April 1, 2020
Marketing Your New Online Store: Digital Marketing 101

Marketing Your New Online Store: Digital Marketing 101

– [Alison] Hello everybody, and welcome
to “Marketing Your New Online Store.” If you’re just launching your online
storefront, I’m sure you’re chomping at the bit to start making sales, and we’re
going to talk about the various ways you can use digital marketing to do just that.
In today’s webinar, we’ll start by meeting our digital marketing experts. Then we’ll
quickly go over each marketing channel so you’ll have a foundational understanding
of what we mean when we refer to things like SEO, PPC feeds, and then each
specialist will share tips for using each channel effectively. And last but not
least, we’ll answer your questions. So go ahead and start typing those questions
into the Q&A box in the webinar software. We’re going to have a lengthy Q&A at the
end of the webinar, but we might get a chance to answer some questions
during the presentation as well. So let’s start by meeting the webinar
team. Hello again, my name is Alison, and I’m going to moderate today’s webinar.
I’m a Search Marketing Manager here at Volusion, and I’m passionate about
strategy, content, and helping small to medium businesses outwit larger
corporations. I’m originally from Central California, but I’ve been in Texas
for over eight years now and started spontaneously saying “ya’ll” a few years
ago. So it’s a done deal, I’m a Texan. – [Sean] It wasn’t spontaneous at all.
It’s been a long time coming. Howdy, everybody. My name is Sean, and I’m
the Paid Search Specialist for today. I’ve been at Volusion for four years. I’ve
worked specifically with shopping feeds and product listing ads for the last two.
I’m certified in all things Google, AdWords, Analytics, and Shopping.
And I’m a big fan about using data-driven marketing automation
strategies to help online businesses. When I’m not behind my two
monitors at work, I’ll be out hiking around in the greenbelts
here in Austin, Texas. – [Kavi] Hey, I’m Kavi. I’m one of the
SEO Specialists here at Volusion. My background is actually in publishing,
but a few years ago, I took my writing skills and turned those plus my love of
data into a career in digital marketing. And yes, you are reading that
last bullet point correctly. I’ve never seen “Jaws,”
“The Shining,” or “Groundhog Day.” – [Samantha] And I’m Samantha. I am an SEO
Specialist and one of the resident social media gurus here at Volusion. I recently
just moved to Texas from Long Island, New York, and I have about four
years working in social media, SEO, and marketing. I’ve had experience dealing
with clients in a multitude industries from fashion to industrial fasteners.
Oh, and a fun fact, I hate cilantro. Apparently, they say it’s a genetic thing. – [Alison] Interesting. All right. So now
that we’ve met our team of experts, let’s talk about the different marketing
channels. We can start with the text ads that often appear on the right-hand
side and on the top of search results. – [Sean] Alison, that’s going to be me.
So pay-per-click ads are going to be those hyperlinked text ads that appears at the
top or the side of search result pages, as you can see in the highlighted box
to the right here. These ads are the most ubiquitous of the web, and if you haven’t
clicked on them, you’ve definitely seen them before. These are going to be really
short ads with only two lines of text and use targeted keywords to drive really
qualified traffic to your store. Keywords are words and phrases that match your
ads to the terms people are searching for. And from this example, you’ll see that
we’re searching for telescopes, and the ad experience matches that. You’re only going
to be paying for ads when someone clicks onto it and visits your website, rather
than just having to pay a set rate. And lastly, PPC is a great marketing
technique to oust your competition quickly because your ads can very
quickly appear on the front page. – [Kavi] All right. And SEO stands for
search engine optimization. It’s a set of strategies that can affect the organic or
unpaid results that make up the majority of your average search results page. You
can see where those organic results begin for our telescope example here inside this
green box. So unlike PPC or shopping feeds, SEO is a slow and steady
process. Results don’t happen overnight. Best practices are always changing. But
when results do appear, they can provide a lasting value long after you’ve started
your SEO campaign. So by performing a few technical changes to your website and
featuring fresh, compelling content on your landing pages, you can help the
search engines recognize what each page is about and why it should be considered
worthy of appearing in the search results. One thing to keep in mind, this is a
common misconception that a lot of people have starting out with SEO. SEO is not
about tricking or gaming the search engines into ranking your site higher
than a competitor’s. It’s about working along with the search engines’
sophisticated algorithms to increase your site’s traffic and revenue. – [Sean] Excellent. Moving away from
organic and back to paid search for just a moment, shopping feeds, or data feeds as
I’ll be calling them, are image-based ads that appear at the top or right-hand side
of the search result pages. Because they have an image, they can really stand out,
especially on mobile devices, and do a great job of showing off your products.
These ads are pretty simple and only provide the product image, the product
title, its price, and your domain name. PPC, the text ads we just saw, can
advertise services or locations, like plumbers in your areas or restaurants
nearby. Shopping feeds are a little bit different because they’re going to be an
ecommerce-first type of advertising. That means they can only show products. Lastly,
these ads are not keyword based like PPC, so you don’t have to research any
keywords or do much extra work. Instead, your ads are going to be
served to clients based on Google matching your products with search terms. – [Samantha] The last marketing tool we’re
going to be discussing is social media. And social media doesn’t have its own
place in the search results, but it definitely has a special place in the
consumer’s heart. The whole idea of social media is to make your customers love you
by showing them how valuable they are. This mutual respect fosters trust between
the customer and the brand, which is why about 81% of small businesses use social
media. When you’re a small business, customer relations and business reputation
on social media are very important. In fact, shoppers are more likely to make
a purchase after reading something they saw on social media. So you want
to make sure that you’re representing yourself well. When it comes down to it,
social media is an avenue for promotion, but it’s also an effective customer
service tool and a great way for brands to get noticed. It does not discriminate
by the size of your business. Small and large brands both have
a chance for success on social media. Oh, and as a bonus, it allows you
to direct people to your online store. – [Alison] Excellent. All right. So let’s
talk about the strategies and tactics you can use today to start marketing your
online store. We’ve broken each channel into three parts: Overview, Tips, and
Takeaways. We’ll also be providing you with some resources. But before
we do just that, I want to give you some homework for tonight. If you do
one thing today, please install Google Analytics on your store. This way you can
begin gathering data immediately and track your store’s performance over time.
