How to Force a Charge on a Customer’s Credit Card – Coach’s Tip of the Week

Both here on the blog and in our eCommerce training course, we have strongly urged website owners to use Durango Merchant Services as a payment processor. Not only have they set up some great processing deals for Store Coach members, but they truly are one of the most professional and service oriented companies you will ever have the pleasure of doing business with. When it comes to your money, there are few things more important than knowing your payment processor has your back! Every now and then, you’ll get a call or an Email from a customer who forgot to add something to an order. Sure, you can tell them to place another order, but all depending how you have shipping set up, it may cost the customer more to place an additional order for just an accessory than it would have cost them to add it to their original order. Even if it doesn’t cost a customer any more money to place a second order, why put them through the hassle? The key to good service is making things as easy for your customers as possible. You can easily add products to an order and charge the same card

Posted in Coach's eCommerce Blog

The Missing Piece to the Content Marketing Puzzle – Coach’s Tip of the Week

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last year or so, you realize that content marketing is just about the only acceptable method of driving natural links to your website. There are dozens of blog posts each week about how important content is, the types of content you should be creating and what the difference is between good content and bad content. That’s all great stuff to know, but there has always been one very crucial step missing in the whole content marketing equation. That is, until now. Rand Fishkin put together an excellent Whiteboard Friday video last week which I think everybody should watch – “Be Intentional about Your Content & SEO Goals or Face Certain Failure.” In it, Rand points out that you need to purposefully create content – that you need to have a strategy in mind and that each piece of content needs to target a specific type of visitor to your website. People come to your website at various stages of the buying (or “not buying”) process. Some people are just looking for information; some people are looking to compare products in order to make a buying decision; some people have bought from

Posted in Coach's eCommerce Blog

Google Shopping Changes Feed Specifications. Are Your Products Still Showing? – Coach’s Tip of the Week

Hopefully by now, everyone who was running Google Shopping ads has moved seamlessly from the old Google PLAs to the new Shopping Campaigns. If you didn’t do it on your own, Google did it for you, so I hope that worked out well! What many people may not have realized is that some of the feed specifications changed, as well, and if your feeds don’t comply with the new specifications, your ads will be rejected and will not show. The main reason for the change in feed specifications has to do with mobile phones. People are using their cell phones more than ever to browse and shop for products. Things that would display perfectly well on a home computer don’t show up so well on mobile phones, causing users to scroll more than they surely want to. To make the user experience on mobile phones better (and generate even more ad revenue), Google has put new limits on the length of some of the things in a feed. If you exceed those limits, your ads won’t show! Fortunately, there are really only five changes that you may or may not have to make and they are easy to implement in

Posted in Coach's eCommerce Blog

Using HTML Symbols To Give Your Pages A More Polished Look – Coach’s Tip of the Week

Sometimes, the littlest things definitely make a difference in how your company is perceived. Anything you can do to make your pages look more professional will instill more trust in your brand, which naturally leads to more conversions. One of the things you can do to polish up your pages is to use the special characters we all might use if we were writing something by hand. Unfortunately, the vast majority of simple text editors do not have many commonly used symbols as part of their WYSIWYG interfaces. Because of that, you are left having to use 1  1/2 instead of 1½ to display a simple fraction or worse, you have to write it out – “one and a half.” Copyright© and trademark™ symbols are other things that practically no text editor has available. Likewise, common math symbols like ÷ and ± are nowhere to be found and neither are things like degree symbols (°) and the always popular infinity symbol (∞). Forget trying to find any foreign language characters, either; get used to writing things like creme brulee instead of crème brûlée. As you can see from the few examples, above, it definitely IS possible to create the symbols

Posted in Coach's eCommerce Blog

How to Find Content to Share on Social Networks – Coach’s Tip of the Week

It’s been mentioned on this blog countless times. If all you are sharing on social networks are things about yourself or your website, you’ll never gain a decent following. People want to follow other people who share great stories, who offer outstanding help, who really know their stuff. Back in the early days when I had no clue what social networking was (I only knew that I was supposed to be doing it), everything I shared was about one of my products or about a sale going on. I was lucky to pick up four followers a month and those people were usually doing the same sort of social spam or were following me solely for a return follow. Since then, I have come to my senses and realized that the most important part of social networking is actually being someone who is worth following. I don’t play the “I’ll follow you if you follow me” game now, either. I only follow people that have something to say that interests me. I don’t have time to wade through someone’s promotional tweets or their daily announcement about what they had for lunch. Although I am by no means a social media

