Five Reasons Why Your New e-Commerce Website Is Having Trouble Attracting Traffic

Throughout the pandemic, many local businesses pivoted from in-store to online sales. Of course, this requires an e-commerce website, set up to allow customers to purchase directly from the website with little to no interaction with the business. 

This year, the e-commerce industry is expected to generate $4.5 trillion in sales by the end of the year. Any local business owner with an online store will obviously want a piece of the pie, But, in order to get that, your e-commerce site needs to first attract the right kind of traffic. If your e-commerce website isn’t bringing in the revenue you’d like it to, your traffic is the first thing to consider.

Here are five reasons you might be having trouble attracting traffic:

You haven’t set up an SEO Strategy

If you’re selling products and/or services that people want or need, then the safe assumption is that people are logging into Google to search for companies like yours every day. You want to make sure your e-commerce site is one of the ones they see first.

One of the best ways to do this is by investing in an SEO strategy, which involves optimizing your site to make it easier to find – including by using the same keywords in your content that your audience is searching for. 

If your e-commerce website is easy to find, you’ll generate more traffic than if it’s hidden back on page two or three of the search results.

You’re not running ads

Combined with a smart SEO strategy, running ads through Google, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or elsewhere can help drive both new and returning visitors to your website. Most platforms have an advertising component, so it’s just a matter of choosing the network where your audience is. 

And if you do have a good understanding of who your target audience is, you (or an ads specialist) can create highly targeted ads. And these ads will be put in front of exactly the kind of person who is more likely to buy from you. This not only generates more traffic but generates the right kind of traffic for your e-commerce site to be successful.

Your site isn’t optimized for mobile

Many, if not most, of your potential website visitors, will scroll from their cell phones. If your site isn’t optimized for mobile traffic, you will automatically lose those visitors. So make sure that you have a responsive site, which means that it will load properly on a phone or tablet. 

Optimizing for mobile also means thinking about your e-commerce website’s speed. In fact, 41% of users will leave if your site takes more than 5 seconds to load.

You don’t have enough reviews

Whether on your Facebook page, your Google My Business listing or in your Instagram Highlights, customer reviews are incredibly important for generating website traffic. In fact, we’ve shared before that:

  • 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations, and
  • 90 percent of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business
  • 10% of all website traffic is a result of online reviews

How do you generate reviews? Send a thank-you email to all customers post-purchase. Your email should include a link to leave a review in the body and in your signature. And don’t forget to respond to all the reviews left by your customers – both good and bad!

You’re not on Social Media

Instagram launched in 2016, and by 2018 almost a third of all referral traffic was coming from social media. Who wouldn’t want to secure that extra traffic? You don’t have to be everywhere, but choose one or two platforms to show up on and share value with your audience, and then guide them off of social media and to your website.

Creating a successful e-commerce website isn’t as easy as “if you build it they will come.” It’s important to take the right steps to generate traffic to your site, so you can then focus on converting those visits to sales.

If you have questions about setting up or promoting your e-commerce site, book a free consultation and let’s chat about how we can help you generate more traffic.

Three Reasons Why You Should Try An Email Marketing Campaign

Email marketing can feel like a big demand. After all, what are you supposed to write about regularly? Who will even want to get emails from you that often? How are you supposed to find the time to write regular emails? 

Regardless of what may be holding you back, it’s time to let go and move forward. Email marketing is a crucial part of any local business’s marketing strategy, and if you haven’t already started building your list, now is the time to do so.

We’ve put together three reasons why, and five ways to get started today.

Three Reasons Why You Should Try An Email Marketing Campaign
1. Platforms Come and Go

Social Media moves in waves. Remember just a few months ago when Clubhouse was the latest and greatest? When’s the last time you heard anyone say they were going live in Clubhouse?

MySpace, MSN Messenger, Vine – even Google tried their hand at creating a social media platform for individuals that wasn’t successful long-term. Social media platforms come and go. And, believe it or not, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn will also disappear or greatly adapt. If those platforms remove key features you rely on, it’s farewell!

