If you’ve recently moved your e–commerce business online, the next crucial step to growing your business is marketing it. Or perhaps your company has suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic and you’re planning your recovery. Either way, Google has a whole host of amazing free marketing resources to grow your e–commerce business. In this guide, we’ll take you through the best tools and courses to build your presence online and succeed at digital marketing.
Figure out the right channels
Not all digital marketing channels are the right for every business. Whilst they all have their benefits, it’s important to figure out which ones best suit your business and your brand, and which ones will help you engage with new customers.
Some online marketing methods and strategies for you to consider include:
Content marketing is the creation of shareable content that encourages users to interact with your brand – this might be videos, blog posts or infographics, for example. It’s a good way of raising brand awareness and exposing your business to potential new customers.
Reaching out to your customers via email can be an effective way of promoting your brand, promoting sales or encouraging users to shop a particular product category.
You might have heard of paid search, or PPC (pay-per-click). With this type of online marketing, you’ll use services such as Google Ads to display ads for your business on the search engine results page, triggered when users search for a particular term that’s relevant to your business. You’ll pay every time someone clicks on one of your ads. It’s a good tactic, as ads are displayed higher up the search results, meaning people may be more inclined to click through.
Search Engine Optimisation
SEO, as it’s commonly referred to, uses a range of practices to help your website appear higher in the search engine results. This can include technical SEO, like ensuring your website is properly set up to cater to users in different countries, to optimising your content with relevant keyphrases to help people find your site more easily.
This form of online marketing refers to the image and video ads you see on websites, which are sometimes tailored to you specifically. They can be a good way of increasing your brand awareness by getting your products in front of a large number of people.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing can involve both paid and unpaid (‘organic’) posts on social media sites such as Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Instagram. Social media is a great way of interacting with customers and allows you to quickly and easily share content that your customers, and potential new customers, might find interesting.
You can find out more about online marketing with Google’s free fundamentals of digital marketing course.
Learn More About Digital Marketing
The more you know about digital marketing, the better equipped you’ll be to plan a strategy for your business. There are lots of free marketing resources to grow your e–commerce business, including several offered by Google.
Google Digital Garage
Google Digital Garage is a great online resource, which has been set up to help individuals and businesses learn digital skills. There are a great range of courses to help your business succeed, which are all free and you can work through them online at your own pace.
For example, you could master the basics of online marketing with the Fundamentals of Digital Marketing, a completely free course which takes 40 hours to complete. There are 26 video modules to work through covering topics such as ‘Plan your online business strategy’ and ‘Get noticed with social media’, and you’ll get certification from Google on completion.
Other courses that will help equip you with the skills you need to promote your online business include:
- Make sure customers find you online
- Promote a business with online advertising
- Promote a business with content
Grow With Google
Improve your digital skills and find out everything you need to know about online marketing with Grow With Google. Businesses can learn how to grow and increase revenue through a free and personalised lesson plan. There are also a range of tools that you can use to grow your business, including Market Finder, which is a valuable way of gaining insights into the best markets for you – ideal if you’re thinking of expanding your company internationally.
Google Skillshop is all about learning how to use and make the most of Google tools to develop your business. There’s a range of e-learning courses designed by Google product experts, which allow you to learn at your own pace and get certifications in Google’s products.
There are a number of free marketing resources to grow your e–commerce business, including courses in:
- Google Ads, which covers Google Ads Search, Google Ads Display, Google Ads Video, Shopping Ads, and learning how to measure your business’ performance on ads
- Google Marketing Platform, which offers a complete marketing solution for online businesses and resources to improve your knowledge
- Google Analytics: You can work your way through the Analytics Academy which will help you to track and report on your website data to better understand user behaviour and website performance
- Google My Business, which will help your visibility for local searches. Watch videos and learn how to manage GMB yourself.
- Google Ad Manager, which helps to earn revenue for your ads. Learn how to set up ad campaigns with online resources.
- Google AdMob, with the course teaching you how to create, manage and report on your inventory with the AdMob tool
Use Google Trends to get insights
Google Trends is an incredible resource for understanding what people are searching for, and staying on top of trending topics. It’s a really useful tool for conducting keyphrase research, identifying hot topics and events which your business might want to create content around, and understanding geographical differences in search – ideal if you’re an e–commerce business that sells internationally.
The data used in Google Trends is almost real-time, meaning your business can quickly jump on popular trends and better engage with audiences in rapidly-changing times. Some great ways to use the data:
- Discover popular searches: Use Google Trends’ Latest Stories and Insights to get a handle on how people are searching for rising trends and popular topics
- Explore your own topics: You can explore almost any topic on Google Trends. Just search for a term, and you’ll see a graph showing its popularity over time. You can enter more than one search term to explore them and compare their popularity. This feature is great for identifying whether trends are seasonal, or spiked by a particular event. You can also explore related content, helping you to build out a list of ideas for content marketing.
- Refine searches geographically: This feature is particularly useful if you sell internationally, as you can understand how people search differently across the globe. It’s never a good idea to assume that people are focused on the same things in different countries, or that you can simply translate your content into another language. It must always be localised to the country you’re marketing to, and Google Trends is a great place to start with this.
- Discover how search differs by channel: Rather than just looking at what people are searching for on Google Search, you can also dig into how that differs on Google Image Search, News Search, Google Shopping and YouTube. You might be surprised by the differences! Don’t just assume that what works on Google Search will also work on YouTube – you may need to use different keyphrases to ensure people are able to find your message.
Find out more ways to use this great tool on the Trends Help page.
Get a faster website
Faster websites mean happy users. Site speed is incredibly important when it comes to customer satisfaction. Did you know that site speed is one of the ranking factors used by Google to decide whether to return your website in the search engines result page? Internet users don’t stick around on slow sites. 47% of users expect a website to load in 2 seconds or less. If your site takes longer than that to load, then you’re likely to lose custom. It’s been found that even a 1 second delay in page load time can lead to a 7% drop in conversions – so every second counts.
A sure-fire way of making the online shopping experience better for your customers is by improving your site speed. Luckily, Google has a free tool, Test My Site, to help you get started. Simply enter your domain, and the tool will generate a custom report analysing your site speed, with recommendations on what to fix and how.
ShippyPro for your e–commerce shipping strategy
Once you’ve used Google’s free marketing resources to grow your e–commerce business, the next important step is to think about your e–commerce shipping strategy.
ShippyPro offers a great service for online merchants looking to simplify their shipping strategy and have everything they need in one easy-to-use dashboard.
A complete shipping hub for e–commerce, it offers great features including:
- Label Creator, allowing you to automate the printing of shipping labels in one easy click
- Track & Trace, for sending branded shipping notifications and keeping customers up-to-date on the status of their order
- Easy Return, an all-in-one portal to reduce the headache of dealing with customer returns
- Live Checkout, which allows your customers to choose from multiple delivery options at checkout, with real-time pricing and local pickup points
- Integration with more than 123 Carriers and 63 Sales Channels to connect easily with your existing platforms
You can also integrate ShippyPro with stores and carriers, so you can manage everything in one place.
Try ShippyPro for free, with a trial of 30 days at no cost, and see how it can simplify your shipping strategy today.