Weekly Roundup – Your Online Work Should Be Fun

Weekly Roundup – Your Online Work Should Be Fun

This is a catchup on what I have been doing this week and my reflection of said actions.

The title for this post – Your Online Work Should Be Fun, is just a reminder that working and making money online is a choice and that it should be fun. 

This doesn’t mean that it won’t be difficult but it shouldn’t make you feel down or depressed. 

You might as well go out and let someone else give you a paycheck, if you actually hate the process of providing online content.

I actually started out feeling quite down at the beginning of the week. 

I got my copy published and I didn’t know what else I was supposed to do. 

Thinking about making money online was getting in the way of me enjoying the process or writing just for fun.

Instead of  being able to write what I wanted, I kept asking myself – will this make money – will this make money? 

Having that question constantly on your mind can really hinder your progress.

I wonder if anyone else has felt that. 

I would love to know what you think and what you do when you find yourself in this sort of situation.

Anyway, I finally got out of my funk and out of my own headspace and ended up getting some other stuff written and published. 

And yes, I did enjoy the process.

In this article, we will be talking about:

  • A Step-By-Step Guide to Write a Blog That Hits the Top SERPs
  • Are You Wasting Money With Your PPC Campaign?
  • The 11 Best Dropshipping Tools

Let’s dive in …


Blogging is no longer a quantity game.

When I started blogging there was less than 30 or 40 million blogs.

It was a smaller number.

Now there are over a billion blogs. Just think about that.

A billion blogs on the web.

That’s roughly one blog for every seven people.

Do you think we really need all those blogs out there?

No, of course not.

That’s why blogging has shifted from a quality game versus a quantity game.

When I started you can just crank out tons of quantity, you’ll do well.

And now if you do that, you won’t do well.

So I’m gonna break down the formula you need to follow, step by step.

Step one, head over to Ubersuggest.

Step two, once you’re at Ubersuggest, type in a competing URL.

So take any one of your competitors that you know is doing really well, type in their URL into Ubersuggest.

Step three, you’ll see an overview page.

This will show you their traffic, all their search terms, within the region you’re targeting.

You’ll see that URL’s traffic.

You can always switch the region to another country.

But the reason this tool is built this way is that your customers are probably coming from a specific region versus from everywhere in the world.

On that page I want you to scroll down, click on Top Pages.

When you click on Top Pages it’ll show you all of the most popular pieces of content that your competition’s written about, their traffic to each post, and when you click View All under their estimated traffic, it’ll show you all the keywords that are driving those visitors.

Now, the next step I want you to follow.

You’re looking for the keywords that drive in a lot of traffic, the most volume.

You’ll be looking for keywords that have a low search difficulty or SEO difficulty number.

Ideally under 50.

And you’ll be looking for keywords that have a high cost per click.

So, in general, if it’s over a dollar or two, three dollars, the better.

When you find these keywords, those are money keywords.

I want you to go and search for ’em on Google.

Which is the next step.

So go to Google, do a search for one of those keywords.

When you do a search, read all the articles in the top ten.

When you read all the articles in the top ten it’ll give you a good understanding of what Google is looking for for the articles that rank for that term.

Especially if you wanna rank for it.

The next step is to write a much better article.

I’m not talking about something that’s double, triple the length.

I’m not even talking about 10 times the length.

Yes, you want something that’s longer and more in depth.

But it’s not all about length.

It’s more about thoroughness.

Did you cover every aspect of that article, that topic?

For example, if it’s making a pizza, do you talk about the crust?

How the water affects the crust and the taste.

Is it better to use bottled water or tap water?

How should you cook your pizza?

Do you cook the dough first and then put on the sauce?

Like, what’s the process?

By breaking it down step by step to even what kind of oven you should use.

Where to put the tray in the oven.

In the middle, at the top, at the bottom.

They’re like, “Oh my god Neil, I got so much value out of it.”

And that’s the key to creating an amazing piece of content.

That’s how you write content that gets traffic.

It’s not about producing quantity.

It’s about producing quality.

And the last step I have for you is when you’re producing these content email all the other sites that you source, right?

The sites you’re linking to.

Once you follow this research process you’ll do much better.

And this is why, if you follow this, you will start only writing articles that rank.

You’ll stop writing articles that get no traction – which is a huge waste of time.

A Step-By-Step Guide to Write a Blog That Hits the Top SERPs

Successful content marketing is almost impossible without creating and publishing blogs on your website and social media profiles.

Blogging is a great way to increase traffic, establish industry authority, user engagement, networking opportunities etc.

The content provides a foundation for effective blogs, so producing them the right way is critically important.

According to Optinmonster, 57% of marketers agree that they have attracted customers through blogging.

However, 65% of marketers mention that their biggest challenge is to create engaging content.

But wait. No matter how strong online presence you’ve built, the real key to victory is managing your posting consistency as it drives optimum SEO results.

