Thursday, January 31, 2019

Marketing Day: Quora keyword targeting and auction insights, Google attribution, more

Here's our recap of what happened in online marketing today, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web. The post Marketing Day: Quora keyword targeting and auction insights, Google attribution, more appeared first on Marketing Land.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

from Marketing Land - Internet Marketing News, Strategies & Tips

Quora adds search-like keyword targeting, Auction Insights for advertisers

Keyword targeting offers the intent targeting of search and can be more granular than topic targeting. Auction Insights offer competitive visibility. The post Quora adds search-like keyword targeting, Auction Insights for advertisers appeared first on Marketing Land.

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from Marketing Land - Internet Marketing News, Strategies & Tips

Agencies say search, social spend will rise, but increases target 5 platforms

Our survey finds second-tier platforms are much less likely to see spending increases in the coming year. Amazon and LinkedIn crack the top five, while the Google and Facebook duopoly still dominates. The post Agencies say search, social spend will rise, but increases target 5 platforms appeared...

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from Marketing Land - Internet Marketing News, Strategies & Tips

Facebook ad revenue tops $16.6 billion, driven by Instagram, Stories

According to Facebook's fourth quarter earnings report for 2018, the average price of an ad decreased 2%, while ad impressions were up 34%. The post Facebook ad revenue tops $16.6 billion, driven by Instagram, Stories appeared first on Marketing Land.

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from Marketing Land - Internet Marketing News, Strategies & Tips

Where is Google Attribution?

Google's free attribution tool made a big splash in 2017. Where does it stand now? The post Where is Google Attribution? appeared first on Marketing Land.

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from Marketing Land - Internet Marketing News, Strategies & Tips

When to Use WordPress for Ecommerce and When to Avoid It

If you’re building a site that’s 100% focused on content or 100% focused on ecommerce, the best choice on how to build your site is very clear.

What WordPress does best = Content

WordPress Dashboard

WordPress is now a decade old and is still the reigning champ for managing sites with a ton of content. If you plan on pursuing an SEO or content marketing strategy for your business, WordPress is the only legitimate choice for your site. Nothing else comes close to giving you all the features that you need to manage so much content along with all the extra functionality for SEO and other traffic sources. It’s the default content management platform for a reason.

What Shopify does best = Ecommerce

Shopify Dashboard

If you want to sell stuff with an ecommerce store, Shopify is by far your best choice. There really aren’t any legitimate contenders anymore. The functionality, the ease of use, and the price are unmatched. Even more impressive, Shopify will scale with your business no matter how large it gets — they’ve pushed into the enterprise segment in the last few years and are now considered ”best-in-class” at all tiers of ecommerce. From trying to sell your first product to selling one million products, Shopify is the default choice.

The problem is knowing what to do when you have a content and an ecommerce site?

This is when things get a bit trickier and more nuanced.

Why You Should (Almost) Always Use Shopify for Your Ecommerce Site

As much as I personally love WordPress, it just doesn’t compare to Shopify when it comes to ecommerce, even if you add an ecommerce plugin to WordPress.

There are a bunch of unique features that any ecommerce site needs:

  • Shopping carts
  • Check-out and payment flows
  • Integrations with payment providers
  • Fulfillment options and integrations
  • Integrations with shipping providers
  • Easy ways to manage all your product pages
  • Revenue reporting
  • Refund and return management
  • Integrations with ecommerce platforms like Amazon

Shopify was built from the ground up around all of these features. WordPress wasn’t.

With Shopify, you get every ecommerce feature you could ever need right out of the box. A bit of easy configuration and your site is ready to go. Of course, Shopify also has the ability to deeply customize anything you could want. With how popular Shopify has been, there’s now a large community of developers and marketers that can use the more advanced features of Shopify to tailor it to your exact situation.

Shopify also has Shopify Lite. It’s a super streamlined version of Shopify, perfect for adding a couple of buy buttons to your WordPress site or your Facebook page. So even if you want to run a few small tests to see if you can sell items on your site, it’s still worth starting with Shopify.

