by Terry Young
Share your products online
As in the real world, selling products online can prove to be frustrating, no matter what a business is selling.
To have a chance, an online business has to not only stand out from the crowd, but be seen in as many places as possible. This is even more important if the products you are selling are not widely known, such as something you have created yourself.
Even if a site is on the first page of the search engines, looks professional, functions perfectly, and has prices comparable to the competition, there is still more that should be done to cast the customer net wider. While many sites market themselves using banner ads, such as on Facebook and other third party sites, few utilize direct product feeds, which is another method of being seen.
When it comes to generating more visitors and raising awareness, submitting your products directly to major search engines (AKA 'shopping engines'), can vastly increase your visibility and ROI. The major search engines now mix product results in with the traditional searches. This enables you to have both a regular listing in the search results, and also images and the prices of your products.
On Google, when searching for something product-related, you now see 'shopping results,' including thumbnails of products, price, and other details. This listing then links directly to that product's page on the seller's site. The best thing about these feeds is that several are currently free.
Apart from the search engines, there are also many 'comparison shopping' sites out there, such as Amazon, Shopzilla, and Shopping.com. Even though these sites cost money on either a monthly or referral basis, you are only paying on sales you have actually made, unlike Pay-per-Click results.
How do these work? Your web designer creates a
specially formatted file containing your products, pricing, weight, and photos. The file is uploaded directly to the store, comparison shopping site, or search engine. These files are then imported by the shopping sites, and your products are indexed with any other results or similar items.
Two of the most well known sites that operate in this manner are the Shopzilla and Amazon stores, which can reach millions more visitors than just search engine users.
This extra reach is extremely useful if you are selling a completely new item, such as your own clothing line. Just as with getting items stocked in traditional stores, promoting yourself on these third party sites can help you get your products out to the public until people recognize your brand well enough to search for you by name.
If you have concerns with your web presence reaching your widest customer base, now is the time to look into our WebUpdate system sites. Not Open Source, they take advantage of advanced SEO, social, and responsive features to give your business the best competitive edge online.
Terry Young is the founder and CEO of Internet Marketing and Design. Since 1997,