The Trickledown Effect of Dropshopping

What Is Dropshipping And What is In It for You?

Have you ever wished there was a way to make more money without doing more work? The internet is an amazing place with features that have never before been available to entrepreneurs. One of the most convenient benefits is that it gives the ability for a store to have items in stock without actually having to have the items in stock. There is no need to actually have a storeroom to have items “in stock”.

In the past, if a business wanted to sell a product, the would have to have the product stored in a place where either customers or staff could physically retrieve it. Your business would have to order a stock of whatever you were trying to sell in hopes customers buy them all before it is too late to sell them.

A Sure Thing

Dropshipping can do away with that uncertainty of customer demand, especially for smaller businesses that simply do not have the resources to let the stock go to waste or not sell. Instead of purchasing stock from a bigger company, the dropshipping system allows you to still make the profit from the sale while the source company holds one the stock.

Digital World

The way it works is by taking advantage of e-commerce. As a business, you, naturally, have your product or service to sell. Even when working out of a physical storefront a smart business owner does as much business as possible online.

The internet is where everybody is at now, with many being more present in the virtual world than reality. That leaves getting a website more like a necessity than just a good idea. The thing with a website is that there is always extra space, no matter how big it is. Since there is a way to utilize that extra space to make money without even adding extra work, it does not make sense not to.

The New Way to Expand

Big companies have their own websites and stores and they do well enough for themselves. The reason that they became so big in the first place was by taking advantage of any opportunity. Since that is the case and you have extra room on your website, it is no big wonder that they have come up with a way for everybody to take advantage of it. In addition to the business that normally takes place on your site, you can use some of that extra space and become a sales representative for a normal site.

Anything that your site sells in a dropshipping agreement generally gets a commission from the sale and any mark-up on the price gets tagged to the business income. It is the same as any other sales through the website without all of the stress associated with stocking, packing, and shipping. All of that is handled by the mother company.

For the big companies out there, dropshipping is pretty much the ultimate in advertisement. Why would they put a banner on your page when they can just take the order right there and then give you a cut?

Getting Started with Dropshipping

The dropshipping system is as simple as signing up with a partner and adding new products to your marketplace. All of the work is taken care of for you. The orders are placed directly to your supplier and shipped right from them to your customer. All you have to do is keep an eye on the website and answer the occasional question and get your website visitors. That is no problem when you are simply trying to add new options to your existing business.

IF you don’t already have a business website or even much that could even be considered a business yet, that is not really a big deal. Dropshipping may still be an option for you. As a matter of fact, it is an excellent way for a person with no previous business experience to get started.

With no need for the kind of start-up money necessary to get a storefront and stalk up on products. Not to mention the headache that can come along with shipping, especially when returns start coming in. With all of that handled, you only need a website and many dropshipping companies include one of those in the package.

Starting Out with Dropshipping

If you spend more time on the internet than it seems is worthwhile, it may be time to start making those blog posts and memes bring in a check. Adding a link to a brand-new drop shipping site can turn an average blog into a billboard for your new website. Before you know it your regular readers and friends become customers and by doing what you used to just do for fun, you now are making a profit.

Drop shipping may not be the perfect solution to getting rich quick. There is very little chance that it will replace your day job next week or even next year but it does provide hope. Any steady, passive income helps in these tough times. It is always great to know that when it comes down to it there is always a little bit left over in case of an emergency. When there is no fire, the excess will still be there to be used on vacation instead.

Top marketing tips for small eCommerce stores

If you have decided that you would like to start an eCommerce store, you may be excited by all of the developments that have taken place in that market over the past few years. However, it isn’t as simple as claiming your slice of the pie just like that – you will need to have a strategy that you can put into action, that will secure the long term success of your site. With this being the case, we have put together a number of tips that should help you – meaning that if you’re currently trying to consider how you can do things better with your store, this blog is a great place to start.

Spend money on your SEO strategy

In the modern day, more people find businesses online than anywhere else, and because of this you always need to make sure that you are ahead of the competition whenever possible. For this reason, you need to consider your SEO plan, as your potential customers need to be able to find you. By including words and phrases in your content – in a natural sounding way – that people are likely to search for when online, you can help to make sure that your website is found, and this means that your sales are likely to rise.

Money for seo shopify

Think about your content

A store alone is never going to keep people engaged – however the content that you post on your website might just do this. A blog, for example, is a great platform to write about what you know, and give your customers ideas and tips that might gently push them towards the decision of buying something from your store. If you post regularly on your blog, people will start to enjoy them, and will actively check whether you have posted recently – meaning that your store will get a continuous stream of visitors.

content for shopify

Try not to use pop-ups

Although you may wish to make some extra revenue from your site, pop-ups are not the right choice for two major reasons. Firstly, Google is going to start lowering the rankings of sites who use pop-ups, and this might mean that you don’t get as many visitors as you would have done previously. Secondly, pop-ups are annoying. If websites use a lot of pop-ups, then it can stop people from wanting to visit again, and this could lose some of your valued customers. Unless you have a serious USP that they can’t get anywhere else, they are unlikely to use a site that presents such issues during use.

no pop ups on shopify

Make the most of social media

Almost everyone has a social media account of some kind, and this means that it provides you with a great platform to reach people who might want to buy something from your store. By having an online presence, such as an account that people can follow or like, it gives you the chance to interact with your customers, which is a hugely valuable marketing tool. It also means that they are likely to share things with their own friends, such as posts from you or things that they have bought from your store. Posting things on social media that people want to share gives you exactly the right kind of attention.

social media shopify

Consider a loyalty scheme

You might think that loyalty schemes are only for larger stores, but this absolutely isn’t true. Customers like to feel valued, and this means that even small rewards for using your site would be welcomed. For example, you could offer free shipping on the third order, or a small free gift. It certainly encourages people to come back – particularly if you send well-timed emails reminding users that they have these offers available to use.

