Customer experiences culminate in either satisfaction or disappointment. The result that ultimately follows is either increased business revenue or dismal eCommerce sales. Customer experience, or CX, is that critical.
You want your customers to have positive experiences when engaging with your brand online, but you might not necessarily understand what eCommerce elements will contribute to providing your website visitors with such an excellent customer experience that they successfully complete the online checkout process.
You can improve the customer experience you provide eCommerce website visitors by following these five tips:
● Offer Personalized Website Navigation
● Provide Customized Browsing Experiences
● Feature Customer Reviews & Testimonials
● Enhance the Checkout Process
● Build Brand Affinity with Valuable Content
In this article, we’ll walk you through all five, supplying you with in-depth steps you can take to implement each improvement into your eCommerce site.
Personalization has become the central goal of marketing and sales strategies in recent years, though the concept of personalization is nothing new. In fact, the retail industry has been committed to increasing personalization as much as possible, and Facebook along with most social media sites also offer personalized posts, page recommendations, and advertisements. By personalizing a consumer’s experience, no matter what the platform, you can increase engagement as well as sales. Realizing the importance of personalization, especially how it impacts revenue, is an important first step. The next step that naturally follows, of course, is implementing as much personalization as possible, and this includes personalizing the navigation experience of your eCommerce website.
Offering an eCommerce visitor a website experience that’s custom-made just for them is the best way to describe website personalization. When a visitor discovers that your site features products, information, and content that’s relevant to their interests, they will be more likely to explore your site, spend longer on each web page, and end up purchasing your products. The more often they visit your eCommerce site, the better the personalized experience they will have thanks to the site’s ability to leverage their prior visitor data such as their past purchases and item categories that they browsed.
How can you enhance your eCommerce site with personalization and personalized navigation? The right web development and web design team can accomplish the following:
● Optimize the Landing Page—Since your eCommerce landing page will be an online visitor’s first encounter with your brand, you can improve the first impression you give by adding a personalized touch. For example, greeting the visitor using his or her first name can add just enough personalization to increase their interest in your specific brand within the market.
● Integrate Unique CTAs—One of the most effective ways to guide your website visitors from one web page to the next is by integrating unique calls-to-action on the eCommerce web pages that need it most. Carefully crafted CTAs have the power to encourage website visitors to sign up for discount alerts, subscribe to your newsletters and blog, take a survey, and experience a free trial offer.
● Automate Relevant Content Recommendations—Suggesting relevant product recommendations to your website visitors takes time. Your eCommerce store won’t have enough stored data to make relevant recommendations to first-time visitors. However, with the right machine-learning A.I. in place, the site itself can collect valuable visitor data as consumers return to your eCommerce store time and again. This data can then be used automatically to suggest products that visitors will be more inclined to buy.
Elaborating on the concept of personalized website navigation and content, you can improve eCommerce customer experience by providing your site visitors with customized browsing experiences. Your eCommerce store isn’t the only website that your target audience visits when they want to find specific products. The fact of the matter is that nowadays it’s so easy for consumers to find the products they want online that the products themselves don’t impact customer experience as much as the actual website’s functionality, features, and customized browsing capabilities do. By offering your eCommerce site visitors tailored content that features relevant products, you will help your visitors to bond with your brand.
A way to quickly integrate customized browsing into your eCommerce site is to display “recently viewed items” along the margin of each web page or across the bottom of each web page just shy of the footer. This tactic doesn’t rely on your visitors creating login accounts, which is why it’s so beneficial. As a site visitor checks out your products, the site’s A.I. can store browsing history data and automatically display the top 3 or 5 items under the header “Recently Viewed.” Depending on the technological capabilities of your eCommerce site, you can also integrate a site visitor’s recently viewed items under the header “Pick up where you left off” when they return to your eCommerce store in the future.
You can even customize the browsing experience further by implementing these features on your eCommerce site:
● Personalized Product Pages—Personalized product-detail page recommendations show eCommerce visitors items that are similar to those they’ve viewed as well as complementary products to those they’ve already added to their prior orders. This personalization feature gets even better when recommended items are tailored to the current or upcoming season, an upcoming holiday, and even the visitors’ birthdays.
