As a brick and mortar store, understanding your competition is simple. With only a handful of other businesses vying for the attention of your customers, it’s easy to see their tactics and shift your strategies to adapt. However, things work a little differently in the world of digital, and with online stores taking up a more prominent share of the market than ever before, acclimating is vital to success. So, where does one start when looking to expand their online store?
Often referred to as web scraping or web crawling, data scraping is a fantastic tool for those looking to gather intelligence on potential clients and competitors alike. In essence, data scraping is the process of crawling through accessible content on a domain and extracting relevant data into an easily-digestible format.
This offers an expansive array of benefits that aren’t possible through other means, as you are effectively receiving up-to-date metrics and resources right from the source. Plus, with the availability of automated web scraping services, this process is made even simpler.
Content is Key
Whilst you may believe that your pictures and product descriptions speak for themselves, Google says otherwise. Given the importance that Google’s algorithm puts on both high-quality content and frequent updates, a site that only has a few lines of text to its name is not going to rank favorably.
Luckily, it’s easier than you may think to fix a stagnant site. An excellent starting place is fleshing out the existing content on your pages. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this yourself, getting a digital marketing agency or freelance copywriter to do the heavy lifting for you. However, if you’re taking it on yourself, there are a few things that can be done to improve your chances of getting recognised by Google.
It helps to have a basic understanding of SEO and ranking factors, as this will allow you to cater your content specifically toward search engines. With that said, remember to balance SEO writing and copywriting methodologies, as you want a website that will both allow you to be found and entice potential customers to stay.
The Power of PPC
Stepping outside the confines of your website, PPC (pay-per-click) advertising allows you to be front and centre whenever a search engine user types in a specific phrase. This can be used to completely revitalise your store’s search traffic, but only if you’re smart about it. A well-managed PPC campaign can offer enormous increases in relevant traffic at little cost, while a poorly-managed campaign can end up an expensive mess.
This partially comes down to the payment system of PPC, in which you are only charged per-person who clicks through from the ad to your landing page. Therefore, it’s up to you to selectively choose target keywords and ensure that the traffic you’re getting is likely to convert into customers.
By utilising SEO and PPC together, your online store can appear several times on a single search page, meaning that searchers are significantly more likely to choose you over a competitor.
If this is your first time delving into the world of search optimisation and online marketing, it can all seem a little daunting. However, just remember that there is a wealth of valuable information out there to help you, and many services that can be utilised if you need some help along the way. Good luck!