When you’re running an eCommerce store, by far the most important things are interaction, and encouraging people to come back once they have shopped with you the first time. Both of these are very much linked, and if you are tuned in to the needs and wishes of your customers, it is likely that they will feel this, and will enjoy using your site. Spending time thinking about your strategy is important, as it can certainly make a huge difference to your long term profits.

Magento V Shopify – A Comparison

When you are thinking about running an eCommerce business, one of the most important things that you will need to consider is the platform that you run it on. If you want to be able to hit your potential when it comes to sales performance then everything has to be just right, and taking your time to choose your platform is a huge part of this. Despite the fact that Magento and Shopify are so different, thanks to the fact that they are both leaders in the industry they are often compared with each other, and because of this it can be useful to take some time to think about how they are different and how they compare when placed side by side. This article will take you through some interesting information about both platforms, which should leave you more able to make the right decision for your business.

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Main features

If you’re looking for a platform that allows you access to lots of templates then Shopify may disappoint – although it does offer the functionality of blogging. There are apps that you can integrate on both platforms, though Magento provides a higher number of these.

How easy are the platforms to use?

Both platforms provide users with a simple interface that is easy to use, though Shopify has been shown to be easier when it comes to being set up and installed. Also, Shopify has the advantage of including hosting in its packages, whereas with Magento this would need to be purchased separately.

How much support is available on the platforms?

When you’re running an eCommerce store, particularly when it is something that you are just trying out for the first time, you may feel as though you need to access to support at all times. Shopify provides you with this no matter what time of day or night you may need it – but unfortunately Magento offers no such option. However, instead, Magento offers users a community forum where they are able to chat to other developers, so many might find that their issues are solved in this way.

Ease of marketing

Marketing is of course one of the most important things to think about when it comes to eCommerce, and the great news is that no matter which of these platforms you choose, you should find that you are well catered for with marketing options. Both have a number of SEO features which will help you to make your site stand out in search engine results, which is a key way that lots of stores get the majority of their traffic and, ultimately, sales. Both allow detailed information and reports about the statistics of the site – however one drawback of the Magento platform is that there is no ability to integrate your store on social media. Many of us are more than aware of the power that social media can have when it comes to spreading the word and being used as an advertising tool for our stores and products – so it seems a shame that this is missing from the platform here.

How much does it cost?

Both have free entry additions, however the Shopify options include hosting in their plans, which are reasonably priced – whereas Magento requires an extra expense for hosting, which is a shame. However, for what it lacks in hosting provision it gets back when it comes to themes – as the Magento themes are much more reasonably priced than the Shopify versions, meaning that they are much more accessible for those who are starting a new business who perhaps don’t have a huge amount of money to plough into it.

shopify seo experts

So, which is better?

The simple answer is that there is no “better”, and it very much depends on what you want to use it for, and how much experience and knowledge you have in the industry already. If you are looking for a quick and simple way into eCommerce then Shopify may just have the edge, but if you are looking for a greater number of apps then Magento may be preferable. There is no solid answer as to which is best – the main concern is that you are able to choose the platform that provides you with what you need as a company.

How to make the most of Black Friday and Cyber Monday

When you are running an eCommerce store, particularly when it is your main job and source of income, you will always want to make sure that you make the most of all selling opportunities that you have during the year. Around this time of year, retailers are doing everything that they can in order to gear up for Black Friday and Cyber Monday – both of which are huge days in the world of commerce, and millions of pounds are spent by consumers on these days. Many people use these days that are often heavily discounted as a way to boost their Christmas shopping efforts, meaning that they can get hold of a lot of great bargains in a short space of time. If you are running a store, then you can’t really afford to lose the opportunity to make the most of the hype that is available around this time, and because of this you need to do everything that you can to make the most of it while it lasts. Doing so will give you the best possible chance of selling the products that you stock, and by enticing new customers in this way you may find that they want to visit your store again in the future – and they may well become regular customers.

Cement your deals well in advance

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The deals that customers are offered, and how lucrative they are when compared to other stores, will always be the deciding factor with regards to whether they would like to make a purchase from you or not. For this reason, you should spend plenty of time thinking about the deals that you are going to be offering to your customers, and make sure that they are enticing enough for them to sign up to your store and part with their hard earned cash. Of course, you will need to balance the books, too, and ensure that you aren’t going to be making a loss on the items you’re selling. It is never a good idea to offer unlimited amounts of deal items, either. You should display an amount remaining – and this could serve to add a little motivation for people to make the purchase, as they will see that it isn’t an offer that is going to be available forever.

Think about your email campaign

If your regular customers don’t know that you’re offering a deal, then they won’t be able to make a purchase, and for this reason you should make sure that you let them know about your weekend deals well in advance. This gives them the chance to think about it, and decide whether the offer is something that could be of great benefit to them or not. Usually, people will have a wish list in the back of their mind of things that they would buy if they could afford them, and if your email lets them know that something on this list is available at an affordable price, it means that they are likely to be persuaded. Also, if you can send your emails out in advance, then you are likely to catch people who are looking for certain items for Christmas gifts – and a good deal means that they are likely to buy the items from your store.

Advertise in the right places

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Spreading the word is by far the most important thing to do when you’re an eCommerce store owner – particularly if your store doesn’t yet have a regular following of customers, as this would mean that people would be unlikely to check your store for deals on a whim. Instead, you should be clever about where and how you advertise, as this means that you would have a much better chance of getting the attention that you need in order to make those crucial sales. Here are some great examples of places that you could use to your advantage.

  • Reddit

Although you won’t be able to advertise outright here, you should still find that people would be interested in the deals that you have to offer if you post about them in the right way. You should never directly post your offers to Reddit, however if you link them to subreddits that are focussed on saving money, you will find that people take your “advertisement” as advice and help, rather than as a blatant attempt to earn money from people. In order to get the best out of what you are posting here, you should always make sure that it is written in a way that directly links with the audience that you’re posting it to, as it is always important that things are as relatable as possible. With Reddit, it is good if you can post from an active and credible account – so if you have a personal account then it would be better to use this rather than creating something solely for the purpose of advertising, as this would look suspicious and more than likely wouldn’t get the right kind of attention.

