eCommerce Site Marketing Pre-Launch Checklist

In no particular order of importance.

Social

  • Social media content calendar for content that is relevant to your target audience. Content does not have to be centered around your product all the time
  • For bootstrapped businesses, engage a social media marketer from Upwork just to create “filler” content
  • For posts linking to original content, spend at least $5 on a boost.
  • Claim your Google Business
  • Claim your Faceboook & IG Pages
  • If applicable, get multi locations going in both Facebook and Google
    • If the locations tab doesn’t show up for you in Facebook Admin, use this link https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/911181838969039
  • Create photo album for your products
  • Sync your ecommerce platform to Facebook shop

SEO

  • Read this to get a good foundation: https://www.amazon.com/Art-SEO-Theory-Practice/dp/1449304214
  • The key pages to focus on for your ecommerce site in order of importance:
    • Homepage
    • Category page
    • Product page
  • Nail down the main keyword you want your homepage to show up for in Google
  • Adding a country modifier to a search term typically represents a high buying intent. e.g. adidas shoes singapore
  • Having consistent NAP is important for Local SEO

SEM

  • Make sure auto-tagging is enabled
  • Keep your ad groups tight and use broad modified to zero in on buying related or “decision” keywords
  • Sync up Adwords to Google Analytics
  • There’s a lot of initial setup involved which has been well covered by other blog posts

Content

  • Creating content is expensive which is why you want to make every piece count. A good blog post that covers this is https://ahrefs.com/blog/long-tail-keywords/
  • Sync your content creation with your social media calendar
  • Understand the types of content along the buyers journey
    • Awareness
    • Consideration
    • Decision
  • Look for easy wins in local context. Modifiers that include a country or city all indicate strong transact potential
  • Content is nothing without distribution. Spend an equal amount of time thinking about the distribution plan for your content
  • Video content is shown to have much better engagement on Facebook compared to Photo/Text content
  • There can be content engineered for virality and content engineered for SEO. Consider both types for your business. Viral content is great at driving backlinks to your SEO-centric pages.

Analytics

  • Set up and enable Google Analytics. Make sure you have enhanced ecommerce activated. For Woocommerce users, I highly recommend installing this plugin: https://woocommerce.com/products/woocommerce-google-analytics-pro/
  • Create a buyer dashboard that gives an overall view of who your buyers are. You can use this dashboard I created as a starting point: https://www.google.com/analytics/gallery/#posts/search/%3F_.viewId%3DTxWVm49eQKe59rq-bGBQ6w
  • There are numerous other dashboards in the Solutions gallery that is worth exploring
  • Think about the steps required for a transaction to occur. For example, if your “Sessions with product views” is low, then the chances of a transaction happening is going to be low as result. Take steps to improve each step using Google Analytics to guide you. You can take the free course here: https://analytics.google.com/analytics/academy/

Email

  • As you might already know, building a mailing list is vital to your business in the long term. Conversion rates from emails tend to be much higher than “cold” sources
  • The cheapest paid account for Mailchimp gives you lots of features including automated emails for cart abandonment. See: https://mailchimp.com/pro/
  • The minimum email marketing plan is to come up with 1 campaign idea each week. That means 52 for the entire year. There should be discounts given every 4-6 weeks to keep buying interest high. If you’re using an email software like Mailchimp, you can schedule the first email blast on Monday and replicate the exact email campaign but aimed at your subscribers who did not engage with the original email campaign. This allows you to send out 2 sets of emails per week around one campaign.

Technical

  • If you’re using WordPress, invest in a backup plan like https://vaultpress.com/
  • Make sure your site loads fast with https://tools.pingdom.com/
  • Check your page speed and mobile friendliness with https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/

Other

  • Set up Google alerts for terms and products relevant your business
  • Giveaways work well for building your mailing list. Use tools like http://kingsumo.com/apps/giveaways/
  • Sync up your eCommerce store to your inventory management software like DEAR. Or are you still using a desktop bound app?
Advertisements

WordPress .htaccess file HTTP to HTTPS

Sometimes when you update your theme on WordPress, the original .htaccess file will get over-written.

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /

RewriteCond %{HTTPS} !=on
RewriteRule ^(.*) https://%{SERVER_NAME}/$1 [R=301,L]

# BEGIN WordPress
RewriteRule ^index\.php$ - [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /index.php [L]
</IfModule>

Solution Fixation

Sometimes we have it in our head a solution to what we think is the problem. This fixation on the solution leads us to be blind to new information that may arise through the investigation of the problem. In this sense, your mind has already made it’s decision – the solution stays the same regardless of the actual problem. This is made more dangerous when every one starts drinking the same kool aid.

It is helpful to pause from time to time to remind yourself: what is the problem you’re trying to solve?

Everyone should learn to code, everyone should learn to design

The first image when I googled "You can be a designer". Mattel for it covered.

The first image when I googled “You can be a designer”. Mattel got it covered.

I posted this tweet about 1.5 years ago.

Well, the learn to code bandwagon has not died down since. Between IDA’s Smart Nation and General Assembly coming to Singapore, you know things are getting serious when the big boys get behind it.

To an average user, the software isn’t made up of code comments, super encapsulated classes, methods etc. It’s the interface. The software is the interface you provide your users. If you can’t design software to be usable, you don’t have software. On that note, think of how many man hours ACRA would save SMEs if they have a better interface.

So, the push for more computer engineers and developers needs to be coupled with a push for more creative people into User Experience, User Interface and Information Architecture disciplines. And it’s not an easy role either. To be a competent frontend designer, you need to understand:

  • UX/UI
  • Human psychology
  • Effective copy writing
  • Information Architecture
  • Overall business objectives
  • SEO
  • The role of A/B testing
  • Content marketing
  • HTML/CSS + JS
  • Analytics
  • Mobile and responsive design

Geez that’s a lot of stuff. I would say finding a good front end designer is even harder than finding a good programmer.

It won’t be long before we starting seeing the Singapore/SE Asian versions of http://designerfund.com/