17 practical ecommerce link building techniques

You can apply lots of techniques in link building, so we are now posting another article on the presentation of the most effective and most creative solutions.

And all you’ll have to do in the future is to open this page and select the technique that will best serve your goals.

This article is not about optimization, but about techniques that will help you reinforce your link profile in the long run and steer audience to your pages – audience that find you not by simply searching on the appropriate keywords, audience that come across your brand not only on the search result page, because that’s only the very first step.

So let’s see which are the techniques that the most professional online marketing managers use for link building. We’re going to discuss the following:

  • Send in articles (to relevant pages)
  • Product tests
  • Make interviews
  • Answer questions: Yahoo Answers and Quora
  • Create infographics
  • Dig into video marketing
  • Make podcasts
  • Create your own online tools
  • Use Pinterest
  • reddit
  • You should be listed among the references in Wikipedia
    • Look for dead links
    • Write your own articles
  • Publish press releases
  • Use SlideShare for professional pieces of content
  • Make good use of customer guides
  • Don’t be afraid to be a little “crazy”
  • Outsource guest blogging
  • The basis of everything

 

1) Send in articles (to relevant pages)

 

Yes, it may sound like an old and outdated technique that has long been eaten up by the herd of Penguins & Pandas, but relax.

I’m not suggesting that you should send in a couple of articles to dozens of pages where they don’t belong. Of course, Google will also spot that, and even if it brings benefits in the short run, the unnatural building of your link profile may backfire in the long run.

 

I suggest the following: find professional pages where the community can send in articles as well, which will be even published following a proper professional check. So find pages publishing relevant, quality pieces of content by default.

 

This technique differs from customer blogging which we discussed in one of our  previous articles, in that it takes much less of your energy. You don’t have to build relationships in this case, but you will most probably also benefit less from it.

What’s most important is that you publish unique content on each page, and make sure you will be referred to and will get valuable backlinks in exchange for the piece of content.

 

2) Product tests

 

In contrast with the previous technique, you will need some relationship building for this one – this is a somewhat similar technique to that of looking for influencers. You should contact bloggers who publish about a given speciality field, it’s best if they regularly post product tests.

These are quite popular in video format, as the customers like to examine what they buy as thoroughly as possible. They can’t touch or try the product online, so it’s best if they check out how it worked for others.

 

tips So: find such bloggers or even professional news portals and offer them some of your products for testing. Make a deal: they should test the product, they can even keep it, provided that’s not too big of a burden for you, and in exchange they should display your brand in the review or next to the video, and they should provide a backlink as well.

 

Of course it’s best if your product is unique, and it can be tied to your brand – you’ll also make a profit even if a lot of others also sell such a product, because you are a reseller for example, however, you can generate the most visibility and traffic with the link if your product is completely unique.

 

3) Make interviews

 

We have mentioned this earlier as well, now I’m going to explain in detail how and why you should make interviews.

 

First of all: interview is a very popular content format, content consumers love reading the stories and opinions of others, mainly of recognized influencers or industrial experts. You can create very personal pieces of content that fit very well in storytelling, which will definitely capture the well-targeted audience.

 

But your profit, regarding link building, will not really be the success of the content.

Think about it: if someone made an interview with you, you would most probably share that on all available platforms. In the social media, on your blog, you would even publish it on your home page (many people collect media releases, interviews on a separate page).

 

tips The technique is there: collect the contact details of relevant influencers with huge groups of followers, visit them in person and request an interview from them. Don’t expect a response from everyone, you will be able to make interviews with only a small proportion of them, but if you catch at least a couple of the average names, you will immediately be richer by strong backlinks and thus can significantly increase your visibility.

 

4) Answer questions: Yahoo Answers and Quora

 

Pages where members of your target audience ask questions from each other and from experts, actually represent a gold mine for you. You can discover excellent topics here, of which blog posts, videos and discussions can be created. You can answer the questions, thus increasing your visibility and building your expert reputation. And they represent a great tool in link building as well.

Of course it’s essential that your webpage is full of truly valuable pieces of content: analyses, case studies, guides, product presentations and tests, which provide answers to everything that your target audience is most interested in.

So you can refer to your site when providing the response, which will then give you a backlink. Even though this will typically be a nofollow link, that’s not a problem: on one hand, many people will follow it, as you are providing an answer for a really interesting question (thus traffic will arrive to you, which will make you stronger), on the other hand, nofollow links will just as well add to your link profile, furthermore: they will help you create a mixed link profile that looks natural from the point of view of search engines.

 

5) Create infographics

 

Creating an infographic is a lot of work, having it created is not exactly cheap, but it’s really worth it, according to the experiences.

 

That’s because good infographics spread very easily: users share them in social media, bloggers and professional pages can use them to illustrate their articles, they can bring you benefit even for years.

 

Since Google also likes outbound links, and as the more prestigious content creators with larger groups of followers like to play safe as well, you will also get quality backlinks in many cases.

In addition to that, don’t forget to edit the infographic so that it’s automatically tied to you: your logo should be displayed on it, create the design and define the colours using your corporate design and marketing communications guidelines, and your website address should also be displayed on it. All this will help you a lot in brand building as well.

How should you spread it?

That’s simple: publish it on the available social networking interfaces, in professional groups, send it out in newsletters, or even send it to professional pages. As this is quality and interesting content, useful for the sharers as well, you can be sure that your efforts will pay off.

 

6) Dig into video marketing

 

Drop advertisements: because of banner blindness, most people won’t even remember having seen them. If you spend on simple advertisements in 2016, I can declare with almost absolute certainty that you’re wasting money.

 

Instead of interrupting content consumption, be the content yourself: don’t make pre-roll videos, but produce video content that the users will watch, share and spread voluntarily. If you asked what pieces of content these should be, I would say, almost any kind.

 

It may be a walk-through that helps put into operation or repair a given product, or solve a problem of the target audience with the use of your product. The trickier the given action, the better, since the more chance there is that your customers will need help with it.

It may be a product test, when you try the functions of each product and how they operate. You show the product in use, thus facilitating commitment, as your audience will see it, will know what it’s capable of and thus will be more willing to buy it later.

It may be an educational video in which you share various useful information, tips and tricks:

How can I use my lawn mower effectively?

How should I tie my tie?

How should I assemble my PC?

 

These are all questions, based on which an educational piece of content can be perfectly built.

It may be a simple entertainment video: a show in which you, even in the company of others, share opinions, do funny things with your products.

What’s essential is that you consider this piece of content as part of your brand, or even a separate brand within that. Videos rank very high, and usually 1 out of 7 search result pages contain some kind of video content: if you optimize the titles, descriptions and keywords properly, you won’t have difficulties reaching your audience.

You’re building a brand and increase visibility with the video content as well, and of course you place your link wherever you like. Also, you acquire additional committed customers with that while building an audience.

 

7) Make podcasts

 

It’s not by chance that you come across podcasts on almost every site nowadays: many people prefer simple audio content to videos, articles or infographics.

The reason: if you are listening to something, it allows multitasking. While you’re listening to a podcast, you can browse the internet, you can drive, even work.

For this, you will need equipment: a sound recording device that’s capable of creating high quality material. There’s a good chance that this is a one-time investment, which is why I don’t suggest you save money on this: nobody can endure a crackling podcast for too long.

 

Besides, it’s not only the content that has to be valuable: you need a person who’s a good speaker, just like a radio show host. Who can speak fluently, in a bearable tone, who can articulate properly and doesn’t get confused by the different topics.

 

Once that’s given, you can launch your show right away: you just have to select the topics that are interesting enough so that people listen to what you have to say about them.

 

8) Create your own online tools

 

A big investment, a lot of energy – but if you put smart marketing behind it, it’s very likely to pay off.

The different online tools are amazingly popular. Just think about how many different free tools you can use for link building and SEO, which examine your site, point out the mistakes, make valuable analyses and so on. This approach can be applied with similar success in almost every field.

Similarly to customer guides, these tools directly facilitate the solution of the problem: they make the recommended solution, or at least the outgoing data, personal, thus making the life of the customer significantly easier.

 

tips The simplest thing for you to do is to make some kind of a calculator: the users simply enter the data and get the final result that will actually help them in some way. In these cases you need to make sure you really help: don’t produce some irrelevant result.

 

If you’re doing it well, you will receive a great deal of links: your tool will spread in the social media, on the questions and answers pages, it will appear in listicles and so on. These will be extremely valuable backlinks, and you can easily raise the attention of influencers and professional pages as well.

 

9) Use Pinterest

 

We devoted an entire separate article to this excellent platform, on which you may even sell directly, but now I’d like to draw your attention to one more thing: did you know that the link of your webpage on your Pinterest profile is a dofollow link?

And the same goes for the links on the profiles of your followers and of the ones you follow.

 

tips So: The larger community you build around yourself, the more people you follow and the more people follow you, the higher the chance that they are getting to your profile, and even for your profile to appear on the results list – and that makes the link on your profile stronger as well, thus strengthening your link profile itself.

 

If you’ve read our previous article on Pinterest, you’re already using it, thus all you have to do now is to start paying attention to this very simple thing as well.

 

10) reddit

 

This is also a platform that you might not have considered to be useful for you. However, according to SEO professionals, it really is: in case a topic of yours gets enough votes, search engines will index the links included in it. And that’s incredibly good news, because reddit’s domain is very powerful, just like that of Wikipedia.

Therefore, all you need to do is to be active in a smart way, to try targeting the users with valuable pieces of content, while making sure to link the pages of yours that you want to make more powerful.

 

11) You should be listed among the references in Wikipedia

 

Speaking of powerful domains: why shouldn’t you be linked in Wikipedia as a reference?

If you launch any kind of search, the relevant Wiki article will most probably be among the first three hits, if there is any. That shows how extremely powerful the site is, and you can take advantage of that also.

Of course you’ll get a nofollow link, but according to the experiences, in case of Wiki, the search engines tend to “disregard” that and strengthen your page even in this case (and of course, including nofollow links will also do good to your link profile).

 

Some simple techniques

Look for dead links

Check out what exactly was referred to in the text with the use of sources that no longer exist (e.g. 404 pages). It goes without saying that you should preferably look for articles on Wiki that are relevant for you, so this way you’ll also have content, or you can create content.

If the content supporting the statements in the article is there on your page, you may as well replace the dead link with your own. Don’t advertise in the new source article if possible: editors of Wiki are quite sensitive to that.

 

Write your own articles

Look for topics that are important enough (in wiki Wording that is: renowned), but there’s no article about them yet, or the existing article is incomplete.

Elaborate the article yourself: pay attention to the language (encyclopedic), to the appropriate references (don’t claim something that you can’t support somehow), and make sure to include some of your own pieces of content among the references which are truly relevant, valuable and are not of an advertising nature.

With the help of these two techniques, you can easily become part of the Wiki source references, provided that you always bear in mind the rules of the online encyclopedia.

 

12) Publish press releases

 

Why would you, as an online shop issue press releases?

Why not?

If you create quality content continuously, if you have a large follower base and pay attention to your communication, ideally, you’ll be considered to be an expert, rather than a merchant. An expert, who sells stuff as well, of course, but building your professional reputation is what’s most important.

From then on, if you introduce any kind of unique and new products, if you make your own research, if you organize a professional event, you can send out a press release about that to professional sites – and if you formulate it interestingly enough, some of the sites will publish it, together with your reference. Bear in mind that these domains and the references on their sites, publishing professional news and articles, are usually quite powerful.

The trick is (in addition to the content truly worth communicating), is that you formulate the release smartly. A journalist receives dozens of press releases every day, which means you’ll have to stand out from the crowd.

 

Don’t send PDFs, don’t be sensationalist: simply highlight the most interesting point from your text, and don’t require anything. Don’t call the journalist, just bring the press release to his or her attention.

 

13) Use SlideShare for professional pieces of content

 

Do you usually make presentations? At professional events, meetups, even at webinars?

As a matter of fact, there’s no point in me asking those questions, because you can put together a presentation on any topic even if you don’t make a lecture of it anywhere.

You should by all means upload this presentation to SlideShare, because you can rank really high with that. This is a proven technique, especially in case of difficult, competitive keywords, since the domain is quite powerful.

The best solution is if you make a separate sub-page, where you collect the various presentations. If you made lectures of those at certain events, don’t forget to indicate that as well. On the one hand, those who search on those events can find your sub-page, and on the other hand, you can also reach out to the organizers that way.

If you are included as a referred site somewhere, this page should be linked, if they send out a newsletter after the event, they should link to your sub-page. You can get a great deal of backlinks using this technique, especially if you have invested the appropriate amount of energy into building your expert brand.

 

14) Make good use of customer guides

 

A tactic from Jordan Kasteler, expert of Utah SEO Blog. Make customer guides.

Think about how you buy jeans or furniture. Lawn mower. Dog food.

You’re vacillating which one’s the best for you. You need education: you have a problem, but you’re not certain what the best solution is. Because you don’t know for sure what the curtain will look like in your apartment, or which nutrition is the most useful for your dog’s body.

Guides that lead you through the purchasing process are simply adored, and experience shows that a lot of people refer to them as well, because they find them very useful. They assist the consumers, provide them with information that makes their lives easier.

