Everyone can have a digital shop nowadays. Sites like Volusion, Interspire,and Magento let people with something to sell — or even people who have nothing to sell but would like to — set up shop in minutes. The eStore sites often make it sound as though customers will then rush to buy from you, but this isn’t quite true. Many sensible eStore owners have someone like me come and optimize their pages, and that’s smart. But should you focus on getting your eStore top rankings, or on spreading the word about your site in other ways?
Certainly, you should always do both. But one approach may be higher priority than another, once you’ve got the basics done.
I’d like to share with you two cases. The first, a bit of whose store is in the screenshot above, is a steampunk jeweler. She has a Volusion store with good results overall, but her store wasn’t coming up well for the name of her company. I optimized her site at Volusion and did some linkbuilding for her a couple of years ago.
The second case is this purveyor of cute baby clothes. They have an Interspire store, which I’m currently optimizing and for which I’m also doing a linkbuilding campaign.
Everyone with an eStore should do those two things. The question is: what comes next? These two different stores need different strategies.
The jeweler has a narrow niche: steampunk jewelry. She spends a lot of time online, has a lot of visibility, and when I met her had a lot of places she sold from, too. I’ve met a number of artisans who spend many hours keeping up multiple online shops and multiple mini-sites. It often is not the best use of their time. In this jeweler’s case, the best strategy was to put most of her eggs in one basket and get her strongest store higher on the search results for the term “steampunk jewelry.” Her best bet is classic SEO — optimizing her pages, getting quality links, and associating her online presence strongly with the keywords. Since she has a narrow niche, she can also expect good results from targeted advertising: not adwords, but ads on popular steampunk sites.
The baby boutique, on the other hand, is in a highly competitive niche. They need to have their pages optimized, certainly, but a small company selling baby clothes can’t expect to get top billing on Google any time soon. What’s more, the particular population they’re targeting tends to respond more to the blogs and Facebook pages they follow than to advertising. Their best bet will be to distinguish themselves from the rest of the pack in some way so they can show well for more specific searches, to work on visibility in their local area, and to focus their efforts on social media.
The specific strategy that will lead to success for your eStore will depend on your product, your niche, your budget, and your skills. You can have us do a free website analysis for you if you’d like some guidance.