  • Forums discussing deals

Ever since the economic downturn, there have been a huge influx of websites that deal with offers and deals, and a great number of people are members of such websites. There are usually dedicated forums which will discuss things like this, and by being a member of one or more of these, you should find that you can enter into discussions with real people who would be likely to be interested in what you have to offer. There are also websites where you could submit coupon codes for your store, and these are often very popular – as people love to be able to feel as though they are saving money when they make a purchase. Again, it always looks better if these things are being posted by a credible account, so you should make the effort to get involved in other aspects of the website as well as just the deal sections, as this will make you look much more credible.

  • Join Facebook groups

Social media is a huge thing to make the most of when you are trying to advertise something that you have in your eCommerce store. The great thing about using social media is the fact that you have access to a huge number of people from many different demographics – and this means that you have an excellent opportunity to spread the word to exactly the people who you are hoping to attract. However, if you choose to use this as a marketing option, you should take your time to make sure that you are signing up to the right groups. Firstly, you should try to avoid any groups that are public for anybody to join. These tend to get a lot of spam posted in them, meaning that anything that you post could be regarded as such quite easily. Also, you should make sure that the groups are active, and that they are relevant for what you are trying to sell. If you are posting in a group that is about something completely different, then it’s unlikely that you’re going to be able to attract the right kind of attention.

Follow through with your promises

If you want your store to be successful in the future, it is important that you always deliver exactly what you promise. This means that you should only offer as many discounted items as you can afford to, and ensure that you don’t “sell” more than you have in stock. If you do this, then you are likely to lose the custom of anybody who used your website, and you may also get yourself a bad reputation in the future. It is also important that you are able to cope with the increase in demand that you may experience around this time. You may need to hire more staff to cope with the delivery – but always make sure that you can deliver your items in the time that you have stated on the product page. Failing to do this could have a huge impact around this time of year, as people need to know when products will arrive so that they can use them as Christmas gifts.

 

UK Shopify Experts

When you’re thinking about how to make your Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals work for you, there are clearly lots of things that you need to consider before you can go ahead. Of course, the main thing is that you have offers that people are going to be interested in in the first place. If you are able to do this, then with the right marketing strategy in place to spread the word you should find that you can get the key sales that you need. This is great, as you can often find that once people have shopped at your store once they will be willing to do so again, and considering this time of year is so huge for consumers, it seems far too good an opportunity to miss out on.

Prepare your eCommerce store for Christmas 2016 with SEO for Shopify

SEO for Shopify is a great way to get more people to use your store – but you always need to use this alongside other methods, and this blog will help you to work out exactly how you can prepare your eCommerce store for Christmas 2017 in a way that will make it as effective as possible for the people who choose to use your store during this time to do some of their Christmas shopping.How to prepare your eCommerce store for Christmas 2016 with SEO for Shopify!

When you are running an eCommerce store, you will need to make sure that you are well prepared for all times of year, as there can be many different types of needs depending the time of year and the holidays that are on their way. Every type of year is just as important as the last, as you always need to make sure that you are giving yourself the best possible chance of securing the business of those customers who wish to make a purchase. SEO for Shopify is a great way to get more people to use your store – but you always need to use this alongside other methods, and this blog will help you to work out exactly how you can prepare your eCommerce store for Christmas 2017 in a way that will make it as effective as possible for the people who choose to use your store during this time to do some of their Christmas shopping.

SEO for Shopify

Cement your SEO for Shopify tactics

Thanks to the fact that there is certainly going to be a lot more competition at this time of year, with both online and offline stores trying to battle for your business, you always need to make sure that you are doing everything that you can in order to ensure that you can get the best traffic for your needs to make the most of the potential sales that are available. With this being the case, it is great to consider your SEO for Shopify plan, as this is by far the best way of making sure that you get the traffic that you need for your store. If you know that the customers who are going to spend money there are likely to be sent your way thanks to the advertising that you are doing via your SEO strategy, then this automatically makes it much more likely that it is going to be more of a success in the long term.

 

Choose your holidays wisely

 

The Christmas period can have a number of different holidays surrounding it – for example Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which a lot of other stores may well choose to participate in. You may think that it is for the best to try and do something in relation to all of them – but you might find that this gives you far too much to think about, and therefore the campaigns that you do decide to run aren’t going to be as effective, as you will have spread yourself far too thin. With this being the case, you should try your best to think about each holiday, and figure out which would be the best one to use for your business, and then make the decision based on that. It is good to choose perhaps two or three key campaigns that spread out over the period, as this would give you a much better chance of being able to keep them all in control – and having less to focus on is much better when it comes to SEO for Shopify, too.

 

Make a calendar of all of the promotions that will be put in place

SEO for Shopify

If you have too much to think about, then you are never going to be able to get everything done on time in a way that is going to be effective for your promotions in the long term. For this reason, it is great to be able to get a visual calendar that will allow you to see exactly when things need to be done, and this means that you can check it regularly, and are unlikely to fall behind with it. Not only do you need to include the things like when promotions will run, but also when you will display banners on your website, and when these will be taken down. A great number of websites still display Christmas banners well into the new year, for example, and this is something that looks incredibly unprofessional and should be avoided wherever possible. Simply by taking the time to make this calendar, you should find that you are able to make a huge amount of difference when it comes to your promotions, and it means that you won’t ever need to worry about accidentally missing anything out, either.

 

Think about changing your returns policy

 

A lot of the time, online stores will allow you to return products for a period of around 28 days. However, thanks to the fact that people do online shopping for Christmas so far in advance, there is always the risk that people will start to seek out returns when they are not covered by the period that you usually have in place. Before the festive period starts, it is a good idea to address this issue, and take a look at your policy in relation to what you are going to change for this period of time. You may wish to extend the policy, and allow refunds to be given via gift cards if an item has been bought as a gift for a loved one. The better and more secure your returns policy, the more likely it is that people are going to want to make the most of it, because they want to ensure that if they buy anything that isn’t wanted as a gift, it isn’t going to go to waste.

