Earlier, we discussed the first area to consider when improving your online store: usability. We covered four specific way to do this by 1) creating an appealing visual presentation of your products, 2) categorizing your products well, 3) perfecting your navigation, and 4) designed a stellar customer service system. The second area of focus is making your website more visible to the search engines, and here’s how.
How to Make Your Site More Visible
You’re going to increase the visibility of your site to the search engines in four specific ways:
- Designing a strong SEO campaign
- Leverage PPC appropriately
- Engage on social media
- Don’t neglect (or abuse) email marketing
Build a Strong SEO Campaign
No website can be truly visible online if it hasn’t optimized itself for placement on the search engine results pages (SERPs). SEO is a tricky animal because Google, the largest and most widely used search engine, is constantly updating the algorithm that decides where your website gets placed following a search query that includes your targeted keyword terms.
There are millions upon millions of web pages in existence online. Wired magazine co-founder, Kevin Kelly, predicts that the web actually contains a number closer to a trillion, more than the amount of neurons found in the human brain. When a member of your target audience types in a search query, Google’s algorithm is literally filtering through incomprehensible heaps of data to serve up precise results to that query. Where you get place will depend on how well you’ve catered the necessary criteria of your site to that algorithm.
Use PPC Well
While SEO caters to organic methods to achieve visibility on the SERPs and thereby receive visitors, PPC advertising positions your site at the head of the rankings. A PPC campaign begins with deciding on keyword terms to purchase. When those keywords terms are searched for, your site appears and you pay for the number of clicks to your site (Pay Per Click). This provides an immediate way to supplement your ongoing SEO efforts and is a great option when A/B testing the conversion weight of landing pages.
It will be up to you to determine the appropriate ratio of PPC and SEO for your site, but the two together make a formidable, traffic-churning team.
Engage with Your Audience on Social Media
Social media is a fantastic way to begin building your brand and establish a reputation among your followers. It is through your social media channels that you will be disseminating your new and original content and you will often have the opportunity to engage with your followers on these platforms, especially to discuss your posts.
LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook are the main channels you should be focusing on, with posts going out at least a few times a week. You should also be tracking conversations relevant to your industry (via hashtag and keywords), joining in the conversation where applicable and appropriate, and keeping tabs on what’s being said directly to and about your brand. Depending on the size of your company, you should designate either one person or a team to be solely responsible for your social media initiative.
Make Effective Use of Email Marketing
One of your ongoing objectives throughout the course of your interactions with your customers should be to grow your organic list of email subscribers. Those on your email list are going to be the recipients of upsells in the form of exclusive specials and offers and valuable content. Don’t neglect this invaluable connection to your clients’ and potential clients’ mailboxes. Additionally, don’t abuse it. Realize that your hall-pass to their inbox comes with expectations; always deliver something of value with each email and avoid the dreaded “unsubscribe” request.
Do you have any visibility techniques that weren’t mentioned on this list? Include them in the comments below!
Honigman, Brian. “10 Best Practices to Improve Your E-Commerce Website.” http://blog.sumall.com/journal/10-best-practices-improve-e-commerce-website.html. (December 18, 2014.)