web hosting for Canada
Website Promotion
& Web Marketing

(403) 457-6382

Email Us envelope -contact us for web hosting  in Canada

Site Map

White Papers
Getting Your site noticed
Local Search - Geo Targeting
High Search Rankings


Getting Your Site Noticed  by Wolf

Just like traditional business, ecommerce sites need to build a reputation, drive traffic and foster brand loyalty (if appropriate). Here are some tactics that may prove useful as you pursue your ecommerce success.

Selling Widgets?

A basic that is often overlooked, is to make sure your product (s) lend themselves to online ecommerce. Although specialty products may have a smaller target audience they are less likely to compete with deep discount pricing and deep pocket advertising.

Where to place your Advertising $$

Appealing to the masses is best left to the industry giants than can afford multi-million dollar campaigns. Even a modest advertising budget can reap large benefits if it is fine tuned and aimed at a specific target market. Consider placing your ad campaign at various levels of your vertical channel. For example in our industry of web hosting, our vertical includes non-core items like web design, domain name registration, search engine optimization, Internet Access etc. A well placed ad in web design makes sense since most new sites will also need hosting. Take some time to reflect on your industry and look for relationships between products. Some products also can do well in cross channel efforts, but in that case they are most likely mass merchandise items.

Some of the advertising methods you may wish to consider are: news releases, posters in brick and mortar locations, industry websites, magazines, postcards, ad racks, park benches, buses, radio, television etc. I would recommend that for any radio, print or tv advertising, that you test the waters first in a smaller and more measurable location (ie . your home town or neighbourhood).

One of the things we learned early on is that it is extremely difficult to determine your ROI (return on investment) from ad campaigns. For example, we ran an ad at a industry web site for close to a year. Although we received some traffic from the ad, it was never really clear that we closed many sales due to the ad. What did however happen is that there was a branding and credibility effect, because the customer saw our name on that site, and then later looking through the search engines, when they came across our name it was already familiar and took on a higher degree of credibility. We aren't currently running the ad in order to try and measure the effectiveness ( plus they wanted more money). More on that in future newsletters.

Search Engines & Pay per Clicks

Getting to the top is important as the higher up you are the more clicks are likely, and so ranking well can be achieved in a number of ways. Generally it is a lot easier to rank well in the niche markets and niche search terms. In some cases the main terms really don't provide the results people expect especially in light of the effort required to rank well on a popular term. Some quick tips are, make sure your site has multiple content rich (at least 250 words) pages with each page focused towards a single particular search term. In case you might be thinking looking at some our stuff that we haven't followed our own advice, you would be partially correct. It is something we are evolving towards, but we need to move slowly since our main pages are revenue producing and drastic changes could lead to drastic revenue changes.

In future articles we will be getting into the nitty gritty of both search engines and pay per click providers. For now the two largest players in the pay per click arena are Google and Overture. Chinook is currently running a campaign on Google adwords for some niche terms and also some branding. Last year we discontinued with Overture as in our industry the cost per click is very high. I would consider using them again for some niche terms.


"A person, organization, or establishment associated with another as a subordinate, subsidiary, or member: network affiliates." I wanted to start this section with a definition as sometimes the term affiliates doesn't have the best connotation. Affiliates can indeed be a great way to do business, just ask any member firm of a real estate conglomerate or even your local car dealer (they are most likely an affiliate for one of the major auto makers).

Partnering with a big site that can deliver volume traffic, will benefit you not only in sales but also help you gain rank in the search engines.

Affiliate marketing is inexpensive as your cost comes from profit only when an actual sale is made. On a side note don't restrict your affiliate program just to the web. A local store or business establishment may produce surprising amounts of highly qualified traffic.

If you go the affiiliate route, take the time to plan out every variable and twist and turn, you will be glad you did later on. For some helpful hints, I would study the affiliate plans in place with some of the web's larger players. For example Amazon (.com) has been in the affiliate game for a very long time and their affiliate programs are highly developed. For the smaller sites, it would be best to avoid the shotgun approach and instead focus on signing affiliates that are in your industry or near industry. (ie computer sales is a near industry to web hosting).

Maintaining the Buzz

In a sense every web site is a potential partner and I strongly encourage you to seek out links from as many sites as possible. Sites within your industry may generate a more valuable link, or sites using specific words to link to you (anchor text) may help your rank more but overall each link contributes either in traffic or rankings or both.

How do we maintain the buzz? You have probably heard the phrase "sticky website". This refers to designing your site in such a way that people return time and time again. Running a journal (the in crowd now call it blogging), newsletter or even just continual updates of existing content or adding new content, all contribute to making a site sticky. There are other factors like useability, appeal, etc that determine the level of stickiness a site has.

Maintaining the buzz also means taking every opportunity to promote your site. I have a bumper sticker on my car and every email I send out contains a signarture line that includes our web address. Can you run a contest, stage an event, write an article, get published in the paper? These things may not always be appropriate for every site or every person but an example here is worth a thousand words. About two years ago I wrote a rather short article about the difficulty of getting into certain search engines at that time. This article has for the last two years brought me traffic and opportunities, the most recent one being an interview with a major business publication (more on that if they use my interview).

The essential truth about marketing your ecommerce site is that on average the efforts you put into it will directly impact your success. The best way to maintain the buzz is for you the site owner to continue being excited about it, and continue to promote it.

Wolf is one of the partners of Chinook Webs and is actively involved in search engine topics.


This website copyright Chinook Webs A Canadian Company®