Archive for the ‘E-commerce’ Category

Pinterest has nearly five million users, and is rapidly growing. Nearly 1.5 million unique users visit Pinterest daily, spending an average of 15 minutes a day on the site. Think those inspiring vision boards don’t result in referral traffic to websites and blogs? Think again. In January 2012, Pinterest drove greater traffic to websites than LinkedIn, Google Plus, Reddit, and Youtube — combined. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how beginner, intermediate, and black-belt Pinterest users are using it to grow their businesses and connect with their customers using these appealing online collages.

Here are 56 powerful ways I’ve come up with to incorporate Pinterest into your content marketing mix …

  1. Make sure you feature your business name on your profile for maximum exposure. Use your business name as your username, or change your profile name to your business name after your profile is set up.
  2. Add a paragraph about who you are and what you’re interested in to the “About” section on your Pinterest profile. It will show up right under your photo, and will be one way that users can find out more about you.
  3. Connect your account with your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Not only will it help you gain followers, but making this connection adds social media icons under your profile picture that link to your Facebook and Twitter profiles.
  4. Don’t forget to add your website URL in your profile, too!
  5. Pin lots of stuff. Pin content steadily, instead of in huge bursts, to maximize your exposure and engagement.
  6. Come up with creative and interesting board names. They get shared whenever you pin something, so make them enticing. But be creative — you need to keep your board names short. There isn’t a lot of room for long descriptive titles.
  7. Tag other Pinterest users in your pins by using “@username” in your descriptions. Network with other professionals and vendors in your field by using this feature. Not many people are doing this yet, so it’s a great way to build your following and stand out.
  8. Comment on other people’s pins. Just like with tagging, this feature hasn’t really caught on yet, so use it regularly to really engage with other users. Obviously, use the same good manners and common sense you would when commenting on a blog or other social media site.
  9. “Like” other people’s pins to give a thumbs-up when you want to recognize great content.
  10. Pin from lots of different sources, instead of just from one or two sites. Variety is important on Pinterest.
  11. Mix pinning your own unique finds with doing lots of “repinning,” which is repeating someone else’s pin to your followers (just like a Retweet on Twitter). The person whose image you repin gets notified via email, and they also get a credit on your pin, which increases their following.
  12. Feel free to pin your own blog posts, but don’t over-promote. Follow the usual etiquette rules of any other social media site, and don’t be the boorish one at the party who only talks about himself.
  13. Pin videos! Pinterest has a special section just for pinned videos, and there are far fewer videos than images on Pinterest at this point, so use them to distinguish yourself. Any YouTube video is easy to pin.
  14. When you pin an image, add a description under it. Be smart about these descriptions — a good description will stay with an image as it gets repinned all over the Pinterest world. If the image is something from your own site, definitely use your business name in the description.
  15. After you pin a new image using the very handy Pinterest browser bookmarklet (a great tool in its own right,) use its built-in social media prompts to re-share your pin on Twitter and Facebook, too.
  16. Use Pinterest’s embed option to publish pins as content in your blog posts and website pages. Note: As Pinterest is catching on, you may need to tell your users that they need to click on a Pinterest image to get to the original source. When I tried this last week, a reader wrote to me and asked, “Is there more to that Pin thing? Or is it just a pretty image?”
  17. Get the Pinterest iPhone app, so you can repin on the go, pin from your camera and add a location to your pins so others can find your images.
  18. Optimize your website content for Pinterest sharing (Part One): Use images in every single post you write, so your post can be shared on Pinterest. When you find yourself getting lazy about this, remember –- not using an image in your post means no one will pin it. And remember — the prettier the picture is, the more it will get pinned. The images that appeal to Pinterest members are powerful and emotive, so keep that in mind when choosing your pictures. That combination tends to work well for your blog readers, too.
  19. Optimize your website content for Pinterest sharing (Part Two): Consider watermarking your images, or adding text to them. If you’re using your own images on Pinterest, one of the best ways to help your image stand out is by adding a clear description to the image itself, or adding a watermark with your business name. Make sure it’s clear, but that it doesn’t block out the main subject of the photo.
  20. Create seasonal or holiday boards that relate to your brand. Example: New Year’s Resolutions, Fourth of July, etc. Users love these.
  21. Add a prominent Follow Me on Pinterest button to your website to advertise that you’re a pinner!

