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10 Marketing Skills To Double Your eCommerce Sales in 2018

Do you know which was the first ecommerce business? Or which eCommerce business first achieved profit in the industry? Jeff Bazos launched Amazon back in 1995 but they achieved first yearly profit in December 2001 (Fourth quarter). Amazon survived after dot com burst and became a giant player in online sales business. Each and every day new eCommerce business launches and shutting down and only they survives in the industry who knows how to grab and retain customers with effective eCommerce marketing strategies. Let’s talk about some marketing skills which help you to double eCommerce sales in 2018.

If there is any business which sells products, makes money and in most cases, even making profits; it should be eCommerce business. But this was not the case for some time. Five years ago, eCommerce was quite different from what it is today.

The bottom-line was not so robust as it is today. Ecommerce Stores have embraced new ways to market themselves. And if your ecommerce store is struggling to join the league of profit making online stores, here are some skills you must develop right away. As 2017 is already gone, it is better you start now so that 2018 can be marked as an year of record-breaking sales in your timeline.

#1 Content Marketing for eCommerce

Bill Gates predicted it in 1996 and rightly mentioned the importance of content. The truth is no different today. Content is undoubtedly the King in today’s marketing. No business can hope to win customer’s attention without content.

Why content wins?

content-is-kingImage Source

Well, there are various reasons behind this but when it comes to eCommerce, content can be helpful in different ways explained below:

  • Compared to the cost involved, other forms of advertisement are not feasible in generating leads or conversions
  • Telemarketing has literally hit a dead end, thanks to call identification and blocking mobile apps
  • Networking is soon running out of its shine as a potential mine for leads

Pro Tip:

For eCommerce businesses, it is always challenging to keep unique and compelling content for their product pages. In such situation, the right content strategy will make your website unique as compare to your competitors selling same product. Proper implementation of user generated content can be best bet for you. Here is the best example of BestBuy.com utilizing this opportunity by asking for product reviews from the buyers:

In other words, content marketing can become best marketing weapon for your eCommerce stores if planned and implemented properly.

#2 Data Collection and Decision Making

“He who wants to have pearls must dive below. “

~ John Dryden

Putting that age old adage in today’s context, he who wants to know customers up close must search for data. As the old age saying goes, if you want to know how to make customers buy and what excites them into a buying frenzy, you must first know their preferences.

Thanks to advanced web technologies like user heat mapping, Data Mining, etc. it is now easy to read customer behavior like a textbook. There is plenty of data coming in from various sources which, if segregated and analysed properly will help one find pearls, or in this case, customer behavioral pattern.

Once you have a clear picture of your customers’ preferences, fine tuning your online selling strategy to satisfy them is a task easily done.

Especially when you are marketing for specific festival, data provided by agencies on customer intent can play best role.

#3 UI/UX Design for All Different Devices

The year of 2018 will repeat like any other previous years, but with better design. UI and UX have become critical checkpoints for customers to like or dislike an online store. If your store has a brilliant UI that can deliver engaging UX, you are saved.

On the flip side, go back to drawing board and fabricate a new UI design that will delivery high on UX. keep perfecting it until the UX goes from being good to great. Be informed that missing falling short of delivering an upscale UX will cost you more than 38% of online customers (Source: Adobe). Recent study shows that the mobile sales has already surpassed the desktop sales and it is growing rapidly, you must optimize your UI for all different devices.

#4 Web vs Mobile App Version

Don’t ignore mobile app! Yes, if you are not having mobile app for your eCommerce business, you may loosing good amount of business. It will help you to stay connected with buyers with push notifications about your offers and exclusive promotion for mobile app users.

If you are having limited budget and want to manage A basic understanding of HTML and CSS can go a long way in maintaining and modifying your online store. Moreover, how long can you spend money hiring a web designer or a freelancer for every single modification?

A better proposition will be to learn few hacks in web development that will help you prep your website, both in terms of design and functionalities. Further, once you learn to code, you will be able to exercise more control over your marketing and SEO optimization.

#5 Shopping Ads + Dynamic Re-marketing Ads = Best Combination

If done right, eCommerce stores can reap several benefits from shopping ads. Although it seems to be complex on the onset, its functioning can be easily understood with some effort. Once you understand how shopping ads works and how its results can be measured you will see big improvement in conversions and can save on cost per conversions as compare to search ads.