Make guides like that and wait until they are strong enough. You can place references to given products or product categories on sub-pages where these guides are uploaded, however, a trickier technique is also available.

You can redirect the “strength” of the backlink pointing to the page: you can make the page of the category or the product stronger with the rel=canonical link element or even with a 301 redirect.

 

tips WARNING: use this only if you are at “advanced level”. It’s not exactly the nicest technique, and it can bring great results without the tricky part as well (because your link profile will also broaden if the guide gets stronger), it represents an advantage rather if you definitely want to beat the competitors in a given product category.

 

15) Don’t be afraid to be a little “crazy”

 

There are ecommerce stores that get backlinks by not being afraid of realizing somewhat extreme ideas as well. Offer products without the intention of selling but which are so original that users can’t help sharing.

Firebox online shop is the perfect example of that. In their case, the WTF (“What the Firebox”) section serves that purpose, where you can find – among others – a vacuum cleaner that costs 800.000 dollars.

The more extreme and creative the idea, the better.

Of course you should play safe, so that nobody buys something from you that you never had or you’ll never have – having a creative message at the end (“Sorry, our billion-dollar decorative cushions sold out on the first day.) is perfect. Your audience will appreciate the joke, they will share it with their friends – what you should pay attention to is that the tone, the communication of the whole thing is in line with your brand.

 

16) Outsource guest blogging

 

Not only can you publish guest posts in which your reference appears: you can simply advertise the job. Of course you should have a budget for that. However, if you are being clever during the advertisement and the selection, your investment will undoubtedly pay off.

Publish an advertisement on pages grouping together freelancers (you can find countless pages like that, Freelancer and Upwork are perhaps the most widely known examples). Explain that you are looking for those who operate well-established blogs, ideally relevant ones for the area of operation of your ecommerce store, and you would like them to write about you.

 

Or rather not about you: they should write about one of your products for instance. They should test it, show what it’s capable of, or show something that represents a problem for your target audience, but they can solve that problem with the help of your product.

 

You will most probably have several dozens of applicants who would willingly “lend” you their blogs, and there’s a good chance that Google will not be against the whole thing either, because you don’t actually buy links, you simply pay for content – and it’s your own decision where you publish that.

 

17) It should be you who creates the best pieces of content

 

One of the simplest techniques – at least in theory – is to check out which pieces of content of your competitors acquire the most backlinks (you can use a lot of online tools for that).

And you should definitely make better content than those: more recent, more detailed, more thorough, more useful.

Then you can recommend these for the sites that also have a reference of the original piece of content – not as a replacement, but simply as a curiosity. On the other hand, that’s how there’s the greatest chance that the most possible people will find your piece of content (the more detailed, interesting and useful it is, the higher organic traffic will arrive to it, and you won’t have difficulties spreading it either).

And if a lot of people find the given article, post or any other kind of content valuable, you can be certain that after a while it will be rewarded with a number of quality backlinks as well.

 

The basis of everything

You can see that there’s something in common in all of these techniques: you have to create great pieces of content, no matter which format, but something that the audience – preferably your own, well-targeted audience – will not only be willing to read but will be willing to recommend and share as well.

It’s not by chance that we have already written so much about blogging, and that we try to encourage you in all of our articles: think of your brand not only as a simple ecommerce store. Be more than that: not someone whom they purchase from, but who makes their lives easier in all areas, who serves their needs.

Directing the customers to your product pages is certainly not always what’s important: if your pieces of content rank high, that’s just as useful for you – moreover, building a community, educating returning customers is even a lot more useful for you in the long run.

We have already written an article for you on how to find your keywords: from this, you can learn how to conduct the basic research, and at the same time make sure to optimize not only for the keywords that are directly related to the products.

Serve your audience’s need for information, and your competitors will have no chance of beating you in link building.

 

Business Intelligence: basics you need to know

We’re going to cover the following topics:

  • The origin of business intelligence
  • Business Intelligence as a method
  • Information as a corporate resource
  • User field of databases

 

The origin of business intelligence

 

The concept of business intelligence derives from Howard Dresner (Gartner Group, 1989), who defined it as a set of techniques and tools for the acquisition and transformation of raw data into meaningful and useful information for business analysis purposes.

 

"concepts and methods to improve business decision making by using fact-based support systems."Howard Dresner

 

 

On Wikipedia we find the following definition:

"Business Intelligence: A set of techniques and tools for the acquisition and transformation of raw data into meaningful and useful information for business analysis purposes."Wikipedia

 

The key general categories of business intelligence tools are:

  • Spreadsheets
  • Reporting and querying software ‒ tools that extract, sort, summarize and present selected data
  • OLAP
  • Digital Dashboards
  • Data mining
  • Process mining
  • Business performance management

 

The phrase originally derives from Hans Peter Luhn (IBM, 1958):

"The ability to apprehend the interrelationships of presented facts in such a way as to guide action towards a desired goal."Peter Luhn

 

The English word “intelligence” in the context means gaining information. It derives from the word “intelligentia” with the connection of the Latin word “inter” (between) and “legere” (to choose). Intelligence means the analytical and distinctive ability of the mind that supports us to choose between things. A kind of decision-making ability.

 

Business Intelligence as a method

using-business-iq-as-method

 

However, we do not necessarily need a data warehouse in order to build up a business intelligence system, yet those questions that come up in the course of planning a data warehouse can highlight the fact that business intelligence does not stop with the collection of data or the application of different software applications, but it means a full organisational transformation and new thinking method and outlook of managers.

It includes the whole screening of the company’s functioning, re-planning of internal processes and accurate identification of business purposes.

 

In the course of planning a data warehouse you have to take into consideration the following questions that may rise (Krajcsak 2012):

  • What kind of data are we still in need of?
  • How collected data can be depurated?
  • In what format should they be stored?
  • At which intervals data in the data warehouse should be updated?
  • Should a strategic bottom-up or a tactical top-down structure be applied?
  • What tasks can be done by using it?
  • Who is going to use it?
  • On what devices is it going to be used?

 

Information as a corporate resource

business-intelligence

 

Information as a corporate resource has economic value, mainly in terms of competitive advantage. It is particularly important for collected and stored pieces of information to be high-quality, otherwise we will be doing only database-building that is impossible to use for analysis and research.

 

Sources of error in case of data files can be the following (Krajcsak 2012):

  • Formats of data vary
  • Meaning of data is not unequivocal
  • It is hard to handle the data
  • Exactness of data are unknown
  • Topicality of data is inappropriate
  • Data is stored in different systems that cannot be connected with each other
  • There is redundant data in the system
  • We have inconsistent data (the same information appears in different ways)
  • Searched data cannot be found

 

These kinds of data is called disparate data, and they may be characterized by these basic problems:

  • In an organization implementing a database system, there is not a single, complete or integrated inventory of all the data.
  • The real substance, meaning and content of all the data within the organizational data resource is not readily known or well defined.
  • There is very high data redundancy all over the organization.
  • There is a very high variability of data formats and contents.

 

User field of databases

business-db

 

 

Databases serve two main fields in the management of the enterprise.

1)

On the one hand, databases serve operative processes through such enterprise application systems that support daily activities on the lower and middle management levels.

These are for example the supply chain management tools that support logistics, company resource management tools that support enterprise management projects and the customer relationship management systems that support sales activities.

Their advantages are that they provide such data availability for more users at the same time, which always shows the actual condition.

Their disadvantage is that an enquiry can be executed only through predetermined dimensions.

 

2)

On the other hand, there are those systems that support decision making and strategic management of the enterprise. These systems are applied on the high and middle management levels of the organization.

Their advantage is the processed and flexibly manageable enquiry. In the course of enquiries, decision-makers can receive answers to the questions:

  • “What happened?”
  • “Why did it happen?”
  • “What is happening now?”
  • “What could happen?”

 

So, in the course of applying business communication systems, data has an essential role, just like the juggler’s ball ‒ it can bring success and at the same time failure (if it happens to fall down).

 

 

120 Top eCommerce Blogs You Must Check To Boost Sales In 2017

Whether you’re a new or veteran ecommerce site owner, you’re going to learn a ton from this hand-picked collection of resources.

Yes, reading blogs takes a lot of time – still, we advise you to visit and follow for at least a couple of weeks all the ecommerce blogs on this list, and to add the most interesting ones to your regular reading list.

You can improve the operation of your online shop with the help of all the professional pieces of content and with the expert experiences that you can get to know here: you can optimize your store’s appearance, you can improve the sales method of your products, you can boost your marketing and increase your conversion rate.

We’ve tried to make a list of the best ecommerce blogs for you. Enjoy!

Choose the category you’re most interested in or start reading just by scrolling down.

 

Market & Trends Case Studies Conversion Optimization Customer Management Content Marketing eCommerce UX Social Media Digital Marketing Search Engine Optimization Business Advice Email Marketing Analytics Brand Building Landing Page PPC Extra

 

Market & Trends

 

Get Elastic

Simply, the king of the genre: Get Elastic shares 3 specific and quality articles every week with 200 thousand individual visitors a month: it has ecommerce news, tips and advice for the e-merchants.

The topics are diverse: you can find useful guidance here in almost any field from design to marketing solutions, from conversion optimizing to the improvement of user experience.

By the way, they define themselves as the blog having the most subscribers, and that’s for a reason, since they are followed by more than 17,500 people on RSS.

In this article they explain that cutting-edge retailers identify the trends that have staying power and leapfrog them before the rest.

 

E-Commerce Nation

E-Commerce Nation, launched in France, approaches the issue from its practical aspects, and addresses all opportunities that can make your ecommerce store more and more successful.

It increases its readership dynamically, it publishes diverse articles, covering topics in social commerce, design & development, ecommerce news, marketing, fulfillment, etc. and it tries to build a community at the same time, where different experts exchange experience and opinions.

A very clear comparison of three popular online shop platforms – WooCommerce, Shopify and Magento:

 

Case Studies

 

A Better Lemonade Stand

The blog of Richard Lazazzera, in which he shares his own, first-hand experiences on how exactly a well-operating, cost-effective ecommerce business should be built.

You can read great writings on the blog, it can be useful primarily for novice e-merchants, but you can get a great deal of immediately usable tips on the advanced level as well.

If you want to follow him together with more than 18,000 subscribers, documented to the tiniest details how an online store is built with professional methods, you can’t leave this one off your list.

You would like to launch an ecommerce store? You should definitely read this before getting started:

 

Practical Ecommerce

As its name shows, Practical Ecommerce is designed to smooth the way for the e-merchants towards high profits and steady growth with perfectly simple guides that are unfamiliar to a lot of people.

The site is considered to be a rarity as it is, because it’s been serving online merchants for more than a decade, since July 2005, and the site has become the number one assistant of both the beginner and the intermediate e-merchants.

Reinforced by the professionals of the field having extraordinary experience, they provide those concerned in online commerce with practical, down-to-earth pieces of advice. Beyond the dry strategy and data analysis, they regularly review the actual trends and issues of design and social marketing.

Learn from others, who are already successful on their market! Let’s see an excellent selection form the world of B2B ecommerce websites:

 

National Retail Federation

National Retail Federation is one of the world’s biggest retail organizations that is present in more than 45 countries in the world. You should pay attention to a commercial organization of such a size if only for its dimension and its extensive network. However, National Retail Federation also does you the favour of blogging on the topicalities concerning ecommerce (as well), almost on a daily basis.

Just like the organization, the blog would also like to help primarily the novice, or at least the less experienced participants in the field of ecommerce. It’s a novelty compared to the other thematic blogs that National Retail Federation addresses the legal background of online commerce and its eventual changes as well.

It’s an excellent summary of the currently operating global retail market and trends both from an online and offline point of view:

 

Volusion

Volusion addresses somewhat more important issues on its blog than its competitors. Although it’s dealing with ecommerce website building, even a developer agency’s blog would be envious of the selection of this blog’s topics and the mature professionalism of the articles.

A short but useful article for those who are currently planning to launch their first ecommerce store:

 

BrainSINS

Strategy, novelties and ecommerce prophecies… BrainSINS is an amazingly pulsating and vibrating blog, in the centre of which what else could be than online commerce. B2B, B2C, design and SEO ‒ it’s compulsory for hyperactive e-merchants.

Some simple solutions can prevent you from losing money:

 

Razor Social

Ian Cleary’s speciality field is social media, he varies expertly the different tricks and tools, so that you make the most of your business. There’s no social interface for which Razor Social has no solution, they are quite simply brilliant in this field.

Is it possible that after a while your blog will bring you a large proportion of your revenues?

 

Nosto

This is a blog of a personalization service that is already used by more than 21,000 ecommerce stores. Accordingly, in their articles they are dealing with topics like CTR, average conversion and consequently, the increase of revenues and the soonest possible return on investment. There’s absolutely no doubt that their writings are born of appropriate experience.

In the article we chose, they are providing ideas concerning what types of pop-ups displayable in online shops there are, and in addition, they present particular, already existing examples for each of them:

 

Business 2 Community

On the quite popular business-oriented social networking portal grown from the personal blog of Brian Rice, you can find only quality professional content in the fields of digital marketing, social media, content marketing and social selling.

