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eCommerce, Website Design & Development
It is estimated that there are between 12 to 24 million online stores currently in operation. Even established retailers are switching from brick-and-mortar stores to web-based platforms. So how do you harness that potential, while keeping up with the competition? One way is to build the best store possible and to do that you have two main choices. Read on as we settle the WooCommerce vs. Shopify debate.

Ease of Use

With Woocommerce comes flexibility. This is because it runs on the WordPress platform, and this is the hallmark of this content management system. However, that also means more complications. One of the main Shopify benefits is that it is extremely easy to use, though at the cost of being more restrictive. The platform will take care of hosting, guide you through the whole set up and let you test the store before publishing. In fact, everything is fairly easy to do and you don’t need any prior technical capabilities. For ease of use, Shopify will come out on top. It is definitely recommended for first-time users or those without any technical knowledge.

Designs and Themes

Both WooCommerce and Shopify have a number of designs that make your website look stylish and professional. In addition, all of them are user-friendly and easy to navigate. This is vital to increase conversions on your store. WooCommerce comes with an entry-level theme named Storefront. From here, you can customize and upgrade your theme to your own wishes. There are hundreds of designers creating WooCommerce storefronts for a custom experience, not even counting the modifications you can make yourself. Once again, this does come with the caveat that you may need some technical ability. As independent designers can make them for WooCommerce, it does mean the quality of them varies. At the very least, you need a design that is mobile-friendly. The Shopify website designer is much more streamlined in terms of how many themes you can choose. Including premium paid options, you can find just over 1000. This means you do risk having a shop front that looks the same as many others. The plus point is that they are all created to a very high standard. Even the free themes will be functional and responsive. You may not get the choice, but you do have the quality.

Cost

When you start out designing a website, the cost can be an important factor. As well as the start-up and monthly fees, there are a number of add ons that may push up the price of your online store. Shopify has a basic plan that starts at $29 a month. This can be upgraded to the Shopify plan at $79 a month with more features. The advanced plan, for much larger stores, is $299 per month. To start with WooCommerce, you will first need to buy hosting, a domain name, and an SSL certificate. A domain name costs around $14 a year, and this may also be something you want for your Shopify store. An SSL certificate costs around 70$ per year. Your hosting can vary in price but can be bought for as little as $4 a month. Both of these are included in Shopify plans as part of your monthly fee. One way to keep these hosting costs down is to opt for a company that does specific WooCommerce hosting. They will be able to combine the costs into one package, lowering your overall price.

Sales Features

There is more to your website than just being able to sell products. As you grow, you may need extra sales tools and integrations. Some may be included as standard, while some may need to be paid for separately. Shopify has an app and API store. Though the amount available are fewer than WooCommerce, it would be hard to find an item that is not covered in this range. As they are vetted by Shopify, each should work effectively and efficiently. WooCommerce has a lot more choices when it comes to integrations. You could also hire a developer to make your own unique plugin, should you have the budget and need to create something no one else has yet made. The downside is that they are often not as well-vetted, so check the reviews before buying.

Standard Features

The Shopify website designer has a number of very useful features that come as standard. Many of them require plug-ins, which may cost extra if you decide to use WooCommerce. One of these is abandoned cart recovery. If customers leave the website and return, the basket will fill with items they previously had. This can seriously improve conversions, and comes as standard on Shopify. Another feature is multichannel selling. This allows your shop to have channels on Amazon, eBay, and Instagram. They come as standard on Shopify but will cost on WooCommerce. The final stage is shipping. Shopify has a partnership with many of the major companies such as USPS, DHL, and UPS. This can save you a lot of time and effort, instead of having to look for your own shipping methods which you may need to do on WooCommerce.

Payment Options

The more payment options you have in place, the easier it is for people to make a purchase. However, different payment options can cost. You have to work out if the value added is worth it. Shopify comes with Paypal Express Checkout as standard. For other options, Shopify payments are the best to use as you will get fees for external processors. However, this is only available in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. WooCommerce adds payment through integrations. Many of the ones from major providers like Paypal and Stripe are free. Others may have added charges.

