How To Grow Your ECommerce Business With Inbound

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How to Drive Visits andConversion on Your ShopifyStore with Inbound MarketingMichael Redbord & Mike Ewing

iiHow to Grow your eCommerce Business with Inbound MarketingeCommerce Inbound Marketing is:1. Getting found online by creating, optimizing andpromoting remarkable content2. Converting traffic into transactions and remarketable leads3. Measuring your marketing and sales data to growyour businessTweet this eBook!

ContentsHow Inbound Marketing Can Help Your Website and Shopify Store . 1Build interaction and visibility for more traffic . 1Capture more email addresses for more sales. 1Measure traffic and funnel yield . 1Growing Your Sales & Marketing Funnel. 1The eCommerce marketing funnel . 1What is an eCommerce lead? . 1How to Drive More Traffic to Your Website and Shopify Store . 1Utilize marketplaces and data feeds . 1Convert marketplace customers into customers of your website and Shopify Store. 1SEO for Store Product Pages . 1Develop a uniform and clean website structure . 1Create unique product titles . 1Go beyond the manufacturer’s description, too . 1Create your own optimized images . 1Use heading tags . 1Optimize internal anchor text . 1Include secondary navigation for all internal pages . 1How to Blog for eCommerce . 1What to write about . 1Make your content remarkable . 1Don’t over-think it . 1Engage users with your brand and products . 1Leveraging Social Media for eCommerce. 1Follow in your customers’ footsteps . 1Secure your social media accounts . 1Listen and respond . 1Convert social media traffic into leads . 1Monitor the competition . 1Capture Visitor Information Sooner for More Sales Later . 1Create calls to action that drive traffic and transactions . 1Landing pages that convert . 1Email nurturing campaigns that drive repeat traffic . 1Measure and Optimize Traffic Sources . 1Attributing purchases to traffic sources . 1Cart abandonments . 1Analyze and repeat successes. 1Get Started with Inbound Marketing . 1How HubSpot Can Help . 1

iiHow to Grow your eCommerce Business with Inbound MarketingHow Inbound Marketing Can Help YourWebsite and Shopify StoreInbound Marketing is the practice of creating remarkable content to attract morepotential consumers to your website and store, and converting them into customersthrough remarketing and reengagement.Over the course of this eBook, you will learn specific inbound marketing methodologiesthat will help you grow your online sales. This ebook surveys the basics of inboundmarketing: getting found, converting, and analyzing traffic and sales.Build interaction and visibility for more trafficAn increase in new and repeat visitors to your website and Shopify Store will allow yourproducts to be in front of more people more often, generating additional sales for yourstore. eCommerce businesses understand this principle well, and apply it daily with atraffic acquisition strategy that drives sales.Think about your site and the pages on it. Does it include content beyond productpages? How much of your content is unique to your site? Do you blog? By employingunique content creation as a foundational piece of your marketing strategy, you createpowerful assets to attract more consumers at different stages in the buying process.Unique, remarkable content that is relevant to your products and buyers will turn yoursite into a magnet for people researching, comparing, and purchasing your products.This vision of a site’s content as a magnet for traffic is the central pillar to inboundmarketing.Capture more email addresses for more salesInbound marketing provides mechanisms to create value for site visitors earlier in thebuying process. As the buying process evolves from research to purchase, you wantyour store to be in front of consumers as often as possible.If you can capture consumer email addresses early in the buying process while usingeffective remarketing techniques, your store will be top-of-mind when the consumer isready to buy. A key principle of inbound marketing is to present visitors who are not yetTweet this eBook!

iii How to Grow your eCommerce Business with Inbound Marketingready to buy with powerful content and offers that help inform their future purchasedecisions.With this structure in place, visitors provide their name and email in return for offers,generating marketable leads for your business and helping them reach a purchasedecision with information from your store. How do you market to non-customers today?If someone comes to your store and doesn’t purchase, what tools do you have tocapture a future purchase? eCommerce inbound marketing offers a critical competitiveadvantage in visitor capture and remarketing.Measure traffic and funnel yieldIf you are able to get in front of the right consumers more frequently, capture visitorinformation earlier in the process, and nurture visitors appropriately, you can betterunderstand the long-term value of every visit and unique visitor. Additionally, you canretain and grow traffic better through improved site interaction and remarketing to driveincreased sales over time.Do you measure traffic from all sources? Do you attribute each channel’s sales tospecific marketing efforts? By examining the entire process that creates a sale, you willunderstand which marketing events contributed to the sale. Implementing effectiveremarketing techniques, optimizing spend across multiple traffic channels, andmeasuring success of each campaign allows you to refine every step of the salesprocess.Tweet this eBook!