If you are not consistent with your efforts, you cannot improve search engine ranking (SERPs).

How to write a blog that ranks high in search results

I have discussed below some basic steps that I use personally for composing write-ups that drive high rankings on Google.

1. Find niche topics & relevant keywords

What to blog about?

First things first. Understand the science behind the user’s search intent.

If you know what your target audience is looking for and what their intent is when they write something in the search bar, half of your job is done.

Getting inspired by others

Check out top Google Trends, search topics on Pinterest and Instagram to get a sense of what everyone is seeking to learn more about.

You can write about the latest technology trends and news, digital marketing, things related to a pandemic or whatever your expertise are.

Our previous guest posting project shows that websites accept more articles that are linked with technology.

A pro tip is to breakdown complicated facts or concepts into a simple structure.

That’s easier for you to write and for the reader to understand.

Some useful ways to find niche topic are:

  • Pick a topic you enjoy discussing
  • Forum websites like Quora
  • Section’ searches related to’ on Google page
  • SEO software keyword suggestion
  • Take help from salespeople if necessary.

Take help from Ubersuggest

Step 1: Search a broad niche topic such as ‘Website traffic

Step 2: Click on keyword ideas in the left sidebar.

Step 3: Review the results

Now that you’ve found the right keywords to focus, add them into your title:

  • Website traffic increase with these simple five steps.
  • What will website traffic drivers work for me in 2020?
  • Top 10 website traffic tracker tools you should definitely check out.

Add these keywords in your content too but don’t overdo it as it will lead to keyword stuffing.

The number of times you want to add the keyword depends on you. Just make sure it sounds natural.

2. Write irresistible titles

What kind of write-up would you be interested in reading: Social media marketing tips Or How to use social media marketing to increase website traffic?

I am pretty sure you would choose the second option because I understand the user’s search intent.

This is the reason why picking the trending topics in your field is important. Hook your readers with capturing titles.

 Titles with 6-13 words are likely to attract consistent traffic.

Write any digital marketing topic on Google’s search bar, and you’ll see multiple catchy headlines pushing you to click them.

3. Optimize for keywords and content

Rule # 1 of your actual SEO strategy is to identify the best keywords and optimize them because Google only rewards optimized sites and content.

When your keywords and content are structured in an SEO friendly way then

Use these tips:

  • Get a top spot by making in-depth blog posts with 1000 words or above.
  • Increased readability factor by using free tools like
    • WebFX tool
    • Text optimizer
    • Grammarly
    • Analyzer
    • SEMrush SEO Assistant
  • Update your content frequently

For example, in a search for ‘Christmas cake recipe,’ this article stands out because it is recently published.

On the other hand, this article was published last year.

4. Your content should resolve customer issues

Your blog content must possess practice value for visitors because this is the only way to keep them engaged till the end. 

They want to read something purposeful that not only answer their queries but also inspire them to take certain actions to improve their lives.

According to 60% of customers, blog posts help them in the early stage of the buying process (Oberlo).

It implies that the more actionable posts you share, the power your blog has to pull search traffic.

  • Warm up the readers with a good introduction (ask questions, share statistics, make a comparison, tell a story, emphasize on urgency etc.).
  • Grab the reader’s attention using the AIDA (awareness, interest, desire, action) model.

5. Write an appealing meta description

Make a great first impression by providing an opening message to Google.

If you don’t write a meta description, then users will see a random snippet of your article.

Here is an example of a proper meta description.

Remember that this isn’t the core message you want to deliver to your reader.

Instead, it is a custom phrase that shows up in the search result page.

Some SEO tips to optimize your blog article for Google

Every business needs SEO, and so as your blog article.

Here are some more specialized tips to optimize your blog posts.

a) Create backlinks for your blog

Link building is the backbone of SEO and supports high ranking with off-page SEO.

There are a couple of ways to enhance the quality of your links

  • Acquire backlinks from other credible sources. Pitch for guest posts and try to gain more contextual backlinks.
  • Do more internal linking. Look at Wikipedia’s page for Steve Jobs.
  • Fix broken links as soon as possible by using tools like Dead Link Checker, Google Webmaster etc.
  • Add keyword-rich anchor text. For example, instead of placing a link on ‘click here’ place your link on ‘these low-cost interior design ideas’.

b) Optimise it through schema markups

An effective way to boost blog traffic, your website’s SEO and rank high is optimising a blog post using schema mark up.

It is used for multiple content types like articles, blogs, events, restaurants, movies, local business, book reviews, etc.

How does it work?

  • Visit Google’s structure data markup helper.
  • Select the content type you want to markup.
  • Insert the URL of your blog.
  • Highlight the core elements for markup.
  • Add schema markups to your website page.

c) Utilize social media to market your blog

Extensive distribution and sharing of content on social media platforms increase the lifespan of your posts and improve its visibility on Google.

