It may sound silly but you need to place your contact details on every single page of your website especially your phone numbers. This gives your customers peace of mind knowing they can contact you any time regarding communication and purchases.

 

Search Feature

 

Include a Search Function in your website. This is very useful especially for those customers who want no-fuss shopping. They can just go straight to your search box and type in whatever it is they want to buy and be brought to a page where they can make a selection. You should also include a feature at the bottom that says “Customers who bought this product also bought these”. This is a good way to encourage your customers to buy more.

 

Finally, include a call to action button on every page of your website. The most common are Order Here, Purchase Now, Buy Now, Download Now and Sign Up Now. These buttons should be clear and can be easily read by your customers. They should be big enough to be seen but not too big that they are in your customers’ face.

 

Hi, my name is Linda and I’m a business blogger. I have a website with my friends and it discusses costs of franking machines.

 

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6 Awesome Pay Per Click Strategies

Knowing a few awesome pay per click tactics can mean the difference between a successful online business experience or one that needs improvement. Once you realize that most of your clients come from pay per click campaigns, you will most likely want to focus on increasing advertising campaigns to build awareness about your product and brand, connect with prospects and help make sales. This way, traffic gets driven to your website. This is why it is important to become truly informed about how pay per click works. It is also of importance to analyze results continuously so you can evaluate ROI and cost regularly. Here are six strategies you can use for your Pay Per Click campaigns.

Educate Yourself

Depending on your budget and nature of business, you might want to keep reading about what pay per click is and all the advancements that have been going on. SEO companies can assist in helping you run a pay per click campaign and the information you learn will help you do better by letting you know all about cost per action networks, advertising networks and other search engines.

Keyword Research

Other than information and doing research on how advertising involving pay per click works, doing studies that are industry-specific will help you know what is going on at the ‘scene’ of your business.  Look at keywords and do keyword research if you are thinking about campaigning for these keywords and check out who your competition is and what they are doing.  Finding out which keywords will most likely bring you the most traffic.

More Than Just SEO

Limiting yourself as to just concentrating on SEO is not a good idea. You can go beyond SEO with your efforts of paid advertising by having these appear on blogs and websites plus other people’s email. You can go to websites with high traffic plus other advertising networks working with a publisher or two and paying fees per one thousand impressions rather than for each of the clicks.

Create Great Ads

People often gravitate towards results that are organic. This is true even when there is a lot going on in pages of search engine results. To be chosen over ads that are organic, your PPC needs to grab attention compared to other ads on the pages. High quality advertising means better rates of conversion and placements. For example, Google determines what your ad placement gets and how much you pay for clicks to rank you. You might even want to utilize graphic ads. This is a specific formula for ads and you get a few text lines with maximum character numbers for every line. Knowing this, you will most likely agree that ad writing for PPC is almost a form of art.

A/B Testing

Study the results when running campaigns. This may cost you more than just 1 campaign. Of course, you can check out real time results and create change in the process. Changes to landing pages and to ad words can make a tremendous difference.

Creativity Matters

Pay Per Click advertising is not the only ad type but tends to grab attention. Other than just telling people to purchase you can ask your audience to like or follow you on Twitter and Facebook. You will soon see that the more creative methods you use in increasing your exposure, the more you will be getting paid.  You can even create a sweepstakes or a contest or have them subscribe to a channel on YouTube that you created.

Use these six advanced strategies to change your Pay Per Click campaigns and watch as the sales increase.

Article writen by Mark Jones of Seo affiliate software.

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Content Marketing Techniques For Online Success

Content marketing is not only necessary, it is crucial. But, what is content marketing and why is it so important?

There are many names for content marketing. Some of them are corporate publishing, branded media, customer publishing, etc. The best name however, is content marketing.

Content marketing is a marketing technique. It involves creating and distributing (relevant and valuable) content to a clearly defined and understood target audience. Your objective with content marketing is gain loyal customers.

Unfortunately, there are some businesses that have not yet learned the art of effective content marketing. Here are some techniques that can help.

Have you developed a content marketing mission statement?
You need to have a clear vision for why you are developing your content. Before you start, you need to know where you want to go. While developing your content marketing strategy, remember that content marketing is about what you stand for.