iv How to Grow your eCommerce Business with Inbound MarketingGrowing Your Sales & Marketing FunnelThe eCommerce marketing funnelInbound marketing helps businesses fill the top of the sales and marketing funnel. Italso helps to convert more website visitors into leads, customers, and finally repeatcustomers.i Inbound marketing takes the existing eCommerce transaction funnel andamplifies its effectiveness at each stage of the sales process.What is an eCommerce lead?A ―lead‖ is a core concept of inbound marketing, and often is an unfamiliar term foreCommerce businesses. Strictly speaking, a lead refers to a site visitor who submits hername and contact information to your site. A lead is anyone who signs up for anewsletter, registers with your site, or is on your email list. Some leads have purchasedfrom you in the past, but all are potential future customers – new or repeat.The beauty of leads is that you can market to them. Because these customers havesubmitted their email addresses, you can send them promotions, product updates andnewsletters.ii Leads driven by inbound marketing are unique because they representsomeone who has come to your site for information. These prospects are looking for agood reason to buy in the future, and your remarketing can provide them with one.There are three types of leads that eCommerce sites should be concerned with: Transacted Leads – Visitors who have landed on your store and purchased aproduct. Why, then, are they called a lead if they have already purchased? Theseare (hopefully) happy customers who can be retained for repeat business.Marketing efforts to this group largely revolve around information and specialoffers that lead to additional transactions or referrals in the future. Based on theirprevious purchase, you can make educated decisions about other products theymay be interested in.Tweet this eBook!

vHow to Grow your eCommerce Business with Inbound Marketing Non-Transacted Product Leads – Visitors who have selected a product andhave begun the checkout process. They have registered for an account on yourstore or at least provided their email address but did not complete the fulltransaction. Marketing efforts to this group should encourage leads to completethe intended transaction in the near-term, and come back for additionaltransactions in the future.HubSpot and Shopify have worked togetherspecifically to develop an integration that enables you to track and market tothese abandoned carts.Tweet this eBook!

vi How to Grow your eCommerce Business with Inbound Marketing Non-Transacted, Non-Product Leads – Visitors who have not yet made atransaction but have subscribed to your email newsletter or otherwise submittedtheir contact information to you. These leads are not yet ready to buy. They have,however, demonstrated interest in your products, brand, and services, and areexcellent prospects for future sales.Tweet this eBook!

vii How to Grow your eCommerce Business with Inbound MarketingTweet this eBook!

vii How to Grow your eCommerce Business with Inbound MarketingiHow to Drive More Traffic to YourWebsite and Shopify StoreOne of the primary inbound marketing growth strategies is to expand your reach – thetotal number of people who see your website and store’s content and products. Moretraffic at the top of your funnel leads to more transactions. And even if you were not tomake changes to the middle of your funnel (product pages, landing pages, andremarketing), you would still generate more sales by attracting more, qualified traffic toyour website and store.Utilize marketplaces and data feedsTo sell more items, you need to make your products visible to more consumers. Featureyour products in every marketplace that will 1) host your products and 2) provideadditional reach for your products. Although each marketplace has its own uniqueconsiderations for your business,iii more listings typically equate to more exposure andthus help boost sales.When listing your products in a marketplace, keep in mind: Each marketplace requires separate attributesManually uploading products to multiple marketplaces is time consumingSchedule automated XML data feeds to upload to marketplaces when possibleivIf creating an automatic data feed is not financially or technically possible, createyour own data feed and upload it on a regular basisConsider using automated data feeds whenever possible to reduce the time required tolist your products. This will reduce your investment of time and resources while stillgiving you the advantage of increased product exposure.Tweet this eBook!

