We're going to do a little something different on the blog this week...
Something that popping up on our radar more and more is stolen content. This isn't specifically our wheelhouse, but Greg Secrist and Search Engine Journal did a really fantastic job summarizing and providing options to stop content theft.
So we're going to send you there to read more.
Is Your Content Stolen? Here's What You Can Do
A Google search turns up plenty of results on this topic - lots of them are worth the time and effort find and read.
One more resource we found useful -- there's a WikiHow that talks about prevention and some easy deterrence methods that we think are going to be useful.
Check it out here: WikiHow
Got a story to share or advice to pass along about protecting against and dealing with stolen content? We'd love to hear about in the comments.
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.
Happy New Business Year
If you think the pace for technological change is mercurial, you are absolutely correct. With the digital platform came a seemingly endless array of possibilities to make things bitter, better, and more voluminous.
If you run a business that is centered around the internet, your need to keep up with these changes can’t be overstated. One of the most distinctive will be a need to confront a change in the way people access the internet. Mobile devices are quickly topping desktop and laptop computers as the consumers’ go-to media, so it stands to reason that 2018 will see a significant transformation. If Google moves on this and makes 2018 the year of the mobile-first index, you won’t want to be behind the 8-ball. Keyboards rank far differently when it comes to mobile versus desktop content, and showing up in searches may require you to update your SEO strategy.
Many SEO experts foresee a move toward “dense content,” or a reduction in volume that still manages to preserve the information you want out there. This is consumer-driven; if potential customers are tired of wading through scads of overused copy, you may just lose a sale.
Keep Everyone on the Same Page
Maybe when your ecommerce business was just getting started, one person was doing all the marketing and social media, plus a whole bunch more. It’s easy to create and maintain a voice for your brand in this circumstance. But when your business grows, so does the needs for some formalized processes.
Why A Style Guide
The short answer to the why a style guide question is a consistent and clear voice to best represent your brand. The long answer depends a bit more on the specific needs of your business. A style guide can become the foundational building block of your entire social media and marketing strategy. Your style guide can easily become one of the most important and informative documents you create. Ultimately, your goal should be to create a go-to document that is constantly evolving with your business.
Your ecommerce social media arsenal simply isn’t complete without a strong presence on Instagram. Drawing a diverse audience that stretches from Boomers to those not quite ready for a driver’s license, Instagram is a powerful tool in your social media portfolio.
But you know this. And you’re there. You’re already making the most of your Instagram, right?
But there’s a good chance there are features you’re missing. Features that could boost your scope and help you reach more of your target audience.
There’s no fitting room to detour into while shopping online. Most sites allow shoppers to place items in a “cart” before proceeding to checkout, but there’s no mirror to help ensure that jeans or shoes are going to fit in a flattering way.
For the convenience of browsing the seemingly endless online marketplace from their couches at home, Internet shoppers have surrendered the convenience of being able to try something on before purchasing it. Image quality is what consumers rely on to fall in love with an item that isn’t tangible for them until their credit card has been processed, and they’ve waited for it to arrive at their door.
Searching for an ecommerce payment gateway that isn’t PayPal?
You’re not the only one. There are a good many alternatives, though maybe none as well-known from a consumer standpoint.
When it comes to managing your payments and financials, there are a lot of things to consider, and every case is a little different, so it’s worthwhile to do your research when someone else is counting your pennies.
The hard truth about e-commerce is this: your visual presentation may be even more of a factor in your success than it would be if you ran a brick-and-mortar store. Why? Because the web is saturated with buying opportunities that can confuse or overwhelm shoppers, and if you’re not paying attention, you could fall into its trap.
We know you’re devoted to building a successful online business. So do the various entities offering platforms for running e-commerce sites. One of the most prolific is Shopify, which may hold the distinction of having the catchiest name of all.
Aside from its branding, Shopify is a leader for some very good reasons. Founded in the earlier days of e-commerce, this Canadian-based company has fascinating roots. Originally designed to hawk snowboarding equipment, it evolved over the years – largely due to solid planning and a strategic approach to marketing that works, as well as a reliable platform that’s amenable to customization.