The useful pieces of content are currently created by more than 15,000 contributors, and with its more than 3 million visitors a month it’s considered to be one of the biggest professional portals.

Every ecommerce entrepreneur likes useful statistics and everyone would like to read the customers’ minds. Let’s see how that’s possible:

 

Instapage

With the help of the landing page creation service, launched in 2012, practically anybody, without any professional web design knowledge, can create nicely layouted, efficiently converting subscription and selling pages.

We found one of the largest landing page surveys in their blog, thanks to the work of Fahad Muhammad. He hasn’t just collected 100 landing pages, but he even analyses them one by one, highlighting their well-working solutions and the ones that need to be tested:

 

Conversion Optimization

 

Got Groove – eCommerce Blog

Technical and marketing information for advanced e-merchants, Got Groove’s thematic blog provides more in-depth articles and analyses. A high-quality professional blog, nevertheless written in a language comprehensible to everyone.

In addition to the analyses, ecommerce communications can’t be left out either, of course. Those who regularly read Got Groove’s blog can obtain a comprehensive knowledge of ecommerce.

Learning from the big ones is not a shame. You can get to know three useful ideas from the example of Amazon Prime Day:

 

eCommerceFuel

A few years ago Andrew Youderian decided to start his own business, and the idea proved to be so good that by now he has become one of the most widely known figures in the ecommerce scene.

Operating two ecommerce stores, he has reached a profit of 1 million dollars within a relatively short period of time, and fortunately, in addition to providing his readers with relevant tips, he regularly shares on his blog the lessons learned from his own experiences.

Free e-books, videos, and, of course, forums help both the beginners and the advanced professionals in becoming as outstanding e-merchants as possible.

An interview with Peep Laja, the extremely popular founder of the ConversionXL blog site on conversion optimization:

 

Kissmetrics

Numbers, information, marketing and all the data that you’ll need for the creation of a successful campaign or an even more successful ecommerce strategy.

Neil Patel, today’s hero of online marketing has put together a site and a connected blog with Hiten Shah, which not only provides ideas and tangible solutions, but also offers an approach to its followers.

You will learn step by step how the data set that seems confusing at first, becomes a well converting online shop that generates significant profit.

You can learn about 8 detailed suggestions, which, if applied, will help you generate higher revenues:

 

Blue Acorn eCommerce Blog

Blue Acorn is one of the developer companies that share with their visitors the enormous amount of experiences in the field of ecommerce that have accumulated during their everyday work. No wonder that several thousands of people visit their blog every month, where the main topic is increasing conversion for online shops.

BlogMetrics ranks the thematic blog of Blue Acorn 6th in the category of ecommerce, which can be considered very high, especially if you look at how an illustrious group of market players the team has got into with that rank.

You’ll be amazed how enormous improvement in the performance of your ecommerce store can be achieved with some minor but measurable changes:

 

CMSWire

Targeting a niche market within a niche market is always an exciting undertaking, however it could end up either being a success or a failure. On the other hand, founders of CMSWire made such a success of the segmentation of ecommerce consultancy (blogging, communications etc.), that now even advanced e-merchants are visiting them in case they want to browse the latest pieces of content on customer experience.

The site functions as both an ecommerce portal and a community, all the content, all the news, articles and analyses have the purpose of enabling the e-merchants to boost customer experience to the maximum on their own interfaces.

This of course leads to high conversion numbers, and the numbers of the portal, which has been operating since 2003, speak for themselves: every quarter more than 800.000 visitors read the thoughts and ideas of more than 400 professionals on the present and the future of ecommerce and on the highest level service of the customers.

Customer reach through multiple digital channels results in higher revenues as well. Let’s see what Steve Olenski has got to say about it:

 

PrestaShop

It’s an open source code ecommerce application that tries to facilitate the job of online merchants in several languages. We recommend its English blog primarily for beginners, it’s an excellent site where you can lay the foundation of your professional knowledge!

Make the search engine of your ecommerce store better, in order to acquire more customers:

 

Magento

The blog of the developer company of our favourite ecommerce software application, Magento, with novelties, case studies, most of the best practices and with everything that an online merchant working with a Magento store needs to know.

It’s a more advanced blog, for true e-merchants.

Some conversion strategies in the system of Magento, by Jenna Warren, that have been proven to work:

 

Sellbrite

Sellbrite is dealing with multiple channel ecommerce, their blog is also about that. In addition, they are also dealing with customer acquisition, and the most extensive automation possible of ecommerce workflows.

Price is one of the most important factors of marketing strategy. How should you define it? Here’s a little help from William Harris:

 

Neuromarketing

Roger Dooley will show you how to acquire even more returning customers and how to obtain the trust of your customers.

Has your company, or any of your products won an award or ranked high? This is the way how you should communicate that towards your target audience:

 

UpSellit

UpSellit’s team writes mainly about how to boost shopping cart value once you have succeeded in persuading your customer to purchase something in your store. In addition to that, they have excellent articles on the topic of mobile reach and optimization, which is why we recommend them to you.

Thanks to proper testing you can achieve great improvement of results with low costs:

 

Traffic & Sales

What’s the goal of all e-merchants? The boost of turnover and sales. Traffic & Sales enjoys widespread popularity due to simple phrasing and its true stories amounting to impact studies.

Make use of your users in content creation! Believe us, you won’t regret that:

 

HubSpot

HubSpot is the specialist of inbound marketing, but for this very reason they are also good at online commerce. Plus, fortunately they also write a blog about that, and leaving that out of the daily routine would be a mistake.

How to apply the growth-driven design? You can find out here:

 

RevenueWire

They are offering a global ecommerce platform mainly to those companies that are selling digital products.

In addition to the latest news and crispy novelties of the field of ecommerce, they are focusing on making their readers able to realize continuous expansion on the market of “trading” with software applications and services.

How to adjust your prices immediately to the actual consumer demand in your online store?

 

Springbot

Springbot is working on connecting the social media with your ecommerce store, and you can get tips here, which will help you become an outstanding social communicator and a successful e-merchant. Facebook, Instagram and everything that is hot today and may be relevant for you as well.

Everyone likes discounts, which is exactly why you should consider all the options, with the help of which you can make your coupon deals effective:

 

Sweet Tooth

The most important advantage of Sweet Tooth, a loyalty extension for Magento and other ecommerce platforms, founded by Steve Deckert and Mike Rossi, beside the perfectly usable top ecommerce blogs, is that they publish very significant materials on the structure of loyalty systems, on their management and on everything in connection with that.

In our opinion they offer one of the best customer loyalty solutions. They can be of enormous help mainly in the fashion, beauty and sports equipment sectors since, based on the characteristics of these markets, loyalty programmes can be used with great success.

Customers love when you pay special attention to them. Check out how you can build the club of VIP customers:

 

Mouseflow

Mouseflow makes videos of what your visitors do (or don’t do unfortunately) on your site, and they provide conversion tips on their blog. Very useful and informative!

With these suggestions you will undoubtedly increase the standard of your online shop’s marketing activity:

 

The Daily Egg

What do you think? A company, whose job is to make heat maps on your pages based on the activity of your visitors, knows about conversion? Most certainly almost everything. That’s what Crazy Egg does and Daily Egg is their blog, where for example the “good old” Neil Patel publishes as well.

Personalized messages are good, right? And do your users think about it the same way?

 

Optimizely

A blog in the magic circle of the best performing online shops and A/B tests. The optimized, almost excessively personalized ecommerce stores will certainly reach better conversion, and that’s what Optimizely’s blog offers you a helping hand with.

A lot of people leave your online store before they would purchase? Ask them what’s the reason for that!

 

2X ecommerce

On the blog of Kunle Campbell you can find a lot of great interview podcasts he made with ecommerce marketing experts and with owners of successfully operating shops.

Useful advice is provided here on how you can redirect the traffic of the marketplace to your own ecommerce interface that is running parallel with it:

 

CommerceBrain

Yulia V Smirnova’s blog, her articles are mainly on ecommerce marketing and on methods to increase conversion.

A fundamental topic that concerns all e-merchants. The article is on the pricing activity of online stores:

 

Dynamic Yield

The articles of the blog primarily focus on the increase of conversion and on ecommerce personalization, and their references make it quite clear that there is very significant professional experience behind their publications.

The product referral system that they developed themselves is able to adjust the product range not only to the given customer’s personal preferences, but even to the expected weather.

We chose the guide on the exit-intent, which is quite useful in terms of keeping the first visitors, i.e. database building. In addition to the good examples, you can also learn from this article how NOT to do it, in case you apply it in your online shop:

 

Pixel Union

In the blog of the digital agency making Shopify, BigCommerce and WordPress based ecommerce templates and extensions, a quite popular online commerce model, in other words, subscriptions and their correct application are presented:

 

ShipStation

In case you’re selling through multiple ecommerce channels at the same time, order management and serving the needs of the customers requires a lot of time and effort. With the help of ShipStation, you can organize and carry out the tasks related to the orders through a central and intuitive interface.

We chose Jake Gasaway’s article from their blog, which introduces to merchants the advantages and basics of multichannel selling:

 

Shopping Signals

The digital marketing blog of Ryan BeMiller, specialist of B2B and B2C online selling, having more than 17 years of experience, focuses on the increase of the efficiency of ecommerce selling.

A flash sale, run in online shops, is an excellent tool at the introduction of new products or in case of selling off remaining stock. You get useful advice on the successful implementation of this through a specific case study:

 

Smart Marketer

Ezra Firestone has more than a decade of experience and is considered by a lot of people to be one of the best ecommerce experts. Smart Marketer that he established, compiles and publishes in digital format training programmes for salesmen and for online shop owners.

In Ezra’s blog you can find an ever growing, but an already gigantic quantity of useful videos, podcasts and conference materials ‒ categorized, of course.

We chose his article on the exploitation of UpSell opportunities:

 

Rejoiner

Recover, retain, optimize – this is the main message that Rejoiner communicates. They focus on a field within email marketing which is exploited mainly by the bigger ecommerce stores only, and that is the transformation of abandoned shopping carts into conversion.

Think how significant increase in revenue can be realized if you can achieve conversion in case of 15% of the abandoned shopping carts – according to the statistics.

We managed to find one of the best articles – if not the best article – on the topic of “abandoned cart”, which, beside presenting the sad facts, also provides solutions and immediately applicable techniques for online store owners.

 

Launch & Hustle

The mission of this company is to provide the best possible knowledge in the field of marketing strategy and marketing tactics for their clients – who may be start-up companies, businesses in a growth phase, or companies firmly established internationally – in order to ensure the achievement of excellent results and business growth.

How to transform your not too-well-performing B2B website into a lead generating machine? Let’s see some effective solutions!

 

Customer Management

 

E-Commerce Times

The site itself is not as pretty as the nowadays trendy top ecommerce blogs, but leaving it out of this list would be a mistake. They collect all news and curiosities that are related to online commerce, that are closely or a bit more remotely relevant to the topic.

In addition to the news of the ecommerce business world, technical background, mobile platforms, internet security and social media will be addressed as well on the pages of E-Commerce Times.

ECT News Network, which operates the site, claims to be one of the biggest e-business content providers in the USA, E-Commerce Times attracts approximately 50 thousand individual visitors a month out of the traffic of the truly considerable empire.

Monitoring customer behaviour and feedback, and changes made in time to the course of business may be of vital importance:

 

3dcart

3dcart is a less known player among the ecommerce store software applications, still, it’s very much worth paying attention to their blog. In addition to the tricks optimized to their own system, you can often catch practices that leave even an experienced online professional wondering.

Your conversion rate is below 2%? If you want to increase it, read this:

 

Reevoo Blog

Reevoo is dealing with customer feedback and ratings, they’re the best at this. That’s the reason why it’s worth reading their blog, because if anyone on earth really understands customer psychology, it’s them.

One of the biggest pains for an online store is shopping cart abandonment. How to minimize it? Here are some tips:

 

Userlike

In addition to the usual topics, Userlike places particular emphasis on the communication with the customers. Their posts include communication tools and channels, with the help of which you can easily keep in touch with your customers.

If your customers are dissatisfied with you, there’s only a 9% chance of them returning to you. Check out how you can make them happy:

 

Ecommerce Platforms

This is the ideal blog for those who like big comparisons. Catalin Zorzini compares online shop engines, SEO compatible ecommerce platforms – and the list probably could be continued forever – on the basis of various criteria.

If you are a B2B e-merchant, it is a must-read, by Oren Ezra, to ensure a great shopping experience:

 

Guided Selling

Nowadays more and more people believe in smart customer acquisition instead of aggressive advertising campaigns. On Guided Selling’s blog you can regularly read articles on how you can persuade smartly your visitors to purchase and spend less money at the same time.

According to Angela Sokolovska it’s time to add “conversational commerce” to your vocabulary. And she’s perfectly right!

 

XSellco

XSellco, the brainchild of Ray Nolan, is also one of the blogs which share with their readers their extremely valuable experiences gained during their everyday work. Nolan is good at making sales out of data, and at making customers out of visitors – he’s worth paying attention to.