● Customized Upselling & Cross-Selling During Checkout—Once a website visitor has made it to the checkout page, you have succeeded at collecting valuable data about them that you can use immediately. By understanding the items they’ve added to their shopping cart, you can automatically suggest helpful add-on products or opportunities to increase the quantities of their products in order to receive bulk-order discounts.
● Quick Glance Wish List Items—Including a Wish List on your eCommerce site is a great way to motivate website visitors to create a login account. Once they do, they can start adding items of interest to their Wish List and easily change Wish List items whenever they want. Try displaying your shoppers’ Wish List items on the margin of every web page they explore. When their Wish List items “follow them around,” they will be reminded to add them to their shopping cart.
Online shoppers take customer reviews as seriously, if not more so than real-life recommendations from their friends and family. In fact, online customer reviews are one of the best digital forms of word-of-mouth marketing there is. Reviews can either translate into sales or a damaged business reputation, depending on what’s said, since most online shoppers are in the habit of reading reviews as part of their purchase decision process. Small businesses and local companies that understand the importance of high-star and five-star customer reviews know to leverage them on their Google My Business pages, Facebook pages, and their website, all of which you should definitely do, too.
Featuring positive customer reviews and testimonials on your eCommerce site specifically cannot be overstated, and yet a lot of eCommerce businesses fail to do this, assuming that their Google My Business and Facebook reviews are enough. It’s always a good idea to include customer reviews and testimonials on your website, but there are a number of ways you can accomplish this. For some businesses, it’s appropriate to create a Customer Reviews tab on their navigation panels. These customer review web pages consolidate all of the positive reviews that the business has collected over the years. But this isn’t the only option.
If you want to feature your online customer reviews in creative ways, try one of the following ideas:
● Add Relevant, Scrolling Customer Reviews to Your Website Footers—There’s no way to predict or guarantee that website visitors will navigate to a Customer Review web page, which is why it’s a great idea to incorporate your best, shortest customer reviews on all of your eCommerce web pages. Try featuring the top three reviews, for example, within the footer of your site in such a way that they automatically scroll.
● Use Relevant Customer Reviews on Your Product Pages—You might not have customer reviews for every product you sell on your eCommerce site, but for those product reviews that you have collected, why not feature each on its correlating product page? Doing so can help convert an on-the-fence visitor into a buying customer.
● Include Customer Reviews About Specific Upsell Products at Checkout—Similar to the last idea, when you include a positive customer review along with a product you’re recommending during the checkout process, it’s kind of like having a little, digital salesman in your corner. The customer review can help convince your shopper to add the upsell product into their shopping cart.
ECommerce shopping cart abandonment is real. In fact, roughly 88% of lost eCommerce sales are due to visitors abandoning the checkout process for one reason or another. Factors such as having to provide too much information or seemingly unsecure payment gateway processes can give shoppers cold feet at the last minute. This is all to say that while enhancing the checkout process can impact overall customer experience for the better, you have to be really careful about what you enhance and how you enhance it. The last thing you want to do is further complicate the online checkout process, which will only increase the chances of your shoppers abandoning their shopping cart before they complete the purchasing process.
Now that we got that disclaimer out of the way, how can you enhance the checkout process on your eCommerce site without jeopardizing your sales? It might seem counterintuitive, but speeding up the checkout process is the kind of enhancement your shoppers will appreciate. Don’t force visitors to create a login account just to complete the checkout process. One-click checkout systems are far more popular than elaborate ones. That being said, by offering a Live Chat support box, providing different payment method options including PayPal, and keeping any associated shipping fees transparent, you will naturally improve customer experience.
In addition to the suggestions we just mentioned, you can also experiment with the following eCommerce checkout enhancements:
● Use Urgency and FOMO—There’s a reason why eCommerce brands launch flash sales. By offering products for a limited time, shoppers become triggered by a fear of missing out, or FOMO. You can implement this same concept for the checkout process of your eCommerce site to reduce shopping cart abandonment. Simply include Deals of the Day item recommendations with countdown clocks that show when the sale will end.
● Highlight Security and Trust Seals—Guest checkout should be an option for your eCommerce store visitors, but in order to push the sale through, it helps to establish trust first and foremost on the checkout page. Prominently display the trust seals of your payment gateway providers and highlight the security of your site.
