Energize Your Website

Greg Jameson's Ecommerce Blog

New Finds to Extend WooCommerce

Recently, I’ve come across some additional WordPress plugins that didn’t make it into my book, the Influencer Effect, but which deserve attention. These all work with WooCommerce, which is huge and why I’m discussing them, but even if you don’t have a WooCommerce site, these are great add-ons for any WordPress website. I will cover 3 plugins that I believe are worth looking at: Broadcast, WordPoints, and Affiliates. Let’s take a look at each of these and see how they might benefit your company.

Broadcasting Content

By broadcasting content, I am not talking about writing a blog post and having it automatically generate a newsletter like MailPoet does, or syndicating your content to various social media sites like MicroBlog Poster does. Those are great plugins and I’ve previously discussed those. What I’m talking about here is the ability to create a blog post on one site, and have it syndicate the content to another site. Sure, you can use an RSS feed plugin and display the content, but what “Broadcast” does is to actually post your blog to multiple sites at the same time. If you run several sites, like I do, or you have a franchise, school district, chain store, etc. you might find this very useful.

Download the “Broadcast” plugin at https://wordpress.org/plugins/threewp-broadcast/. There are a number of add-ons to this plugin which extend its functionality even further. For example, there is an add-on for WooCommerce. What this allows you to do is set up a product on your wholesale site, then share it automatically to a number of retail sites. That is pretty cool. […]

Augmented Reality App Makes Your Print Materials Come to Life!

Imagine if your business cards or brochures could talk!

I met Michelle Calloway at a recent conference I attended, who introduced me to her product, Reavlio, and I just have to share it with you. Business owners are usually on the look out for something that is going to be the next big thing and try to get in on it before everyone else does. Augmented reality (AR) is one of the hottest new technologies sweeping the world. Look no further than the runaway success of Pokémon GO as an indication of how eager consumers are to embrace AR. REVEALiO is making augmented reality very accessible and affordable for you to use as a marketing tool that will instantly set you apart from competitors, and be looked upon as a Top Leader in Your Industry. If you have a physical store with point of sale signs, this could be like having your very best sales person standing night next to your product and describing the benefits to anyone.

Sign up for Revealio now!

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Using Facebook to Reach LinkedIn Contacts

Doing an email blast to your LinkedIn contacts is considered spam and is not permitted. But you can actually export your LinkedIn emails and use them as the basis of an advertising campaign on Facebook. Then you can take them to an email signup page, where you can send them your newsletter. Remember, the idea of a Facebook ad is not to try to sell them something. The primary purpose is to get their email address. Yes, you already have their email address, but you don’t have their permission to send them sales messages. you need to offer them so compelling, that they will not only gladly share their email address with you, but they will want to share your information with others. This is a great way to establish a know, like, and trust factor with your LinkedIn audience. This is not only permissible, but if you have an active LinkedIn presence, it is something I’d recommend (in fact, I encourage it in my book, The Influencer effect.”)

You can use this same technique with purchased or rented email lists, which like LinkedIn, those emails do not belong to you. Since they are likely your target audience, you need a way to reach out to them and offer your free product so that you can get them on your own list. Here’s how.

Start by going to your LinkedIn account. Choose “Privacy and Settings.”

Scroll down until […]

Happy Thanksgiving, Small Business Saturday, & Warren Miller

This past year has been the year of gratitude – it seems like lots of folks have held 30 day gratitude challenges recently. Thanksgiving is certainly a great time to participate in showing your gratitude. Here at WebStores, we’d really like to express our thanks and appreciation for you and wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving.

As you prepare for the busy time of the year with your holiday sales, starting on Black Friday and going through Cyber Monday, don’t forget about Small Business Saturday.

Case Study: A True Content Marketing Pioneer

I realize not everyone who reads my blog is as passionate about skiing as I am, but as I was attending the most recent Warren Miller film last night, I thought about what an amazing job Warren Miller did to not only create the ultimate life-style business, but how he has been using content marketing longer than the term has been in existence. For the past 68 years, Warren Miller has produced a minimum of one feature length film each year about skiing. That is a lot of content. the films are sponsored by other companies: ski areas, equipment companies, lodging, transportation, clothing, etc. The admission price to the movie includes a couple of free and 2-for-1 lift tickets and a subscription to Ski magazone. At each showing of the film, they give away prizes, including drawings for ski vacations as well as specific products. As a result, the Warren Miller team probably has the single largest database of skiers anywhere. This is a company that is […]

Crushing it on Google

Do you get numerous calls from people (robots) claiming to be your local Google representative? I’m sure you figured out by now that these calls are NOT from Google, and in fact are illegal. Here is the official information from Google about these calls: https://www.google.com/safetycenter/everyone/start/report-robocall-scams/. Now, that being said, there are some very cool and legitimate ways that you can improve your Google listings. Many are new features that Google has rolled out over the last year, so I want to explore a few of these with you so you can crush your listing on Google.

First, you need to understand that Google has multiple departments which provide overlapping information. This causes some confusion for many business owners. There is Google+ (yes this is still around, and yes, your business should have a Google+ page for SEO purposes). There is Google MapMaker, which provides your business location on Google Maps. And then there is Google My Business (GMB), which is the heart and soul of the Google Local SEO platform.  Even though they do talk to each other, you need to make sure your information is updated on all three services.