Get some interviews
One of the best ways to get fresh, new content is by doing interviews. There are some people who would be very willing to give you some information, relevant to your niche. You can add these interviews on your website, blog, etc., for your audience to see.

Get your employees involved
Instead of you always having to worry about how to get the next best content, start picking the brains of your employees. They deal with customers daily, they know what the customer wants and by now, they know how to get the customer what they want.

Do not leave customer questions unanswered!
The whole point of content marketing is to gain loyal customers by giving them information that they can trust and rely on. However, if the customer can not trust and rely on you to answer their questions, they will not trust your content either.

Be a source of information
If you have not been committed to being the leading provider of information to your customers, start now. This should be your number one priority. When a customer wants to make a buying decision, you should be able to give the sufficient, helpful information needed.

Co-creating
This involves working with non-competitive partners to create compelling content for similar customers. Brand companies are finding it more and difficult to continually produce thought-provoking content, so they are teaming up with other brands in the same industry. This is not a bad idea if you are that position.

Produce helpful content
Take a look a good look at your content: Is it helpful to your audience? Does it improve their lives somehow? Can audiences learn something new from it? Answer these questions truthfully, and make adjustments. Your audience should feel like you have their best interests at heart.

Distribute content effectively
You need to put your content where the target audience will likely see it. Most companies are using social media to share their content, and that is great. They reach a large audience. If your audience is more sophisticated, sponsorships are a great way to share content.

Start Blogging
Blogging is one of the best ways to receive leads, because it is where all your content resides. The best idea is to integrate your blog in your website. Another good idea is to blog more often. Take some time out, twice a week if possible, to blog.

Search Engine Optimization(SEO)
It is no use having great content when no one ever sees it. Learn some basics when it comes to SEO; for example, keywords and backlinks, and how this can drive traffic to your website. You do not need to be an expert, just get involved.

“In most cases, creating a fresh reputation online isn’t very difficult…you just have to know what you are doing and use the proper tools” – Walter Halicki

When you have the right tools, you can make a success of anything. Sometimes it is more of a struggle to find the right tools than it is to actually use those tools.
The internet is a tool any business person can use. Fortunately there are also tools you can use to make the best of the internet. Hopefully the techniques mentioned above are some good tools for you and your business.

Shireen Louw is a copywriter and professional Cape Town based wedding photographer. Check out her latest Zorgvliet Wedding Photography on her blog.

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Deciding Whether Or Not To Hire A Google Adwords Expert

Now that the traditional routes of offline advertising are declining in comparison to the effectiveness of online campaigns, you may have started to explore the possibility of using Google adwords. If you have, one of the main decisions when starting out is whether to hire an expert to setup and help you maintain your account, or take advantage of the free Google Adwords training and certification available and do it yourself. Here we discuss some factors you will have to consider.

If you decide to try yourself, you should be aware that it can take quite a while to master. Therefore it’s probably worth it in the long run if you have the time available. Even if you eventually foresee hiring a consultant, it may also be worth learning about the subject so that you are able to understand the services and what benefits having a consultant offers. If you go down this route, the first place to start is with Google’s adwords training though their certified professional learning centre which is entirely free. Here you have the option of getting certified either as an individual or a company. You can take the course at your own pace and at the end you have the option of taking the certification exam if you choose to do so. The exam itself does cost a small amount to take, but you can always just do the free training and skip the exam if you like. This is the cheapest way to go about learning, but do be aware that setting up adwords campaigns does cost money to run, and if not properly set up, you can end up wasting a lot of money through trial and error.

The exam itself is one hundred questions and requires you to get seventy five percent of the questions correct. When preparing for the exam it is worth making sure you are well acquainted with all the topics described in the learning centre. It pays off not to just rely on the mock tests to get you through the final examination as in some cases the actual exam questions are much more difficult.

Once you have your certification or adwords training under your belt, there are various online marketers who provide courses, sometimes free, which will provide you with extra expertise. Once you’re ready to dig in, it is worth doing some research into what is currently showing up for your own market in the paid results as well as becoming familiar with headings and ad copy. Make sure that you stay up to date with any new developments in adwords by subscribing to alerts and feeds related to the main authorities in the pay per click industry.