We really can’t over-hype the benefits of using Shopify — they’ve done an amazing job at building a tool to solve the needs of any ecommerce business owner.

The benefits of Shopify are so large that it’s not worth trying to contort WordPress into an ecommerce site itself.

The only real weakness to Shopify is it’s blogging functionality. Yes, you can technically publish a blog on Shopify, using that for your content. But you won’t want to.

The blogging features in Shopify are so bare-bones that they’re only fit for the occasional company updates every few months. But if you’re only posting a few times a year, you might as well skip the blog entirely.

In other words, the only companies that would get value out of the Shopify blog feature shouldn’t have a blog in the first place.

What to do?

Let’s say that you have your core ecommerce store on Shopify. It’s going great. But you also want to start a high-caliber blog that could generate some serious traffic and help increase sales.

Your best best bet will be to use Shopify for your store and WordPress for your blog. You’ll be on both platforms.

Using multiple platforms on the same site is very common. Lots of sites do it.

The Easiest Way to Use Shopify and WordPress at the Same Time

Put one of them on a subdomain and the other on your main domain, like this:

  • WordPress installed at
  • Shopify installed at

This is easy enough that you’ll be able to get this set up with your WordPress host, domain registrar, and Shopify account on your own. There’s no need to hire a developer to do anything fancy. Simply set up WordPress on your main domain like normal while setting Shopify up on a subdomain.

Should Shopify or WordPress go on the subdomain?

In the example above, I put Shopify on the subdomain at The reverse also works by putting WordPress on a subdomain while Shopify is on the main domain, like this:

  • WordPress installed at
  • Shopify installed at

Which one should you do? Which goes on the subdomain?

I would make this decision based on your marketing strategy.

If you’re pursuing an SEO strategy for your online store, your goal will be to get product pages to rank for keywords. In other words, your main SEO priority is the product pages within your store. In this case, you’d want Shopify to be on your main domain.


In SEO, the main domain will always carry a bit more weight than a subdomain. It’ll have an easier time ranking for any given keyword. So if your main goal is to get your product pages to rank for search terms in Google, install Shopify on your main domain so it gets as much help as possible.

Now let’s switch it up. What if you have a large blog and you’re using content to obtain the vast majority of your traffic? In this case, install WordPress on your main domain and put Shopify on a subdomain.

To recap, decide whether it’s a bigger priority for you to rank your WordPress content or your Shopify product pages for SEO. Once you’ve made a decision, put your first choice on your main domain and the other one on a subdomain.

What if you’re not pursuing SEO?

Then it doesn’t really matter. If you’re focusing on paid marketing or some other strategy for your ecommerce site then it’s completely up to you. In this situation, I’d use a subdomain for whichever tool hasn’t been installed yet since the main domain will already be taken.

The One Reason to Use WordPress for Ecommerce

It does make sense to turn your WordPress site into an ecommerce store if you meet these conditions:

  • You already have a large WordPress site built with lots of content.
  • You have a small store that you want to build out, in the range of 10–20 products.
  • You don’t plan on putting a ton of energy behind the store; you view it as a “one-and-done” project.

In this situation, you’re already on WordPress so you’ll want to keep that. You also have enough products to warrant a store section in your site, you’ll need more than just a few buy buttons. But it doesn’t make sense to get an entire ecommerce platform set up on your site since you don’t plan on making it a major priority.

The best bet is to keep everything on WordPress and use an ecommerce WordPress plugin to add a store to your site. The most well-respected ecommerce plugin is WooCommerce. It gets plenty of great reviews.

Or if you really love WordPress and hate the thought of adding another tool to your site, WooCommerce is still a legitimate option. Feel free to use it if you’d prefer to spend as much of your time as possible within WordPress.

from Quick Sprout

Boost Your Professional Skills with Cilantro, Selling, and Social Media

This week, we had a flavorful collection of tools, tips, and techniques that will enhance your skills as a professional...

The post Boost Your Professional Skills with Cilantro, Selling, and Social Media appeared first on Copyblogger.

from Copyblogger

3 powerful ways to maximize data to grow your e-commerce business

Look more closely at the data you already have to uncover ways to increase AOV and reduce shopping cart abandonment. The post 3 powerful ways to maximize data to grow your e-commerce business appeared first on Marketing Land.

