Whether you want to advance your existing ecommerce business, you have an existing brick and mortar business that you want to bring online, or you simply have an idea for great web start-up, there are a few things you need to know before getting started.

Understand Your Market

Like any new business venture, you need to understand your market and determine how people are searching for your product. Start by compiling a list of 20 keywords that describe your most popular products and then enter these phrases in Google’s Keyword Tool. From here you will get a feel for whether or not the product you’re looking to offer online is a viable one.

Use Ecommerce Software

Ecommerce software is essential for an online business. Prices for pre-packaged software or customized software may very, so make careful considerations about what your software needs to achieve in relation to your budget.

Be sure to consider the following:

  • Choose software that can easily integrate with other platforms you use.
  • Choose software that integrates or includes warehouse management and stock control.
  • Choose software that is both search engine optimization (SEO) friendly and includes an easy-to-use content management system (CMS).
  • Choose software that has a proven payment gateway that supports ‘token’ authorizations and settlement.

Market Your Website

Simply having a website isn’t enough, it needs to be marketed.

Depending on your budget, there are multiple marketing channels available, including SEO, pay per click marketing (PPC) and social media marketing (SMM), The question to ask yourself is whether or not you can handle these marketing campaigns on your own or if you need to hire an outside firm.

  • SEO: The basics can be applied easily with limited knowledge. However, depending on how competitive your market is, it may be worth it to hire an agency that is well-versed in more advanced techniques.
  • PPC: Platforms such as Google AdWords allow you send instant traffic to your website, which can provide vital traffic while you wait for your SEO campaign to gain traction. If incorrectly set up, however, a PPC campaign can result in overspending. So, think before you act and consider hiring an agency that can manage your account for you.
  • SMM: Build your networks and interact with those who follow you to build you brand both online and off. At its core, social media allows you to interact with your existing and prospective customers to build stronger relationships.

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