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Conversion Optimization Made Simple: A Step-by-Step Guide

Lead generation form example.

Multivariate Testing (MVT)

The testing of multiple variations of many different page elements in various combinations to determine the best performing elements and combinations. For example, a multivariate landing test may test many variations of the pictures, copy, and calls to action used on the page in many combinations to find the best performer.

Here’s an overview of the things you are going to measure in order to gauge your current rate of conversion, identify the trouble spots and design a plan of action. You can get these numbers through Google Analytics, KISSmetrics, or another analytics service of your choosing. The numbers critical to CRO are as follows:

But how long are people spending on your site? Which pages are they visiting while there? This next set of numbers can help you to form some testable hypotheses. Looking at your Bounce and Exit Rates as well as your Engagement Metrics is the first step in making sense of your conversion rate.

Average Time on Site

An Engagement Metric, the Average Time on Site of users gives you a general idea how long people are sticking around. A high bounce rate means a low average time on site—visitors aren’t sticking around long enough to do whatever it is you want them to do.

Similarly, Average Page Views is an Engagement Metric that tells you how many pages the average visitor through before leaving. More page views can mean engagement but also can mean a lack of clarity in your conversion funnel, if there is no conversion.

These are the metrics that matter. Take the example above—the site with 5,000 visitors per month but only 50 conversions could either pat themselves on the back for all those unique visitors or recognize that their conversion rate could be much better than 1% and then work to optimize those numbers.

What increasing your conversion rate really means



That’s probably more of an estimate, but let’s just run with it. Assuming 5% of people end up buying something (not unlikely, considering people spend almost 5 minutes on the site, on average, browsing almost 6 pages), that means 330,000 people buy from their online store each month .

They’re all “more options.” They take more time, more money and more resources, while leaving the results completely unpredictable. You don’t know if these strategies will work at all and if they do, how long they will take to kick in.




Case Study: The 2008 Obama Presidential Campaign

Image of President Barack Obama.

During the campaign, Dan Siroker, the founder and CEO of Optimizely, was serving as the Director of Analytics for the Obama Campaign. He proposed that different headline and image/video combinations should be tested to see which one was the most effective at getting people to sign up for the President’s e-mail newsletter.

The campaign team knew that a large percentage of people who sign up would end up supporting the President financially, but the trick was getting the most people possible to sign up for the campaign newsletter.

Dan’s team ended up putting together 24 different variations with four button options, three images, and three videos. Interestingly, most people on the team assumed the videos would be the most effective at getting people to sign up.

Image of President Obama

So what was the result? After testing with 310,382 visitors with each variation seen by around 13,000 people, the version with a picture of Barack Obama’s family and a “Learn More” call-to-action button led to a conversion rate of 11.6% for the winning variation, a 40.6% increase over the original conversion rate which as 8.26%.

Even more impressive than the increase in conversions from the winning variation is the fact that the new version let to approximately 2,880,000 additional sign ups, 288,000 more volunteers, and an additional $60 million in donations over the course of the campaign.

What are CRO best practices?

Marketing best practices

Improve user experience

Collect sufficiently large datasets

Assume you are conducting A/B tests for two variations of your website, and one design has a significantly better conversion rate than the other. It is not enough to choose one design over another unless the sample size of data applies to the statistical hypothesis tests.

Using principles of influence/cognitive biases

Nudging users to make an action highlighting scarcity

Online travel booking sites are the most common application of creating an urgency to make customers feel like they need to make a purchase decision quickly. Most travel booking sites offer limited-time discounts to users. This practice encourages people to book it now rather than later.

Yet, limited-time offers are not the only way to rush customers to make an action. For instance, another example is from, which uses this technique by providing additional information on booking times, including answers to the following questions:

Social Proof & authority

According to a study, on average, testimonials on sales pages increase conversions by 34%. People tend to look for social proofs that enable them to trust your company for online purchases. Some social proof examples are


Reciprocity is the practice of providing a complimentary benefit to increase the customers’ likelihood to purchase. This is based on the psychological notion that people want to help those that have provided them some form of help or support. Most B2B companies are already using this technique with their whitepapers, case studies and other type of interactive content where they collect contact information of visitors in exchange for information.


Cialdini notes that physical attractiveness, compliments, similarity between buyer and the sales rep can all contribute to the likeability of a sales rep which helps increase sales closing rates. Similarly, likeable brands could lead to better sales. Brands like Mailchimp and Slack put significant effort to create likeable brands by

What are the average conversion rates of e-commerce sites?

Comparing existing conversion rates to industry averages can help organizations understand where to start optimizing. Yet, comparing products in similar sectors is important. Below are images from three different e-commerce industry reports published in 2020 that may help you set an objective to optimize for 2021.

Conversion rates for e-commerce by industry

E-commerce Conversion Rate by Product

E-commerce Conversion Rate by traffic source

Get People Engaged Immediately


By working through the above listed tips you will go a long way to improving your website’s conversions. Additionally, you will also create a better user experience for your users by implementing the above conversion optimization tips.

When you make the changes in your website, I recommend taking small steps and measuring the outcomes along the way rather than making changes all at once. That way, you will be able to identify which changes had the biggest impact on your conversions.