When a contact gives you their email address, however, it’s yours to keep. And emails certainly aren’t going away anytime soon.

2. Speak Directly to Warm Leads

If someone is giving you their email address, they’re telling you they are interested in what you have to offer – and that it’s OK for you to email them. Email is permission based, and it’s a much bigger ask than getting someone to follow you on Instagram or like your Facebook Page. So once you have their permission to communicate with them, make sure you do!

Plus, email software services give you the opportunity to personalize each email you send, allowing you to land in their inbox and speak directly to people, instead of speaking generally on social media. 

3. Higher ROI (Return on Investment)

It’s no surprise then, that if email marketing allows you to speak directly to people, warm leads that they are, it has a higher return on investment than avenues like social media.

In fact, according to Direct Marketing Association, the average ROI of email marketing is a whopping 4300%!

Those numbers aren’t a fluke. ExactTarget’s stats show for every dollar spent on email marketing, businesses earn $44.25. With this kind of ROI, it’s really a no brainer.

Five Ways to Start Building Your List For Email Marketing 
1. Opt-In Forms

Put an opt-in or sign-up form on every page of your website.

2. Put links to your newsletter everywhere

Share your newsletter sign-up link everywhere. Use your email signature, social media platforms, and the bottom of your newsletter, so anyone who is forwarded your newsletter has the opportunity to sign up, too.

3. Create a downloadable freebie

Create a PDF your audience can download for free (or rather, in exchange for their email address) that teaches them something or guides them through a process. If you’re a retail clothing store, this can be a guide to styling new fall fashion items. If you’re a bake shop, it could be a recipe they can bake at home. Share the link to your freebie on your website and/or your social media platforms.

4. Create a survey or quiz

A survey or quiz is a fun way to get your audience engaged, share valuable information, and collect their email address at the same time. Link the survey or quiz on your website and/or your social media platforms.

5. Offer a coupon or discount code to your shop

If you sell products or services (whether via an e-commerce store or a brick and mortar shop), you can offer a discount code in exchange for an email address. Often this appears as a pop-up when you visit a website.

Email marketing is an excellent way to speak to people who have given you permission to do so. And, don’t worry, if they don’t want to hear from you, they can simply unsubscribe. The key is to find the sweet spot of delivering value to their inbox. If your audience appreciates your emails, they’ll engage more, helping you increase sales. 

Need help with your email campaigns? Sign up for a free consultation and let us know where you want to improve and we’ll see how we can help!

Smart Social Media In Five Steps

With almost 3.6 billion social media users around the world, you can bet your ideal client is one of them, scrolling Instagram or checking Facebook throughout the day. Wouldn’t it be great if they saw one of your posts and thought, “Hey that would make my life easier” and then immediately purchased your product or booked a consultation with you?

Of course it would be!

Social media has become the epicentre of content marketing: if you build it (relationships and trust) they will come (shop, that is).

But in order to “build it,” you have to have a plan. Posting on social media just for the sake of posting won’t get you anywhere. How do you create a plan that works? Follow these five steps to creating a custom plan that not only works but that you’ll actually stick to – and watch your social media turn from a waste of time to lead generator:

1. Get Clear on Your Target Audience

Like any other marketing strategy, you need to understand who you’re trying to reach and connect with. If you don’t know your demographic, everything else is just a guessing game. The language you use, the images you use, the pain points you address all depend on your ideal customer. If these don’t align, your efforts won’t stand a chance.

2. Audit of Your Past Content

If you’ve been posting on social media for a while, take a look at your insights and see which type of posts perform best for you. Is it memes? How-to style content? Reels? Images of your product being used by real people? Whatever it is, you’ll want to make sure to include this ‘super’ content in your strategy going forward.

This can also be a good time to see what kind of content does not perform well – but the key here is to remember that you’re looking for trends. A post can flop without any rhyme or reason sometimes, so just because one picture of a dog didn’t do well, doesn’t mean you should avoid all images of animals going forward (tip: people love animals!)

