Four On-Site Optimization Tips for Local SEO to Help You Rank Higher

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Here's something you may be wondering about: If you've already optimized your website for search engines, why do you have to optimize it again for local SEO? According to Local SEO expert David Mihm's Local Search Ranking Factors, properly optimizing your website could account for as much as 18% of what Google weighs inits algorithm when determining which local results to serve up to users.

With as many as 7 billion monthly local searches in the US alone, consumers are searching for business addresses, products, hours of operations, driving directions, reviews, and coupons they can use at your establishment. 

With local search becoming more and more important for small businesses (and Google as rumored by its upcoming algorithm change), it's important for merchants to understand not only the basics of Local SEO, but what it consists of.

This includes building citations, leveraging online reviews, and what we'll cover in this post, on-site optimization for increasing chances of ranking higher in local search results. 

Let's get started.

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5 Strategies To Validate Your Product Ideas

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Coming up with a product idea for your new online business can be difficult. More difficult still is building the confidence to make the jump and go through with your idea once you do have one. Will anyone care? Will anyone buy it? These are common questions you’ll ask yourself at some point in your journey.

Truth be told, you’ll never know with 100% certainty how well your product idea will do until you actually open up shop. However, by validating your product idea before jumping in head first, you can mitigate risk and build confidence in your idea before investing too much time and money.

In this post, we will look at a five strategies you can use right now to validate your product ideas.

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How to Come up with Your First Product Idea – Part 2 [Video]

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For new entrepreneurs, deciding to start an online business is an exciting time but it's also new terrain and most aspiring ecommerce entrepreneurs face the same problem.

What should I sell online?

Coming up with product ideas can be challenging but there are no shortage of opportunities. In part two of this video series we'll show you four more strategies and opportunities that you can use to help you start generating product ideas today.

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How to Come up with Your First Product Idea – Part 1 [Video]

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It's an exciting time to be an ecommerce entrepreneur. New businesses are being launched quickly and easily, and often times with minimal risk or initial investment. However, many aspiring ecommerce entrepreneurs are running into the same problem.

What should I sell online?

Coming up with product ideas can be challenging and it can sometimes feel like everything has already been done. However, there are still plenty of opportunities out there, if you know where to look.

In this two-part video series we’ll show you eight strategies and opportunities that you can use to help you start generating product ideas today.

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The Ultimate Guide to Pop-Up Shops

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For both consumers and retailers alike, the digital divide between the online and the offline world of commerce are collapsing. Out of the rubble, a new future is emerging, one in which consumers expect to seamlessly choose between making a purchase online, in-store, or frankly wherever they find themselves.

As merchants shuffle to reorganize themselves, one trend that becomes more and more apparent and shows no signs of disappearing is the pop-up shop. With the appeal of a temporary rental agreement, the possibility of creating highly engaging and targeted experiences, and customers who jump at the idea of something exclusive, pop-up shops are the new cool kids on the retail block.

Pop-up shops provide online retailers a low-cost and highly-effective sales channel that not only increases brand awareness, but provides a means to get a taste of conducting business face-to-face and reap the advantages of observing customer reactions to products and quickly soliciting their feedback. But, if you’ve only ever sold online, where do you even start?

Luckily, we know how hard it can be to get your feet wet with physical retail when you’ve only sold online, which is why over the past few months, we’ve provided extensive resources around getting started and finding success with pop-ups.

Today, we’re proud to announce an even more extensive resource with the launch of “The Ultimate Guide to Pop-Up Shops.”

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8 Marketing Tactics (And Apps) That Turn Shoppers Into Buyers

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As an online store owner, you're always looking for more traffic and sales. With so many ways of achieving these goals it can sometimes be difficult to determine the best place to start. Previously, we shared 13 actionable marketing tactics with you and today we have eight more.

In this post, we will showcase a variety of tactics that you can implement immediately, along with an app for each one. Everything from automated email marketing campaigns, to implementing a referral marketing effortlessly and a bunch in-between. 