Are you thinking big? In that case, you will have to operate a customer service system outstanding even according to international standards:

 

Bootstrapping Ecommerce

Shabbir Nooruddin claims to have been an e-merchant since his childhood, and on his blog he shares everything on ecommerce marketing: SEO, PPC, social media and lots of other stuff, so that the readers can launch their own highly lucrative business.

In this post, he lists how you can minimize customer fraud, moreover, at the end of the article you can even read a couple of tips from other experts:

 

Help Scout

Almost 73 thousand newsletter subscribers are awaiting regularly the best materials on the enhancement of customer experience, on the most useful ecommerce software applications, and on the establishment of a solid customer base.

A detailed description on how to build your customer service team from scratch:

 

Content Marketing

 

LemonStand

LemonStand, operating in Vancouver, offers a primarily cloud-based online shop system, with special regard to the design solutions, thanks to which you can tailor the user experience as you (more precisely your consumers) like.

Being a designer company, it’s not surprising that they are operating a quite nicely designed, very clear blog site, where they post detailed, comprehensive articles in many topics, e.g. ecommerce web design, content development or online store building.

In today’s fierce competition, it’s absolutely necessary to provide your target audience with outstanding pieces of content. How? Well, you can find the answer here:

 

ConversionXL

Peep Laja is specialized in the increase of conversion, and of course his corporate blog is also on that. General, primary and complementary topics, all in favour of higher conversion and higher sales.

Product description ‒ it does make a huge difference how it’s formatted:

 

BuzzSumo

The company providing assistance in the development of content marketing are giving useful advice in the field of content marketing in particular of course, so that you can have quality and useful text content in your ecommerce store.

With the help of their service, thanks to the recent data and the easy manageability, you can easily find the currently trendy, hot topics, based on which you can create relevant content yourself as well, that you can effectively spread in the social media with the help of opinion leaders.

It’s the headline that sells your content. How to write it well? Steve Rayson tells you:

 

SpyFu

SpyFu is an outstanding search engine optimization tool for “stealing” the most profitable organic keywords and PPC advertisements of your competitors, all this on an intuitive, well-organized and clear interface.

It’s a common mistake at larger ecommerce companies that the different units and teams communicate differently about the company itself. Consistent communication should be “message-based” or “message-forward”:

 

Unbounce

The conversion technologies applied on landing pages have developed to perfection, and the planning and preparation process itself has become an independent speciality field by now. With the help of Unbounce, you can put together and put into operation your landing pages, covering the complete process, without the need for a programmer.

We chose Amy Wood’s article because its content creation approach is perfectly applicable in ecommerce store blogs as well:

 

Hotjar

In order to be able to serve your visitors’ needs in the fullest possible way, you need to know what their needs are and what they do exactly after arriving to your website.

This is which Hotjar quite efficiently helps you with, regardless of what kind of device the users arrive from. You get a complex analysis from A to Z on conversion channels, on filling out questionnaires and on visitor feedback as well, in addition to getting one on the video recordings.

In his article, Brian Lenney presents a complete process – already proved to be working fine at Hotjar –, on the creation of content that your potential clients will definitely be interested in:

 

Ecommerce UX

 

Internet Retailer

Whenever you read Internet Retailer, you always have the feeling that you’ve arrived to the official and global news portal of ecommerce. That’s because in addition to the daily topicalities of the e-business world, e-merchants are assisted with analyses, articles and the “auxiliary sciences” of online commerce as well.

The portal is clear and reasonably minimalist, and as such, it represents a colourful patch in the sometimes way too artistic or vivid world of e-business blogs. We very much like the sites where not only best practices are published all the time, and Internet Retailer has found the perfect balance on the guidance-communications-data gathering axis.

This portal, which covers the field of e-business in an exemplary way, is simply a must-follow site.

With the spread of mobiles it’s indispensable that you optimize your ecommerce store for mobile devices as well. What do you have to pay attention to in terms of that?

 

Shopify

Shopify is one of the leading online shop engine developers of the world. You should pay attention to what they have to say, since they’ve already brought something on the virtual table of ecommerce.

On their blog, they combine the traditional, a thousand times proved commercial approach with the requirements of the internet era, all this in the form of interesting and easily comprehensible articles.

It does matter very much, how your products look in your online shop. It’s worthwhile for you to follow these very detailed, practical pieces of advice by Thomas Kragelund:

 

BigCommerce

It’s also a hosted online shop platform provider company. On their blog you can read mainly about their own development and their ecommerce success story. Their clear site in itself is a true representation of the current trends, but fortunately they also share their experiences with their audience, be it appearance or fine-tuning of the software.

The primary purpose of website design is not the creation of amazement, but that of conversions. The best online shops were selected in the light of that statement:

 

cleverbridge

The blog of cleverbridge will teach you proper pricing methods and will show you how to extract the useful information from an unfriendly data set. German precision in online commerce. Well, that can’t hurt, can it?

You should clarify the difference between these two things below, in case you want to build a stable customer base:

 

Blue Stout

Blue Stout’s blog comes up with podcasts, videos, case studies, and they don’t just talk about ecommerce but they also take active part in it as service providers.

How to make your product pages irresistible? Here’s the recipe from Jenna Compton:

 

My Wife Quit Her Job

A blog of personal tone, sharing experiences of operating one’s own family online shop, that is made mainly for beginner online merchants, but it’s so thorough that even the more advanced find plenty of useful information here.

This article by Steve Chou explains the utmost importance of search functions for your own site:

 

UserTesting

User experience is not a luxury, we hope we don’t have to explain that to you any more. On this blog you will get extremely useful information on how you can improve user experience in your ecommerce store in order to realize higher conversion.

Some basic functions that you will definitely need to manage in your online shop so that your customers are satisfied:

 

eCommerce UX Design

Amazingly great writings again in the topic of user experience. Even you will be surprised how thoroughly they address even the tiniest corner of your ecommerce store.

You find pop-up advertising messages too aggressive? Rest assured, they can be used smartly:

 

Smashing Magazine

The well-known Vitaly Friedman is its co-founder, they are dealing mostly with web-design. But still, what is the most important thing when it comes to user experience? Of course it’s web design. Today it’s not enough even if your site is responsive, there’s a great deal of other factors that are necessary for success. You’ll find them here.

Which is better? Infinite scrolling or a “Load more” button? An interesting study in respect of reliable test results:

 

Goodvidio

They focus on the optimization of product videos. Their goal, and of course the client’s goal as well, is that the videos lead to the highest possible conversion by capturing the customers’ attention and desires, which will eventually result in a highly satisfactory purchasing experience.

The blog specifically focuses on the sales of ecommerce stores realized through the use of videos, on the effect of product videos on the increase of conversion, on YouTube marketing and video marketing in general.

By the way, Gooodvidio is developing a special ecommerce solution that’s capable of automatically finding and collecting the most popular or the most relevant YouTube videos on your products. All what’s left for you to do, is to approve which videos among those should appear on the data sheets of the given products.

Do you have product videos? Are they good? Do the visitors also think they are good and they click through? It’s worthwhile for you to test what it is that really works!

 

eConsultancy

A portal specialized on supporting the global community of online merchants and salesmen, which conducts quite important research and publishes data analyses and useful instructional materials.

We chose the article Greg Randall wrote because it’s one of the best guides on a topic that significantly influences the results of online sales, however, to this day, a lot of ecommerce store owners still don’t put enough emphasis on this issue.

 

Ecommerce Illustrated

Linda Bustos’s blog, relating to her book to be published under the same title, specializes particularly in the optimization of the layout, of the appearance of ecommerce stores.

Including all the important types of sub pages from the opening page to the checkout, it demonstrates with excellent examples the creation of user friendly ecommerce interfaces which are optimized for the increase of conversion.

Optimization for mobiles is a true challenge for online shops. Let’s see some useful tips how it is worth planning filter and sort functions:

 

Envato

This business operating in Australia is one of the most popular social marketplaces among web developers and designers. Their most visited website is ThemeForest where you can view and download a great deal of ecommerce store “themes” as well, in addition to the countless website templates.

If an ecommerce company would like to be among the best, it’s important that they know the latest UI / UX trends:

 

Social Media

 

Buffer Social Media Blog

Buffer – being the supplier of one of the most popular solutions managing social media communication – is not dealing with ecommerce specifically, but their blog is useful for everyone who would like to develop and grow in the field of e-business. We usually visit Buffer’s blog when we’re a little fed up with the dry mountains of data and the umpteenth perfect online marketing strategy.

On Buffer’s blog you can read mainly about the business-wise successful use of social media interfaces, about increasing visitor numbers, and about a modern business approach in general that is based on online communication.

Customer service through social media? Absolutely! Let’s see some great examples of that from Bryan Haines:

 

WiziShop

WiziShop belongs to the relatively small group of European ecommerce experts. They don’t overdo blogging, instead of daily content provision they rather focus on quality.

Their own performance-based ecommerce service is also made for online merchants, and for this reason, they too need to face the current challenges of ecommerce on a daily basis.

It does matter when and how you react on opinions or comments appearing on social networking sites:

 

Demi University

On Demi, they are dealing with online courses, where, not surprisingly, online marketing is taught. On the blog you can get great pieces of advice mainly on your social media campaign, on the management of your interfaces, be it Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn, but of course the list could still be continued.

How to choose the proper social media channels for your business communications:

 

Ecwid

In addition to the news on their own application, you can find quite good tips here on the effective seasonal offers, on email marketing and on the complementary but indispensable ecommerce workflows.

You’d like to have a bigger customer base or more subscribers? Organize a contest! You can find a lot of great ideas here:

 

Social Media Today

Your company has to be present on the interfaces of social networks as well, and it hasn’t been enough for a long time now to use only one of these. Social Media Today are one of the experts of the field, their articles, specifically on ecommerce, assist your successful social media presence.

Did you know that 60% of the traffic arriving to online shops from all social media originates from Facebook? Therefore, it’s worth exploiting better this channel as well. Chris London’s article helps you with that:

 

Hootsuite

One of the best social media management solutions, having more than 10 million users. They’re the best of the profession, so it’s worth paying attention to their pieces of advice.

What do you need if you think for example of the Facebook page of your business? Strategy, good advice, simple tips, which you are able to use as well. You will find all this several times a day on the social media blog of Hootsuite.

If you read this from Dara Fontein, you’ll realize that it absolutely does matter when you post:

 

Shane Barker’s blog

Shane Barker is one of the most widely known specialists of online sales and lead generation, he also publishes his professionally written articles containing his steps applicable in practice as well, on the blogs of Search Engine Journal, Social Media Examiner, SemRush, Hootsuite and Neil Patel.

Among the articles on his blog on digital marketing we chose the one on the quite important potential lying in micro-influencers:

 

Post Planner

Many people don’t have time to look for pieces of quality content on the internet that may be useful for their own community as well, and then to ensure the scheduling of the gathered content.

Post Planner takes this task off your shoulders in order to make your Facebook and Twitter communication more effective, as it is specifically looking for content which has generated high activity within the predefined topic according to the statistics.

Today ecommerce businesses cannot ignore Facebook communication any more. Let’s see what you should focus on:

 

Social Quant:

Twitter is not a social networking site that ecommerce businesses can ignore any more. Social Quant helps you increase the number of your Twitter followers with relevant followers based on the keywords defined by you, thus you can make sure that your tweets get to potential customers who are actually relevant for you.

It’s worth paying attention to their blog, they are one of the most useful sources of information in the field of Twitter marketing, as they are conducting their researches based on the activity of their almost 14 million (!) current users.

Should you have any questions concerning Twitter, you can count on Michael Kawula, the CEO of Social Quant, and David Boutin providing excellent solutions and ideas.

David Boutin’s article gives a helping hand with drawing up several Twitter marketing strategies of proven efficiency:

 

AgoraPulse

AgoraPulse is a relatively fresh player in the field of social networking site management, which has attracted our attention with its very appealing and intuitive user interface. It’s important to note that in contrast to their competitors, in their case only, you can’t just manage social media accounts but you can put together quizzes and promotional campaigns as well.

We chose their article that is of vital importance for practically every ecommmerce business, since with the help of your colleagues you can reach a much larger audience even at the time of launching your online store:

 

Social Media Examiner

Social Media Examiner, founded by Mike Stelzner, is perhaps the most popular social media marketing portal in the world, which currently has already more than half a million newsletter subscribers.

No matter what kind of questions you have in connection with the topic of social media, you will definitely find practical guides, podcasts or expert interviews here in which you will get the answers to them.

SME also organizes Social Media Marketing World, the largest social networking conference in the world today.

Creating good content for the blog of your ecommerce store is not enough, you should also think about attaching attractive, possibly click through rate increasing images to your shared articles. Kristi Hines provides a step-by-step guide of creating quality social media images:

 

Digital Marketing

 

The Sparkline

For those who would not like to read about anything else but building an online shop, about the perfect search engine optimization or about the pinpoint targeting of the social media for that matter, we don’t recommend reading Fizzle’s blog in any case. On the other hand, it’s perfect for all e-merchants craving for a little inspiration, mental ammunition in the middle of a stressful everyday life.

Corbett Barr and Chase Reeves help you win the online race, and in addition, they don’t attack using their power, they prefer the mind game. It’s not specifically an ecommerce blog, but those susceptible to it can successfully build the customer and follower base of their online shop with its help.