Volusion offers some easy do-it-yourself instructions linked here, and the Volusion
Tech Support Team can certainly assist you with this. But trust me, it’s literally
copy and pasting. So you can do it, and it’s free. But if this is too
intimidating, we also offer an implementation service. But again, it’s
copy and pasting. It’s free. I promise you, you can do it on your own, which is
great, because the data Google Analytics provides is priceless. You’ll learn
everything from visitor demographics and behavior to which channels are driving
your traffic and conversions. So you’ll want to monitor your traffic data over
time so you can make informed marketing decisions in the future. We recommend that
you explore Analytics in bite-size pieces just to avoid being overwhelmed. There are
a bunch of wonderful free tools out there to help you learn the ropes. I recommend
starting with this Metrics Webinar and Google’s free training resources. All of
these links are not clickable now, but they will be when we send you out the
slideshow after the webinar concludes. All right. So let’s get to why you’re
really here. Marketing your store and driving sales. We’re going to start
with pay-per-click, also known as PPC. – [Sean] Excellent. Thanks Alison. As
mentioned earlier, if you’re a new store just getting started or even an older,
established store, PPC is a cornerstone to any marketing strategy. Getting started
with pay-per-click advertising can seem a bit daunting, but it’s really not too
much to it. You’re going to begin the process by creating a campaign
and then subdivide that campaign into something called ad groups.
Many of you may already be familiar with AdWords and kind of know this, but ad
groups are the subdivision where you actually create the ads, add in your two
witty lines of text as well as your call to action. This is also where you’re going
to be setting your keywords. PPC is going to be great to bring highly qualified
traffic, and a reason for that is just how flexible that it is. These ad types can
change very quickly to accommodate store changes, like a flash sale, as well as for
seasons and holidays like Black Friday or the Christmas shopping season. There
really is a ton of flexibility of what you can do. You can raise and lower daily
budgets with a few clicks, test new ad text, and add in new keywords.
PPC is going to be great for marketing new stores. You can direct the customer to any
part of your store. And this means that the landing page, the first page that the
customer sees after clicking your ad can be the homepage, an article, a category,
or even a product page, anywhere on your site. There will, of course, be better
places to send them than not, so you can try out a lot of different things and test
a lot. So focus on popular categories and higher margin products, it’s always a
great place to start. Lastly, it’s going to be great for gathering quality data
about your store’s traffic. Because the data is tangible and quick, you can make a
lot of great decisions that contribute as you continue to build your store.
So let’s go ahead and consider some tips to get started. First, you’re going to
want to make sure that your store is presentable. Take your customers to an
attractive and functional website. Of course, it doesn’t have to be perfect,
and you’re never going to be truly finished building your store. But you
still want your new customers to have a really good experience when they get
there. Second, you really want to organize your categories and subcategories well.
Think about your online store like a real store. Different aisles or different
categories and different shelves are the different subcategories. So you’re going
to want to separate your products in an appropriate way. If you sell apparel,
you want to separate that from your sports equipment and gear. If you have men’s and
women’s lines of clothes, make sure that they are not all jumbled together.
For an example, let’s look at considering gift baskets. If you sell gift baskets,
this would be your aisle, and the different types — baby gift baskets,
movie gift baskets — would be their own subcategories and their own shelves. For
PPC, if someone is searching for wedding gift baskets, you want to show them
products specific to that search. It’s going to be more qualified
and they’re likely to enjoy the experience a little bit better.
The third tip about PPC is try to keep your CPCs, your cost-per-click bids, as
low as you can while still getting the traffic that you want. If you’re just
getting started, a rookie mistake that I see far too often is that you’re going to
be overpaying for traffic because you want people to get in the door. Instead, try
to slow it down and focus on building a sustainable and successful campaign.
With this, experiment with ad position. It doesn’t always really pay, nudge,
nudge, to be in the first spot. You’re going to want to see a good ROI, a return
on investment, at a lower spot without spending as much. So just don’t overspend
when you don’t have to. And with that, try to be more specific than too broad. You
don’t necessarily want anyone coming to your store. I know it may seem like that.
But instead, you’re trying to advertise to people who are looking to buy your
specific products. PPC doesn’t take a shotgun approach to getting people into
the door. A way to avoid the shotgun approach is to add negative keywords into
your account. Negative keywords are the complete opposite of keywords. They are
words and phrases that you don’t want to show up for. Common examples include
the words “cheap,” “used,” or places like “Craigslist” and “Walmart. ” These
people who are searching for “gift basket Walmart” already have a destination in
mind, and you don’t want to pay for clicks along the way when someone may just
be searching and browsing around. As a final takeaway, I want to say that
PPC is going to be a great way to meet a new audience through compelling text ads.
It brings really quality traffic to your site very quickly. But before you start
paying for traffic, remember to have your site in its best form. Structure your
categories and subcategories as best they can be to align your products with your
campaigns and your ad groups. And finally, try to offer some stuff that’s going
to stand out from your competition. Well, I’ve added just a few little
resources for you as well when this slide deck and webinar are made available after
we wrap up. These few little hyperlinks include the AdWords Keyword Planner that
will help you get an idea of how much you’ll be paying for your keywords, as
well as some new ones you can add to your account. I’ve also included a list of a
few blogs and webinars that we’ve done here at Volusion and will give you
ideas of how to start as well as one of my favorite articles about PPC Strategies
for Procrastinators. This article is about getting started in the holiday season
in, like, November, but the basic steps provide you the ability to create a
brief skeleton and the same type of structure you’d be doing
when you’re just getting started. So I definitely recommend that third link. – [Alison] Awesome. Thank you, Sean. And
just as a happy reminder, as questions come up, you know, regarding PPC,
SEO feeds, please send those on in. No question is too basic.
