5 reasons to add a blog to an ecommerce store

5 Best Reasons Your E-commerce Website Needs a Blog

Is your e-commerce website struggling to attract desired organic traffic? Have you tried everything to improve your search engine rankings but have failed drastically?

If yes, then you need to publish blogs on your website and utilize content marketing as one of the major weapons to climb to the top of SERP. It’s a well-known fact that e-commerce is one of the highly competitive industries.

With over 2 million e-commerce companies, across the globe, it can get quite strenuous for your website to get the desired online exposure and stay in the top rankings.

However, when your website has high-quality, original, and informative content, you have better chances of attaining better rankings. Reason being, Google considers content as one of the major ranking factors. This is the reason why websites, which lack high-quality content, usually struggle to rank higher.

How to boost ecommerce sales: It is also worth noting that content does not only help you improve your search engine rankings but also attracts potential buyers to your website.

So, in this blog post, we have decided to scribble down a list of the benefits of publishing blogs on your e-commerce website and thus tremendously improve traffic to your e-commerce site.

#1 A Blog Makes Your Website More SEO-Friendly

a blog makes your ecommerce website more seo friendlyTo attain better rankings, you need to optimize your website and make it SEO-friendly. However, do you think this can be achieved when your website only have product descriptions and a couple of discount headlines? Of course not! When search engine bots crawl your website, content is the first thing they look for to index your web pages.

They go through the content to check whether your web pages can resolve user query or not. In such a scenario, if your website lacks in providing content, it would become quite difficult for the crawler to index your pages.

Furthermore, when you publish blogs on your website, you can add links to product pages and establish a proper internal linking. This ensures proper flow of the link juice across different web pages. As a result, your product pages start to rank higher as well.

However, it’s important to perform thorough research before publishing any type of content on your e-commerce website. Basically, your goal should be to publish content which has the potential to attract your target audience. You can achieve this goal either by publishing posts regarding special discounts you’re offering or by writing about any new trend in the industry.

Here are a couple of things you should remember while writing blog posts.

  • Make sure to optimize your content for potential keywords. However, do not overdo it as keyword stuffing can damage the overall website performance and can even lead to a Google penalty.
  • Publish lengthy blog posts as content length is one of the rankings factors. If you click on the first three results from SERP, these posts are more likely to have 2000+ word length. It means that Google focuses on content length while ranking a web page.  
  • Don’t be a copycat as Google is smart enough to understand whether you have published original content or simply copied it from somewhere else.
  • Write blog posts which provide value to your target audience. At the end of the day, your sole purpose is to increase ecommerce traffic to your website and this can be only achieved when your blog posts manage to engage a customer.

#2 Blog Content Helps You  Establish a Brand Name

blog content is kingThink of it like this when your website is the only one in your niche that cares about publishing content, you’ll automatically be considered as an industry expert. Buyers, especially millennials,

are getting smart every day. They no longer just want to grab the best discount and buy a certain item as soon as it releases. Rather they want to go deeper and research how a certain product can help them in their daily life.

So, when you put informative content, say product review, for instance, you provide your audience with something valuable. They can read the review and decide whether to make a purchase or not.  It means that by publishing content on your e-commerce website, you help customers to make better shopping decisions.

#3 A Blog Builds Better Customer-Relations

Ecommerce blog builds relationships

By publishing content, you can answer user queries and provide users with optimal solutions. There are so many instances when customers cannot find any solution to their queries and therefore, never complete the purchase.

Note down the most common problems your customers experience and write down blogs which provide resolve these problems. These blog posts can be tutorials discussing how to install a certain product or can include answers to FAQs regarding a certain product. Whichever topic you target, publishing blogs will help you nurture better customer relations.

#4 A Blog Builds an Online Community

blog helps you build an online community

Blogs also let you build an online community. When you’ll publish blogs on your website, customers are more likely to drop comments. This would encourage others to leave their comments as well, and eventually, you could start a discussion in the comment section itself.

However, it is important that you participate in this discussion as well and reply to each comment to show that you care about the customer’s opinion.

There’s also a huge probability that your blog posts may receive comments from spammers as well. To avoid such a scenario, you can install any of the spam blocker plugins to prevent people from leaving spam comments.

#5 A Blog Can Attract Free Organic Traffic – Get Best Ecommerce Traffic

Blog gets you free organic traffic

Last but certainly not the least, content help you attract organic traffic without paying a single penny for promotions. If your content has the potential and pinpoints the right area, it’ll automatically drive organic traffic to your website.

