Often it is much easier to work on big sites because you have more resources to attack a problem. Unfortunately that is not an option for some people who are trying to chase their dream of launching a new business. My friend recently asked me for help and I figured some of you might be facing the same challenges and others might have more suggestions that a small e-commerce site can benefit from.
Here are a few of my suggestions:
Maximize all data fields
When creating a product page you want to include as many relevant data fields as possible and you want to populate those data fields with as much information as possible. Users are less likely to buy your product if they can't figure out if the product is a good match for them. Your chances of Google traffic are very small if you don't even mention the long tail keywords and synonyms on your page. This will help your usability and SEO. Of course you can take it to a crazy extreme and hurt yourself so let's keep it relevant, focused and well organized.
Build up evergreen content
As much as you improve your product pages, they are still just products and not likely to attract traffic on their own. To help attract traffic and links create valuable evergreen content on your site. My friend is selling running skirts & kilts so I suggested posting some articles about how to run safely in the summer heat and winter cold and similar helpful topics. Ideally you want to seek out questions that haven't already been answered 100 times or answer it 100% better than anything else previously like with a video demonstration.
Collaborate, Collaborate, and Collaborate
I also encouraged my friend to build a network of online supporters. Some supporters are blogs for runners. When she launches a new product, she can provide those bloggers a free running skirt to test out and also give a discount code to their readers. This helps her gain real product feedback which is huge for a new company and it also lays the groundwork for a grassroots marketing campaign not to mention possibly a few backlinks. She could do something similar with websites that participate in affiliate programs. I also encourage her to engage with amateur runners who are on twitter & facebook. This helps to further build up on the grassroots level. By publicly reaching out & engaging people on blogs, twitter and other social channels it leads to people in the press noticing and that leads to press coverage.
My friend would like Google traffic but that is not her primary goal. Her primary goal is being successful. The more successful she becomes the more Google sends her traffic without her actively trying to rank.
What suggestions would you give to a small e-commerce website with limited resources?