 

Pinterest has nearly five million users, and is rapidly =
growing. Nearly 1.5 million unique users visit Pinterest daily, spending =
an average of 15 minutes a day on the site. Think those inspiring vision =
boards don’t result in referral traffic to websites and blogs? =
Think again. In January 2012, Pinterest drove greater traffic to =
websites than LinkedIn, Google Plus, Reddit, and Youtube — =
combined. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how beginner, =
intermediate, and black-belt Pinterest users are using it to grow their =
businesses and connect with their customers using these appealing online =
collages.

Here =
are 56 powerful ways I’ve come up with to incorporate Pinterest =
into your content marketing mix …

Make sure you feature your business name on your profile =
for maximum exposure. Use your business name as your username, or change =
your profile name to your business name after your profile is set =
up.
Add a paragraph about who you are and what you’re =
interested in to the “About” section on your Pinterest =
profile. It will show up right under your photo, and will be one way =
that users can find out more about you.
Connect your account with your Facebook and Twitter =
accounts. Not only will it help you gain followers, but making this =
connection adds social media icons under your profile picture that link =
to your Facebook and Twitter profiles.
Don’t forget to add your website URL in your =
profile, too!
Pin lots of stuff. Pin content steadily, instead of in =
huge bursts, to maximize your exposure and =
engagement.
Come up with creative and interesting board names. They =
get shared whenever you pin something, so make them enticing. But be =
creative — you need to keep your board names short. There =
isn’t a lot of room for long descriptive =
titles.
Tag other Pinterest users in your pins by using =
“@username” in your descriptions. Network with other =
professionals and vendors in your field by using this feature. Not many =
people are doing this yet, so it’s a great way to build your =
following and stand out.
Comment on other people’s pins. Just like with =
tagging, this feature hasn’t really caught on yet, so use it =
regularly to really engage with other users. Obviously, use the same =
good manners and common sense you would when commenting on a blog or =
other social media site.
“Like” other people’s pins to give a =
thumbs-up when you want to recognize great =
content.
Pin from lots of different sources, instead of just from =
one or two sites. Variety is important on =
Pinterest.
Mix pinning your own unique finds with doing lots of =
“repinning,” which is repeating someone else’s pin to =
your followers (just like a Retweet on Twitter). The person whose image =
you repin gets notified via email, and they also get a credit on your =
pin, which increases their following.
Feel free to pin your own blog posts, but don’t =
over-promote. Follow the usual etiquette rules of any other social media =
site, and don’t be the boorish one at the party who only talks =
about himself.
Pin videos! Pinterest has a special section just for =
pinned videos, and there are far fewer videos than images on Pinterest =
at this point, so use them to distinguish yourself. Any YouTube video is =
easy to pin.
When you pin an image, add a description under it. Be =
smart about these descriptions — a good description will stay with =
an image as it gets repinned all over the Pinterest world. If the image =
is something from your own site, definitely use your business name in =
the description.
After you pin a new image using the very handy =
Pinterest browser bookmarklet
(a great tool in its own =
right,) use its built-in social media prompts to re-share your pin on =
Twitter and Facebook, too.
Use Pinterest’s embed option to publish pins as =
content in your blog posts and website pages. Note: As Pinterest is =
catching on, you may need to tell your users that they need to click on =
a Pinterest image to get to the original source. When I tried this last =
week, a reader wrote to me and asked, “Is there more to that Pin =
thing? Or is it just a pretty image?”
Get the Pinterest iPhone app, so you can repin =
on the go, pin from your camera and add a location to your pins so =
others can find your images.
Optimize your website content for Pinterest sharing =
(Part One): Use images in every single post you =
write
, so your post can be shared on Pinterest. When you find =
yourself getting lazy about this, remember –- not using an image =
in your post means no one will pin it. And remember — the prettier =
the picture is, the more it will get pinned. The images that appeal to =
Pinterest members are powerful and emotive, so keep that in mind when =
choosing your pictures. That combination tends to work well for your =
blog readers, too.
Optimize your website content for Pinterest sharing =
(Part Two): Consider watermarking your images, or adding text to them. =
If you’re using your own images on Pinterest, one of the best ways =
to help your image stand out is by adding a clear description to the =
image itself, or adding a watermark with your business name. Make sure =
it’s clear, but that it doesn’t block out the main subject =
of the photo.
Create seasonal or holiday boards that relate to your =
brand. Example: New Year’s Resolutions, Fourth of July, etc. Users =
love these.
Add a prominent Follow Me on Pinterest button to your =
website to advertise that you’re a =
pinner!

