10 Mistakes to Avoid While Making a WooCommerce Store

Building a WooCommerce store is no easy task. There are a lot of places where things can go wrong. Luckily for you we’ve put together a list of some of the top mistakes to avoid when creating your first WooCommerce business. 

10 Mistakes to Avoid While Making a WooCommerce Store

There is lots of potential for success in the world of e-commerce. Learn from the mistakes of those who have had to figure it out the hard way. If you do, you’ll be on a much quicker path to growing some effective business. 

  1. Forgetting to Use the Latest Version:

Many of use often ignore or put off doing system updates. Sometimes that choice has very little consequences. That is not the case for WooCommerce however. You can run into some real issues with an old version. 

When you don’t update, it can interfere with the use of your plugins. Developers make sure to update these to be compatible with the newest format of WooCommerce. For your security plugins and other security software, you could be left at risk. 

Plus, if you build your website around an old version of WooCommerce than update it later, all your hard work could go to waste. The only way to guarantee a smooth operation is installing updates as soon as they release. 

  1. Never Checking System Status:

WooCommerce gives you access to a special system status report. It is likely during your time operating the store you’ll run into a few errors. Misconfigurations of the system settings only leads to more trouble in the future. Be sure to keep a close eye on server versions, plugin status, core functions, and other system info. If something does come upnas an issue, it will get flagged in a red color. 

There is a lot of aspects covered in the report. It would be very beneficial to take some time to fully understand everything that is included. Those new to web development might be a little confused at first, but anyone should no problem getting the basics down. Make sure everything is in the green, and you actually read the whole system status report! 

  1. Not Using Professional Development When Needed

When are new to starting a business, there might be some hesitation on investing in the services of professional development teams. Well, you are right to be caution. Not every service will offer the same quality. Opting for help from cheap ecommerce web development company is sure to return cheap results. 

If you are not an expert developer, take the time to invest in a quality service. You can save yourself countless hours of work and problems by relying on a good team. In the end you will get a better overall product to offer to customers. To grow a business, you have to be willing to invest. Don’t skip out on hiring a development to save in the short run. It just might cost you much more in the future. 

  1. Not Testing Before Launch

It is easy to get excited about the beginning of your WooCommerce store. You’ll probably want to launch it right away and start building some traffic. You need to make a strong first impression on the customer first. 

Taking the time to test and validate your features is essential for any process. There is a huge chance that your or your team overlooked something. Perhaps just the smallest detail. Extensive testing and validation should be done. This way your customers won’t be the ones testing your store’s platform for you. Instead, they can enjoy the best possible experience that you helped delivery through your hard work. 

Testing ensures a good user experience, and leaves the buyer with a sense of credibility about your business. You’ll want to get as many good reviews as possible, so don’t skip the functionality tests. 

  1. Forgetting to Control Selling Locations 

Depending on your resources, you’ll only be able to ship product to so many locations. If you are limited in your shipping capabilities, don’t forget to adjust your selling location settings. To do this, go directly to the settings menu. Look for the general tab and adjust your selling locations. You can also restrict the countries you can choose at check out under the shipping tab in the settings menu. 

If you neglect to update your locations, there is a good chance you’ll get orders outside your capacity. This leads to angry customers and potential fees during refunds. To avoid this easy mistake, make sure setting your selling locations is one of the first things you do. 

  1. Skipping Security Checks

Website security is always a concern. The standards for online security are pretty strict these days. If you don’t have SSL certificates and using proper HTTPS in use, you can’t expect your websites to rank high. 

When running an ecommerce store this becomes even more important. You’ll be handling sensitive financial information of customers. Without an encrypted connection, all that data is at risk. Consumers are well informed on the potential danger of poor online security. If you don’t demonstrate basic security protocol, you can’t expect to attract any buyers. There are dozens of tools available to manage your security settings available. It really couldn’t be any easier. Don’t make excuses and keep up to date with your security checks. 