3. Define Your Goals

Your social media goals should be aligned with your business goals, for example:

  • Do you want to increase brand awareness? Monitor your follower count and post reach.
  • Do you want to generate new leads? Monitor calls or form completions. 

Be sure to set these out in advance, and track your starting point too. As you’re tracking progress over the next six months or so, be sure to focus on the big picture. As mentioned above, a post can flop for no reason at all, and sometimes a ‘bot cleanup’ by Instagram will see your followers plummet. It’s important not to get hung up on these events and instead monitor overall progress.

4. Create Content That Positions You As A Thought Leader

There’s no denying it, there is a lot of noise out there on social media. A lot of people talking about and selling the same things. But if you understand your audience (step 1, remember?) and what their pain points are, then you can stand out from the crowd by speaking directly to them as individuals.

Take what you know about them, and create content that helps them solve their problems. It’s as simple as that. By sharing value, you become someone they want to keep coming back to see what else you have.

Remember, value doesn’t always have to be educational. It can also be entertaining or inspirational, so use your imagination and expand the content you share beyond just your business.

5. Engage, Engage, Engage.

Social media is a long-term game and is all about building relationships and trust with your audience. Your content positions you as an expert, but it’s the engagement that positions you as a trusted friend. Someone they can rely on to deliver. Also, someone who will help them if they have questions post-purchase.

Be sure to respond to all comments on your posts, and reach out to other ideal clients (again, see step 1 above) and engage with their content, too. Even if they don’t follow you. It’s just as important to start the conversation as it is to continue it. 

**

Every business will have a different strategy or plan for social media. Who you target. The content you create. How often you post. They’re all dependent on your business and shouldn’t be part of a cookie-cutter strategy. If you have questions about getting started on social media (or maybe changing how you’re approaching it), send us a message and let’s chat.

Does Influencer Marketing Work for Local Businesses?

Marketing for small and local businesses can include anything from flyers to social media, or radio ads to email newsletters. But what about influencer marketing? Is this something reserved for big brands, or can local businesses actually profit from working with influencers too?

Influencers are this generation’s version of a celebrity endorsement, so in short – yes! Any business, big or small, can benefit from influencer marketing.

According to Tribe, Influencer Marketing is the fastest growing customer acquisition model, with 40% of businesses dedicating budget to it and 80% of those using it finding success.

Influencers can help your business do two main things:

  • Build brand awareness among a local audience
  • Attract new customers to your business
Think of your audience first

The key to a successful campaign? It’s all in the influencer.

Audiences on social media look to and follow influencers that they trust and admire – the same as people do celebrities. Most teenage girls for example are more likely to buy something used and recommended by Selena Gomez than they are Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.

It’s important therefore that you have a really good understanding of who your target audience and ideal customer are. You’ll then need to use that information to work with an influencer who has a similar audience.

Of course, in today’s age, celebrities and influencers walk a fine line that could easily get blurred. Take the Kardashian’s for example. Love them or hate them, they’re celebrities in their own right and have also become influencers, charging more than a million dollars for a single Instagram post.

But the problem with these massive influencers for small businesses (aside from the budget) is that they actually have a disconnect with their audiences. This is where micro influencers come into the picture.

What is a micro-influencer?

Unlike the celebrity influencer, micro-influencers are those folks with roughly 10K-20K followers (some will say up to 100,000). They have a highly targeted, very niche audience that feels like they know the person on the other side of the screen. Engagement is usually higher, and trust levels are through the roof.

Typically, these are local people who really focus on local products, brands, and businesses. Because they’re “just like us,” their followers value their opinion.

And, bonus: their rates usually aren’t $1 million per post, either. 

Check out these Canadian micro-influencers for some examples:

How do you get started with influencer marketing?

There’s a bit of work to do before you start approaching local influencers offering a partnership. Here are five key steps to get you started:

  1. Get really clear on who your target audience is
  2. Start searching Instagram for local micro-influencers with similar audiences (or your preferred platform, but remember that Instagram has the highest engagement rate among social networks, which is important when trying to connect with an audience)
  3. Decide on your budget and what product or service you would like to promote.
  4. Decide what kind of campaign you are looking for. Remember that most influencers will have certain ways of working with brands that are on-brand for them, and you’ll have to work within those parameters. For example, if the influencer never posts reels, they likely won’t want to start now.
  5. Reach out via the appropriate channels – many influencers will have an agency manage their requests for them and will include this info in their Instagram bio. 

