Free Services New eCommerce Websites Need
There tools available online that are free of charge and are essential for building a successful online store. Every website owner will need to use them in order to build a reputable site that will eventually start bringing in free traffic or aka organic traffic. The two search engines used by most people are Google and Bing. Those search engines and many other website directories offer free services that cost you nothing, but your time and attention, so that your store can slowly start building audience.
How do I let people know that my store exists?
One needs to ask himself or herself one important question, how do I let people know that my store exists? A logical conclusion will be to let search engines and all kinds of directories know that you have opened up your store front for business and are happy to see visitors and eventually customers. In this post, I will list few services that you will want to sign up for and submit your website to, so that search engine robots can scan your site and index your pages into the database of their respective organizations. Google and Bing both offer a service called Webmaster Tools. I will discuss their importance shortly. There is also Google Analytics, which will track visitors to your website and track conversions, let you know where they are coming from, etc. There are also directories, such as Dmoz, which doesn’t really send much traffic, but it gives Google a positive impression about your website if you are listed on it. Social media presence is another necessity this days which can not be ignored and are also free. Now let’s talk about each of the free services in detail separately.
This tool allows website owners to submit the sitemap of their website and let search engines know that the site exists. Once submitted, robots from Google and Bing will scan your site and index those pages into the search results. It is number 1 step, I would suggest, for any site owner to do, since it allows to show up in search made by people and potential customers. Obviously, there are millions of websites that are submitted to the database of Google and Bing daily, so your store showing up in the 1st page of any of them is minuscule. But, and it is a big But, without the first step you can not start the second. When you submit the sitemap to Webmaster Tools, you will have to verify that you are the owner of the site, which will require posting a code provided by Google and Bing into your websites html code, which is quite easy.
Analytics is one of the most used tools that is free by website owners and those who manage their SEO for them. It allows you to monitor your website and shows you very detail and an in-depth analysis of your store. You can track where your customers are coming from, where they are going, what are they searching for, how did they find your store, and how many visitors turned into customers. This tool is a dream come true for anyone who manages a site and wants to know every possible detail about it’s visitors. When marketing your site by paid advertisement, it will be a great tool to monitor your campaigns success.
There are thousands of them, but one of the most important ones is Dmoz, or at least that’s what I was told. DMoz is a website directory that looks very old and doesn’t seem to bring much traffic, but gives a positive impression about your website to Google and Bing. I was able to get one of the websites I worked on to get listed on Dmoz and it was one of the steps for success. With the SEO strategy we had and the luck of getting listed on Dmoz eventually gave that website a page rank of 3. The traffic from DMoz was almost zero, but my guess is that Google thought highly of the website once it was listed by the directory. There are cheap services online that offer you to submit your site to directories and I recommend using them, but be very careful, because if Google senses you are using some funny methods to build links to your website, it may suspend your account and remove you from it’s database.
One more thing I would like to discuss is the importance of on page optimization, which means your website’s pages are optimized for the best search engine optimization. By using meta tags and meta description you will increase your chances of your site being indexed by Google and show up in the search results. By implementing good SEO strategy and working on on page optimization, you are combining your force and with time (it takes patience), you will see results.
Social Media Presence
Social media presence is a must in todays connected world and it is a great place to be for businesses, since the word of mouth is the best advertisement. If you have a large group of friends on Facebook, followers on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and many others, it will be easy for you to get your first audience and maybe even customers, who knows. Creating business page in any of those social media websites are free and cost you noting. While it is free to have presence, you may want to try running some ads through FB and Twitter to see if you can find some audience outside your group of friends and family.
Always remember, Knowledge is Gold and having the resources and building the right team is your key to success