Let's find out how to increase traffic and sales.

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4 Creative Ways to Promote Your Product Through an Influential Fashion Blogger

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Working with fashion bloggers can be tricky. With hundreds of brands online and offline vying for the their attention, it can be hard to stand out from the crowd (especially when you're local).

As a boutique owner, the most important thing to do is to make sure that you have a goal in mind before you reach out to the blogger. Having a laser-focused idea for a promotion is the perfect way to approach them. The less thought the blogger has to put into incorporating your product into their content, the more likely they will proceed to working with you.

That's why coming up with a creative idea is key. 

Typical sponsored links, banner ads and product mentions are tried and done. This type of promotion gives less impact on readers now days, as they are smartening up and recognizing the old-school sponsoring methods. But have no fear, theres still a way to stay on top of your game as a fashion or apparel brand and that is to suggest a creative methods to promote your products instead.

Looking for some ways to do it? Here are four ideas you can start implementing right away.

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How One Paper Designer Made the Leap from Wholesale to Omni-Channel Retail

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When Fiona Richards became tired of working as a graphic designer for corporate clients, she decided to start her own business. That was over eight years ago. Today, her wholesale greeting card business, Cartolina, sells worldwide to some of the most iconic retailers, like Harrods, Anthropologie, The Smithsonian, and The British Museum.

Cartolina now also sells directly to the consumer, via their online store, and has most recently opened a retail storefront in BC, Canada. Omni-channel retail is here, and many merchants like Fiona are wise to adopt it. Recent consumer studies by Forrester and MIT highlight many of the advantages of taking your business in this direction. Consumers are approaching purchasing from multiple angles – 80% of shoppers check prices online, and a third are checking product info via mobile while shopping in-store.

Companies with omni-channel engagement strategies see higher customer retention rates and increase in annual revenue versus those with single-channel strategies. Omni-channel shoppers, on the other hand, spend 50% more than single channel shoppers.

For Cartolina, the transition to omni-channel retail didn’t happen overnight. We chatted with Fiona about her decision to dive into new distribution channels. She shared with us her wins and losses as well as some valuable advice for other businesses taking the same path.

Retail Design Photo Contest: Your shop could win a $500 prize package including custom business cards and retail supplies. Read to the end of this post for details.

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9 Essential Podcasts Every Ecommerce Entrepreneur Should Subscribe To

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While blog posts are great, there's also a lot of incredible content out there in the form of Podcasts. If you’re not familiar, Podcasts are recorded audio discussions or interviews that anyone can create and that you can listen to on your smartphone or computer. They're perfect for getting your daily dose of inspiration wherever you might be, and whenever you have an idle moment. 

The problem with anyone being able to create a Podcast means that there are a lot of low quality Podcasts out there. That's why we have sifted through hundreds of them to expose the gold.

In this post, we will present the nine essential Podcasts that every ecommerce entrepreneur should subscribe to.

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How Online Reviews Impact Local SEO and Why They Matter to Your Bottom Line

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In today's digital age, how would you feel as a small business if you found out that 90% of customers say that their buying decisions are influenced by online reviews? 

I'd imagine that you'd perk up and either pat yourself on the back if your business already has a strategy in place for acquiring reviews and managing your online reputation, or you'd scratch your head and think 'dang, I better get on this.'

Regardless of where you fall on that spectrum, online reviews are important for a number of reasons, and have major implications through their ability to affect:

  • Your rankings in local search engines
  • Which search results actually gets clicked on
  • Consumers purchasing decisions

That makes online reviews as critical to your local SEO strategy as building citations and on-site optimization. In my previous posts, I covered the nuts-and-bolts of building citations, and provided a primer for local SEO to help you digest some of the concepts. 

In this post, I'll be covering how online reviews affect modern-day consumer's decision-making, along with where they fit into your Local SEO campaign, how you can go about acquiring them, and how to proactively manage your online reputation.

Let's get started.

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