Comments (11)

Hi Jabed!
Excellent checklist of conversion rate optimization tips. I launched an e commerce site for three months and wouldn’t get good results.
I don’t think it will possible for anyone to follow the complete list. Nevertheless, I would try to pick some of those and would implement it on my site.
Thanks for this awesome list.

Engaging people through video or leverage a free trial option can enhance your first impression is true indeed. However, at the same time, if you have given the right information, which they are looking for, then you are on the way to expect some real customers.

I adore the look of your web site. I recently built mine and I was searching for some suggestions for my website and you gave me a couple of. Might I ask you whether you developed the web site by youself?

Hi Jabed,
You have covered almost all points to optimize website conversion rate. Once a customer satisfies with your product, option for different payment option for customer makes a hazzle free and easy transaction experience for him. One should aware about popular transaction option trend.
For online marketing clear and reliable warranty/guarantee offered by company is most important check list for customer.
Also one should focus on complaint section regarding their service and on customer satisfaction.
Almost all tips u provided are very useful. Nice.

This was a thorough checklist of things to include in a website. I’m a big advocate of blogging and it’s a great way to keep publishing new posts for both your audience and for search engines to to index. This will definitely help with building organic traffic as well as direct traffic resulting in a big loyal following.


Online marketing

Of course, you already know social media marketing, which is where you use one or several social media channels to engage with customers, build relationships, and then send them to your products and services.


What are the 8 Types of Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing can be broadly broken into 8 main categories including: Search Engine Optimization, Pay-per-Click, Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing, Email Marketing, Mobile Marketing, Marketing Analytics and Affiliate Marketing .

In the past decade, digital marketing has become a vital component in an organization’s overall marketing strategy. It allows companies to tailor messages to reach a specific audience, making it possible to market directly to people who are likely to be interested in their product.

Two academic team members from Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) spoke about how digital marketing aligns with traditional tactics and shared information on some of the types of digital marketing in practice now.

What is Digital Marketing

Digital marketing encompasses a wide variety of marketing tactics and technologies used to reach consumers online. As a form of online marketing, it allows organizations to establish a brand identity and has revolutionized the marketing industry.

A senior associate dean of business programs, Dr. Mark Hobson, said although digital marketing seems like a new world, in fact, it is based on many of the principles familiar to traditional marketers and requires both foundational marketing knowledge and technical know-how.

Dr. Jessica Rogers, associate dean of marketing programs, said the two disciplines serve to connect with distinct groups of consumers. “… Traditional media is a great way to reach a broad consumer base, whereas digital media has the ability to reach very specific audiences,” she said “A key point is that depending on the target audience, some channels are more effective than others.”

On-Page SEO

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Your title tag and meta description are what shows up on a given Google search result. For example, if someone searches for “SEO Tips,” my post will show up with the headline and description that I’ve personally customized.

But they do contribute to click-through rate. When your title tags and meta descriptions are more compelling or related to the topic that someone is searching for, you can expect higher click-through rates.

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Searching for your basic keyword will give you a list of metrics telling you the volume (how many searches per month), difficulty (competition ranking for it), and the number of clicks that come from organic search.

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Examples of Online Marketing


This well-known activewear brand initially began by only offering yoga attire. However, through the strategic use of social media marketing, the brand discovered the activewear preferences of its target audience. It has since evolved to offer a variety of casual wear and activewear and has become a household name in the industry.

Uber is one of the most well-known driving services, and this company’s online marketing strategies play a large role in the company’s global recognition. One example of how Uber uses online marketing to increase its brand awareness and drive sales is through email marketing and segmentation. The company collects geographical data from its current customers to target new customers through segmented email campaigns.

Most notably, Uber will send select demographics in certain areas emails promoting the company before or during a big event in the potential or current customers’ location. This keeps Uber at the forefront of a person’s mind as they try to navigate traffic and parking as a result of the event and increases sales for the company.

The famous shoe brand Nike has dramatically increased its sales and reach by turning the recent influencer trend into one of its primary online marketing strategies. One way Nike has used the power of influencers to broaden its brand awareness. They did this by researching and finding some of the most influential trendsetters in the social media world. The company then commissioned them to collaborate with Nike to design their own line of shoes.

The strong fan base associated with these influencers ensures that Nike will receive ample exposure when the influencers promote their shoe line. Additionally, allowing influencers to create their own customized line of Nikes helps buyers feel as if they are purchasing exclusive products rather than those that are mass-marketed for everyone.

As you can see, online marketing is a key strategy that many companies use to promote their products and services. Especially with the continued growth of electronics and computers, online marketing is only going to continue to develop in the coming years. Using this guide, and other helpful marketing resources, you can start building an effective online marketing campaign for your business and brand.

Online marketing

It is safe to say that social media plays a vital role in every company’s Digital Marketing strategy. The major difference between the two comes in the platform that they are using as well as the tone they choose.

National Geographic's instagram

Benefits of Digital Marketing

1. The most measurable form of marketing

We all know that the only way to ensure that a marketing strategy is working is to check its success over time. Since everything on the internet runs on numbers and algorithms, it is easy to keep track of just how effective a marketing strategy really is.

