This article is guest posted by Kirsty.
“If you build it, they will come”
It’s a great voiceover for a movie, but it hardly translates to the online world. There are countless entrepreneurs out there who think that all they have to do is get some products together, create a website, and – BOOM! – they’re swimming in profits.
Guess what? They’re all wrong.
The world is not waiting on bated breath for your new online store. Once you launch, you will not see tons of traffic rushing in.
Rule #1 of owning an e-store: traffic is everything.
Rule #2 of owning an e-store: traffic is not guaranteed.
You have to work hard to get traffic, and the real work begins after you have the site up and running. So, how do you get it?
Follow the principles of SEO
A whopping 70% of online shoppers head to a search engine to find the right online store. If you’re nowhere to be seen on the search engines, you’ll never get traffic. Make sure your site is optimized for your target keywords, and get links to your site to help build search engine rankings.
Content, content, content…
Both on-site and off. You need good product descriptions and other relevant information on-site. Use off-site content to get your name out there. Social networking sites are great for short bursts of traffic. For long-term traffic, do some article marketing and some guest blogging. All of the links you get will improve your search engine ranking.
Focus on the soft-sell
Any off-site content needs to focus on the benefits of your products, not a hard sales pitch.
Take advantage of all sales opportunities
Have a ‘related items’ list for each product. Also, encourage shoppers to join your email list. Email them any time there’s a sale or other promotion, and they’ll be much more likely to come back.
And finally, make sure your shoppers have an easy way to pay. Nothing is more frustrating than a confusing payment process! For example, with Volusion shopping cart, you can take PayPal payments, Google Checkout payments, or accept credit cards directly – without confusing your shoppers.