We’ll tackle them all. All right. So now, let’s take a minute to
transition from the paid side of things to what we call the natural, or organic,
search results. Kavi will give us an overview of SEO strategies
for getting your store featured in Google’s natural
or organic search results. – [Kavi] Okay. Thank you, Alison. SEO is
a great search marketing tactic for ecommerce stores in almost any industry.
Search engine visibility is an absolute must for getting brands discovered, and
that’s true whether you sell sundresses or networking cables or anything in between.
No matter what your site is about, you’re going to need some unique and relevant
content to signal to your customers and also to the search engines what
you’re selling and why it’s great. Before beginning an SEO overhaul, though, you do
want to do some thinking about customer behavior. Make sure your site looks and
feels like a place where people want to shop and actually make purchases, as Sean
said before, because the search engines can tell how much time visitors spend on
your site and how often they just leave the store without buying anything.
So think about things like: Does your site use a responsive template? Will customers
have a good shopping experience if they’re on a desktop or a mobile platform?
Those are important considerations for the search engines, so they should be
important to you as well. The way the search engines treat your site and, as a
result, your traffic and your revenue will improve the more customers interact
meaningfully with your online store. In my opinion, the best thing about SEO
is that it costs nothing but your time and your brain power. When it’s done right,
it’s a totally free way to improve your presence in the search results and to
attract new customers. SEO can definitely be time-consuming, but the time and energy
you spend is definitely worth the return. I saw a recent digital marketing study
that shows 88% of all shoppers do some research online before making a purchase,
even if that purchase ends up happening in a brick-and-mortar store instead
of online. So in order for potential customers to discover your brand during
that online research period, they have to be able to find you using channels like
Google Search. Think about the actual phrases that your ideal customer is typing
into Google. Think about what makes your brand or your products unique, and then
make a list of keyword phrases that are specifically relevant to your business.
Incorporate those phrases into the content that appears on your product pages and
your category descriptions. When they’re compiling their search results, search
engines consider a landing page’s relevance and authority within the
industry, as well as the user behavior that surrounds it. So like I said,
make sure your website’s navigation is user-friendly and that your content
really reflects your industry expertise. So here are some tips that you can use
going into your SEO campaign. There are two basic pieces involved in SEO. There’s
on-page and off-page optimization. On-page optimization includes things like title
tags, meta descriptions, and H1 tags, and all of those are things that can be easily
edited in the admin area of your Volusion store. For your on-page optimization to be
complete, though, you also want to include about 150 words of unique, relevant
content on each landing page. This content should describe what can be found on the
page and should contain compelling marketing messaging as well to push people
to buy. But you should not just stuff in a bunch of keywords so that it sounds
unnatural. That’s a big no-no for the search engines. On to
off-page optimization. This focuses more on how other influencers, like other
websites and online thought leaders, interact with your site. When you earn a
link from another website, assuming that site isn’t spammy or totally unrelated
to what you’re selling, it’s kind of like they’re giving you a vote for your website
to signal that you’re also relevant and authoritative. So the best way to earn
meaningful links to your site is, you guessed it, by creating content that
people will want to link to. Helpful original content that demonstrates
your expertise tends to earn the most attention. Write stuff that people want to
read and share. This can take the form of a blog or some well-researched
infographics or even a how-to video series, if you have the resources to put
something like that together. One thing to keep in mind is that earning links can be
a bit tricky because the search engines have several rules that you have to adhere
to in order to avoid harmful penalties that can kill your search rankings and,
therefore, your traffic as well. So for example, paying for links is a major
no-no. Links have to come in organically and actually be earned in order
to be considered legitimate. So to wrap up our tips, it’s pretty clear
that having a good content strategy in place is absolutely critical for SEO. And
I know this can seem intimidating, but it really doesn’t have to be complicated. The
most important thing to keep in mind is what your customers are searching for
throughout the sales cycle. So to give you an example, I had an SEO client who sold
organic skincare. So to draw in customers who were in that research phase of the
sales cycle, we created a resource library that included explanations of some of the
more exotic ingredients that she was using in her products. But we also put a lot
of focus on their individual product descriptions so that customers who were
pretty much ready to buy would know exactly how to use that particular
face wash or a moisturizer or whatever they were looking at.
So as I said before, you want to think about the terms and phrases that your
customers are using and incorporate those as naturally as possible into your on-site
content, whether that’s in your product descriptions or a short paragraph that
appears on a category page or a useful blog post that’s connected to your site.
The right content not only helps you make sales and attract customers through the
search engines, it can also help you earn those valuable links that
I mentioned earlier. And one more thing to note, Sam will talk
about this a bit more as well a little bit later on, but you also want to consider
how your social media strategy can support your SEO. Make sure your social media
profiles are optimized with the correct business information and some good
keywords for discovery on those platforms as well. Plus, if you’ve written some
really great content, avenues like Facebook and Twitter and your other social
media profiles are the most natural way to share all of that. So our
main takeaway for SEO is SEO is a long-term process that can earn
exponential results. It requires patience and thoughtfulness, but it’s the single
most important way to signal your relevance and authority to the search
engines and, therefore, to your potential customers. The earlier you start thinking
about your SEO strategy, the more quickly you should start seeing increases
in traffic and revenue, which is what we all want. So here are
a few SEO resources for you to get started. When you’re doing your
keyword research, Google Trends, which is linked here, and even just carrying out
your own searches can help you discover what terms your customers are searching
for. There might be customers in a certain area of the country using a term for one
of your products that might not come to mind immediately for you, and that’s a
great way to discover things like that. Volusion and some of our other favorite
online experts have written lots of great blog posts and created tons of videos and
webinars on SEO best practices. So there are some links to those here as well,
including our upcoming webinar next month called “Tailoring Product Pages for SEO
and Feeds Success.” That’s going to be on August 11, and we will have a sign-up
for that coming soon. And for some more information and instructions on adjusting
things like meta tags in the admin area of your store, I’m including a link
to our Knowledge Base overview of Volusion’s specific SEO features. – [Alison] This is Alison again. My
background is also in SEO, and I can attest that it’s a powerful long-term
strategy. I also noticed that many times when I started out with merchants, a
question I often received was, “Okay, I like that I’m showing up in the natural
search results, but how do I get the pictures up top or on the side?
