How to Sell Products Online (Part III: Promote your business)

You have come a long way.

You have decided upon a course of action for your eCommerce page.

You have even implemented the proper action to create an eCommerce website.

Now it is time to get your eCommerce website noticed by the general public.

While promotion may seem secondary to the actual creation of the website, it is not.

Without some form of promotion, there is no way for anyone to find the product that they are looking to purchase.

The promotion comes in better forms than simply posting banner ads on other websites. Read below to discover the best way to promote your website.

Search Engine Optimization

I am starting the discussion with the often misinterpreted Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

I am doing this because SEO is the framework and foundation for most Internet promotion.

The ultimate goal of any website is to land first in a common search query. If you sell a type of widget, you want someone to land on your page when they search for widgets. You want to be the stop for this.

Remember that whole thing where you created your website? Having your own website with a gear toward the product being sold is much better than simply posting on Amazon with some randomly generated code.

The Importance of H1

Assuming you read and followed the directions in part 1 and part 2 of this series, you crafted your very own website using the model or contacted us for help and got managed WordPress hosting.

“The Importance of H1” is one of many elements to remember as ghost promotion for your website. What I mean by ghost promotion is something in the code of the page that automatically puts your page in a better standing without visual promotion.

If someone searches for “The Importance of H1” on Google, they are now more likely to find this post than before because I put the text in the Heading 1 format, or H1. I have also placed these words in other sections of this page, increasing my chances of being seen again.

Now, it is somewhat unlikely that someone would search for “The Importance of H1” when looking for your widget, but titling your pages to look like a common search for widgets can only help put your page on top the Google ladder.

There are other things to learn about SEO, but the purpose of the discussion here is to get you thinking about how you write on your website. Always create content and promotion that prospective customers would easily see.

Generate Leads

Now for the most fun and organic method of SEO and Internet promotion.

Generating leads is fun because it is a way to get involved with the people you are helping.

As a small business owner, you will likely get swallowed up by the SEO practices of larger and more storied companies in your field. Where you can win is with the personal aspect. Other small businesses and people in general always root for the underdog.

Consider generating leads to be the digital handshake or the digital town campaign.

Generating leads online

This is also fun because it is a “grass-roots” approach when you build your online brand.

Here are the steps to effectively generate leads:

  • Start from the other side

Do not think about what you would do. Do what others would for you. Go on Google. Consider what you would search for, given the need for the product.

For example, what would you search for if your widget is used to treat backaches?

  • Get active in forums.

You would search: “How to treat a backache.”

Search for it on Google, and click on relevant responses to discover what practices work.

If there are Yahoo! questions or general forums, get active and respond to people. Tell them about a certain “widget” that helps and link it to your page.

This gets everyone looking for help on your page, whether your place was at the top.

  • Don’t be shy

Make your posts personal.

Collect an email or two.

Be responsive to those seeking help and gently get them into your product.

The best kind of customer is a promoter. A promoter is someone who not only uses your product but also recommends them to friends and family.

On the Internet, a promoter is even more valuable since they will not only tell friends and family but potentially random strangers on another forum or on a personal blog or website. Think about the domino effect of a happy customer on your small business.

Use Other Websites to your Benefit

I have been downplaying the importance of other websites like Amazon and eBay.

But people like what they are used to seeing and doing.

For example, if I am a 40-something looking to purchase a book online, I may find your website in a search. But when I get there, I am going to see some purchasing portal to buy a book with my credit card.

I will freak out and check to ensure the computer screen hasn’t swiped my credit card information.

Linking to additional sources like Amazon gives customers a comfortable place to go when they do not want to purchase directly from you.

In the website image above, John Michael Morgan posts a link call-to-action on the right side of the page with a link to his new book’s Amazon and Kindle versions. This is a great way to assist customers afraid to purchase something new.

People can still be apprehensive about buying digital content. I was in the Apple Store the other day (read: a physical store) and overheard a customer tell the sales associate that he did not want to give his name to “Big Brother.”

People are not all as ready as you to embrace the digital frontier, and they may need some help. Do not neglect this portion of your market.

Promotion without Promotion

In the above steps, I think you are practicing promotion without promotion. You are still getting your content out there but in a completely unobtrusive fashion.

People want to see this type of promotion online, with a handshake and personal selling.

You could hire someone to “market and advertise” by managing social media pages and generating online leads. It is effective stuff!

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