To make your ecommerce business easy to find in search engines, you need to optimize your website for inbound marketing.
In month 4 you will learn inbound marketing strategies that will help your business get more traffic.
The strategies covered in this month are (click on topic for guide):
Getting your store readyMonth 2
Start marketingMonth 3
Setup paid marketingMonth 4
Start inbound marketingMonth 5
Review, Calibrate, & UpdateMonth 6
Promote, Promote, PromoteTools
Ecommerce Marketing Tools
Internet Search Engine has been Google's trump card, and ever since its humble inception from a garage setup Google has been continually striving hard to hone the quality of its search results. And the latest addition to this endeavor is the introduction of Authorship Markup. Providing high quality results not only helps Google prevent its users from migrating to other search engines like Bing and Yahoo, but also helps fight scrupulous spammers trying to hack the system to make their low quality content to rank higher over the relevant and quality ones.
Before getting into authorship lets look back at the basics of how a search engine works. When you type in a keyword, what Google does is, it first lists all webpages that are indexed for that particular keyword, then it arranges the webpages in the descending order of quality and relevancy. Quality is usually determined using Page Rank, that is the total number of authoritative external backlinks (votes) a webpage has.
To further bolster a webpage with authority, Google found a way to link the reputation of the author who wrote the content to a particular page. In doing so for a particular keyword the content written by highly authoritative writers might rank better than other authors, and this process by which the web page and the authors gets associated is called Authorship.
Google patented Authorship way back in 2005 as Agent Rank , in which it states,
The techniques include receiving multiple content items from a corpus of content items; receiving digital signatures each made by one of multiple agents, each digital signature associating one of the agents with one or more of the content items; and assigning a score to a first agent of the multiple agents, wherein the score is based upon the content items associated with the first agent by the digital signatures.
Where agents refer to authors and digital signatures refers to an author profile page, which is essentially a Google Plus page.
There are two ways to go about setting up authorship for your website.
Linking Your Website Directly To Your Google Plus Page Using A Verified Email Address:
The easiest, reliable and the recommended way is to directly link your website (domain name) to the author's Google Plus page using a verified email address.
Second method of establishing Authorship is for those who doesn't have an email address on the domain name of the website on which your content is getting published.
Since there is no direct way to link the author to the website, we take an indirect method where we manually link both the author's Google Plus profile page and the webpage where his/her article is published.
And the link must be always established from both ways,
Now to let Google know that this profile URL is linked to a content that has an authorship, we add a? rel=author parameter after the above mentioned Google Plus URL. So the final URL must look like
And the final link that has to be attached to the byline that talks about the author on the page where the article is published must look like,
If you've been part of the blogging world for a long time you probably already know that sitemaps are essential for SEO (if you are new, it is high-time you found out). Google and other search engines use sitemaps to index and rank written content better. But did you know that the largest search engines can also read video sitemaps for all of your embedded content?
Google's Video sitemaps provide essential meta-data (including intended audience, running time, category, title, author etc...) about the video. By implementing it you will make it easier for Google to crawl your website and display it in relevant listings within the video search results
There are two ways of categorizing videos. You can either submit them in the regular sitemap, or you can add them in a separate one. If they are found on Google, they will also display a small thumbnail, and content related information which was submitted within the site-map.
SEO experts advise webmasters to create video sitemaps, especially if the content is stored on Vimeo, YouTube or any other platform. Why? Because when an internet user searches and finds the video, they will not be directed to your website, but to the source (which is represented by the video platform). The video site-map will ensure that they are directed to your website.
According to recent statistics, video content is the most appreciated and shared content on the internet. Using it to drive more traffic to your website makes perfect sense. In addition to this, having a thumbnail appear next to the video will surely increase its click-through rate.
Now that you understand the importance of having a video sitemap, let's find out how you can make one. There are two ways of approaching the problem. You can either create it manually, or you can use a plugin/tool to generate it automatically.
Generating video sitemaps manually is recommended for webmasters that have a newer site, with not too many videos. Have you ever gone through the process of creating a standard XML sitemap? The process is similar. The only difference is that the sitemap crawler needs more data.