For these reasons, Shopify continually rates at the top of sites committed to reviewing online platforms. While competitors have their unique strengths, let’s focus for now on the Grandaddy of all e-commerce platforms.
The beauty of relying on a platform such as Shopify means you are addressing multiple issues at once. It’s a comprehensive model that ties together page layout, product display, ordering mechanisms, payment, and satisfaction monitoring all in one fell swoop. For some, this may be a drawback; often proprietors prefer more hands-on control over their business. Yet for novices to mid-level sellers who lack the training and time to coordinate functions separately, Shopify can be the e-commerce guru’s best friend.
Another daunting fact about online shoppers: if they encounter issues with your site one time, that may be their last visit. It’s best to be prepared.
Though it should be obvious, there are perks to going with a leader. Providing timely and satisfactory customer service requires accessing timely and satisfactory customer service. Using Shopify places you in the center of a three-party pyramid, with Shopify as a base level, your store in the center, and your customers on top. Shopify’s customer support option is available 24 hours a day. Should that top level experience issues with your site, your ability to respond with immediate solutions increases dramatically as long as you are available to receive a communique. This is perhaps the best argument for entrusting a ready-made platform in general, and Shopify in specific. Shopify enjoys an outstanding reputation for its devotion to helping users navigate through a variety of fixes.
Want some backup for our glowing reviews of their service and offerings? No problem. See what we mean here, a highly respected national rating site for e-commerce platforms.
The “e” in e-commerce is most often associated with remote transactions. But that’s not the entirety of how vendors may offer wares. Shopify makes it possible to sell to customers in person through Shopify Payments, a point-of-sale app option allowing payment processing using a smartphone. Who loves this? How about artisans who spend untold hours at flea markets, fairs, and farmers’ markets, behind tables and racks stocked with their goods. Cash boxes are still a thing, but why not accommodate the impulse shopper who came armed only with plastic? And for merchants operating small indoor stores, this app is a lifesaver, often replacing outdated bank processing systems.
Shopify Forecast: High Visibility
If this isn’t your first go-round with e-commerce, you’re painfully aware of how much of an obstacle competition can be. Your best efforts to craft a compelling message and excellent mix of product offerings may be in vain if no one can find their way to your site. Marketing is no less important in the online sales universe, which is why it’s critical to find a platform that offers clean SEO code. That’s sort for “Search Engine Optimization,” or the likelihood that a potential customer looking for your goods can find you relatively quickly.
Shopify’s built-in code is branded “crawl-able,” which means it delivers hits based on a variety of search criteria which may not be in an exact order. This may seem like a small thing, but to get a feel for its importance, experiment yourself by looking for a specialized item in your favorite search engine. Notice the limited returns you get, and how they omit sources you know offer these items. It’s a simple matter - they can’t buy from you if they can’t find you.
Based on its longevity, comprehensive offerings, and favorable reviews, it’s easy to see why Shopify reigns supreme as one of the most trusted and used online sales platforms. Its ease-of-use reputation and competitive pricing makes it a logical choice for beginners, intermediates, and even seasoned e-commerce specialists.
But don’t take our word for it: peruse through this list of 40 fabulous online sales sites using Shopify services. The best sales tactic is eye-witnessing a fully functional vendor who has turned to Shopify for its operations. See something you like among these sites? Or something you’d love to customize and build upon? Give Shopify a dry run and take your first step toward establishing yourself as a player in e-commerce.
If you’ve discovered the other-worldly advantages of Shopify, you’re ahead of the game with respect to having a comprehensive, nuts-and-bolts support mechanism fueling your site’s success. If you haven’t bothered to keep tabs on its frequent add-ons, though, you aren’t using this invaluable resource to its full potential.
Established more than a decade ago, Shopify has long since founded its creds as a powerful business tool. More than 200,000 online shopping sites currently use its platform, and to date it has helped generate more than $12 billion in sales.
The strength of this dynamic platform is two-fold. Shopify caters to both prolific and small, startup e-tailers, allowing the sea’s small fish to grow into robust players as they navigate the opportunity-rich land of online commerce. But its most attractive asset is the ability to incorporate third-party vendors—theme designers and tool developers—and eliminate the need for multiple business solutions.