● Offer Discount Codes for Upsell Products—A great way to incentivize shoppers to follow through with completing the checkout process is to offer discount codes they can use immediately. Instead of providing one discount code to all shoppers, try rewarding shoppers for following through with specific calls-to-action, such as when they acted on an upsell product that was recommended during the checkout process. By assigning a unique discount code to each upsell product, you can also track which promotional products are moving the fastest.
What improves customer experience more than when a brand goes out of its way to build meaningful relationships with its customers? Building a relationship with your eCommerce customers can increase customer loyalty and ensure long-term, mutually beneficial relationships. By identifying with your customers’ emotional reasoning and addressing the causes they care about, you will create opportunities for them to organically bond with your brand and feel a sense of affinity towards your business. It’s all about sharing common values with your customer base.
The average customer’s process for making decisions about which products to buy is influenced by their emotional reasoning, their pragmatic reasoning, and their behaviors. In other words, a shopper needs to feel good about buying a product and also know that the product will meet their needs. When, how, and why they follow through with buying the product has to do with their unique behaviors. That being said, you can persuade your shoppers to buy into your brand by speaking to their emotional side, and the best way to do this is to offer the kind of content they’ll care about and value.
The following are specific content ideas that you can weave into your eCommerce web pages to improve the overall customer experience of your site:
● Touch Upon Causes that Reflect Your Brand Identity—Social intelligence is regarded more highly than IQ in 2021. People have become extremely conscientious of social issues and everyone seems to have a fully formed opinion on the matters they care about most. While you wouldn’t want to alienate one audience in favor of another, you can use your website content to touch upon the social causes that reflect your brand’s identity. Doing so will help like-minded customers to view your brand as more than a business. They will view your brand as an ally and trusted voice.
● Stay on Message—Once you know your audience and have established your brand’s voice, you can then feature clear branding messages in your eCommerce content that help your shoppers connect with the purposes behind the products you sell. This type of content strategy helps to build brand affinity because shoppers will feel like they’re joining a community just by purchasing your products.
● Use Videos, Social Media Feeds, and Blogs—The more engaging and interactive your eCommerce site is, the better the customer experience will be. While you don’t want to overwhelm your web pages with too much flashy content, embedding relevant videos here and there, as well as featuring a social media feed where appropriate, can provide visitors with content they find valuable.
Does your eCommerce website offer visitors an excellent customer experience? If your site is lacking a responsive web design, engaging content, personalization features, impressive customer reviews, and an enhanced checkout process, then you should give the eCommerce marketing experts at FTx 360 a call.
FTx 360 offers scalable, easy-to-use eCommerce platforms, including Shopify, Magento, and BigCommerce that are designed to accommodate rapid business growth. Our eCommerce Marketing Services provide:
● Customer Website Design—We create innovative and user-friendly eCommerce websites that deliver positive shopping experiences.
● Responsive Website Development—Our designers and developers build eCommerce sites that work seamlessly on all devices and across platforms.
● Product Copy Creation—Our creative content writers produce accurate, SEO-friendly descriptions for products and services that engage customers and boost sales.
● Product Management—Our technological capabilities encompass the full spectrum of product management, integrating flawlessly into your eCommerce website.
● Payment Gateway Integration—Integrating the leading payment gateways into eCommerce, FTx 360 provides secure transactions with multiple payment options.
● Performance and UX Reporting—We provide continuing optimization services and work to identify areas of your eCommerce website that could be improved so that you never stop broadening your reach.
If you’re ready to upgrade your eCommerce site, our developers and designers can create a unique, reliable, and fully customized eCommerce store for you that offers an excellent customer experience and delivers a consumer checkout follow-through success rate that far surpasses your current rate. Contact us to get started.
FTx 360 is a full-service digital marketing agency that offers the most advanced digital marketing solutions for businesses of all industries, and that’s not all. Our digital marketing specialists are also committed to serving the greater marketing community by publishing informative articles every week.
Our July articles covered the importance of choosing the best social media platforms to market your brand, the how-tos of writing content that attracts Google bots, and the measures business owners must go to ensure their websites are both ADA compliant and mobile friendly.
In case you missed them, we’ve put together brief summaries of each article that you can reference as you market your business online. Just remember, nothing beats reading the originals, so we encourage you to check out the full-length articles if you want to get the most out of our digital marketing strategies, tips, and techniques.