 

 

 

 

We all know the importance =
search engines give to backlinks of a website in their overall ranking =
algorithm. Every webmaster knows the fact that to rank well in search =
engines they need to have a decent number (greater than their =
competitors) of quality backlinks linking to their website. And, we also =
know that how hard it is to build quality links when you are managing a =
100% E-Commerce website leaving most of us with the only option of paid =
links and spamming.

But, in this article we’ll cover 9 =
more methods you can implement to build some high quality natural =
links.

1. Share a coupon =
code

Online couponing has gained a huge =
popularity in last 1-2 years. Thanks to tough economic times.  =
Nowadays, almost every buyer tries to find a coupon code of a store =
before doing a purchase from it.

Create a discount =
coupon code and submit it to as many coupon sharing sites and blogs as =
possible. Most of these sites give a do-follow link to the store =
website. So this technique will not only help you in building links but =
also in increasing your brand awareness.

You can also =
create exclusive discount coupons for readers of most popular blogs and =
sites to keep track of orders you get from these websites. This data =
will help you in planning your long term marketing =
campaigns

2. Offer exclusive discounts to =
customers

Offer an exclusive discount coupon =
or an attractive offer to your current customers for a mention on their =
blogs with a link back to your website or for testimonials on other main =
business directories like Google places, yelp, Yahoo local =
etc.

3. Offer products for =
review

Create a list of most influential =
bloggers (Fashion bloggers, Software bloggers) of your niche and send =
them free products for review. This technique won’t be very effective if =
your product is very common as most of the A-list bloggers will decline =
it because of the numerous pitches they get every day. So you need to =
keep contacting new bloggers until you get the desired =
results.

4. Join niche associations and local =
business organizations

The other good source =
where you can get high quality relevant links is local business =
organizations and associations. Normally, all such organizations have =
websites with backlinks from other big organizations and government =
websites. Becoming a member of these organizations not only gives you an =
opportunity to network with other like-minded people but also entitle =
you for a link to your website from the members section of these =
websites.

5. Donate to local charities and =
NGOs

Find out charities and NGO’s which links =
to their donor’s websites. It is a win-win situation if you donate to =
such organizations. These organizations will get some money to support =
their causes and you will get a high quality =
link.

6. Discount =
Programs

Search for organizations/institutions =
which keep track of companies offering discounts to their employees for =
shopping. Contact them with an exclusive discount coupon and get a link =
back. An example can be found here.

7. Sponsor a tweet-up/local bloggers meet =
up

Search for local bloggers using search =
feature on social media sites like Facebook /Twitter. Also you can make =
use of sites like blogdigger.com to find bloggers in your area. Invite =
them for a meet-up  to your company or local caf=E9 where you can =
tell them about your products in hope that they will mention your =
website on their blogs.

8. Sponsor/organize =
contests and giveaways

Organizing contests or =
just sponsoring them is another great way to attract some links. Search =
for bloggers (you can easily find a lot of them) who actively organize =
contests for their readers and request them to organize a contest on =
your blog promoting your company. Most of the bloggers will happily do =
it for free (though a few demand a fee or a free =
product).

9. Start a =
Blog

It is a fact that to get natural links =
you need to have high quality content. And, since most of the ecommerce =
sites don’t have any useful content there is a very low probability for =
them of attracting links. One can remove this limitation by simply =
adding a blog and updating it with unique, useful and of course SEO =
friendly content. You can learn more about the SEO benefits of a blog here=
.

10. Tweet

Join =
Twitter and follow the leaders in your space. Contribute thoughtfully to =
get some influential followers to your tweets and blog. =

 

Your online store needs to have people visiting so that they will make purchases. The best way to get traffic to your site is to optimize your e-commerce store for search engines. The goal of SEO (search engine optimization) is to be where your potential customer is online before your competitor gets there. This checklist will help you get more traffic to your site and ultimately more sales for your online business.