Google shoppings ads iphone x

You can explore the various possibilities of display advertising through dynamic display ads, video ads, search network ads, display banners, etc. all of which can be done on your own using free and paid web tools. Some Internet platforms to try display advertising include eCommerce websites, high-traffic websites, blogs, video sharing websites, social networks, etc.

Pro Tip:

Start building remarketing list audiences based on different actions and serve dynamic display ads optimized for specific audiences. It can dramatically improve the view through conversions can result in better ROI. Here is the best example of how amazon is showing ads (Dynamic remarketing) of the product I visited recently.

#6 Email Marketing

Email marketing has the magic potion to lure back those customers who abandoned their carts mid-way. You can do email marketing in three modes:

  1. As regular promotions for ongoing sales offers
  2. Scheduled shooting of targeted offers to specific customer groups
  3. Re Engagement campaigns that will sustain the brand loyalty of customers

email marketing

Image Source

Now, the difficult part – should you outsource or do it yourself? In 2018, we suggest you take the DIY route. If you manage to do email marketing on your own, it will not prove to be cost-effective but will also help you pitch to your customers in a personal tone. Outsourced agents may not help you achieve that personal tone in an email pitch.

See how Petflow multiplied its conversions through personalized and targeted email marketing campaigns.

As you can see from above, they have set a fetching email subject line, a visible display of their product rating, a very prominent discount offer, product recommendations followed by real customer feedback. Now, as a customer can you resist ignoring this email campaign?

Steps for email marketing (When ecommerce store should shoot emails)

#7 Importance of SSL certificate for eCommerce

Norton, Symantec SSL Certificate, AVG Security and the other members of the online security industry are raising warning sirens about growing eCommerce frauds and scandals. If you thought cyber security is all about securing your data, you are wrong. It also has a marketing edge to it.

Your organic SEO ranking is largely dependent on your online store’s security. Google, since 2014 has been tweaking its algorithm to rank those websites with proper security higher than those without proper security measures.

That is why we recommend investing in a well-chosen SSL certificate that will encrypt your website. It will not only secure your domains and sub-domains but will also go a long way in boosting conversions.

Moreover, cyber security also earns customer trust. It gives them an assurance that their personal data is kept safe from hacker’s prying eyes. Displaying trust seals in your website will also help boost customer retention rates.

#8 Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization, popularly referred to as SEO is the cornerstone marketing tactic that is helping online businesses grab customer attention by the collar. SEO primarily revolves around the use of targeted keywords and phrases that customers commonly use for getting work done.

Why is SEO important for you? First of all, it is free! If you can create organic traffic to your website through SEO activities you stand to profit quite a lot in terms of marketing spending.

Secondly, it is highly productive. Google and other search engines have created a level field where in those web pages with the right SEO marketing tactic can rise above without any difficulty. eCommerce marketing should always have SEO strategy at first place as it drives the maximum traffic and sales.

SEO is easy to understand and master, thanks to tons of free materials available online. Right from scratch to advanced SEO techniques, you can master the Internet and make it work for you.

Pro Tip:

Traditional SEO technique will not help much when you are working to promote eCommerce website with 100s or 1000s of products. Here, formation of URL structure and categorization with highly targeted products along with properly utilization of canonical tags is very important.

#9 Video Marketing

“Forrester researcher Dr. James McQuivey estimates that one minute of video is equal to 1.8 million words.”

A video can convey a message better than a full-page article. Video production is ramping in scale across the digital marketing universe. Moreover, a video can easily communicate with a viewer easier than a written article or a designed graphic.

Video creation has become easier and affordable thanks to the many apps that are available in app stores and video sharing websites. In fact, YouTube itself offers a Video editor and Photo Slideshow creator with which one can create 1080p videos for marketing purposes.

Can it drive conversions? Unbounce reports that including video on a landing page can increase conversion by 80%. Now you know why video marketing is a skill you cannot afford to miss in the coming days.

#10 Social media marketing

Do you know? Social media has evolved as an entire marketing tool of its own. Social listening is the next Big Thing that will change the way we shop and browse for everyday things.