  1. Never Updating Plugins 

Plugins offer a host of benefits to build the best WooCommerce store possible. You should definitely take advantage of what many of the free plugins have to offer. When you do, you also have to be sure to update them regular. Just like you keep your WooCommerce software updated. 

Many of the updates have to do with security. If don’t update your plugins, you are leaving yourself vulnerable to potential threats. 

At the same time, failing to update them can halt your site all together. Depending on what kind of tools you rely on, new changes in the software can directly alter functionality. Before you know it, your payment process stops working. You can always test plugins before launching them to be certain. If you notice some issues, double check for software updates. 

  1. Not Taking Advantage of Mailing Lists

Mailing lists are a great way to market what you have to offer and keep customers returning. If you forget to use mailing lists, that is a lot of lost opportunity. Before you launch, implement a method for customers to sign up for email newsletters, offers, and more. They can’t sign up if don’t include a way to do it. It’s all on you to remember this feature!

  1. Not Using Live Chat or Other Pre-Sales Tools

You won’t always be able to provide all the information a customer needs to make a purchase. For those cases, having pre-sales tools can make the difference in getting a sale or not. 

If you are capable, implement a live chat system. You don’t necessarily have to have a person immediately respond. With AI technology, many companies use responsive chatbots to help customers navigate any questions. Or good methods include using questionnaire forms for customers to submit, and customer support lines through email or phone calls. You don’t need to implement all of these things, but having something is much better than nothing. 

  1. Include Backup Features

When things go wrong, you’ll want a backup of all the critical information. Make sure you include a way to catalog important transactions or data. Otherwise, you risk the potential of losing sales. If these go really wrong, you make be forced to restart your whole storefront. Having that backup record will save your business from sinking while you figure out how to proceed. 

Ravi Sharma

Ravi Sharma, founder of Webomaze is a young entrepreneur who has established his business as a brand that strives to showcase every business the best way on the web. He has got a team of experts with an amazing grip on the idea of effective wordpress website development. He is highly motivated and loves to explore places in search of adventure.

How Has Social Media Transformed Web Design?

How Has Social Media Transformed Web Design?

Social media has played a crucial role in altering the manner in which consumers interact with website content. When it comes to visiting a website, consumers like to have an intuitive, interactive, and good experience while browsing. This has led to the concept of good web design and how it is needed for the success of an online business. Experts in the field of social media and web design say that businesses should integrate both of them for giving their consumers a unique experience that helps them stand apart in the crowd. This is why business owners, both small and large, should pay attention to both these elements when it comes to offering consumers products and services in the market.

The importance of sharing social icons on your website 

Before the advent of social media, the main form of brand visibility along with link building for business were forums, online directories, paid strategies, lead magnets, and direct blogging. Today, social media has become a vital platform in promoting the brand awareness of a business, generating consumer engagement, and qualified targeted traffic. Due to the above trend, sharing social icons have now taken up a vital role in good web design. It is prudent to ensure these social icons are placed properly, and the design of them is done in such a way that it affects the inbound traffic positively to social media pages.

Focusing on interactive design for your business social media profiles 

Earlier in the past, before the arrival of social media, web design limited the way the consumer could access content and interact with other like-minded consumers when it came to a product or service. With its advent, social media revolutionized how content can be accessed, shared, and consumed. It played a crucial role in changing the way consumers interact with one another. For instance, Instagram uses hashtags to connect consumers to one another. New businesses are using Instagram to draw in the targeted audience and buy real Instagram likes from credible sites like Like4Like.

Thanks to the above interactive design for social media profiles, consumers are now able to judge the image and the professionalism of a business easily. Consumers expect the same type of interactivity, experience, and content when they visit other sites. They focus on creating a good quality design for social media business pages.

