It’s well known that becoming an online entrepreneur can be an excellent way to make a living.
Some of the world’s wealthiest people earned their fortunes in the world of e-commerce – and even if you don’t end up becoming a billionaire, selling products online can still be a great way to earn a very comfortable living or to supplement the income that you earn from your primary job.
It probably goes without saying, though, that if it were easy to earn a fortune in e-commerce, that’s what everyone would do. In reality, most e-commerce businesses end up floundering for a while before eventually getting shut down. That’s because most new online entrepreneurs don’t understand the correct approach in getting a new e-commerce site off the ground – they simply assume that they can publish a new website, and customers will start rolling in.
Unfortunately, it’s not that easy.
The good news, though, is that almost any e-commerce business can attain some measure of success as long as you understand the correct approach and are willing to do the work. All that you need is a concrete direction – and that’s what this article is going to provide.
Here’s how to get any new e-commerce business of the ground in three steps.
Focus on Your Commercial Content First
We’ll spend the majority of this article discussing the content on your website because nothing is more important. Your website’s commercial content is essentially everything other than your blog, and the main areas of focus are your home page, your category pages and your product pages. These are the pages that guide customers through the process of product discovery and generate revenue for your company. Your e-commerce website isn’t ready to generate sales until your commercial content is on point.
When people visit your site’s home page, they shouldn’t just see a list of products. Your home page serves two primary purposes: It should introduce your company to your potential customers, and it should explain to Google what the main idea of your website is. Your home page should have at least one introductory paragraph explaining who you are and what people can expect to find on your website. The text on your home page should also put your unique selling proposition front and centre by explaining what makes you different and why people should buy from you.
Site Organisation and Category Pages
When you build your e-commerce website, you should have a logical structure in mind from the very start. The broadest categories should be placed in your site’s top navigation bar, and it should be easy for customers to drill down into narrower categories organised by specific product types, brands, colours – whatever makes sense for the types of products that you sell.
Remember that the main idea of a category page will always be a term for which you want to rank on Google. Let’s say, for instance, that your e-commerce business focuses on wine sales. In that case, the main idea of your home page might be a phrase like “buy wine online.” Your category pages, therefore, might include French wines, German wines and Italian wines. You want to rank for each of those terms if you can, so your category pages shouldn’t just be product lists. Every category page should have text that focuses on that page’s main idea and guides customers toward products that they might like.
In the world of e-commerce, product pages will always be the most important pages on your site because people who search for specific products on Google are often very close to buying. In other words, the traffic that your product pages receive will always correlate strongly with the amount of money that your business earns.
That statement is true for e-commerce businesses in every industry, and that means there are many keywords for which your website isn’t going to appear on Google’s first page right away. Search terms like “Elf Bar,” for instance, are extremely competitive within the vaping industry. It’s important for your product pages to be correct from the very beginning, though, because it’ll be very expensive and time consuming to fix your site after the fact.
Just like your category pages, every product page on your site should have helpful text that describes and explains what’s shown on the page. Strive to make your product pages as informative and helpful as they can be. Your product description text should always be completely original; don’t ever copy your description text from other websites.
Target Non-Commercial Search Terms with Your Blog Content
Along with product and sales-oriented content, your e-commerce site will also have blog content. When you write articles for your blog, you’ll be tempted to write content with a transactional angle – product reviews and comparisons, for instance – because sales-oriented content is easy to tie in with product offerings. For a new e-commerce site, though, publishing sales-oriented blog content is the wrong idea because your competitors already have no shortage of blog posts targeting every commercial search term you could possibly imagine. You’re going to have a lot of difficulty ranking for those terms.
Instead of publishing sales-oriented content in your blog, try focusing on informational blog content. Publish articles that highlight your unique industry expertise by explaining how to fix common issues and have a better experience with the types of products that you sell. Publishing informational content without a direct commercial angle helps to build brand awareness and trust. You’re also more likely to rank well on Google with non-commercial content because fewer of your competitors are targeting those search terms.
Form Relationships to Earn Inbound Links and Make Your Site Known
One of the biggest sources of difficulty for new e-commerce websites is that you need inbound links in order to earn domain authority and rank well for competitive search terms. Your website won’t attract links, though, if no one is aware that it exists. How do you solve that problem? One way is by publishing the most helpful and informative content that you possibly can. If you can leverage your unique industry expertise to produce content that isn’t available anywhere else, you’re certain to get attention and links. Simply waiting for your website to get noticed, though, is a slow process.
While you wait for your website to earn links organically, don’t be afraid to reach out to website owners and ask them if they’d be willing to link to you. You’ll be particularly likely to receive a positive response if you’ve created a resource with the potential to be of value to that website’s readers. Although contacting people and asking for links has a very low success rate, every positive response can be enormously beneficial when you’re trying to get a new e-commerce business off the ground.