It helps you attracts organic traffic, brand recognition, and reputation.

  • Tweek URLs of your blogs and attract traffic to your blog site (not in a spammy way)
  • The links you post on social helps Google with indexation your blog.
  • More likes, shares, and comments on your blog mean higher rankings.

Here is an example

An article got viral on Facebook with 68000 likes, 31500 shares, and 34280 comments.

With such a high response, the article went to the top in Google’s ranking page. All credit goes to the shares it gathered on Facebook.

In conclusion, make sure you add social media sharing buttons in your blog posts and enhance its shareability.

d) Enhance responsiveness

Even if your blog articles are of superior quality, they could be still lingering down the search result page due to the layout of your website.

Improve your site layout

SEO+UX= Success

Effective SEO is when user experience is enhanced.

It means that your layout should be simple and allow users to navigate easily.

Make mobile-optimized blogs

Smartphones are here to stay. In fact, mobile responsiveness is a key Google ranking factor.

In other words, poor mobile experience can be damaging for you no matter how flawlessly your desktop version works.

e) Embed different types of media

The options of adding media in cover letters are limited, but when it comes to blogs, you have numerous opportunities to add whatever you want.

f) Optimize blog for voice search

The latest Google search trend is searching using voice.

Voice search is a top SEO trend and can optimize your optimization tactics.

Today, thousands of students use the voice search feature in their smartphone to search student-related products and services such as cheap apartments or personal statements.

For this purpose, you need to add conversational phrases people commonly use in routine life such as ‘Near me’, ‘How do I’ etc.

The Best Ecommerce Website Builder

Want to jump straight to the answer?

The best website builder for ecommerce for most people is Wix.

If you want to start selling online, you need a great ecommerce website builder.

These are website builders built specifically for ecommerce.

It’s different than your run-of-the-mill website builder or ecommerce platform.

Ecommerce website builders are really the only option to consider if you’re building a website from scratch.

It’s much easier than building out the entire website yourself.

I’ve reviewed 9 of the best ecommerce website builders below.

Use this guide to find the right one for you.

The Top 9 Best Ecommerce Website Builders

  • Wix — Best ecommerce website builder overall.
  • Shopify — Most popular ecommerce website builder.
  • Zyro — Best ecommerce website builder for beginners.
  • Squarespace — Best site builder for beautiful and creative ecommerce store designs.
  • Square Online — Best bang for your buck.
  • BigCommerce — Best for scaling with omnichannel sales.
  • 3DCart — Best ecommerce site builder for developers and experienced store owners.
  • Weebly — Best for entrepreneurs and small business owners.
  • Big Cartel — Cheap plans for ecommerce stores with limited products.

I’ll explain the top features, benefits, prices, and specific use-cases for the platforms below. I’ll point out any potential downsides or drawbacks as well.

Wix

Price starts at $23/mo
100% commission free
Great for beginners
Drag and drop site builder
Get a 14 day free trial

Wix is the best ecommerce website builder. Period.

It’s especially great if you’re a beginner.

If you’re creating a new ecommerce site without any experience, the simplicity of Wix will make your life much easier.

Your Wix website will be SEO-friendly and fully customizable with its drag-and-drop builder.

Wix has specific plans made for ecommerce websites.

All of the ecommerce solutions have unlimited bandwidth, $300 in advertising vouchers, a free domain for one year, and visitor analytics.

It’s also worth noting that all online payments from your Wix store are 100% commission free.

This is a HUGE benefit.

Most ecommerce software takes a percentage of all your sales.

It’s an extra tax on your entire business.

You’ll save hundreds (or thousands) of dollars per year by going for Wix for this reason.

Here are some other great features Wix’s ecommerce plan offers:

  • 500+ templates
  • SEO tools
  • Mobile optimization
  • Wix chat
  • Multiple payment methods
  • Global shipping
  • Coupons and discounts

Your store manager makes it easy for you to track orders, inventory, and your product pages.

You’ll also be able to add a blog and design your own logo without any third-party integrations.

These are the price points for Wix ecommerce solutions:

  • Business Basic — $23 per month
  • Business Unlimited — $27 per month
  • Business VIP — $49 per month
  • Enterprise — $500 per month

Wix does have cheaper plans but they’re for personal or portfolio sites.

But if you want to accept online payments, the Business Basic plan is the lowest plan available.

To save some money, you could always sign up for an entry-level Wix plan without the ability to accept online payments.

You can build a personal website with Wix for as low as $13 per month and then upgrade to an ecommerce plan once you’re ready to start selling.

If you’re not happy with Wix, you can always cancel within 14 days to get a full refund. Try Wix for 14 days free.

Shopify

Price starts at $29/mo
70+ themes
Built-in payments gateway
24/7 customer support
Get a 14 day free trial

Shopify is one of the most popular ecommerce platforms.