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from Marketing Land - Internet Marketing News, Strategies & Tips

Measure for Success: 7 Secrets of Actionable Content Marketing Dashboards

Elements of an Actionable Content Marketing Dashboard

Elements of an Actionable Content Marketing Dashboard Hey, content marketers. Imagine this: You’re sitting in a marketing meeting and you hear the following:
  • Our conversions are up 50% year-over-year!
  • Our blog traffic is down.
  • We saw a big spike in traffic this month to our primary service page!
  • Our bounce rate is all over the place.
  • This blog post about “X” had 2,000 page views last month!
What are the first thoughts that come to mind? For many, the first thought would likely be: Why? Followed by a: Is that good or bad? And then finally: What do we need to do next? If you’ve ever experienced a similar scenario, you’ve come face-to-face with insight famine. The statements above simply relay data points and lack the insight needed to take any sort of action. And this is why an actionable content marketing dashboard is so incredibly important. When properly set up, an actionable dashboard marries data and insight, helping you quickly see how you’re performing against your benchmarks, goals, and key performance indicators (KPIs), and where you have opportunities to improve results or need to dig deeper. What makes a dashboard actionable? What key data and insight elements should be included? Let’s dig in.

What Makes a Marketing Dashboard Actionable?

For a content marketing dashboard to be actionable, it has to answer two simple questions:
  • Is what we’re doing working?
  • Why is it (or is it not) working?
In order to answer those questions, there are specific metrics to include based on your overall objectives. For example, if your objective is to drive qualified leads for your sales team, you might measure the amount of inquiries that resulted from a piece of content, how many of those inquiries turned into MQLs, then SQLs, then ultimately customers. If you apply those metrics to each piece of content, you’ll quickly see which content is hitting the mark, and what needs to be adjusted. And if your objective varies by topic cluster or funnel stage, you’ll need different sets of KPIs for each.

7 Essential Elements of an Actionable Marketing Dashboard

So, how do we answer those two simple questions posed above? There are several key components to consider including in your dashboard:

#1 - Content Benchmarks

Benchmarks are essential for understanding how different types of content have performed on average over a specific period of time. Your benchmarks can and should be different based on the content type and its objective. For example, a top-of-funnel blog post meant to drive traffic will have a different benchmark than a middle-funnel infographic meant to engage. By keeping these front-and center in your marketing dashboard, you can compare at-a-glance.

#2 - Goals

More than likely your goals are to beat your benchmarks every single time. But it’s important to document your goals so you can gauge success. By adding your goals to your marketing dashboard, you can quickly determine whether you’re on pace to hit your goal and if you’ve been able to surpass it. And ultimately, keeping that data within your dashboard will help you course-correct where needed and celebrate wins as they occur.

#3 - Real-Time KPI Monitoring

Depending on your objective for the content you’re creating, there could be any number of KPIs to watch. Automating those reports in a dashboard will help you report to your internal team and leadership in an easily consumable way. For example, if your KPIs are pageviews and asset downloads for a specific campaign, pull those into an executive summary that’s easy to digest with an option to drill down into more specific sources of traffic and conversions.

#4 - Traffic Trends

While measuring specific pieces of content is helpful to enhance performance, it’s important to keep your eyes on overall performance as well. Knowing whether overall website or blog traffic is trending up or down versus the previous year or month will help you inform the types of content you need to create next. For example, if you notice your organic traffic is trending down month-over-month, you will want to dig into your content report to determine why that is and what needs to be done to repair the situation on a more granular level.

#5 - Performance by Topic and Persona

If you’re trying to reach a specific persona, or increase visibility around an important topic, segmenting your data within a dashboard can be hugely valuable. You’ll be able to tell if your content is more or less visible for your target, or if your content marketing strategy needs to shift to meet a different type of demand for that topic.

#6 - Engagement Metrics

All of the traffic in the world won’t mean a thing if would-be customers are bouncing off your site immediately. Make sure you’re monitoring your bounce rate and time-on-page for each post to determine if the content is resonating and adjust as needed. While these are often bucketed as vanity metrics, that doesn’t mean they can’t provide meaningful insight or should be forgotten.