WooCommerce vs. Shopify

In the battle of WooCommerce vs. Shopify, the decision comes down to what you want. For ease of use and setup, then go for Shopify. For the ability to expand and be unique, choose WooCommerce. For all your online assistance, visit Forge Digital Marketing. We can manage all of your web needs, from its design to SEO. Click here for your free site audit and let us help you thrive in the digital economy.
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Marketing
Are you looking for ways to provide an uptick on your marketing tactics in 2022? Do you wonder whether your eCommerce website is currently getting the exposure that you’re paying for? If so, then you need to learn all about the most effective eCommerce marketing tactics. Doing so can help you get more skin in the game. You’ll be there at every phase of the customer journey to help them solve their biggest pain points. It can help you see the highest sales conversions you’ve ever witnessed! See below for an in-depth guide on the most effective eCommerce tips that you should use in 2022.

1. Prioritize Email Marketing

Generally speaking, if an eCommerce company only has time to focus on email marketing or social media marketing, they’ll opt for the latter. They think that the trendiness of the latest social media platform is too enticing to pass up. But here’s a question no one is asking: what if that social media platform disappears? What if, all of a sudden, that form of social media is shut down. You would lose all of your progress. You’d have spent all this time building a base of followers with nothing to show for it. If you think that’s unrealistic, think again. That’s exactly what happened several years ago when the social media app known as “Vine” was shut down overnight. Thousands (if not millions) of social influencers lost everything. Their content, their followers, all of it. Meanwhile, email marketing is thriving more than ever. With an effective email marketing strategy in place, your company can reach a wider audience, boost repeat sales, and measure all of your progress with key analytic tools. Many successful eCommerce businesses use email marketing as a way to nurture their leads. Whether they’re considering buying from you for the first time or stocking up on your products, your email marketing for eCommerce can push them over the edge.

2. Create Sustainable Success With SEO

There’s often a huge misconception when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO). Most companies believe that its only purpose is to help you reach the top search results on Google. While that’s certainly one reason for SEO, it isn’t the end goal. The end goal is to provide your eCommerce business with a sustainable form of passive marketing. This is one of the best ways for you to receive passive income, or as Dan Miller would say, “SWISS dollars” (stands for “Sales While I Sleep Soundly”). For example, let’s say that a person types “how to lose weight” into Google. He then comes across an article on “5 effective ways to lose weight fast”. The article is on an eCommerce website that sells workout equipment, workout programs, and so on. The eCommerce website can use that article (and others like it) to direct their readers towards the products and services that can help solve their biggest pain points. As you roll into the year 2022, make sure you’re prioritizing SEO. You can team up with a trusted eCommerce marketing agency to start building your search engine optimization. But remember, SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. it may take 4 to 6 months to see results, but the sustainability makes it worth the wait!

3. Increase Video Content

Imagine if someone were to set two identical smartphones in front of you. One phone has a still image of a product and its selling points on it, while the other phone has a video advertising the same product and why you should purchase it. Which one is going to grab your attention? The video content, of course! Customers always gravitate towards video content. Even those that enjoy reading blog posts, articles, and case studies would rather watch a video on it. Heading into 2022, assess your content. What forms of content can you turn into a video? How can creating a series of how-to videos assist your brand? Video content makes your eCommerce website more attractive and personable. It will help your clients retain the information you share and generate more action.

4. Use Analytics to Drive Conversions

What if you could make an educated prediction on how well a piece of content would convert before you posted it? What if you could alter the course of your content based on customer activity? Both of these things are possible with website analytics. You can get a firm understanding of what’s working and what’s not, then alter your eCommerce marketing strategy to produce better results. The best part? You don’t have to do it alone. Here at Forge Digital Marketing, we can help you understand your analytics and respond to the information it’s giving your brand.

