Practical eCommerce asks industry insiders each month to share a great, innovative idea that could help an ecommerce company. Here’s what ten of them had to say for the February 2011 installment of “Ten Great Ecommerce Ideas.”
Use Customer Feedback to Further SEO
“Not everyone has automated feedback surveys for their products and services, but everyone can email surveys that ask, ‘What occasions would you use [product X] for?’ Give respondents 8 to10 suggestions so you can rate that product for each occasion (include that on your website), and so you can help widen their perception of the product’s applications. Be sure to include a blank text box for ‘Other Uses.’ You may be surprised what people say. The results can be great for copywriting and SEO.”
It’s In The Stars
Scavenger Hunt Makes a Fun Online Contest
“Create a fun contest that encompasses all of your business areas and encourages consumer engagement. For example, a scavenger hunt where participants will Fan you on Facebook to get the clues, visit your website to find the answer to the clues, and then to a trip to your blog to submit their entries. This requires them to visit what should be the three most influential parts of your online marketing. Scavenger hunts are great for contests because they really make the visitor go through your site and hopefully they will find products they may have never known you offer.”
What Year Is It?
“If you have a copyright notice on your website, make sure it is up to date. Pay attention to small details. Nothing says ‘Dated’ louder than the wrong year.”
Luis Hernandez, Jr.
Chief Executive Motorhead
The Motor Bookstore
Segment Keywords in Analytics
“Create unique segments in your analytics solution for your brand and target markets. Not sure which keywords to include? Check your keyword report for the past three months and look through the list of searches. Take note of common terms or phrases. Then create a segment with all iterations, even misspellings. This will allow you to analyze behavior for each segment and give you ideas on how you can improve. You may also discover new opportunities.”
Director of Marketing and Client Growth
Dig Deeper with A/B Testing
“Run A/B tests but don’t take results at face value. If version B generates 15 percent higher sales than version A, you may be tempted to run with it. But, without digging into the data and removing outliers (extremely high / low values), you cannot say for sure that version B is the true winner. Sales should not be the sole deciding metric of your test results. Look at the behavior of each segment and all possible metrics to see how each element version affects the overall experience on your site.”
Generate Traffic and Sales Through Related Websites
“Giveaways and product reviews on blogs and related websites can be a great way to generate traffic and sales to your site. It is important, however, to do your research first. Be sure that the website appeals to your intended audience and also has a decent amount of exposure (traffic).”
Ask Your Host for Backlinks
“If your site is hosted by a major ecommerce provider, ask them to feature your website as part of their client gallery. In our case, the backlink from our provider, Volusion, is a great step in Google’s page rank. You could take it one step further by offering to assist with any PR campaigns your provider may be running. A simple interview published on their press release wire can bring an immense amount of traffic and links back to your website.”
Re-configure AdWords Account for Higher Click-through
“Re-configuring your AdWords account can result in more impressions, increased brand exposure, higher click and conversion rates, and lower cost-per-click and cost-per-conversion. One of the most important things is to pick keywords that don’t cost you more that they make. Also, try targeting long-tail keywords specific to your business. Get rid of ads that result in zero clicks and bid higher on terms that have been converting well.”
Online Marketing Consultant
Help Customers Visualize
“Display an item in all colors. If you are selling a chair, for instance, don’t just display a picture of the brown chair and say that it is also available in blue and red. Show images of the same chair in those colors as well. The more you can help your customers visualize the exact item they’re interested in, the better chance you’ll have of selling it.”
Lead Project Manager
“Question all of key processes and seek to find a better way. Start by examining your marketing channels and evaluate each one. Ask yourself, ‘Does this activity provide a positive ROI? What else can be done to improve performance? If the performance does not meet expectations, should we cut this? What should we add to the marketing mix?’
“Remember, bringing traffic to the site is only step one. You want traffic that interacts with you. Most importantly, you want traffic that buys your product or service.
“You should follow the same steps in every part of your organization and see where improvements can be made. This simple methodology keeps your organization on a consistent improvement path.”
Founder and CEO
Got a great ecommerce idea? Email Kate Monteith at firstname.lastname@example.org.