#7 - Proof of ROI

To be fully actionable, integrate your sales team’s data sources into your dashboard. With the right analytics strategy, you can pull in performance by page or post from visit to sale. This will help you prove the value of your content, and understand which kind of content converts the prospects you’re looking for. As a bonus, your sales team will be able to share that kind of converting content as a follow-up from an initial meeting or as a pre-meeting email with their prospects.

Take Action to Spur Action

An actionable content marketing dashboard is a pivotal piece to a data-informed content marketing strategy. If your data is accurate and your dashboard is actionable, you’re in the right place to start creating and marketing incredible content that has proven ROI and helps your sales team meet their goals. Talk about a win-win! And before I go, I’d like to leave you with a few rules for measurement mastery:
  • Setting up a custom and integrated dashboard takes time and patience. You may set it up in one way and realize that the KPIs and metrics you have aren’t the ones you need, and that’s okay. Looking at the data in different ways can tell you different parts of the same story. Edits aren’t rework, they’re character development.
  • Don’t be afraid to spend some quality time with your data. As you create the dashboard, it’s important to dig in and manipulate data from different sources to understand how it’s best pulled in to complement the rest of your data set. Sometimes this means changing the way you have forms or tags set up. The more time you spend digging into data up front and understanding the finer points, the better equipped you’ll be to answer questions and provide insights into remaining questions.
  • If you find yourself asking why, look deeper. Sometimes you’ll put all the data together expecting answers, and you’ll encounter more questions. Questions are good, it means the data is telling you something you need to investigate. Don’t be afraid to dig deep, and ask other departments or SMEs for their perspective.
  • Always, always, always annotate. Did you run a really great campaign that showed a spike in traffic or conversions? Make an annotation. Did you lose tracking for a little while? Make an annotation. Did you implement some major website changes, or do a migration? Make an annotation. Those kinds of anomalies in the data seem major at the time, but easily get lost in the day-to-day management of your world. Annotations will save you from having to dig into your notes, emails or previous campaign data every time it pops up in a report.
Don’t forget: You can’t achieve goals you don’t set. And you can’t optimize performance without measurement. Your content marketing dashboard can hold you accountable to both and more. Are data challenges holding your content marketing dashboard or other initiatives back? Check out our post covering the five top marketing data and analytics challenges, complete with tips to start solving them.

The post Measure for Success: 7 Secrets of Actionable Content Marketing Dashboards appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

from Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Blissfully wants to make cloud app management as carefree as its name

The New York City-based startup provides tools for tracking SaaS usage, users, spending and compliance. The post Blissfully wants to make cloud app management as carefree as its name appeared first on Marketing Land.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

from Marketing Land - Internet Marketing News, Strategies & Tips

Marketing Day: Digital agency survey results, cross-domain analytics, Reddit’s CPC ads

Here's our recap of what happened in online marketing today, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web. The post Marketing Day: Digital agency survey results, cross-domain analytics, Reddit’s CPC ads appeared first on Marketing Land.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

from Marketing Land - Internet Marketing News, Strategies & Tips

Client in-housing, competition for talent top digital agency concerns

Marketing Land's first Digital Agency Survey finds the sector is weathering digital transformation well, but the growth of data-driven marketing has made it clear where they need to hire. The post Client in-housing, competition for talent top digital agency concerns appeared first on Marketing...

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from Marketing Land - Internet Marketing News, Strategies & Tips

How to Create an Ecommerce Website in 9 Easy Steps

We’ve covered the high-level strategy of building an online store that makes real money here.

But how do we create the ecommerce website itself?

Below, you’ll find the 9 steps you need to take to create an ecommerce site.

In this guide, we cover:

  1. The one and only ecommerce tool that we use to build our sites
  2. The payment setting that can accidentally reduce your revenue by increasing refunds and chargebacks
  3. The biggest myth of pricing and how real ecommerce website owners set their prices
  4. What to put on your homepage to convert more customers
  5. What an SSL certificate is and why you need one (also how to get one for free)

Quick note, I’m going to assume that you’re creating your ecommerce website from scratch. If you already have an ecommerce store and want to transfer that store to Shopify, we have a detailed guide for that here.