* Keywords- The more people you can get interested in your website to share information with, the more chances you will have to sell them your products online. Use your top 25 keywords in the anchor text of your links. Another important point is that you should not overuse any one keyword. It tends to look unnatural if all of your links have the same anchor text.
* Content- Content is the master of attracting online searchers. The more useful and unique your content is on your website the more opportunities you will have to create interest around the products and services that you are selling online. Great content gives freshness and relevancy to your e-commerce website to boost the ranking.
* Link Building- Links on relevant sites are more powerful and should be the primary focus of your link building/buying efforts
* Site Map- Adding a site map makes it very easy for search engines to find and index every page on your website.
* Image Descriptions- The text around images is very valuable for SEO and using captions for images is beneficial as well.
* Develop Relationships- An easy way to direct traffic to your website is by linking to other sites.
* Product Reviews: A great strategy for unique content is by displaying user-generated content from your online shoppers. Allow customers to review products they’ve purchased and comment on them.

af

 

Cheers,

Gus

________________________________

Gordon =
Gus

www. GordonGus .com =

Email: =
gordon(at)gordongus.com

Mobile: +1 (858) =
342-1763

Skype: =
dogbeachdude

 

af

 

Cheers,

Gus

________________________________

Gordon =
Gus

www. GordonGus .com =

Email: =
gordon(at)gordongus.com

Mobile: +1 (858) =
342-1763

Skype: =
dogbeachdude

 

For businesses that are looking to accept credit card payments online,
security is always an issue. You want to be able to reassure your clients
that their important financial numbers are not going to be misused, but if
you have the numbers stored on a computer, they are vulnerable to a hacker
attack. The solution? A payment gateway company.

What It Is

These companies provide a method of verifying credit cards in real time by
sending the information immediately to a bank. There is no information
stored anywhere since it is simply transferred. If the card is not reported
stolen or wanted for fraud, then the transaction will be continued.

There are numerous benefits to using this technology. For one, no stored
credit information means that the client’s payments are as secure as they
can be, something the business can promote when encouraging sales. Many
people are wary of paying online and the assurance of secure processing
tends to help them make a decision to buy.

Another advantage to the business is a large reduction in the number of
stolen or fraudulent card numbers being used, which protects the business
from monetary loss, as well. While it isn’t possible to completely eliminate
the use of invalid card numbers, using a system like this will definitely
keep the problems to a minimum.

Not all companies are the same. While all process the information in a
similar manner, online businesses need to ensure that they are choosing the
right payment gateway company for their business. It’s a good idea to check
out several companies and read reviews if possible so you can get a better
idea of what to expect from each one.

One of the most important areas to look at when choosing a payment company
is which shopping carts they support. For companies that are just getting
started, this isn’t a big problem because they can set up a shopping cart
that can be easily integrated with the payment service of their choice.
However, if the business already has a shopping cart and has set it up with
their products, chances are, they will want to find a company that will work
with the cart the business is already using.

It’s important to check the rates and fees, as well. Some companies charge a
fixed rate per transaction, others will charge a percentage. Compare prices
to be sure your business is getting the best deal for the number and type of
payments that your company will be receiving. For example, if the majority
of a business’ products are under $10, a fixed fee of $1 per transaction
will be more than a percentage of 2.5% per transaction, but if the majority
of the sales are over $50, the fixed fee is far more economical.

Payment gateway companies are not required in order to do business online,
but they should certainly be considered. Choosing the right one is very
important, since it can affect the future of your business.

Empty office space litters skylines, freeways and office parks. Once-busy
hives of cubicles have become empty steel and concrete caverns. Their
previous occupants met with a variety of fates: Some were victims of a deep
recession; others were washed away by tsunamis of cheap labor in foreign
lands; still others were unleashed by virtual technologies. Only the last
group of former office dwellers have freed themselves willingly. They did so
by exchanging their physical presence for a virtual existence.

“My partner and I have run the business from a lakeside dock in Canada and a
hotel in Barcelona, for around US$200 per month for all the necessary
tools,” Stephanie Pakrul, cofounder of TopNotchThemes, told the E-Commerce Times.

