Digital marketing is one of the best ways to increase sales of your eCommerce website. A well-defined eCommerce digital marketing strategy will help you allocate your budget and resources on those channels that can generate more sales and revenue for your eCommerce business.
In this guide, you’ll learn the best digital marketing strategies for eCommerce websites. It’s the same practices we have used repeatedly to 10X the sales of our customers in the B2B and B2C space.
So, if you want to learn how to use eCommerce marketing to boost your sales, you’ll find a lot of value in this guide.
Let’s get started with a definition of what is eCommerce digital marketing.
What is eCommerce Marketing?
eCommerce marketing is the process of promoting the products or services of an eCommerce business to the right type of audience using one or more online marketing channels.
eCommerce marketers use different digital marketing techniques to drive traffic to a website and convert visitors into customers.
eCommerce marketing is important because without having an action plan and strategy to follow, it’s very easy to get lost and end up working on activities that won’t contribute to the growth of your online business.
Digital Marketing Strategies for eCommerce Websites
These are the 10 most effective online marketing strategies for eCommerce websites.
- SEO Optimize your product pages
- Invest in content marketing campaigns
- Set up Facebook dynamic ads
- Retarget website visitors on Facebook and the web
- Create a Google Merchant account and submit your product feed
- Run search campaigns on Google Ads
- Reach more customers with Google Discover ads
- Send personalized limited time offers to your email list
- Win social proof with customer reviews
- Reduce shopping cart abandonment
1. SEO Optimize your product pages
The reason that I added this strategy first is that it takes time for SEO to work so the sooner you work on your product page SEO, the better.
If your eCommerce business is new, SEO cannot help you in the short term but in the long-term, it can guarantee your success.
When optimizing your product pages for SEO, you need to take into account a number of factors, the most important are:
Optimizing the product URL – An SEO friendly URL is short and accurately describes the product.
A common mistake made by shop owners is to use codes within the product URLS that make no sense to users and search engines.
Revising your product URLs is certainly something that can improve your store’s visibility not only in Google but on social networks too.
Optimizing the Product titles and Meta Descriptions – The product title (also known as the page title) is the single most important SEO element for all kinds of websites.
The page title is shown in the search results, in social media postings and it is one of the elements that search engine algorithms use when indexing and ranking a page.
In your page title, you should give users accurate information about the specific product. You should try and include the unique characteristics of the particular product in 160 characters or less.
Optimizing the page content – A product page should also include text content. Having images of the product and the price (without any other information), does not help search engines or users.
Take a look at any Amazon product listing and notice that all their product pages are text rich. They have a detailed description of the product, user reviews, related products, and links to videos or other resources to get additional information.
Optimizing images – Proving an alt text for images will help in getting your product images in Google image search and it’s also an easy way to make your product pages SEO friendly.
Use all modern SEO techniques to give Google as much information about your products as possible – New developments like product schema and structured data make it easier to describe your products to search engines in a way they can understand.
Resources to Learn More About eCommerce SEO
The above techniques are just the tip of the iceberg. Our eCommerce SEO course explains in detail how to approach SEO for your online store.
It covers keyword research for your product pages, link building techniques, and other methods you can use to make sure that your eCommerce website is fully optimized for search engines.
2. Invest in content marketing campaigns
One of the ways to differentiate your eCommerce business from the rest is to invest in content marketing campaigns.
Content marketing when done right can drive targeted traffic to a website that will lead to more sales.
The best ways to use content marketing for an eCommerce website are:
Publish product reviews: Users like to research before they buy a product and reviews are great to showcase your products to potential buyers.
When doing product reviews make sure that you optimize your content by providing accurate titles and headings.
For example, if you’re creating a review about a specific model, make sure that you include the full model name and the word ‘review’ in your URL, page title, and headings.
The most appropriate format for reviews is a combination of text, lots of product images, and videos.
You can publish the videos on your YouTube channel, Facebook Page, Instagram page, and embed them to your review post using the appropriate schema markup.
Don’t worry if keyword research tools show low search volume for your review related terms.
