Tag Archives: ecommerce

Web Marketing For Dummies

Web Marketing For DummiesWeb Marketing is more than just having a website – it’s the strategy of using a website in conjunction with e-mail, e-commerce, chat rooms, blogs, etc. to attract customers. If you are just starting out marketing online or even if you already have a professional website, it’s worth your time to review this book.

The book starts (Part I: Getting Going With Online Marketing) by helping you to develop your online strategy: Who is your target market (by market segmentation), The 4 Ps of marketing (product, price, placement, and promotion), and domain names.

Part II: Building a Marketing-Effective Website focuses on making your website work: marketing copy, graphics, testimonials, and an online store.

Part III: Exploring Online Marketing Basics focuses on strategies for increasing traffic to your website: email marketing, viral marketing, and search engine optimization.

Part IV: Spending Online Marketing Dollars gives you ideas for how to spend your advertising dollars to build traffic: Pay Per Click Ads, Banner Ads, Classified Ads, and Podcasts.

Part V: Maximizing Your Web Success describes using web analytics to measure your ROI, avoiding legal nightmares, and planning for the future.

Part VI: The Part of Tens gives 3 quick checklists for your online marketing: 10 Free Ways To Market Your Website, 10 Most Common Mistakes of Web Marketing, and 10 Tips for Tired Sites.

Reading this book won’t make you a web marketing guru. But it will help you to understand how to improve your own online marketing and how to work with marketing professionals.

How Can I Help My 7-Year Old’s Lego Business?

My 7 year old son has been bugging me for quite some time to help him start an internet business. I thought it might be a good lesson in business, so I agreed. He decided he wanted to do a Lego site and sell Legos. I set up a blog for him on blogger. He made up a domain name and created a tagline. He is making video lego reviews, making and sharing Lego creations, and giving out lego tips. (I actually think he is pretty good – but that could just be me being a proud mom). I saw that you could become an affiliate of Amazon, so we did that and created a lego store. I also put adsense on there for him. Now of course we’ve got to get people to come to the site. We just put up the site up last week, which is at www.LegoAdventures.com What suggestions do you have to let people know of this site? I’m pleased with certain results, but I’m not pleased with the conversion to revenue (zero).


The problem is that his store is selling a commodity product with no value added. This is causing a disconnect between your visitor and the site.

Here’s my thinking. A 7-year old. That’s interesting. I look at the site. Watch the video. And see that he likes certain sets and think, I can buy those sets elsewhere. He’s not selling sets that he designed or instructions for converting existing sets to something more appealing.

The “hook” of your son’s age/perspective is great. But selling something generic isn’t. I would consider a different notion. Instead of trying to sell sets, try to increase traffic to the site. Then sell ad space. Play with the PPC keywords to increase traffic. Get the site listed on other kids and Lego sites. Have your son become the Lego equivalent of movie reviewers for the young crowd. That will help on 2 fronts: opinions are interesting to readers and it may help to attract interest from the Lego company itself (which you son currently would love to work for).

Should I Send Out Press Releases?

A few months ago I published a new on-line boutique website offering designer laptop bags. I have a small budget and would like to know if there really is any GOOD FREE PR websites; or any PR firms that you could steer me too. I have no experience in this area at all. I have written my own press release but don’t know where OR what to do next.


Press releases are great for disseminating something new (that may be of interest to the media). However, they’re not a substitute for marketing / advertising.

What I think you want is targeted traffic for your website that converts into customers.

Before you get more traffic, I would encourage you to enhance your website. To actually see a good picture of one of your bags for sale (ignoring the 2 that are on the home page), it took me 3 clicks to get to the page. My suggestion is since you have an ecommerce site, make the site easier to navigate, and quicker to see the merchandise to entice me. For example, when I want to buy bags, I don’t want to read about your bags (which is basically text that you’ve artificially created for the search engines) – I want to see them. Once the site is enhanced, then increase your traffic.

If you don’t have a big budget, then start by doing a keyword investigation to see what people are searching on and what’s (and who’s) ranking well. Given your price point, a PPC campaign may make sense as well.

You also want to get mentioned in the various fashion magazines, blogs, and websites if you have something special/unusual. For the magazines, a targeted press release to the proper editor would be better than an press release “blast”. On blogs, feel free to post something of value and get a backlink. On fashion websites, contact the owner and see if they’d be willing to give you a mention.

What Canned Responses Should My Online Store Generate?

I was trying to find a website that offers free canned responses that I can send out to our customers after they have made a purchase at our online shop (order confirmation-thank you for your order…etc.) also a canned response that is responding to a customer inquiry.


If you do want to “borrow” some canned responses, I’d suggest modeling them on Amazon. They’ve got the email response language down.

See also: commentary on the canned responses

How To Start Your Online Business For Free

Let me first answer the common questions:

I’m not a computer whiz. Creating a website isn’t much harder than creating a document in your word processor.

I don’t have a lot of time. Spend more time selling your products (services) and less time setting up your business using the detailed steps.

Is this really free? Yes.

Why? By giving you a free website, companies build your loyalty.

Why do professionals charge $1000s? Anyone can create an online business. Making the website look “sharp” is a job for the pros. If you don’t have thousands of dollars to spend, create something functional now and improve it later.

The “catch” is that for free you won’t get your own domain name (www.MyBusiness.com) . Instead, you’ll have to have a name like: MyBusiness.googlepages.com. From a professional marketing perspective, this isn’t ideal. However, if you have no budget but want a website, then this will work wonderfully. There are a number of companies that will provide you a free website. I’ve found that that “Google Pages Creator” is the best – they don’t insert advertisements onto your website.

  1. Go to: pages.google.com
  2. Create a free Gmail account (if you don’t already have one)
  3. Websites are all about visual appeal. Gather images that highlight your product (or service). Make sure that the images are yours to use (either something you created, is in the public domain, or have licensed).
  4. Design your “Home” page. This page should answer the question, “What problem does your product (or service) solve?” Don’t clutter it with lots of details. The home page is all about getting someone interested enough to read further. Make sure that the home page has your contact information (name, address, phone, email) on it (note: you want contact info on all your webpages).
  5. Design your “Contact Me” page. Make it easy for someone to find you.
  6. Design your “About Me” page. Add a picture of you. This page should answer the question, “Why are you the best person to sell this product (or service)?” or “Why should I trust you?”.
  7. Design your “Store” page. This page should answer the question, “How much does it cost? What are the details? What proof do you have? How can I buy it?”
  8. Go to: www.paypal.com
  9. If you don’t already have a (business) checking account, go to your local bank to get one. Link the account to Pay Pal.
  10. Choose for your Paypal “payment solution” Website Payments Standard. Create Buy Now buttons and/or PayPal Shopping Cart for each product you’re selling. Insert the buttons at the proper locations on your “store” webpage.
  11. Get feedback from your business associates. Does the site look acceptable? Is the information on the site accurate?

The site that you create will be a full-fledged online business. People can find more information about you and your products. They can order from you online. You can gradually improve the look and feel of the website over time.