If you thought getting likes, retweets and favorites for your posts were nothing significant, think again. For an online brand like Amazon, eBay or even PayPal, social media is a powerful weapon to beat competition and to mark their own market share.

Here are some social media channels worth exploring to build your online presence in 2018:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • Quora

Users always find it compelling to share with their immediate social circles about their recent buys or wish lists. In such a scenario, social media can also double up as a virtual platform for word of mouth publicity. Stores that provide public sharing of customer purchases have a fair chance of winning more traffic & conversions.


In 2018, eCommerce industry is all set to sail into a higher turnover range. Is your online store prepped to take a share of the market? Most importantly, are you in tune to market your store better? These 10 online marketing tactics will boost your store’s presence way more than what you can do with a paid agency.

Start learning right away and put yourself on the launch pad to eCommerce success. Do not forget to keep in mind the needs and wants of your end users when you are scheming for new marketing campaigns. In the end, Customer is King.

How to Identify and Recover from Google Penalties

Search Engine Optimization has gone stricter after the introduction of Google Algorithms like Penguin and Panda. I have seen many bloggers and websites have seen sudden drop in traffic due to manual or algorithmic penalties by search giant Google. There are still several websites that have not been able to stand up to the new updates and are losing their credibility along with profits. So what could be a certain solution?

Understand the reason of Google Penalty

Before you remove links or submit disavow request, it is very important to understand the reason behind the loss of traffic. In case of manual spam penalties, Google sends notifications to website owners through Google webmaster tool. Whereas in algorithmic penalties you will not receive any notifications. If you observe huge traffic drops, checkout Google algorithm updates history section at Moz to understand the reason behind it. The most common reason behind the penalty is; bad linking. Lets us learn to identify such bad links with the help of aHrefs tool.

google penalty notice

Google, as such lays severe penalty on websites and blogs that try to reach the top of SERPs in inorganic ways. Not only can the SERP rankings can go down but in extreme cases, Google may even choose to thrown away far in the SERPs and are doomed never to be easily encountered. If you want to save your website and blog from Google Penalty then must follow Google Webmaster guidelines properly. Build your brand by organic way else they will ban you.

Identifying Bad Links

The latest Google Penguin updates have come up with thorough guidelines for the use of backlinking in to the website. Several things that were previously considered permissible now fall under the category of bad links or inorganic backlinks. This move has been taken by Google discourage websites building links to improve organic search rankings. Website owners, as such need to understand what is being passed as relevant and what is punished for being Spammy.

Any backlink /hyperlink within web pages that in intended to manipulate SEO ranking is considered as a “Link Scheme” by Google. This is inclusive of any part of the content that tries to manipulate outgoing links from a webpage. Google have certain policy for Link Schemes here are the some examples:

  • Selling/buying links that have passed PageRank, including schemes that offer a user a free service/product in exchange of posting a link
  • Excessive partner pages / link exchanges
  • User automated programs for creating links
  • Marketing with keyword rich anchor text and similar guest posting campaigns

To understand better:

  1. Paid links are incoming and outgoing links that are embedded in blogs/content and are paid for. Many marketers’ partners use paid link building strategies to generate the most backlinks. It is very difficult for search engine to identify paid link building strategies but Google is capable to identify the link pattern followed by particular webmasters. The recent Google PNB penalty is the best example of it.
  2. Link exchange is a process wherein two websites tie up with one another to promote the other’s website/web pages.
  3. Advertorial are advertisement campaigns that contain too much of backlinking in order to gain maximum attention and traffic. Google strongly recommend using nofollow attribute on such links which are built to draw traffic and not a link juice.
  4. Low quality guest posting is often done exclusively to integrate anchor keywords into the webpage and trying to win over SERP ranking.

How to find Backlinks?

There are several ways to identify backlinks built for your websites from an earlier SEO practice. The three widely used methods are:

  1. Searching manually on Google
  2. Checking every link to your website provided by Google Webmasters tool
  3. Checking and analyze link pattern with the help of tools which are specially designed by considering this needs. Ahrefs is one of my favorite tool I am using for all my Google penalty recovery clients to understand their bad linking. Here is the detailed explanation about this unique tool and its features to find spammy links.
  4. You can also study the backlink data of the winners & looser nicely explained in this blog post.

