Thinking of starting an online business? The process has been made easy by user-friendly web platforms, such as Magento and Shopify. The real challenge is sustaining quality leads and traffic on your website, and then getting them to buy your products or services.

How do big companies like Amazon and Chapters sustain themselves by getting people to buy their products online? What can you do, as a start up or small business, to compete with the big fish in the game. The following tips have been compiled to help you set up your online store for long term success:

1. Be Unique

The products and services you offer should be unique by all standards of assessment. It should look different from thousands of other online shops out there. One way to be unique is to go through your competitors and pick out features that they are missing and make sure to include them on your online store web application. Another suggestion is to take a survey from current customers to see what they would like to see on your website to make their experience better. Consumers will be keener on buying from you than your competitors when you cater to their needs and requests.

2. Get a Social Presence

Setting up appropriate social media accounts cannot be neglected. The channels must be constantly maintained with unique and engaging content. Social Media Marketing does not follow a “set it and forget it” motto, as many companies believe. It is better to have no channels than to have one that is empty or not being updated regularly. As well, social media channels like Instagram and Pinterest offer you the privilege of interacting with consumers, giving discounts on offers, and answering questions in an open way. If you are selling clothes, make up, computers and other household accessories, these channels are good places to begin advertising.

3. Choosing the Right Platform

Not all e-commerce platforms work the same! Equally as important to note, not all platforms work for every industry. We recommend brainstorming your needs first. Then, contact each e-commerce platform to see how they can meet your needs.

Another error we see being made by small businesses and start-ups is the absence of a hosted ecommerce. Rather, the products are sold via third-party platforms like Facebook, eBay and Amazon. Your online store should be hosted by you using open source software, first. When posting on third party platforms include a link back to your website which will support your SEO and Google rankings.

4. Pay Attention to SEO

eCommerce website SEO is not as easy as blogging. Unfortunately, SEO problems have plagued online stores who have not fully set up their websites to be crawled by search engines. As such, businesses have found themselves struggling in the relegation zones, especially with the constant search engine and social media algorithm changes. A few notable struggles are:

  • Product descriptions tend to be short, leading to a small amount of actual on-page content – which can be considered “low quality” by search engines.
  • Product variants such as size or colour can generate unique URLs with effectively duplicate content. You should be adding a canonical link back to the main product page.
  • Products in multiple categories create duplicate URLs. Webmasters should be using rel-canonical to avoid this.
  • Product categories are often attributed to multiple pages and thousands of products – make sure all the items are indexed with the proper use of rel=next and rel=prev tags.

5. Include Structured Data

Structured data or “rich snippets“, is a code added to your webpage to describe the kind of content – this might include videos, company information, and average customer reviews. Google may use it (no guarantee) when the page appears in the search results. Look at the example below.

<script type=”application/ld+json”>
“@context”: “iRISEmedia”,
“@type”: “digital marketing company”,
“url”: “”,
“name”: “iRISEmedia Digital Marketing Company”,
“contactPoint”: {
“@type”: “ContactPoint”,
“telephone”: “18887504344”,
“contactType”: “Customer service”

About iRISEmedia | Internet Marketing Agency

iRISEmedia is an internet marketing agency servicing companies in Canada and the United States. We specialize in digital marketing and social media marketing and will work with you to create an internet marketing strategy for your ecommerce website and campaign. Contact us today to get started!

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