Why A lot of E-Commerce Shops Fail (Even when they are bringing in $50k-$100k/MONTH)
Edit 1: So it appears that several people have reported this post to the admins, mostly because they’re uncomfortable taking advice from a stranger on the internet. I’m going to put a disclaimer on any posts I make in the future to try and avoid any headaches for the admins, I truthfully enjoy that I’ve been able to do something positive for a few people here and would like to continue doing so unless that is going to cause an actual problem. Thank you. ——————-
Hey so if you saw my post the other day you’d know that I do marketing and consulting for a lot of e-commerce shops and a lot of them come to me with the same exact questions. You guys liked the advice I gave the other day so I figured why not waste some time today as well giving out some more.
The advice is actually in similar perspective as the last post. I gave the argument that a lot of the time the issue in your Facebook ads is the content not the targeting. Well today we’re talking about analytical data and how it’s probably clouding your judgement.
So I often sit in meetings with new prospects and clients who want to grow their business, and one of the first things I notice is a lot of the business owners are HEAVILY focused on trackable data for their product (rightfully so, you want to be able to see the numbers of whether something is working) But man o’ man I sit there and have to get them to understand that focusing on that data too much can lead to disaster.
There are two types of marketing strategies, Short-Term marketing strategies and Long-Term Marketing Strategies.
A short-term strategy is something like Facebook Ads, which is simply <Create content, target audience, and watch immediate sales and data> Which sure for any business doing less than $50k in revenue, keep doing that until it grows more. On the other hand, long-term strategies involve creating a brand name for the company this is simply another way of saying “your companies reputation” It involves how people think of your company, whether it’s trustworthy, whether the customer service actually cares, what vision people see when they hear your companies name. All the big (and moderately big) companies in the world have built a brand name for themselves to make the company seem more approachable and inviting.
Things like this are built over a long period of time, BUT the return you get from building a brand is MUCH higher than the return from short term marketing, that’s because with a well known brand, you don’t need to spend the same amount of money to get a customer, people genuinely want to be YOUR customer.
And how do you build a brand? Organic tactics for long periods of time, Outbound engagement on social media, creating viral actions that people talk about through social media (reference Chewy.com who recently went viral when someone made a post saying they asked to return their unopened dog food when their dog had died and Chewy not only said yes but sent them a handmade oil painting of their pet, after the OP posted this it turns out Chewy has been doing this for years.) There is no way to track whether that action was positive through day to day analytics, it took time to see if it would make any difference, yet it still felt like the right thing to do, and they continued paying someone to make the paintings.
Hopefully this helps inspire some ideas, I tried not to ramble too much. Enjoy your Thursda
I asked a the owner of a content agency that builds thousands of product pages’ content for large e-commerce companies that rely on search engine traffic for sales. Here’s the process that he shared with me.
I recently did an in-depth Q&A with an owner of a content production agency that serves thousands of product pages to e-commerce companies every month about a topic that I’ve seen far too many solo-e-commerce-players struggle with ever so often: Product page content.
E-commerce SEO is a different beast compared to traditional landing pages and articles. You don’t have as much freedom in terms of what content and headings you can add and there usually is a rigid structure. What e-commerce content pages lack in flexibility, however, they more than make up for with strong structured-data affinities that can result in money-making organic traffic.
Product description pages are the front-lines of converting visitors into customers. The right description can convince a visitor to take the plunge, or become convinced that whatever their needs were in their web searches can be fulfilled by your products.
The expert that I talked to has a large team that produces optimized content for online stores’ product pages with strict targets for SEO, which is not an easy feat. There’s only so many ways you can write about a pair of blue jeans, after all… Which is why they have a set of rules by which anyone can build high-quality content for their product pages. I’m listing these down in full below in a step-by-step format, which I’m sharing below for anyone who’s looking to optimize their product content:
Create a list of your biggest competitors. Guys who you want to be in the next 1-3 years.
Run their category pages through Ahrefs and SEMRush to check what keywords they get their traffic from.
Sort those keywords by search volume and pick one that can serve as the primary keyword for your page
Look up that primary keyword on Google to see what yoou’re competing against. Sometimes these will be competing stores, sometimes they’ll be blogs or other kinds of pages.