Some Important Features of AHrefs:

  • SEO Report
  • Domain comparison
  • Batch Analysis
  • Backlink Report and
  • Site Explorer / Backlink checker

This tool can also be highly useful if you want to check upon the link acquisition pattern of competitor website and come up with something more unique and impressive. AHrefs.com gives accurate backlinks report of any website because it has large database of domains, keywords & backlinks. Available both as a “free” and “premium” tool, it is being used by many marketers across the globe to get a competitive advantage as far as content and link building is concerned.

How to use Ahrefs.com and find bad Backlinks

Web marketers just need to enter the URL they are concerned with in the Ahrefs.com interface and the results show up themselves. As such, it is very easy to use and one doesn’t require any technical knowledge to run through the process. The interface will automatically warn again errors in URL formats. However, Ahrefs.com doesn’t allow searching for backlinks based on keywords.

ahrefs dashboard

AHrefs.com also allows to export backlinks report with internal/external links & Link URL/Link anchor text. It also allows you to filter backlinks by 1 backlink per domain to understand the pattern easily.

ahrefs backlinks

Ahrefs.com also allows finding all anchor texts present in web page content. If your website is penalized in Google penguin updates, this feature will help you to understand the anchor text distribution of the backlinks. Google is strictly against un-natural anchor text based backlinks.

ahrefs anchor text backlinks

The most important feature of AHrefs.com is that it also allows backlinks report by referring domain. It means it will give only domain names where backlinks are existed. User can also check the backlinks report on particular domain.

ahrefs domain links

This report will help you to identify the relevancy of domain from which your websites is getting backlinks. By identifying non relevant baclinks, you can easily create the disallow file containing these domains. Once you have gone through the Ahrefs.com interface a couple of times, it gets easier and faster to search for backlinks and content elements that can present a SEO setback.

Recovering from Google penalty is not an easy job so we understand this process will be tough for you but don’t worry; after filtering the backlinks data as explained earlier, follow below process.

AHrefs.com also allows to export all backlinks in excel format so one can easily filter all backlinks by anchor text and total external links. Once you entered the URL of your website, export the backlinks in CSV format.

ahrefs export file

Once you export the backlinks data in excel format, checkout this wonderful detailed guide by Brandon explaining each steps to filter out bad backlinks using different MS excel formulas. .

As backlinks plays very important role in organic rankings, we must understand which backlinks are good for website and which backlinks are spammy/bad for website. If you remove quality backlinks for your websites, it may harm your rankings after recovery.

Once you filter the links as explained in given article, here are the steps to recover your website.

How to remove bad backlinks and recover from Google penalties?

Manual spam recovery process requires you to follow some simple steps explain below.

  1. Follow given process to identify bad backlinks to your website and manually remove all those un-natural, non relevant and spammy backlinks by login into website/forum/directory etc… where backlinks are appeared (If have credentials). If you do not have credential or control over website, I strongly recommend sending link removal request to website owner.
  2. Once you manually removed the backlinks, create the list of remaining links which are still there and could not remove by manual request.
  3. Create a disavow list that includes all those links which you want Google to disavow from passing link juice and submit this file from Google webmaster tool.
  4. Once you are done, apply for re-inclusion request, and it’s done!

In case of algorithmic penalties, first 2 steps will remains same but for recovery, you will have to wait for next Google updates. Here you need to understand one very important point; recovery doesn’t mean you recover all your old organic rankings & traffic. Here recovery means, you will start seeing your website back in organic search result depending upon your current website domain authority and link qualities.

How to recover your 100% organic traffic?

This one is obviously the main reason behind doing all specified exercise. I have seen 100s of examples about Google penalty recovery but only few of them recovered their 100% organic traffic. The reason is very obvious that the links previously contributing to their organic ranks are now removed or identified as a spam and overall backlink contribution has declined which directly result in lower organic presence. The best and most recommended way to recover your 100% organic traffic is to generate linkable content.

Here I have explained complete content marketing strategy that will help you to start building effective content to educate your target audiences. If your content can help your target audiences, you will definitely gain organic backlinks to those content and will see improvement in your organic rankings.

It’s actually quite easy to work on bad backlinks, you just need to be honest with your link building strategies. There’s no shortcut in rising to the top, it’s all about quality.

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