People interested to buy your products will perform a search to find reviews, and you want to appear on top of the results.
Publish product comparisons: Another great way to use content assets as lead magnets is to publish product comparison posts.
You can use product comparison posts to explain to users what makes your products better and at the same time use it as the medium to appear on Google for more searches.
A nice tip is to compare your products with related products that have a high search volume.
When you search for a product name on Google, you’ll notice that the results show both websites that sell the specific product, product reviews, and product comparisons.
This way, there is a good chance that your post will show up when people search for product reviews of popular products.
‘Best of’ series: People using the keyword ‘best’ when searching Google are at the bottom of the sales funnel and ready to proceed with a purchase.
We’ve seen this many times in our campaigns and that’s also the reason why ‘best of’ search queries are highly competitive.
When writing ‘best of’ posts make sure that:
- You include your products high in the list
- You clearly state that it’s your products
- You SEO optimize your posts with proper headings and formatting. Look at my post on the best digital marketing courses as an example.
- You include a section that tells users which is the best product from the list and why. Many times users don’t read the content but go directly to the recommendations section (especially if they trust the author and website)
How-to posts: If you search for any product on Google and scroll down to the related searches, you’ll notice that ‘how to use’ is one of the popular searches.
There are two ways to take advantage of this. The first is to publish posts that show users how to use your products and the second to publish how-to posts that make use of your products.
For example, let’s say that you sell eclectic screwdrivers. You can publish a post on how to use the particular model. The post will explain in detail the process of how you can operate the screwdriver, what each button does, how to change heads etc.
In addition, you can also publish a post on how to build a wooden coffee table. In the article, you’ll use the screwdriver you are selling, and explain how it can help you accomplish your task faster.
For best results, everything that you publish on your website should be part of our overall digital marketing strategy.
Resources to Learn More About Content Marketing
- What is content marketing and why it’s important – an introduction to content marketing concepts for beginners.
- How to find great content topic ideas – Tools and techniques you can use to find topic ideas for your blogs.
- Best content marketing courses – a list of free and paid courses to learn content marketing fast.
3. Set up Facebook dynamic ads
Facebook is a great sales channel for eCommerce websites. Besides using the traditional image and video ads, one of the most efficient ways to promote your products is through dynamic ads.
Facebook dynamic ads are very easy to setup. All you need is to upload your product feed to Facebook and configure the ad templates.
Facebook will automatically fetch products from your inventory and show it to the audience you specify in your campaigns. This can be a new audience or people who have expressed interest in your website (this is called retargeting).
During setup, you can add special features like discounts, create carousels, and customize the look and feel of your ads.
If you’re selling multiple products on your store and you’re not using Facebook dynamic ads, then add this step on top of your to-do list. You can get started by reading this guide from FB.
4. Retarget website visitors on Facebook and the web
It’s normal that not all users will convert the first time they visit your website. People will shop around, search for reviews, compare prices and features, and look for alternatives.
One way to remind them about your products is to run retargeting campaigns on Facebook and on other websites on the internet.
Facebook dynamic ads (explained above) are great but you can also utilize the Google network and show your ads on thousands on websites that display Google Ads on their pages.
What is nice about retargeting for eCommerce websites is that with the proper setup, you can configure the ads to display the actual products they visited from your store.
For example, let’s say you’re selling engagement rings. A user clicks on your Facebook ad and visits your website. During his stay, he visits a number of products but leaves without purchase.
With retargeting, you can show him the viewed products when on Facebook or other websites on the Internet.
This creates a connection between your brand and potential clients, it increases brand awareness and trust and this leads to conversions at a lower cost.
Resources to Learn More about Retargeting
Facebook retargeting – how to approach and implement retargeting campaigns on Facebook.
5. Create a Google Merchant account and submit your product feed
When you search for products on Google, you’ll notice that the search results are enriched with products as well. At the time of writing this post, it looks like this:
Google gets this information from your product catalog. It’s similar to Facebook’s dynamic ads in the sense that you need to create a Google Merchant account and submit your product feed.
During the search ranking process, Google will pull data from your catalog and show it in the results.