Of course, you can utilize social media platforms to promote your blog posts, but that’s something which doesn’t cost anything. Once your web pages have achieved the desired search engine rankings, you can follow certain SEO practices to sustain these rankings.

Sum it Up…

If you want to improve your ecommerce website’s sales, content marketing can be an effective tool. However, make sure to follow the right content optimization tactics as unethical approaches can even damage your rankings as well.

Author Bio : Sunit Panwar is chief technology officer at RV Technologies. He is very passionate about implementing new technologies in developing innovative mobile development and website development.  

He constantly looks forward to various interesting ideas and ways to implement them with advanced functionalities. He keeps on inspiring the developers with new functionalities, ideas as well as tools.

 

  

Ecommerce Dedicated Hosting

How a Dedicated Server Can SuperCharge Your Ecommerce Store

Growing businesses often underrate the significance of dedicated servers. A dedicated server belongs to computers with access to the internet, belonging to the same client. It enables you to use the entirety of server paraphernalia.

An Enterprise Dedicated Hosting offers exclusivity that lets you configure your website the best way for you. It adds a layer of stability and security that are common to shared servers. A dedicated server is a tad bit pricier than shared hosting and also requires technical knowledge to run smoothly.

Despite the complications, dedicated hosting is the best solution for creating a unique hosting environment.

What does it mean to have a dedicated hosting?

If you are a layperson with no prior knowledge of hosting, do not worry as we have got you covered! In simpler terms, a dedicated hosting server translates to you have absolute control of the physical server to its very root system.

The hardware can be configured according to your needs, and the installation of software is done in accordance to your choice. The only difficulty other than price is the need for proper knowledge. Technical expertise will ensure that you do not disrupt your business.

The significance of dedicated hosting to an ecommerce business

Ecommerce is the millennial idea that deserves our utmost attention. Due to its growth and boost in sales, ecommerce has brought a boom in hosting services.

A majority of brick and mortar businesses are now opting the ecommerce channel to reach a far greater target audience.

Quality hosting services can aid smaller businesses and established chains of retail both transition to an efficient online outlet for their products and services.

 An ecommerce site should be able to support sales round the clock while handling concurrent viewers from even the farthest corners on the globe. To generate optimal revenues, your ecommerce site must establish a distinct impression that highlights its uniqueness in the growing competition.

The performance of your ecommerce site falls back on the web hosting service that builds security and confidence among your clients and helps you reach the sales goals you’ve set for the week, month, or year.

Since we have already spoken to you about the significance of dedicated hosting, here is a list of four reasons to strengthen the argument in favor of dedicated hosting. We hope that after reading this article, our readers will have definite answers about the future of their ecommerce site.

4 Important reasons why Ecommerce Businesses should shift to Dedicated Hosting

#1 Authenticity

The website on dedicated hosting has a separate ensconced environment which helps them deliver reliable performance. Accuracy in configurations supports the maintenance of the network that aids you in reaching the height of uptime; which in turn multiplies profits.

Your sites speed, level of responsiveness and availability helps you build a loyal customer base. Once your authenticity is proven by reliable performance, you are likely to receive repeat orders from your loyal customers.

#2 Increased security

One of your company’s data centers is the most likely location of your dedicated server. The ideal hosting provider will secure your physical server along with the data center. Monitoring the server environment can be done through multiple ways such as surveillance camera, software, intrusion alerts and routine checks by professionals.

Cyber-attacks on your financial information and customer data are both protected by an effective, dedicated host.

#3 Better storage capacity

Any ecommerce site that’s still in its stage of initial growth needs to save many data files and thousands of images of products, graphic design and what not! The need to secure customer data, prospect information, shipping and inventory records, applications and the company database are a few examples of massive files that require much space for storage.

This volume could potentially measure in gigabytes hence the need for an expensive hosting due to its large server hard drive expands your data storage space without placing any restrictions.

#4 Financially effective

Dedicated hosting is without a doubt pricier than shared hosting.

But when one examines the bigger picture, investing in a dedicated hosting is considered cost-effective. It helps your company by preventing the purchase of physical servers and leasing of high-bandwidth connections.

The hardware maintenance and need of fewer IT engineers is yet another way to save money in the long run. 

A safe, stable and well-managed server environment helps prevent disastrous breaches of data or run-ins with malware that are proven to be highly dangerous for you as a company and also for your customers.

