Your dropshipping ecommerce store is online, and you’re ready. Just one thing, how exactly do you attract customers? This is the art of marketing and promotion. It’s a vast area and there are dozens of different options you can use. We’ll cover the main ways to bring customers to your store, together with the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Onsite Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the first strategy every ecommerce store owner should use. It might take more effort and have a slower lead time than other options, but SEO is the best long-term way to get more people to your store. SEO is simply about making your website appear higher in search engine results on Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
The golden rule of onsite SEO is to make your dropshipping website useful, relevant, and helpful to your customers. As the title states, onsite SEO is all about what and how you publish on your actual website — It’s distinct from off site SEO, which we will cover next.
Here are the main areas you need to focus on for good onsite SEO.
- Keywords — it’s essential to have the right keywords on your website. Use the Google keywords research tool and the ecommerce keyword research you’ve already completed to guide you.
- Excellent onsite content — content, or what you publish on your ecommerce web pages, is the most important single factor for onsite SEO. It’s such a big topic that we’ve covered it in more detail below.
- Rich snippets markup — there’s lots of structured data you should include to improve where you appear in search results. That includes areas like dedicated product descriptions, review scores, and more. Here are a couple of useful guides.
- Title — ensure the title of your website contains your keyword and isn’t overly long.
- Description — include a succinct description of your website in your metadata to encourage people to click through.
- URL — make sure the web address, or URL, contains your keywords if possible.
- Media — use images with alt tags, video, or other content to enhance your web pages and make them more interesting and accessible.
- Links — be sure to use links to other relevant pages on your website and to other authoritative online resources people may find interesting.
- The best long-term way to increase your ecommerce website’s online visibility.
- It’s a relatively low-cost way to get noticed.
- Onsite SEO takes time and effort.
- You don’t get an immediate result — onsite SEO efforts can take weeks or months to influence rankings.
Off Site Search Engine Optimization
Off site SEO is all about ensuring other people link to and share your website content. It’s one of the main “signals” that Google and other search engines use when they decide where to rank you. Here are some simple tips on getting people to link to and share your content.
- Get other websites to link to your content — this is the biggest improvement you can make for off site SEO optimization.
- Create beautiful, awesome content — put together blog posts, resources guides, and other really useful content for potential buyers.
- Guest blog posting — write articles for other popular blogs in related industries. These blogs will let you place a link or two back to your own ecommerce store or website, and that will improve your SEO.
- Make your content easy to share — create compelling content that your audience wants to share with others. Make sure you include social sharing buttons for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and the other popular social networks.
- Invite others to review your content — send out free samples to popular reviewers and get them to review and link to your product.
- One of the best ways to enhance your placement in search results.
- Helps to get your name out there and assists with brand visibility and trust.
- Off site SEO takes time and effort.
- You don’t get an immediate result — off site SEO efforts can take weeks or months to influence rankings.
The biggest influence on your onsite SEO is content marketing, and that’s all about creating readable, powerful, actionable content. Your content needs to:
- Meet customer needs.
- Be easy to read and understand.
- Encourage people to share it.
- Inform, educate, entertain, or inspire.
Great Content Meets the Needs of Your Customers
Why are people going to come to your website? If you can answer that question you can create content to meet their requirements. That could be user guides, thought leadership articles, resources, insight, and more.
Great Content is Easy to Read and Understand
Create content from your customer’s perspective. Your content should be well written, easy to read, scannable, and formatted in a way that makes it a pleasure to read.
Encourage People to Share Your Content
Together with search engines, social media is the major driver of traffic to websites. Every piece of content should have a good headline and thumbnail image.
Inform, Educate, Entertain, or Inspire.
The best content informs, educates, entertains, or inspires your customers.
- Inform — letting the people that read your content know about something they weren’t aware of before.
- Educate — teaching people how to do something specific.
- Entertain — providing a way to pass the time, with humor, drama and the like.
- Inspire — involving people personally and moving them emotionally.
Here are a few more helpful hints to develop amazing content.
- Use the right media, whether that’s words, images, infographics, video, interactive content, or something else.
- Speak in an appropriate tone — professional, friendly, flippant, authoritative, humorous etc.
- Keep things clear and accurate by focusing your content so it’s easy-to-read, concise, and interesting.
- Explain the benefits and purpose of your products and how you meet the needs of customers.
- Easy to get started.
- Builds trust and credibility in you and your business.
- Gets you a new audience.
- Provides backlinks to your site.
- You need to be a good writer, or hire someone who is.
- You must adhere to quality guidelines.
- Can take a while to get started.
- Can be time consuming
- Lots of research needed.
Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
PPC advertising on networks like Google AdWords can be a great way to get your business noticed. It’s an almost instant way to get people to your store, but it can be very expensive. Here’s how it works:
- You sign up for a PPC account and create an advertising campaign.
- You decide which keywords you want your advertising to appear for.
- You create PPC advertising groups and ad copy.
- You put a budget aside for your ads and specify how much you’re willing to pay for a click.
Now, when people visit Google and search for a keyword you’ve specified, your ad has a chance to appear above or below the search results. If it does, the searcher may then decide to click on the ad. They will be taken to your website and Google will deduct the cost of the click from your budget.
- Instantly drives people to your ecommerce website.
- Can provide a good return on investment.
- Takes a lot of time, effort, and experimentation to build an effective campaign.
- Can be very costly, which eats into the margins of a dropshipping business.
Other Types of Marketing for Your Dropshipping Business
Although these are the main types of marketing for an ecommerce website, there are several other avenues you can follow too.
- Social media marketing — paying to advertise on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and other popular social networks.
- Display advertising — using the Google advertising network and other display networks to have your ads published on participating websites.
- YouTube — including video reviews and other video content to promote your products.
- Email marketing — collecting visitor email addresses, normally through providing an incentive. You can then send promotions and other marketing messages to your email list.
- Influencer marketing — working with authorities in your field to promote your products and store.
- Promotions and discounts — providing coupons, discounts, and sales to encourage visitors.
- Referral marketing — incentivizing your customers to encourage their family and friends to use your store.
When it comes to marketing, it’s important to mix and match. Throughout your experiments, understand exactly how much you’re spending on marketing so you can maximize your return on investment. Be sure to build the cost of marketing into your margins.
What You Will Find in the Next Guide…
Managing and Administering Your Dropshipping Business
- Managing Your Cash Flow
- Getting Orders to Your Supplier
- Managing Your Inventory
- Getting Ready for Taxes
- Converting Currencies
- Using Analytics and Reporting