Creating a Google Merchant account is free and you can use the same feed on Facebook and Google.
In addition to appearing for related searches, you can also run dynamic ads on the Google network and show your products in the form of ads on YouTube, Gmail, and other websites that use Google Adsense.
Besides retargeting campaigns, you can also set up Google shopping campaigns and pay so that your ads appear on top of the results of Google shopping.
Overall, taking advantage of Google merchant center is a must-have strategy for your eCommerce website.
Resources to Learn More
6. Run search campaigns on Google Ads
Besides the visual ads, you should not forget about traditional Google search ads.
Using the Google Ads platform, you can set up campaigns to show your ads on the Google search results for searches related to your target keywords.
These are known as PPC campaigns and their advantage over other campaign types is that they can drive targeted traffic to a website.
You only pay for clicks to your ads and you can configure in detail when the ads should be displayed. You can specify specific countries, regions, devices, and a bunch of other options.
The golden rule when running PPC ads is to monitor your results and increase your budget to a level that the ROI is positive.
PPC platforms use an auction-based system to decide which ads to show and at what cost and it’s very easy to lose money if you don’t know how the system works.
Besides Google Ads, you can also try Bing Ads and show your ads on Bing and the Microsoft network.
Resources to Learn More
Digital marketing training resources – Our resource list includes free training courses on both Google ads and Bing ads.
7. Reach more customers with Google Discover ads
Google Discover is Google’s attempt to get a share of the users looking for news and interesting stories to read. In a way is similar to Facebook feed but without the social angle.
On Google Discover, you don’t have friends or likes but you get to read news and stories that Google’s AI system has chosen for you.
Discover is available to all users on the Google mobile app and Google News.
To show your ads on the user’s news feed, you need to set up Google Discovery Ads from the Google Ads platform. You can use discovery ads to make sales, get more visits, and for retargeting purposes.
8. Send personalized limited time offers to your email list
So far all the eCommerce strategies explained above have to do with how you can get more visits to your website.
They are related to SEO, website marketing, content marketing, PPC marketing, Facebook marketing, and retargeting.
One important strategy that needs to be part of your eCommerce marketing strategy is email marketing.
Email marketing will not help you get more website visits but it can help you a lot in generating more conversions.
To use email marketing as a sales channel, you need to have a big list of subscribers and use automation and personalization in your emails.
You can use the resources below to learn more about how you can grow your email list, how to improve your email open rates, and how to take advantage of email automation campaigns.
What is important to understand now is the value of limited-time offers and how they can help boost sales.
This is a technique I’ve used successfully on many eCommerce clients. The process is the following:
Step 1: Show a message to users (can be a non-intrusive popup or an exit popup) to register to your email list and get a coupon code for a small discount. I use optinmonster for this task – in my opinion, is the best tool for this kind of job.
Many users will sign-up to get the coupon code, but not all of them will use it.
Step 2: Create an email automation campaign to send a limited-time offer to those that registered to receive the coupon-code but have not used it yet. The offer should clearly say that it’s a once-off offer.
For example, “Checkout today and receive an additional 10% discount. The offer expires in 3 hours”.
You’ll notice that the conversion rate will be much higher because a limited time offer creates a sense of urgency, exclusivity and it’s considered a ‘good deal’ for users.
If your eCommerce store is correctly connected to your email marketing platform, you can even create offers for the actual products they visited on your website and this makes the campaigns more effective.
Resources to Learn More About Email Marketing
9. Win social proof with customer reviews
To fully optimize an eCommerce website, you need to work on conversion optimization, and winning the social proof game with customer reviews, is a step towards the right direction.
Create a ‘Reviews’ page
The first step is to create a page to post ‘Reviews’ on your website. You can pull these reviews directly from the various social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and set it up to automatically show a social feed of the latest reviews from real customers. Testimonials from real customers add a layer of authenticity to your social proof and this helps increasing sales.
Users when searching Google they will use ‘your brand name + reviews” and having a dedicated reviews page on your website, will help is securing one of the positions on the first page of the results.
This is important because you can control what is published and protect your brand from fake or unsolicited reviews.