Step #1: Creating the Empty XML File
The first thing you need to do is to create a file. The name doesn't matter; just make sure you remember it. Save it in your root directory (example: www.example.com/sitemap_video.xml) . The name and place don't matter very much. The most important thing is to remember where it is stored before submitting your info to Google Webmaster tools.
Step #2: Create your Template
Google has provided webmasters with a useful page about the structure of a site-map . It should contain several attributes, but most of them are optional (we will discuss them below). The required ones are the title, description, play page URL, Thumbnail URL and RAW Video file location and/or the player URL. Most attributes are self-explanatory. You don't have to write the XML file yourself because there are plenty of presets available online. All you have to do is make sure that the information in the XML file matches the one from the video. Save your file.
Step #3: Submit the Sitemap to Google Webmaster
It is recommended to submit your site-map through the Google webmaster tool. Sign into your account, go to your website's profile, navigate to the site settings -> Sitemaps, click Add/Test a Sitemap, enter its name and click submit. One sitemap can provide 50,000 entries (videos). If you exceed this number you will have to create multiple Sitemaps and link them together with the help of a Sitemap Index File.
Another submission method would be by adding this line "Sitemap: http://www.example.com/sitemap_video.xml" to your robots.txt file.
2. Using Plugins for Video-Sitemap Generation
If you are running your blog or website on Wordpress, you might want to create your video sitemap with the help of a plugin. There is a long list of tools that can help you, but we have found a great solution: the Video SEO for WordPress Plugin by Yoast. With this tool you can simply specify the type of posts (with videos) that you want indexed, and the tool will set everything up. Make sure you also have the Yoast SEO plugin installed
There are many other tools available that you can use, like the A1 Sitemap Generator. It's up to you to decide which tool is better suited for your needs. Video Sitemap Required & Optional Elements
The required elements should always be included in your sitemap structure. They refer to the URL of the page that the video is embedded on, the thumbnail image, and the file/player that is embedded. Optional tags are not essential but they add SEO value.
|Tag||Required / Optional||urpose / ExplanationP|
|<loc>||required||The information of a page on which the video is embedded|
|<video:thumbnail_loc>||required||The image of your thumbnail which should be a .jpg or .png file. Idealy, it should be 1920x1080/1280x720 with an aspect ratio of 16x9|
|<video:title>||required||Self-explanatory tag which should be treated exactly like a page title (no more than 70 characters)|
|<video:content_loc>Or <video:player_loc>||required||The content_loc tag points to the actual video file URL (.mov/.mp4). If you are referring to an embedded flash player you should use the player_loc tag. Optional elements: "allow_embed" and "autoplay" within the player_loc tag to have it embed directly in the search results.|
|<video:video>||required||This tag wraps around the <video> tags in your code, referenced per <loc> tag|
|<video_tag>||optional||Think of this as the meta tag of your video. The only difference is that you Google actually takes them into account when generating results. 4-5 tags are usually enough.|
|<video_category>||optional||This tag, which describes the style of the video, can be easily included, and will boost the SEO value of your videos. It will make it easier for Google to organize your content. One-two words are enough (example: wedding ideas, social media etc.)|
|<video:uploader>||optional||It’s always a good idea to claim authorship/give credit to the author of a video. This tag must be mentioned in the <loc> tag). Also add the rel=author attribution to ensure that the video appends to the authorship image|
|<video:publication_date>||optional||Adding dates to your videos will help them appear on freshness influenced queries. The format for dates is YYYY-MM-DD|
|<video:duration>||optional||It refers to the duration of a video, in seconds. It will be appended in the bottom right corner of the video, which makes it invaluable from a SEO perspective|
As arduous and daunting as it may sound to create video-sitemaps, it is well worth the time, especially if your website is heavily reliant on video content. Because video has become so important for the online world, Google rewards webmasters that properly optimize their video sitemaps.
BuzzStream is a great tool that allows you to find opportunities for growing your business. Using BuzzStream you can find bloggers in your niche, find guest post opportunities, find websites to review your business, and much more. BuzzStream creates a database of potential websites and businesses that you can work with to help build your ecommerce business.