One of the cornerstones of marketing communication is the unique selling proposition (USP), with the definition of which we could use a little help:

 

ROI Revolution

It’s a general marketing blog, where they’re addressing exactly the issue you would definitely like to find out yourself as well: how to generate the most profit with the least investment. Let’s go for the best ROI!

Avoid irresponsible advertising costs, concentrate on the return and on the realistic goals:

 

Store Growers

Dennis Moons has been an eCommerce consultant for 5 years, he has tested heaps of visitor and customer acquisition techniques in his own and in his clients’ projects, so he knows what works and what you shouldn’t push.

We believe that the most useful writing for our readers here is this very well prepared online shop marketing guide, “configurable” at the top of the article, which even includes practical steps:

 

ReferralCandy

One of the most popular eCommerce solutions, in which you can easily plan and put into operation practically any kind of referral programme – of course every individual referrer participating in the programme gets a URL and the rewards granted for the referrals can also be easily configured.

It’s an important aspect that the system measures practically all activity in connection with the referral programme, thus you can measure and optimize the programme’s efficiency using the data of the statistics as well.

Which other topic could we have chosen from their blog than Jon Tan’s article? He shows you through 42 specific successful examples how to make everyone talk about you:

 

Mention

With the help of Mention’s service you can’t only monitor the public online discussions about you, but you can monitor the communication of your competitors as well, or, you can find the influencers important to you. All this accompanied by having automated reports prepared.

We have the pleasure to recommend you the article of Patrick Whatman as one of the most thorough guides on digital marketing strategy currently available online. We specifically consider it a required reading for all online businesses:

 

Search Engine Optimization

 

Backlinko

Brian Dean’s blog is about SEO, which is not at all neutral to an ecommerce store owner. He puts a great deal of effort in writing his detailed articles, which has brought excellent results to him in terms of visitor numbers, reputation and very probably revenues of course ‒ all very well deserved.

Without doubt he was not “born into” the first search results pages: he shares all of the SEO techniques that he worked out during the years in his blog and in the training materials of SEO That Works.

For us his blog is in the frontline of SEO.

Go to Backlinko if you’re interested in the relationship between SEO and ecommerce, this post will definitely put several things back into place in your head:

 

Ahrefs

As a relatively new player, Ahrefs managed to become one of the most popular website analysing platforms in the world, which is largely thanks to their huge backlink database.

Mapping and following backlink profiles is a main advantage and SEO is supplemented with competition analysis. A nice arsenal of SEO tools are available, the updated is Keyword Explorer is our favourites.

In their blog you can find guidelines much more thorough than usual, based on enormous quantities of data, in which all you need to know is explained step by step.

In case you’d like to select from loads of useful search engine optimization tips, you will definitely not be disappointed with David McSweeney’s post:

 

SEMrush

The main thrust of this blog is represented by the articles concerning SEO, which is not by chance, because SEMrush is a worthily recognized competitor in the forefront of SEO software applications, thanks to, for example, its specifically accurate tracking of keyword ranking.

The article we chose was written by Tony Messer, it focuses on link building for ecommerce stores describing five immediately applicable methods:

 

Moz

They started as an SEO agency, today they’re developers at the same time, and experts of ecommerce as well. One of the world’s most predominant SEO teams, but they’re present with useful materials regarding other topics as well.

A fine example of this is that they provide suggestions on how you should weed out all the non-attractive and non-useful pieces of content from your website:

 

Neil Patel

Neil Patel. The name simply speaks for itself. So we shouldn’t even write anything else here, however, it still needs to be somewhat explained why already the second blog that the famous online marketing guru is involved in is on this list.

There’s a good chance he knows everything about online marketing, and he even shares a great part of that knowledge on his own blog, which also particularly addresses ecommerce.

Ecommerce and search engine optimization. Very long, very easy to read, very useful:

 

WordStream

Their speciality is PPC, which you undeniably need if you are dealing with ecommerce. It may not be as exciting as a blog on social media, but it’s very advisable for you to read.

A new era is coming in the world of search engine optimization. What will it be like and how should you get prepared for it? Larry Kim provides an answer for that:

 

Search Engine Watch

An enormous amount of information on SEO, search engine marketing and PPC until exhaustion, and on all other areas of online marketing in connection with those for relaxation.

Great opportunities lie in local searches as well. How to take advantage of them? The solution is here:

 

ProRankTracker

They are specialized in the statistics of search engine rankings. They claim they are having the most accurate analytical solution on the market to determine which rank a certain website has on the results pages.

What’s your rank in Google? Well, the question is more complex than you would think…

 

Synup

Although Synup has been in operation only for less than 3 years (in November 2016), currently more than 30,000 businesses are using its marketing solutions that are based on local information. Their software processes a huge amount of data, thanks to which every company can efficiently manage its own location data, its brand building, its awareness promotion and its company analytics.

It may seem to be just a minor problem, but duplicate citation of your company in an online directory may turn out to be quite problematic. Why is that? Read this:

 

YOAST

The Dutch family man, with four children, Joost de Valk founded his now worldwide known company in 2010, which became famous for the Yoast SEO WordPress plugin. Team Yoast has grown to become a team of 50 people by now, and they are active in all areas of website optimization, be it the optimization of speed, navigation or search engine.

In case you want to improve the SEO of your ecommerce store, you should go through this checklist!

 

Rebrandly

Rebrandly claims that creation, management and sharing of “branded” links – with the help of which you can increase the trust towards the links (the click-through rate will be higher), and brand presence as well as brand reputation can also be improved – can be most easily done with Rebrandly.

Did you know that the “presentation” or appearance of links has a significant influence on trust and thus on the willingness to click? The post by Derric Haynie describes just that:

 

Business Advice

 

Demac Media

Demac Media is a team of strategists, designers and developers, who help merchants build and grow ecommerce businesses.

Your business will go only as far as your team can take it. So, who are these eCommerce heroes, and how do you know you’ve found them? To help you, Demac has shortlisted 50+ role descriptions from leading ecommerce companies across North America (downloadable document). Learn the sequence of hiring that leverages your existing team, and save you time in recruiting your next key hire!

 

Veeqo

They offer a platform that makes ordering and inventory processes quicker and simpler, thus saving a huge amount of time for the operator of the online shop.

Both marketing tactics and general retail advice are presented on their blog site. They are not the only ones on this list who deal with the integration of your online interfaces, but since they know the European market in particular, we couldn’t leave Veeqo off the list.

It’s an extremely useful collection of the most important market data covering several fields:

 

Ecommerce Influence

Austin Brawner is an email marketing specialist, he’s a blogger of Ecommerce Influence. We found to be one of the most useful among his articles the one including the list of software applications carefully selected for online merchants.

He doesn’t only list these tools, but he is recommending them specifically based on his own experiences he had with them:

 

PFS

In the blog of the digital agency, familiar with the development of the 5 types of eCommerce platforms, you can find articles on nearly 60 topics relating to online marketing.

It’s the holiday season that’s the most important for you, too, right? Here are some useful hints for the preparations:

 

Segmentify

Segmentify developed an ecommerce personalization solution with which you can tailor the opening page of the online shop, the category page and the product data sheet to the profile of the given visitor.

Here’s an excellent video collection on the TED talks relevant and useful for e-merchants (we’d like to specifically highlight Barry Schwartz’s speech „The Paradox of Choice”):

 

The Future of Customer Engagement and Commerce

The blog operated by SAP Hybris focuses specifically on the latest techniques of convincing the customers to purchase, on future trends, and on B2C and B2B commerce.

It’s common knowledge that a B2B ecommerce company has to be operated with a different approach and different customer management than one to be built on B2C, regardless of the fact that there are common points as well.

In his article, Brian Beck provides useful pieces of advice on building a B2B ecommerce organization, so that you can launch a B2B ecommerce initiative while having a stable background:

 

Quick Sprout

This blog is one of the most successful projects of Neil Patel, which means a gigantic quantity of immediately applicable practical advice for the readers, whether it’s on the increase of your social media followers, on practices of writing truly useful pieces of content, or on search engine optimization. A great challenge to find the time to read (and of course to apply!) them all.

We chose this article because if anyone knows for sure what you need in order to become an “influencer”, or in other words an opinion leader in your area of expertise, than he does, and that represents a huge advantage over your competitors even in case of an ecommerce business:

 

Colibri IO

Social media interfaces are outstanding platforms for you to follow and influence the discussions on your products, but not all ecommerce business persons have the capacity to monitor the newsfeed all day. (It’s another thing if there’s a team for that within the company.)

Of course, Colibri IO monitors not only the social media platfprms, but for example websites, blogs and forums as well, so all you need to deal with is the communication itself.

When launching a new ecommerce store, you might as well issue press releases as part of the marketing strategy. The article by Karol Pokojowczyk, head of Colibri IO, will help you with that:

 

Traackr

Influencer outreach, in other words, addressing the opinion leaders, is probably one of the most important foundation stones of digital marketing. Traackr helps you to find and also to build a relationship with the people that your target audience has confidence in.

Shane Barker provides a detailed, professionally built guide for those who have not yet dealt with influencer marketing, or for those who are already working on it but are not sure whether they do everything properly:

 

Entrepreneur

This is the online version of the magazine established in 1977, which publishes useful articles mainly in terms of topics for small enterprises and with other business topics.

The article we found the most useful is the one that provides an answer to a question frequently asked by commercial companies intending to enter the online market nowadays:

 

ALT Agency

ALT are an award winning web design company from Birmingham, UK, who specialise in eCommerce website design and development.

Infusing Online Sales Psychology into their eCommerce stores, ALT typically grow an average clients conversions by 300% and generate ROIs of £13 for every £1 invested.

Choosing the right eCommerce platform is vital, here’s everything you need to know about getting started with eCommerce:

 

Email Marketing

 

Printful

They’re online merchants themselves, which is why they have a very good knowledge of the seasonal tasks and of ecommerce marketing. What amazing luck that they also share their knowledge on their blog, which we recommend to e-merchants who like simply achievable things.

Approach your target audience with special messages before the holidays come in order to be able to benefit more from the opportunities lying in holiday shopping:

 

Nerd Marketing

Of course you’ll find a lot of info here as well on marketing, but on the blog of Nerd Marketing, alias Drew Sanocki, you can get indispensable information in particular on the threefold topic of business building, growth and expansion.

You can view Drew Sanocki’s video here on how you can check in Google Analytics which dates are the most suitable for sending out marketing emails:

 

MailChimp

You’ve certainly heard from a couple of your competitors that email marketing was dead. When that happens again, keep staring with wondering eyes, because not only has it not died, but it’s more alive than ever.

Hopefully we don’t need to introduce MailChimp by now to you either, however, we definitely need to raise your attention to their blog, since in addition to their own news, the professional material is also interesting.

How many people on your distribution list are Gmail users? How can you make sure they don’t block your letters?

 

AWeber

Email marketing again, from the top of the profession. They’ve been in operation for almost 20 years, more than 100 thousand businessmen use their services throughout the world, so it’s no wonder they have a great deal of experience in this sector.

Clearly structured articles, step-by-step guides so that your letter ends up in the right place, so that it’s opened and read, so that people getting it also purchase from you.

You haven’t considered email marketing communication that important until now? If you read this, you will think otherwise:

 

Ometria

Ometria is developing a multiplatform profiling and marketing automation system for merchants, with the help of which you can efficiently increase customer lifecycle.

What kind of email do you get when you unsubscribe from an ecommerce store’s newsletter? Thanks to the research done by Ometria, you can get to know the most common types of goodbye emails, and of course nothing should keep you from applying the best examples in practice, because even cancelling one’s subscription may result in purchasing later ;)

 

Sleeknote

The Sleeknote blog shares proven and reliable strategies to help e-commerce businesses generate more high-quality leads, improve their e-mail marketing, and grow their email list. With in-depth articles, the Sleeknote Blog explores and covers all the possibilities of email marketing and list building.

Your About US page is important. Can it be improved? Most probably!

 

 

Analytics

 

Search Engine Journal

They’ve been operating since 2003, they provide content on a social basis, which are created both by in-house and external experts. You can get to know the novelties, experiences, trends, strategies and important personalities of the world of search engine optimization.

You can monitor a lot of key performance indicators, but which are the ones that are really important for you? See Sergio Aicardis post:

 

Perpetto

The main topics of Perpetto’s blog are the increase of conversion and customer loyalty, for the achievement of which they find personalized product referral and email automation effective, which is for a reason, since they are experts of these thanks to the solutions they themselves developed.

Customer Lifetime Value ‒ it’s worth dealing with it, let’s see why and how. It’s a detailed description with immediately applicable formulas:

 

Prisync

Prisync is the specialist of competitor price monitoring, the service they developed provides an effective and clear solution to that need. At the time of writing this blog article (November 2016), they are monitoring more than 6 million 200 thousand prices with updates at 3-hour intervals.

Their writing on the most important ecommerce metrics for any business is the one that especially attracted our attention:

 

Smart Insights

Digital marketing strategy guides, templates, immediately applicable practical steps and trainings. This is what Smart Insights offers for small enterprises and start-ups.