Through these analytics, you can measure in real-time how many people are looking at your posts or ads, as well as how many users have opened your posts, along with all of the people that have replied, liked, or shared your post.


2. The most cost-effective marketing technique

While there was once a paywall between major companies and smaller ones in terms of advertising and exposure, that is no longer the case. Nowadays, smaller companies can get the attention of people that they otherwise could not.

3. Allows you to choose any audience

You can also market to a very broad audience through internet ads or sponsored posts on Facebook and Instagram. No matter who your target demographic is, you are sure to find them through Digital Marketing.

4. Everyone is already there

5. Customers start their buying journey on the internet

6. The message can be customized

Advertising today is different from the old days. Back then, when you wanted to talk to you public, you needed a generic message, that could be used in mass media such as billboards, TV broadcasts, flyers, etc.

Best Digital Marketing Strategies

#1. Social media marketing

McDonalds social marketing

Applications like Snapchat and Instagram allow users to connect with their friends and even celebrities. But it is also a great place for brands to show off their products and services, seeing how both the platforms rely on people sharing short videos or photos.

Other sites like Reddit rely greatly on the power of groups that share a common interest, making it a place for companies to know about the public’s current perception of their brands and publish content

These social media platforms only scratch the surface in terms of what Social Media Marketing can achieve. With over 2 billion people connected to each other through platforms like Facebook, social media cannot be ignored.

#2. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)


SEM is a specific form of marketing that caters directly to people and what they are looking for. This can be done by two ways: buying ad space on search results page or by SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

This means that your page will not appear as a regular search result and will be visibly different from the rest. This technique also applies to social media, such as Facebook and Instagram, seeing how both rely heavily on a search bar.

#3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

example of a serach on google, representing SEO

SEO’s biggest goal is to rank your content higher in the search engines, increasing the organic traffic your blog or site receives. This is so relevant in a world where 90% of the people who make Google research click on the results that are shown on the first page of the engine.

#4. Content Marketing

content marketing strategy represented in a blog post

This strategy is based on the education of the market towards the solution your company offers. Using relevant content, you can increase your clients and possible clients by educating and engaging them.

#5. Affiliate Marketing

example of an affiliate program

#6. Blog

blog marketing

#7. Email Marketing

email marketing example

While each of the marketing tactics mentioned has its advantages, email marketing is the king of content and brings in an unbeatable return on investment compared to other Digital Marketing strategies.

#8. Marketing Automation

All of this while having more information on your clients and potential clients, mapping all steps of the buyer’s journey and having more time to think about your marketing strategy instead of doing the manual work.


#9. Inbound Marketing

As a methodology, it’s about more than simply driving traffic to your website and generating leads. It’s truly about making genuine connections with your potential customers and building strong long-term relationships with them.

#10. Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

The one you’re likely most familiar with is the paid advertising that appears at the top of Google search results. However, advertisements that appear before YouTube videos, in mobile apps, and so forth also follow the PPC model.

But PPC as a digital marketing discipline is highly flexible. You can target consumers located anywhere globally, including local customers you want to attract through the doors of a brick-and-mortar business.

#11. Sponsored Content

#12. Native Advertising

Consider the way the ads you see while scrolling through your social media feeds look just like the rest of the posts versus how an old-school banner ad on a website sticks out as something that doesn’t quite belong.

Like other forms of paid advertising, native advertising can take many forms. One of the most popular, effective options is in-feed advertising that appears as part of the news feed flow on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

The History and Evolution of Digital Marketing

The History and Evolution of Digital Marketing

In a world where over 170 million people use social media on a regular basis, every working professional is expected to be familiar with at least the core tenets of Digital Marketing. In simple terms, Digital Marketing is the promotion of products over the internet or any form of electronic media. According to the Digital Marketing Institute, "Digital Marketing is the use of digital channels to promote or market products and services to targeted consumers and businesses."

People are consuming digital content on a daily basis. Very soon, traditional marketing platforms will disappear, and the digital market will completely take over. There are a number of advantages in Digital Marketing. Unlike traditional marketing, digital marketing is more affordable.

PG Program in Digital Marketing & Analytics

You can reach a larger audience in a shorter time period. Technological advances have resulted in considerable attrition of the customer-base of traditional marketing agencies and departments. People have moved on to tablets, phones, and computers, which are the areas where digital marketers have gained the most ground.

The term Digital Marketing was first used in the 1990s. The digital age took off with the coming of the internet and the development of the Web 1.0 platform. The Web 1.0 platform allowed users to find the information they wanted but did not allow them to share this information over the web. Up until then, marketers worldwide were still unsure of the digital platform. They were not sure if their strategies would work since the internet had not yet seen widespread deployment.

In 1993, the first clickable banner went live, after which HotWired purchased a few banner ads for their advertising. This marked the beginning of the transition to the digital era of marketing. Because of this gradual shift, the year 1994 saw new technologies enter the digital marketplace. The very same year, Yahoo was launched.

