Schools & Resources

15 Helpful Guides for Ecommerce Merchants

An ecommerce merchant frequently wears many hats — entrepreneur, marketer, and content creator, to name a few. Fortunately there are free online guides to help with every task.

Here is a list of online guides to assist merchants with their many needs. There are style guides to help with content and design, search engine optimization guides, email marketing guides, social media guides, technical web platform guides, and a guide to help with video content. All of these guides are free.

The Yahoo! Style Guide

Although the print version is for purchase, the website provides free editorial know-how. Get the basics of grammar and punctuation plus a multitude of topics with a web-specific focus. Yahoo! editors discuss effective writing and editing for an online audience, techniques for streamlining copy, basic web codes, Internet law, search engine optimization, and more.

Web Style Guide

This guide explains established design principles and covers all aspects of web design, from planning to production to maintenance. The guide also shows how these principles apply in design projects whose primary concerns are information design, interface design, and efficient search and navigation.

The Essential Step-By-Step Guide to Internet Marketing

From establishing your initial keyword strategy and leveraging social media to analyzing and refining your strategies, this Internet marketing guide will take you through the steps to market your business online.

Social Media Marketing Kit

This is a set of three guides: “Step-by-Step Guide to New Facebook Business Page Timelines,” “How to Attract Customers with Twitter,” and “Learning LinkedIn From the Experts.” The kit also contains four marketing cheat sheets for mastering Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. Use HubSpot‘s free Social Media Marketing Kit to get found by more potential customers, develop relationships with industry leaders, and position yourself as an expert in your field.

The Beginner’s Guide To SEO

The Beginner’s Guide to SEO is an in-depth tutorial on how search engines work, covering the fundamental strategies that make websites search engine friendly. Although this guide has been around a while, it’s still an excellent overview of SEO.

Google SEO Starter Guide

This guide first began as an effort to help teams within Google. It’s just as useful to webmasters who are new to the topic of search engine optimization and wish to improve their sites’ interaction with both users and search engines. Following these best practices will make it easier for search engines to crawl, index, and understand your content.

Email Marketing Field Guide

This guide from MailChimp is a comprehensive field guide to email marketing. It covers the basics, like how email works. Then it gets into the technical stuff, like how to design and code your HTML email. Finally, it covers email-marketing best practices for list management, deliverability and measuring performance.

YouTube Creator Playbook

If you plan on creating product videos on YouTube, the YouTube Creator Playbook is a must read. It compiles important tips, best practices, and strategies to help you develop your audience. Build a cohesive channel strategy, ensure your videos will reach the widest audience, build a genuine community, and access valuable resources.

Search Engine Optimization Basics

This guide is a 30-minute webinar in Practical eCommerce. It reviews the basics of SEO for new merchants, and reminds existing merchants what aspects of SEO to focus on. Review the goals of optimization, content writing, keyword visibility, link building, new SEO trends and topics, and more.

Email Segmentation 101

This guide is a 30-minute webinar in Practical eCommerce on effective email marketing through segmentation. It explains four common email segmentation strategies for ecommerce merchants: date, geographical, past purchasing habits, and email activity. Learn how to create the actual email templates and how to match the segments with your database.

Social Media Etiquette Guide

This is a three-page guide by The Suitcase Entrepreneur on social media etiquette. For novices and pros, it lists ten dos and don’ts you should adopt to build a solid reputation and create lasting relationships. Purchase the guide with a Tweet or a Facebook Like.

Photoshop Etiquette

This is a quick guide to web design in Photoshop. If you create or work with PSD elements on your ecommerce site, this is a helpful resource to streamline your design workflow.

100 Principles for Designing Logos and Building Brands

This guide by Brand Identity Essentials lays the foundation for brand building, defining the tools and building blocks, and illustrating the construction of strong brands through examples of world-class design. It explores graphic identity, logos as part of successful identity programs, and the ways design can influence customer perceptions through brand identity.

Learn How to Make Websites

If you want to create or modify web pages, this guide by the Mozilla Developer Network presents a collection of resources to get you started. Learn HTML to create web pages, CSS to define the appearance of web pages, and JavaScript to enable web pages to respond to user interaction.


The standards published by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) are the ultimate guide on the open web platform. These technical specifications are developed through a process to maximize consensus and to ensure high technical and editor quality. Learn the standards of building and rendering web pages and applications.

Sig Ueland
Sig Ueland
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