Grab the attention of the audience 

In order to grab the attention of the targeted audience, you need to focus on web design that attracts them and gets them connected to your business message. They become attracted to your content, and this makes it simple for them to find out data and information about your business. This results in more followers and better levels of customer engagement. In case your social media pages do not give you the same levels of engagement or do not give you relevant information or content; it becomes hard for a business to survive online. In case you do not offer your consumers valuable information; you will surely lose leads and face losses. 

Author Bio

Walter Moore is a notable management consultant and digital marketing expert. He is an experienced digital marketer and has helped e-commerce businesses in all niches gain with his effective marketing strategies and guidance.

Your Small Business Starts Here: Smart Tips for Entrepreneurs

Your Small Business Starts Here:  Smart Tips for Entrepreneurs

Being a small business owner isn’t always easy. However, that has not stopped the 400 million entrepreneurs worldwide from living their dreams — and it shouldn’t stop you either. Whether you’re looking to launch your own online store or sell your skills, the only way you can be successful is to get — and keep — customers. But how?

As American Express explains, attracting new customers is largely a matter of knowing your business well and establishing yourself as an authority. Before you embark on any new business venture, however, make 100 percent sure that you look and sound professional both online and in person. After all, no one is going to take your word as a fashion stylist if you live your life in sweatpants and worn-out kicks.

Marketing for the Win

If the idea of marketing is intimidating, you’re not alone. For many entrepreneurs, one of the least appealing aspects of business ownership is stepping outside of your comfort zone to promote yourself. But marketing is essential, especially when you’re just starting out and have yet to leave behind a trail of happy customers to help build your client base.

Thanks to technology, and specifically social media, you can do much of your marketing legwork from the comfort of your own home, and online marketing is very effective. One way to get your brand into the minds of others is through the tried-and-true “like and share” social campaign. This does not mean that you can simply create a post and hope for it to go viral. If you want to be truly successful in your online marketing efforts, you have to get to know your customers. Millennials, for example, tend to value experiences, while those in the 40-plus crowd may be more drawn to great deals. Promotional content catered to the younger group might offer a free art lesson as a prize for sharing whereas older customers may value a BOGO sale. 

Facebook remains a valuable and inexpensive platform where you can launch fan content, giveaways, and video-based campaigns. Social media is also an excellent way to initiate a crowdfunding strategy once you’ve established a fan base. If you’re not up to date on your financing terms, crowdfunding at its core is the process of getting many people to give you money to improve your business or services. However, in the case of a small business, if you go the crowdfunding route, you’ll need to give incentives. This could be something as simple as a lifetime discount on merchandise or first access to new product launches. Fundera explains more and also goes into detail about other business financing options.

Be a Changeling

While you absolutely need to be consistent in your business, one of the best ways to keep customers coming back for more is to give them more of what they want. If you own an online boutique, for example, stay on the lookout for new styles, and make sure that your customers are the first in their area to have access. Dropshipping is a great way to do this, and it gives you an opportunity to continually change your inventory without actually having to keep an inventory. Plus, with so many product options for dropshipping, it's easy to zero in on what's trending. If you’re worried that you can’t keep up with trends quick enough to react, keep in mind that there are people out there whose job is to do just that. Make a point to follow top trendsetters and influencers and to keep a close watch on your competitors.

Safety First

One of the biggest hurdles that you have to face when you launch an online business is to establish yourself as trustworthy and secure. It’s not enough to be an expert in your industry; you also have to make customers feel safe shopping with you. Start with a clean and easily navigable website that works on both computers and mobile devices. Avoid the temptation to supplement your income by allowing banner ads on your site, but don’t be afraid to show off seals from the Better Business Bureau or highlight glowing customer testimonials. SEMRush further explains that your domain name should not sound cheap and spammy, and your contact information should be clearly available.

In addition to a good site and visible reviews, you should have the tech to keep your customers safe. If you accept online payments, use a trusted party, such as PayPal, or check with your bank to see if they offer online merchant services. Bolster your online security efforts by hosting your website on a dedicated IP address and investing in – and installing – an SSL certificate.