ix How to Grow your eCommerce Business with Inbound MarketingConvert marketplace customers into customers ofyour website and Shopify StoreAfter you have made a sale on a marketplace and paid fees to that marketplace for thesale, you should be focused on reconverting that customer on another sale through yourwebsite and not through the marketplace where you have to pay the additional fees.Here are a few ways in which you can convert marketplace traffic to storefront traffic: In your physical packaging, include time-sensitive promotional fliers with a shortlink to a unique landing page on your website or storevAdopt product prices on your website or store that are lower than the ones inmarketplacesOffer discounts for first-time customers on your website or storeOffer coupons available for use on your website or store onlyTo the extent that each marketplace allows, use email lead nurturing campaignsthat encourage visits to your site or storePresent discounts for certain existing customers based on their previous buyingbehaviorMarketplaces can be powerful customer acquisition tools to get your products in front ofnew consumers.vi Before you invest, however, carefully consider whether the price ofacquisition is worth the price of admission. Ensure that you take listing fees, actualshipping costs, product costs, taxes, and processing charges into account when pricingyour products. Then after a consumer first purchases from you on a marketplace, useremarketing strategies to turn those marketplace customers into repeat customers onyour website or Store.Tweet this eBook!

xHow to Grow your eCommerce Business with Inbound MarketingSEO for Store Product PagesProduct pages need to be in front of potential buyers as often as possible. Whenoptimized properly, your product pages themselves can greatly improve existing trafficopportunities.Develop a uniform and clean website structureA clear and easy-to-read URL structure makes understanding and categorizing yourpages easier for search engines as well as for humans. Organize product pages in roductAnd ensure that your blog is either located at:http://blog.yourstore.com or http://www.yourstore.com/blogInstead of:http://yourstore.wordpress.com or http://yourstore.blogspot.comThis product structure makes sense to both search engines and people, and providesshort but important in-URL elements for SEO. Hosting your blog on your own domainwill generally improve your site’s ability to get found through search.Create unique product titlesSearch engines discount the value of duplicate content. If you are using the sameproduct title as many other stores online selling your same products, you will be outranked by higher authority competitors using the same content on their product pages.You can even be penalized for using the same copy as many other sites.viiTo beat the competition, you will need to move beyond the manufacturers’ ordistributers’ titles and descriptions and create unique product pages. Include relevantkeywords in the title, and be careful of removing keywords that are frequentlyassociated with the product. Add in keywords that differentiate the title and consumersTweet this eBook!

xi How to Grow your eCommerce Business with Inbound Marketingwould use in qualified search queries.Above, BlueFly uses descriptive page titles, URLs, and breadcrumbs for its products. Itwould have been easier for BlueFly to use a simple ―Cole Haan black nylon jacket‖ title.Instead, the page title is more specific, differentiating this product page from otherpages selling the same item.Potential customers will still be searching for the basics of the product title, so you needto make yours just slightly different.Go beyond the manufacturer’s description, tooSmart inbound marketers do not just copy and paste the manufacturer’s description andimages onto their product pages, either. Take the time to write your own titles, creativedescriptions, and especially use your own images. If you want to stand apart from otherstores selling similar products, be unique, remarkable, and relevant. Both searchengines and people will recognize your efforts.Create your own optimized imagesTweet this eBook!

xii How to Grow your eCommerce Business with Inbound MarketingProduct images can be the most important feature of an eCommerce store and canmake or break a sale. Naturally, people want to pick up and touch something beforethey buy it.viiiTo appeal to this impulse, capture product images from multiple angles andallow the user to zoom in on the image for a closer look. This will enhance the userexperience and lead to building additional value and trust within your store, an elementcritical to that ―add-to-cart‖ click.Above, Zappos shows 7 different views of its product. None of the images are suppliedby the manufacturer and all images are high enough quality to allow a high level ofzoom. This helps consumers feel as though they understand the product better and is adistinct selling point for Zappos over competitors.In addition to adding multiple images, include an alt image tag to all the pictures of yourproducts. Search engines cannot read images, but they can read the alt attribute of animage on a page. The alt tag is a means of ensuring that people can find your imagesthrough image search engines like Google Images. If you use product-related alt text,you can get your products found through yet another avenue.Use heading tagsTweet this eBook!

xii How to Grow your eCommerce Business with Inbound MarketingiYour heading tag (H1 tag, starting with h1 on a page) should reinforce your page titleand product name. Search engines give significant importance to heading tags, so it iscritical to use them whenever possible on every page – especially on product pages.Using an H1 tag to reinforce the keywords in your page titles creates a well-optimizedpage that is more easily found for a specific keyword combination.Optimize internal anchor textUse keyword-rich, specific anchor text when linking to pages within your website andstore. Use targeted keyword phrases as the anchor text for internal links, helping searchengines understand the content available by following each link. By using good, relevantanchor text, more relevant content on your site will be surfaced and ranked higher.Include secondary navigation for all internal pagesSecondary navigation, otherwise known as breadcrumbs, helps potential customersnavigate back to the main product category pages and other areas of interest. Thesealso create useful anchor text for internal links.ix See the BlueFly example above for awell-executed breadcrumb example.Tweet this eBook!