Also known as "Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web" after its founder Jerry Yang, Yahoo received close to 1 million hits within the first year. This prompted wholesale changes in the digital marketing space, with companies optimizing their websites to pull in higher search engine rankings. 1996 saw the launch of a couple of more search engines and tools like HotBot, LookSmart, and Alexa.

1998 saw the birth of Google. Microsoft launched the MSN search engine and Yahoo brought to the market Yahoo web search. Two years later, the internet bubble burst and all the smaller search engines were either left behind or wiped out leaving more space for the giants in the business. The digital marketing world saw its first steep surge in 2006 when search engine traffic was reported to have grown to about 6.4 billion in a single month. Not one to get left behind, Microsoft put MSN on the backburner and launched Live Search to compete with Google and Yahoo.

Free Digital Marketing Strategy Course

Then came Web 2.0, where people became more active participants rather than remain passive users. Web 2.0 allowed users to interact with other users and businesses. Labels like ‘super information highway’ began to be applied to the internet. As a result, information flow volumes –including channels utilized by digital marketers- increased manifold, and by 2004, internet advertising and marketing in the US alone brought in around 5000.9 billion.

Soon, social networking sites began to emerge. MySpace was the first social networking site to arrive, soon followed by Facebook. Many companies realized all these fresh new sites that were popping up were beginning to open new doors of opportunities to market their products and brands. It opened fresh avenues for business and signaled the beginning of a new chapter to business. With new resources, they needed new approaches to promote their brands & capitalize on the social networking platform.

The cookie was another important milestone in the digital marketing industry. Advertisers had begun to look for other ways to capitalize on the fledgling technology. One such technique was to track common browsing habits and usage patterns of frequent users of the internet so as to tailor promotions and marketing collateral to their tastes. The first cookie was designed to record user-habits. The use of the cookie has changed over the years, and cookies today are coded to offer marketers a variety of ways to collect literal user data.

Products marketed digitally are now available to customers at all times. Statistics collected by the Marketingtechblog for 2014 show that posting on social media is the top online activity in the US. The average American spends 37 minutes a day on social media. 99% of digital marketers use Facebook to market, 97% use Twitter, 69% use Pinterest and 59% use Instagram. 70% of B2C marketers have acquired customers through Facebook. 67% of Twitter users are far more likely to buy from brands that they follow on Twitter. 83.8% of luxury brands have a presence on Pinterest. The top three social networking sites used by marketers are LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

Start Seeing Results with Digital Marketing

There is no single right answer when it comes to building an effective digital marketing strategy. Each business has its own unique requirements and audience. Keep those needs and that audience in mind as you create your strategy using the examples of online marketing strategies in this article. With a good digital marketing strategy, you’ll start seeing fast results that will help your business thrive.

Every company, no matter what industry, needs a digital marketing strategy to thrive in today’s hyper-competitive, always-on world. That’s why there is a huge demand for highly skilled professionals in this field. If you want to get in on the action, check out Simplilearn’s Post Graduate Digital Marketing Program in partnership with Purdue University, to learn everything you need to know to succeed today.

Online marketing

Step 3: Set up your adtech and channels . Ad technology can take some time to navigate, so make sure you have the right data management platforms (DMPs), demand-side platforms (DSPs), supply-side platforms (SSPS), and ad exchanges in place before you get started. Align your team, communicate everyone’s objectives, and show how their channels fit into the big picture of digital marketing.

business owner researching the basics of digital marketing

Digital Marketing

What is digital marketing?

At a high level, digital marketing refers to advertising delivered through digital channels such as search engines, websites, social media, email, and mobile apps. Using these online media channels, digital marketing is the method by which companies endorse goods, services, and brands. Consumers heavily rely on digital means to research products. For example, Think with Google marketing insights found that 48% of consumers start their inquiries on search engines, while 33% look to brand websites and 26% search within mobile applications.

While modern day digital marketing is an enormous system of channels to which marketers simply must onboard their brands, advertising online is much more complex than the channels alone. In order to achieve the true potential of digital marketing, marketers have to dig deep into today’s vast and intricate cross-channel world to discover strategies that make an impact through engagement marketing. Engagement marketing is the method of forming meaningful interactions with potential and returning customers based on the data you collect over time. By engaging customers in a digital landscape, you build brand awareness, set yourself as an industry thought leader, and place your business at the forefront when the customer is ready to buy.

By implementing an omnichannel digital marketing strategy, marketers can collect valuable insights into target audience behaviors while opening the door to new methods of customer engagement. Additionally, companies can expect to see an increase in retention. According to a report by Invesp, companies with strong omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain an average of 89% of their customers compared to companies with weak omnichannel programs that have a retention rate of just 33%.

As for the future of digital marketing, we can expect to see a continued increase in the variety of wearable devices available to consumers. Forbes also forecasts that social media will become increasingly conversational in the B2B space, video content will be refined for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes, and email marketing will become even more personalized.

Common problems that digital marketing can solve

To optimize your marketing strategies, digital is mandatory. Digital marketing can help you to get to know your audience, learn important data about them, and provide metrics that will give your marketing team credibility.