Visibility Is Key

Just as important as your marketing and security procedures are how visible you are within your community. Customers will be more willing to give up hard-earned money if you are a familiar face. As a small business owner, even if you operate solely online, you are in a unique position to give your customers the personal experience they crave. Respond to emails and telephone queries quickly, participate in online discussion groups, and volunteer in places your customers frequent. If you sell pet supplies, for example, sponsor an adoption day at your local animal shelter. Don’t be afraid to get out in your community, as there are many events in all major metropolitan areas that welcome vendors. This will give you a chance to allow people to touch and feel your products and to see the person behind the screen.

Service Is Essential

Clever marketing and an ever-changing product line are essential, but the way you treat your customers will ultimately determine your success. If you’re not a people person, hire someone who is or invest in customer service classes so you know how to handle problems when, not if, they arise. Be proactive with each customer and they are more likely to continue to patronize you even if they encounter issues with a product.

There are more small businesses and self-employed individuals than there are major corporations. And while you may never be the next Jeff Bezos, there’s plenty of market out there to share. As an entrepreneur, it’s up to you to carve out your own spot in your niche.

Image via Pixabay

Three Steps Towards a Strong Brand

Starting up your own business is an exciting time. The hard work is worth the success you know you’re destined to have but first, you need to work on building your brand. There’s plenty of groundwork to get done before you hit the ground running and plenty of research that needs to be carried out.

This is particularly true when it comes to talking about your brand and in this blog we look at three ways to go about creating just the right image and name for your business, before you press go.

Image courtesy of Pexels: CC0 licence

Know Your Mission

No matter what type of business you run you’ll have a mission. If you sell physical products from an online store then your mission might be centered around the quality of your products or your customer service. If you sell your services and skills then it will be much the same but with a more customer-centered focus.

Your brand is built around the goals you want to achieve. When you think about what you would like to be recognized for in your industry, that’s where your brand values lie. Get your mission statement down. It’s not a token gesture but rather the information at the core of your brand and your name.

Know the Competition

You want to know how to protect your brand and keep it head and shoulders above a crowded market place? You need to know the competition. Go through their websites with a fine-tooth comb and make a note of the pieces of their brand identity that challenge you the most. Here you’ve got your starting point on how to make your offering stronger, better and more instantly recognizable.

Build a brand logo that is easy to differentiate and resonates with the customer. Build a brand voice that speaks straight to your client and draws them to your brand over and above your competition.

Be Brand Consistent

When you’ve found your logo and your voice keep this branding consistent throughout your website design, marketing materials and in marketing actions you take forward, including your social media and direct email delivery

Establishing your brand is one thing, now it’s time to build it up. To use your basics as building blocks towards greater brand recognition. 

There’s a crowded market place out there for many industries but that’s not to say you should be daunted by the competition. Instead use that knowledge to build your brand to be even more relevant and stand-out even further.

It’s not easy to fit all the pieces of the branding puzzle in the right places but when you do get it right, you’ll see the benefits of having taken your time and of carrying out the relevant research to hit the mark. Then it’s time to get excited as you launch your start-up, complete with a strong image and strong voice. Now you are ready to take on the world and bring quality goods and services to your customers.

PR and SEO: How To Properly Use PR for Maximum SEO Impact

In today’s digital age there is an enormous amount of missed opportunity across marketing channels.

If you have good content (SEO) and good outreach (a form PR), you will be able 10x the results if you improve the synergy between the two.

Public Relations (PR), when properly used, can be a powerful source of:

  1. Brand awareness
  2. Traffic
  3. Website authority

However, many brands overlook this third benefit and are leaving huge amounts of untapped potential on the table. 

What Exactly is PR in the Digital Marketing World?

Traditionally, PR is the practice of deliberately managing & improving the spread of information surrounding a brand or organization and the public.