More than one million online stores are powered by Shopify.

They’re still growing too — and for good reason.

Out of the box, Shopify is the most powerful ecommerce website builder on the market today.

This web-based CMS comes with everything you need to set up and manage your online store.

To get started, choose from one of Shopify’s 70+ free and premium themes.

Each theme has settings that allow you to customize everything to your liking.

Add features and functionality to your store by installing apps from the Shopify App Store.

One of the best parts about using Shopify is that all payments are handled directly through the platform.

With Shopify Payments gateway built-in to your plan, you won’t need to connect any third-party processors to accept payments.

So you can start selling immediately.

With that said, you can always use another payment gateway by choosing from one of the 100+ payment processors that integrate with Shopify.

All plans come with web hosting, unlimited email forwarding, unlimited bandwidth, and a content delivery network for optimal performance.

You’ll also benefit from marketing and SEO tools, mobile optimization, and analytics.

Shopify offers 24/7 customer support via phone, email, and live chat.

With Shopify, you have the potential to set up dropshipping, customer accounts, target abandoned carts, POS software, and manage your shipping rates.

There’s an expansive Shopify App platform to add any feature that you want

Here’s an overview of Shopify’s plans and prices:

  • Basic Shopify — $29 per month
  • Shopify — $79 per month
  • Advanced Shopify — $299 per month

Consult with a Shopify sales expert if you’re building a high-volume ecommerce shop and need an enterprise-level solution.

You can try Shopify free for 14 days.

Zyro

Price starts at $1.30/mo
Easy user interface
Drag and drop site builder
Tons of payment options
Get 80% off your website

Zyro offers a very beginner-friendly experience.

Not only is the interface tailor-made for new users but it also comes at a highly affordable price.

Using drag-and-drop tools, you’ll be able to lay out exactly how you want your website to look and see it change in real time.

In fact, you’ll be able to set up your website within minutes of signing up.

You’ll be able to promote and sell your products across websites like Instagram, Facebook, and Amazon.

One thing that helps set Zyro apart form the competition though is their powerful AI business tools.

These tools leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning to help you ideate and create using:

  • Business name generator
  • Slogan generator
  • Logo maker
  • AI content generator
  • AI heatmap

The AI content generator will furnish SEO-friendly content for your website.

Perfect for those new at writing copy for the web or anyone who might be a little nervous about their word choices.

Currently their prices and plans are as follows:

  • Basic — $1.30 per month
  • Unleashed —$1.79 per month
  • Ecommerce — $8.99 per month
  • Ecommerce + —$13.99 per month

As you can see, even the most expensive plan is still pretty affordable.

If you really want to get the most out of your ecommerce experience with Zyro though, I highly suggest you go with the ecommerce plan at least. 

That’ll give you unlimited storage and bandwidth, along with a free domain, the ability to accept online payments, and their line of ecommerce functionality. Get started at Zyro.

Squarespace

Price starts at $12/mo
Beautiful designs
Drag and drop site builder
Sell products, subscriptions, and digital goods
Get a 14 day free trial

Squarespace is one of the most popular ecommerce website platforms in the world.

There’s a good reason for that.

They offer ecommerce functionality built directly into its plans, which is not the case for most traditional website builders.

Another benefit: Their beautiful, award-winning designs.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned pro, or if you’re building your first site.

Anyone can build a modern and visually appealing ecommerce store using Squarespace.

Every element of your pages can easily be customized using the intuitive and highly-responsive, drag-and-drop builder.

Squarespace has award-winning templates that are specifically designed for online stores.

Whether you’re selling products, services, subscriptions, or digital goods, Squarespace has a solution for your needs.

The Squarespace mobile app allows you to manage and edit your website on the go.

You can also use it as a POS solution if you have physical locations.

Squarespace has built-in SEO tools, blogging tools, analytics, and anything else you’d need to make your online store a huge success.

There are hundreds of apps built-in to Squarespace.

However, there is not an app store or marketplace for one-click installations.

So if you want to install a third-party app that’s not already built-in to Squarespace, you’ll need to use a code injection.

Squarespace has four different plans, three of which have fully-integrated ecommerce capabilities:

  • Personal — $12 per month
  • Business — $18 per month
  • Basic Commerce — $26 per month
  • Advanced Commerce — $40 per month

Online selling starts with the Business plan.

Although I’d recommend the Basic Commerce option as the bare minimum for most of you.

This option has 0% transaction fees, POS, ecommerce analytics, customer accounts, and other features you’ll want at your disposal once you start selling online.

It’s well worth the extra $8 per month.

As your business scales and you want more advanced features, you can always upgrade to the Advanced Commerce plan.

But you may not need that on day one if you’re starting a new store from scratch.

All plans come with 24/7 customer support. You can try Squarespace for free with a 14-day trial.

Square Online

Square is best known for their point-of-sale software (which is great btw). 