Influencer marketing might sound like something reserved only for big brands with deep pockets, but by tapping into the local micro-influencer market you can set yourself and your business up for success. To discover more unique ways to grow your local business, check out our blog or book a free consultation.

What you need to know about Google Ads for Local Businesses

You have your website, an active blog page, and a consistent social media strategy all in place. So now what? If your organic marketing is all set and working for you, it’s time to take that content and put it in hyper-drive with Google Ads.

Great content is the key to reaching and building trust with your audience, so they feel confident purchasing your services and products. To maximize it, you’ll want to get it in front of even more eyes, so spending some money on Google Ads is a logical next step. Of course, if you’re spending money on advertising, you’ll want to make sure that your ad structure helps maximize your potential Return on Ad Spend (ROAS).

Because Google Ads can be a bit complicated, we’ve put together a few tips to help get you started.

Google Ads for Local Businesses: Quick Glossary
  • Keywords: The words or phrases consumers search for which signal to Google to show your ad. You choose a list of keywords when creating your ad campaign.
  • Bid: The maximum amount you’re willing to spend to get a click on an ad.
  • Quality Score: How relevant your ad is to your selected keywords and your landing page. The higher your Quality Score, the better.
  • Ad Rank: Where your ad shows on Google.
  • Cost-Per-Click (CPC): What you pay when an ad is clicked on.
  • Conversions: The action someone takes after they click your ad – for example, making a purchase.
Google Ads for Local Businesses: Use the Location Ad Extension

You can use several extensions with your Google Ads that help you achieve increased click-through rates, provide additional information to consumers, and make it easier for customers to call.

If you’re focusing on local search, the local ad extension can help you find a nearby product or service by opening Google Maps and giving the consumer directions to your store. The surprising news? Although 76% of people who search for a local service visit a business that day, not many companies use this ad extension! So you can get a leg up on your competition with just a few simple steps. 

In your Google Ads dashboard, search for the “Location Extensions” option.

Google Ads for Local Businesses: Update Your Location Targeting

Google’s targeting defaults to “anyone who shows interest in your area.” But what you want to do is target consumers who are in your area! 

To make this change, go to Campaign Settings -> Locations -> Target. Under Target, select the “People in or regularly in your targeted locations” option. Doing so will help narrow the search field and increase the chances of getting foot traffic to your store.

Google Ads for Local Businesses: Budgeting for Success

You’ll want to set up a campaign for each business objective you have. You could divide your budget evenly across each campaign set, but we recommend adjusting the budget based on your current focus. For example, if you’re having a sale on a particular product, you should focus more of your ad budget on that product for the duration of your sale. You can rearrange your budget again the following month, so you’re always putting more money behind the current business goals.

Google AdWords can seem daunting at first, but if you break it into steps and make tweaks to help target hyper-local consumers, you can effectively use AdWords to drive more foot traffic to your store. If you have more questions about how Google AdWords can help drive traffic to your store, book a free consultation call

How Your Local Business Benefits From Trust According To The Edelman Trust Barometer

If you’re a business owner, you likely know that trust plays a big factor in your sales – trust in your business, trust in your products, and trust built by reviews and testimonials left on sites like Google My Business or shared on social media. But how can you build and harness this trust factor? The Edelman Trust Barometer offers some clues. 

The Edelman Trust Barometer

Edelman recently released their 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer; stats which are pulled from a survey issued to more than 33,000 respondents in 28 countries. While trust, on the whole, has declined, largely due to the pandemic and the public being unsure of what information they can trust and from where, the good news is that for businesses, the trust index has actually increased.

Out of the four institution types included in the survey – Business, Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), Government, and Media – business is the only one that scored high enough to be classified as “Trusted”.