Beyond the basic benefits of Shopify, here are key features you may have missed—features that could significantly boost your sales volume and simplify your operations:
This back-door operation allows easy access to inventory, customers, existing and past orders. It also tracks down blog posts, collections and storefront pages through a quick run-down. Learn more in this official documentation.
Quickly analyze patterns and trends that will help you launch targeted promotions by using Customer Groups. This invaluable tool also categorizes clients and allows for e-mail campaigns to sub-groups based on geographic region, shopping habits, and spending volume. This is a feature all Shopify users need to be using. Check out its benefits here.
Zip around your site and save tons of time by learning these essential workarounds. They facilitate quick movement between key functions such as the home page, your product selection, and—especially—“hanging” orders from customers who began orders but did not complete them. Here is the list.
An organized e-tailer will prepare in advance for the launch of a new collection. That’s easier said than done when you’re battling against instant publishing. Future Publishing makes it easy to compose an entire collection, or even a mere page or blog post, and set it for publication at a future date and time. Learn more about it here.
BRAND YOUR GIFT CARDS
Why go generic when you can tailor a gift card to reflect your store? Customers of Shopify’s unlimited plan can creatively alter their gift cards with original art, a logo, or any design scheme of their choice. Find out how to personalize these invaluable tools here.
It goes without saying that security is the greatest concern for both merchants and consumers who engage in the shopping frenzy online. Breaches that result in a third-party hacking into your site can be devastating. Shopify offers extra protection against nefarious activity by offering a double layer of authentication that all but ensures only you can access your site. Discover how to activate it here.
As with all business tools, it pays to tap out the full potential of products and services you pay for. Shopify shows signs of being a standard-bearer in the world of e-commerce. If you’re on board with its vastly expanding role, and are a loyal user, don’t make the mistake of overlooking everything it has to offer.
Capturing loyal customers can be a mixed bag. With an abundance of competition, it’s frustratingly easy to lose out on a sale before you had knowledge that you were in the running! Naturally, price point, delivery, and other residual factors play a key role. But the wise seller will strategize on viewing competing sites as secondary opportunities.
How? By taking advantage of the ability to share in the client’s overall buying choices. This is Commerce 101 in the fashion and interior design industries, where collections intersect with color palettes and variant styles.
Enter an inventive social platform called Polyvore, a novel co-op of sorts that showcases products from a variety of vendors from all over the web, combining them based on specific criteria entered by customers in search of an entire look.
Visualize a traditional shopper who’s not engaged in online shopping. A trip to the mall involves collaborating separate pieces from separate stores, creating a “set” for a room renovation, or an outfit for an occasion. Polyvore offers an invaluable opportunity to let online customers assemble sets and collections that fit their particular objectives.
Not convinced of the utility of such a site? Try this: there are more than 80 million individual products available for perusal on Polyvore. Even more impressive? Users of the site create 4 million new sets each month.
Savvy consumers have had nearly two decades to perfect their online shopping strategies. They’re educated and selective, and willing to buy across retailer platforms in order to suit their wishes. Offering up your inventory to Polyvore introduces new customers to your site, increasing the chances of a sale based on their ability to visualize a multi-piece purchase.
Polyvore is not a new entry into the ecommerce arena. Started in 2007 by pioneers with clear vision of how the Internet marketplace may continually advance, it focuses on product categories, allowing customers to input search criteria to effectively create a set of fashions and accessories that work well together. Its Home section is expansive and visually friendly, displaying substantially sized images on its main page.
Narrowing criteria to genres, eras, styles, and other considerations, it delivers accurate results that are more likely to incorporate offerings from a vast array of ecommerce entities – including your own.
By carefully selecting products that display well as images, or are more unique, your chances of appearing in a customer search increase. All other basic marketing rules apply: Create an attractive product title and generate compelling copy that whets the appetite of potential clients who will become familiar with your site.
Consider Polyvore a third-party sales tool that faces competition head-on and offers an invigorating challenge to set your site apart from the rest. You will never lose sales opportunities, but you may very well become a new household name to millions of consumers.