 

Perhaps add more payment options

When people choose to use your online store, they will want to be able to make the whole process as easy for people as they possibly can. With this in mind, you could find that adding more payment options – such as PayPal or BitCoin – give people more of a choice when it comes to making their final decision, and this means that they are more likely to trust the options that are available. It can be somewhat worrying sometimes to give bank details out over the internet, so these additional payment options can often seem much more secure, and something that would certainly appeal to a lot of people in the long term.

 

Pick a few advertising channels to focus on

 

During the festive period, you will almost certainly have more than enough to think about, and for this reason you need to consider the advertisements that you are focussing on. If you spread yourself too thin then you may fail to create one effective campaign, so it might make a lot more sense to think about just one or two campaigns, and ensure that you are able to make them really effective. For example, you may choose to focus on your blog posts – and this can be a great thing to do around the time of the year that people are searching online for gift ideas. Or, you may think that it would be a better idea to think about your email marketing technique as a way to get your products across to the people who have signed up to your mailing list.

 

Make sure you track the results of your campaigns

 

There is little point in making all of the effort to improve your SEO for Shopify and your advertising techniques if you aren’t going to take the time to see exactly what effect this has had on your traffic to your online store. With this being the case, you should check this regularly, just to make sure that your campaigns are actually having the results that you hoped they would. You may find that there are certain channels that turn out to be less useful than others, and if this is the case then you will need to make the choice about whether to continue with these, or whether you would rather put the effort into a channel that is showing more positive results. No matter what you choose to do as a result of the data that you find, the most important thing to remember is that you should always try your best to check the results whenever you are able to, as this then means that you can see what is working and what needs to change – and this is the best way to ensure that everything is going to have the best possible effect.

 

In general, as an eCommerce store owner, you should find that Christmas is one of the most important times of the year when it comes to being able to get sales and make profits that will last you well into the new year. With this time of year being so important, it is certainly key that you are able to do everything that you can in order to improve your campaign – as this is sure to be something that you would be able to reap great benefits from in the future. Your eCommerce store is never going to thrive without you having put quite a lot of time and effort into it, and for this reason you should always ensure that this is going to be the case if you can.

Google’s Penguin Update has finally rolled out

After a huge amount of anticipation in the industry, Google’s Penguin update is now running as a part of the core algorithm that Google uses. There was a huge change in the industry when the update originally arrived, and there were a lot of questions being asked in relation to the impact that this might have on small businesses that rely on internet marketing as their key tool for business. Thanks to the fact that this is likely to have a huge impact on many businesses who operate online, it is important to think about exactly what has changed, and how you can ensure that your website is not hit by this – as this is something that could have a major negative impact on your search engine rankings in the long term. This blog will take you through some of that key information, and help you to understand everything that you need to know about the update, and how you will be able to recover from it if your website is hit by the penalty.

What is the Google Penguin update?

If you are unsure about exactly what Penguin is and how it might have an effect on your business, then this is a good place to start, as it could make a huge difference when it comes to the way that your site needs to be set up and designed. To put it simply, Penguin is a change to the way that Google deal with search results when a user enters a search term into the browser, which means that if your tactic had previously been spamming keywords and inserting as many of them as you possibly can as a way to move up the rankings, you can now be punished for this, and might actually find that your ratings are affected in a negative way rather than in a positive one. Therefore, if this is the technique that you used in the past as a way to gain traffic, it is something that you need to think about carefully.

google penguin seo

 

Is the update fully live?

Yes, the Penguin update is now fully live, and has been rolled out on all of Google’s search engines in different languages across the world. It is now part of the key algorithm that decides exactly where your website is placed when it comes to the search results on the Google website.

What has changed?

In the past, all of the sites that were affected by this change would have been refreshed at the same time, and unfortunately this meant that those websites that were affected by Penguin wouldn’t have been able to recover until they had been refreshed at the same time as every single other website. Thanks to the fact that they can only be refreshed when an update occurs, this is something that could be incredibly problematic indeed – however there are now real-time updates, which means that as soon as you make changes to your website and its content, your rankings will be updated accordingly in relation to the changes that you have made. This is great if you are hoping to be able to see the effect that your changes have had as soon as you possibly can. In addition to this, Google takes each website as a page by page case, and rather than it having an impact on the whole website when a page is identified as spam, now only that page will be affected. This is good, as it means that you will not be penalised if there are issues with just a few of your pages.

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Can I tell if my website has been affected?

One of the most tempting things to do is to do a search for some key terms that your website would previously have shown up under, find that it is no longer there, and assume that it has been hit negatively by the changes. However, on the whole, you should find that this is not always the case. A good way to tell is to take the time to examine your traffic around the time that Penguin was rolled out –  September 23rd – and see if there are any huge differences in the traffic that you gained around this time. If you have noticed that there was indeed a drop in traffic, then the fact that it coincided with the rollout of Penguin would suggest that the change has something to do with it. If, on the other hand, you are able to see that your traffic has increased, then you may be one of the lucky websites who have actually benefited from the changes that have been made.

google penguin seo

How can I improve my ranking if I have been affected?

If you know that you have been affected by this change, then it is more than likely thanks to the fact that some part of your website uses spam tactics as a way to gain traffic. If this is the case, and you know that this is a tactic that you have employed in the past, then the first thing that you need to do is to take a look at your content and see if there is anything that you might be able to change. Sometimes, you will find that you receive messages from Google relating to your ranking penalty, and if this is the case then you will be clearly told exactly what it is that you need to change in order to improve your ranking for the better.

Is there a chance that this could be a mistake?

As with anything that is dealt with on a computer rather than individually by a human, there is always a chance that something might have gone wrong, and that your website should never have been penalised in the first place. If you feel as though your ranking drop is unfair, then you have the option of filling in the Penguin Feedback Form, explaining what your problem is, and letting them know that you don’t feel as though you have been treated fairly. There is also the option to post on Google’s Webmaster Forum if you have any feedback.

