Energize Your Website

Greg Jameson's Ecommerce Blog

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: […]

The Importance of Live Events

In my book, The Influencer Effect, I devote an entire chapter to the importance of live events. Regus McKenna, Apple’s first marketing guru, states, “It’s ironic, but true, that in this age of electronic communications, personal interaction is becoming more important than ever.”  This is so true. I personally attend at least 3 live events each week. Why? Because that is how you get to know people. Communicating via social media, email, and even video conferencing or the phone is not a substitute for seeing someone in person. Once you meet someone, you start to establish a bond with them.

This weekend I have the opportunity to speak at a live event called Stern Storming Live 2! It will be September 23rd, 24th and 25th
at the Hilton Double Tree Suites, Greenwood Village, CO. I get to share the stage with some amazing people. You can get your tickets by visiting http://sternstorminglive.com/. This is a 3 day workshop where you will learn the messages and storeis to drive your business forward. You are going to get a ton of great content. The event producer, Darrell Stern, will tell you that you need to come to this event because he has put together a great selection of speakers (he has). He will tell you that you need to attend because of the great topics that will be presented (and this is also true).  But there is an even bigger and better reason why you should attend: the connections you will make.

I have never left an event where I didn’t make at least one new friend whom I’ve been able to remain connected with. This event promises this opportunity as well. So do I think you should come listen to my presentation? Absolutely! do I think you should buy my book afterwards? Of course! but more importantly, I just want you to come by and introduce yourself. Say Hi. Grab a selfie and a hug! That’s how you […]

Launch Party Recap

As promised last week, I am going to provide you with a brief recap of how the launch party went, along with the next steps.

First, let me be clear: anytime you release a significant new product of any kind, you need to do a proper launch party / announcement. It doesn’t have to be a book – it can (and should) be any product.  If you need motivation for doing this, please take a look at how Steve Jobs always launched a product. Here is just one example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2B-XwPjn9YY.

My book launch party was a huge success. During the first week of the launch I hit the #1 Amazon best-seller status in two different categories: web marketing and ecommerce professional. We had over 65 people attend the launch event. Perhaps most importantly, everyone had a great time and met lots of new contacts.

The hosts for my event were Angel Tuccy and Eric Reamer of the Experience Pros radio show.  In addition to having a live event, we also broadcast the presentations using Facebook Live. Once again, I asked for product reviews on Amazon (and I am still in need of these, so please post your review at: http://amzn.to/2vF516y.

After the party, […]

Keeping the Momentum Going

As the third post in this series of how to launch a product, it is important to understand that you have to keep the momentum going. Don’t stop just as you have things moving! Here’s a recap of what I’ve discussed so far and the initial results:

  1. We talked about thunderclap and getting others to help promote your launch.
  2. We discussed getting reviews and endorsements.

The results as far as my new book, The Influencer Effect (http://amzn.to/2vF516y) have been incredible! We reached over 2.1 million people on the Thunderclap cmapaign. I’ve had people posting photos of themeselves with the book all over social media.  One person even interviewed me (you can watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xeYg2Rblnk).  Another colleague ran a contest where he gave away 2 copies of the ebook and set an expiration for 2 hours into the future. People kept asking to be included for up to 2 days afterwards, and he pointed them to Amazon where they could get the book for just 0.99. Because of all this excitement, the book made it to number 1 on Amazon! That’s a pretty good start to a product launch, so now is not the time to let up.

This week, I’m going to host a book launch party – if you are in Denver, plese join us on Thursday evening (https://www.facebook.com/events/2039265059634659). If you can’t join us in person, then catch us on the Facebook Live video: https://www.facebook.com/g.w.jameson/videos/10207343169216734

Here is what you do next to keep the momentum of your product launch going.

[…]

Getting Reviews and Endorsements

This is the next part of my launch series, where I am documenting what I am doing with my book launch so that you can apply these techniques to your own product launches. today, I’m going to discuss getting productreviews and endorsements. For my book, “The Influencer Effect“,  I’ve been blessed with a number of great endorsements, even before the book launch. People who are very big names in internet marketing have written me positive endorsements which I have been able to included in the “advanced praise” section of the book. You might be asking, “How did you do that?” The simple truth is, I asked them. Now you might ask these same people, and they would turn you down because I have a personal relationship with them. I know everyone of them. .I have been to their events. I have shared the stage with them. that makes it easier to ask, and know that you will get a positive response.

Most of you reading this post however are not in internet marketing, your business is selling physical goods or services. you simply use internet marketing to promote your business. Here’s the thing: if you are a doctor, get other doctors to endorse you. If you are an accountant, get someone from the IRS or the Social Security Administration to endorse you. Get your customers to endorse you. Never make it about yourself – even the people who contributed to the book did so not only because they are friends, but because they get additional exposure for their businesses. Build a relationship with people, then ask them if you can promote them with your new product. Always remember to […]