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Greg Jameson's Ecommerce Blog

How to Create A Form with Payment Options [5 Easy Steps]

There are a number of reasons why you might want to accept payments when a site visitor fills out a form. Service businesses charging for an appointment, reservations or tickets to an event such as a conference, or donations (even recurring donations!). For example, as you may know, I run a scout related website (CyberbaseTradingPost.com) where one of the main features is the ability to create and print custom certificates. After the certificate is created, I give people the opportunity to make a donation if they found it useful. Another site that one of my customers runs provides week-long retreats, complete with accomodations. When they make their reservations to attend one of these retreats, they must make a deposit to insure they are going to show up. Collecting payments along with the reservation is required. And of course if you have any type of subscription program, collecting recurring payments is a must. All of this can be done using a plugin called WPForms.

Here then are the steps necessary to create a form with payment options using WPForms.

Step 1: Create a Simple Order Form in WordPress

The first thing you’ll need to do is install and activate the WPForms plugin.

Next, go to WPForms » Add New to create a new form.

On the setup screen, name your form and select the Billing/Order form template.

Next, you’ll want to modify what items are available to order.

To do this, scroll down to the “Available Items” section in the preview screen on the right and click on it.

This will open up the “Field Options” in the left panel. Here you can rename the field, add or remove order items, and change the prices.

If you want to give people images to choose from when filling out your online order form, click on the Use image choices checkbox in the Form Editor.

When you do this, you’ll be able to upload images to go alongside your items, giving people a visual look at what they’re ordering.

Lastly, you can add additional fields to your order form by dragging them from the left hand side to the right hand side.

Click Save when you’re done.

Step 2: Configure Your Order Form Notifications

There are two settings to configure in your simple order form. The first is the Notifications setting. Notifications are a great way to send an email when your form is submitted.

You can send an email notification to yourself, which WPForms does automatically unless you disable form notifications. You can also send a notification to a member of your team by adding their email to the Send to Email Address field.

In addition, if you use smart tags, you can even send a form notification to a customer to let them know their order has been received.

Let’s take a look at how to set up one form notification that will be sent out to a customer after they submit an order form on your website.

Start by clicking on […]

Choosing Keywords Wisely

For the past few weeks I’ve been talking about ranking on Google using YouTube videos. This is critical for your business because, according to Neil Patel, less than 25% of ALL websites are ever visited by ANYONE! Getting found for your chosen keywords is vital to your ability to do business online.  One of the things I’ve talked about is to use your keywords in the title, description, tags, and even in your audio script. But how exactly do you select the keywords that you wish to rank for? That is the topic of today’s post.

Less than 25% of ALL websites are ever visited by ANYONE! -Neil Patel Click To Tweet

Keywords are simply those words that are entered into a search engine. One of the best descriptions about how to use keywords that I’ve seen is by the Yoast SEO plugin, which you can read here.

For example, if you are looking for light bulbs, you would enter “light bulbs” into the search engine. Of course, that isn’t very descriptive, and you are going to get millions of results for something that generic. Ranking for a generic term like light bulbs is not only difficult, but expensive. and worse, the probability of someone buying a light bulb from you after searching on those words is highly unlikely. If we get a little more specific, like “LED light bulbs”, we are still going to get thousands of web sites returned to us, and again, it would be both difficult and expensive to rank for these words. The more descriptive you can be with your keywords, the more likely it is that someone will find your site and actually do business with you.

The more descriptive you can be with your keywords, the more likely it is that someone will find your site and actually do business with you. Click To Tweet

This is what is termed as long tail keywords. The good news is that long tail keywords comprise 70% of all searches performed online. So, if someone is searching for “Where can I buy long-lasting dimmable LED light bulbs for my kitchen in Parker, Colorado?” and you have a page on your website that specifically is optimized for long-lasting dimmable LED light bulbs for your kitchen, and you are located in Parker, CO, well, you will probably get found when that search is created, and that person will probably buy from you. When you create a YouTube video addressing those same keywords, and link that video back to that page on your website, you simply become the best answer on the internet for that person’s needs.