It can help to be able to provide examples of searches in which your website would have featured in the past, and explain why you feel as though your site should still be listed there. You may feel that there are other websites that are still there that use similar strategies, and it can be good to include examples of these, to ask Google to specify what the differences are between your two websites, and help you to think of what you could do in order to improve your ranking in the future.

If you are hoping to encourage them to change their minds about your ranking, then it is important to be able to show them as much information as you possibly can with regards to exactly why you feel as though the ranking drop is a mistake. They will be more than aware of the fact that mistakes do happen, and as such they are likely to be willing to listen to the case that you make for yourself if you feel that there is a genuine reason that your website has been treated unfairly. Taking the time to make your explanation clear is more than worth it, as you could find that this enables you to get your previous ranking back, and then start to enjoy a higher amount of traffic to your website again.

What does this mean for small businesses?

Many people have speculated in recent times that there is a chance that the Penguin update was put into place as a way to make sure that people spent money on AdWords, rather than just relying on the traffic that came to the website via search engines. Although a lot of this is speculation, there are worries about what this might mean for small businesses or sole traders – who simply don’t have the funds to spare to be able to pay for this kind of advertising. However, there is still plenty of evidence to suggest that there is good reason to believe that SEO is still a useful tool, and that it can have great effects on your search results in the long term.

Action to take as an eCommerce store owner

If you are worried about your website, and about how all of the changes in search engine algorithms could affect it in the long term, then by far the best thing to do is to take a look at your content, and make sure that you are using subtle SEO techniques rather than relying on keyword stuffing. Doing this will help you a lot in the future, and by making sure that your content flows naturally without forcing other words and phrases in, you are protecting yourself against changes that could occur in the future – which is certainly an investment that it is important to make into your business.

What the Google pop up penalty could mean for your store

If you are running a Shopify store, it is always important that you try to keep up to date with recent SEO news, as this could have a huge impact on the way that you are able to run your store and how you are able to attract new customers to your website via search engine results. With this being the case, you may have recently seen news relating to the fact that websites that use intrusive popups on their mobile stores could suffer when it comes to ratings and where they appear on the list of search results – with rankings being severely lowered, or their pages even being completely removed from the results of online searches if they are found to be uncompliant with the new rules that have been put in place. This is going to come into play from January 2017, meaning that if you are currently using popups as a part of your store and the way that you try to get people to sign up, you will need to think about what it means for you, and what you could do instead of using this method. This blog post will take you through everything that you need to know about the new penalty system, and it should mean that you no longer need to worry about losing business thanks to the penalty once it is put into place officially at the beginning of next year.

What is a popup?

Anything that appears on a user’s screen while they are browsing your website counts as a popup. It can interfere with a user’s experience of your site as it comes directly between them and what they are trying to view. This is something that many people find to be irritating, and it can often discourage them from wanting to visit the website in the future, and for this reason Google have made the decision to clamp down on the way that companies use these as a part of their advertising strategy.

Shopify SEO

To put it simply, there are three different popup types that may be affected by the new rules and regulations in relation to the new penalty once it is brought into play next year. These are:

Popups which don’t actually fill the whole of the screen, but are enough to cover up some of the text that a user is trying to read, in a way that makes it difficult for them to make sense of the lettering underneath the popup. Users are likely to need to select an option, or press an “x” to make their content readable again – but ultimately the aim of these popups is to ensure that users are forced to pay attention to them before they are able to move on and continue with their content.
Popups that fill the whole of the screen, causing the content to move further down the page underneath where the popup ends. This means that users who wish to continue reading the page they have chosen need to scroll right past the popup that has appeared, and keep going until they have passed the full thing, at which point they are brought back to the content that they were originally trying to view.
Popups that take up the whole screen and need to be closed before the content becomes visible again. There is a subtype within this category that requires users to wait for a certain amount of time before they are able to proceed with the content. This is usually in the form of an ad for those who have decided that they would like to try and force some revenue for their website – though with the new penalty, there is a chance that there would be more to lose than to gain from doing this.

Popups that are currently allowed under the new guidelines

Under the new rules, despite the fact that there are so many types of popups that will be penalised in the search results, there are also a few that you will still be able to use.

Shopify SEO

Popups that give you the opportunity to log into the website.
Popups that give some form of legal information, for example terms and conditions, or to accept the use of cookies.
Banners that are small, and don’t have an impact on the way that a user is able to view the content of the website.

To put it simply, if a user will be obstructed while trying to view your website content, then chances are your popup is not going to be viewed as acceptable, and Google are likely to penalise you for it. However, even with this being the case, there are ways around it, which should mean that you can still make the most of your store without having to constantly worry about whether you are going to be penalised or not. The following tips will help you to consider ways in which you can keep your rankings strong despite this change in rules.

Don’t get complacent about the rule being mobile only

At the moment, the penalty is only for mobile devices – and it is clear to see why this might be the case, as a popup on a mobile device can certainly be a lot more obtrusive than it might be on a desktop or any other kind of device. Also, despite the fact that the penalty only counts on mobile at the moment, there is a trend where overall rankings are dropping alongside mobile rankings – which means that you should still be incredibly careful when thinking about whether you wish to use popups on your store or not.

Shopify SEO

If you are in any doubt, then the best way is to try and remove popups from your store entirely. You have a generous amount of time to think about this and to put it into place, as the rules don’t actually come into effect until January 2017. This means that you have more than enough time to change your strategy in a way that means that you shouldn’t be punished for it. The good news is that there are ways to increase your signup list without having to use popups at all, and these methods are described below.