Step 1: Search for Your Domain

Before going any further, make sure your company name has a good domain you can grab.

I’ve started several stores in the past, had a company name picked out, and then had a terrible time trying to find my domain. Eventually, I went with a completely different name so I had to backtrack and change a bunch of settings, or even recreate my store from scratch.

The whole process goes much smoother if you make sure the domain you want is available from the beginning. Then you won’t have to redo anything.

My go-to resource for checking which domains are available is Namecheap, which also happens to be our recommended domain registrar. A domain registrar is just a fancy name for a company that registers domains on your behalf.

Not only is Namecheap our favorite domain registrar, they also have a wicked fast domain search. Even when I’m not planning on buying a domain, I always use them to search for available domains.

Ecommerce Site - Namecheap Domain Search

I recommend holding off on buying your domain for now.

Why? Shopify has the option of buying your domain for you. If you use Shopify to buy your domain, they also configure the entire domain too. There’s nothing you need to configure or set up, it’s super easy.

We use Namecheap as our domain registrar and to manage all our domains. We believe it’s the best out there. We do this is because we have a ton of sites and domains that we manage. Once you’re managing dozens of domains, keeping them all in one location helps a lot. It’s easier to keep them from expiring, update their settings, and sell them if you want.

But if you only plan on having a couple of domains for your ecommerce site, buying them through Shopify is the easiest option. So hold off on buying for now and just make sure your domain isn’t taken.

Step 2: Start Your Shopify Free Trial

Now that you’ve made sure that you won’t have any trouble grabbing the domain for your company, head over to Shopify and start your 14-day free trial.

Why Shopify? Aren’t there other ecommerce site builders?

Yes, there are other tools for building your ecommerce site. To be honest, none of them compare to Shopify, it’s not even close. Years ago, ecommerce sites used to be fairly difficult to manage and build. Then Shopify entered the category and completely changed the game. And in the last few years, they’ve added lots of advanced functionality so they’ll easily scale with you no matter how big your site gets.

Shopify completely outshines the competition in ease of use, feature depth, ability to scale, and price.

Whenever I build an ecommerce site these days, I immediately go to Shopify. I don’t give a second thought to any of the other options out there.

There’s no credit card required so you can get a good feel for how Shopify works without any risk on your end. The 14 days are also perfect for getting your site built. I recommend setting a goal to get your store live by the end of the trial period. Then you’ll be making money as soon as you start paying for Shopify.

The trial will ask you a few questions about your company name, your address, and other standard details.

Step 3: Get Your Domain

With your Shopify store created, it’s time to grab that domain you spotted earlier. The easiest option is to buy your domain within Shopify.

In Shopify, you’ll find a domains section that allows you to search for a domain.

Ecommerce Site - Shopify Buy Domain

Shopify sells .com domains for $14 per year. This is slightly higher than average. Most domain registrars will sell an available domain for $10 per year. If you’re creating your store from scratch and haven’t purchased your domain yet, I wouldn’t worry about trying to save $4 per year. Purchasing your domain directly from Shopify will save you the several extra steps you’d have to take to point your domain from your registrar to Shopify.

I also recommend that you purchase the .org and .net versions of your company name. So you should have three domains in total:


What if you want to manage your domains outside of Shopify? In that case, choose a domain registrar like Namecheap and buy the domain there.

Once you have your domain, you’ll need to configure a few domain settings to point the domain to Shopify. You’ll find detailed instructions on how to do this here.

If you’re pointing your domain to Shopify, do this as soon as possible. It can take a few hours for domain settings to go into effect so you’ll want to make the changes and confirm everything is working before you’re ready to launch your store.

Step 4: Choose Your Theme

Your Shopify theme determines how your store will look. It’s also how ecommerce stores are able to brand themselves using their site. You can also change the look and feel of your site without having to transfer off Shopify itself, simply by changing the theme.