Ensuring that social media marketing works for your business will depend on choosing the right platforms. Each social media platform offers users a different experience. Each platform provides brands with advantages and disadvantages. And each social platform must be carefully analyzed for its business marketing potential.
The first article we published this July compared the benefits of five major social media platforms—Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube—to help readers determine which ones will best serve their marketing goals.
A veteran social media platform that has been around longer than any other social platform, Facebook is by no means passé. Yes, there are newer, more trendy platforms out there, but in terms of ideal user demographics and the ability to connect businesses with new customers, Facebook remains an excellent choice for social media marketing. Bottom line, Facebook is an excellent platform for B2C companies that want to post micro-content to increase brand awareness, gain followers, stimulate social engagement, and convert followers into customers.
More so than any other social media platform, Instagram is all about the visual. As an ideal platform to post photos, images, graphics, and viral memes, Instagram has taken over and dominated the social media marketing space for businesses that are capable of portraying their products and services using images and little else. Instagram really isn’t a listening and learning platform. In terms of fostering conversations, it pales in comparison to Facebook, but that doesn’t mean this platform is any less valuable. Bottom line, Instagram is best for B2C retail companies, especially when those companies primarily sell on an eCommerce platform.
Twitter is an information-spreading platform that serves news outlets and organizations that either cover or contribute to current events. Twitter tends to be politically charged and entire debates can unfold within a single thread of Tweets. That being said, certain business owners can get a lot out of using Twitter for their social media marketing. Since Twitter is a real-time social media platform, every Tweet you post is equivalent to sending a group text message to the entire world. Thanks to hashtags and the immediacy of the platform itself, Twitter offers businesses a way to engage with their audiences in real time, having complete conversations. Bottom line, Twitter will serve B2B and B2C businesses that want to spread information, comment on current events, and elevate their professional authority within their industry.
LinkedIn has had a slow evolution in terms of joining the ranks of well-known social media sites. Considered the world’s largest professional network on the internet, only in recent years has LinkedIn been regarded as an authentic “social media” platform. It wasn’t until LinkedIn provided newsfeeds and the ability for users to post blogs and other content that it joined the ranks of social media. Initially, LinkedIn was used strictly as an employment-oriented online platform that connected professionals and aided job seekers in obtaining the best positions on the open job market. Bottom line, LinkedIn is best for B2B companies that can commit to regularly publishing informative blog articles. If one of your social media marketing goals is to elevate your brand’s expert standing within your industry, then using LinkedIn is for you.
YouTube exclusively offers video content, though some channels publish audio-only files with a static image that fills the video field. When an internet user wants to watch video content, YouTube is the social media platform they go to, hands down. In this sense, YouTube has virtually no competition, not even from Vimeo. If you’re prepared to create professional-looking video content, then using YouTube for your social media marketing could prove more effective than all other platforms combined. Bottom line, when it comes to which social media platform businesses should use to publish video content, no platform compares to YouTube. Whether you own a B2B or B2C business, if you want to reach a massive audience using video content, then you must publish on YouTube, period.
This article also went into great depth, helping readers ascertain their social media marketing goals, so be sure to read the full article if you want to learn more.
The next July article we published on our blog informed readers about how to write web content that will engage customers while pleasing Google’s algorithms. All digital content that’s published on your website has the potential to help elevate your website’s search engine ranking on Google. In our article, we defined the characteristics of “well written” content and described how to write content that will satisfy both consumers and Google bots.
Your business is unique, which means your customers are unique individuals with unique needs. This means that the content you write should speak to your audience, so bear the following in mind to get the most out of the content you write:
Write your content as though you are speaking to your ideal customer, one-on-one, in their language with their vocabulary, remaining mindful of their interests and pain points. Use the following checklist as you write:
In order to compose effective content that Google bots will love just as much as consumers, keep the following pointers in mind as you write:
Finally, we examined how robots.txt files can help Google crawl your web pages, and we also went over black hat SEO, cloaking, and how to avoid these major Google violations. We strongly encourage you to read the full article to stay informed.