I want to see my products there.” So I’m going to loop Sean back
in right now to talk about how you can do just that.
Take it away Sean. – [Sean] All right, Alison. So the images
at the top of the page are often going to be a part of Google Shopping when they’re
not part of the image slideshow. Data feeds or shopping feeds are a spreadsheet
that has all of your products’ pertinent information, and it can be as simple as a
CSV that you’ve exported from your store and updated the column headers, or
something a bit more advanced like XML. You can take your store’s data and submit
that to Google for their approval so that they’re going to show your ads.
We had a question that came in from John that says, “What if your product is a
service? How do I take advantage of Shopping with such a product?” Well,
this is the trick. Because Google is so specific in what it requires, they can
only be products. And a lot of this is because they’ve got so many required
fields and services. They’re really trying to create a window shopping experience,
which is part of the benefit and also part of the detriment of Google Shopping. So
John, what you’ll want to do is focus on PPC. And we’ll follow-up in the Q&A
a little bit after to tell you what to do with that. Back to
shopping feeds for a little bit. There’s going to be so many required
fields. They include obvious ones, such as the product title, the product
description, the weight, the required fields in the Volusion Dashboard. There’s
also going to be ones that they are looking for as well, such as
product manufacturer and UPC code and Google category.
If a product doesn’t meet these requirements, it’s going to be disapproved
and won’t be pulled into the data feed. Or if it is taken up,
it will be rejected after the fact. I mentioned a little bit about the window
shopping aspect of Google Shopping, and a handy thing about using data feeds as part
of your marketing strategy is that they appear in search results and in shopping
aggregators. This means that your ads get to double dip where they appear. And like
a PPC, Google Shopping campaigns are going to be created through AdWords.
Let’s go ahead and just jump into some tips really quickly. Because shopping
feeds are so data-driven, as is said by the name itself data feeds, what you’ll
really want to do is start by optimizing the product page first. Because the
landing page, that first page that you see after a client clicks onto to an ad, is
the product page, your customers won’t have the same context as they would from
finding the product from searching through your website, your on-page search.
Instead, they’re taken directly to it instead. So your customers don’t have
the context of knowing if the item is in a necklace category or a bracelet category
if they’re searching for something like a 36-inch chain. Instead, your product title
should include 36-inch chain, necklace made out of silver and gold, something
more descriptive that provides them all of the information that they need to be
looking for. Because it’s just the product page, just make sure that it’s descriptive
and thorough. Don’t have any thin content. Just the more robust it’s going to be, the
more likely Google will show your ads as well as the SEO benefits
that Kavi talked about. Next, and this tip may seem pretty
obvious, but you really need to monitor your campaigns. Feeds aren’t a
set-it-and-forget-it. And in fact, if you don’t submit a new data feed every 30
days, Google is going to automatically expire your product listings. You want
to make sure that any changes you make in the store should be reflected
in the data feed itself. If your items fluctuate in stock or if you’re changing
the price point and taking things on sales, reflect that in data feed so your
potential customers are getting the best experience possible. If you put something
on sale, you’re going to want to show the sale price to incentivize people to come
to your store, not your competitors. So keep your data really, really fresh.
Talking about monitoring your campaign, use the data you get from AdWords and
identify those products which are best performing, call back to what Alison said
about setting up Google Analytics. But if you can know the products which are
performing better, you can increase their bids a wee bit, or you can even optimize
your product title to ensure that you’re getting a larger impression
showing your ads are serving a more qualified group of people.
The cost-per-click of shopping feed ads are generally lower than PPC ads.
So try to find a really good price point. Of course, there’s going to be no
size-fits-all, but just start lower and slowly increase your bids until you find
the return on ad spend that you’re really, really looking for. The biggest, important
thing here is just consider your ROI, your return on investment,
and where your window is. Lastly, and probably most importantly,
about shopping feeds is have a really good product image. If you’re a dropshipper
and all of your images match that of your competition, it’s going to be really hard
to stand out. So when you can, use different angles. Take your own photos.
Use really high-quality images and make sure that the image just isn’t pixilated
and just depicts your product very well. If you have multiple product images,
please, please include those to the product page itself. The more interactive
your customer will be on the page, the longer they spend and the more time
they glean information about the product, the likelier they are to check out.
So lastly is the big takeaways. You’re working really hard, if you’re still
building your store, to build out your store’s inventory, so show it off with
data feeds. Using comparison shopping engines allows you to show off your entire
inventory through image ads to online shoppers. With so many potential ads,
you can reach customers far and wide. So structure your product information
correctly and use these type of campaigns to show off your best brands, and the
customers will find you after that. Some resources I’ve included as well is
all those rules and requirements from Google. The Product Recommendations and
Requirements can be very, very helpful if you ever wonder, “Why isn’t this product
showing up?” You may discover that it’s apparel. It doesn’t have the color and
size attributes. Or you may find that the tax and shipping information isn’t there.
So Google has great, great support documentation. I’ve also included some
videos and blogs from webinars that I’ve created as well as some other people on
the team that help really define how to set up shopping feeds as well as how
to get started in terms of moving very quickly and what you can do
when your price point isn’t super competitive. So that’s a pretty
handy one of some kind of side techniques you can really do.