In Dave Chaffey’s article you can find quite detailed statistics on mobile customer habits, based on which you can make the sales of your mobile optimized websites and of your applications more effective:

 

Trinity Insight

The digital marketing agency founded in 2006 provides assistance in increasing online selling in a way that at the same time it also reduces the costs of its ecommerce business clients.

Jason Bauman introduces the advantages of the use of Google Tag Manager:

 

Brand Building

 

Eyemagine

On the blog of this ecommerce marketing agency you can find very useful content primarily on topics for online shops, concerning digital marketing and Magento development.

Online marketing and playfulness. Let’s see a gamification strategy elaborated in detail:

 

Brandwatch

It is just as important for online stores to build and maintain their own brand as it is for manufacturers. Thanks to Brandwatch you can get a complete picture of what your customers think of you, be it a social media site or any other kind of public online portal.

With the help of the gathered data you can efficiently plan the marketing strategy, and can shape and have your brand image under control.

An important element of this activity is brand positioning detailed in Kit Smiths’s post:

 

IMPACT

The agency, founded in 2009 by Bob Ruffolo, specialized in inbound marketing helps small and medium sized enterprises with the successful solution of various digital marketing challenges.

Filled with many useful tips, their detailed posts focus on topics like digital marketing trends, content management, customer engagement, UX and many others.

What would you say if your brand was not simply “liked” but it was even surrounded by a cult-like respect and worship? How can you achieve that? Just follow the tips by Ramona Sukhraj:

 

Landing Page

 

Conversion Voodoo

This blog is mainly about the optimization of the efficiently selling landing pages, because even the authors of the blog have been dealing for more than 10 years with creating landing pages and with the implementation of campaigns built on them.

How to plan your landing pages so that they bring the most possible conversions?

 

Lander

Well prepared landing pages that facilitate the decision making of the visitor (in your favour, of course) have an especially important role among the techniques to increase conversion.

With the help of Lander’s service you can design and set up yourself even the tiniest details of your landing pages on an interface made rather for the advanced.

You can find out from Daren Low’s straightforward article, structured in bulleted lists, which are the “mandatory” elements on a landing page that are indispensable for your business success:

 

PPC

 

CPC Strategy

The company is analysing the commercial search channels and it helps the different products and the customers “find each other” as efficiently as possible. Their main area of expertise by the way is the management of cost-per-click advertisements and of different purchasing channels (Amazon Product Ads, PriceGrabber, Shopzilla) – they are sharing the 8 years of experience they have in this field with their readers.

In the article we chose, Leanna Kelly tells you every important detail on Facebook’s new form of advertisement planned for retail businesses:

 

Optimum Click

Optimum Click offers 100% revenue focused campaigns in AdWords and in Bing. It’s one of the few PPC agencies in case of which you can be sure that they won’t use your budget for unnecessary search terms that are irrelevant to you.

Even though there are only a few posts in the blog, written by Erno Horvath, they very well highlight each individual problem on how the efficiency of PPC campaigns can be improved.

You also get an answer here on how many other things you have to pay attention to in addition to search terms:

 

Extra

 

AionHill

And now, let us talk a little about our own blog…

Being a company specialized in the development of Magento ecommerce stores, we are trying to deal with topics related to Magento and ecommerce. We are not focusing only on the subject of development, because we see that professionals dealing with online commerce, and online store owners require more and more help in other fields as well, e.g. increase of conversion, search engine optimization, content marketing, etc.

That’s why we concentrate on writing posts that deal with each individual subject in a comprehensive manner, and provide useful hints for the readers. We are hopeful that our continuously growing blog enriches the ecommerce community’s knowledge base with useful pieces of content week by week.

If you’d like to have a Magento store developed, we warmly recommend our following article that raises important questions and aspects to be considered before you decide who to choose:

 

Have we left someone out?

That’s quite possible, since the internet is huge and it’s full of great content. We love learning, so if you think that we could add some further posts to even this amazingly long list, please let us know in a comment what else you would recommend to an e-merchant.

 

Should I read all this?

This is an awful lot of information, even letting in this much would be insane, let alone using it – you could say, and to tell the truth, this is what we would also say, if we had started doing this only recently. However, the thing is, that you need to continuously read the professional literature, otherwise you’ll find yourself chasing after your competitors so that you don’t lag to far behind.

Just think about it, a doctor, an engineer, or a professional working in any scientific field can only get to the top and stay there as well, if they continuously read, do research and learn. The same goes for online marketing and ecommerce.

Be up-to-date and follow those who have long developed best practice of the most modern techniques. That’s why it’s essential that you start getting to know the blogs and the highlighted posts listed here.

 

 

Ecommerce customer segmentation: basics, 6 types + 5 hacks for higher loyalty

How many people from the addressees do you think will fight their way through the 20-30 offers, until they find something relevant for them?

Very few.

It is much better if on any platform – e-mail, your website, in advertisements – you only offer your target audience relevant things, whether it is a product or some content, which they really find interesting.

You might not have known, but possibly presumed that even three-quarters of western online stores (73%, to be precise) do not use segmentation. This is a huge mistake in the big data era.

In this article we will cover in detail how to avoid this mistake, how to increase conversion in your online store, what specific methods you should apply to get ahead of your competitors.

 

This is what we will look through in the following:

  • What can you use segmentation for?
  • What determines a segment?
  • Demographical segmentation
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
  • Segmentation by customer habits (RFM segmentation)
  • Segmentation by product categories
  • Segmentation by intention
  • Segmentation by behaviour
  • Examples of the most common segments
    • Potential customers
    • First-time customers
    • Returning customers
    • Cart abandoners
    • Non-purchasing visitors
    • Dropping out customers
  • Set clear objectives
  • How to achieve higher revenue by segmentation
    • Premium treatment for key customers
    • Pay attention to delivery with those who order a lot
    • Give to those who read your letters, but do not purchase
    • Encourage those who wait
    • Reactivate the ones who seem lost
  • There is no ecommerce without segmentation

 

What can you use segmentation for?

 

If you group your customers based on analytics, you can draw plenty of useful consequences. Let’s see some examples as follows.

You can discover cross-sell and upsell opportunities.

If you realize that four-fifths of your customers regularly buy two products at the same time, you have already found a splendid opportunity: make a package deal of two (or possibly more) products and offer them together – if you can precisely identify those who do not buy the two items together, target them with this deal.

You can cut down on unnecessary costs.

You can find out who the customers are that are not worth giving discount to or spending any advertising budget on. Perhaps you have some products that do bad for your business – for instance, because you hardly have any margin on them (teaser, entry-level products), but they bring you poor quality customers, who do not return or spend, who are not loyal.

You can concentrate on your most valuable customers.

It is an unquestionable fact that it is cheaper, easier and more profitable to keep your existing customers, than always trying to get new ones. (The reason is simple: you are through with the step requiring the most persuasion, which is the first purchase.)

 

What determines a segment?

Before starting a campaign for any segment, you must be sure it is going to be worthwhile. For this you need to know whether the given segment is worth working on. You should study carefully these aspects:

The segment is well definable. It has specific features, its reactions to each campaign is simply measurable. You can mark your segments by demographic features, purchase habits or other methods, all of which we will discuss in detail later.

The segment is significant enough. Of course, you cannot make a campaign for each segment, as it would be far too expensive, so obviously you should target the largest and most valuable ones to be able to make a significant profit. Analyse how much profit a campaign could make you, how much it will cost, what target messages you can use.

The segment is accessible. This means you have the opportunity to communicate with them through the given channels: you can access them in newsletters, you can target them by remarketing on social media, and so on.

The segment is stable. You do not change the definitions, features, indicators: define the most important segments the way that you will be able to work with them for years without changing.

The segment is well distinguishable. Customers have different preferences, demands, problems, behaviour patterns from other segments. If there are too many things in common, it might be a good idea to unify the segments in order to make the campaigns simpler (and cheaper).

The segment can be activated. You should not only be able to plan the solutions giving answers to the segments’ problems, but you should also be confident in actually getting them ready for action, making sure you can run a campaign that addresses them.

Let’s see the segmentation methods that you absolutely need to know.

 

Demographical segmentation

 

The simplest method is segmentation by demographic data. In some cases it might be useful to target men and women, urban and rural inhabitants, etc. by different messages or offers.

If you have never done segmentation before, this is the first method you should try, as it is simple (you can analyse your market basically with no effort, with the help of analytics), and it perfectly shows what a segmented campaign is capable of.

 

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

 

We will show you a more complex method as well, but first let’s see how you can calculate the average Customer Lifetime Value, and what you can do with this information.

You must know three things to get the estimated Customer Lifetime Value:

  • The average cart value: how much money does a customer spend in your online store in case of one order?
  • How often they purchase on average.
  • How much it costs you to acquire (and keep) the customer.

 

Multiplying the first two values by each other, then subtracting the third from the result you get the lifetime value of your average customer.

You should stop here for a second, as it could be extremely useful to be able to calculate CLV for each segment you have set in accordance with other aspects.

 

Segmentation by customer habits (RFM segmentation)

 

You can use the most basic analytical methods to determine which customers are the most valuable for you and which segments make the least profit.

From your database you can figure out who buys, how often and for how much – you can make an RFM segmentation which is the most basic method.

The essence of the technique is that you observe three indicators in case of each customer:

  • Recency, meaning: When did he/she last purchase anything in your online store?
  • Frequency, meaning: How often does he/she return to you?
  • Monetary value, meaning: How much is his/her average cart value per purchase?

 

 

From this you can see whether the given customer is active, loyal and purchases in high value. Obviously the most valuable ones are those who have recently bought something, frequently return and usually purchase in higher value – but you can set 8 more categories and build unique campaigns targeting them.

The principle is simple: you can encourage the frequently returning customers to spend more by offering discounts in return for their loyalty; you can make special offers for those who purchase in higher values in order to get them to return more often; you can even try to reactivate the inactive segments.

 

Segmentation by product categories

 

Observe what products the given customer buys or regularly looks at. Based on this information you can precisely customize the messages addressed to him/her. You can make more effective upsell and cross-sell activities on the site, you can send products or reasonable offers via email, which are more likely to be interesting for them.

 

Segmentation by intention

 

Treat your customers based on what their intention is with your online store, not by demographics or anything else: that is the theory of segmentation by intention.

Based on this method you can sgroup the people into four basic categories, which are the following:

  • SEE: the largest qualified audience accessible to you; they are basically the ones, as shown in the category name, who see you, but do not want to purchase from you. However, they have existing problems linked to you (which means you could solve them with your products). In their case you should get their purchase intention to increase.
  • THINK: they are your audience with stronger purchase intention, who have not yet made a decision. They are considering buying a product that you have in order to solve their problems, but nothing has definitely pushed them in the direction of purchasing yet.
  • DO: your potential customers with strong purchase intention, basically those who are already browsing your site, perhaps even placed the items in their carts. Around 97% of the current marketing activities focus on them – you can improve this ratio by applying segmentation by intention, in order to reach more people.
  • CARE: the final segment involves those who are already returning customers, who have had at least two transactions. You must actively care for them, offer them exclusive opportunities, communicate actively with them, create loyalty programmes and so on.

 

You can target each segment differentiated by intention with various content marketing tools. In case of the first segment, your aim is brand building, in other words enhancing visibility – then point out their problems and what solution you can provide them.

In case of the second segment, education is what you should focus on, to get them to better understand how you could satisfy their needs. You should give information about the solutions to their problems, show them with the tools of storytelling how others have solved the same problems.

Do not try to sell immediately to the first two segments – you should just guide them first to evoke definite purchase intention, otherwise you could cause revulsion.

In case of those with more definite purchase intention, less creative solutions will also do, as they already know they want to buy and what they want to buy. With them you can induce making the final decision, or even to buy more, using case studies or statistics.

At last, in case of the CARE segment, helpful content is the best choice: they show how they can make a better, more efficient, smarter use of the previously purchased goods, which will help them solve their problems even more.

 

Segmentation by behaviour

 

The principle is quite simple: you sort the people coming in your way by the actions they take.

You make separate groups for those who only follow you, who visit your site, who browse it, who visit specific product pages, who place items in their carts, and so on.

This way, the group of cart abandoners is also generated, which will be one of your most important segments later on. We will soon discuss what to do with them.

Behavioural segmentation is practical, because you can make action plans on how to make larger profits with them – besides, data on customer behaviour is easily accessible even for the laymen from analytics software.

Examples of the most common segments

 

If you do not know which segments to set up first, we will help you in this as well. Here are the most commonly used customer segments in ecommerce.

 

Potential customers:

They are the ones who have never purchased from you, but some interaction has happened in the past. They might have just looked at a product page, or perhaps given their email addresses in return for a bait item and therefore ended up on your newsletter list, or any other way.

Their purchase intention is weak: they have given proof that they are interested in your products, but are not yet ready to pay you. You can target them using retargeting solutions, but it is even more useful, if you send them various emails making them more committed, such as content recommendations and educational letters.

 

First-time customers:

Obviously they are the ones who have had their first transaction, but nothing else has happened yet. You should relatively quickly grab them, for example with content that helps them make better use of the purchased product (such as a how-to video), or offers directly connected to the purchased item.