In our third July article, we tackled the ins and outs of transforming your business website so that it meets the accessibility standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Currently, there are over 60 million Americans who are living with a disability. Physical disabilities that affect a person’s ability to use a website include:
You can take action today and work towards meeting the ADA’s compliance standards by making the following simple changes to your website:
For a comprehensive assessment of where your website stands in terms of ADA compliance, use the following tools to check the accessibility level of your website:
Put very simply, in order to meet ADA compliance standards, your website must be:
A perceivable website is a site that offers both visual and auditory options for every element that appears throughout the website. For example, a blog article will also offer an MP3 playbox so that blind visitors can listen to, instead of read, the article. Embedded videos that appear on a web page will include closed captioning that displays text, enabling deaf visitors to understand what the video is talking about. In short, a perceivable website is one that provides alternative ways to consume content.
An operable website is a site that enables visitors to easily navigate through web pages via any method they choose—keyboard, mouse, automatic or manual scrolling, or touchscreen. Operable websites do not place time limits or restrictions on web pages, which would otherwise cause web page sessions to “time out.” Another aspect to consider when it comes to operable websites, is that the web pages should avoid use of physical “triggers” such as automatically running a strobe light that could cause migraines or seizures.
The basic rule for ensuring your website is understandable is this: a visitor should spend almost no time trying to figure out how to use your website, but rather spend their time on your site gaining information. Using simplistic, logical web page layouts can greatly reduce the amount of time visitors spend familiarizing themselves with your site. For example, keeping the search bar, newsletter opt-in, and chatbox in the same spot on every web page of your site can aid in presenting an understandable website.
You’ve probably heard this term before—robust web design is critical for countless reasons. A robust website will work well on all browsers and perform properly on all devices, including mobile smartphones, tablets, and other handheld devices. But did you know that you can also design your website to perform robustly for disabled visitors? By including assistive technologies on your site, you can enhance website engagement with the vision and hearing impaired. The key is to continue making upgrades as technologies evolve.
Be sure to check out the full article if you want to learn the specifics of ADA compliance and website accessibility.
Our final article of the month discussed not only the importance of website mobile-friendliness, but also what you can do right now to ensure that your website is mobile friendly. Today, mobile friendliness is the one and only ranking factor that Google uses to either promote or demote websites in their search results. What this means is that if your website isn’t configured to display excellently on mobile devices, then Google is not going to rank it.
However, a mobile-friendly website will not only get crawled, indexed, and ranked by Google, but it will also ensure that consumers can visit your site from their mobile devices, encounter an excellent user interface, and have a wonderful experience while navigating from one web page to the next. When visitors have a positive experience on your website using their mobile devices, they will be far more likely to become repeat visitors, first-time customers, social media followers, and even lifelong loyal customers.
In the article, we introduced the following three configuration techniques you can use to ensure your website will be mobile friendly:
The term “responsive web design” refers to websites built with HTML code that are able to render the original HTML code differently depending on the screen size of the device. Meaning, the webmaster only needs to build one website, because the code itself will dictate how content is displayed from one device to the next. Responsive web design is the most cost-effective, time-effective configuration technique because it has the easiest design pattern to implement and maintain. For this reason, Google recommends responsive web design over the other available configuration techniques.
Dynamic serving is slightly different from responsive web design. Though dynamic serving uses the same URLs on the mobile version that appear on the original website, it generates a different version of HTML code depending on the device the site is being displayed on, as well as specific users’ browser data. Dynamic serving enables a website to be fully accessible. However, Google bots tend to crawl this configuration differently than how they crawl responsive web designs, which means you would have to invest in server-side rendering as a temporary workaround for these crawlers.
“Separate URLs” is a configuration technique that provides different code to each device category, each using separate URLs. First, the user’s device type is detected. Then, the configuration uses HTTP and Vary HTTP Headers to redirect users to the appropriate page. In the case of separate URLs, the mobile site will utilize a mobile-specific URL, such as an “m-dot,” “dot-mobi,” or even a separate folder altogether. A common myth is that this configuration method causes duplicate content that Google will penalize, but this rumor is completely untrue.
Here is a checklist you can use to evaluate the mobile-friendliness of your website:
For additional information about website mobile-friendliness, including links to Google’s Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool, Google’s Mobile Usability Tool, and Google’s Speed Test, be sure to read the full article.