5. Provide Insight for Your Customers

As author John Meese points out in his book Survive and Thrive, we are no longer in the age of information; we’re now in the age of insight. Customers don’t just want a collection of statistics anymore. They want that information analyzed and presented to them in a way that helps them understand. Gear your eCommerce marketing towards providing insight into your content. What is going on in your industry? How do your products solve that problem? How will your products help customers make see better results?

Use These Ecommerce Marketing Tips to Your Advantage in 2022

Now that you have seen an in-depth guide on how to create an effective eCommerce marketing strategy for 2022, be sure to use this information wisely. Take the time to read this article for even more information on how you can improve your SEO with video marketing. Reach out to us right away and build a stronger eCommerce business through effective marketing tactics. ecommerce marketing service
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SEO
Does your eCommerce website appear when consumers search for your products? If not, you might want to use eCommerce search engine optimization (SEO). SEO for eCommerce websites can boost your search engine rankings. With higher rankings, you can generate more website traffic and sales to boost your ROI. In fact, 68% of all online activity begins with a search engine. Only 25% of people click beyond the first page, though. If your eCommerce site doesn’t appear at the top, people might not find your store. Here are nine tips that can help you use eCommerce SEO on your site. With these tips, you can boost your rankings. In time, you can appear ahead of competing stores. Set your business up for long-term growth. Start optimizing with these nine search engine optimization tips today.

1. Research Your Audience

First, it’s important not to make assumptions when developing your search engine optimization strategy. Instead, begin by gathering research. Your research will ensure you focus on the right keywords and create personalized content.  Personalization can help you show consumers you understand their interests, pain points, and needs. About 80% of consumers say being treated like a person is important to winning their business. Over 70% get annoyed when content doesn’t align with their interests. Meanwhile, 52% of customers switch brands if they fail to personalize communications. Personalizing your content could lead to a 10% lift in sales. In order to personalize your eCommerce SEO content, you need to understand who your customers are and what they care about. Start by reviewing your website analytics. Then, segment your audience into smaller buyer personas. You can distinguish customers based on:
  • Pain points
  • Interests
  • Hobbies
  • Buying behaviors
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Household income
  • Language
  • Education
  • Marital status
For example, you might sell clothing for both men and women on your website. You can create content that appeals to each gender.  Perhaps you sell exclusive, expensive products. You might focus on consumers with a higher household income.  Understanding who your customers are will help you appeal to their search intent. The customer’s search intent indicates what they expect to find during a search. If you don’t appeal to their intent, your content might not appear for that search. 

2. Gather Keyword Research

Once you understand your audience, start gathering keyword research. Your eCommerce SEO keyword research will inform your content strategy. You can use these tools to start gathering a list of keywords:
  • SEMRush
  • Keyword Planner
  • Google Trends
  • Answer the Public
  • Ahrefs
Focus on long-tail keywords that are phrased as questions. Then, you can focus on answering the customer’s questions within a blog post. Long-tail keywords are more precise. You’ll have an easier time appealing to their search intent. Shorter keywords like “shirts” are too broad. The customer might want to find “how to tie-dye shirts” or “shirt design company.” You could struggle to appeal to the right search intent. 

3. Update Your eCommerce Website

In order to effectively use SEO for eCommerce websites, it’s important to audit your website. Google prioritizes websites that offer a positive user experience (UX). If your eCommerce site is difficult to use or navigate, consumers might leave. If they leave without exploring, your bounce rate could rise. A high bounce rate on your site can hurt your search engine rankings. Lower rankings will make it more difficult for shoppers to find your eCommerce store during a search.  Start auditing your site by running it through Google’s PageSpeed Insights, Mobile-Friendly Test, and Core Web Vitals. Make sure it’s fast and mobile-optimized for all users. Nearly 40% of people will stop interacting with a poorly designed site. Another 40% stop engaging with slow websites. A poor UX will drive 50% of people to your competitors, too. Consider working with an experienced web design and development agency to improve your site with the UX in mind.