This threat can potentially ruin your business and waste all of your effort, energy, time and resources put into the store.  

Final Words

So we have seen the significance of dedicated hosting four strong reasons why one should favor dedicated hosting for eCommerce Hosting. Hence opting for a Dedicated Hosting environment gets you the best value eCommerce hosting.  This is also the reason why you see small businesses opting for Dedicated Hosting as best eCommerce hosting option. This also applies for magento hosting as well.

ABOUT Alycia Gordan

Alycia Gordan is a freelance writer who loves to read and write articles on healthcare technology, fitness and lifestyle. She is a tech junkie and divides her time between travel and writing. You can find her on Twitter: @meetalycia

 

Featureed Image Credit: Source

How to start a great Online Store – A startup guide

What is an Online Store?

Can i start one?

How do i start an online store?

I know of eBay and Amazon, is there similarity?

Am going to answer all those questions in a detailed easy way. Let’s start somewhere. The internet was developed primarily for sharing information. Over the years, it has evolved so much. Online stores belong to a group of internet services known as Electronic Commerce simply ecommerce. Ecommerce refers to buying and selling products and services over the internet. eBay and Amazon fall under this.

An Online store is therefore a website that lets visitors to browse and search for products and pay for them, just like in a regular physical store.

In this article, i have summed up the key points that that am going to explain in depth:

  • PROS and CONS of starting an online store
  • Business Plan: Mastering your Products, Services, Market, Shipping Costs, Taxes, Competitions, Domain & Hosting costs etc.
  • Building your own Online Store. (From Scratch, Trying Bigcommerce Store Builder)

PROS & CONS of Starting an Online Store

PROS:

There are many benefits you get when you become your own boss, which exactly translates to running any business like an online store. Let’s have a look at these pros.

  • Costs. Generally, e-commerce businesses are much cheaper to run than physical retail stores. You are not entitled to paying rent, electricity bills, water bills, hiring additional employees as much of the work can be managed by small number of people. All these costs will however apply to your website and other expenses. This will be a business like any other thus you wouldn’t consider free hosting. Buying a domain, looking for a sufficient hosting package and some tech support and consultation will take a small fee.
  • Vast Customer Base. When you start an online store, your market place is not limited to location. If you can deliver or ship your products over distant areas, then your customer reach is unlimited over the internet. Think of eBay or Amazon, they can ship their products in many countries
  • Establishing Unique Identity. If you want to make the customer think differently about your online products, build your own online store website. Customers will perceive new or beginner sellers at Amazon or eBay as “hmmm just another seller…same product here”. Customers will tend to try out new exciting product base, that way; they don’t get used to or accustomed to the old ways of doing things. This will be your niche, showing yourself out from the crowd.

CONS:

Every business has its bottlenecks. The internet is a tricky place when it comes to convincing people to buy your product. The list below describes these bottlenecks.

  • Advertising Costs. Basically by now you know what am talking about. Wherever you are, you’ve seen small start up online stores advertising a lot on different platforms. Websites selling smart phones, electronics or clothes will spend a lot to advertise. As you would likely not have customers by day one, you will be forced to do this, so as to promote your business
  • There may be substantial additional costs. Setting up your own online store website will require you buying services from experienced web design experts to design you website from scratch. If not, you would try out reputable online store builders like Bigcommerce. They offer you a package at a fee, then you choose a theme – that may cost you even $200.

The Business Plan

Any business whether small or medium sized will require a business plan. You will need to know what products (physical or digital – digital products won’t require shipment) or services you will be offering. You will need to decide how you will be shipping your products. Will you be delivering your product straight from home or, will you plan for a warehouse which will be your storage and delivery point?

A great business plan must include:

  • Products & Services – Decide source of your product
  • Market Research – Do thorough market research, identify your customers and competitors,
  • Layout all costs (Finances) in this case domain & web hosting costs, tech support, shipping costs, Taxes, employee wages, advertisement costs, business setup costs etc.

Building your own Online Store.

You need to register a domain name. It should be short, interesting and easy to remember. After purchasing a domain, you need to look for hosting. Look for reputable hosting companies like Hostgator, Blue Host among others. Many companies offer this both, inclusive of domain cost.

After registering a domain and Hosting, you can proceed on either of options below:

  • Hiring Experts to design your online store website, from scratch or
  • Buying packages from online store builders e.g. Bigcommerce.