So thank you. – [Alison] Thank you, Sean. Okay. And last
but not least, we cannot forget social media marketing, which is a very
cost-effective way for a new store to build their following. And Sam
can tell us a little bit about that. – [Samantha] Thanks, Alison. I love social
media. I think it’s sometimes overlooked, but it’s actually one of the best
marketing tools out there, and as Kavi said earlier, it works hand-in-hand with
SEO. It can boost traffic to your website, improve your brand authority, and enhance
customer loyalty. Not to mention, it works well with a multitude of industries from
fashion to food and everything in between. There’s a wide array of social media
networks out there, and many of them are industry-specific. The vastness of the
social media landscape makes it easier for people to find networks where their brands
can thrive. So while I bet your first inclination is to choose Facebook, it’s
important not to discount others such as Twitter, Pinterest, Polyvore, Reddit, or
even Instagram. So for instance, if you’re in the fashion industry, Pinterest or
Polyvore might work better than, say, I don’t know, Twitter. You don’t have to be
active on every channel all at once, so choose one or two networks to devote your
time to. It’s better to be active on one or two platforms than
inconsistent on all of them. Not only is social media extremely
versatile, but it’s also a cost-effective marketing strategy, because guess what,
creating a social media page is free. So to get started, the only thing required is
your time. There are tons of social media networks out there. As I mentioned before,
I’ve listed some of the most popular networks. So you can use those to promote
your brand and interact with customers. You may be familiar with some of them, or
perhaps even all of them, but I thought it would be helpful to see a wide variety of
your options. We’ve got the big guns that are very well-known like Facebook and
Twitter, and then we have some more visual, lesser known ones like Pinterest
and Instagram. However, if you are in a very specific industry, it might be worth
taking some time to look at networks that are created specifically for your niche.
For example, Houzz, it’s a social network for interior designers and brands in the
real estate or housing market. So you can use anything that relates specifically to
your audience, and that’s pretty much the main point. You want to be on the network
where your audience interacts most. It’s also important to note that, like
SEO, social media success takes time. But social media can also help enhance your
search visibility. To give your brand the best chance at being discovered, you want
to begin by optimizing each social network you decide to use. So what this means
is filling out all of the fields in the “About” sections of your social profiles
by using relevant keywords and search terms. However, please do not publish
duplicate content. Don’t just copy and paste content from the “About Us” section
on your website. Instead, try to write similar, new keyword rich content that
shows what your store is all about. If you have a store with a
brick-and-mortar location, make sure to add your address and other
locally specific information as well. Social media is also the best way to
engage with customers and potential audiences. You can see what people are
talking about by using relevant hashtags and join those conversations on Facebook
and Twitter. This will showcase your authority and your relevance within your
industry. And please, don’t neglect your followers. They love receiving replies. So
make sure that you’re always replying to those messages or comments to keep the
conversation going, because social media can actually be your best
customer service tool. And last but not least, if you have a
little bit of wiggle room with your budget, social advertising opportunities
like Facebook ads and boosted posts can really help your strategy, plus they’re
reasonably priced. With Facebook, it’s a pay-to-play environment, so we recommend
using social advertising to reach new customers and grow your presence online.
Facebook ads can be used to garner page likes or to drive traffic to your website.
However, if this seems a little bit overwhelming to you, you can choose
to boost individual posts right on your timeline to reach more people. These are
really easy to use and can serve your ads to large numbers of people for a minimal
cost. The best part about the boosted posts is that they can also allow you to
target your audience using a variety of filters. So this means you can serve ads
to people who already like your page and their friends, or create a custom audience
by targeting specific locations, genders, interests, or keywords. Now, you
may be asking, “How do I go about doing all of this?” I know it can be a
little bit overwhelming, but don’t panic. I’m going to share a few tips and some
social media best practices to make that a little easier. So first,
posting regularly is extremely important, because it lets your customers
and your followers know that you are active. I would suggest spending about 15
minutes per day posting and engaging. Creating a weekly or a monthly content
calendar can be a huge help. This will keep you organized so you won’t have to
spend too much time thinking about what to post every day. We recommend posting
around three to five times per week to keep that content fresh. And you don’t
want to clog the timeline with too many of your posts. Speaking of posts,
you have to get to know your customers. Learn about your audience
to find out what type of posts they like. Once you have an idea of what type of
content they like, make sure you aren’t overloading them with too many
self-promotional product posts. Instead, try creating your own unique and engaging
content, you know, the stuff that people will want to share. Don’t just post links
to your products. We tend to use the 80/20 rule. About 80% of your posts should
relate to your brand’s industry and your target audience, and the other 20% should
be self-promotional and used to introduce sales or giveaways or contests or anything
like that. Try to use your own images if you can, or create them on your own using
Canva.com or other free design tools, which I will list later. And remember,
here, unique content is key. Unique images can also be used for promotions.
Promotions, such as sales, giveaways, or other contests that I mentioned before,
can enhance customer engagement and help you gain new customers. We recommend using
those boosted posts to promote all of your exclusive deals, content,
or even new product launches. Another tip is to always track your
success. To get a good idea if your posts are working, dig into the Facebook
Insights or another network’s analytics to see how well your posts perform. This will
help you figure out what type of posts your audience likes and what prompts
them to take action. You can use this information to identify your strongest
performing posts and re-create similar posts to garner higher levels
of engagement. And finally, as I mentioned before, if you
decide to delegate some of your marketing budget to social advertising, don’t forget
to monitor those campaigns. Ads must be monitored periodically to ensure that they
are performing and you’re getting the most bang for your buck. I recommend checking
them bi-weekly. You can edit the copy, you can edit the target filters or images on
poor performing ads to see if they begin to work. And this also goes for the
boosted posts. Make sure that you look at your results after the paid campaign ends
to see how your audience responded to that post. This can help you decide how you
want to refine your targeting the next time you want to boost something.