xi How to Grow your eCommerce Business with Inbound MarketingvHow to Blog for eCommerceAfter optimizing your existing content, how can you drive more traffic to your storeoutside of product and category pages?Most eCommerce businesses are familiar with paid methods of traffic generation. Bycreating unique, remarkable and valuable content you can supplement paid sources oraugment existing non-paid traffic sources.x The most effective way to create this type ofcontent on a regular basis is through a blog.What to write aboutDeveloping a topic to write about consistently is an important decision. Develop acontent strategy that does not just include only your products, but addresses yourindustry and your customers’ needs and interests. If you sell widgets, write about howwidgets are used, new widgets features, and industry news about widgets. Avoid simplyselling your products on the blog. Instead, consider how you can craft newsworthystories relating to your widgets that people will find interesting and will want to sharewith their friends and colleagues.Make your content remarkableYou can produce remarkable content by creating unique, creative, and valuableinformation. To this end, do not be afraid to experiment with other mediums like videoand graphics on your blog. If writing text isn’t your strong point, definitely consider videoor graphics as a way to write fewer words but still create highly shareable content.Video demonstrations are a spectacular way of both showcasing your products andcreating remarkable content. In fact, simply using different marketing techniques thanyour competition can be a shortcut to content that people will want to find and share. xiRemarkable content attracts links from other websites pointing to your storefront, too.Each link is a double win: it leads to new traffic and builds up your site’s authority in theeyes of search engines.Tweet this eBook!

xv How to Grow your eCommerce Business with Inbound MarketingDon’t over-think itPublishing regular content to your website will help drive more traffic to your site andstore. To keep producing posts frequently, it’s important not to over-think or over-writeeach blog article. After all, the more traffic you drive to your site, the more conversionopportunities you create, so you want to get into a habit of easy content creation thatworks for you.Although the length of each blog post length will vary, most blog posts should bebetween about 200 and 1000 words.xii Keep in mind that the purpose of each piece ofcontent is to attract traffic to your site, build your brand and get shared online. So whilelength isn’t always the most important aspect of a blog post, it is typically difficult tocreate high-quality, text-only content in under 200 words unless there is a strong videoor graphic element included.Whenever we get asked by customers who don’t know what to blog about, we ask,―What are the 10 most frequently asked questions you get about your business? Yourproduct(s)?‖ There are 10 subjects for your first 10 blog posts!Engage users with your brand and productsCreate your own buyer community that wants to share relevant information across theirnetwork. Creating a content hub on your website provides an additional opportunity tomarket your products and promotions. Use original content to bring in visitors that willgrow into qualified buyers in the long run.Tweet this eBook!

xv How to Grow your eCommerce Business with Inbound MarketingiAn eCommerce site with a strong community hub is Moosejaw.com. Moosejaw sellsoutdoor apparel and equipment online and their community page, called ―MoosejawMadness‖, centralizes Moosejaw’s content from around the web (e.g. Twitter, blog,Flickr), offers monthly contests, and even contains dating advice. This provides theirfans multiple ways to interact with the brand, creating a vibrant non-transactionaldestination online that promotes future purchases with Moosejaw.Tweet this eBook!

xv How to Grow your eCommerce Business with Inbound MarketingiiLeveraging Social Media for eCommerceChances are that your potential customers — regardless of industry, age or gender —are active on social media networking sites.xiii You should take advantage of socialmedia’s increased popularity and get involved in new conversations to expand yourvisibility and reach.Follow in your customers’ footstepsYour customers are on social media searching for answers, opinions and suggestionson what to buy and from whom to buy. The chances that you will stumble across theserelevant conversations randomly are quite low. Monitoring conversations on socialmedia in a strategic, targeted manner is necessary to engage efficiently and reduce thesignal-to-noise ratio. Once you learn to listen, it’s time to speak up.Your primary goals on social networks should be to create brand awareness, observethe competition, build relationships, and convert social media traffic into leads andcustomers on your site. Begin with the mainstays —Twitter and Facebook — then startlistening and searching for more nichexiv networks.Secure your social media accountsIf you don’t know where to begin, try Facebook and Twitter. For each social medianetwork that you want to interact on, however, do the following: Set up an account and optimize your profileLearn community rules, regulations, and cultureSearch the community for brand mentions, competitors, and conversationsconcerning your productsFind tools to utilize and engage with the selected social media networkMarket exclusive, compelling offers to each communityShare unique, brand-building content that brings users to your siteWith any existing community, the largest barrier to entry is understanding how thecommunity works and operating within those bounds. Businesses marketing in preexisting communities need to realize that they are no longer on their home turf, and mayneed to tread lightly within community norms.Tweet this eBook!