    Problem: I don’t know my audience well enough to get started. Getting to know your audience takes time, and while your marketing team may have developed audience personas that can be of use, consumers actively spending time online may not behave in the way you’d expect. You’ll need to test different language with different targets, keeping in mind that certain descriptors will appeal to different people and their place in the buying cycle. Attune yourself to your audience and you’ll build credibility that will set you apart from the competition.

What Are the Basics of Digital Marketing?

In a nutshell, digital marketing refers to any marketing methods conducted through electronic devices which utilize some form of a computer. This includes online marketing efforts conducted on the internet. In the process of conducting digital marketing, a business might leverage websites, search engines, blogs, social media, video, email and similar channels to reach customers.

Unlike traditional marketing—which is static and often referred to as “one-way” communication—digital marketing is an ever-changing, dynamic process. Stated otherwise, customers cannot interact with business through a billboard or print ad, whereas digital marketing provides an avenue for two-way communication between a business and its actual or prospective customers.

These days, screen time is at an all-time high for many people. Digital marketing takes advantage of this reality, promoting business products and services across the internet. In this way, businesses ensure that their marketing efforts are more likely to reach customers, by targeting them where they spend most of their time.

From startups to enterprise businesses, a multifaceted digital marketing approach can lead to significant commercial benefits. Successful digital marketing strategy generally involves a combination of various methods, including online advertising, search engine optimization and marketing, social media marketing and management and content creation, among others.

Are There Different Ways to Conduct Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is a broad term that encompasses many different channels for promoting business interests to prospective customers. Depending on the business needs and goals, there are countless ways to conduct digital marketing. It is not a cookie-cutter exercise.

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) — SEO is the practice of improving ranking within major search engines to increase online traffic.
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM) — SEM leverages paid online advertising to increase website visibility within search engines. SEM is often used in conjunction with SEO.
  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC) — PPC is an online method for advertising where a business only pays for its ads when a person clicks on them.
  • Social Media Marketing (SMM) — SMM is the practice of using social media channels to promote business products or services. The use of social media influencers, often referred to as influencer marketing, is prevalent in SMM.
  • Email Marketing — Email marketing enables businesses to send branded, promotional content directly to prospective customers via email. The use of automated newsletters is common in this context.
  • Affiliate Marketing — Affiliate marketing is a performance-based exercise that enables revenue sharing and pay-per-sale (PPS) compensation within a common network.
  • Content Marketing — Content marketing refers to the publishing and distribution of text, video or audio materials to customers online. Blogs, videos and podcasts are common ways for businesses to engage in content marketing.
  • Native Advertising — Native advertising involves blending marketing materials into a medium, making the underlying message and marketing purposes equally important. Sponsored content, in which one business posts its own content on a different website, is a common method of native advertising.

As the list above indicates, there are numerous ways to execute a digital marketing strategy. For most businesses, successful inbound marketing involves the use and application of multiple digital marketing methods.

How to Do Digital Marketing

1. Define your goals.

When you’re first getting started with digital marketing, it’s critical you start by identifying and defining your goals, since you’ll craft your strategy differently depending on those goals. For instance, if your goal is to increase brand awareness, you might want to pay more attention to reaching new audiences via social media.

Alternatively, perhaps you want to increase sales on a specific product — if that’s the case, it’s more important you focus on SEO and optimizing content to get potential buyers on your website in the first place. Additionally, if sales is your goal, you might test out PPC campaigns to drive traffic through paid ads.

2. Identify your target audience.

We’ve mentioned this before, but one of the biggest benefits of digital marketing is the opportunity to target specific audiences – however, you can’t take advantage of that benefit if you haven’t first identified your target audience.

For instance, perhaps you’ve noticed most of your Instagram audience is younger and prefers funny memes and quick videos — but your LinkedIn audience tends to be older professionals who are looking for more tactical advice. You’ll want to vary your content to appeal to these different target audiences.

3. Establish a budget for each digital channel.

If you’re focusing on inbound techniques like SEO, social media, and content creation for a preexisting website, the good news is you don’t need very much budget at all. With inbound marketing, the main focus is on creating high quality content that your audience will want to consume, which unless you’re planning to outsource the work, the only investment you’ll need is your time.

You can get started by hosting a website and creating content using HubSpot’s CMS. For those on a tight budget, you can get started using WordPress hosted on WP Engine, using a simple them from StudioPress, and building your site without code using the Elementor Website Builder for WordPress.

For example, to implement PPC using Google AdWords, you’ll bid against other companies in your industry to appear at the top of Google’s search results for keywords associated with your business. Depending on the competitiveness of the keyword, this can be reasonably affordable, or extremely expensive, which is why it’s a good idea to focus building your organic reach, too.

4. Strike a good balance between paid and free digital strategies.

For instance, if you spend time building comprehensive buyer personas to identify the needs of your audience, and you focus on creating quality online content to attract and convert them, then you’re likely to see strong results within the first six months despite minimal ad spend.

5. Create engaging content.

Once you know your audience and you have a budget, it’s time to start creating content for the various channels you’re going to use. This content can be social media posts, blog posts, PPC ads, sponsored content, email marketing newsletters, and more.

