03 Nov 2011

    Understanding the Need to Budget for Advertising and Promoting Your Ecommerce Websites

    The hardest part of starting a successful eCommerce website or business is not the actual setup of the eCommerce itself. Rather, it is the required promotion and advertising that first-time owners often do not realize is necessary. There are a number of advertising outlets that are frequently overlooked by new eCommerce business owners. Search engines are one such outlet. The process known as search engine optimization, or SEO, can help improve the online presence of eCommerce sites dramatically by increasing the volume of traffic a website receives from search engines. SEO uses keywords to give websites high placement in search results, making it a wonderful way to promote a new eCommerce site

    Another advertising technique is search engine marketing, or SEM. This process also makes websites more visible in search results, but in a different way than SEO. SEM commonly uses paid placement, paid inclusion, and targeted advertising to ensure a higher spot in search results. This approach may appear costly to some business owners because they have the impression that every time someone clicks on the advertisements, a fee is being charged. However, what business owners fail to understand is that those who click on the advertisements are more likely a potential customer looking for these services or products. SEM also has the advantage of getting faster results, as compared to SEO.

    Social media is becoming an increasingly important way for eCommerce business owners to attract attention to their websites. Almost everyone uses either Facebook or Twitter these days, and many users have accounts on both websites. By creating profiles for the eCommerce website on either social media network, business owners can use status updates to alert potential customers to special sales that are going on in their online store. They can also purchase ad space on the social media sites. By doing so, ads for the website will be visible to target audiences who have interests similar to what the eCommerce website offers.

    Offline promotion can also be a valuable way for eCommerce business owners to get the word out about their website. Radio, newspaper, and bumper stickers on taxis are the best methods of non-internet advertising. Many major eCommerce sites have successfully advertised in this manner, including Mocca, JobsDB, and “Catch Cheating Spouse” – real life examples in Singapore. These outlets reach groups who may not use the internet very often, or internet users who may never see an online ad for the eCommerce website. If shoppers do not know the website is there, they cannot visit it. Including advertising in the budget is a big step toward ensuring the success of an online business.