Welcome to Ecommerce Unlocked: Your Free Ecommerce Marketing Course

E-commerce is booming.

There are currently 24 million e-commerce sites and counting. And with only 12% of sales taking place online, you can expect there to be massive growth in the years to come.

So if you want to create an online business, one of the best ones to create is an e-commerce store.

But how do you market it? How do you grow your traffic? And, most importantly, how do you get sales?

Sure you can use tools like Ubersuggest to help you out, but what do you do if you need step-by-step instructions from the very beginning… especially if you have little-to-no marketing experience?

Introducing E-Commerce Unlocked

Over the next 4 weeks, I am going to teach you how to market an e-commerce website. From SEO to paid ads to even CRO… I am going to cover all aspects of e-commerce marketing.

And of course, all for free. 😉

E-Commerce Unlocked is similar to my free SEO training course, SEO Unlocked.

But unlike SEO Unlocked, which is a 7-week course, I thought it would be more efficient to get you the training you need in just 4 weeks.

So, every Monday, Thursday, and Saturday, I will release new videos to teach you how to get more traffic and sales to an e-commerce site.

And just like SEO Unlocked, E-Commerce Unlocked will contain worksheets, cheat sheets, PDFs, spreadsheets, and everything else you need.

Here’s the first lesson, which you can watch below:

Make sure you go here to download the worksheets that go along with it.

So what exactly will I learn?

As I mentioned above, it is a 4-week course. Here is an overview of what will be broken down in each week and in each lesson:

Week #1

Lesson #1: Getting Started

  • Foundation methodology
  • Strategies you’re going to learn
  • Strategies & mindset

Lesson #2: Sales Channels

  • History of e-commerce the timeline
  • What is working in the e-commerce space
  • Introduction to sales channels
  • Understanding sales channels

Lesson #3: Marketing Channels

  • Multi-channel marketing
  • Which market and sales channels work
  • Building visibility and brand
  • Current & future movers and shakers in the e-commerce industry

Week #2

Lesson #1: Conversion Rate Optimization

  • Introduction
  • Product pages made to convert buyers
  • Experience
  • Using reviews
  • Urgency and scarcity
  • Abandoned carts and follow up
  • Increase your AOV (Average Order Value)
  • Exit intent – capture lost traffic
  • Split testing with Crazy Egg
  • Increasing conversions on your e-commerce store
  • Email marketing campaigns for your site
  • Action tasks for optimizing your website for conversions

Lesson #2: SEO & Content Production

  • Setting up your Google organic feed
  • Rank your product listing pages
  • E-commerce content marketing workflow
  • Technical SEO for e-commerce
  • Making your content & transaction pages
  • E-commerce topical clusters
  • Content examples to look at

Lesson #3: Content Promotion

  • Link building for e-commerce
  • Building links to content, PDPs, & PLPs
  • Social media and social proof leveraging
  • Social media platforms in the long-term
  • Strategy for content promotion

Week #3

Lesson #1: Amazon

  • Keyword research for Google & Amazon rankings (and the differences)
  • Data sources
  • How to write good copy, product descriptions, ads, and come up with different marketing “angles” for Amazon
  • Amazon promotions & lightning
  • Optimize your listings
  • Using Facebook Messenger & Manychat
  • Amazon PPC
  • Sell more to your existing customers

Lesson #2: Sales Channels

  • Getting higher rankings on marketplaces
  • Walmart – how to get set up and what to expect
  • eBay – how to get set up and what to expect
  • Etsy – how to get set up and what to expect
  • Wish – how to get set up and what to expect
  • Facebook Commerce – how to win
  • Getting traction on each platform & what to do to win in each platform

Lesson #3: Marketing Types

  • E-commerce Marketing for (B2B) vs (B2C)
  • Sales process for B2B e-commerce vs B2C
  • Picking the one that’s right for you – do both or pick one?

Week #4

Lesson #1: PLA Campaigns

  • Setting everything up
  • Google dynamic remarketing
  • Google product listing ads (Google Shopping Ads) introduction + setting up
  • Your PLA campaigns
  • Bing product listing ads + setting up
  • Facebook dynamic product ads + setting up DPA’s correctly
  • PLA + DPA summary

Lesson #2: Additional Marketing Channels

  • Instagram ads
  • YouTube PPC – world’s 2nd largest search engine work to get you sales
  • Etsy PPC – what’s working on Etsy
  • Email marketing campaigns must have campaigns for e-commerce
  • Automate your customer emails and gather reviews much faster

Lesson #3: Additional Channels

  • Working with influencers
  • Push notification – lists & messaging
  • Understanding your metrics (COGS, ROAS, ROI to see what SKUs to scale with)
  • Case studies
  • Summary

How can I follow along during the 4 weeks?

You’ll see videos released every Monday, Thursday, and Saturday.

