Part 2: 18 Off-Page SEO, Marketing and Advertising Tips for Your E-Commerce Site
Our last post was the first of a two-part series on e-commerce SEO. We previously covered the Top 18 On-Page SEO E-Commerce Promotion Tips and this week we will cover tips under the following categories:
1. Start a Blog:
The Google Panda update negatively affected many websites that had poor quality content, so content marketing gained a favorable spotlight in the SEO world. Everyone thought starting a blog would be the solution to rank high, which means that almost every business is into blogging these days. You must thus strive to set yourself apart from the crowd by offering exceptionally good content. As an e-commerce website you will have an even greater challenge using a blog effectively. You must blog consistently, with high-quality content that is linked appropriately to your product pages. You must also market your blog effectively to be able to garner external links. Starting a blog on your website is an effective way of improving your online visibility, and is recommended even despite the necessary hard work.
Read more about blogging for SEO.
2. Guest Blogging:
If you are a blogger you should consider guest posting for other sites that deliver quality and useful information to your target niche market. The best way to take advantage of this off-page SEO tactic is to blog for more than just the SEO benefits. Make it obvious that you love sharing information and that the links that you gain from it are secondary. Matt Cutts already made it clear that guest blogging purely for links is a big no no, so keep things natural people!
Read more about guest blogging.
Read more about Google authorship.
3. Forum Comments:
Participate in product-specific forums on the web and solve queries made by your niche audience. After you have established authority on a couple of forum sites, you can post links to your website in relevant comments. While these links are often nofollow (they won't send link juice), they will send referrals. A forum that ranks well for a particular problem that your product solves could send you some nice leads.
4. How-To Articles:
How-to articles are like the help section of your website. You can post these articles on your own blog, as guest blogs on other sites, then share them acress your social channels. As an added note, this advice is applicable to articles other than how-to guides.
Answering questions that people search for can also help your pages to appear in Google's answer box.
5. How-To Videos:
If you have product videos or how-to videos, promote them on free video hosting sites such as YouTube and Vimeo or simply host them on your own site. In both cases the videos will be featured on your site and you will need to submit a video sitemap to Google Search Console.
6. Local Business Promotion:
If your e-commerce store has a physical presence, promote it in the right places, such as Google My Business and Bing Local. Include your location name in your keywords and acquire reviews in local online communities and sites.
Read more tips for local SEO.
7. Coupon Promotion:
If you have coupons, do not forget to distribute them with the discount codes to coupon sites that offer good deals. Your customers might be looking for exactly your offer on such third party sites.
8. Document Sharing:
Popular document sharing sites like SlideShare, Scribd, DocStoc and Box.net allow you to share your documents online. These can be in the form of product catalogs or any other useful information, such as PDFs, PowerPoint presentations or e-books.
Read more about promoting your documents on SlideShare.
9. Social Bookmarking:
Pinterest is the most popular image-sharing site and is important for e-commerce sites as it allows you to post images of your products with prices. This gives additional exposure to your products and may even drive direct sales.
Facebook is a great platform for e-commerce promotion. Add an element of fun and do not make it all about your products. Share information and market your coupons, post 'Fan of the Week' pictures and encourage Facebook check-ins.
Read more about Facebook marketing.
12. Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn:
Create brand pages on Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. Share important information with your customers related to your industry. This information can be in the form of videos, blogs, images, seasonal offers, contests, coupons and so on; just try to get maximum exposure and make sure your other marketing channels are interconnected with these profiles.
Create and send a weekly e-mail newsletter to your customers informing them about the products on your site or about any new blog content or discounts. Include a sign-up form in the emails and only send them to users that have subscribed.
14. Get an M-Commerce Site:
With the increasing use of smartphones it is crucial that you have a mobile-friendly website design for your mobile customers. Keep the buttons finger-friendly, easy to scan, and avoid too many visual elements. Make category tabs prominent.
15. Foursquare Check-in:
Checking-in on mobile social networking sites is all the rage with smartphone users. This is an awesome way to get exposure for your physical store on the social media profiles of people that check-in to your store. Foursquare is the most frequently used and it is good to keep track of all those who check-in at your store in order to connect with them. You could offer incentives or freebies corresponding to a certain number of check-ins to encourage people to visit your location. To begin, download the Foursquare app, claim your business if it already exists or just click on the option that says Add This Place.
16. Google Adwords Campaign or Other PPC Ads:
Choose whether you want your ads to drive traffic to your website or just create brand awareness. Choose your bid and budget amounts, start small and test your ad performance using Google Analytics.
Read more about improving your Adwords quality.
17. Facebook Promoted Posts:
It is common to see product ads on Facebook as the majority of customers are on Facebook, giving it a high potential for new leads. Investing a little in Facebook promoted posts should help increase traffic to your site and possibly even create direct sales.
Read this interesting article on Facebook promoted posts generating direct sales.
18. A/B Testing:
Always test your site for conversions. You might test the color or contact form position. Split testing or A/B testing can help you optimize your site elements, understand your customer behavior better and improve the performance of your site. This will result in enriched user experience, which should result in enhanced SEO.
Read more about A/B Testing.
There are plenty more innovative ideas to promote your e-commerce stores and we would love to hear some of your personal e-commerce promotion success stories in the comments below.