Until very recently, your G+ page was created for you, automatically, when you created your GMB page. However, even if you had already created a G+ page, the auto-generated page would take over as your official brand page. Because this caused a bit of confusion and frustration for business owners and marketers, Goggle changed the protocol earlier this year. Now, when you create your GMB page, Google does not generate a G+ page. The same is true with YouTube, another Google property. YouTube no longer generates a G+ page. Most people do not use G+, so you really don’t have to worry about it.

What you need to know about GMB

Google My Business used to be known as Google Places. Quite honestly, for most business, GMB is the […]

Are you shipping internationally?

You could be leaving a large amount of potential revenue on the table because you are not set up to sell and ship internationally. In fact, the Chinese ecommerce market alone is $1 trillion dollars, about 3 times that of the US market of $396 billion. Factor in other countries like the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, France, South Korea, Canada, Russia, Brazil, and Australia and these total another $581 billion – significantly larger than that of the US market. If you are not selling internationally, you are missing out on a great way to double or even triple your online sales. In fact, by the year 2025, this is what the worldwide commerce landscape is expected to look like according to ystats.

I get it, selling overseas can be daunting, if not downright scary. Filling out the paperwork for customs is frustrating.  And then,  how do you ship your products economically to your customers? How do you collect payment and avoid fraud? As a result of these questions, most US-based websites have simply avoided selling internationally. But what if I told you there was a way that you could export your products as simply and easily as making a sale within the United States? Read on to learn how you can do this. […]

Preparing Images for Your Ecommerce Shopping Cart

We all know that good quality images help to sell a product. But how do you go about getting images that are consistent and make your site look professional. Having built numerous ecommerce websites, I’ve discovered a few things that I’d like to share. First, you should be aware that multiple images are better than a single image. I recommend having at least one image of just the product, on a cut-out white background, that is used as the primary image. All of your primary images should be the exact same dimensions (800×800 pixels is a good size for most computer screens). Keeping both the height and width the same (a square image) insures that your images will line up properly on a page, which is much better than the amateur looking sites that have some horizontal and some vertical images. You can (and should) have secondary images, showing the product in context. Those secondary images can have a different aspect ratio, as they are not displayed on category pages, so it doesn’t matter if they are vertical or horizontal. Here’s how you create quality images for your ecommerce website.  […]

Google Mandates Secure Sites – HTTPS

It used to be that websites that were not taking payments online did not need an SSL certificate. After all, you weren’t transferring any confidential information, you were simply displaying text and graphics to your visitors. If you had an online store, you were strongly encouraged to use SSL to keep your customer’s data safe. But given the world we live in, this has changed.  According to Google, ALL websites, even if you are not collecting any information, must be secured.

By the end of this month, October 2017, Google has officially broadcasted, that websites using SSL certificates, would gain boosts in Google rankings to make small steps to keep everyone safe on the web. Google will not only penalize you for not having a secure site, it will soon publicly shame your credibility and label your site as unsecure. Some browsers, notably Firefox and Chrome (in incognito mode) are already doing this when displaying a login form. Google will make a much bigger deal about those sites without SSL. A red caution warning “Not Secure” will display next to the URL in Google Chrome browsers. What does this mean to you? It means it is time to add an SSL certificate to your website if you don’t already have one.

How can I tell I am visiting a site with SSL?

First of all, you can tell by your browser.  It will display the site URL as https://www.sitedomain.com.  Secondly, there is usually an icon or symbol in place (often in color green) such as a padlock that provides a safety signal.  Often, clicking on that icon will reveal information about the type of SSL that in place for further verification.

What is SSL?

Secure Socket Layer (SSL) is a security protocol that offers a degree of insurance and protection against hacks and malicious intrusion. Technically, SSL provides encryption of customer data.   Browsers see the SSL Certificate and secure URL structure to interpret that a website is “safe” and provide a degree of comfort to site visitors.  SSL is especially beneficial for first-time visits to an unknown site.  Site visitors can have a degree of confidence that […]

Why and How to Publish a Book

Since the release of my latest book, I’ve been asked numerous times about how to get a book published. It’s no secret that having a book makes you an authority on your subject matter. In fact, the word author is contained within the word authority. Both words are derived from the latin word, Auctoritas. In ancient Rome, Auctoritas referred to the general level of prestige a person had in Roman society, and, as a consequence, his clout, influence, and ability to rally support around his will. Today, the #1 authority builder (no matter what niche you are in) is to have a book. Having a book is almost a prerequisite for being a public speaker (another powerful authority builder).

The reason for being an author and a public speaker is not to make that your career. Very few authors and speakers make a living through their writing and speaking. but lots of people greatly expand their business because they are an author. Quite simply, a book is the best business card you can have. Imagine that you are selling swimming pools. You hand your prospective customer a book about “10 things to be aware of when hiring a swimming pool contractor.” You are the author. You tell them that regardless of who they decide to hire, you believe that this is information they will probably find useful. Guess which pool contractor is likely to get the job?

Having a book used to just be a “pipe dream” for most people and something that everyone wanted to do “one day”. But now there are countless ways of getting a book of your own. I am not going to talk about traditional publishing, as that is unlikely for most people simply looking to establish credibility and becoming recognized as an expert in their field. Here are the publishing methods that I will talk about:

  1. Vanity publishers
  2. Publishing through Create Space
  3. Being your own publisher

I have used all of these methods (as well as traditional publishing). This is what I recommend: […]