The videos are roughly 10 to 15 minutes in length on average so it shouldn’t take you more than an hour per week to follow along, including the completion of the homework assignments and worksheets.

To make things easier, the worksheets and homework assignments will be somewhat pre-filled so you will know what to do every step of the way.

No matter what, make sure you complete each assignment. Watching the videos is not enough.

Sure, the videos will teach you theories and strategies, but you also need to learn how to execute and implement. That’s why I want you to complete the worksheet and homework assignments.

In total, I’m asking you to commit an hour each week. If you are new to marketing, maybe an hour and a half, which should be doable. 🙂

Once you complete the 4 weeks (12 videos), you’ll know how to market any e-commerce website and even how to sell products online on sites like Amazon.

If you want to make sure you don’t miss a lesson (because I won’t be blogging about each lesson), make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel as I will be uploading the lessons there.

Once you click the link above, you’ll see a subscription box popup on YouTube. All you have to do is click the “SUBSCRIBE” button.

Once you click “Subscribe,” you’ll notice a bell image next to the subscribe button, make sure you click on that as well.

When you click on the bell, you’ll be given a few options.

Click on the “All” option. Next to the “subscribed” button, you should see a new bell notification :

This makes it so YouTube notifies you when I release a new E-commerce Unlocked lesson.

Conclusion

E-commerce is a booming field. Just look at Amazon, they are bigger than any traditional retailer.

Having the skillset of knowing how to market an e-commerce site can never be a bad thing.

And who knows, maybe you’ll do it full time as either a consultant or through running your own e-commerce site.

If you are new to marketing, don’t worry about being overwhelemed. I am going to teach you the main tactics that drive the majority of the results. And I will break them down in a simple step-by-step formula.

You’ll also be provided with the worksheets and tools you need, so you all you have to do is bring yourself and be willing to commit an hour to an hour and a half each week.

So, are you ready to learn e-commerce marketing?

PS: Leave a comment below letting me know what course you would like me to create next. I already did one on SEO, and now I am doing one on e-commerce marketing. Would you like one on content marketing, paid ads, Instagram…? It can be anything, just let me know in the comments.

The post Welcome to Ecommerce Unlocked: Your Free Ecommerce Marketing Course appeared first on Neil Patel.

Manufacturing Runs: 9 Summer Content Marketing Tips Drawn from the Diamond

Baseball Stadium Under Lights Image

Baseball Stadium Under Lights Image

Baseball and content marketing are two of my greatest passions. When I think about it, there are some intrinsic similarities between the two that aren’t hard to see.

Much like content marketing, baseball is rhythmic and methodical by design. Sure, there are the flashy home runs (and it helps when your favorite team *ahem* set the all-time record a year ago), but at its core, baseball is about strategy, patience, and sequencing: Accept the inevitability of failure and learn from it. Take good at-bats, call the right plays, string together base runners, manufacture runs.

via GIPHY

Sadly there is no baseball season right now, but if there was, it’d be inching toward “the dog days of summer” – a term given to those stretches in July and August where the relentless heat and daily grind start to wear on ball players as they battle their way through a marathon 162-game schedule.

In content marketing, we don’t typically face such seasonal stresses in the summer months, but this year is a different story. Never before in my career has the state of the world been such a significant factor in every day’s conversations and decision-making. Entire business plans are shifting on a dime. Rightfully so.

All the while, external distractions tug at each of us human beings in different ways. The coronavirus pandemic isn’t going away. Personally, I feel deeply affected by the pattern of systemic racial injustice exemplified by George Floyd’s murder, about a mile from where I grew up and 20 minutes from the TopRank Marketing office. My mind drifts constantly. I know I’m far from alone. These are hard times.

But the work goes on. Dog days of summer, indeed.

via GIPHY

To help my fellow marketers bring their A-game, and power through to better days ahead, I present my playbook for content marketing in the summer of 2020, aided by expert insights. And in honor of my beloved baseball – in its continuing absence – I’ll correlate these tips with the intricate art of manufacturing a win over the course of nine innings.

9 Tips for B2B Content Marketing in the Summer of 2020

#1: Keep knocking out those blog posts

Fun fact: On July 30th, 2010, the Colorado Rockies set a major-league record by stringing together 11 consecutive hits against the Chicago Cubs. One after another, batters came to the plate and got it done. Singles, doubles, homers, a triple … each successive hit did its part in pushing across 12 runs in a single inning.

Not each of your blog posts will be a home run, but even a base hit – a brisk and worthwhile read that sticks in the mind of your audience – will contribute to the ultimate goal. As your traffic and engagement numbers increase, it’s the equivalent of raising your batting average — eventually leading to more scoring, and bigger results when you hit the home run.