Many brands use PR to control the narrative around their company and direct consumer attention to aspects of the brand they want to highlight – and even direct attention away from potentially damaging aspects. 

In the digital marketing world, we like these benefits as well.

However, there is something even more powerful PR can be used for. That something is SEO, specifically link building, to increase website authority (domain rating). 

How PR Helps Generate Maximum SEO Impact

Now you are most likely wondering, what can PR and media coverage do to help improve SEO?

The concept is simple: PR generates links & search engines love high-quality links. 

Public relation agencies work very hard to get their clients mentioned in the press – web, bloggers, influencers, news, etc. These agencies are not cheap – and the work they do is sometimes very difficult to replicate. 

Popular publications will write about your business whenever you send a press release. They will link it to your website, which automatically gives a free backlink to your website.

Aside from that, you will also get the chance to receive brand recognition, which in turn, will boost your brand authority. You can even dedicate an exclusive “As Seen On” section in your website to feature all the publications who wrote a story about you.

Bottom line, when people are looking to avail of a product or service from a new brand, they will most likely search the internet for suggestions. Then, they start looking for reviews and articles about the brand before they make the purchase decision. This is where you should be in.

It is all the more valuable if you know how to get PR and SEO to work together. This is where the missed opportunities begin (do not make these mistakes). 

Common Problems & Solutions in Linking PR with SEO

  • Brand mentions in web articles have no links.

Make sure your mentions are hyperlinked.

  • Brand mentions in web articles have links, but the links are marked as “nofollow”.

Make sure your links are marked “dofollow”.

  • Brand mentions in web articles have links, and are “dofollow”, but do not strategically point to pages on the target website that need a link boost.

Make sure you have a strategy around target pages on your website that needs links. Getting links to your homepage is good, but sometimes you want those links going to a page optimized for selling a product or making you money.

  • Not tracking the links you earn.

Make sure you track all your links. Monitor them for uptime, make sure they stay “dofollow”, and build links to those links.

  • Not tracking the traffic and behavior from the links you earn

Make sure you have Google Analytics setup in such a way where you can measure the ROI from your PR campaigns. Quick reality-check question: Are your PR campaigns profitable?

Linking PR and SEO: How to Get Started

To have a successful PR strategy, you must understand your market and position your tactics so the right publications will give you brand coverage that will help you reach your target audience.

The biggest takeaway for all of marketing (and of course your PR and SEO strategy) is this: Understand your buyer, find out where what channels/platforms they are giving their attention to & become omnipresent on those channels/platforms.

If you do this, you will succeed in growing your brand authority in the eyes of the consumer (the traditional goal of PR).

If you do this AND follow the guidelines up above, you will succeed in growing your brand authority in the eyes of SEARCH ENGINES as well.

Once you find these websites, you can implement these four tactics to an effective PR strategy:

PR Syndication Platforms (for SEO)

Warning: This is where the article starts to deviate a bit. You are now crossing over from using REAL PR for SEO, to using SEO PR for SEO (not the same as hiring a publicist or PR company)

There are several PR websites you can join that will connect you with blogs and journalists. The benefit is additional exposure for cheap, and you don’t even have to write content – starting to sound like “SEO” now huh? “SEO” aka little hacks for lazy people who want results.

It’s true. SEO’s are lazy. I stand by it.

Some places to start are: HARO (Help A Reporter Out), PRWeb, and PR NewsWire.

Note – these platforms are really for press syndication and not equivalent to hiring a real PR company to get you legitimate placements. This is “SEO PR” and should be done strategically.

The “aha-moment” for SEO for many people is always this – the key to getting links is exclusivity & barrier to entry. If anyone can pay for a link somewhere it is not that valuable. This is the key difference between PR syndication & a PR company. These syndication sites cost $250-$600 (depending on the package) to get listed on 100s of sites.

Not that big of a barrier to entry.

Whereas hiring a PR company is much more expensive, and they have spent a significant amount of time, energy & resources creating relationships with publishers & media companies where you can get placements – a much higher barrier of entry.