4. Create Quality Blog Content

Creating high-quality, engaging blog posts can help you attract more customers to your eCommerce website. Start by reviewing your keyword research. Choose a single focus keyword for each blog post. Then, create content that appeals to the user’s interests. Experiment with different types of posts, including:
  • Infographics
  • eBooks
  • Videos (Q&A, product demos, how-to, etc.)
  • Blog posts/articles
  • Polls
  • Quizzes
  • VR/AR
Make sure your posts are informative and helpful. Provide readers with information they can’t find anywhere else.

5. Optimize Your Pages

In order to use SEO for websites, you’ll need to optimize your content with keywords. Make sure each page has a unique focus keyword. Then, include your keyword in the:
  • URL
  • Page title
  • Meta description
  • Opening and closing paragraphs
  • Body text
  • An H1 header
  • Image alt text
  • Image file name
Avoid keyword stuffing by using synonyms and related keywords on each page. Make sure to optimize each product page, too!

6. Generate Links

There are three types of links that can enhance your eCommerce SEO strategy. Internal links send readers to other pages on your website. For example, you can link to a product page within one of your blog posts. External links send readers to other websites. You can link to studies, research, or other blogs. Backlinks are links that send readers on other websites to your eCommerce store. Backlinks with a high domain authority can boost your SEO rankings. Consider guest blogging or working with an influencer to generate backlinks. 

7. Track SEO Trends

Google’s search engine algorithm changes throughout the year. Make an effort to track the latest SEO trends. For example, featured snippets and voice search are gaining popularity. Video content is becoming more popular, too. Appealing to these trends can further boost your SEO rankings. 

8. Share Your Content

Once you start creating blog posts, share them! Send an email newsletter or share your content on social media. Sharing your content will help you generate more traffic. Generating more organic traffic could further boost your SEO rankings. 

9. Work With an SEO Pro

You don’t have to develop an eCommerce SEO strategy alone. Consider using SEO services this year. Working with an SEO professional can help you further boost your SEO rankings. Then, you can experience the benefits of SEO like an influx of traffic and sales!

SEO for eCommerce Websites: 9 Tips for Higher Search Rankings

Higher search engine rankings can help you reach more customers online. Consider using SEO for eCommerce websites this year. With a strong SEO strategy, you can generate more sales than ever before. Boost your rankings with these tips today.  Need help getting started? We’re here for you. Contact us today to discuss your eCommerce SEO strategy.
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Email Marketing
If there’s one constant in today’s digital world, it’s the power of email. This service may have been around since the 1970s, but it’s more vital now than ever before—especially with an estimated 293.6 billion emails sent each day! Given the massive number of messages we exchange on a regular basis, it’s hard to overstate the benefits of email marketing for your brand. With the power to send content right to your audience’s inbox in seconds, email marketing is an essential tool for any online business. If you’re skeptical about the advantages of this classic marketing tactic, we’re here to change your mind. Let’s take a look at the key benefits of email marketing—none of which you’ll want to pass up.

It’s Affordable

Let’s start off with one of the most obvious email marketing benefits: if you’re looking for a cost-effective campaign, you won’t find anything better than email marketing. There are no fees to send a basic email (unless you have a large list hosted on a private platform), nor will you pay if someone clicks on it. There are no printing or mailing charges as with traditional marketing. In fact, your starting campaigns can come at no cost at all. Down the line, you may want to invest in expert content creation or automation services, but these minimal fees won’t cut into your budget much.