#2: Aim to entertain (and inform) your audience

Baseball isn’t the only cherished form of entertainment amiss this summer. Attending big concerts, or checking out the latest Hollywood blockbuster in a theater, are among customary staples of the season now absent. People still want enjoyable diversions, maybe now more than ever, and content marketers can help fill that need.

“A lot of people are looking to fill in the time that they’re not spending commuting,” noted TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden in a recent episode of Live with Search Engine Land. “There might be ‘infotaining’ content that your brand could put out — it’s still contextually relevant to your business, but at the same time, it’s entertaining in some way.”

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#3: Cover the emotional bases with your content

When marketers talk about communicating with emotion in times like these, they’re often talking about striking empathetic tones at a time where many are feeling down. That certainly has its place as no one wants to appear tone-deaf. But don’t be averse to lightening the mood. Your audience could probably use a laugh, or a light-hearted read.

As Syed Balkhi writes at AdAge in explaining why you should add humor to your content marketing, “The way to connect with your audience is to create an emotional spark when they view your content. And humor can act as the flint that fires up more engagement.”

On that note: Why are baseball games often played at night? … Because bats sleep during the day. (Womp, womp.)

#4: Team up with influencers

One thing I love about baseball is its cooperative nature. Teamwork rules the day in a sport where nine players are in the lineup and on the field for each club. No one can do it alone. To exemplify, neither Barry Bonds nor Mike Trout — the two greatest players of the past 50 years if not ever, have won a World Series.

In content marketing, teamwork also pays major dividends — both internally and externally. We talk often on this blog about the value of influencer partnerships, and it’s only magnified right now. At a time where misinformation runs rampant and people are gravitating toward sources they know, trust, and like, credible influencers are powerful allies.

“In the current environment, a B2B brand with strong connections to influencers with a known voice for equality have an opportunity to co-create content for customers in search of answers,” Lee wrote in a blog post about always-on influence. “Of course, companies looking at their influencers and not finding many or any people of color should seriously think about diversity and their influencer program.”

#5: Bring diversity to your content marketing lineup

Lee’s final point in the quote above broaches another essential focus: highlighting and elevating diversity in your brand’s content mix. Activism taking place in our country, and world, underscores more than ever the vital need for more voices be heard and understood.

It’s an uncomfortable truth for those of us who fall into the demographic, but also an undeniable one: As I look around today’s digital marketing landscape, I see a disproportionate number of white men. I think every marketing department, agency, and brand can use this moment as an impetus for diversifying the collection of people speaking for them, or collaborating with them.

This has also been an ongoing emphasis for the game of baseball, which was criticized by the New York Times not so long ago for its “unbearable whiteness,” illustrating that there is still work to be done nearly 75 years after Jackie Robinson broke MLB’s color barrier.

via GIPHY

In marketing, increasing diversity isn’t solely about race; aim to represent different ethnicities, genders, sexualities, and worldviews.

#6: Invest in SEO with an eye on the end game

This is a perfect time to invest budget and effort into bolstering your SEO strategy, through optimizing existing content and creating new content informed by thoughtful keyword research. It’s a cost-efficient activity with short-term and long-term benefits.

As Conductor CEO Seth Besmertnik puts it in a recent article on LinkedIn Pulse: “If you invest today, you’ll immediately start getting value. You’ll also be in the best position to capture buying activity when we emerge from this crisis.”

[bctt tweet=”“This is a perfect time to invest budget and effort into bolstering your SEO strategy, through optimizing existing content and creating new content informed by thoughtful keyword research.” @NickNelsonMN” username=”toprank”]

#7: Ungate your best assets

The sacrifice bunt is often viewed as one of baseball’s most pure and charming plays. The selflessness of a batter giving himself up to advance a base runner and give them a better chance to score is the essence of team play.

Ungating your content assets, which may have previously sat behind a form-fill, is a good way to replicate this dynamic in your own strategy. Sure, that eBook or whitepaper might lose its opportunity to convert someone single-handedly, but it can contribute to building relationships and developing brand affinity that will pay dividends down the line.

At a time where purchase activity is down but content consumption is up, this pivot simply makes sense.

#8: Stay flexible and adaptive

Late in a baseball game, a manager will sometimes call upon a pinch-hitter to substitute for someone in their lineup. That’s because the replacement is viewed as a more suitable option based on the situation. Content marketers, too, must be ready to react and change direction quickly at a time where the circumstances around us are constantly in flux.

Consider holding daily (virtual) stand-ups with your team to reassess the plan, and to ensure everything you’re doing still makes sense and aligns with your audience’s mindset and needs. Always be prepared for a curveball.

via GIPHY

#9: Swing for the fences with experiential content

I wrote here last month (in another baseball-themed post, naturally) that experiential content represents a home run for marketers. When you deliver a virtual experience that is infotaining, interactive, collaborative, and impactful for your business, you can really score a win-win for your company and your audience, at a time when many beloved real-life experiences of the summer aren’t available to folks.