6. Optimize your digital assets for mobile.

Another key component of digital marketing is mobile marketing. In fact, smartphone usage as a whole accounts for 69% of time spent consuming digital media in the U.S., while desktop-based digital media consumption makes up less than half — and the U.S. still isn’t mobile’s biggest fan compared to other countries.

This means it’s essential to optimize your digital ads, web pages, social media images, and other digital assets for mobile devices. If your company has a mobile app that enables users to engage with your brand or shop your products, your app falls under the digital marketing umbrella, too.

Those engaging with your company online via mobile devices need to have the same positive experience as they would on desktop. This means implementing a mobile-friendly or responsive website design to make browsing user-friendly for those on mobile devices. It might also mean reducing the length of your lead generation forms to create a hassle-free experience for people downloading your content on-the-go. As for your social media images, it’s important to always have a mobile user in mind when creating them, as image dimensions are smaller on mobile devices and text can be cut-off.

There are lots of ways you can optimize your digital marketing assets for mobile users, and when implementing any digital marketing strategy, it’s hugely important to consider how the experience will translate on mobile devices. By ensuring this is always front-of-mind, you’ll be creating digital experiences that work for your audience, and consequently achieve the results you’re hoping for.

7. Conduct keyword research.

Conducting keyword research is critical for optimizing your website and content for SEO and ensuring people can find your business through search engines. Additionally, social media keyword research can be helpful for marketing your products or services on various social channels, as well.

Digital Marketing Examples

1. Lego’s Rebuild the World Campaign

digital marketing examples: lego

In this day and age, it’s becoming increasingly important for companies to discuss global issues and show alignment with their customers in that way. The major play with this campaign is to help share the brand’s story and messaging.

2. Dove’s Reverse Selfie Campaign

digital marketing examples: dove

As we continue to learn how social media is affecting children, especially young girls, Dove decided to send a message. The Reverse Selfie campaign shows the reverse of what a teen girl did to prepare for a selfie and photoshop the picture. The purpose is to increase awareness of how social media can negatively impact self-esteem.

This is an excellent example of what marketing content can look like when you know your audience intimately. By knowing its audience of real women, many of them parents, Dove was able to bring light to an often overlooked consequence of the growth of social media.


Ecommerce business

Once the money has gone through the gateway and merchant account, it winds up in your hands through your business bank account. For ease of transactions and also to keep track of your sales, it’s best to have a separate business bank account for all the transactions from your ecommerce store.

How Retail Works

What Is Ecommerce?

Ecommerce, or electronic commerce, is a term that’s used often in sales discussions these days. Product sellers and service providers can increase sales through online commerce and boost revenue with ease. Selling online is a popular sales method, worldwide.

In fact, statistics show global ecommerce sales could reach $6.542 trillion by 2023, representing 22% of the total retail market. The bottom line is people are doing a lot of online shopping, and if your products aren’t there, you’re missing out. Ecommerce growth has gotten a boost as more people avoid visiting a physical store due to the pandemic. As life gets back to normal, many brick and mortar stores have adjusted their site functionality so that it’s easier to shop online.

If you sell products or services but don’t sell online yet, this article is for you. Here, I highlight the basics of what ecommerce is and how it works. By the end, you’ll know why this commerce method is a slam dunk option for you. And, you’ll be ready to become an ecommerce entrepreneur.

How to start an ecommerce business

1. Choose a product

ecommerce blueprint step 1: research products

Finding a product to sell

The first step to building an e-commerce store is knowing what products you want to sell direct-to-consumer. This often is the most challenging part of starting a new online business. In this section, we’ll highlight strategies you can use to find product opportunities, explore the best places to look for product ideas, and finally, look at trending e-commerce products to consider.

Evaluating your idea

Once you have a product idea in mind, how do you know if it will sell? In this section, we’ll cover a few approaches that active entrepreneurs have used to validate their product ideas and potential market.

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Obtaining your product

After landing on a strong product idea, your next step is figuring out where and how you’re going to obtain your products. The next four posts cover the various methods for acquiring your products, along with the pros and cons of each model.

Sell your retail products online

Many independent retailers face a challenging road ahead. Shifting your brick-and-mortar business online can help you weather this storm, generate cash flow, and build a more resilient business. You’ll need to find a good ecommerce solution to build your store on, like Shopify.

2. Research and prepare

how to start an ecommerce business: competitor research

Research your competition

You’ve found your product, evaluated its potential, and sourced a supplier. But before you get into that, you’ll need to thoroughly research your competition so you know what you’re up against and how you can differentiate your business from theirs.

Writing a business plan

With your competitive research complete, it’s time to write your business plan. A business plan is a roadmap that helps bring your ideas and thoughts together. It’s vital in determining what to prioritize and how to effectively reach potential customers. A business plan also highlights your company’s mission statement to show investors and employees the core values of your brand.

3. Setup your business

setting up ecommerce business

Choose a business name

Aside from finding an actual product to sell online, another challenging decision is determining your business or brand name and choosing an appropriate and available domain name. These blog posts will help you tackle these important tasks.

Creating a logo

Once you’ve selected a memorable name and registered a corresponding domain, it’s time to craft a simple logo. In these resources, we’ll show you several options for creating a great logo for your new business.

