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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Who needs a Yahoo! ecommerce website developer anyways?!

By: Brandi Pabian

Well, to be honest, you do. Industry standards are always changing, and you may fall through the cracks if you don’t stay up to date with what consumers want. Yahoo! Ecommerce website developers can help you create your desired look, feel and features as well as keep you up to date on industry standards, all of which help to increase conversion rates and thus your sales.

Ask yourself some crucial questions about your current website:

Have you looked really closely at your site lately? Does it portray your company's essence? Is it user-friendly? Are you sure about that? When is the last time you caught up on today's standard of website design? I'm sure your site is wonderful. If it wasn't, would you be making the sales that you do?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, then it may be time to inquire about a Yahoo! Ecommerce store, and see if it is right for you.

The Yahoo! Store Ecommerce platform is organized and user friendly. It is easy to manage your items, maintain your pages and process your orders. As with most things in this world, there is always room for improvement! A clever, sneaky and curious website designer went behind the scenes of a simple, normal Yahoo! store and customized it to be just a bit better. More and more designers started doing the same thing and before you knew it - WOOHOO! - custom Yahoo! Stores were created. Yahoo! customized stores allow you to express your creativity, portray an individualized feeling and increases the user-friendliness of your website. In essence, a customized Yahoo! store becomes more like the individual you and your company are.

The Yahoo! Ecommerce platform is used by many world-wide. They have approximately 24 different "themes" that you can choose from when designing your own site. Now imagine that 1,000,000 people have all chosen a Yahoo! store with a standard template (you being one of them). How many people of those 1 million will choose the exact same template as yours? Most likely, it would be quite a few. Customers will get bored with seeing the same repetitious layouts on all these sites, because they want variety and personalization. Your Developer will help you express your creativity through imaginative design. The Developer can move bits and pieces of the standard templates to other areas of the store. Instead of the search box being directly under the store logo, we can move it to the upper right hand corner of the header. Instead of showing just one picture on the homepage, we can display many. Our company (yes, we have to put a plug in for us) have both graphic designers and website developers that can get the store to display your creativity.

Everyone is different. Every company has an essence or, "feel" about them that they try to convey. With a professional website developer, we can help you choose colors, layout and images to get the feeling your company is looking to portray. If you are a skin care company, you may want a soft, breezy, beautiful website to show an essence of beauty and cleanliness. If you are a skateboard company, you may want to show a more fun, rugged side of your personality, with darker colors mixed among bright colors. A professional website designer, along with a creative graphics designer, can get this done for you. They will personalize your site to show your customers a company that will provide them with excellent products and be attentive to their need to do business with a site they can trust. Just like having a physical store, you would want your store to portray who you are and what you do, and your website should be no different.

Okay, so now you have a beautiful looking site that shows your creativity and personality, but it doesn't have some of the necessary features your customers may want to use. What if you need to show more than two pictures for a product? What if the conventional way the Yahoo! store enlarges your images isn't good enough? What if you need extra text at the bottom of the site? A professional website developer can add in these extra features for you. They can also suggest additional features that, through testing, have proven to be more effective at converting sales.

The industry standards for building Yahoo! stores are always changing. When did you open your website? When was your last redesign? Are you sure you're using the correct coding to make the most out of your business online? Quite frankly, you run a successful online store; you have employees to run, bills to pay, inventory to order and books to keep. Do you really have the time it takes to keep up with changing technology? Probably not, but that's what designers are for. We learn, create and update today's website standards on a daily basis. That's what we get paid for and we love seeing your store successfully upgraded to the newest level.

So, by now, you should be convinced that you need a website developer for your Yahoo! store because we can customize your store to your needs, implement features that your customers need and we take off some of the pressure of being current and up to date. These are just a few of the reason why you may need a website developer for your store, so why don't you go ahead and give us a call and we can speak more directly about your needs and determine what would really make your website stand out against the world.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

If you build it, will they come?

By: Karl Ribas

Against popular belief and one 1989 film staring Kevin Costner, getting thousands of online shoppers to eagerly spend their hard earned money on your products and services is going to take much more than just creating a website. Granted, website development is extremely important, if not the most, and shouldn’t be taken lightly. However, there is certainly more to the e-commerce puzzle than simply creating a good looking website, and small business owners need to be aware of this.

Building a successful online presence will require utilizing a combination of online marketing channels, such as search engine optimization, pay per click advertising, email marketing, and the ever popular social media marketing to name a few. These channels, when used properly and in accordance with a company’s online business goals, can effectively generate a mass amount of traffic to a website thereby boosting online sales. How do these marketing channels work exactly? Allow me to explain.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO as it is commonly referred to as, is the process of getting one’s website to rank organically in the search engines for relevant keyword phrases.

Why is ranking important?: When a business’ potential customers search on Google or Yahoo! for products and services it provides, showing at or near the top of a search engine will likely lead to an increase in website exposure, traffic, and more importantly sales.

How does SEO work?: Using a combination of on and off-page tactics, SEO marketers focus on 3 key factors: 1) getting search engine crawlers to first locate their website, 2) getting search engines to index their website, and 3) getting search engines to rank their website for a very specific set of keywords.

Pay Per Click (PPC)

Pay Per Click, also known as PPC, is the process of creating textual listings (ads) and getting them to appear in the search engines for relevant keyword phrases.

Why is ranking important?: For exactly the same reasons as SEO, online businesses can drive targeted exposure, traffic, and revenue to their websites by simply appearing in major search engines for keywords most likely to be used by their customers.

How does PPC work?: Pay Per Click is setup very similar to traditional advertising models in that website owners must pay for the privilege of having their ad listings appear in the search engines. Costs and positioning are determined by a series of auction-style bidding parameters, as well as several uncontrollable factors. An advertiser’s primary focus is to create targeted messaging, manage multiple keyword buys, and maintain bids and costs according to one’s own budget.

Email Marketing

Email Marketing is the process of sending targeted email messaging to a group of pre-qualified individuals.

Why is Email Marketing effective?: Email Marketing works because businesses are given permission from their customers and other industry followers to engage them with relevant and timely information via email, such as product updates and sales promotions. Sending targeted emails to targeted groups of buyers and followers will likely lead to an increase in additional website revenue.

How does Email Marketing work?: While using a combination of strategies and tools, email marketers have 2 primary tasks at hand: 1) creating and maintaining a subscription list of qualified subscribers, and 2) creating and sending highly relevant and visually pleasing email campaigns to subscribers.

Social Media Marketing (SMM)

Social Media Marketing, a slightly new and different animal altogether, is the process of using social media platforms to engage both new and current customers.

Why is SMM effective?: Social Marketing is based on the same key principle that makes Email Marketing so effective by having permission to engage customers directly. Being able to connect directly with targeted groups of buyers and industry followers for free has the potential to drive traffic and sales to your website.

How does SMM work?: Social marketers traditionally begin their efforts by first deciding which social media platform to use - Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, etc. Once this has been established, social marketers will proceed with building and maintaining a community of friends and followers and then creating and publishing targeted messaging unique to each platform.

Moving forward, and to recap my original thought, simply having a website isn’t enough to exceed online. Small business owners need to be aware of this fact, and be willing to invest both time and money into some form of online marketing.

If you have questions pertaining to your business’ website marketing initiatives or would like to know how All Web Promotion can help you to achieve your online goals, please feel free to contact us. Our marketing specialists will be glad help.