Of course, there are far fewer people asking that specific question, but for the ones that are, you are the solution. Long tail keywords contain a keyphrase (generally three or four words) highly specific to what you are selling. This helps you to find highly targeted customers looking to buy exactly what you’re selling. This makes long tail keywords immensely useful for PPC and SEO and they always outperform generic keywords in terms of conversion rates. In fact, long tail keywords convert 2.5 times more frequently than short tail keywords. Back to the question, how do you determine the best keywords to use? It used to be fairly simple to do this, as […]

How To Write a Thrilling Script for a 90 Second Product Video

Last week’s blog post talked about how to rank on Google in 30 seconds using YouTube videos and utilizing the title, description, and tag fields to include your keywords. but what about actually making the video to upload in the first place? What are some of the best practices, especially if you are selling a product online? This week I’m going to layout for you exactly how to craft your script for maximum views and better yet, conversions (sales).

It used to be that the video itself didn’t really matter for SEO purposes, the only thing that mattered was the title, description, and tags being used. That is no longer the case. YouTube uses voice to text recognition software and cannot only determine if you are using copyrighted music illegally, but can also determine what you are saying. In fact, it uses this technology to close captioning, so your script is highly important. Yes, you will want to use your keywords correctly in your script too. YouTube can also determine what images/video clips are in your video, much like Google’s image search can determine similar images to what you are searching for (remember, YouTube is owned by Google), so again, don’t use copyrighted images or your video could be banned (or worse).

When creating a product video, you do not just want to hold up a product and talk about what it does. Rather, you want to tell a story that engages your viewer. Click To Tweet

When creating a product video, you do not just want to hold up a product and talk about what it does. Rather, you want to tell a story that engages your viewer. You may want to show the product in action – by demonstrating how it is actually used. But remember, this is essentially a commercial that we are talking about, not a training video or tech support tutorial (that’s a different, but equally valuable type of video for a different purpose). What we want to create for this blog is a 1 to 2 minute product video for the primary purpose of search engine placement and driving traffic to your site so the viewer can buy the product. That means that you will want to also embed the finished video on the product page.

Okay, so here is […]

How to Rank on Page 1 of Google in less than 30 Seconds

The number one question that any web designer gets asked is “How can I get listed on page 1 of Google?” While there are no 100% guarantees, the method I’m going to describe in this post will likely land you in that coveted spot, especially for geographically based searches. We have proven this method over and over again and it works, without paying huge sums of money or waiting months to get ranked. Doing this involves the use of YouTube (a Google owned property). Here’s why this works:

80% of all internet content consumed today is Video. People spend 88% more time on a website with video, and 72% of visitors prefer video. Companies that create video content earn 41% more traffic from search engines results than those who don’t. Adding a video to a landing page can increase conversion rates by 80%.

Only 9% of all businesses actually are using YouTube. Click To Tweet

Yet, only 9% of all businesses actually are using YouTube. Did you hear what I just said? Only 9% of businesses are actually using YouTube! YouTube is the number 2 search engine and the 3rd most popular website in the world. If you utilize YouTube properly, you can get to the top of Google. These are the steps to follow… […]

2019 Influencer Marketing Trends You Shouldn’t Ignore

Guest post by Andriana Moskovska

Modern consumers demand transparency and authenticity, which has paved the way for the growth of influencer marketing as an industry. According to statistics compiled by the team at SmallBizGenius, 2018 saw businesses receiving a 520% return on investment after implementing a strategic influencer marketing campaign.

As evidenced by the 49% of consumers who rely on influencers’ recommendations before deciding to buy a product, it’s no longer a question of whether this tactic is effective or not; it’s a question of how you can incorporate influencer marketing into your current strategy and yield the desired results.

Before you launch your influencer campaign, take a quick look at some of this year’s trends to keep your marketing efforts up-to-date.

More Marketers Are Choosing To Collaborate with Micro- & Nano-influencers

Micro-influencers have 1,000 to 100,000 followers, while nano-influencers have between 1,000 and 10,000. These types of influencers have a fewer follower count than celebrities and macro-influencers but generate higher engagement rate.

The genuine interaction between these influencers and their network of followers increases their authenticity and trustworthiness factor, which is why many brands looking to generate organic reach and engagement are placing their bets on these types of influencers.

Instagram is Still the Preferred Platform for Influencers

Marketers around the globe spent over $5 billion on influencer campaigns on this platform. With over 1 billion active users, Instagram’s popularity as an influencer marketing channel isn’t going to die down anytime soon.

In addition to the massive number of users, the communities on Instagram, which are mostly made up of members of the younger demographic, make it easy for influencers to interact, share their skills and expertise, and grow their network.