It Offers a High ROI

Because email marketing comes at such a low cost, the ROI can be astronomical. Experts once found that email hascbd email marketing cbd gummies a jaw-dropping average ROI of $38 for every $1 spent. Even better, it’s possible to outstrip this average with the right strategies! The highest ROI platform we’ve worked with is Klaviyo. Specifically grown as an ecommerce email marketing powerhouse, Klaviyo boasts an average 46% revenue increase for brands in first two months of switching to their platform. The average ROI of email marketing though the Klaviyo platform (when managed by a Klaviyo Partner like Forge) is 4:1 return. Sound intriguing? It should! Imagine grossing $64,000 from a single email campaign. Stats like these are possible with the right ecommerce email marketing team.

It’s Easy to Create Personalized Content

If you’re hoping to personalize your marketing strategy, email is the way to go. Because this tactic allows you to segment customers based on demographics and preferences, you can create personalized content that speaks to customers right where they are. Regardless of their stage in the marketing funnel, this approach helps you show value and build trust instead of sending messages that won’t resonate with readers. What’s more, you can fine-tune your personalization with minor tweaks, like including the person’s name, changing up your subject lines, or adapting your images based on location.

It Builds Brand Awareness

Communicating with your audience through email on a regular basis is a great way to build brand awareness. Over time, your messaging will help your audience understand your brand and its vision. Of course, this only works if you put a lot of thought into each message, considering your tone and curating everything according to the recipients!

It’s a Great Forum for Your Brand

Because customers must opt-in to receive messages from you, email marketing can be a great platform for promoting your products and company. Knowing that the recipients have sought out your messaging, you can self-promote with more confidence. This makes it a great tactic to partner with SEO strategies, as it can help you send more traffic to the right pages on your site. Whether you’re sending info about updates, new products, sales and discounts, or fresh content, it’s safe to say that your subscribers are interested and engaged!

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It Provides Value to Your Audience

Beyond self-promotion, email marketing is a solid opportunity to provide value to your audience. Sharing industry news, explaining your brand’s take on recent events, offering tutorials and helpful hints, and sharing advice and success stories can educate and inform your audience on an ongoing basis. This, in turn, can help build your brand’s authority online. With your subscribers looking to you as a source for helpful information, you can cast yourself as an expert and advisor they can turn to when they need support or knowledge.

It’s a Direct Line of Communication

Unlike other online marketing tactics, email marketing offers a direct line of communication to your audience. In contrast, it’s harder to assume that your audience will see your ads, social media posts, or other online strategies. The key benefit of email marketing is that you can be sure that most of your messages are hitting the inboxes of everyone on your list every time. On the flip side of the coin, email marketing is also a great line of communication from your customers back to you. Whether you’re hoping to collect feedback via replies or send out surveys, this can be a great way to see how your customers perceive your performance.

It Can Be Automated

Want an easy, hands-off marketing tactic? It’s true that email marketing will require a great deal of thought and attention on the front end, but once you’ve planned out your approach, it’s an easy strategy to automate. Thanks to the plethora of email marketing services available online, you can automate email blasts based on a user’s behaviors, interests, demographics, and more. This, in turn, makes email marketing a fantastic way to optimize your team’s time and budget.

It Reaches Leads at the Perfect Moment

Because email marketing is so easy to automate, you can count on your messages reaching readers at the right time. When you create a targeted campaign, you’re creating messages that reflect exactly where the reader is on their journey. Want to prompt a user to make a purchase after they’ve left items in their cart for too long? Hoping to share a tutorial with someone searching for a solution you provide? No matter where your users are, they’ll appreciate the right thoughtful message at the right time.

Take Advantage of These Email Marketing Benefits

No matter your brand, you’ll want to take advantage of these key email marketing benefits. Offering an amazing return on investment at a low cost, as well as the ability to reach your audience with targeted messages at the right time, it’s hard to pass up on these solid advantages! Ready to level up your marketing? Our team is here to help. At Forge Digital Marketing, we partner with brands of all sizes to create powerful email marketing campaigns designed to nurture leads and create clickable content. Check out what we can do for your brand, and get started today! Ecommerce email marketing-agency
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