So what’s the main takeaway regarding social? Well, when it comes down to it,
social media management is the best way to get to know your target audience, drive
traffic, and engage with potential customers. It requires patience,
creativity, and the willingness to learn. And while growing a social media presence
can be a long-term process, it allows businesses of all sizes to increase
awareness, boost engagement, drive traffic to online stores, and prompt
followers to take action. That being said, we’ve complied a list of
resources that can help you save some time and further educate you on social media
best practices. These include free tools that can help you create amazing, sharable
images along with a few apps that can help you schedule posts during your busiest
days. I’ve even included some guides that provide information on how to best drive
engagement and get the most out of your social campaigns. The last resource there
is a helpful tutorial on how to create your own Facebook ads if you decide that
that’s something that you want to explore more. Also, keep an eye out for our
upcoming webinar on September 1 about how to craft a social media strategy for the
holidays. It’s going to be full of great information, so be sure to keep
checking for sign-up dates. – [Alison] All right. Thank you, Sam. So
that rounds out the four digital marketing channels we wanted to cover today, and the
questions have literally been pouring in. So without further ado, let’s get
to those questions. We might start with paid search since that was
the first section we went over. – [Sean] Sure. Yeah, I’ll talk a little
bit more about PPC if I can. So Marin you asked, “Can you explain a little bit more
about negative keywords. Why would I want to attract someone who wants free,
cheap items when I sell quality goods?” I’m sorry I wasn’t clear. Negative
keywords will do the exact opposite of that. When you create a new campaign, you
will set your keywords for your goods and the products that you offer, and the
negative keywords, which go in a slightly separate location, are going to be the
ones to dis-include your ad from. If someone searches for a cheap car and
you’re selling cars, that means that your ad would not serve if the negative keyword
appears in the query itself. So whenever there’s a term or a phrase you don’t want
to show up for, you can throw that right in there, and then your
ad wouldn’t appear. Thomas, a little bit more about PPC. You
asked, “Can you track PPC through a sale?” The answer is yes, absolutely. This is why
installing Google Analytics today is so vitally, vitally important. Within your
Google AdWords account, at the very top of the page under “Tools,” you’ll see the
option and ability to create conversions. That conversion is what you’ll put on the
order finish page, one of design site contents page. You’ll put on the order
finish page to ensure that when someone gets to that page after the one-page
checkout, it will be registered. This is vitally, vitally important for monitoring
your ROI. You really want to make sure that you’re seeing return on ad spend and
that you’re just not bringing in a lot of traffic without seeing
where it’s coming from. To follow up with John about PPC and the
services and shopping feeds, I’ll talk about shopping feeds a little after SEO to
give some other people a chance to talk. But John, to follow up with you about
PPC as a service, is that I looked at specifically the services denied for
Google Shopping, and they include product bundles, online services, such as
financial or downloading, and this is maybe likely the case for you is business
services, including locksmiths, plumbing, or with ecommerce consulting. If you offer
IT setups or any type of consulting, instead you’ll want to be using PPC, the
two lines of text. This allows you to target keywords about business consulting,
IT, or whatever the service you may be offering, rather than Google Shopping.
Google Shopping as a product aggregator is kind of very similar to Amazon. You’re
likely not going to find a plumber onto that resource, so that’s why you
have to use a slightly different type of advertising model.
Both are amazingly effective for what they’re doing, and your vertical will
probably recognize that as well. There can be things that you can offer and others
that you don’t. So just try to focus on what the best fit for you when starting
with paid advertising is going to be. So John, if not, shoot us an e-mail too,
as well. We’ll follow-up with you if you want a further explanation
of what you can be doing as well. – [Alison] It looks like we’ve got
quite a few SEO questions as well. One of you want to focus in on this? – [Kavi] Sure. I can start off with a
question from Cindy. She said, “I heard that Google does not use the keywords
tag any more but still uses the meta description. Is this true?”
So a little more info on that. Cindy, Google actually doesn’t read the meta
keywords or meta description tags. The keywords tag really doesn’t serve much of
a purpose at all any more since it doesn’t show anywhere. But still, having a good
list of keywords around is great for your own reference, just don’t worry about
actually inputting them because, like I said, they don’t show up anywhere
and Google doesn’t read them. So the description tag does still show up in the
search results though. That means that customers are seeing it even if Google
isn’t paying attention to it. So that description tag is a great field to
include some marketing messaging to encourage people to click your link
instead of someone else’s. Phrases like “free shipping” and really enticing
marketing tactics like that can attract a lot of clicks. I also wanted
to answer a question from Joe. He asked, “How do you know your search
ranking when talking about SEO?” So search rankings are something that
ecommerce sellers obviously care about a lot, and Google’s Webmaster Tools,
if you have that set up, can show you your average ranking for certain keywords. But
keep in mind that your search rankings are going to change all the time. The SEO
experts generally agree also that it’s much more beneficial to focus on your
site’s improvements, like how much traffic you’re getting and how much money you’re
making rather than focusing on your search rankings, just because they change
constantly. There are tons of competitors, and you really want to make sure that
you’re attracting more customers and making more sales, and that should be your
top concern rather than that ranking. – [Alison] I’ve also noticed that a lot of
ranking is personalized. I’ve had a few merchants call in and they’re like,
“I’m number one now for this.” I’m like, “You need to log out
of your Google account.” – [Kavi] Yeah. That’s
[inaudible 00:40:29]. – [Alison] Because your results are being
tailored to your search history. – [Sean] Very much so. And that comes into
PPC all the time. Some people will say, “Why aren’t my ads appearing? Do we have
the right keywords?” Well it’s often that you’re searching for your own ads too
often, and, therefore, Google thinks they’re less relevant to you and
therefore stops serving them as much. I think I talked a little bit more about
paid search. We’ve got two very similar questions about, “What percentage of my
monthly income do you recommend to a start-up, to invest in PPC and feeds, and
a reasonable monthly budget to show results?” Two very similar questions. When
you’re first getting started, I hate this, because I always want to say it depends,
but start small. If you want to start with $10 a day daily budgets, I think that
is a fine medium if you’re just getting started. Ten dollars a day is small enough
that it’s going to be $300 for the month, assuming you’re hitting your daily budget,
and allows you enough money to have some flexibility. As I said earlier, you don’t
want to be overspending, and you really need to be tracking this information. So
rather than starting to potentially waste or spend ill-advisedly $20 a day, start
with $10. The best thing about both of these paid advertising models is that you
can go in and change your bids and daily budgets whenever you want. It’s just a
small click. You don’t pay upfront. So if you’re finding a lot of success or you’re
not, you can very quickly lower those bids. I can keep talking about
… Oh there’s another one about shopping feeds, if I may.