There are three ways to get your theme in place.

Free Shopify Theme

Shopify has plenty of great-looking themes that are also completely free. They’ve gotten so good over the years that it’s often difficult to tell what’s a free theme and what’s paid.

Paid Shopify Theme

Shopify also has plenty of paid themes in its marketplace. Most of them sell for $180. They offer a more polished site and extra features than the free themes.

Custom Shopify Theme

Yes, it is possible to get a theme built from scratch. If you go this route, an ecommerce marketing agency can build your site however you want. It can be completely customized to match your brand.

The costs for a custom theme will vary widely. It depends a lot on how big of a business you have and your requirements. Pricing will range anywhere from a few thousand dollars to over a hundred thousand dollars for an enterprise ecommerce site.

Our Theme Recommendation

Unless you already have a thriving business, it’s best to use one of the standard Shopify themes. This gives you the ability to get started without having to spend much money. Then once your business has taken off and you have a good idea for how to evolve your site and brand, you can consider a customer Shopify theme.

When we look for themes, we go to the Shopify theme store and rank all themes by popularity.

Then we start at the top and scroll down until we find a few that could work.

Ideally, you’ll find one that has a good “feel” for the type of customers your store will target. If you’re targeting men that spend time outdoors, a more rugged feel is ideal. If you’re selling luxury products, a polished and refined feel would be better. Don’t worry about getting this perfect — you only need a theme that’s “good enough” at this stage.

We typically don’t worry about the free versus paid Shopify themes. We’re more focused on finding the theme that’s a good fit. If it happens to be free, even better. If it costs us $180, we consider that a small cost and don’t hesitate to purchase the theme. If you’re watching every dollar and would prefer to stick to a free theme, you’ll still find plenty to choose from.

Once you’ve found the theme you want, get it installed on your Shopify store. That’ll make the next few steps a lot easier.

Step 5: Create Your Product Pages

This is where you’ll want to spend the most time.

Product pages have a huge impact on how many of your website visitors end up converting to customers. And it’s one of the key parts of the business that you control. You can’t always control traffic. You can’t always control your suppliers. But you can control how much effort you put into making your product pages really high quality.

Let’s go through the key parts of a product page and how to make them amazing.

Product Name

Great product names have a huge impact on product sales. Just think of the legendary infomercial products like the Shamwow, Thighmaster, or OxiClean. Legendary product names are distinctive, instantly communicate the product benefit, and are easy to remember.

I’ve named my share of products and all I have to say is that this is a lot harder than it looks.

When I tried to name my first few products, it was really easy to fall into the trap of making the name too cute. There’s a fine line between a legendary name that resonates with your market and a cute name that everyone ignores.

This is why it’s generally better to focus on names that are clear instead of trying to be too creative. Until you have a lot of naming experience, it’s really easy to pick a name that falls flat.

A clear and boring name for a great product will still generate tons of revenue. A cute name will destroy it. So focus on clear names that your market will instantly understand.

Product Description

This is your one to two paragraph pitch for the product. Really spend time on this copy.

Here’s a good structure to use in a standard product description:

  1. One or two sentences describing the problem that your product solves
  2. One or two sentences painting the dream of what it will be like when the product is solved
  3. Two to three sentences explaining how your product achieves that dream and the specific features that help accomplish that goal

This is a very common copywriting script that’s used for a lot of products, particularly any product that solves a distinct problem.

That said, not all products solve problems. Apparel is a great example. If I buy a trendy shirt, what problem am I trying to solve? None really. Instead, my purchase is aspirational. I’m aspiring to feel more confident, refine my identity, and change my look. In this case, it’s less about the product description itself and more about how the shirt looks and makes me feel. The product photos end up carrying more weight than the product description itself.

In other words, if the product description template above doesn’t work for your product because it doesn’t solve a distinct problem, don’t try to force it. Instead, use the photos to paint the dream your customers have the best you can.

Product Photos

Photography standards have gotten super high these days. Everyone has an amazing camera on their smartphone and great photography has become super prevalent with Instagram, so ecommerce websites have to take their product photos really seriously.