However, they also have a great website builder that comes packed with features — and at an affordable price.

Of course, the biggest selling factor of their website builder is their easy integration with their suite of Square services.

You’ll be able to accept all major credit cards, sync with your existing Square POS, and streamline your inventory management.

They’re also very flexible in how you connect with customers too, allowing you to sell through Instagram, on your website, or local pickup and delivery.

Setting up the website is a snap too. You don’t need to know a bunch of code, or even hire a developer.

All you need is a computer or mobile device and you can get started.

Square also gives you SEO tools to help your website reach even more potential customers.

Prices start free with 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction.

Complete pricing is as follows:

  • Free: $0 / month and 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction
  • Professional: $12 / month and 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction
  • Performance: $26 / month and 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction
  • Premium: $72 / month and 2.6% + 30 cents per transaction

BigCommerce

BigCommerce is a reputable and trustworthy ecommerce site builder.

It’s also very versatile.

It has B2B-specific features like bulk pricing rates, quote management, customer groups, and custom price lists.

BigCommerce specializes in multi-channel selling.

Every plan comes the ability to sell on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google Shopping, eBay, Amazon, and POS.

So for those of you who want to leverage omnichannel sales, BigCommerce should be at the top of your list.

The website builder itself is very intuitive and includes a drag-and-drop tool that makes creating the website easy.

BigCommerce is packed with lots of essential features right out of the box.

Compared to other platforms on this list, it’s probably the most extensive feature list that you’ll find.

That said, beginners might be wary of BigCommerce.

That’s because the extra features tend to make things more complex.

The platform is designed to help larger ecommerce sites scale quickly.

So if you’re just starting out, you’ll most likely be paying extra for features that you won’t be using.

However, if you want the ability to have tons of ecommerce and website customization features at your disposal without paying extra for apps or extensions, BigCommerce will be perfect for you.

All BigCommerce stores benefit from enterprise-level security and high uptime rates.

You’ll also get 24/7 customer support via phone, live chat, and email.

Here’s a look at the price points for BigCommerce:

  • Standard — $29.95 per month
  • Plus — $79.95 per month
  • Pro — $249.95 per month

These rates are almost identical to Shopify.

While Shopify is a bit easier to use, BigCommerce comes loaded with more features.

So if you’re deciding between those two options, you’ll need to determine which features are the most important to you.

You can try BigCommerce for free with a 15 day trial before you select a plan.

3DCart

3DCart is certainly not the most popular ecommerce website builder on the market, and it shouldn’t be.

It’s not made for beginners, so the platform definitely ranks low in terms of ease of use.

However, developers and experienced ecommerce store owners can benefit from using 3DCart.

The platform has more than 200 features built-in, and it’s one of the best site builders for SEO readiness.

Your store will be optimized for search engines right out of the box.

3DCart has 50+ free themes and supports 100+ payment processors.

3DCart comes with features and benefits like:

  • API access
  • Unlimited products
  • Mobile-ready themes
  • Web hosting
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • No transaction fees
  • Built-in blog

Again, things like API access won’t be beneficial to an ecommerce beginner building their first site from scratch.

But developers and experienced site owners may want that functionality at their disposal.

3DCart’s pricing is very transparent.

There are no hidden fees or long-term contracts.

You can cancel at any time and all plans are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

  • Startup Store — $9.50 per month
  • Basic Store — $14.50 per month
  • Plus Store — $39.50 per month
  • Pro Store — $114.50 per month

It’s worth noting that these are introductory prices for new customers.

Your rates will double after your first year using the platform.

Weebly

Weebly is another well-known website builder that offers a free forever plan.

In fact, this plan made my list of the best free website builders on the market today.

Unfortunately, the free plan doesn’t include ecommerce capabilities.

But you can still use it to test out the Weebly platform before you upgrade to a paid subscription.

This option paired with the low-cost price points for the ecommerce plans makes Weebly one of the most affordable ecommerce website builders that you’ll find.

You can accept payments with popular gateways like PayPal, Stripe, and Square.

Weebly makes it easy for entrepreneurs to establish an online presence and expand with ecommerce.

So if you already have a small or local business, I’d recommend Weebly as the best solution for you.

Since Weebly is powered by Square, it’s very easy to integrate the Square POS with your online sales system as well.

You’ll be able to manage your products and inventory all in one place.

The drag and drop site builder allows you to launch your store with minimal effort and no coding.

You’ll get tools for email, SEO, site stats, shipping, inventory, and more.

Help your customers find what they’re looking for by adding Weebly’s product search to your online store.

Add badges to products when items go on sale or when availability becomes limited.

These are Weebly’s prices for online stores:

  • Pro — $12 per month
  • Business — $25 per month
  • Business Plus — $38 per month

The Pro plan is pretty basic, but it’s affordable if you don’t need any complex ecommerce features.