Ask customers for a review
What you’ll post on your ‘reviews page’ should come directly from customers and the best way to do this is to ask them.
Use your email marketing software and create an email automation campaign to gather customer reviews after their purchase.
Make it easy for users to submit a review, ask them a couple of multiple-choice questions to rate the product quality and experience, and leave the text optional.
Send a reminder to those that have not submitted a questionnaire, this simple technique can dramatically increase the number of reviews you can get.
Secure your accounts on public review websites
Some people may believe that the reviews posted on your website are fake so the best way to eliminate this fear is to create accounts on public review websites.
Depending on your niche and products, websites like TrustPilot, Yelp, Google Reviews are trusted by both Google and users and they are great in convincing potential customers about the quality of your products and the trustworthiness of your company.
Give incentives to customers
Adding a review (especially when it involves writing), takes time and only a small percentage of your customers will be willing to do it.
A nice way to get customers to post a review is to give them incentives, such as a discount or coupon code for their next purchase.
Make sure that you send the incentives to customers that already submitted a review for your website. You don’t want to invite unhappy customers to post a review and reward them for it!
Reply to all reviews on all platforms
All kinds of reviews are valuable, especially the ones that pinpoint issues with your products or processes.
Customers allocate time and effort to write a review and you should reply to all reviews (good and bad) on all platforms.
10. Reduce shopping cart abandonment
Another critical aspect of conversion optimization is shopping cart abandonment. Go and check your Google Analytics and find out the percentage of users who added items to their cart but did not checkout. You’ll be surprised by the result.
Reducing cart abandonment is a strategy that can directly impact sales and profit, without increasing traffic or leads.
Do some simple calculations to find the effect on sales if you could convenience just 1% of those that added items to the cart but did not complete checkout.
Best methods to reduce cart abandonment
Use tracking software like Hotjar to record user sessions. Use their session recording feature to actually how users interact with your shopping cart and checkout pages.
Make sure that your shopping cart and checkout pages are secure (https).
Remove the clutter – keep the cart and checkout pages as simple as possible and remove unnecessary destructions (banners, menu items, links).
Try to have a one-page checkout when possible. Ask users the minimum required information.
Optimize for mobile – check your pages on mobile and evaluate the user experience. Calculate your conversion rate on both mobile and desktop so that it’s easier to spot where you’re losing customers.
Run A/B testing – one of the basic principles of conversion optimization is to run A/B testing scenarios and find out which version of a page is better. Running A/B tests on your shopping cart and checkout is ideal because all other factors (rankings, traffic) remain unchanged.
So, if you manage to increase sales, you’ll know for sure that this is due to the changes you’re doing in the checkout process.
Review payment options – A modern eCommerce store should give users the option to checkout by Paypal and Credit Card. These two payment methods are mandatory. You can consider adding Amazon Pay, Google Pay, Apple Pay but don’t confuse users with too many options.
Remind them of the most important things, to help them make a decision – During checkout, you can add a small box to remind users of the most important benefits you offer.
For example, free shipping, money-back guarantee, free updates and anything else that you think will help them pass through the final stage.
To boost sales of your eCommerce store you’ll need a solid marketing strategy. Your eCommerce strategy should include actionable steps for all the stages of the sales funnel i.e. from customer acquisition techniques to conversion optimization.
The most valuable type of traffic for an eCommerce website is targeted traffic and this is where you should concentrate your efforts.
Targeted traffic is people who are actively interested in your products and services and they express this by searching on Google (for related keywords) or visiting your website through an ad.
SEO is by far the best way to reach your target audience but it takes time to work. So, a strategic decision is to start with SEO as soon as possible and while waiting for it to work to start advertising.
Facebook, Google, and Bing are all great networks to place your ads.
To increase the ROI for your ad spend, you should run retargeting campaigns and connect with your potential customers through personalized email messages.
When designing your digital strategy, don’t forget to include new traffic channels like Google Shopping campaigns and Google Discover ads.
Finally, spend some time and try to reduce shopping cart abandonment. This is a task that can directly impact sales without acquiring new traffic.