The first option is straight to the point. There are many web design experts out there. All you need to do is contact them, discuss your requirements and they build you the website.

Am going to show you why Bigcommerce is a reputable e-commerce store builder you should put on top of your list!


Bigcommerce Online Store Builder

Bigcommerce is something to try out. It’s suitable for those with businesses already and they wish to expand their customer base to the internet, or total beginners.

I did my research online, trust me; Bigcommerce offers you everything you buy in your package. I want to emphasize that, many store builders would tell you, they offer this and that, but in fact it’s never there! For example, the dashboard in your package at Bigcommerce has setup tools that you can actually use.

bigcommerce

They will offer you a 15 Day free trial, to move around each customization. The appearance of your online store will determine whether a customer will stick on your store or search another one.

Top 10 Features about Bigcommerce that intrigued me:

1)      Bigcommerce Genuine 24/7 Support to get you started. The unlimited customer support is categorised under: Support Portal, Knowledge Base, Community Forum, Bigcommerce ideas, Bigcommerce University, Tutorials etc. Well, that is quite enough to get you started as a total beginner. You can decide to learn the basics before you start up. There are video tutorials to help you get going as well.

 Support Categories

support

 Support Portal. You can quickly get help by searching. You will have access to tons of step by step tutorials

help

 

Community Forum. Here users post information on “how-to-questions”, comments and user experiences. You can browse through and see whether there is anything similar to what you are searching for. If not, simply post your question and you’ll get help from the site admin or the users.

community forum

 

Video Tutorials. Instead of searching for answers through typing, or even chatting, there are many video tutorials to get you started. The topics covered are building your store, attracting shoppers, creating buyers and Building loyalty.

video tutorials

2)      Their 15 Day Free Trial Package. You don’t even require a credit card to sign up this free service. The process is very easy- fill out data on just 6 input boxes, and you are done! Check your email for signup details and log in. Continue to customizing your store. Where you are stuck, search for help.

signup_process

3)      Genuine Setup Tools. There is a rich list of setup tools freely available to you. The list is long, trust me, take your time and learn them all. They include Setting up your store, Customizing your store, Advanced Tools and Integrations

tools

4)      Simplicity. Bigcommerce offers a simple control panel that any user can master in no time.

Bigcommerce gives you full access on the following dashboard tools:

  • Orders. This section will display all orders, abandoned orders and orders awaiting payment and shipment, pre-orders, archived, refunded and shipped orders.
  • Products. You are your own boss, therefore this amazing complete set of product tools will let you:

>> View Products. You can click on most featured, last imported, products out of stock, Visible and non visible etc.

>> Add new unlimited number of products place each under your own defined categories

>> Edit product categories

>> Search products. Use advanced search to search for specific product

products_search

>> Import & Export products

>> Product options i.e. colour, size, and style

>> Brands and Reviews etc.

  • Customers. You can view all your customers, add or delete them, export and import your customers
  • Web Content. This is an amazing feature. It includes a blog for your store (where you can write your blog posts), web pages like “about us” or “contact us”. The added image manager lets you upload images to your store.
  • Marketing Tools. This menu unleashes a whole set of great marketing tools including the new Google Trusted Stores and Traffic Engine tools.

Apart from the above, you can sell on facebook, eBay, view banners & coupon codes, Google shopping feeds, abandoned cart notifications, gift certificates and email marketing.

  • Analytics. These include general options of an overview snapshot – total revenues, unique visitors, completed and conversion rates. On addition to that, you can view top 20 customers, best selling products and order locations. These will give you some decisions to make regarding your store. Example, you can stock more on your best selling product.
  • Quick launch Wizard. This is an awesome tool that lets you get started quickly.

The wizard gives you step by step guide on setting up your store.

Steps:

>> Storefront. These include your store name, design and logo.

>> Products. Adding and organizing items

>> Checkout. Payment, Shipping & Tax.

>> Launch. Domain and final checks. Bigcommerce lets you point to your own domain if you had one before, or purchase new one from them

quick launch

5)      A rich set of templates to choose from, both free and premium. Your online store theme will determine whether customers will actually stick around or search for other stores. Bigcommerce has the best collection of themes to choose from.

