Setting Up Your Online Store
After doing research, finding your market, and setting a budget, it’s time to set up shop! Familiarize yourself with the Volusion platform by checking out our feature-list and Getting Started video series which will coach you through setting up your store. Here are a few additional tips to get you started:
Choosing a Template
Volusion offers a number of free and paid templates that are beautiful, on-trend, and responsive. But how do you know which one is right for your shop? That depends on what you’re selling.
If your products are highly visual and geared toward women, aim for a template like Cherish 2.0, which provides a stunning but minimal backdrop for a slideshow of hero graphics. If you’re selling tech gear, auto parts, or masculine products, try a darker template like Tech.
If you are looking for more guidance and want a more branded storefront, Volusion also offers an array of custom design services.
On that note, a solid content strategy is a cornerstone of SEO, and it also impacts the way in which your user experiences and shares your site! Write copy that connects to your audience, uses a relatable voice, and shares your passion.
On-site, make sure that each and every product and category description is unique and compelling. This isn’t just great for conversions, it will also help you avoid possible de-indexing for duplicate content.
Off-site, think about what type of articles you can write to build yourself up as a thought leader in your niche; or offer your products for bloggers to review. Writing your own on-site blog or resource articles will also be a valuable and fun way to share your expertise with your audience, while widening the net of prospective keywords through which searchers can discover your site.
For a quicker return on investment than SEO, paid ads are the way to go. Most ecommerce merchants are great candidates for either PPC (Pay-Per-Click advertising), Shopping Feeds, or both. Successful PPC and Feeds campaigns require a strategic and data-driven approach as you search for the keywords and ad spots that will produce the highest-converting results while achieving the best possible balance of search volume, competition, and cost per click.
To get started with paid advertising, take a look at your audience again. Who are they? What do they like? How exactly do they search the internet? Google’s search audience tends to be younger and more adaptable. Bing, on the other hand, tends to attract an older and more affluent audience, with approximately 57% between 25-54 and 49% possessing a college degree or higher. Once you’ve spent time implementing and optimizing your campaign strategy in the engine that you’ve deemed the best fit, consider scaling your account by breaking it into different campaigns and increasing budget accordingly. Next, consider opening your targeting to include the other engine.
Last but not least, it’s time to get social! Social media is one of the most economical ways to grow your brand visibility and meet your audience or prospective audience on their “home turf.” First, identify the platforms your target market(s) are most likely to use and enjoy. For many ecommerce merchants, this means Facebook at a minimum, with Twitter providing an assist. If you sell clothing or other visual, attractive items, then Pinterest, Instagram and Polyvore are great homes for your brand. And if your audience is young, then learn to love Snapchat.
No matter what medium you choose, social media is your chance to humanize yourself to your audience. Share promos, interesting news, musings, and humor (if it’s in line with your brand voice). Hold contests and giveaways. And most of all, respond to all questions and feedback in a timely, informative, and friendly way!
Consider investing in advertising for your mediums of choice, especially at the beginning, so you can find more “fans” in your target. Check out Chapter 6 of our DIY SEO Ebook for more tips on using social media for ecommerce.