[bctt tweet=”“When you deliver a virtual experience that is infotaining, interactive, collaborative, and impactful for your business, you can really score a win-win for your company and your audience.” @NickNelsonMN” username=”toprank”]

Every Hit Counts

Singles and walks in baseball aren’t flashy, but if you compile enough of them you’re going to fill up the bases and eventually put plenty of runs on the board. Content marketing follows this same principle. It’s not about instant gratification — a single quality blog post won’t usually convert a customer on its own — but it all adds up, and now’s an ideal time to recenter on those fundamentals that contribute to a sustainably successful marketing strategy.

This summer, content marketers should be playing the long game.

For more guidance on how marketers can rise to this challenging occasion, I encourage you to read Lee’s inspiring post on how we can do better than words with action during turbulent times for society.

The post Manufacturing Runs: 9 Summer Content Marketing Tips Drawn from the Diamond appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

The State of Local SEO Industry Report 2020, Announced

Posted by MiriamEllis

Moz’s very warmest thanks to the 1,453 respondents who volunteered time to contribute to this second installation of our industry survey. It’s rewarding to have such a large survey group; as this report details in high relief, the work of marketing a single business location can pass through a dozen hands.

Owners, staff, in-house SEOs, agencies, creative directors, webmasters, project managers, and consultants may all be contributing to promoting just one local company. By capturing their hands-on experience, we get the big picture of local SEO as an effort not confined to experts, but rather, requiring all hands on deck.

In this report, you’ll find insights to share with coworkers and clients on:

  • Company infrastructure
  • Local ranking factors
  • Tool & software usage
  • Gaps in the marketplace
  • High ROI strategies and tactics

Get the full report!

A window in time on local business marketing

The data in our survey depicts the local SEO industry both before and during the public health emergency. As such, it’s an eagle’s eye view of both the status of marketing priorities up to the present and a gauge of preparedness for change. Change has always been the only constant in local SEO — our industry is accustomed to an environment that can turn on a dime, literally overnight. This challenging setting toughens businesses for tough times.

No one knows yet how COVID-19 may ultimately alter consumer behavior, but in the short term, one good sign which has emerged from the State of the Local SEO industry report is that local businesses were strongly embracing organic assets prior to the pandemic. Not long ago, you might have encountered narratives about websites being “dead” due to the dominance of local packs, zero click SERPs, and other Google features. Fortunately, our report indicates that many marketers have wisely ignored such schools of thought and have continued to promote the vital role local business websites play in connecting with communities.

For now, if connection is curbside or delivery instead of foot traffic, local businesses which have been thoughtfully maintaining their websites own a strong platform for next moves — perhaps implementing local e-commerce, or taking orders via form submissions, or hosting gated video consultations.

Access to the State of the Local SEO Industry’s data will enable you to do your own analysis of the sum total of marketing knowledge up to the present with an eye to future strategy. Here’s a preview of 3 emergent narratives that particularly caught my eye.

Proximity falls to third as a local ranking factor

GMB elements and review signals top the local rank impact charts

Our 2019 report cited user-to-business proximity as the dominant influence on Google’s local pack rankings. So has every Local Search Ranking Factors survey since 2017. This is a surprising departure. Download the report for further analysis and view the numbers in the light of how Google might adjust proximity based on new factors like curbside pickup and local delivery.

YOY, 19% more respondents are involved with offline marketing

94% (up from 75%) of our survey group are consulting with clients at least some of the time on topics like real-world customer service and consumer policies.This statistic professionally delights me, because of my years of advocacy here on the Moz blog for local search marketers to care deeply about what happens in real time between consumers and brands. Some enterprising agency should consider doing a webinar or eBook on the history of brick-and-mortar marketing so our industry can engage in deeper levels of learning and make informed decisions about future offline marketing strategy.

COVID-era customer fulfillment strategies are here to stay

Over half of businesses will continue to invest in the new methods they've launched for getting products and services to customers

51% of respondents intend to permanently offer amenities like home delivery, curbside pickup, and video conferencing. Now is the time for innovative marketing agencies to put in the work researching the best possible solutions for clients for the long haul. Will it be in-house delivery fleets, or outsourcing to third parties like Instacart and Doordash? Which e-commerce platform is the best, not just for UX but for SEO? Many brands swiftly cobbled together new services to meet the state of emergency, but as time goes by, consumer feedback and marketing analysis will point the way to thoughtfully choosing the best transactional methodologies and platforms. All of these technologies predate the pandemic, but the year ahead is going to see them much more fully tested.

Please accept our invitation to download the free State of the Local SEO Industry Report 2020, with 30+ timely questions on topics that impact how you work, what to offer, and how to improve your strategy for the year ahead whether you own a local business or are in the business of marketing local brands!

Get the full report!

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!