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At long last, your business website is completely set up. The home page is beautifully branded. Your products and services are clearly indexed. And you’ve even included a few CTAs so that visitors can subscribe to your company’s email newsletter, join your customer loyalty rewards program, and follow your social media accounts.
But how are you actually going to drive traffic to your website?
If you’re unsure how to answer that question, don’t worry. You’re not alone. In this article, we’ll go over proven tactics that will increase web traffic.
The term “website traffic” refers to the volume of users that visit a website. Unlike rush hour traffic, however, that causes bottlenecks, gridlock, and traffic jams, when it comes to web traffic, the more users on a website, the better. The actual number of users that visit your website will depend on the purpose of the site, each visitor’s reason for checking out the site, and how your visitors discovered the site in the first place.
For businesses, organizations, and especially ECommerce retailers, increasing web traffic is crucial to the success of both the website itself and the company at large. If web traffic doesn’t increase, the company probably won’t grow. And if there is hardly any web traffic to begin with, the company will struggle to get off the ground in the first place.
Increasing traffic to your website boils down to correctly using SEO keywords and longtail keyword phrases. SEO is so integral to the vitality of a website that we’ve dedicated an entire article to the subject, What Is SEO? which covers the whys, hows, and wheres of plugging SEO keywords into your web content. Be sure to take a moment to check it out when you have a chance. For the time being, we’ll assume you’re familiar with SEO in general.
The following SEO tips will help you drive traffic to your website organically, and the latter half of this article will walk you through the steps of adding SEO to the images you use on your website, which can have a massively positive impact on the volume of your daily visitors, as well as your website’s ranking on Google and other search engines.
Let’s dive in.
By far the most organic method to drive web traffic to your site involves adding new content to your website on a daily–or even weekly–basis. Generating daily content naturally produces SEO keywords, which Google and other search engines will pick up and use to recommend your website to users who search for businesses, products, and services that are relevant to yours. The easiest way to publish new content frequently and regularly is with a blog. Blog posts don’t have to be lengthy, either. You can publish short articles and reap measurable benefits. For detailed tips to launch a successful blog, read Creating A Remarkable Business Blog. The trick when it comes to ensuring your blog will promote web traffic to other pages on your website is to use internal links. For example, if you’re managing a jewelry ECommerce site, your blog posts can offer inspirational accessory advice on the latest jewelry trends that link to specific products for sale on your website.
Typically, an SEO keyword is strictly that–a single word. Is that how people use Google? Not at all, and Google recognized this fact back in 2013. As a result, Google created a new algorithm called Google Hummingbird that recognizes natural language and questions when Google users type them into the search bar. In practical terms, because Google users will type “where can I buy a cat tree?” or “puppy flea control shampoo near me”, Hummingbird will identify the “topic” or “category” that the search implies and generate appropriate search results that are relevant to local pet supply stores. Hummingbird has rendered old school, single keywords nearly obsolete. If your website content only uses single keywords, Google might not pick up on it. This is where longtail keywords come into play. Longtail keyword phrases are precisely what a Google user might type into the search bar to find businesses like yours. There’s a trick to getting the most out of this type of SEO, however. You’ll need to use high volume, low competition phrases. An excellent tool that will help you identify longtail keyword phrases that fit that description is SEMRush.
But what if you’ve been using longtail keyword phrases in your daily website or blog content and search engines like Google still aren’t picking up your web pages? Search engines might not know your website exists yet. While it takes time for Google’s algorithm to come across your website, identify which category the site falls under, and start recommending web pages to users searching for businesses like yours, there’s something you can do right away if you start to get impatient. Submit your website to the top search engines including Google through your sitemap. If you can’t find your sitemap, you may need to create one under your URL. Once you obtain your sitemap, simply log in to each search engine’s console, hit “sitemaps”, paste in your sitemap URL, and hit “submit”. For other search engines like Yahoo and DuckDuckGo, there’s no need to submit your website, because those search engines don’t have A.I. in place to suppress less popular content.
