By now you know that SEO, or search engine optimization, is a critical element in making your business more visible to the hundreds of millions of consuming web visitors. Through careful, strategic placement, you can up the odds of landing in a new client’s browser by loading your web pages with key words they are likely to be looking for.
It sounds straightforward, and in some ways it is. But consider this: you are up against an unwieldy number of businesses and websites that are basically similar to yours, and there’s no guarantee you will appear ahead of them.
Here’s where an intriguing option opens up. The concept of backlinks is something every ecommerce marketer must know. Backlinks are links to your site that appear on other sites. They are incidental referrals. And they can be extremely lucrative—provided the host site intends them to be.
Style Spotlight: Backyard Boost
If you’re lucky enough to have a backyard, you know it’s the best place to spend your free time in the summer. My backyard has become a great place to make the most of some of my hobbies, and I’m really looking forward to entertaining my friends outside of the house this year.
Cooking has become one of my favorite things to do recently. I love cooking inside the house, but I’ve been looking to expand my hobby so that I can enjoy it in my backyard. Recently, I put together a small herb garden, which has completely changed the way I use my space. Each herb has its own label, which looks great, and makes life easier when I want to garnish a dish.
It’s a fun thing to put together by yourself, or with a group, and you’ll be surprised at how easy it is, and how much character it brings your space. I know all my friends are going to be impressed by my humble garden. There are tons of directions you can go with your herb garden, but if style is important to you, I love the look of a tiered vertical planter.
Now that I have an impressive selection of herbs in my backyard, my latest focus has been embracing cooking in the outdoors. While it isn’t necessary, having a reliable source for cooking in the backyard can be a tremendous upgrade. A barbecue of any size is an incredible addition to a backyard, and is great way to make the most of an apartment balcony, if your building allows it. It’s great for searing a couple of steaks for an intimate dinner, or for grilling burgers and hot dogs for a big family cookout.
Recently, I’ve had my eye on The Big Green Egg, which if you’ve never seen before, really lives up to its name. Available in 7 different sizes, it’s incredibly versatile, and sure to fit your precise needs. Not only will it help you achieve great results, its distinct look will become a focal point in your backyard.
If you host your website on a WordPress CMS, you may or may not be aware of the enormous supply of valuable plugins that you have access to. With more than 55,000 plugins available for seemingly everything about your website, it can be very tricky to identify the most ideal options for improvement. Here, we’ll highlight the five plugins most valuable for satisfying and managing SEO needs.
First, let’s start with big-picture, all-in-one plugins.
It’s hard to talk about WordPress SEO plugins without looking at Yoast SEO. Since 2008, it’s been available as an all-in-one solution for improving SEO, with a variety of tools and features geared toward pushing sites toward the top of the search results. It includes templates to ensure you’re correctly handling titles and meta descriptions, while also helping to focus in on writing SEO-friendly content. A favorite feature is its snippet preview, which allows you to see how your pages appear in search results, before publishing them. Additional content is available through Yoast SEO Premium.
Pursuing an ecommerce venture typically involves an inordinate focus on existing and potential clientele. They are your bread and butter, your key to growth and sustainability.
But there’s another sink-or-swim element of an online selling business that may be tempting to overlook. Have you communed with your suppliers lately?
In the ever-evolving world of internet selling, connecting with those whose goods help you fill orders is a complex undertaking. Whether you’re a fledgling newbie or an established merchant, your ability to provide a good product mix with reliable deliverability is potentially more important than recruiting new customers.
What have you to lose?
But how much attention should you pay to suppliers? What level of contact with them is adequate? Is it ever wise to plan in-person meetings? Let’s look at some theories.
Depending on whom you ask, personal contact with suppliers is either an integral business practice, or a complete waste of time. On the positive side, sellers note the ability to work with certain suppliers on long-term projects and guarantee their spot in a distribution chain that may be restricted. Also helpful is a glimpse at prototypes or new products not yet available to the general selling public. It may help you alter your merchandising plan for the short or long term.
Others share anecdotes of future relationships that transcended their ecommerce business, including business ventures outside of online selling. This is a hidden asset inherent in B2B philosophy and shouldn’t be overlooked.
That flip side
These face-to-face encounters aren’t on the to-do list of many, however. Successful ecommerce merchants have prodded along without ever laying eyes on a supplier. And their explanations vary.
Among reasons to avoid in-person visits are practical time constraints, a lack of need to establish a close personal relationship, and an actual aversion to establishing close relationships. The latter is only partly tongue-in-cheek; often people go into online selling for a reason.
Aside from those, assuming you are a high-volume seller, you may have intermediates who will make those visits in your place. Sending merchandising managers to rub elbows with suppliers can be an efficient way to maintain relationships without spending personal time.
Small-scale merchants may run an online store as a supplement to a full-time job, and can’t find the time to initiate personal meetings.
Global affairs of the heart — and warehouse
Taking a slight detour from the main topic, consider the fascinating cultural tradition of interfacing with figures who dominate much of the online industry: Chinese suppliers. With a high percentage of resold or drop-shipped goods coming out of that country, it makes sense to curry favor in a way that maintains a healthy ongoing relationship.
Chinese businesspeople place a premium on the personal side of business relationships, and will often go to great lengths to entertain and accommodate resellers who visit. If you have the time, means, and inclination to go abroad, it can’t hurt to plan a cozy dinner or tour with high-volume suppliers in Beijing, Shanghai, and other prominent Chinese business centers.
If you decide to take the leap, do so with preparation. Chinese culture involves customs and rituals that are central to their lifestyles. Get a sense of the best way to navigate through an onsite visit to China, honoring customs and respecting tradition, in this useful piece.
Ultimately the decision is yours. Your business will not be made or broken based on whether you trade handshakes with suppliers. But it’s an important consideration, and can serve to shape a successful future for your growing entity.
If you follow writings on how to improve marketing strategies for your online business, you’ve probably seen the word “optimize” a thousand times. The application is diverse, but typically it refers to making your content accessible and readable.
Whether or not you’re prepared, the internet commerce trend is swinging toward mobile. Tablets, cell phones, and even watches are now the go-to media for shoppers hoping to pick up a bargain or hunt down something they’ve dreamed of owning. In fact, more than half of all web commerce takes place on mobile devices. And that ratio will skyrocket in the coming decade.
That means the equipment you (or your web designer) use to create an attractive, user-friendly site on which to peddle your wares may not be even remotely close to what your customers use to purchase them.
Code-driven page layout has become unwieldy and complex over the last decade, and even though its goal is to improve readability, it can also wreak havoc if not used properly.