Use a signup form in your content. This is by far the best thing that you can do, but the design of your form is what is going to make all the difference when it comes to actually being able to get people to sign up. It can often help if there is some kind of incentive to encourage people to make the move and input their details, and there is a chance that because it is not interfering with their enjoyment of your store they will be more willing to sign up – as popups can often have completely the wrong effect, and actually annoy and dissuade people from using the website at all.
Try using a footer. If your customers like what they see when they visit your store, then there is a high chance that they are going to want to sign up to it. With this being the case, there may be no need for a popup – as they will already know that they would like to sign up to make their purchase. You could find that putting a sign up box in a footer, along with a call to action, could be an effective way of doing this. It is non-obtrusive and won’t make your customers feel as though they are being forced into doing anything that they don’t want to do, and this makes them more likely to act in the way that you would like them to.
Make the most of banners. If you want to catch people’s attention, then you should make the most of banners because, as of yet, they are still an acceptable means of attracting attention. It may be the case that the guidelines change, but currently there is no kind of penalty for using these, so it is a great tool. You have the chance to design your banner to turn into something really eye-catching, and this means that you may just get exactly the kind of attention that you need.

In general, you should find that although it is tricky to put a plan in place without using popups – as you may be used to doing so – it is certainly something that is more than possible. Your search rankings are incredibly important, as they can make a huge difference when it comes to whether people manage to find your store for the very first time, and with this being the case you need to do everything that you can to make sure that your rankings aren’t affected in any way. With this being the case, the above tips are certainly worth considering, as you should find that it enables you to have a positive impact on your store and future customers in the long term.

Why Shopify Is The Best eCommerce Platform For Start Up Companies

Making the decision to start up a new business is one that is never taken lightly, and considering the fact that more things are happening online than ever before, you may feel that this is a direction that your new business could go in, too. When you are considering starting an eCommerce store, no matter what type of business you are thinking about setting up, one of the main things that you will want to think about is the platform that you choose to build your store on. This is a key consideration, and something that could really make or break your store in the first couple of months after it opens. There are many different benefits and drawbacks of all of the major platforms on the market, but there are many people who strongly believe that Shopify is the best platform out there for a number of reasons. It can get quite stressful when you are making your final decision, and you might feel as though there simply isn’t enough guidance and information out there to help you make an informed choice. With this being the case, if you are currently trying to decide the platform that you would like to use for your own store that you are planning to open in the near future, you may wish to know exactly why Shopify is often considered to be the very best in the business – and this blog will help you to work exactly this out.

The prices are affordable

seo shopify

If you are a brand new start up company, then it is almost certain that you are not going to have a lot of money to play around with in the early stages while you are still getting off the ground. With this being the case, you will want to keep your costs as low as you possibly can for this period, and choosing to use Shopify is a great way to do this. When it comes to how far your money goes while setting up your business, this is a great platform to use for a good price, without having to go without the important features that are added on other platforms in return for a higher price each month. Having less to pay for things such as your store platform means that you have more money to invest elsewhere on things such as stock or advertising – and every little helps when you are right at the beginning of starting a business from scratch, as every single new customer really is vital.

The visual appeal is clear

Many store owners will understand that, much of the time, the way that their store looks has as much to do with its success as anything else does – and when your store is brand new in the market, it is vital that you do everything you can to make sure that it is given a positive reputation within the industry. The initial theme that Shopify uses is completely minimal and easy to navigate, and can be used as a building block towards the store that you are dreaming of while making your design plans. This gives you the chance to show off your own design skills, or even hire somebody else who has the talent to transform your store into something that people are going to be genuinely stunned by. The simplicity of the original template means that you have the power to customise everything that you might want to – and when you’re building up something right from scratch, this is often a very useful tool to have, because you really do have the opportunity to make everything your own.

Shopify has impressive marketing tools available to users

seo shopify

If you run an eCommerce store, then you will certainly understand that the way it is marketed is completely vital to its success. If you don’t have a good marketing strategy then you’re not going to have the customers that you need to attract in order to succeed – and if there are no customers, then there is no long term store. The great news here is that Shopify provides you not only with the marketing tools that are essential, but also more besides, meaning that you can have a really good attempt at building up a store that will thrive. If you are looking to be able to spread the word without spending a huge amount of money on things like advertising, then the tools that Shopify provides you with are certain to be able to help you out in this respect. Not only does the basic package involve features that help with your Shopify SEO, but it also gives you information about where your customers actually come from. This type of information can be great, as it helps you to be able to know where to target your advertising campaigns in the future. It also lets you know the search phrases that most often lead to your store, which then gives you ideas about blogs you could write as part of your promotions – the opportunities with regards to the marketing tools of Shopify are fantastic. In addition to all of this, you have the chance to create discount codes – which is without a doubt hugely important when you are a new business trying to attract new customers. Nobody can resist a good discount, so this tool could be just what you need to be able to get your first regular customers onto the right page.

There is no need to worry about web hosting

If you use some platforms, you will have to pay for both the platform itself and for your web hosting – however this isn’t a problem with Shopify, as it is all included in the price that you pay for your membership package. This is good for two reasons. Firstly, you will find that you actually need quite a lot of technical knowledge to host your own shopping basket, and this is something that most do not have – meaning that they would have to pay somebody else to do it for them. Secondly, it can take a lot of time, so the fact that Shopify deals with all of this for you really does mean that you are able to focus your attention elsewhere, in a way that would likely be a much better benefit to your store in the long term.

Your store will be as secure as possible

Security can often be a problem, and when you are taking financial details from customers, this is something that you certainly need to be aware of. However, if you choose to use the Shopify platform for your store, you don’t need to worry about security, as this is all dealt with on your behalf. When you consider the fact that start up businesses are even more vulnerable than others, this makes it an even better reason to think about using Shopify – as it simply means that it is not something that you need to worry about, because you will just be able to sign your security concerns over to experts who have plenty of experience in the industry, and who would therefore know exactly what needs to be done in order to keep your store as safe as possible.

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There is help on hand whenever you need it

If you are starting up a new store, chances are there will be many things that you are worried about. Although you may know that your business has a great basis for success, there are things that you might not understand about the platform on which it is based – and for this reason you will be glad to know that Shopify’s support team are always on hand to give you help whenever you might need it. There are a number of ways in which you can get in touch with the support team, including phone, email and live chat, and this means that no matter how you like to get in touch, you know that there is going to be a way in which you can do it which is certain to work for you.