Understanding search engine optimization (SEO)

You’re almost ready to begin building your online store. However, before you jump into it, you should understand the basics of search engine optimization so you can properly structure your site and pages for Google and other search engines.

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Building your store

With a better understanding of search engines, it’s time to build out your store using a website builder. There are many crucial elements to consider. Below, we’ve listed our essential reads to help you build high-converting product pages, write captivating product descriptions, shoot beautiful product photography, choose your ecommerce color palette, and much more.

Choosing your sales channels

One of the best ways to reach new customers is to choose sales channels where they already shop. The right mix of sales channels will depend on your products and your target market, but there are a number of great options that can complement and support your self-hosted store.

How much does it cost to start an ecommerce business?

An ecommerce business can be started for as little as $100, which is spent on a subscription and purchasing a theme for your store. Ecommerce companies cost less than brick-and-mortar stores because they don’t require the same amount of licenses and permits, and you don’t need to pay rent for a retail space.

If you operate as a dropshipping business, for example, it’ll likely cost less to start because you don’t need to pay for raw materials, inventory, or manual labor. You only pay for products after a customer purchases them. If you’re creating your own products by hand or working with manufacturers, you’ll need to pay for equipment, materials, and labor upfront.

ecommerce business costs

Now, this doesn’t mean you will definitely spend $40,000 opening up your ecommerce store. The amount spent in the first year varied significantly, depending on industry and ecommerce business model, whether the business had employees, or if it was a full-time gig.

You also don’t need $40,000 in cash lying around to start an ecommerce business. While many (66%) entrepreneurs use their personal savings to fund their business (respondents could choose more than one funding source), they also used financial support from friends and family (23%) and personal loans (21%).

Tips for starting an ecommerce store

Forget about year one profitability

Starting a successful ecommerce business is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t measure business success by profitability in your first year. Give yourself a runway of 18 to 24 months for your business to get off the ground. Spend your first year testing, reiterating, and reinvesting your sales back into your business using the above budget guidelines.

Know your target audience

Outside of developing or sourcing products, you’ll spend a majority of your time getting the attention of customers. The challenge? You want to get your products in front of the right customers—the ones who will actually buy on your site. Understanding these people, a.k.a. your target audience, can help you reach them faster and make more sales.

Sell an in-demand product

Create or sell an amazing product with proven market demand. Take a look at the top retailers today—Allbirds, Tushy, Bombas—and you’ll notice they all sell top-tier products. “Product quality is critical because a good product sells itself,” says Eric Even Haim, CEO of upsell and cross-sell app ReConvert. “When you marry a great product with an audience who’s hungry for it, your marketing becomes 10 times easier.”

Eric explains that new products don’t need to be the “next big thing.” You just need to “look for growing trends and markets where customers are underserved. Then step in with an excellent product and give them what they want!”

Experiment with marketing and advertising

“Success depends on your ability to experiment, test, and analyze your ad and marketing strategies,” says Stephen Light, CMO and co-owner of mattress company Nolah. “Experimentation is the best way to avoid falling into any assumptions about your audience that could end up hurting you rather than helping.”

Stephen suggests being open to getting things totally wrong, “especially when you’re just starting out.” Use the data you collect to create more effective campaigns that drive traffic and profit. “Plus, optimizing your ad campaigns and gathering data regarding how your customer base responds to them can help you shape your website’s features.”

Invest in outreach and link building

“The sooner you have an approach to link building and driving authority into your site in place, the sooner search engines will recognise your website as an authority in its niche,” says UK-based SEO consultant James Taylor.

“Search engines see a link from an authority source as a vote of confidence towards your website, so the more links you have from trusted websites, the more search engines are going to trust you as an authority.”

James recommends new ecommerce store owners and marketers invest in digital PR and link-building campaigns early on. This sets the stage for long-term SEO success, so you can rank higher in Google, earn more organic traffic, and make more sales.

Starting an ecommerce business FAQ

How do I start an ecommerce business?

Research what products you’d like to sell or can source to sell, select a business name, register your business with the government, obtain permits and licenses, choose an ecommerce software and create your website, load your products onto the site, launch, and start marketing your business.

What are the 4 types of ecommerce businesses?

Is ecommerce a profitable business?

Yes, the ecommerce industry is profitable. Successfully starting an ecommerce company is a marathon, not a sprint. It can take 18 to 24 months for your business to get off the ground. It’s critical that you don’t measure the success of your business by your first-ear profitability.

Is it hard to start your own ecommerce business?

No, starting an ecommerce company is easy, with platforms like Shopify enabling brands to go online in just a few days. Starting a brand consists of hard work and continual market research to improve your business. We encourage you to read all our guides on how to start a business before you set up a store.


The Step-by-Step Guide to Conducting a Content Audit in 2022

Let’s recap. By now, you should have an inventory of your content and know what data you want to gather. For larger sites, let’s also assume you also know who’s on your audit team. Now, it’s time to run your content audit.

Content audit graphic

What is a content audit?

Content Audit


A content audit is a complete inventory and assessment of all the indexable content on your website, including lead gen landing pages, blog posts, articles, white papers, ebooks, checklists, FAQs, videos, presentations, infographics, tools and more.

