More and more entrepreneurs are looking to the web to build, market and host their business. For marketers, this is an exciting opportunity because the Internet's role as an advertising venue  increases every year. The Internet also provides a variety of ways to help marketers get their business started -- and most of them are free!

Building an ecommerce website can be an exciting venture for marketing newcomers, but it is easy to make mistakes when venturing into something new. Before you build that website, these no-nonsense tips can help you build a successful website.

  1. Before you consult your professional website design team, compile a list of ecommerce sites you love shopping on and their best practices.
  2. Take note of how they design their advertisements, discounts or promotions.
  3. Consult with your design team so they know the goals of your website, your brand and your business.
  4. Blogs are great ways to draw traffic to your ecommerce store -- you may want to incorporate one into the website.
  5. Target niche blogs to help you promote your business. Ask bloggers to review your ecommerce site, send them a few freebies for a review or ask them to drop by.
  6. Do your research if you want to recruit bloggers to your cause -- many bloggers who actively do reviews have "niche" products -- and many adhere to a strong code of marketing ethics. Make sure the blogger does accept products or reviews, or you may get a scathing blog entry.
  7. Never work with bloggers who ask for payment up front -- real bloggers with real followings thrive on honesty and often have strict guidelines. Check your favorite blog's FAQ before you proceed.
  8. Create an official Facebook Like page for your business.
  9. Fashion ecommerce sites should take a look at social fashion networks like Lookbook.
  10. Keep it updated with the latest promotions, discounts and updates about your ecommerce site. 
  11. If social media is not your thing, ask your web developer if they can manage that aspect of your business for you -- or hire a social media expert. 
  12. Create an official Pinterest account for your business. Boards are excellent ways to get people to link to your website, which in turn will boost your search engine ratings.
  13. Twitter accounts are a must, but refrain from spamming your customers. Instead, use your Twitter account to create an interesting online personality for your business.
  14. Twitter accounts are not only useful for promotions; they are great ways to instantly respond to customer requests, queries and complaints.
  15. A little behind on the times and still not sure what social media is for? Hire a social media expert or a full time content manager to help you manage content and social media.
  16. Sign up for a strong analytics program that can monitor and break down your traffic. Google Analytics, for example, is free and easy to use.
  17. If redesigning an older site, ask your web developer if they can perform analytics for you -- and
  18. Google Keywords can help you find the perfect search terms that can help you create the best kind of SEO content for your ecommerce site.
  19. Make sure that your written content is excellent, especially if you include product descriptions. Your copy should be specific, concise and written as a call to action.
  20. Create a separate email for your business, or create one linked to your hosting services.
  21. Sign up for a Merchant Account (not a personal account) on PayPal to help facilitate PayPal and credit transactions.
  22. Take a quick crash course on online merchant fees to understand merchant fees and payment gateways.
  23. Make sure that your photographs are high quality and easy to load. Customers like to view products from different angles -- if necessary provide size references.
  24. Continually update your content throughout the year and make sure you prep for holidays and special shopping weekends with new, interesting products and promotions.
  25. Experiment with different marketing tactics -- SMS promotion, newsletters, social media and more.

<< Previous 15 Simple Tweaks That Can Improve Your Shopping Cart and Double Your Monthly Sales | Back to Web Design Blog | Next >> 3 Reasons Why DIY Sites Fail