“While the world seems to be clouded by mistrust and misinformation, there is a glimmer of hope in business. This year’s study shows that business is not only the most trusted institution among the four studied, but it is also the only trusted institution with a 61 percent trust level globally, and the only institution seen as both ethical and competent.”

https://www.edelman.com/trust/2021-trust-barometer

 

Because folks are turning to businesses to fill in the gaps where it’s perceived that governments and media aren’t, it’s now more important than ever for CEOs to share quality, trustworthy information with their employees, which in turn finds its way into the community. But this isn’t just information about the business itself, more than 53% of respondents believe that corporations are responsible for filling in the information void, and 86% believe this should include topics such as COVID-19 and other social issues. 

A Person Like Me – Trusted Brands

There is a ripple effect here that occurs when businesses begin sharing trustworthy information and where they stand on major societal issues – businesses suddenly become perceived as having personalities. And who doesn’t want to hang out with and support people like them?

Here’s an example:

In 2018, Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) found itself at the center of the gun-control debate, when it was revealed that one of its suppliers, Vista, had holdings in the manufacture of assault-style weapons. MEC’s main consumer base, made up of outdoorsy folks who spend their time hiking, biking, camping, and enjoying nature, weren’t exactly on board with supporting the Vista brand. So MEC had to decide: Where do we stand on this issue?

Not surprisingly, they opted to stop using Vista as a distributor. 

“It’s been [a] really good exercise internally in taking the facts and coming up with an opinion that we believe is both balanced, and fair, and right,” Labistour told CBC News at the time.

The result? Sure, MEC likely lost some pro-gun shoppers, but it built its trust with its core community of brand-loyal customers.

Those consumers will share the “good news” with others in their network – mostly people like them who are pro gun control and enjoy the outdoors. A trusted friend sharing something good about a local business? You know they went there to buy their next pair of hiking boots.

Consumers like and trust brands that share the same values as them. Shoppers don’t only go after the cheapest price anymore. They want to know where their money is going, who they are supporting, and if the business has the same values as they do.

It all comes down to trust.

A Person Like Me – Trusted People

There’s something else we touched on in that last segment – trusted people. 72% of consumers won’t complete a purchase before consulting reviews, but how can we double-down on those reviews to get the most out of them?

By making sure they come from people like our consumers; from brand evangelists or ambassadors. This is why the rise of the social media influencer has been so popular among large brands and small local businesses alike – when people see someone they perceive to be like themselves advocating for a business or product, they’re infinitely more likely to also trust that business or product right away.

Social media influencers have essentially moved word-of-mouth marketing from small, in-person conversations to massive audiences that span from local communities to global ones. And again, it’s all rooted in the trust of the person sharing your message for you.

The Edelman Trust Barometer 2021 report has shown us that, more than ever, consumers are turning to businesses to see how they are communicating and handling social justice issues – and are therefore seeing which businesses have personalities (aka brands) that seem similar to themselves prior to making purchase decisions moving forward.

Now is the time to understand your brand, your ideal customer, and make sure they know, like, and trust you.

The Local Marketing Toolkit For Small Businesses

Our clients often ask us what local marketing toolkit they should be using to promote their business. So we’ve developed this post to provide guidance to those looking to promote their business in a local area.

We’re a small business too – so we know that small business owners have a lot to think about all the time. There’s a lot on your plate, from managing the day-to-day to behind-the-scenes operations, ensuring customer satisfaction, making sure employees are up to speed, and so forth.

Unfortunately, marketing often falls to the bottom of the to-do list. But, it is crucial to use the right tools to market your business. Doing so can go a long way to helping you build sales – and peace of mind. So, we’ve put together this local marketing toolkit that won’t break the budget and will move your business further along the line.

Website

A website is vital for online success. Whether you’re looking to collect leads or close an e-commerce sale, you need the proper infrastructure in place. That’s why these platforms are at the top of our local marketing toolkit. 