Launch a Campaign for Guest Posting

Guest posting is writing or publishing an article on someone else’s blog or website.

It is one of the easiest ways for you to get free media coverage and links back to your website.

First, you have to look for blogs in your niche that accepts guest posts.

Second, reach out to the editor(s) and pitch a blog post idea to the publication. If your pitch is accepted, write the article and mention your brand in it with a hyperlink to the page you are looking to acquire links for – pretty simple.

It is a win-win scenario. The blog gets a free quality content written for them, while you get a free backlink to your website.

Create an Email Outreach Campaign

There are websites who may write about your brand without you even knowing it. You can take this opportunity to build more links to your website. Be notified whenever you are mentioned by setting up a Google Alert.

Reach out to the publications who mentioned you and send a thank you email. In this thank you email, also ask them to link the article back to your website. They will most likely appreciate you reaching out to them.

Make Use of the Skyscraper Technique

Most websites use the skyscraper technique to build links – essentially this a method of creating high quality content & reaching out to industry relevant websites who are already linking to similar content and asking them to link to you as well.

Ever heard the saying “build a better mousetrap”? Kind of the same thing.

  1. Find the content that your competitors are getting their traffic from:

2. Find out who is linking to that type of content already (let’s say for this example we are talking about a piece of content about “search engine optimization for lawyers”

3. Read all of their content and make a more comprehensive & authoritative piece.

4. Reach out to all those “hundreds of websites linking to the top people” and ask them to link to your content as well!

PR and SEO: How To Properly Use PR for Maximum SEO Impact was written by Devin Schumacher and first appeared on SERP Co.

Ways To Steal Competitor’s Following On Instagram For Your Web Design Business

Ways To Steal Competitor’s Following On Instagram For Your Web Design Business

When you are in business, you are for the win. There is no way that you might leave your winning spot for anyone else. So, you need to work out on multiple ways to stay ahead of your competitors and get impressive help from their sides. Just be sure to know more about the ways first and then get instant help, as and when asked for. If you are looking for growing your brand on social media networks, then target Instagram as the first go. With active 1+ billion users, you will probably get the highest business from here only. 

Now, when it is about Instagram, it means you are focusing on followers for Instagram. The accounts with more followers are the ones with higher potential customers and amazing growth. So, make sure to work out on ways to get your competitor’s following, which will eventually help in your business growth. Yes, it might sound a bit evil, but it is always what you need to so when it comes to business standing and profitable results in the end.

The ways to follow:

One major way to find and then attract new following is always by seeking the closest competitors and their professional Instagram accounts. Once you have done that, for the next step, you have to start engaging with their audiences in here.

  • These people are following the accounts of your competitive web designing fields. That means they have already shown some level of interest in your business sector. 
  • If you and your competitors carry the same deal of service or products, that means the client base will be of the same mentality. So, stealing their existing audience is not that difficult. You don’t have to think twice as they are already interested in the field of web design. That’s why they are following your competitors on the first place.

Effectively steal the followers:

Now the real question over here is how you are going to steal the competitors’ followers that effectively. The closest way to do so is by engaging with the followers in your own way. There are multiple ways available in which you get the chance to engage with the IG users. 

  • The more work you get to put in it, the better. There will be a higher follower count with repeat engagement, which will be the results of such practices in here.
  • The three major forms of engagements for you to follow are, follow one user, like their photos and then comment on their photos.
  • Most of the followers are local, which is yet another plus point. If they can like the profile of your competitor, then they can surely like yours too. So, you can give them a chance by commenting on such photos.

If you can play the chords right, chances are high that you will end up with more followers than your competitor. They will never get to know that it was you all along who stole their followers.

Author Bio

Walter Moore is a notable management consultant and digital marketing expert. He is an experienced digital marketer and has helped e-commerce businesses in all niches gain with his effective marketing strategies and guidance.