Influencer Marketers’ Primary Challenge is Spotting Fake Followers

Fraudulent accounts with fake followers posing as influencers are deceiving marketers into collaborating with them. Although various methods to combat this type of fraud have been released, they remain prevalent across many digital platforms.

Make it a priority to check the authenticity of the potential influencer before reaching out for a collaboration. There are plenty of tools readily available which allow marketers to check if the account is using bots or purchasing followers or fake engagement.

The Use of ROI Metrics

The end goals of influencer marketers are mostly focused on increasing brand awareness and customer loyalty. Although influencer marketing is effective in helping brands drive high levels of engagement and expand their reach, calculating the return on investment is still a daunting task for many marketers.

Some of the ways to track the effectiveness of a campaign are […]

Is Magic Real?

Every person, and certainly every entrepreneur, should read “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne (you can also listen to it as an audiobook or watch the movie). In this book, we are told that the Great Secret of Life is the law of attraction. The law of attraction can also be called the law of creation. In other words, life is not happening to you, you are creating it. The Secret shows us how we can manifest anything in our lives – money, people, fame – whatever we truly believe in. The Universe will then conspire to work it’s magic and make it come true in our lives.

I love this quote by the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland: “Everyone wants some magical solution for their problem and everyone refuses to believe in magic!”

Everyone wants some magical solution for their problem and everyone refuses to believe in magic! - The Mad Hatter Click To Tweet

I believe that is really the point that The Secret is trying to make. Every religion requires us to believe in something that we cannot see. This has been true throughout history. We have to have faith. We have to believe in magic. And when we do, that magic actually shows up in our lives.

Now you might have to be a bit mad (like the Mad Hatter) to believe in something you can’t see. Whether you call that force the universe, God, wizards, ghosts, astrology, tarot, or whatever, it is difficult to believe in something you cannot prove. J. Nochole Smith says, “We humans like to be sure, and how can you be sure of something you can’t quite explain or prove? In life, and in business, looking at data and facts is an absolutely essential element in smart decision making and planning… but it’s not the complete picture.You can read her complete post here.

In the legend of alchemy, the practitioner is spoken of as having the “magic” power of transmuting lead into gold. But what if we can take whatever we are given and make something incredible out of it. I believe we each have the power to do this. So is magic real? The only way to find out is to experience it for yourself.

Certainly, […]

Ecommerce Trends That Affect You

Strong Customer Authentication

Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) is a new regulation taking effect on September 14, 2019 that requires merchants to use multiple methods of verifying customers’ identities. While this is a European compliance issue, it will impact US merchants as well. To help you comply with the new requirements — and make sure your sales don’t have declined payments, here is what you need to know.

Starting in September, merchants accepting online payments will need to use two independent authentication methods to verify that a customer is who they say they are.

What kinds of authentication are acceptable?

SCA allows for three different authentication methods — something the customer knows, something the customer has, and something the customer is. To succeed, a transaction has to use two of the three.

What does that mean in practice?

    • Asking for a piece of information only the customer knows, like their password or the answer to a security question.
    • Sending verifying information to something the customer controls, like a hardware token or a push notification sent to their phone.
    • Using a physical identifier unique to the customer, like a fingerprint or Face ID.

What do I need to do to prepare?

Most payment gateways will use 3D Secure 2 – an update to the 3D Secure system – as their main method of complying with SCA. During checkout, the payment gateway will prompt the customer to provide the additional authentication elements, and the order will only be completed once they do that successfully.

If you are using WooCommerce with Stripe and or PayPal as your Payment Gateway, these are already SCA ready, so you will not have to do anything.

Marketplaces Versus Your Own Ecommerce Website

Amazon is of course the largest eommerce site, and many businesses use this platform as their primary method of selling online. eBay is a distant second to Amazon. But as third-party sellers become more prominent on Amazon’s marketplace, many want to expand to other platforms, and eBay is the most popular secondary option, 56% per Feedvisor (April 2019). In fact, this far outshines personal sites (12%), Walmart, brick-and-mortar stores and smaller online marketplaces.