Virtual Gets Real

“Our virtual assistant wakes up on the East Coast, checks the mail, checks
for voicemail, answers support emails, and I get a report of anything
pressing by the time I’m awake in Pacific time,” explained Pakrul.

The TopNotchThemes team uses the following tools to make their virtual
existence concrete:

* Earth Class Mail for digital mail
* RingCentral for phone/virtual PBX
* Quickbooks Online for
portable bookkeeping
* Bank of America’s (NYSE: BAC) online
banking and bill pay to send direct deposit, wire, or checks to anyone
* RescueTime for tracking tasks and
project work
* Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) Docs for online
document creation and storage

“There are some huge benefits to Earth Class Mail in particular, in that you
can get an actual street address, not just a P.O. box,” said Pakrul. “Plus,
with your mail scanned quickly online, you don’t need to re-ship everything,
and often can just have the paper copies shredded and keep the scans, which
keeps down the cost and paper.”

A Place to Be or Not to Be

If, however, your business is the type that needs the occasional meeting
room and all snail mail as original hard copies, then opt to be a virtual
tenant in any number of actual offices.

“We have a virtual tenant who is actually in China,” Jeremy Wolf, owner of
Wolf Commercial
,
told the E-Commerce Times. “We box his mail and ship it to him once a week.”

Many of Wolf’s virtual tenants, however, are attracted to the common areas
— namely, boardrooms and fancy lobbies with highly skilled receptionists.
Still others like the faux caller ID.

“You can either plug one of our phones into your computer or install some
simple softphone software. Either way, the receptionist can transfer calls
to you anywhere without the caller knowing you’re outside the premises,” he
added.

“You can also call anyone and the caller ID will show your ‘office’ number,
not the number where you actually are,” he said.

The result: A small business can appear much larger, and workers never have
to set foot in an actual office again. On the downside, it’s much easier to
set up a scam operation these days!

The costs for a virtual tenant is “roughly 25 percent or less than a regular
tenant,” said Wolf. The lowest rent Wolf offers regular tenants is $1,000 a
month. By comparison, virtual tenants pay $250 a month, on average.

Local SEO is very confusing to many but if understood, the principles that
apply are so simple. There is no magic bullet for local SEO and it is pure
hard work and more of an art than a magic formula. To get your website to
top rankings locally in search engines, there are certain principles to
adhere to in order to accomplish that. This local search engine
optimization can affect your website’s search ranking factors in local
search pages, depending on how it was done.

For the past few years, SEO become a buzz word for all the webmasters out
there and everyone is talking how to get and guarantee top page rankings.
Google and search engines have caught up with that since there has been a
proliferation of black hat methods. Black hat methods are unethical ways to
rank a website but everything has changed now. Gone are the days where
people can just put spam keywords all over their web content. Google, Yahoo,
and Bing can now detect such malpractices.

Nowadays, the hottest buzz word is SEO. Search engines want to deliver more
relevant content to the searches so it doesn’t stop with SEO. The word to
look out for now is “Local SEO”. Local SEO gives more relevant information
to searchers and it also brings more targeted visitors to small business
owners. This confused many because they treated global SEO and local SEO
interchangeably-which is a big mistake.

Many SEO gurus entered the scene to take advantage of the new buzz. They
offered SEO and search resources like “Secret Local SEO Guide and Advice
Books” which, if one would thoroughly examine the content, most of the
things written down were rehashed and copied from an obscure website.
However, there are also excellent local SEO books that are available in the
market but they don’t come cheap. These books show the tested and ethical
ways to push a website to the top local search results.

Here is a basic local SEO checklist to guide everyone, particularly you, the
aggressive business owner:

1. Optimize your site for a certain keyword, product, prospective customers,
and geography. It is important that these four factors are balanced, just
like a chair would be very unstable if one leg is missing.

2. Design your website in such a way that it coincides with your product,
your customer’s profile, and the culture of the local place where you
operate your business.

3. Get your website indexed in local search engines as well as in the big
three: Google local, Yahoo local, and Bing. Getting indexed is different
from being ranked. You get your site indexed first and your site would be
ranked later.

