There are a number of basic things you need to do to promote yourself and sell online.
Once you have an e-commerce website (like your free Ponoko Showroom) and you have populated it with some items for sale (like the ones you make with Ponoko), it’s time to attract the right buyers, keep them coming back and telling others about you.
So let’s start with attracting the right buyers.
As you know, search engines like Google, MSN and Yahoo! are still the #1 way to get the very best qualified buyers to your website for the first time.
They are the first step in a list of things you want to get done to promote yourself online.
So let’s take this step now.
But remember, what you do not want to do is go out and use an automated website submission service – either paid or free. These can leave you with nothing at best and a black mark against your name at worst.
And you don’t want to get all tied up in knots about the supposed SEO (search engine optimization) black magic voodoo stuff either.
However you do want to focus on the 2 key things that are the simplest and most powerful for your search engine success:
- Content – rich descriptions of your products, yourself, your process, etc, etc.
- Popularity – getting other people to link to your website.
When you cover these 2 things then you’ll benefit from the SEO voodoo that we’ve taken care of for you. We have optimized your Showroom in a way that means the text content you write to your Showroom is highly visible to search engines.
We’ve given you a canvas, now you need to color it.
OK, first up – content and how to describe yourself
There’s 2 parts to this.
First thing to understand is this – ‘the more you tell, the more you sell’. It’s corny, but search engines LOVE content.
This means, all other things being equal, a webpage with more content will outperform a webpage with little content.
So this first step is to simply add some content, any (relevant and useful) content, to your Showroom – the more the better.
So whether you get to part 2 of this section on content or not, at least add good content describing yourself – it requires no voodoo whatsoever, just plain common sense.
So to be a little more explicit here’s what to do first … add maximum content in these 3 places:
In specific reference to your Product pages, this means:
- Choosing a product name that is descriptive of what it actually is – so if it’s a necklace, make sure this word is in the title.
- Adding a detailed description – this is where you go to town. Again, the more descriptive you can be, the better.
- Adding tags – these need to be, surprise surprise, descriptive of what the item actually is.
So that’s it! If you can simply let the writer in you shine through, then you’re about 60% of the way there on the content part of this exercise.
Now onto part 2 … adding extra content that search engines love.
Now there’s a little bit of science to this, but that’s a relief – because you are about to take all of the guesswork out of choosing the right words you need to insert into the content you have just written in step one above.
This is particularly important for the product name and the tags you use. And it’s a great idea to include these same words at the start, middle and end of your product descriptions too.
So you need to use words that do 3 key things:
- They are words that describe your product well.
- They are the words that other people are using to describe your product when they enter a search query into Google, Yahoo!, MSN, etc.
- And they are words that your competitors are not using.
So how do you figure out the right words to use?
The thing to understand is that the words you might typically use to describe your product may be either:
- Words that no one else actually uses to search for you – hence you are marketing yourself using the wrong words; or
- Words that all of your competitors use – hence it will be very difficult for you to rise to the top of the search engine results because others have already beaten you there.
So to avoid these 2 things and choose the right words, go and check out www.wordtracker.com – the tool they market as the one to get an unfair advantage in the search engines.
Most of the very successful search engine optimization companies have been using this tool for years – it’s the gold of the trade.
So get it fired up and just enter in a few keywords that you think are relevant to your product. It will give you 3 really important bits of information:
- A list of keywords other people are ACTUALLY using to search for your type of thing – you do not need to guess at what people are searching for any longer! These are the words to choose from and nothing else.
- It also tells you how popular each of these keyword is – in other words, how many times has that specific word or phrase been searched for! This helps you pick the very best of the best.
- And it tells you how many times the word is used on competitor websites. This helps you pick the ultimate words possible.
Now what you do next is choose the words that have the following 3 important characteristics:
- It is a key phrase that will work best to drive buyers to your webpage to buy your specific stuff;
- It is a key phrase that has a lot of people searching for it; AND
- It is a keyword that has very little competition.
(Note that I use the term ‘key phrase’ – you want to find 2+ word phrases people are using to search for what you have. This is because this is far more descriptive of what they want than someone entering in a single keyword – eg, if someone enters in ‘apple’ I can only guess at what they want – but if they enter in ‘buy apple laptop’ I am much more confident to suggest what I think they want).
Ok, so what does all of this mean? Here’s an example:
Let’s say you are selling “XYZ” – here’s what to do:
Enter this keyword into Wordtracker. Select the best key phrases people are using based on the 3 criteria immediately above. Use these phrases in your product name, keywords and description within your Showroom.
The very best key phrase you can find after you enter “XYZ” into Wordtracker will be one that looks something like this:
Search phrase – “buy XYZ now”
Number of searches – 1,000,000
Number of competing web pages – 1
This is the very best because the searcher’s intentions are clear, there are 1 million of them looking to buy XYZ and there is only one competitor – wow!
If you use these words in your Showroom, then you will be the #1 ranking in the search engines for this phrase and this means you will get about 99% of the 1,000,000 searches. And when people click through to your site from the search engines (for free, because this is natural search, not paid search), they are likely to have a high sales conversion rate given the specific nature of their search (and the fact that you actually supply a great quality XYZ).
So go to it – and here’s the free version of Word Tracker to get you started (it does not show you how many competitors each search phrase has, but its a good start in finding out what the most popular search phrases people are using to find what you have to sell.
Check it out now then come back and get your Showroom setup so search engines will love you —> http://freekeywords.wordtracker.com/
Hmmmm – this is much longer than I expected, so I’ll save #2 ‘Popularity’ to another blog post in this series. And this will give you some time to get the content in your Showroom updated, shiny, new and improved and all that.
So check back soon for our post about ‘Popularity’ – you don’t want to miss it because it’s critical just as soon as you have got your content nailed.
So go get your content done now – and remember, simply adding lots of descriptive and useful information to your Showroom even without reference to Wordtracker data will put you a mile ahead, so go do that now.
And feel free to share this blog post with others by clicking on the ‘Share This’ tool below.