Grow Your Biz: a Step-By-Step Plan for Online Store Promotion
You are the owner of an online store. You have a beautiful modern website, a filled catalog and product cards, and integration with payment services. But it’s not enough to create a website and wait for sales: you need to promote it correctly.
Of course, you can launch contextual advertising on your online store or take your products to one of the popular marketplaces. In the first case, you will have to pay for ad impressions (and this will work while advertising is running), in the second, the owner will have to comply with the strict conditions of the marketplaces and be prepared for possible problems with shipping, warehousing, and delivery of goods.
But the best option is to engage in your online store, which means, in any case, carrying out search engine optimization.
Stages of Online Store Promotion
Whatever you sell – electronics and household appliances, children’s toys or clothes – the main stages of small business SEO services will be the same.
Step 1. Carry Out Technical Optimization of the Store
Before starting work, sort out the technical aspects:
- Close technical pages that are not intended for third-party eyes from indexing.
- Configure the site map so that the search robot “reads” it.
- Fix the incorrect scripts on the site.
- Delete duplicate pages and pages with error 404.
- Set up the mobile version.
Step 2. Build a Semantic Core for an Online Store
At this stage, it is important to collect all the queries that users will use to find your store in the search. A well-assembled semantic core already provides 40% of success in online store promotion because it gives an understanding of search demand and the direction of work on the refinement and expansion of the site.
In the assembled core, a key role is assigned to low-frequency and mid-frequency queries – it is in their composition, there are commodity queries that give 80% of sales. When an optimized online store occupies the top lines in search results in a certain cluster of queries, high-frequency queries are also pulled up to the top of the output.
The more low-frequency and medium-frequency queries in the semantic core that the site pages are optimized for, the higher the probability that the user will follow them to your online store.
To expand the semantics, do not forget about the keywords that competitors use. If web analytics counters are installed on the site, over time you will be able to check which queries and pages are popular with visitors and which no one visits.
Step 3. Finalize the Structure of the Online Store
So, the semantic core is made up: now you need to check which pages of the site are relevant to the collected queries, plan the creation of new pages and finalize the structure.
Do not forget about the frequency: the more popular the request, the more attention it needs to be paid. There is also a nuance here: requests are divided into several types and must be separated. Consider the example of the sale of washing machines:
- Information requests: “How to choose a washing machine”, “operating instructions”, “where to find a washing machine repairman”. According to such submissions, people will come to the online store’s website who do not want to buy a washing machine, but to get information.
- Navigation queries: They help users navigate and find the necessary information: the website of an online store, products of a particular brand, and the address of the company. Use such queries in the text of the pages “About the company”, “Contacts”, and “Delivery”, and also include them in the title and description.
- Multimedia queries: “overview of the Zanussi washing machine video”, “washing machine does not work, watch video”. If videos and other multimedia files are on the store’s website, include requests in their description.
Step 4. Work with the Commercial Factors of the Online Store
By commercial factors we mean all the factors that help the user make a decision and make a purchase:
- Convenient menu with filters.
- Convenient shopping cart.
- A wide range.
- Availability of the price.
- Information about promotions and discounts.
- Information about delivery and payment.
- The presence of high-quality photos on the product card.
- Availability of a description and characteristics of the product.
- Customer reviews.
This is an incomplete list, there are a lot of such factors. Let’s take a product card as an example. Whatever the user is going to buy, that is what it is important to know: the cost of the goods and whether there is a discount or online store promotion, photos, cost of delivery, and guarantees. So, all these commercial factors need to be collected together.
Step 5. Analytics, Adjustment of the Promotion Strategy
Bring the site to an ideal state: look at web analytics, analyze visitor behavior, work through every page, every section, and every product card, and do not forget about micro-markup and information content. None of these components should be overlooked.
But even when the goal is achieved and the site has reached the top, the work needs to be strengthened in all the areas described. If the assortment has been changed, adjust the semantic core and add new pages.
Continue to improve and optimize the site, monitor indicators and positions, connect other online store promotion channels: contextual advertising, placement on marketplaces, e-mail, and SMM marketing, and work with reputation. All of them provide additional traffic.