4. Rank you site locally for specify keywords targeted to your local
community. How to do this? You can do keyword permutations or combinations
with the places that you are targeting. If you are operating your business
in Sydney, insert the name of the place in the keyword, like this: “real
state property Sydney”.

5. Get your site listed in local directories. Drop your links to as many
local directories you could find but make it sure that the website directory
is relevant to your product and services.

6. Build links to get your site ranked well for a certain keyword. Don’t do
too much at first because search engines would treat you as a spammer. Do it
naturally while you participate in WEB 2.0 sites.

7. Take advantage of the social networking sites. There are local SEO for
social media optimization. Build contacts and friends and be an authority in
your niche product or services.

8. List your site to Google maps or MapQuest. Put your target main keywords
and a good description of your business. This is very important to local SEO
since you want to increase your business visibility.

9. Install analytics to your website. It is a mortal sin for local SEO not
to install analytics to your site. It helps you in your online marketing
decisions. Analytics lets you know the fundamental information of what works
and what doesn’t for you so you could adjust your strategy if needed.

10. Be innovative in your online marketing strategies to get more traffic
and level up your conversions and sales leads. Think of ways how to have a
continuity system for long-term cash inflow.

This is not an extensive list but, at least, you can start to apply these
steps and see results. However, there two choices a business owner like you
can choose from, either you do it yourself or let a local SEO expert do it.
Take action now!

Have you ever met someone who doesn’t love free stuff? This feature of human nature is inherent in every individual: everybody wants to get more by doing less. Why not use this knowledge to your benefit?

People naturally love freebies, whether they are products, services, or consultations. When a visitor comes to your site, and finds something free that she can use or download (downloading is especially important, because the file will get to her own PC visitor’s private territory), it definitely makes her happy.

As a result, the visitor gets tied to a powerful psychological anchor this site is good, it makes me feel better. In most cases, this visitor will come back either to get a new freebie, or to find out what else is there on your website. Being grateful, she may decide to StumbleUpon (or whatever bookmarking service she uses) the site or tell friends about it. Both are good for you since this way you get new visitors.

Before you offer something free, you should be sure your visitors really need it. How can you be sure? Research your audience. Make a poll: ask your visitors what they are interested in most of all, what they would like to see at your website. Next, create a freebie. What can it be?

  1. Useful how-to instructions that are close to the site theme: guides, books, articles (printable PDFs are handy in such cases), videos, etc.Visitors should be interested in downloading your files. Include some additional information about products you offer at your site into the guides, describe their usage in real life – add showcases – to make it interesting.
  2. Entertaining freebies: coloring pictures (for children), games, puzzles, featured music files in mp3, magazines, clipart, icon sets, whatever fits your site’s theme and goal. Depending on your site, choose something that may be interesting to your visitors. If your blog is about web-design, offer free icon sets and clipart. If you sell icons, make some of them available for free.
  3. Valuable information: web sources lists, newsletters. By offering site lists, you save your visitor’s time – they do not need to search for important information through the entire web. Make it easy for them to subscribe to the list with their favorite feed-reader or save the list to their bookmarks or desktop.
  4. Corporate attributes: cups, t-shirts, caps, pens, hand-mirrors (anything people might need for their daily use) If you sell products under your own brand, offer a free t-shirt or cup containing the corporate logo along with the order. This way the buyer will feel her proximity to something successful (such as your brand’s).
  5. A perfect way to make your visitors feel they save money is to offer free shipping for their order. In this case you are not giving them something, but you will make them feel satisfied because they are saving on the delivery costs.
  6. Run a contest and give a small present to each participant every bit counts.
  7. If you sell software, its always good to offer a free version or a full-featured trial let people understand what it is and what she can get by paying money. Some thoughts on free software by Mac Slocum toc.oreilly.com/2008/06/using-the-psychology-of-free.html. Right after your visitors get what they want, you, in your turn, may ask for some small favor in return. Most site owners ask for a subscription to their newsletter or account registration (of course, this should be also free). This is a good way of getting targeted and interested subscribers. Make your visitors happy with your care, and they will make you happy too!
About GordonGus
"Whether selling products, services or information I have helped others succeed online by clarifying goals, simplifying technologies, motivating players and executing tasks. My energy and perseverance has helped others reach their goals. Of course, some wanted to shoot me in the process."
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