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Ecommerce Store Owners : Want Visitors? Here’s How...

Have you recently opened an online store, and waiting for those customers to drop by and start shopping?

In cyberworld - unlike the real world - you just can’t pick a good location and rely on passing trade. You’ve got to work hard to get visitors to your virtual store.

Let’s take a look at how we can drum up a small stampede...

Are You Optimised?

To stand any chance of being ranked well in the free search engines, your site must be optimised for the keyword phrases you are targeting.

Research and develop a list of keywords related to your product line, using the free downloadable software at www.goodkeywords.com . From this list, you can find two or three well targeted phrases, with decent visitor traffic, and make sure your website is optimised for them. Include the phrases in the title, and meta tags, in the body text (several times) and “alt” mage tags.

Make sure your product listings are optimised too. The term “horse saddle” is searched for over 1900 times a month on one search engine alone, so make sure your product titles and descriptions include the relevant search term, rather than just the plain old product number, such as “Acme A35284”.

Are You Link Building?

Search engines are placing more and more importance on incoming links to your website – in a way, ty consider them to be votes for your site.

First, make sure you submit your site to the large list of directories that are crawled and indexed by popular search engine spiders. You can get the SEO friendly directory list free at www.info.vibesilencer.com

Next, pursue an ongoing campaign of getting links from other websites. Try to make sure the sites are on a related theme. You can find sites that are linking to your competitors by typing “link:www.yourcompetitorswebsite.com “ into Google, and then approach them to request a link to your website.

One useful piece of software for researching and keeping track of link requests is available at www.seoelite.com . (If nothing else, the free search engine optimisation course is one of the best free courses I have ever come across)

Are You Using Pay Per Click Advertising?

There’s nothing like Pay Per click (PPC) for a quick shot in the arm! You can often have traffic within an hour of setting up a campaign with Google Adwords (http://www.google.com/ads). Overture is Google’s main Ppc competitor (www.overture.com) and can take a few days to get up an running with, but they are now part of Yahoo! – and therefore mustn’t be overlooked.

Ppc search engines can provide you with extremely well targeted traffic that you can turn on and off like a tap. However, you must get your strategy right or you will haemorrhage cash ; develop a large list of targeted keywords, write a catchy text advert and don’t get drawn into bidding wars.

Are You Overlooking Your Existing Customers?

Once your online store starts getting customers, make sure you keep them. Develop a newsletter to keep in contact with them – and regularly send them details of special offers and new products. Repeat business is often overlooked – but it is a vital part of some of the webs most successful ecommerce operations.

And if you already have a “bricks and mortar” store, don’t forget to publicise your new online shop – include it in all your stationery and marketing materials.

The marketing and promotion of an online store is an ongoing project. The most successful store owners know how important it is to set aside time each week to attend to marketing - whether it’s link building, writing a newsletter or keeping abreast of the latest online marketing developments – success comes to those who consistently put the work in.

© 2005 Robin Porter.

About The Author:
Robin Porter has been CEO of London based web designer Arpey Internet (http://www.arpey.co.uk) for over six years.

Copyright Robin Porter - http://www.arpey.co.uk

Robin Porter