If you are already selling online via your own website and using WooCommerce as your shopping cart platform, there is good news – you can integrate your online store by listing your product catalog on both Amazon and eBay’s global network of 40+ online marketplaces and reach millions of potential customers in minutes. You can sync inventory, orders, pricing, and product details in real-time. Here’s how. […]

How chatbots Can Help the Ecommerce Industry

Guest Post by Hassan Khan

Image source: https://www.yo-kart.com

Often thought of as the unique selling proposition of the world of e-commerce and marketing, chatbots are short for chat robot technology which has the ability to simulate human interactions, in this case sales assistant and consumer interactions, through artificial intelligence. This software can interact with consumers, answer their queries as well as their concerns in the format of a regular conversation which uses text and sometimes even voice and images.

The realm of telegenic marketing is fast evolving with innovative ideas and strategies being introduced. It is considered that chatbots are an asset to e-commerce stores due to their ability to cultivate a shopping experience that resembles real life commerce. To what extent can chatbots assist the e commerce business? That is something that must be discussed in detail before a company chooses to adopt this novel strategy.

Improving Consumer Interaction

A research conducted by Sprout Social came to the conclusion that 5 out of 6 messages that require a reply go completely unanswered by most companies with a waiting time of around 10 hours being the average for those which do get a reply eventually. It is frustrating for customers to […]

Should I Still Be Blogging?

Over time, the internet has changed. People engage more with posts on social media platforms that they do with posts that you create on your own blog. Plus, blog posts tend to be much longer, typically 800 words or more. People have short attention spans and as a result, no one reads an entire post, much less a book. In fact, they don’t even read their emails. They just scan it to get the major ideas. Since blogs don’t have the traction they once did, the question is often asked, “Should I even bother writing blog posts anymore?”

It depends. Blogs are a great way to create fresh content that search engines find important. This in turn drives traffic to your website. So if you want to get quality, organic traffic to your website on a regular basis, then you absolutely MUST create new consistent content in the form of a blog.

On the other hand, if you don’t care about anyone ever finding your site, or you are willing to pay large sums of money for advertisements to drive people to your website, then by all means, don’t ever write another blog post.

OK, so I know this […]

Should I Write My Own Copy?

I expect to get hate mail and backlash from some copywriters out there for this article. I’ve heard all the arguments before, and even had them compare their skills to mine as an ecommerce web designer. After all, anyone can create a website today right? Templated website builders now allow anyone to create their own website and sell online, so why should they hire me? Copywriters are in the same boat: this is something you can do yourself, so why should you hire someone to do it for you?

Here’s the thing: You are the expert on what you are selling, so it makes sense that you should write your own copy. I’m a huge believer in creating content – lots of content that your followers will consume. If you hire a copywriter to create all of your content, you are either a very large company, or you will soon go broke. Copywriters will try to sell you on their services using arguments like freeing up your time, or that you aren’t any good at it, so let them do it for you. Most of those arguments are rubbish. The fact is, you need to be producing your own content. If you aren’t good at it, then you need to learn to at least become moderately proficient. Weekly blog posts, social media posts and other ongoing content is best produced in house by you, the expert on what your business has to offer.

I read an article recently about why a certain web designer doesn’t let her clients hire copywriters, and I completely agree. The underlying reason why people think they should hire a copywriter is something that no copywriter can solve for them, and that is the ability to sell their product or services to their customers. This is something you MUST learn yourself. You can read the complete article here.  If you have not given enough thought to your unique selling proposition and marketing strategy where you cannot clearly convey your message to someone else, you have a fundamental business problem. You absolutely must fix these issues first.

If you have not given enough thought to your unique selling proposition and marketing strategy where you cannot clearly convey your message to someone else, you have a fundamental business problem. Click To Tweet

Once you have your business issues resolved, writing everyday copy should be pretty easy. Just pretend you are talking to a friend. Nobody likes to be sold to, so simply tell a story about your product or service as if you are explaining it to a single person. Use and active voice and be concise. Use the rule of three when listing features and benefits. Address any objections upfront. If you follow these few simple steps, you will produce your own copy that is better than what a third party person is likely to come up with, because it will be coming from what you truly believe in. It will be more authentic and will resonate with your audience.

Stop hiding behind a copywriter. Writing your own copy will be better because it will be more authentic and will resonate with your audience.

Simple steps to writing effective copy:

  • Explaining your product or service to a single person
  • Use an active voice
  • Be concise
  • Use the rule of three when listing features and benefits
  • Address any objections upfront

Still…I believe that you should engage a professional copywriter for your business. What? Here’s why… […]

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