It’s essentially just a shopping cart with the ability to accept payments.

If you want to get the most out of Weebly, you’ll need a Business plan at a minimum.

Try out Weebly’s free forever plan and use it as an extended free trial before you officially launch your online store.

BigCartel

If you’re looking for a cheap ecommerce website builder, Big Cartel is the best option for you.

They are the only legitimate provider that I can find offering a free ecommerce plan.

But Big Cartel is a prime example of the expression, “you get what you pay for.”

The free plan is extremely limited, and only lets you sell up to five products. Overall I wouldn’t recommend it.

With that said, BigCartel has some of the cheapest paid ecommerce plans on the market.

You can sell up to 25 products for just $10 per month.

Even the most expensive option is priced at a point similar to entry-level plans of other platforms on our list.

The cheapest Big Cartel plan still comes with features like:

  • Free themes
  • Real-time stats
  • Bulk editing
  • Shipment tracking
  • Automatic tax calculations
  • Discounts and promos
  • Inventory tracking

But all plans are limited to just five images per product.

Overall, “limited” seems to be the best word to describe Big Cartel.

I’d only recommend this if you’re selling a handful of products and don’t need advanced ecommerce features.

But if you want to sell 15 different shirts for as cheap as possible, Big Cartel can be taken into consideration.

How to Find the Best Ecommerce Website Builder For You

All of the ecommerce platforms mentioned above needed to fit a certain criteria to be considered on our list.

You can use the same methodology that I used as you go through the decision making process.

I’ll break down the details of which features matter the most when you’re picking the best website builder for an ecommerce store.

Ease of Use

Look at the usability of each option.

Does it have a drag and drop builder? How do you add products and manage your inventory?

Ease of use also relates to choosing themes, switching templates, and managing your site after it’s up and running.

Options like Shopify, Squarespace, and Wix are easy for beginners.

While platforms like Volusion or 3DCart are a bit more complicated and geared towards people with more technical knowledge.

Built-in Features

Some platforms have larger feature lists than others.

Some website builders have app stores or marketplaces that allow you add-on features or integrate third-party platforms.

It’s up to you to determine which is better for your situation.

If you want as many built-in features as possible, look for a platform like BigCommerce.

If you’d rather add-on features as needed, go with something simple like Shopify.

Design

Every website builder will offer some templates or themes for you to choose from. But these are not all created equally.

If you want to build something that’s modern, visually appealing, creative, and beautiful, then you’ll want to consider a platform like Squarespace.

Other website builders, like Volusion, fall short in this category.

But a modern design may not be important to all of you.

Value

I determine value based on the quality of the features and performance compared to the price.

Some of you will have a tighter budget than others and don’t need to consider the higher-priced platforms.

But expensive ecommerce website builders still provide value to certain people.

BigCommerce and Volusion might seem expensive compared to Big Cartel, but a cheap website builder won’t accommodate the needs of a larger ecommerce website.

To find the best value for your website, you need to determine your budget and identify which features are the most important to you.

Summary

If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution for building an ecommerce site, then look no further than the choices on this list.

These are the best choices for building a new online store from scratch.

I’ve included an option for every type of website below.

Here’s a recap of my top picks for the best ecommerce website builders to see which category fits your unique situation.

Best Ecommerce Website Builders for 2020

  • Wix — Best ecommerce website builder overall.
  • Shopify — Most popular ecommerce website builder.
  • Zyro — Best ecommerce website builder for beginners.
  • Squarespace — Best site builder for beautiful and creative ecommerce store designs.
  • Square Online — Best bang for your buck.
  • BigCommerce — Best for scaling with omnichannel sales.
  • 3DCart — Best ecommerce site builder for developers and experienced store owners.
  • Weebly — Best for entrepreneurs and small business owners.
  • Big Cartel — Cheap plans for ecommerce stores with limited products.

Are You Wasting Money With Your PPC Campaign?

No one likes to waste money.

Unfortunately, with PPC, pay-per-click advertising, it’s not always clear that you are wasting money.

First, let’s clarify what I mean by PPC. PPC or pay-per-click advertising is an all-encompassing term that covers the following, at a minimum…

  1. Google AdWords
  2. Bing AdWords
  3. Social Media Advertising (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.)
  4. Amazon Advertising
  5. YouTube Advertising

So, for this post, I am going to cover some general money-wasting PPC habits to avoid. These habits are:

  1. Not identifying a target audience for each campaign
  2. Being too broad with your keywords
  3. Not optimizing the path to conversion
  4. Neglecting your ad campaigns

Let’s take a deeper look at each of these money-wasting PPC habits.

Not Identifying a Target Audience

Some of you might think, “well, duh,” but it happens more than you might think.

What is the point of advertising? T

o get a specific type of person to take a specific action.

The best way to motivate someone to take an action is to fully understand that person and their motivations.