  • WordPress or Shopify: Website builders like WordPress and Shopify allow you to create unique websites that your customers will find. (Shopify will enable you to start selling online for as little as $29/month.) Many plug-and-play website builders out there make it easy to create and manage a website. But these sites come with a significant downside, too: they’re not set up with the appropriate back-end fields to help your website get found in search results. 
  • Google Analytics: Before you have your website up and running, make sure to enable Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. It’s vital as it lets you measure your advertising ROI as well as track referral traffic from organic, social media and paid traffic sources. This platform will help you understand where people are coming from to get to your site and which traffic converts the most visitors. 

Search Necessities

Now that your website is up and running and you’re tracking visits, you can concentrate on getting your needs found. Being search-ready can help you attract and intercept customers looking for what you sell or provide. 

  • Google My Business: This free profile or business listing on Google helps you keep your current customers up-to-date and makes it easier to be found by potential customers. Often, Google My Business listings will appear in search results even before websites do, so you’ll want to take advantage. 
  • Other directories and listing platforms: Countless apps and platforms allow businesses to set up a profile and get found by potential customers. But your business needs to have these profiles set up and be active! Expanding your presence to more directories allows you to increase your reach, build awareness and generate more traffic to your website. 10|20 Marketing offers a low-cost service that manages all of your profiles so you can focus on more important things in your business.

Email Marketing

If your website exists to generate leads or convert sales, then you’ll want to do something with all those email addresses you’re collecting. Regularly communicating with your prospects and clients can lead to (repeat) sales and greater loyalty. Make sure they opt-in to receive emails from you first, though!

  • ConvertKit: Free email marketing software for up to 1,000 subscribers. The free account includes unlimited landing pages and forms (to collect email addresses), allows you to send emails, and lets you sell and track digital products and subscriptions. You can even build your forms in ConvertKit and embed them into your website. Doing so allows each form completion to go directly into ConvertKit so you can make sure these sign-ups are in your database!
  • Mailchimp: More often than not, MailChimp seems to be the email marketing software of choice among small business owners. The free account allows you to have up to 2,000 contacts, sending up to 10,000 emails per month. It also includes landing pages and design tools.

Promotion

With everything running nice and smooth, you may want to consider a content (and) or a paid advertising strategy.

  • Social Media: Social media is excellent for building brand awareness and engaging with your audience for free. Use it to promote your content, blogs, tips, and advice – all things that help build trust with your audience and customers. Popular platforms for business are InstagramFacebook Pages, LinkedInPinterest, and yes, even TikTok! However, we recommend choosing one or two platforms to focus on, especially if you’re getting started. It’s to be present in one or two places all the time, then only once in a while on several networks. 
  • Facebook Ads: On Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, or any other social platform, if you want more than organic reach, you can create ads to target a wider audience. You can choose exactly how much you want to spend. And doing so is especially helpful if you are promoting a new product or service.
  • Google Ads: Wish your website would appear at the top of the search results page? Well, it can. Google Ads are similar to Facebook Ads, except, of course, they appear on the Google web search results page. Create an ad and choose what kind of keywords you want to target, set a budget, and you’re you’red running!

10|20 Marketing can help you manage your ad campaigns on social media and Google if this is outside of your comfort zone.

Other Tools

What else might you need to keep your business running smoothly? Here are some other ideas. 

  • LastPass: LastPass allows you to store all of your passwords securely and share individual passwords with trusted team members that require them. It’s an important tool to maintain business integrity and stay safe online.
  • Zapier: Zapier allows you to integrate all of your apps and automate specific processes to save time. Build triggers to complete processes for your business. For example, you can use this to get an email every time a new form completion comes from your website.

The Local Marketing Toolkit For Small Businesses

Finally, you’ll want your website, apps, social profiles, and email marketing all connected so you can accurately measure the results of your efforts. Connect what you can to Google Analytics, and take the time to understand the leads and sales you get from your promotions.

There are several moving pieces when it comes to marketing your local business online. If you’re feeling stuck or overwhelmed, book a free consultation with us and let’s see how we can help. 