Perhaps they only periodically need the purchased product. For instance, if they have bought a printer cartridge from you, you can track the purchase time in your database, and after the average lifetime of a cartridge, you can send them a reminder that they had bought the last one from you.

In order to reach them this way, you need a more complex database integrated with the newsletter software, but it is worth the effort to build such a system, as segmentation will make you a much higher profit.

 

Returning customers:

They are the ones who already trust you so much that they have made several transactions in your online store – but cannot you recommend them something that will make them buy more frequently or in higher value?

You can sort them into further categories using RFM segmentation, and by targeted offers, discounts, actions you can get them to increase their average cart value.

You can sort them into active, unsure and inactive groups, depending on how often they return – this is the clearest indicator of how much they trust you, so if you do not want to get deeper into RFM segmentation yet, this is how you should examine them.

As for returning customers, you should know that it is much more worth spending on them than working on gaining new customers all the time. According to ecommerce surveys, non-first-time customers spend nearly twice as much on average in your online store than those who convert for the first time.

The difference can be felt with the visitors, too: a returning customer is nearly twice as much likely to place something in the cart than someone who visits your site for the first time.

 

Cart abandoners:

All online stores take up a huge challenge to reduce the number of cart abandoners – they are the ones who place items in their carts, but do not pay for them.

There can be several grounds for that – they simply forget it, postpone it to make lists, they currently have no money, but later they intend to purchase from you.

If you can find out what the most common reason for cart abandonment is, you can target this segment by retargeting adverts via email, or other ways, say, offering immediate discount or simply reminding them of the interrupted shopping.

 

Non-purchasing visitors:

There are those who are keen visitors of your site without ever purchasing from you. This can be so for a number of reasons – perhaps they are just “window-shopping”, perhaps your offers are not good enough, but it is also possible that they mainly visit you for the content you offer them.

Observe what route the non-convertors reach your site – which sub pages they visit, how much time they spend and where, whether any interaction follows these routines.

 

Try to get them to purchase: improve the CTAs offers, transparency on your pages, where dropping out is most relevant according to the clickstream analysis.

 

Dropping out” customers:

As your aim is to keep your customers, you should analyse the details of each segment in order to find out when they are most likely to drop out. Before this happens, somehow you should reach them and wake them up.

You should know that 68% of the customers do not return to an online store because they simply do not get customized offers. If you show them products, offer discounts that might interest them based on their earlier activities, and you are not randomly trying to sell everything in your online store, they will not only be more keen to purchase, but the shopping experience will also remain positive for them.

But even if you do not reach them before dropping out, you still have a chance to lure them back. If you have data about what they had previously purchased, you can recommend it to them after the lifetime of the product, or show any other relevant products.

tips And what’s more, you can even be less direct: you can send them interesting content based on their earlier purchases, which will simplify the use of the products, you can give new ideas or point out previously unknown information.

 

Set clear objectives

 

If the methods of segmentation are now clear, it is advised to make the so called GAP analysis. This shows how the current performance of a company relates to the potentially achievable performance.

In order to make an efficient analysis, you should be aware of what exactly your goal is with segmentation. We can say things like: we want more returning customers instead of first-time customers, the returning customers should purchase more often, or they should have a higher cart value.

Also observe by segment, what profit results of each campaign can be expected. It might not be worth working on getting them to come shopping to you more often, because your product features are simply not like that, but you can get them to buy more at once, or to recommend you to others.

 

Lifetime Value is mentioned yet again: you can determine the total opportunity, which means how much more your revenue can be by moving the customers from one segment to another, by subtracting the average lifetime value of the source segment from the average lifetime value of the target segment, then multiply the result by the number of the potentially movable customers.

 

From this you will know on which segments you should focus your further marketing activity. If the opportunity is too low, you should build a campaign making a higher profit – this is obvious.

The question is, how many campaigns can you build and run from your resources, because you will have to prioritize them based on these analyses in order to be able to reasonably share your resources.

 

How to achieve higher revenue by segmentation

 

Premium treatment for key customers

 

It is also true in ecommerce that probably 20% of your customers generate 80% of your revenues. It is a big mistake, a missed opportunity to treat them the same way as any other customer.

If someone spends outstanding amounts, you should make sure they will return to you in the future and compile other high value carts.

You should pamper them, not with discounts or actions. You should rather offer them special services. Special support, extended warranty. Give them free gifts, make extra functions available at the time of order or delivery.

 

When defining this group, you must pay attention to one thing: only offer special key treatment to as many customers spending the most as it is still definitely profitable for you.

 

Pay attention to delivery with those who order a lot

 

As for delivery, you should mostly concentrate on those who order the most from you. Even if they leave a smaller amount at the cashier, they regularly return to you, they are loyal, they are the perfect evangelists.

You should pay attention to this, because as much as 44% of the customers abandon their carts if they find delivery options unsuitable.

Delivery is an important issue; it is crucial that the customers get their goods comfortably, fast and in the right place. Observe what delivery options your competitors offer and how you could improve your service in a still profitable way.

 

Give to those who read your letters, but do not purchase

 

There are many newsletter subscribers who open your letters but do not click on your site – or even if they do, they just look at the current content, offers, but do not buy anything.

In this case, you should think your offer over, because it might happen that most of them are just waiting for the one that is most suitable for them.

 

Encourage those who wait

 

There might well be a segment among your customers who do not purchase when special occasions approach – this is because they are waiting for special deals and offers connected to celebrations or holidays.

You should make (at least) one separate segment for them for these occasions.

You exclude those who have recently purchased and those who are already considered inactive. Target the rest with campaigns that will convince them not to wait until the very last moment.

You can support this by something like: if they order the presents for Christmas now, they will be delivered on time, so they will be able to comfortably wrap them, without any stress.

 

Reactivate the ones who seem lost

 

No matter how long ago someone purchased from you, you always have the chance to lure them back, to get them to purchase again – or at least to get them back to your site and start persuading them.

Realistically, you should mostly target those who have not purchased from you in the last 3-6 months. Send them a letter – if they used to be regular customers, offer them a loyalty programme.

Not just joining: the best is if you immediately credit the earlier collected points in the loyalty programme, even if they were not aware of the system at that time, or even if the system did not even exist at that time. This way you need not give a discount, you do not reduce the prices of your products and services, but offer a more tempting opportunity in the long run.

 

There is no ecommerce without segmentation

One of the biggest advantages of ecommerce is that you can give everyone the most reasonable, personally relevant offer. Based on their details you can learn about what interests them, how they can be motivated, how exactly they behave on the site. This way, your automatic systems can work as if you placed a personal sales assistant in front of each customer.

Segmentation provides the chance for this; and you can be sure your competitors exploit this opportunity.

If you have not yet done so, you have learnt about the basics and the most commonly used methods from this article – all you need to do now is put them in practice.

 

Ecommerce Link Building Basics and 13 Useful Tricks!

Link building today is more complicated than it used to be at the dawn of search engine optimization – it is not enough to pay admission to a thousand link farms, and what’s more, nowadays it is literally harmful.

To be able to construct a powerful link profile for your site today, you need to make serious efforts. You must get as many powerful sites as possible to organically refer to you.

In the following article we will review the basics of modern link building, and how you can strengthen your online store’s position on the search results pages.

 

Here are the contents of the article:

  • Basic concepts and the theory of link building
    • What is link building?
    • The nofollow myth
    • How strong is a reference?
    • Anchor texts
    • Relevance of references
    • Non-natural references
  • Skillset to link building
    • Analytics
    • Creating content
    • Spreading content
  • Rating link building strategies
    • Difficulty and budget
    • Value of references
    • Penalty risk
  • The most effective techniques
    • Creating quality content
    • Guest blogging
    • Ego baiting
    • Dead references and exploitable opportunities
      • Dead references
      • Dead references pointing at you
      • Brand mention
      • Reissuing protected content
    • Comment on professional platforms
    • Acquire strong domains
    • Special offers
    • Organize blogger sweepstakes
    • HARO: your way to the media
    • Contact manufacturers
  • Always use your head when building links!

 

Basic concepts and the theory of link building

 

What is link building?

 

To make it simple: the process during which we can acquire new inbound links (external links with references pointing to our website).

Basically, the aim of this process is to increase the volume of the organic search traffic coming from Google or other search engines. Another aim is to increase the number of clickthroughs, organic traffic coming from other sites – if we acquire appearance at a priority site, for example on a major news portal, it might generate a significant traffic by itself.

Research shows that the variables linked to references are weighted at higher significance in search algorithms nowadays than the on-site factors ‒ more precisely, they demonstrate a higher correlation with the rank at the results page, regarding we do not know how algorithms work in detail. Among on-site factors, those linked to the content of the website, are keywords and meta descriptions, for instance.

Each reference pointing at our website is counted as one vote in the aspect of the algorithm, and as such, it positively affects its chance to get a better position.

However, these votes are not weighted equally.

How strong a site is from the aspect of Google is determined by the so called “site authority”. This basically shows how much the search engine “trusts” a given site.

A reference appearing on a site with high authority – significantly the news portals – are worth much more than the one that appears on a minor site.

 

tips This is also easy to understand, the hierarchy is obvious: you have better chances to get promoted in a company, if the general manager knows your name and acknowledges you, than if an intern does the same thing.

 

How much this trust is, is well illustrated by two indicators:

  • Domain Authority (DR): it shows how strong the complete site is in general from the aspect of the search engine.
  • URL Authority (UR): it shows how strong a specific sub page is.

 

The nofollow-myth

 

We can meet two types of references on the web. The “other” type, the one worth mentioning as an individual subcategory, is the so called “nofollow” references.

These are complemented by a rel=nofollow attribute, which indicates the search engine bots not to look “behind” the given reference, therefore theoretically they do not contribute to strengthening your link profile. (According to Google policy, all paid links must be complemented by a nofollow attribute.)

On the other hand, experts working on search engine optimization say it is by far not as simple as that.

If, for example, a reference is placed on a site with high authority, such as Wikipedia, to which almost the half of the Internet refers and is viewed as a very trusted site by search engines, experience shows that these kinds of references do actually strengthen the link profile.

The nofollow attribute is not a brick wall, rather like a dead-end street sign – the search algorithm may count it as part of the authority value depending on other variables.

 

How strong is a reference?

 

Search engines are generally likely to evaluate reference links stronger which are placed within relevant content, than those found in footers or in sidebars.

The reason is simple: the aim of Google above all is to provide quality search hits to the users. Consequently, they increase the authority-value of sites, which they naturally refer to.

Based on Google’s “Reasonable Surfer” patent, we know that the search engine prefers references which users are more likely to actually click on. These are obviously the links which are naturally in the text and are surrounded by relevant content.

This, of course, does not mean that a reference link in a footer would be weak – we must take an enormous number of variables into account during link building. This is the reason why major brands operating sites with sturdy authority scores can efficiently use references placed in their footers or headers in their link building strategies.

 

Anchor texts

 

Context is not the only thing that matters, but also what text is exactly linked.

Although in the past few years the significance of this has also reduced, figures say that completely or partly identical keywords found in anchor texts still show high correlation with good positions.

Of course, Google is watching in this case, as well: if each link pointing at us is completely identical with the given keyword, the algorithm will recognize that we are trying to manipulate it. The aim is to build an organic link profile where conformity does not dominate.

 

tips Tip: Experience shows that partial matches account for 22-24%, while complete matches for 10-13% of the entire link profile in the case of sites with the best positions in the search results page.

 

Relevance of reference links

 

Based on several aspects, Google is watching how relevant the references placed on a given site are. Among these are context (the content found on the site), anchor texts (see above) and the other some types of references on the site.

 

This is one reason why link catalogues are not efficient any more.

Sites linking a thousand pages in a thousand topics can by no chance be relevant. (And, of course, the content in this case has been limited to a couple of hundred characters, and we can hardly speak about stable visitor numbers or a trusted site.)

 

Non-natural references

 

Google’s algorithm may mark specific references as “non-natural”, or it can also be done manually, based on reports. If there are more than one non-natural reference points at a site, it does not only mean that SEO will be less efficient, but it can also involve penalties.

It is difficult to determine what a non-natural reference is. Google traverses algorithm manipulation in all aspects, therefore all references arising as a result of conscious link building are considered non-natural.

This, of course, is unmeasurable. It is a generally accepted fact that if our references appear to be built into editorial content in specific sites, or if they have been manually built (by guest blogging, content recommendation and so on), avoiding black-hat solutions, we have no penalty to be afraid of.

 

Skillset to link building

 

If you want to proceed with efficient link building today, you will need a team with excellent skills in the following 3 fields:

  • Analytics (keyword research, competitor analysis etc.)
  • Creative content creation
  • Communication, spreading, sharing content (networking, recommendations, generating traffic)

 

Let’s see why these are essential.

 

Analytics

 

We obviously need to know our current link profile, its weaknesses and strengths,  for efficient link building. Besides, we must also be capable of understanding the competition’s link profile, and based on all this, we must draw up a strategy.

If you want to build a natural and strong link profile behind your site, you must observe how your competitors have done that. Maybe their link building was not conscious, perhaps you can even be better than them in several fields, using some tactics (we will discuss it later).