If rather than going down the solo route, you would prefer instead to hire a professional to take care of this function, you can browse through the Google adwords certified partners directory where the members of this directory will have passed the necessary qualifications required and will be currently managing at least one or more adword campaigns.

Eilidh MacRae works for Marketing By Web who offer adwords training.

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4 Cornerstones Of Great Company Culture

English: Ken Olsen's primary concern about cus...

English: Ken Olsen’s primary concern about customers and employees “Our Employees are our greatest Asset” was distributed on a coffee mug, to encourage all employees. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To get the most out of you blog you need help. That help can either come in the form of full time staff or contractors. If you are a poor manager your staff are going to leave. This article goes into some points on how to keep good staff engaged and enjoying their work at your company – building company culture.

Why you need a good company culture

I’ve worked for small businesses in a local community, medium-sized businesses consisting of multiple facilities in a small region, and I’ve worked for a large corporation with facilities all over the world. These companies are very different yet they all have one thing in common: culture. Company culture is defined as a set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterize an institution or organization. Basically it is what will drive the company towards sustainability. This culture is formed from the top down and is very difficult to change once norms set in.

I have been fortunate that the companies I have worked for have had very similar cultures and they were established before I became a member of the team. No culture is perfect and there are always things that can be improved upon. However there are many things that I’ve seen in each company that helps set the tone for how they plan to do business. There are 4 key components to any business culture. Some may argue that they are all of equal importance but I feel there is a progression to a good business culture.

Active Community

First, they are active in the community and are conscientious of their affect on it.  Whether it’s fund-raisers for a local charity or scholarships to a local school, the community receives more than just jobs for its population. The other big area a company focuses on is environmental. Yes, companies are required by law to keep track of and report various effects on the environment; these could be waste, air, and water just to name a few. Regulations aside, most successful businesses do not want to negatively affect the community regardless. Being environmentally conscious shows that a company feels that where they do business is an important function of how they do business.

Importance of Change

Second, change must be an integral part of any corporate culture. The mindset should never get to a point where employees feel that it is pointless to bring up new ideas, process, or equipment. A company should never be so comfortable that it feels they are doing everything right. There is always another way of looking at things or a new product out there that may help further the business. Also, if you are afraid of change it will be much harder when the time comes when change is a must.

Treat Employees Well

Third, the way companies treat their employees is very important. It is part of the culture that pulls from other areas but is significant as a whole. How is an employee treated when he brings up a concern? Are employees rewarded for exceptional work? Do the employees feel they can freely voice their opinion on any issue? These are many questions that you can ask about your company and your employees. Employees are the backbone of any company. They are the ones out in the production areas and getting the job done. Day in and day out they often do the same task time after time; who better to get new ideas on how to do their job more efficiently?

Have A Vision For company culture

Finally, safety is the most important part of any business culture. It pulls all the other together and puts the health of the employee above all else. What happens when an employee brings up a safety concern? The worst thing would be nothing happens. This signals to the employee that not only is their ideas not important but neither is their safety. Employees need to know that above all else their health and safety is important. Would you want to work for a company that didn’t care if you left work the same way you arrived? Being safety conscious breeds employee involvement which in turn breeds change. I cannot stress enough how important it is to take action when a safety concern is brought up. It is far easier for a culture to change in a negative aspect than it is for something positive. The worst thing you can here is, “It’s been brought up before but no one did anything about it.”

Notice there is nothing in these parts on profits or expenses. I promise you, if you focus on these four aspects of your business, the profits will come. Goodwill towards the community giving you good standing with the community equals profits. Changing quickly when new process or ideas are brought to the forefront equals profits. Keeping employees involved and showing that you truly care how they feel about the company equals profits. The safety and health of your employees keeps them involved and keeps your good workers on the job…profits. Your company culture is the foundation to sustainability no matter what industry you are in.

Featured images:

License: Royalty Free or iStock source

Tom is a freelance writer for blogs such as problogger.com and www.make-a-web-site.com

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