Visit These Sites For The Best Local Marketing Advice

Looking for local marketing advice? With all of the ‘expert’ marketing guidance out there on the internet, it can be hard to know what sources you can trust. And which pieces of local marketing advice you should leave behind. As a small business owner, you want to be sure you’re not wasting your time!

We get it, and we want to see you succeed. So we’ve compiled a list of resources we believe offer great insights that you can feel good about.

Local University

Local U teaches business owners all about online marketing, focusing on Local Search Engine Optimization. Pre-COVID, Local U brought together SEO experts to deliver training at in-person, full-day seminars. (Note: you can buy access to past, recorded conferences or stay up-to-date on upcoming events here.)

But Local U is more than just a marketing conference. They have an affordable, paid membership forum where local business owners have access to more than 20 local search experts to get professional advice to their most burning questions, as well as access to discounts on event tickets.

They also have several free resources, including a blog and unique tool that gives you the ability to score your Google Homepage.

Wordstream

Wordstream offers “online advertising made easy,” pairing advisors with businesses. But we think the real gem on their site is the Local Marketing section. Here they have a blog full of tips and advice for local businesses who want to drive more sales with cost-effective marketing strategies.

They recently published a new blog called Our 7 Favourite (Free!) Local Marketing Resources for 2021, a list explicitly curated for local businesses. Their list offers resources on everything from pay-per-click advertising to SEO and lifestyle and career growth. No matter where you are in your business, there’s a tool for everyone on Wordstream. 

Uberall

Uberall offers various online marketing services and products, but they also deliver a vast amount of free resources. These resources include tips, news, and industry insights for local businesses.

One recent blog post looks at the Future of Retail and the “seismic shift” that happened in the market thanks to COVID-19. Online shopping exploded last year – what does that mean for the brick-and-mortar store?

Uberall also has webinars, e-books, and reports, if you want to take a deep dive into any of the content topics, including a white paper called The Automotive Guide to Digital Marketing.

Full disclosure: 10|20 Marketing is a Uberall reseller. 

Moz

Moz was founded in 2004. It was initially a blog and online community dedicated to search engine optimization, and eventually, they created some of their own tools and products.

You can bet that a company that started out as a blog about SEO still has a great blog all about search! Their articles go beyond the basics and dive into the specifics. For example, they discuss long-tail SEO in 2021 or using low-search volume keywords to optimize content. If you’re ready to take on your website’s SEO, Moz is the place to go!

10|20 Marketing

Of course, our very own site is full of carefully curated blogs, advice, and stories from other local business owners to help you learn and grow your business. We’re passionate about supporting local businesses in any way we can, so our blog is full of advice like tips on how to Spring Clean Your Business for Growth and Four Creative Ways to Use GeoFencing.

At the same time, we love giving the spotlight to those local businesses we want to support. So we created a series to highlight Owner Stories, where we chat with local business owners about all things business! And PS: we’re always looking for folks to feature, so if you’re interested in sharing your story, send us a message!

We’ll continue scouring the internet for the best local marketing advice for you, so be sure to check back often to see what’s new!

 

What You Need To Know About Shopify For Small Businesses

There’s a reason Shopify is a top name in the e-commerce website industry: it was built for people and businesses like you by people with businesses like yours. The first Shopify website was their own; when the company’s founders wanted to sell snowboards online. Not finding an e-commerce site that gave them everything they needed, they decided to create a platform. And that platform became Shopify. 

Shopify is a DIY platform, allowing business owners to “start, run, and grow a business.” Ten years after creating the site for themselves, almost 2 million businesses use Shopify around the world today! The platform handles everything from marketing and payments to checkout and shipping. It’s a one-stop-shop that makes it easy to keep track of everything in one place. No fussing with complicated integrations!

Great, so how do I get started?

  • First, sign-up! (Here’s a link to the free trial for you). Shopify will ask you for some basic information, like your personal info and what type of products you are or might be selling.
  • Set up your shop. After signing up, you can start right away on the fun stuff: customizing your store!
  • Choose a theme for your storefront. Shopify storefront themes are easily customizable and look great, so you don’t have to worry if you don’t know how to write code or develop websites. That’s the exact point. Personalize it by adding your business colours, logo, and fonts.
  • Add your products. Hit ‘Add a product’ at the top right corner of the screen and follow the prompts! Add photos, a description, and anything a customer would want to know about the product.