Don’t skimp here.

Set up a small area to take high quality photos for your products and use the highest quality camera that you can get your hands on. Also make sure to take photos from multiple angles. If possible, you should also take a few photos of the product in action. If you’re selling bed sheets, take a photo of the sheets on a real bed. If you’re selling hiking shoes, take a photo of somewhere wearing them on a hiking trail.

Use your photos to paint the dream as best you can.

Product Price

The biggest myth about pricing is how businesses set prices.

As consumers, we always assume that a business figures out how much something costs, adds a fair percentage to make some profit, and that’s how we get the final price.

In reality, it never works like that.

Consumers are willing to pay certain prices and if that price has a good margin, there’s a business. If there isn’t a good margin, the business model changes or there aren’t any good businesses in that category.

Mobile apps are the best example of this. Regardless of what it costs to develop an app, people are only willing to pay about $5 for it. The app could do incredible things and literally change lives but it doesn’t matter, the ceiling is about $5.

So how do consumers figure out what they’re willing to pay?

Price comparisons. As consumers, we only understand relative pricing. When we try to evaluate if a price is fair, we find the nearest comparison and judge based on that.

Why is it possible to only charge $5 for a mobile app? All the other apps are about $5.

Why is it okay to charge $5 for a latte? Starbucks charges about $5.

If you try to sell me a t-shirt, I’ll instantly compare your price to the standards I’ve come to know. Cheap, plain t-shirts are about $5, nicer t-shirts about $20, and luxury fashion brand t-shirts $70–100. Depending on what kind of apparel company you have, I’ll compare to those benchmarks.

The bottom line is that every business needs to factor in the comparative pricing. Yes, you can stretch it a bit if you’re delivering more value. For example, some mobile apps charge $10 and make it work. But there are limits.

Find the best comparison price to your product, nudge the price up or down depending on your value, then set your price.

And as a ecommerce website owner, it’ll be up to you to decide if your business works at that price.

Step 6: Create Your Company Pages

After your product pages are done, there are a few more pages you’ll need to create.


The simplest and most effective way to approach your homepage on an ecommerce website is to feature your most popular products.

Take your most popular product of all time and include a giant photo of it along with a call to action to its product page above the fold. Then include the next 3–5 most popular products on the rest of the homepage. This ensures that new site visitors are exposed to your best products immediately, increasing the percentage of people who purchase.

Every six months or so, check your product popularity and rotate products as necessary.

Large ecommerce websites rotate their featured products at a much faster pace. As they should! They have a lot more customers and a product catalog that’s constantly changing. As you get larger yourself, you’ll also want to increase the pace that you change your homepage. Start doing quarterly changes, then monthly, then weekly, and so on.

About Page

A lot of visitors will go to your about page to figure out who you are and what you’re doing. This is a perfect opportunity to tell your story and inspire your customers to join you on your mission.

Here are some questions and topics that you’ll want to cover on your about page:

  1. If there was a particular moment that changed your life and set you on your path to create this business, tell that story.
  2. Include any values or principles you use to build or select your products.
  3. If there’s a goal or milestone that you’re trying to achieve, share it.
  4. If you’re committed to living a certain lifestyle, paint that dream.
  5. Clearly define the type of person you’re offering products for.

Be authentic and write your copy as clearly as possible. The more that you can make this page resonate with your target market, the better.
Contact Page

This page is nice and easy. Keep it simple: include your phone number, address, and a contact form for people to reach out.

The most important thing is to make sure that the contact form goes to an email address that’s actively being monitored. If you’re the only person working on your website, have it go to your email at that domain. For example, if I had a site called Sprout Candles, I’d create an email for and have my contact form send messages there. That way I can respond to any customer requests really fast.

Once you gain traction, one of the first areas of the business that you’ll want help on will be customer support. Lots of ecommerce websites hire folks part-time or for a few hours each day to go through all the customer messages for the day. At that point, send your contact form to a generic support email that can easily be managed by anyone on your team. If I reached that point with my hypothetical business, I’d change the email to

An easy and low-cost way to get a phone set up for your business is Grasshopper. They give you a public phone number that can route to any phone number of your choosing. In the early days, you’ll have it redirect straight to your cell phone. That lets you respond to any phone calls directly without having to post your personal phone number publicly.