This is where I would normally go down either the UX or Buyer Persona rabbit hole.

Fortunately, I was able to interview the foremost expert on Buyer Personas, Adele Revella.

I highly recommend checking that out.

I also wrote a post on how UX affects SEO which would also be very useful for this discussion.

Go ahead and check out both, I’ll wait.

Summary

The higher your Google AdWords quality score, the cheaper you’re going to be paying per click.

The way Google AdWords works is every time someone clicks on your ads; you pay money.

So if you want to improve your quality score, you have to do a few simple things.

Number one, target very specific keywords.

Don’t do broad match.

If you go after particular keywords by doing the exact match, what’ll happen is your ads will only show up for that particular keyword or phrase.

When you go too broad, you’re going to end up paying more per click because Google’s going to be showing your ads to a lot of people who aren’t clicking.

The next tactic that you need to be following is negative keywords. For example, let’s say you’re selling computers.

When someone types in Apple because you’re also a reseller of Apple computers, you may want to add the negative keyword of food.

Because if you show up for ads related to Apple and someone’s looking for the food, you’re going to be wasting money per click, your quality score is going to go down, and your ad costs are going to go through the roof.

So make sure you add in negative keywords.

Third, group your ppc keywords.

What I mean by grouping is a lot of your keywords are similar to each other.

Put those in one group.

So the higher your click-through rate, the cheaper your ads will be.

And the higher your click-through rate, the better your quality score is going to be.

The fourth tip I have for you continues to optimize your ad text.

If your ad texts get more click-through than the competitors, your cost per click is going to go down, and your quality score is going to go up.

By testing, you’re going to be able to figure out what works and what doesn’t work.

If you’re unsure of this, look at your competitors.

Type in a keyword.

You can see the ad texts that other people are using at the top.

Usually, the people at the top have appealing ad text and which is getting a ton of clicks.

If you can’t find a ton of examples when you’re searching a keyword, go to SEMrush, put in a keyword, and it’ll show you the history of all the people who have been bidding on that keyword and what their ad copy was.

Last but not least, optimize your landing page.

If your landing page is fantastic when people go click through on your ad, go to your landing page, and buy, your quality score is going to go up.

If your landing page sucks and people keep bouncing back off, well,

Google’s going to ding your quality score.

The way you can landing page is, A, put your keywords on that landing page.

So if someone Googles the keyword marketing and your landing page also shows marketing, you’re much more likely to keep the visitor on there and convert.

B, continually run tests using Crazy Egg.

Using Crazy Egg, you can see where people are getting stuck on your landing page, what they like, how far down they’re scrolling, and what you can improve on that page to create a better user experience.

That’s it.

Follow all those techniques and tactics, and you’re going to be able to improve your Google AdWords quality score and your inbound marketing efforts.

What Your Target Audience Wants

Even if you didn’t go check out those other posts (yet), this article will still help.

You need to know your audience.

You are paying for them to click a link. At a minimum, you should be able to answer these questions…

  1. Motivation: why would they buy from you?
  2. Situation: how do they want to buy from you?
  3. Dedication: what is their value over time or CLV (customer lifetime value)?

Buyer Motivation

The best way to understand someone’s motivation is to ask them.

Before you go spend potentially thousands of dollars on PPC campaigns, take a little time to better understand who you are marketing to.

Call a handful of customers and ask them some specific questions.

The answers to these questions will be gold for you…

  1. Why did you buy from us over our competition?
  2. What about the buying process did you enjoy / not enjoy?

You are looking to understand why they buy from you so you can craft better campaigns geared toward those motivations.

Buyer Situation

Continuing with your customer interview, you’ll want to understand the mechanics of their purchase.

This will inform your decisions around the ad platform, device, and more.

  1. Where did they first hear about you?
  2. How did they search for you?
  3. What words did they use to search for you?
  4. Define the trigger moment that ended with a purchase.
  5. What device did they use?

Have them walk you through the specifics of how they came to find your product or service, paying special attention to where they looked and what search terms they used.

And what got them to make the purchase will help you to identify your ideal ad platform and optimize their path to conversion (more on this in a bit).

Buyer Dedication

This is where you can start building the goals you would like to track.

The more you know about your customer, the more trackable and attainable your goals will be.

For example, is this customer someone who will purchase a product and that is the last you hear from them?

Or are they likely to purchase repeatedly?

This gets you into the LTV (lifetime value) or CLV (customer lifetime value) of that customer.

Here’s a great breakdown from CleverTap on how to calculate these values…

Calculating the customer’s value will help you to determine…

  1. Which customers are worth spending ad dollars on
  2. How much you should spend

We’ve seen way too many of our customers base their PPC efforts on arbitrary numbers.

Not only is this wasteful, but it’s completely unnecessary.

Knowing your customers, how they purchase from you, and what their value is to your organization, will allow you to engage in an ad campaign that is based on math instead of philosophy.