Social media marketing is critical to the success of any business, but did you know that you can use social media specifically to drive traffic to your website? It’s easy. Whenever you publish new content on your website–and we mean any new content whether it’s a blog article, new product line, revamped landing page content, or new service descriptions–get in the habit of “sharing” the link on social media. For platforms like Facebook and Twitter, you need only copy the URL and the platform will automatically pull up the web page with its headline and primary image. For platforms like Instagram, if you type in the URL within the post’s caption, it won’t hyperlink, but do it anyway, because followers who are interested in the content teaser will still visit the web page. LinkedIn is also a terrific platform, especially for B2B businesses, where you can republish blog articles and press releases.
Similar to promoting your newly published content on social media, you can also use online communities to promote your content. Internet community platforms such as Reddit and Quora, and even niche sites like Dogster.com and Goodreads.com–for bibliophile content!–are great for getting the word out about your business. Every time you share content in an online community, following the community rules of course, you will boost awareness about your brand, drive traffic to your website, improve engagement rates on your site, increase your search engine ranking, and in the long run boost sales and grow your business.
In order to get the most mileage out of the content you share on online community platforms, only use appropriate, relevant platforms. If you’re not sure which platforms are the most relevant to your business, follow these steps:
● Define your target audience
● Research where your target audience hangs out online
● Dig around Facebook Groups and join those that fit your business’ category
● Join LinkedIn Groups that would appreciate your content, products, and services
● Answer questions on Quora and link to the most relevant pages on your website
● When you join an online conversation, be sure that you aren’t providing the same information that another poster already brought to the table
So far, we’ve gone over how to use keywords to improve your SEO ranking, which addressed the written content side of your digital marketing efforts. The flip-side of using SEO to market your website has to do with your images. Every website, ECommerce site, blog article, and products & services web page includes images.
These images have the power to drive traffic to your website, but they’re used in a very different way than content SEO. Let’s take a look…
When we say “images”, we mean photos, graphics, animations, memes, videos… you name it! Any visual element such as these can be used to attract valuable consumer traffic to your website. But how?
Unlike utilizing keywords which Google users type into the search bar in order to find your business, using SEO for images works a little differently. The goal here is to get other websites to link to your images. Yes, it would be far more convenient if Google users could search for your image directly, but in order to do that they would need your image to begin with…which very quickly turns into a catch-22. Instead, if you want your image to rank high within Google and the other search engines, you need that particular image to be so popular that other websites link to it.
Sounds complicated, right? It doesn’t have to be. This is where Pinterest comes in, and Instagram can also help…
The platform Pinterest is a great digital marketing tool. Marketers can “pin” images, collect them into categories, use hashtags and other identifiers, and ultimately help raise the search engine ranking of the images they pin. All of this is to say that you want Pinterest users to “pin” your website, e-commerce, and blog images on their Pinterest pages so that other Pinterest users find them and pin them. This is entirely within your control. Create a Pinterest account and pin your images to your page with SEO keywords as you publish online content.
As an added bonus, search engines like Google also have a “search images” tab on their sites. The search results within the specific images tab work somewhat independently from the general website search results, which means that one of your blog articles could have a below-average ranking while an image used within that same blog article could rank on the first page of Google’s image search.
In order to get this kind of popular traction, you’ll need to make sure your images are something special. Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to driving website traffic and raising your SEO ranking.
Any visual image that’s eye-catching or informative will hold a visitor’s attention, but images with a clear call-to-action tend to rank even better. Use CTAs with all of your images if possible. And remember, the most engaging images according to data analytics use facts, tips, and quotes.
This tip comes in two parts. First, you’ll need to find images, photos, and graphics that are relevant to your website content. Next, you’ll need to use a design program to overlay your own information onto the image. Let’s break this down. Do you currently have a subscription to Shutterstock, Pixabay, or Adobestock? If not, signing up for one would be a worthwhile investment. These sites allow users to license high-quality photos and graphics, which can be downloaded onto their computers for editing. Once you’ve transformed a raw image into a polished final graphic, you can use it on your website and in your social media posts. There are several free online editing sites you can try such as Canva. But we recommend FTx AdPro, which comes with industry-themed templates and pre-made designs.
Integrate your finished graphics with your written content in such a way that both breaks-up the text and supports the content’s information. Doing so will make the overall visitor experience much better when customers read your web pages. Visuals that complement the content itself greatly improve the web page’s “readability”. Visitors are more likely to retain the page’s information, and they’ll also be more likely to act on any calls-to-action they encounter on your website.
"Marketing is enthusiasm transferred to the customer."
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