  • To find templates, go to Design, and then click on themes tab. You can edit html/css of your template, download your theme or upload another using webDav

code

  • You will see your current theme. You can change to another theme on “available themes”. Browse through available themes, select your choice and check where available. Then apply settings. Notice that your previous template/theme customizations will be deleted.

templates


themes

 

You can buy a premium theme but soon find that something needs some tweaking. You hire an expert to correct that. Its quite simple as there is the code interface as well as design interface.

Exporting Templates

You can build your own export template from scratch or customize a copy of one to suit your needs. You export templates mainly to a newly created site, or transferring specific products from your site.

To access export template feature:

  • Go to Set Up & Tools > Advanced Tools > Export Templates. You will view ready pre-installed templates to choose from.
  • To create a new template, under Template Details > Template name, type a name for your template. Use a unique name i.e. products if you are exporting products.
  • You can edit and delete export templates as well as create a new one.

export_template

6)      Huge list of options supporting different online ventures. If you currently run jewellery, fashion, electronics, health, Gifts, Home ware etc, you can easily start by selecting these.

industries_showcase

7)      Bigcommerce offers you with everything you need. Depending on your package, you are entitled to a website, Domain name, secure shopping cart, Product catalog, Payment Gateway, Email accounts, marketing tools, Reporting and a mobile optimized store. Instead of you spending time looking for hosting and domains, Bigcommerce takes that from your shoulders so that you concentrate on customizing your online store. Sounds great right?

>>There are more than 60 – payment gateways to choose from like PayPal, Authorize etc.

>> Bigcommerce gives you unlimited options on customizing your products i.e. flexible rules on products and inventory

>> Bigcommerce lets your products available wherever your customers are whether at facebook, eBay or shopzilla.

8)      Bigcommerce Appstore Support: These apps help you add more capabilities to your store ranging from accounts to email marketing applications. Some are free and others are premium. If you want to sell on Facebook, twitter among other social networks and eCommerce cross platform networks like eBay, you will have a list to get you started.

apps

These apps will integrate your store anywhere be it your website, affiliate websites, eBay, Facebook, blogs etc. They will triple your store functions. You will get benefits from email marketing apps, social media apps, accounting apps, merchandising apps, order management apps, point of sale etc.

Some of the popular apps include: LeadDyno (Affiliate Tracking Software), Apptive, BrightPearl, PicknTell etc. See picture below.

popular_apps

9)      Social Media Integration. Bigcommerce lets you connect your store to the outside social community, doubling if not tripling number of your site visits.

socialmedia

10)  Money Value Pricing Plans. Choose the plan that befits your needs.

>> Silver Plan: $29.95/month

>> Gold: $79.95/month

>> Platinum: $199.95/month.

plans

 

11)  Mobile eCommerce. Since the invention of smart phones and tablets, there has been a huge number of internet users globally, all tracked from these small mobile devices. Bigcommerce provides you with a mobile-friendly storefronts and a mobile app to tap more on what tablets and smart phones can give you while still managing your store from the go. On addition to that, Bigcommerce lets you enable mobile templates (mobile version of your store) for your store. Visitors using their mobile devices will see your store website load in a sleek responsive layout on your screen, if these templates are enabled.

Steps: How to enable Mobile Themes

  • Log in to your control panel
  • Click on design, then locate mobile tab

mobile_themes

  • Select on enable mobile theme. You can download a template, choose a mobile logo, and you are set!

PROS & CONS of Bigcommerce

PROS

  • Excellent setup tools that you can actually use.
  • Simplicity. The dashboard is easy to master.
  • There is plenty of help and support through articles and video tutorials, and a page where you can actually suggest something or service to be done differently!

CONS

  • Absence of Multilanguage language on stores. Bigcommerce supports only the western English at this time. This is a big blow to owners of stores at Bigcommerce since penetrating the internet market on regions where English is not spoken is a problem. By far this seems to be the major drawback. To solve this, an online store owner must seek services from a programmer to write third party code on the base code of Bigcommerce, so that their stores are translated into the languages of their choice.
  • Bigcommerce charges extra for an Amazon or eBay store. The above mentioned problem plus this one and additional charges on themes/templates and buying your preferred monthly plan may incur a beginner store owner more cash than they thought.

 Summary

There are many online store builders out there. So far, Bigcommerce stands out of the crowd as an excellent eCommerce solution. Bigcommerce is best at its cutting edge email marketing and shopping cart tools. Shoppers have the advantage of secure online shopping and 60+ payment options to choose from! The services you buy, you get just that
You’ve got to try their 15 day trial.