We’ll wrap it up. John and Jeff, you asked about, “What are shopping feeds?”
Once again, I apologize for not being very clear. Two great resources to find them.
Support.Volusion.com, you’ll be able to find out a further explanation what I’ve
blabbered through very quickly. But a data feed is just a spreadsheet of all your
store’s information. From the dashboard, if you go to Inventory Import/Export and
export your product table, that’s a data feed that Google Shopping will take.
You just have to change the product title headers just a little bit. We call it
“Product Title.” Google just calls it “Title.” We’ve got “Product Code.” They
call it “ID.” So what you’ll do is you’ll export your product information
and then start to tweak the column headers a little bit to what Google
specifies. But we’ve got a lot of great support documentation on that stuff. – [Samantha] We’ve also got a bunch of
social questions rolling in here. One of them from Brianna, “What is the best way
to get followers quickly if I just started a Facebook business page?” This is a great
question. My answer would be Facebook ads. Facebook organic reach has slowly been
declining, so the best way to kind of get people to start liking your page is to set
up an ad campaign. You can set your budget and your targets. You can target based
on a variety of different things, such as what interests you know your audience
might have or your potential customers might have, and set your daily budget.
From there, people will start seeing your ads based on your targets,
and you’ll start gaining “likes” that way. Marisema also asked about LinkedIn, which
is a great question. We don’t really get too many B2B questions, so this is good.
“The 80/20 rule, how does it work on LinkedIn?” So basically, when you’re on
LinkedIn, you can have your published posts or whatever, and then you can also
join groups. When you post in groups, you want to make sure that you’re posting
relevant stuff to that industry. So take some newsworthy content and post it in the
group so it would help your fellow group members. The 20%, use your own posts, your
own blog posts or anything like that to post personally from your own page.
That’s the best way that I can kind of break down that 80/20 rule that way. – [Kavi] I’ve got a couple more SEO
questions here. One should be a pretty quick answer. From Pete, he says,
“We’ve activated the SEO-friendly URLs in Volusion, but this still creates paths
like the slash category S/107.htm, for example.” And he’s asking, “Is there a
better way to do this in Volusion so that we have tidier URLs?”
Yes, there definitely is. First of all, great job activating those SEO-friendly
URLs. That’s a really important thing to have checked off. That URL structure is
the standard that Volusion uses, and it’s very easy to change that category to a
phrase that more accurately describes what’s on your page. So you can change it
to, for example, “/redmittens-s” instead of just “/category.” That’s a really easy
thing to change that you can do in the Admin area of your Volusion store, the
same way that you would change your title tags, your meta descriptions, things like
that, that I mentioned earlier. In the SEO section of the webinar slides, when that’s
sent to you later, you’ll see a link to the Volusion support article about
how to change all of those fields. One more thing, this is a really important
question for SEO. Somebody asked, “What do you mean by a penalty, and are paid links
not effective?” So earlier, I mentioned that not following the search engines’
rules when it comes to earning links to your site can be really harmful and can
cause the search engines to put manual penalties on your site as well. So a
penalty is basically when Google or another search engine recognizes that
you’ve done something that they don’t like, like paying for a link,
and they decide what they put on their search results. So they
can decide that they will not list you when someone searches for a product
that you sell or something that’s relevant to your site. Obviously, you don’t want
that. You want to be listed as much as possible. So in order to avoid upsetting
the search engines, you just have to follow their rules, and they do have a
very strict rule against paying for links. Paid links used to be a very common
practice in SEO. They are not any more because they’re so frowned upon. They may
be effective in terms of earning traffic to your site in the very short term, but
Google will very quickly catch on to the fact that you’re using that tactic
and will penalize your site and cause you to not show up in the
search results. So don’t do it. Don’t even think about doing it.
It’s a terrible idea. – [Alison] I remember, like a year ago,
there was period of time where there were a tremendous amount of penalties being
leveled through Webmaster Tools, and we got so many requests for people, like just
do some disavows and clean this up. It was a very difficult task.
So it is just not worth the risk. – [Kavi] We’ve also got some other
marketing questions. Another one from Brianna, “How can we add a blog to our
site? Is there a specific article we should use?” Volusion actually has this
awesome tool. It’s called the Knowledge Base. If you go in there, it’s right on
our website. You can type in “how to set up a blog for your Volusion store.”