To create your database of potential partners in BuzzStream, you will have 4 ways on how to find and add them into BuzzStream. These are:
Step 1 - Using Link Prospecting Tool
First, you need to create a project. Next, click on the dropdown for "Add Websites" as shown below
Move your mouse over the Link Prospecting section and then click on "Create New Prospecting File"
Enter a profile name and then enter the keywords you want to use for your prospecting Searches. You can enter up to 20 keywords.
Your keywords will depend on what your goal is. You can also include footprints in your prospecting searches.
After you finish, click SAVE and BuzzStream will collect the metrics, contact information, and site information for you. All of this will be added in your database.
Step 2 - Import Websites from a spreadsheet
Create your project.
Next, click on Add Websites dropdown as shown.
Next, click on "Import from Existing File"
Select from the options provided of where to import the list. You can import a custom CSV file or you can import from Moz, ahrefs, MajesticSEO, and Citation Labs.
Step 3 - Add from List of URLs
Click on Add Websites dropdown as shown.
Next, click on "Add from List of URLs" as shown.
Next, enter the list of URLs of web pages you want to partner with.
Next, click Add Websites
Step 4 - Using the Link Buzzmarker Tool
BuzzStream has a plugin you can add to your browser toolbar called the Buzzmarker Tool.
Go to the Settings section then click on Setup Buzzmarker.
This tool allows you to quickly add websites as you stumble upon them.
It looks like this.
Unfortunately, you can only add one website at a time. However, just like all the previous methods, BuzzStream will pull all the information you need to create your database.
Once you have your project and your database, it is time to do some outreach.
This is the other half of how BuzzStream is powerful. BuzzStream makes it easy to do outreach. It keeps you organized and makes creating opportunities for your ecommerce business easy. Here are the steps you need to take to make outreach effective.
First, you want to connect your email with BuzzStream. In your settings section, add your email address so that BuzzStream is connected.
By doing this, BuzzStream will keep track of your outreach and replies. Whether you send from your email or from BuzzStream, every communication will be tracked in BuzzStream and you will see the whole history of your communication with bloggers and other influencers.
Next, you want to create templates.
By creating templates you are making it easier to communicate with others. Anytime you find a potential partnership use the templates to shoot out an email fast. This way you don't have to have create a new email every time. Also, BuzzStream will still allow you to personalize the email even though you will be using the template.
Lastly, do not use the templates for all your contacts. Some businesses and influencers will need the extra attention. Keep that in mind as you send out emails. Determine if they need the template or will you need to establish a relationship before working together.
Another great feature when reaching out in BuzzStream is adding reminders when you send out emails. You can add reminders to let you know when to check if your contact got back to you. Here is how the reminder feature looks like.
You can also add notifications if you sent out the email via the website's contact form or from your email. Since you did not send email via BuzzStream, use the notification feature to manually add your reminder.
Those are some of the powerful features you can use in BuzzStream to grow your ecommerce business.
BuzzStream keeps you organized and keeps all your contacts and database in one place. This makes it easy to track your outreach.
Be more effective in creating opportunities for your ecommerce business by using BuzzStream.
One of the most important, highly effective and also the most controversial process in the realm of Search Engine Optimization is increasing the total number of backlinks a website gets from other authoritative web pages. It has been confirmed by Google and also experimentally verified that the backlinks count is one of the single most important metric that helps a website to gain more authority and hence rank higher up in the search engines.
There are various ways both legitimate (in the eyes of search engines) and shady ways to gain more backlinks, listed below are the some of the White Hat ways of building backlinks,
The fifth most commonly used tactic to increase backlinks is through finding more broken back links in relevant websites.
Internet is changing at an alarmingly untraceable speed; every day millions of websites are getting created and thousands of websites are getting closed. A website article or a blog that is referring to a webpage might not be existing now and hence it gets the status of a broken link. Taking advantage of this you can do two things,
Broken links are in a way indirectly bad for SEO. The existence of broken links are a sign of negligence and also doesn't help your reader, This might lead to increase in the exits rate and hence increases your page bounce rate and also decreases the amount of time spent on your website (less engagement)
Well, basically there are two broader ways to find broken links, they are,
This is a much broader, comprehensive and in some cases brute force method of finding broken back links,
Let us consider a scenario where in you are a CRM consultant who runs a blog and you wanted to find more broken back links. Listed below are the logical steps involved,
The other tools that you could use to extract broken links are:
Finding the right opportunity among the collected broken links the most important task, you should select broken links that are,
Now that you have found out opportunities for replacing broken links, the next most important and crucial process is creating a top-notch alternative page.