xv How to Grow your eCommerce Business with Inbound MarketingiiiOn BassResource.com, a bass fishing enthusiast forum and the first result on Googlefor ―bass fishing forum‖, active community members link to their stores in signatures orposts. Because they are active and valued members of the community, these users’promotions are socially acceptable and a powerful magnet for highly qualified traffic.This is a common practice among marketers on community forums if (and only if!) themarketers first establish themselves as valuable community members and build thetrust of the community prior to marketing actively. So interact first and promote later.Listen and respondPeople like to voice their problems on social networks because of the instant responsesthey receive. They use various platforms to collect advice, feedback, andrecommendations – with many of these instances pertaining to specific products. Usethis knowledge to create content that addresses these issues, later positioning yourproduct or customer service team as a viable solution.A prime example of social media monitoring aiding brand image and customer service isHome Depot. Home Depot actively monitors Twitter for customer complaints, questions,and frustrations. See above for a quick response and positive customer reactionTweet this eBook!

xi How to Grow your eCommerce Business with Inbound Marketingxbetween @homedepot and an unhappy store visitor. Within 10 minutes of a relevanttweet, Home Depot responds and defuses a negative situation before it escalates.Monitoring social media for brand conversations allows you to do the same.Convert social media traffic into leadsAn important consideration within social media is that the majority of your social mediaaudience is not yet ready to purchase. Remember that these potential buyers are inconversational mode, not shopping mode, and respect this by offering them nontransactional ways to engage with your site and store. As a marketer, you can later reengage them over email as well as social media.Promote landing pages on social media designed to collect their email address inexchange for a compelling offer such as ―20% Off Future Order for Members Only‖ or―Download an Exclusive Twitter Product Catalog.‖ Then, continue to re-engage thesenew leads over time so that when they become sales-ready, they will purchase fromyour store and not your competitor’s.xvMonitor the competitionFollow your competition on Twitter, friend their fan page on Facebook, become a fan oftheirs on Yelp, subscribe to their blogs and special offers, and actively search for theirinvolvement in and around the blogosphere. The goal is not to copy your competition,but pick out effective strategies and make them your own and engage in conversationsthat concern your products.Develop your own engagement approach and build your fan base; grow your reach bybeing better than your competitors.Tweet this eBook!

xx How to Grow your eCommerce Business with Inbound MarketingCapture Visitor Information Sooner forMore Sales LaterIt is time to address the middle of the marketing funnel now that we’ve discussed bestpractices for traffic growth, content creation and product pages. Your store’s primarygoals should not be solely focused on optimizing conversion and checkout processes,but should instead also focus on converting non purchasing site traffic into marketableleads.Investing time into developing a strategy for non-transactional offers is highly rewardingover the long term. The payoff is twofold. First, you will convert more of the site visitorsyou’re attracting into leads. Secondly, you can remarket to these leads as you would toan existing customer. Strategies include using calls to action, landing pages and emailmarketing to nurture your leads down the funnel.Create calls to action that drive traffic andtransactionsA call to action is a button—literally, an image—used to capture interest and drive trafficto a specified page. A typical eCommerce call to action is ―buy now‖ or ―add to cart‖ or―checkout.‖ Think of where these calls to action are on your site and store today, andconsider their singular purpose: purchase.What about the other 98% of your site visitors who don’t purchase upon a visit? xviEarly-stage shoppers are in research mode, so capitalize on that mindset by placingbuttons in their path that speak to their research needs.A compelling call to action for these visitors might be ―10 Things You Need to KnowAbout Widgets‖ or ―Download the Spring Widget Catalog‖ or

The eCommerce marketing funnel Inbound marketing helps businesses fill the top of the sales and marketing funnel. It also helps to convert more website visitors into leads, customers, and finally repeat customers.i Inbound marketing takes the existing eCommerce transaction funnel and amplifies its effectiveness at each stage of the sales process.