Step 7: Set Up Your Payments

One of the best parts of building your site on Shopify is how easy it is to set up payments. Shopify does just about everything for you — all you need to do is configure a few settings and tell Shopify when to send your money. It’s really that easy.

Those payment settings are under the Settings section in your Shopify account.

Go ahead and set up Shopify Payments:

Ecommcer Website - Payment Providers

Most of the info that’s required is pretty standard. It includes basic business info, some personal info, and your bank account so Shopify can transfer money to you.

There is one setting that you should pay close attention to for your payments: your customer billing statement.

Ecommerce Site - Billing Statement

Have you ever looked through your credit card statement, seen a charge, and thought to yourself, “What was that for? Did I get charged for something I didn’t buy?”

It happens to us all. With the number of online purchases we make these days, it’s easy to forget what we bought.

As an ecommerce store owner, the last thing you want is for your customers to get confused when they see your billing info on their card statements. If there’s any doubt or confusion, your refund and chargebacks will go up. The best way to avoid this is to make it as clear as possible which store the charge came from. Use the primary name your customers will recognize from your site. This will save you money and frustration later.

Also, we do recommend setting up PayPal on your site as well. Some customers prefer using PayPal since they don’t have to enter their credit card info all the time. Especially on mobile, it’s a lot easier to pay.

If you don’t have a PayPal account for your business already, they’re super easy to create. The only charge is the small percentage of each sale that PayPal will keep, which is standard across the industry. Go through the PayPal settings in Shopify and get it connected to your store and a PayPal option will appear in your checkout.

Step 8: Get Your SSL Certificate

SSL Certificates allow you to say that your site is extra secure. They’ve been around awhile and have become standard for any site that handles private information like email addresses and payment information.

In the last few years, Google has made SSL certificates more prominent in its Chrome Browser. Here’s what a site looks like with an SSL certificate:


Here’s what one looks like without it:


There’s a very clear trend that sites with SSL certificates are being highlighted while sites without them are getting subtle warnings. While SSL certificates used to a “nice-to-have” feature, these days they’re considered a requirement for any ecommerce site.

The last thing any ecommerce site owner wants is to make a customer hesitate because there isn’t an SSL certificate on the site.

We strongly recommend that you set up your SSL certificate when you create your site.

The best part?

Shopify gives you a free SSL certificate for your store. That’s right, it’s 100% included with your store.

Something to keep in mind for later on: there are different levels and types of SSL certificates. When getting a free SSL certificate, you’ll only get the basic options. More advanced SSL certificates come with extra monitoring, insurance, and extra security. Prices range from $150 to $2,000 per year depending on the exact package.

The only folks that should worry about the more advanced SSL certificate options are those that handle credit cards themselves (you’re not; Shopify is doing it for you) or run very large enterprise sites.

In other words, the free SSL certificate from Shopify is more than enough right now. If your ecommerce site gets super large, you can look at the other SSL certificate options later.

After you get your domain purchased or connected in Shopify, you’ll find an option to add an SSL certificate in your Domains area.

Step 9: Launch Your Store

The big day has arrived!

Everything is in place and now it’s time to launch your store.

Shopify stores are password protected by default, so no one has been able to see your store until now. If anyone tried to visit your store until this point, this is what they saw:

Ecommerce Website - Shopify Password Page

As soon as you remove the password protection, people will go straight to your real store without needing to enter a password.

Before Shopify will let you launch your store, they require you start one of its paid plans. You’ll still get full credit for your trial; the billing period won’t begin until after the trial ends. But you do need to get your paid account set up before you can open your store.

If you haven’t picked a paid plan yet, go ahead and do that now.

Then go into your store settings and look for the password section:

Ecommerce Website - Shopify Password

All you have to do is uncheck the “Enable password” box, save the settings, and your store will launch.


From here, it’s all about growing traffic to your ecommerce website, improving your products, and finding new products to offer. The better you get, the larger that your business will become.

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