That’s it! After you’ve created your site, all that’s left to do is add your payment option (whether with PayPal, Amazon payments, or something else) and get ready to go live.

The Shopify Checklist

Of course, no matter how user-friendly the platform is or how great their customer support team is, creating and launching an online shop can quickly get overwhelming. Luckily, Shopify put together this Launch Checklist, which includes 13 steps you should go through before publishing your online store. There are many pieces here, but luckily Shopify has a great blog and customer support system to help you through each stage if needed.

  1. Choose and Add your sales channels 
  2. Add your custom domain
  3. Do a thorough review of your checkout experience and payment settings
  4. Prepare your standard website pages, like your Home, About, and Contact pages
  5. Review your email notification settings
  6. Do a content audit (or have someone else do it for you) to make sure there are no spelling errors or other grammatical mistakes. 
  7. Optimize all of your pages so people will easily find your website.
  8. Install an analytics tool, like Google Analytics, to track your results
  9. Create a pre-launch marketing plan
  10. Adjust tax and shipping rates as needed
  11. Make it easy for customers to contact you
  12. Remove any non-essential apps (or don’t install them) 
  13. Set up your billing information

Shopify plans are all month-to-month, so you can upgrade, downgrade, or cancel at any time. You’re never locked in, which can sometimes feel intimidating for business owners. And in the post-COVID era, this rings truer as we’ve all quickly discovered that anything could happen.

So, what kind of products can you sell on the e-commerce platform?

Almost anything! You can sell most physical products, manage a drop-shipping business, and sell digital products and services. There are some exceptions, but they are familiar to most e-commerce platforms: no pharmaceuticals or supplements, alcohol or marijuana, or gambling products.

Do you use Shopify? Here’s what we’ve done to help clients who use it. We’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!

Geofencing: Four Creative Uses To Build Awareness and Drive Traffic

Geofencing is a highly effective way to target your ideal customers the moment they’re primed for responding to an ad from your business when done right. For example, traditionally you may put a geofence around a competitor’s location, and send ads to people who enter the area letting them know your products or services are currently discounted.

Thanks to COVID-19 and the ongoing pandemic, however, many businesses have changed their business model and many consumers are now shopping online as opposed to in-store. So how can small business owners still take advantage of geofencing, a location-based targeting tactic? Here are a couple of ways to keep it functioning as an integral part of your marketing strategy.

Expand Your Location Parameter

Curbside pick-up, long lines outside of stores, and drive-thrus are becoming increasingly popular as this pandemic continues. Because of this, it’s important to expand your geofencing parameter to a larger area in order to incorporate those consumers. Of course, you’ll want to double-check that the locations you’re targeting are still open, or what their current hours are so that you’re not targeting locations without an audience present.

Build Awareness About Amenities

Whether it’s a city park, a stadium, a hospital, or a shopping center – instead of driving traffic to your location from a competitor, you can use geofencing to alert consumers already on or near your site to available amenities. This can include food services, public restrooms, taxi pick-up; a number of services consumers still require, but that are more difficult to locate these days.

Strengthen Your Current Strategy

By adapting your strategy to include a larger parameter, or targeting more people for brand or amenity awareness, you naturally bring a larger audience into your range. Now is a good time to review the audience layers of your strategy and tighten them up to ensure you’re only attracting the most ideal customers to your business. This will help increase your conversion rate.

Keep Your Content Fresh

When driving traffic to your website through geofencing during COVID-19, ensure you’re updating your web and social media content regularly. You want to make sure the potential customers you are attracting have the most accurate information possible, understand what you are doing in terms of COVID protocols, and know how to purchase from you safely. Stale content will result in a potential loss of conversions.

If geofencing is part of your strategy, or you want to incorporate it, but aren’t sure of the best way to do so during the pandemic, send us a message. We’re always happy to help and set you up with a strategy for success.