As shown above, it is clear to see exactly why Shopify is such a popular choice when it comes to eCommerce store platforms. Although there are other platforms that offer a similar service – or at least parts of it – it is quite rare that any one platform would be able to offer everything that is described above.

When you are just starting out with a new business, there is every chance that you could be nervous when you think about exactly what that means for you – and for this reason you will want to opt for a platform that gives you the best, and simplest, way of making your store a success. When you consider the pricing, hosting and support side of things, it is clear that Shopify is a great choice for a start up business, and you can be sure that it will really help you when it comes to being successful in eCommerce.

Facebook Remarketing – The How To Guide

If you are running an eCommerce store and would like to try to make it more of a success, then you will certainly want to consider every possible avenue when it comes to gaining not only visitors to your store in general – but also valuable visitors who are likely to translate their visit into an eventual purchase, therefore helping to ensure that your store is able to be much more profitable in the long term. This is key to business success, and it is important that you do everything that you can to help drive that important and valuable traffic to your store. One key tool to help with this is Facebook remarketing – the ability to tailor advertisements on users’ Facebook pages to link with websites that they have recently visited, even in as much detail as being able to take into account the specific pages that they chose to visit while on the website in question.

Facebook Remarketing

To the majority of Facebook users, it may seem surprising that so many of the ads displayed seem to link with recently visited websites or pages that are related to hobbies or interests that they are involved in – however for digital marketers it is simply all a part of their overall strategy with regards to driving more sales through to their own store whenever they possibly can. Research has shown that Facebook advertising is one of the most efficient and effective strategies when it comes to gaining more traffic to an eCommerce store, and with this being the case it is vital that, as a store owner, you understand exactly how to make the most of the opportunities available to you in a way that will bring positive results to the success of your store in the long term. The great news is that it is actually quite simple – and the entire process gives you the chance to engage with the very people you are trying to find; those who have recently visited your store but then left the website before ever making a purchase. Facebook remarketing is an excellent tool in this respect, and this blog will help to take you through exactly how to set this up in a way that works well for you and your store’s needs.

How does Facebook remarketing work?

The best thing about Facebook remarketing is that you are spending your allocated advertising budget on people who you already know hold an interest in the niche in which your store fits – as they have already chosen to visit your website and have browsed through items on it in the past. By using Facebook’s feature to help, you will be able to install a code onto your website, that places cookies on the computers of people who visit each and every day. Then, this sends the information back to the Facebook servers and they will be able to see exactly which pages each user chose to view.

Facebook Remarketing

After you have set up your code in this way, you will be able to use your Custom Audience Preferences tool to target key groups of individuals who fall into the categories that you are trying to target. An example of this would be if you were interested in individuals who chose to view a specific product, or those who added items into the cart without then bothering to check out and complete their order. This gives you a great opportunity to perhaps send pictures to users of the items that they almost purchased, and this could serve two purposes. Firstly, it could jog their memory just in case they had been distracted during the checkout process. Secondly, if they were in two minds about whether they wanted to make the purchase, seeing the images may well persuade them that the items are indeed things that they would like to buy from you. Facebook remarketing has been shown to be a great way to improve your conversion characteristics, and for this reason it is a great tool to use if you are able to.

Now that you understand what Facebook remarketing is all about and how it might help you to have a positive impact on the conversion rate of your eCommerce store, you will almost certainly want to try it for yourself. If this is something that you are interested in, then these five simple steps will help you to set up your ads so that you will notice the difference in your conversion rate as soon as possible.

  1. The first thing that you will need to do is to log onto your Facebook Ads Manager account, and then click on “Business Manager” and select “Audiences”.
  2. Then, click on the “Create Audience” option and click on “Custom Audiences”. This means that you will be able to choose the people who you are specifically aiming your campaign at, so you will only attract the attention of people whose traffic is going to be beneficial to your cause.
  3. Now, you must select the audience that you are aiming at. By selecting “Website Traffic” your ads will be displayed on the screens of those people who actually visited your website.
  4. At this stage, you can be even more specific about who you would like your ads to be displayed to. In addition to displaying them to the people who have visited your website, you also have the option of choosing to target people who visited certain pages or viewed particular items, and this means that if you are trying to push sales of a certain thing, you will be able to do this by using this method of Facebook remarketing. You can also choose people who haven’t visited your website in a certain amount of time, and this can be a great tool when it comes to trying to attract people to your store who have visited it in the past.
  5. The final thing that you need to do is to create your pixel code and add it onto your website. This is to enable Facebook to track visitors to your website, and see which pages they visit, so then the correct people are shown your advertisements in accordance with the preferences that you have set. In order to get the code that you need, all that you need to do is to click on the campaign that you have created, and then click “Actions”, and “View Panel”, where you will be shown your code. This is what you need to add to your website, and once either yourself or your web developer have done this, you are ready to go, and your campaign will all be up and running.

How to make your Facebook remarketing campaign a success

If you are going to spend money on a campaign, it is important that you do everything that you can to ensure that it is going to be successful in the long term. By putting in the effort in the early stages, you can be sure of the best possible effects, and this means that your money will be well spent, and will translate into the most possible profit in the future.

Facebook Remarketing

 

The first thing that you need to do is to consider exactly what you are trying to achieve from your campaign, and who it is that you would like to target with the advertisement that you are placing. For example, are you trying to push sales of a certain product, trying to improve conversation rates, or simply trying to reduce cart abandonment on your store? Knowing who you are trying to target is vital, as this means that you are able to understand how to put your campaign together, and how it is going to work.

Next, you need to make sure that the ad you place is going to grab attention. There are so many ads that appear on Facebook these days that the vast majority of them go unnoticed, and the main aim here is to ensure that yours is not going to be one of them. Making the design stand out is the first thing that you need to do, and it can also be a great idea to offer the customer an incentive to go back to your store – often in the form of a discount. Doing this is likely to grab hold of their attention in the right way, and if they were unsure in any way about whether to complete the purchase before, this may well be enough to help them decide that it is what they want to do.