It’ll give you a complete how-to guide. The first thing you want to do, obviously,
is create a blog on a third-party site, whether it’s WordPress or Blogger or
something else. Then you want to make it a subdomain of your Volusion store. I’m not
going to get too technical with this because the guide is going to have pretty
much word-for-word directions on what you should do. So I totally encourage you to
go on the website and look through that. – [Alison] Another alternative to a blog
that, I mean, it just depends on what you’re trying to accomplish, would be
creating your own, like, resource library. Kavi referenced this earlier with her
organic skincare client. So sometimes there are times when it might make sense
to have some of that content living on your website. But I think our team often
uses blogs, because blogs are really great for producing content quickly and pushing
it out there and having an audience. There’s one more question I would like to
address. Alexander asked, “How can we convert the visitors on our site into
sales, and how long to start having sales?” I just wanted to, Alexander, point
out that I think it was last Tuesday we had a conversion webinar. We should be
getting out the recording fairly quickly on Thursday. So that’s going to be a good
hour devoted to that topic. As far as going to how long is it going to be to
have sales, that’s going to depend. There’s too many variables for us to say
definitively. But you can start driving qualified traffic now, which means
a sale could happen at any point. – [Samantha] One last social question we
had from Jennifer. “What are the best keywords to have in your social
descriptions?” So basically, what I was talking about before is you kind of want
to go into your “About” section and think about keywords and your products and
everything that you sell, what kind of words really embody your store and your
products, and just kind of fill those into your “About” fields. There should be a
short description on Facebook, a long description, stuff like that. If you
really want to get involved in the keyword stuff, you can go into the Google AdWords,
if you have Google Analytics already, and take a look at some of the keywords that
people are searching for products similar to yours and kind of fill them into a
natural description on your social page. – [Kavi] There’s a question about tags in
SEO. Marcia asked, “What tags is Google paying attention to for SEO?” I mentioned
that keyword tags and meta descriptions aren’t things that Google particularly
looks at any more. But they do pay attention to a number of other things. For
example, your title tag and then the H1, which is kind of the biggest header that
appears on any particular landing page. Again, that’s a tag that you can just
manipulate within your HTML, super easy to do, and we have information about that in
our Knowledge Base as well that I linked to in our SEO slides. So the title tag and
the H1 tag, I would say, are the most important ones that you need to pay
attention to for Google. We’ll actually have a product optimization webinar that
I mentioned a little bit earlier. Again, it’s on August 11. In that webinar, we’re
going to be running through all of the different tags that you can change in your
Volusion store in order of importance to the search engines so that you know
exactly how to change each one and exactly how much time you should be
spending writing each of those. – [Sean] A question from Joe, “How much
does it cost per click for PPC, and does that change often?” So the cost-per-click
for PPC is a bid that you will set within your own campaign. That bid is how much
you are willing to pay whenever a certain customer visits your site based on their
ad. That bid will change, and you can set it at a different time, and then Google
will charge you up to that amount. If you bid $0.50 for a customer to visit your
site, Google can only charge you up to that much. They may charge you $0.25, they
may charge you $0.30, but they know that you are willing to spend up to $0.50
for that qualified traffic and, therefore, that’s what it is. There is something a
little bit more complex called the AdWords Auction of how often you will truly be
changing. But it’s really about the bid that you choose to set. In the resource,
right at the end, about the Keyword Planner will give you the best idea about
the keywords in your specific vertical and how much you’ll be paying for them. So
it’s going to vary, of course. But you get to set it yourself. You’ve got a
lot of control in that situation. There’s also one from Glen that I wanted
to take too. Glen, you asked, “How often should you redo your sitemap?” The best
thing about that is you don’t have to. Under “Marketing and SEO,” Volusion
automatically updates your sitemap daily. It’s going to regenerate it for you. So
every change that you make are going to be reflected in your sitemap later that day.
Unlike maybe former platforms and things like that, you’ve had to manually create
it, but Volusion takes that step away from you. So as you continue to add
new products and new categories your sitemap will be regenerated daily. – [Alison] And I mentioned Webmaster
Tools, just briefly, earlier. That’s another thing that’s good to have set up
along with your Google Analytics account. When you submit your sitemap to Webmaster
Tools, that’s another great way to get Google to recognize each of the pages
that’s on your site and sort of your general site structure and navigation.
That’s super easy to do as well. It’s literally just a click of a button. – [Kavi] Alejandra, “Is there anywhere
where I can learn more about how to use Google Analytics effectively?” Yes.
There’s a ton of resources on the Volusion website. If you want to go to our
ecommerce blog, there’s a “Welcome to Metrics.” It’s an Analytics webinar. It
will kind of show you what metrics are important for you to pay attention to,
how to set things up. There’s a lot of resources on the Volusion Knowledge
Base. And then also, Google puts out its own kind of instructions on how to
install it and what metrics need what. – [Female] Okay. Maureen had one about
keywords and sort of keyword hierarchy. She asks, “For SEO, do the keywords have
to be on each page, or can you have keywords that are relevant to the entire
site?” That’s a great question for when you’re thinking about the way to structure
your overall site content. So there will be some keywords, obviously, that are
relevant to your entire website, but it’s important to differentiate your
lower-level pages from each other so that you don’t end up competing with yourself.
So if you sell gardening supplies, for example, make sure that your homepage
includes keywords and content about gardening supplies in general. Then make
sure that your rakes and your gloves categories each contain content that’s
more specific to rakes and gloves rather than focusing on, again, just gardening
supplies in general. Just when you’re writing out your list of keywords, make
sure that each one is particularly relevant to that page so that people will
get to that page, specifically, when they type in those keywords rather
than just finding your site as a whole. – [Alison] All right. It looks like we’re
getting close to the hour here, so we’re going to be wrapping it up. As a
happy reminder, you’re going to be receiving these slides and a video
recording in a couple of days. So you’ll have all the resources that we covered
here at your fingertips. We also offer regular webinars, as we keep referencing
these, but it’s something we do all the time. They’re on all these sort of
marketing topics, and we go a bit more in depth than what we did today. Some
upcoming webinar topics include the product page optimization that Kavi
referenced and crafting a social media strategy for the holidays, and that one
will be on September 1. All of our marketing webinars are absolutely free,
and we encourage you to sign up for as many as you can. Our team
also offers marketing services. So, if at any time you want to outsource
your marketing efforts to our experts, simply reach out to the number you see
on the slide or the e-mail on this slide. And again, we want to thank you for taking
the time out of your busy schedule to join us today. We wish and your store
tremendous success. Happy selling.

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