Posted in Coach's eCommerce Blog

Social Neworking Do’s and Don’ts – Coach’s Tip of the Week

I’ll admit it. I may be pretty good at tweeting out links to great material that others have written, but when it comes to reading the tweets of various people I follow, I get quickly discouraged. There are just so many worthless tweets and so much self promotion going on, it’s hard to find the gems amongst the rocks. We’ve written about how to use social media quite a few times – most recently in our article, “How to Social Network the Right Way.” Folks just don’t seem to be getting it, though – especially the people who have websites. They know they need to use social networks to promote their websites, so they get locked in on promotion and forget that social networks are about social interactions and networking, neither of which you will be able to do if all you are ever tweeting about is yourself. A few days ago, Neil Patel posted a very good infographic about how to get your first 100 Twitter followers that everyone should check out. Although there are a ton of great statistics in the graphic, the one that stood out to me stated that only 20% of Twitter users were providing

Posted in Coach's eCommerce Blog

How To Create Link-Worthy Content That Sells Products – Coach’s Tip of the Week

By now, I think that everyone has realized that content marketing is one of the best ways of getting new visitors to a website and attracting new links. Of course, before you can market your content, you need to create something that is link worthy. That’s where a ton of people get stuck – especially when it is content about products. As I’ve pointed out many times, both here on the blog and in our Store Coach course, you’ll never be able to successfully market articles about products unless those articles are about how to use those products or choose the right one. Your content needs to be about things that people care about, that helps them solve problems, that helps them make a decision. Answer Questions Scott Gerber, founder of Young Entrepreneur Council, wrote an article a couple of months ago for Search Engine Journal, titled, “Keeping Readers Interested: 17 Things to Write About on Your Company Blog,” in which he solicited advice from 17 members of YEC who had successfully launched startups. Not surprisingly, many of the responses shared a common theme. Most prominent, was the notion that the most successful articles are ones that answer questions or solve

Posted in Coach's eCommerce Blog

Content Ideas Are Everywhere – Coach’s Tip of the Week

We’ve all been there. You know you need to post something to your blog but there it sits – that blank screen staring at you. Ideas rarely come out of thin air, so it’s hard to figure out what it is that you are going to write about unless you have other people feeding ideas to you. I used to have that problem but now have months worth of content ideas, just waiting for for me to write. The key is to start following the best content creators in your niche and see what they are writing about. No, I’m not suggesting that you re-write their entire piece. The content you read elsewhere might give you ideas of what to write about, though, and sometimes that’s all the spark you need. In a Whiteboard Friday video two months ago, titled, “I See Content Everywhere,” Mark Traphagen pointed out that the key to knowing what to write about is recognizing a good content idea when you see it. He says that the best photographers see things that others don’t everywhere they go – the way that light hits an object, the soulful expression in a stranger’s eyes, the way colors dance

Posted in Coach's eCommerce Blog

eCommerce Link Building. What Works & What Doesn’t – Coach’s Tip of the Week

Hopefully by now, people have stopped flooding blog posts and forums with spam links, knowing that those very temporary link gains will eventually get hammered by Penguin. The days of easy links are gone and it’s become harder and harder to get a good link without having to worry about some algorithm deciding that it, too, is a bad link somewhere down the road. The motto these days is that you need to “earn your links,” but that’s easier said than done – especially for a brand new website. Last week, Eric Ward wrote an excellent piece for Search Engine Land that addresses some of the common pitfalls and solutions. Titled, “Ecommerce Link Building – The Challenge That Won’t Go Away,” it is one of the few link building articles I’ve seen lately that is not about WordPress blogs and is written specifically for people running online stores. Adding a Blog to Your eCommerce Site Eric starts out by addressing one of the best ways to earn links, which is to have a blog tied to your website (preferably located in a directory on the eCommerce site, itself). He says that one of the biggest problems is that store owners

Posted in Coach's eCommerce Blog

Split Testing For SEO – Coach’s Tip of the Week

Many articles have been written about split testing things on your website to increase conversions. In our own eCommerce training course, we have a video, Do A/B Split Testing and two articles, How to Perform a Split Test and Things You Should Split Test. And, of course, we have talked about increasing conversions through split testing here on the blog in A great Split Test Website and 4 A/B Split Tests to Try. We’re not the only ones taking about split tests and conversions, though. Neil Patel has written at least four articles about it in the last year alone Peep Laja had a great article about split testing mistakes a few months ago and Copyblogger also featured a piece on things to split test to boost conversions. Do a search on Google for “split test,” and you could be reading for days! Until two months ago, I’m quite sure I had never seen an article about split tests and SEO, though. In fact, this one wasn’t an article, but was a Whiteboard Friday video done by Rand Fishkin – How Do I Successfully Run SEO Tests On My Website? As Rand explains, it’s a lot harder to see how changes

Posted in Coach's eCommerce Blog

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Dave Hermansen is the co-founder of Store Coach and the main contributor to the blog. Dave has built and managed dozens of successful eCommerce stores for over a decade now. Many of these stores have sold for well over $100,000. See Dave's full resume here.

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