Your aim is to recognize the tricks your successful competitors have applied, and determine whether you can copy them.

 

Creating content

 

If you want both professional sites and your audience to organically refer to you, you must upload great content to your site. That means relevant and quality content which serves as substantive answer to questions that they care about.

Such content (like an article made using the skyscraper technique or an individual survey) can interest lots of people, who will not only be grateful for this, but will voluntarily spread it as well. This is the most natural way of link building.

You will also need content to be able to spread it yourself, recommend it to major sites, share it in professional groups, recommend it to your target audience in forums.

For this you must know the content range of your own field. If there are strong blogs, you should copy their tactics and make even better content. If there aren’t, you must create the first and unbeatable content service on your market.

The aim is that your audience turns to you – not only because they want to buy from you, but also if they have any questions, if they are interested in the latest industry news, or if they would just like to read some interesting opinions about some exciting topic.

Content service today is an inevitable part of search engine optimization. Google “remunerates” quality content the most, just like the audience – this is why the entrance threshold has become higher, but it is good the way it is, as actually those sites are able to stay on top which respect their audience as much to provide the best service for them in this field, as well.

 

Spreading content

 

What will become viral content, what will spread well organically is unpredictable. If it were not, the online marketing experts would have a much easier job.

This also means that you must actively do things in order to reach your audience with your content. You must spread it on social media (targeting, for example, professional groups, question-answer pages, recommending your content in paid advertisements), through networking (targeting opinion leaders and specialists) and within your own network, too.

The latter basically means sending it out to your mailing list, as even today it is the most efficient tool.

It is also a good idea to set different notifications for events, like when a topic is mentioned on a page you hope for reference links from, you can be the first to respond to it and recommend your own relevant content.

 

Rating link building strategies

 

Before starting link building, you should assess your opportunities. The best is if you already have a list of several strategies, rating them from several perspectives.

Primarily you should consider the following four.

 

Difficulty and budget

 

It might happen that a strategy would work perfectly, still it is not ideal for you. The major brands may use techniques which would need resources you do not have access to.

Nowadays enterprises, for example, have content generating departments, sometimes separate subsidiaries work on this, or they even purchase complete media empires.

 

tips Example: AT&T recently bought Time Warner for over 85 billion dollars – thereby the telecommunications company will partly generate the content served through its infrastructure within its own premises.

 

An ecommerce store generally does not have such a big team or budget to establish its own content generating department, therefore it is advised to only deal with content generating in the field where it is sure to create the highest quality.

Techniques that need an unrealistic amount of networking to get the reference links to appear in the appropriate places are also problematic (for example, on news portals or personal blogs of opinion leaders). Targeting smaller ambitions, a few of these appearances are also reachable, even at a lower budget, but a strategy based on this also needs more significant PR activity.

 

Value of reference links

 

Consider it in advance if the result is worth the invested effort. If in the end all you win is to have your reference link appear on a dozen minor blogs and forums, it is probably not worth the effort, as they will not strengthen you as much as if you acquired one major appearance with a powerful backlink.

Of course, it is difficult to predict the result, but the content spreading methods can be good basis for the strategy. Examine what audiences you can reach, who might be interested in what you can tell, how likely they are to refer to you. (You should observe the campaigns of the competition and their results.)

 

Penalty risk

 

How likely is Google going to see your link profile expansion non-natural? How big is your risk to get a penalty?

Keep in mind that the algorithm is constantly changing, and is more likely to move in the direction of quality content service and natural link profiles. In case of each medium-risk method there is a danger that the search engine giant might give a penalty for that in a month.

If your domain is once penalized, it will be extremely hard to recover it. It will need much more work to regain your good position gained through grey-zone tricks than the “fairer” approach would have needed.

 

The most effective techniques

 

Creating quality content

 

The clearest way of link building: simply create quality that will definitely be referred to. The acquired reference links are generally more valuable than paid references – on the other hand, you will definitely need content spreading to draw the attention to what you have created, why it is worth dealing with.

The most suitable types of content

Surveys: Statistics, research results which first appear on your site. There is a number of ways you can create such things: you can examine your own database, other sites using various analytics software solutions, you can review databases, or even send out questionnaires. It is essential that the figures and consequences are original. They should refer to your site as primary source.

Infographics: The Internet community loves infographics, and this is not a coincidence. The audience loves to have information appear in a simple, transparent and creative form.

If you make good infographics in a specific topic, others are also likely to use it. They will insert it in their articles, blogposts, and refer to you as source. It is worth it for both parties, as they gain an excellent spectacular content – while you gain a quality backlink.

Newsjacking: If a current and important topic takes wing, try to insert in your own story. Timing is crucial: it does not matter if you post your own opinion, survey results or relevant experience about a certain topic, the most important thing is to be among the first. You will have to fight enormous competition in the time when these topics start to wear out.

Watch the news portals and professional groups relevant to you. You might spot something actuality which could thematize the discussion on your target market in the next few days.

 

Guest blogging

 

For this, you will need some previous networking. Find some successful blogs which are preferably not your competitors, but your audience likes to read them.

Contact the authors and get them to publish one or two of your own articles on their blogs. Theoretically everyone wins with this: if they are open to guest blogging, they get quality content, in return you get reference links which is good from the aspect of the search engine, easy to see for your audience, thereby generating organic traffic on your site.

However, Google is not happy about guest blogging. The main reason is that in most cases people try to trick the algorithm by poor quality content and poorly trusted sites. If you indeed publish high quality content on popular and high quality sites, there is no penalty to fear.

 

„Ego baiting”

 

It is basically the opposite of guest blogging: instead of appearing somewhere, publish or mention opinion leaders on your site hoping to be recognized.

For example, if you build your article on some previous content of an expert, they will probably soon know about this by quoting or referring to them. This has positive effect on their ego, therefore will share your article on their own platforms, as well.

It is also useful for traffic generating and for building contacts too. But you must create outstanding content and pay attention not to accidentally offend the targeted person’s ego.

It is also a good solution to reach out to them: if for example you make an interview with an industrial expert, or ask for their opinion about a current topic. But you can also mention them in list articles, like “the opinion leaders to be followed”.

 

Dead references and exploitable opportunities

 

You can find lots of opportunities on the net that make your life easier, because you do not need to create your own content spreading campaign behind link building.

For example:

 

Dead references

 

Nothing is eternal on the net. You can find plenty of professional sites referring in their articles to already inaccessible content, as those sites have ceased, transformed, moved since then, and so on. Using various tools, you can search these.

After this, you can make similar content on your site. Things that make up for those that are no longer accessible on the previous links. Draw the sites’ authors’ attention to this, and you already gain quality references, as you have provided them the new sources instead of the old ones, thereby strengthening their authority as well.

(These tactics can also work in case of Wikipedia link building.)

 

Dead references pointing at you

 

You can examine how many references are pointing at your site, but the given content for some reason is no longer available on the link. You can draw the attention of those who have made the original references, or you can transform your site so that the links will again be accessible.

This, by the way, is very important from the aspect of link profile: Google does not tolerate if the links pointing at your site end up on a 404 error site or redirect.

 

Brand mention

 

Set notifications that watch if brand names associated to you are mentioned somewhere. If your name, company, site or product is mentioned, visit the site. Contact the authors, thank them for mentioning you, and ask them to refer to the relevant site or content instead of simply mentioning it.

(They also win with this, as Google evaluates link profile not only by inbound, pointing at various sites – but also outbound, pointing outwards – links.)

 

Reissuing protected content

 

If someone republishes your content without permission, without reference to you, you can do two things. One is that you make the person remove it (either by request or using legal tools).

In some cases, however, it can be much more useful to simply tell them the solution: if they appropriately refer to your site (so that it is also clear to Google that it is not simply a content duplication, but yours is the original source), they can keep the content.

It can be the good solution, for example, in case of infographics, as your original aim was to spread it – in return for reference.

 

Comment on professional platforms

 

Find forums, message platforms, where your audience converses. Observe what questions they have, what problems come up, what are the topics they are most interested in.

You have acquired loads of new excellent content ideas – all you have to do is produce them, answer the questions, offer solutions to their problems, start spreading your content.

Be careful to only refer to yourself if absolutely necessary, do not fall into the trap of spamming, as the community might also dismiss you, if they see you are only active to promote your site.

Give real and useful answers, get them to see you as a helpful expert. Although the value of the reference gained this way will be low, but you can get to know your target audience, generate traffic and build a community for yourself.

 

Acquire strong domains

 

One of the difficulties in link building is to acquire really strong domains with high authority – both as referrer and owner. In other words: it is difficult to build such, and it is also not easy to convince others to refer to you.

However: Enterprises are born and terminate every day on the free market. Among them are those which were really successful in link building, but for some reason they had to leave their online world.

In certain cases, thousands of high-quality references point at their domains.

 

tips Blockbuster in America is a good example: The past giant operating a video rental network had to retire from the market a couple of years ago thanks to Netflix and other similar online services.

Throughout the years enormous amounts of backlinks were collected, simply as a result of the news about them, too – Blockbuster.com, for example, over 175,000.

Of course, you could spend thousands of dollars or even more on a domain of such high value, if you wanted to acquire it – others also watch available domains. Therefore it is suggested to watch the industrial news (searching for ceasing, fusing, exiting companies in your field), and also parked domains (on sites of domain providers, such as Godaddy.com).

If you acquire these, you already have a domain with a great link profile at your hand – all you have to do is fill it with relevant content, and try to clean the link profile of the since outdated references. How to do that? You can read it in the previous section.

 

Special offers

 

You can find sites promising some sort of membership, companies that offer something relevant compared to what you sell in your online store.

Think of an offer for their target audience. Say, for those with membership at the certain company, can shop at a 10% discount in your online shop. Contact the owners of the site with this offer.

Everyone can win with an agreement like this. It will make it easier for them to sell the membership to their own audience, as they give extra value by offering more advantages (as their members shop cheaper in your online shop).

In return, you get a good quality backlink on their site and traffic, and what’s more, they will guide customers to you. All you have to pay attention to is that the offer is worth for you, too, and do not give too high discount.

Organize blogger sweepstakes

 

It is a more complicated and somewhat more risky solution from the aspect of Google’s policy, but, on the other hand, there is a chance of getting great results.

 

You have to do the following:

You choose the most popular product on your site – preferably something that is easy to make a story of, can even have PR value, because, say, it can simply be integrated in a vampire, zombie or similar topic. (These are just random examples: it should be connectable to a phenomenon popular among your target audience.)

Organize sweepstakes: publish that the best X number of people to write a blogpost about why they want to win the product, what they would do with it, who writes a good story or anything similar will get one of the products for free.

Choose the best ones and really send them the prizes, and quote and refer to the posts on your site.

With a little luck, if your product and topic was well chosen, and the sweepstakes were widely communicated, well-targeted, you win dozens of new backlinks, as your visibility also increases.

 

HARO: your way to the media

 

This is a method that presumes you are already an expert in content creation.

How many articles have you read or how many reports have you seen in the past week in which experts were interviewed? Depending on your media consumption habits, this can be somewhere between 10 and 50.

This is obvious: a good journalist always tries to “authorize” his or her article by experts’ opinions. The beauty of the Internet today is that not only those can be “experts” who are qualified for that.

Gastro bloggers, beauty bloggers and others appear not only on news portals, but also on television channels. People who simply create quality content about a topic.

You can even optimize your content for keywords which journalists usually search (“nutritional expert”, for instance), but you need not wait until “Muhammad must go to the mountain”.

There are services like HARO (Help a Reporter Out), where journalists and experts are connected with each other. It is a similar method as if you were commenting in professional forums: you simply listen to what relevant questions are asked, and you answer them.

You can even hire someone, a freelance journalist, for example, who specializes in the particular field, and can do it for you, on behalf of you, instead of you. With a bit of luck you can even get your foot in the media, win posts as an expert of the given field – and beside that, of course, really valuable links pointing at the expert blog operating beside your online store.

The advantage of this is that it can significantly enhance your expert authority, it builds your personal brand and it has good effect on your site as well.

 

Contact manufacturers

 

If you have not yet done so, and you are not selling your own products, it can be a great way to contact the sites of manufacturers of each product. Look through them all and find resellers’ lists.

If they have one, you can immediately contact them and recommend your site. This will hardly generate real traffic (most of us originally turn to Google, we do not search the manufacturer, but the store with the best offer that is the most comfortably accessible for us), however the backlink you get from this site will be extremely valuable.

 

Always use your head when building links!

At the beginning of the article we have already mentioned: practically everything we know today as link building strategies are theoretically only tolerated by Google, of course, with the exception of content creation.

Therefore, you must always assess the risks with common sense in all cases. Try to apply organic link building techniques, win or deserve your links instead of buying them.

Build up your expert authority, your personal brand, generate content that will – with time – provide your reputation and high reach. Everything else comes after having built your long-term content strategy.

You do not want Google to penalize you, as there is rarely a way back from the black list. If possible, consult with an SEO expert, and avoid buying links in catalogues or spamming posts.

Take our advice above, and you can give your site a strong link profile not only providing a good position on the results page, but also building your brand.