Open the top-ranked pages and build notes on the following:
How the pages are introducing the content. What is the first paragraph on the page and does it accurately and instantly address the intent of the visitor?
What other “questions” does the written text “answer” for the visitor?
What content is on the page that I wouldn’t have considered added, but is absolutely helpful to to the visitor.
What content on the page is fluff and unnecessary.
What information is common among all of the pages I’m analyzing?
What information can I add to my content that is helpful to the visitor and is missing from one or more of the pages I’m analyzing?
The answers to these questions will give you everything you need in regards to what you should be including and what information should be omitted.
Now you’ll have a clear idea of what the bare minimum is for your content to be able to compete with the rest. For a starting point, try to include at least 25% more information and length to gain a clear advantage. If there’s anything you can add to keep your visitors interested in the page (such as detailed product comparisons for example), then all the better.
There you have it. A 100% solid industry-standard guideline on what content you should have on your product and category pages. If there’s anything missing, do let me know and I’ll do my best to address it.
Edit: Apparently an interview counts as a promotion to the mods here so if anyone wants to read the whole thing, just drop me a PM and I’ll send you the link.
Let’s make a community created E-commerce checklist (SEO,CRO,speed) – At a minimum, I’m contributing so please enjoy 🙂
Hey all, I’d love to make a checklist with y’all that contains every item we can collectively think of that you should check when making a new ecommerce site. Anything relating to speed, SEO, or conversions that you believe should be in place in the MVP of a site.
Here’s my initial off the head list: 0.) Don’t follow anyone’s advice! Test for yourself Ye I know, I’m about to give you an entire checklist worth of advice and there’s some items like “Gzip your files” that you should follow because it’s a standard web development piece that has no negatives… But when it comes to ‘marketing’ items (SEO, CRO, email, social, etc) don’t assume I or anyone else knows everything but more importantly don’t assume I know your business and that my advice 100% applies to you. If you read something you ‘believe’ in… figure a way to test it for yourself and see how your site/company reacts to the alteration. Reverse what you’ve done if it’s not for you and continue expanding upon what you’ve learned + continue expanding the method if it’s being beneficial. No 2 businesses are the same, it’s your job to know what’s right for yours and prioritizing those things
1.) Gzip (server side) – Not valid for every platform/site but when possible you should make sure your files are compressed properly. Check out who you’re getting your servers from too and make sure they support this.
2.) Have lead capture – It doesn’t have to be fancy, or expensive, but establish some way to capture people who don’t buy.
3.) Have analytics – Google is great addition to platform analytics. When it comes to google(or any analytics), establish goals and ecommerce tracking. Always have at least some kind of analytics running at some level even if you don’t understand all of it it… the historical data will help consultants/marketing firms or buyers.
4.) Choose proper image files & optimize them accordingly. Make sure that images are png and jpg accordingly. png is for images meant to have transparency instead of white(or color) backgrounds & images that are illustrations (lines/patterns/digitally manufactured images). jpegs (or jpgs) are for photographs and these especially have optimization standards. When finalizing these photographs in photoshop (or you can use a image optimizer online) set these images to being optimized. In photoshop you do this by hitting “save for web”. I typically suggest you save them at a quality level of 80% since I’ve never noticeably been able to spot the difference but this is completely up to you.
5.) Image titles (SEO tip): When you save an image – put a relevant title on it. Especially if your CRM/platform doesn’t magically change the image name to something insane. As a result you’ll increase the ranking potential for that image and also add additional context/relevance to the page the image is on. I used to mass edit original images’ file names as well and put the brand name at the end so that anyone that saved the image would have a reminder on their computer of the brand… or the brand would be mentioned if they uploaded it somewhere else… it also increased the easiness of tracking some people using the image improperly.
6.)Always establish a good title tag for your home page. In 6-7 words tell someone exactly what the site is about, what you sell, etc. Having your main page’s title be “home” or “brand name Y” and nothing else doesn’t help apply context towards what your site is about. You can do the rest of the site’s titles later as this will take some time and keyword research… just at a minimum, even if you don’t understand SEO, maintain a good title tag on your homepage from day 0.
Thats all for now… will continue this later (It’s my birthday… going to go have fun). Please leave comments and items from your checklist so we can expand this and maybe even put it into the wiki.
EDIT: I added the line “don’t trust any advice” at the top.