Ultimately, provided that you follow the steps and take care in ensuring that your Facebook remarketing campaign is targeted correctly, you should find that it could be very effective when it comes to getting results for your eCommerce store. With social media being so popular in the modern world, it makes absolute sense to use it to your advantage whenever you can, and there is certainly no doubt at all that this is a key example of this.

How to reduce abandoned carts on Shopify

When you run a Shopify store as a part of your business, you may find that you have constant issues with your visitors adding things to their carts while browsing around your website and then abandoning them before they ever reach the checkout stage of the process in order to complete the purchase. If you are thinking about how to reduce abandoned carts then you are right to do so – as this is something that would be able to increase your profits dramatically in the long term if you were able to address the issue, as more people would make the effort to complete the checkout process and reach the important stage of actually making payment. With this being the case, it is important to consider ways in which you can do this, as this is likely to be of great benefit to your store in the long term when it comes to the amount of profit that you are able to make. Sometimes it can be as simple as improving your shopify design.

Make sure you are upfront about all hidden fees

Nothing is worse from the point of view of a customer than making your way to the checkout expecting to pay a certain price, only to find that there is some sort of charge added by the time they come to pay meaning that the price they expected to pay is now much higher. This could be anything from varying charges for different types of products, to shipping charges, both of which are likely to make a customer change their mind about wanting to purchase the product at all which wont help you reduce abandoned carts. Chances are, if it is an item that they have saved up for, they literally won’t be able to afford it with the added costs – and for this reason it is important that you are upfront as soon as possible about exactly how much money the customer is going to be expected to part with. If there is more than one shipping option, it is a great idea to add this type of information to the original product page, as this means that you can give your customer as much advanced warning about this as possible.

 

reduce abandoned carts

 

Offer as many payment methods as you can to reduce abandoned carts

Thanks to the fact that your store is so easily available all across the world, you may have people from many different countries wanting to buy things from you. This is great, but it is only useful if they are going to be able to pay using a method that is simple and convenient for them. PayPal is often a good option to have, in addition to things like credit and debit cards, as this method is more accessible to customers from other countries. By allowing your customers to make a payment in a way that they feel comfortable with, you are making it much more likely to reduce abandoned carts, but also that they will be happy to continue to do so in the future – meaning that they will return to your store time and time again.

Make the checkout process as simple as possible

If a customer wants to be able to make a speedy sale, they may feel a little demotivated to have to fill in a form including a lot of personal information before they are able to buy the product that they need. Although you might think that collecting this type of information would be good for your insights, you should take care, as there is the chance that it may stop them from wanting to purchase anything from you at all. You should always give customers the chance to create an account, though, as this will make it easier for them to complete future purchases with you – and this is the stage at which it is great to get this type of information from them.

Allow your customers to feel as though they are getting a great deal

At the point of checkout, it can be great to give something a little extra to your customer – particularly if you know that they have never bought anything from you before. Something as simple as a pop-up offering a 10% discount could be just the encouragement that they need to get them to complete the purchase, and reduce abandoned carts.

Follow up via email

A lot of the time you can reduce abandoned carts with a simple email, as the customer only stopped shopping due to the fact they was distracted, and then forgot to go back to it afterwards. For this reason, it can help a lot to send an email a couple of hours after the user closed the browser, to invite them to complete the process. Then, if they still haven’t done this after 24 hours, another email with a discount code could give them that last push that they need to be able to complete their purchase with you. If a customer is undecided, even the slightest discount could make the biggest difference, and this means that it is definitely something that is more than worth considering.

Let your customers compare products

If your product is something that your customers could buy elsewhere, or there are similar things that they may have to decide between, a key reason for cart abandonment is simply that they are not given the option of comparing products. Adding this ability to your site is something that can be hugely beneficial, as it means that your customers can be certain that what they have chosen is the right thing for them, and this is likely to give them the motivation to go ahead and complete the purchase that they had abandoned.

 

reduce abandoned carts

 

Add a progress indicator to the process

People do things online because they want them to be completed as quickly as possible, and for this reason a customer might lose heart if they feel as though the checkout process is taking longer than they thought it would. For this reason, it is a good idea to add a progress indicator to the page, showing either the percentage of completion, or the number of pages that remain in the process. Making this process as short as possible gives you the chance to avoid your customers becoming frustrated, and this is without a doubt one of the most important things that you will need to consider when trying to reduce abandoned carts.

Make sure it is easy to navigate between your store and checkout page

If a customer gets to your checkout page, only to find that there is something that they have failed to add to their cart, they may wish to go back into the store to add something else. If your navigation isn’t seamless enough, they may find that this causes a certain amount of frustration, and if this is the case then there is always the chance that they would give up on the process before it was completed. Ideally, if another page is open, all of the pages will update the value of the cart, as this makes it much easier for your customer to keep track of the amount of money that they are spending.

Ensure that you have a clear returns policy

People can often have concerns about buying online because of the fact that returns can often be difficult – so it is important that you make this information as clear as you possibly can. If a user thinks that there is a high chance the product will have to be returned (for example if they are buying clothing and are unsure about the size that they need) they will need the assurance of being told exactly how this return will take place and how much money – if anything – it is going to cost them. If you make sure that this information is freely available, you should find that it reduces any worries that your customers might have about the process, and this will help reduce abandoned carts.

 

reduce abandoned carts

Boomerang in front of a blue sky

 

Make sure that your pages load quickly

If you are online trying to make a purchase, it can be incredibly frustrating when you are greeted with slow loading pages, or pages that freeze every time you try to add something to your cart. By taking the time to test all of your pages carefully, you should find that you are able to keep your site up and running at a great speed, and in the long term this is likely to give your customers a much better user experience than they would otherwise have had.

Ultimately, if you have decided that eCommerce is the best choice for your business, then you will be aware that the sales that you secure are the main thing that will decide whether your store is a success or a failure. With this being the case, it is incredibly important that you take the time to think about how you can make the checkout process as seamless and stress free as possible, as this is without a doubt the best way to secure the highest number of purchases in the future.