Having identified the opportunity and the alternative, the next step is contacting the respective Webmaster to request replacement.
The following are the steps one must proceed to communicate well,
Subject Line: A Heads Up On The Broken Link On Your Webpage.
This is _______________________ , a research analyst with example.com, I was reading this article on your website www.example.com/post/example , On the second paragraph where you talk about the research, the link to the source is broken, meaning it is no longer found. It looks like they have closed down their website.
Since I too was researching on the same topic, I found this alternative source, www.yoursite.com/post/yourpost that is well researched and supports your stand, and you could very well add them as a replacement.
I thought this might help you and many such researchers like me to find to lead to proper materials.
The method discussed above that uses keywords is a bit tedious and mechanical, there is a second method that works like charm in limited scenarios, and in this method, rather than finding the needle in the hay stack, one can how select highly authoritative sites and limit their broken like building to few of those sites.
How does one finds niche specific authoritative sites:
Final words of advise. Tracking broken links and suggesting a replacement is a tedious task. Industry experience states that this method of increasing backlinks might not work for all websites/niche/industry. Before diving deep and allocating time and resources into the project, start with a small team and a small goal and see how it works.
Irrespective of the way that Google, Bing or Yahoo! might change in the future, keywords will always be a major part of search engine optimization. Since the release of the Hummingbird algorithm, long-tail keywords have become more effective and helpful for small businesses. Internet marketers no longer focus on highly competitive keywords because they can win the smaller, easily accessible markets faster. Every website or project should start with keyword research. If it is not done properly it could compromise your entire campaign. The best way to do this is by using tools such as Google Adwords, SEMRush or Hittail.
Today we would like to share with you an awesome tool, developed by an Italian SEO expert. The tool is called Ubersuggest. In many ways it is similar to Google's suggestions tool (from which it draws results), only on steroids. The software can be accessed from its official page, and requires no payment. It is completely free.
Newbie bloggers and internet marketers will find this tool particularly useful because it quickly pulls out an impressive list of relevant keywords for their niche. It is true that there are other hardcore keyword research tools out there, but this one will appeal to individuals who prefer to focus on high-quality content, while also being mindful of SEO.
Ubersuggest uses Google Suggest to find keywords. Rand Fishkin mentioned its importance on "Whiteboard Friday"
Keyword research is extremely important for bloggers. It may not be the most exciting thing on the blogging checklist, but lucrative SEO techniques are essential if you want to take blogging as a profession. The Panda algorithm punishes websites with thin content and irrelevant keywords severely, and the best way to maintain authority within a niche is by writing niche related articles. (The Panda 4.0 refresh rolled-out a few days ago).
After you have brainstormed 30-50-100 ideas it is time for the UberSuggest tool to do its magic number. Some people never quite manage to wrap their head around hardcore keyword research tools that show keyword traffic, competition, CPC etc. The UberSuggest tool will simply search through relevant keywords and give you the best results. Here's what you should do:
Note: The UberSuggest tool could be used with GoogleDrive and Excel files in the past, but since it has introduced Kaptcha protection the data can no longer be imported automatically. Nevertheless, the Copy & Paste Tool will make importing data extremely easy.
All SEO experts know that their efforts would be futile without the help of some incredible tools. A handyman needs his handy tools, but he should also know how to use them. If your SEO campaign involves quick wins, productive work, and finding longer, targeted keywords for which you can rank easier, and convert better, the UberSuggest tool is an ideal choice. Here's how you can find relevant long-tail keywords with the software:
Considering that it is a free tool, UberSuggest is an extremely powerful keyword planner. It will help you find keywords for your blog and website in no time. The great thing about it is the fact that it displays results according to what people are searching for on Google. This means that you will actually bring targeted traffic to your website, and make money in the process. There are many great keyword tools available online, but none of them seems as intuitive and user-friendly as Ubersuggest.
Learn how to measure the most important numbers that will show you how your eCommerce store is performing.