The content audit process includes taking inventory of a website’s content and allows you to analyze the breadth of content you have on your site. An audit provides insight into actions that should be taken to address existing content. That is, what content should be updated and strengthened, merged, deleted altogether, or left “as is.”

A thorough content audit will provide you with a full understanding of your content assets, and a fresh awareness of how they fit into your digital marketing strategy. Your analysis will then help you understand which types of new content you should focus on going forward.

Benefits of a content audit

Improve content performance

A content audit helps you organize, categorize, and streamline content production to deliver 10 times the results. Each piece of content should be created to improve search engine rankings, increase conversion rates, and forge a seamless user experience while aligning with your business goals.

Ensure accuracy and quality

Although it should go without saying, all your content should be thoroughly researched for accuracy and should be held to a high-quality standard. During a content audit, this means ensuring your existing content is still accurate and aligned with search intent.

As Google evolves and places more emphasis on high-quality content, older content will feel thin by today’s standards. Five years ago, an 800-word article may have been sufficient to rank. Now, more comprehensive, expertly-written content is critical for success.

Identify competitive gaps

A content audit does more than spotlight holes in the buying journey. It also reveals crucial competitive gaps in your content marketing strategy where your online rivals hold more organic search market share.

For example, if your competitor is an insurance company, they may include a glossary of insurance terminology at the end of every blog post. If that competitor is consistently outranking you for target keywords, you might also want to include a glossary within your blog posts. This delivers a better user experience that further meets the needs of your audience. It also makes it more likely that other websites will link to your content.

Step 3: Collect and Analyze Data

Data collection is a complex and lengthy process. Usually, you have to recover data from multiple sources and add it manually to your spreadsheet. If you want to save time, use a content audit tool that automatically collects data according to your goals and metrics.

SEMrush Content Audit main view

Connect your Google Analytics and Google Search Console accounts to add depth and breadth to your data. You’ll be able to see additional metrics for each URL, including sessions, average session duration, pageviews, average time on page, bounce rate, and search queries.

SEMrush Content Audit sessions vs. pageviews

To gather the performance metrics of your guest posts or any content published on third-party websites, you can use the Post Tracking tool. The tool tracks articles’ keyword rankings, shares, backlinks, and referral traffic on a daily basis.

Google Analytics helps you to understand which content is performing best in terms of traffic, engagement, and conversion rates. You will also be able to estimate how effective your content has been in achieving your marketing and business goals.

Semrush Position Tracking allows you to track your rankings for target keywords. This tool can help you find content with good SEO potential (for example, web pages that ranked in the top 5 before, or pages ranking close to the top positions). By updating these pages, you can quickly reach better positions in search engines.

ContentWRX Audit. Using this tool, you can get information about your file types, metadata and page-level details that include images, documents, video, and screenshots of every page. You will also be able to sort your results, and export data for offline analysis.

Content Square helps you to analyze user behavior to understand what is and isn’t working on your web page, and conduct a customer journey analysis accordingly. You can assess your page elements in terms of impact, performance, and usability to identify areas for subsequent updates.

Content Audit Template with metrics

How to Interpret Your Content Audit Data

For example, your web page can attract a lot of traffic, but have a high bounce rate and low session duration. This means that users are interested in your topic, but the content didn’t offer them what they wanted. In this case, you have to assess different elements of your content to understand why users are leaving your web page. The problem can be rooted in your content’s relevance to titles, CTAs, or the page load time.

You should also take into account the different stages of the buyer’s journey. Your ‘Awareness’ content may attract more traffic, but have a lower conversion rate. Your ‘Consideration’ content may have less traffic, but generate more leads, and so on.

Assess Your Content Assets

The content audit might help you find the web pages that are not performing well. Try to review this content and figure out how you can make it more effective. You may also find some content with outdated information that needs to be revised.

If you are unable to improve a piece of content, or an update would take too much resource, removing it from your website may be an acceptable option. You may also have some old seasonal marketing campaigns that are no longer needed.

Content Audit Template with asset status

SEMrush Content Audit automatic content sets

You’ve run your content audit. Now, take action.

Get rid of stuff

Circulate the content you’ve marked as ROT to the people who own it. Make it clear to them how the evidence from the audit backs up your decision. Tell them it’ll be removed by a certain date if they can’t tell you why it needs to stay. Make sure senior leaders will back you up.

Content improvement

For instance, you can prioritise pages that get high volumes of traffic but that scored low for usability. Or pages with high bounce rates that scored low for actionability. You’ve got the data now to make informed decisions.

There’s a bit of work to do before you start editing content. You’ll need an idea of exemplary content to model your improvements on. Your content audit can show you the good stuff as well as the bad. Use this to create your recommendations for style, structure, and tone of voice.

Allocate resources

Your audit can help show you who’s doing what on your website: who’s publishing, who is editing and who is making strategic decisions. It can show the content that’s not being managed or maintained by anyone.

You’ll need to make sure that every piece of content has an owner – someone responsible for looking after it, and that every owner is the right person for the job, not just someone who’s acquired content by default.