Being Too Broad with Your Keywords

We’ve taken over campaigns for clients where there was clear and obvious waste. The usual suspect? Wrong keywords.

Going through the exercise above will help you to zero in on the words worth bidding on.

You only want to bid on words that signal a purchase intent, in other words, the words they told you they use to find you and make a purchase.

If you have an unlimited budget, which no one really does, you can do things like bid on your company name or your competitor’s name.

But, for the rest of us, your brand name should be part of your SEO strategy, not your PPC strategy.

For competitor names, again, this should be part of your SEO strategy and not your PPC campaign.

Use PPC to target ideal customers with serious purchase intent.

Build a hyper-focused list of keywords tied to purchase intent.

Start there, it’s enough.

Negative Keywords

Negative keywords are so often overlooked.

Creating a list of words you do not want to appear for will help you to avoid wasteful spending.

These are terms that have the exact opposite intent of your target keywords or can change the meaning of a keyword.

This negative keyword list tells Google what terms you do not want to appear for. Here’s a definition from Google…

“A type of keyword that prevents your ad from being triggered by a certain word or phrase.

Your ads aren’t shown to anyone who is searching for that phrase.

This is also known as a negative match.

For example, when you add “free” as a negative keyword to your campaign or ad group, you tell Google Ads not to show your ad for any search containing the term “free.”

On the Display Network, your ad is less likely to appear on a site when your negative keywords match the site’s content.”

As you can imagine, this could save you a ton of money by dialing in the focus of your campaign.

Another example would be if you are a used car dealership and you want to bid on “Honda CRV.”

A negative keyword you may want to list could be “parts.”

Not Optimizing The Path to Conversion

This is another common mistake that companies make with their PPC efforts.

For example, you spend $1,000 a month on Facebook ads.

You are getting tons of clicks but minimal sales.

Assuming you’ve done your homework with your target audience, the usual suspect here is a big old bear trap along the path to conversion.

Let me explain.

You’ve considered their journey before they see your ad, now you have to take them the rest of the way.

So many ads will direct someone to the homepage of a website.

This is a huge mistake.

A homepage is the least ideal place to send someone from an ad.

It’s full of links, calls to action, and other shiny objects to distract the clicker from completing their mission.

Targeted Landing Page

What you want to do is send them to a targeted landing page.

This post on landing pages should help.

Long story short, the page they go to after clicking on the ad should…

  1. contain content relating to the ad copy
  2. be void of any distractions
  3. have a clear call to action
  4. use a simple form with minimal fields

Put nothing in the way of conversion.

Your landing page should be an express lane to Purchaseville.

Sorry, that was really lame.

Oh well, too late.

What to Do After Conversion

Remember where we talked about customer lifetime value about 500 words ago?

Well, that value doesn’t just happen, you have to cultivate it.

This starts with the Thank You Page, the page that comes after conversion.

So many miss this golden opportunity, what to do after the sale/conversion.

Here are some ways to keep the relationship alive and make the most of the conversion…

  1. Thank them for their purchase and outline the next steps.
  2. They like your stuff, give them offers on related products.
  3. Encourage them to signup for your newsletter for offers, deals, and announcements.

Your customers expect to be treated well and want you to engage with them.

If you treat them as just another order number, your chances of subsequent purchases go way down.

Remember, you are spending money to get them to this point, make the most of it!

This brings us to our last money-wasting mistake…

Neglecting Your Ad Campaign

Nothing in PPC is set it and forget it. Ad campaigns take constant monitoring.

There are so many variables in PPC that you are never “done.”

Neglecting your PPC campaign can cost you tons of money.

Why?

Well, if you are not optimizing your campaigns, you could be spending money on keywords that do not convert.

You might get traffic, but you’re not getting sales.

Very few businesses can afford to spend money on “brand awareness” alone. They need to cost-justify their efforts.

This is especially true for PPC.

Monitoring and optimizing your campaign can include one or more of the following regular activities…

  1. Look at keywords against conversion, remove those that do not convert.
  2. Try new keyword variations if certain keywords are not converting. (make the Search Terms Report your friend)
  3. Tweak ad design or copy, try an A|B test.
  4. Tweak landing page design or copy, and A|B test.
  5. Review ad platform regularly, is it still the best option?

Managing PPC campaigns is a complex process.

We are light years beyond the days of “spray and pray” or the “shotgun approach” of marketing.

We now have the luxury of using data to hyper-target an audience.

You simply could not do this back in the golden age of advertising.

But, technology is not always our friend, especially when it drains our wallet.

Make sure you are running an optimized campaign…

  1. Target the right audience
  2. Bid on keywords that convert
  3. Optimize that conversion path all the way through
  4. Never leave a PPC campaign unchecked

OK, I think that’s all for me this week chaps!

Till next time.

See ya later Alligator …

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