Launching an online store is one thing, but driving traffic and sales to stand out in a competitive ecommerce landscape is another beast entirely. As an ecommerce business owner, finding ways to increase visibility and credibility should be the top priority on your list. After all, if potential customers can’t find your store or don’t find it trustworthy, you’ll face tremendous challenges trying to sustain and scale a profitable business.
The good news is there are proven strategies you can continually implement and refine to expand your reach and establish credibility even in crowded niches. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore some of the most impactful ecommerce best practices to consider if increased visibility and consumer trust are goals for your online store this coming year. Let’s dive right in.
Optimize Your Website for Search Engine Visibility
One of the most foundational yet often overlooked steps to increase visibility and traffic for ecommerce merchants is ensuring your website itself is fully search-engine-optimized. When customers look for products online, they overwhelmingly turn to search engines like Google to discover stores and specific item listings. If your site doesn’t rank well organically or pages and products don’t show up in results, you miss out on tremendous discovery and revenue potential.
Luckily, ecommerce SEO is fully achievable with dedicated effort on integral elements. Here are some boxes to tick:
- Compelling page titles and meta descriptions so search engines understand relevancy for ranking
- Use of relevant keywords and search queries in page content and URL structures
- Clear, semantic HTML markup and use of alt text for site images
- Fast site speed and fully mobile responsive design
- Properly formatted XML sitemaps to index all site pages
- Schema markup for richer indexing of products, business info, and ratings
Additionally, developing an ecommerce link building strategy can significantly boost domain authority and search rankings over time. This involves actively reaching out to relevant sites and publishers to request backlinks to your online store. High-quality links signal trust and relevance to search algorithms.
Getting these fundamentals right ensures search engines can quickly crawl, process, and index all important pages and products on your site. This leads to a more prominent ranking in results for lucrative ecommerce search queries. Coupling optimization with quality content creation compounds effectiveness further.
Additionally, ecommerce businesses should consider link building packages as an essential strategy to enhance their search rankings. High-quality backlinks from reputable sites drive more organic traffic, improving your website’s authority and visibility in search engine results. When choosing a link building package, look for options that fit your budget and goals. Select one that offers a mix of backlinks relevant to the industry and target audience for maximum impact. It’s also vital to choose a provider that employs ethical, white-hat link building practices to avoid penalties and sustain long-term SEO success. You may consider partnering with a provider that offers comprehensive search engine optimization services to ensure that your website is optimized for maximum visibility and ranking potential.
Curate and Display Genuine Ratings and Reviews
Displaying credible customer ratings, reviews, and testimonials for your brand and products may seem simple enough. However, leaning too heavily on fake reviews or making them hard to find can erode consumer trust quickly. That’s why genuinely cultivating and showcasing authentic customer review content should be standard practices for ecommerce merchants aiming to increase credibility.
For new ecommerce businesses, actively reaching out to initial customers and requesting honest reviews is recommended once they have received their orders. Most customers are willing to leave constructive feedback when asked directly. As the customer base grows over time, ratings and reviews should then prominently appear on:
- The main website header or footer
- Individual product pages
- The checkout page
- Any marketing emails sent to customers
This omnichannel approach ensures customers find multiple touchpoints where peer experiences readily reinforce your brand’s trustworthiness. Use vivid pull quotes and visual review stars in advertisements and across channels for further impact.
Dynamic features like verified review stamps and sorting options allow shoppers to further engage with feedback suited to their interests. While most reviews will be positive if customers are satisfied, also displaying critical feedback shows you don’t hide from constructive criticism. Moderating offensive or spam reviews helps maintain balance and authenticity.
Get Reviews and Testimonials to Build Consumer Trust
While review generation was touched upon already regarding visibility, the impact sincere customer testimonials and reviews have for building ecommerce credibility and trust runs much deeper still. That’s why acquiring and showcasing genuine reviews should become ingrained in every merchant’s practices from day one of launching a store.
But why do reviews hold such sway? Independent peer experiences resonate strongly even compared to branded content or advertisements. Real photos, star ratings, and candid perspectives reinforce your products and services, lending more believable credibility during the evaluation process.
Review quantity and quality matters as well. Displaying just one or two outdated testimonials can inadvertently raise skepticism. Instead, proudly highlighting dozens to hundreds of recent, verified purchase reviews across channels reassures while bringing dynamic social proof.
Speaking of placement, while keeping reviews on a dedicated testimonials page makes sense, the maximal impact comes from positioning directly on pages and pathways most influential to conversions. For example:
- Feature excerpts atop high-traffic landing and product pages
- Embed multiple carousels of review content into the checkout funnel
- Include vivid testimonial graphics in the shopping cart and post-purchase emails
- Add reviews to on-site banners/widgets and off-site advertisements
This immersive approach puts authentic peer experiences front-and-center consistently, lending organic credence to your brand at multiple touchpoints. For the home page hero sections, rotating between strong credentials like years in business, customer counts, testimonials, and awards makes a strong initial impact.
Social Media Presence Drives Expanded Reach
While still important for conversion optimization, credibility, trust, and reviews are just one piece of the visibility puzzle. The rise of social media and networks like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok ushered in new essential channels for ecommerce discovery beyond search engines.
For context, over 4.59 billion people are actively using social media worldwide as of 2022. This number represents potential customers who can discover your brand and products through intelligent social media marketing.
Posting interesting and engaging content and then interacting across key social channels helps drive website traffic through increased awareness. This incoming traffic also aids SEO visibility in the long term. Building and nurturing an audience that engages with your content ultimately drives recurring interest in visiting your online store. Converting that interest into sales is the end goal.
For example, the type of helpful or entertaining content to consider sharing includes:
- Product releases showcasing upcoming inventory
- How-to and informational videos
- Shop owner interviews or employee spotlights
- Curated visual user-generated content from customers
- Infographics and listicles related to your niche
- Polls, surveys, and contests tied to products
While self-promotional posts make sense in moderation, the most effective social content balances these posts with truly useful and relevant updates. This nourishes the audience and keeps them coming back.
Tagging and thanking followers who show support, promoting your products in reviews, or generating UGC also nurtures participation. Proactively engaging with commenters shows you actively listen and respond to the community.
Dedicate enough resources to posting daily, when possible, across top platforms like Instagram and Facebook. Eventually, explore up-and-comers like TikTok, depending on your target demographic. Measure performance through built-in analytics while refining content strategies over time. If done right, the payoff from expanded visibility and sales makes social media efforts worthwhile.
Paid Advertising Brings More Immediate Visibility
Digital ad platforms like Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and native advertising networks allow setting up and launching campaigns in days to start driving visitors to your online store. The main trade-off is paying per click or impression rather than hoping for organic unpaid reach. But this guarantee of amplifying awareness to relevant audiences carries advantages, especially for new stores.
A suggested approach is building a paid search campaign on Google Ads or Microsoft Ads. This entails:
- Researching commercial search queries customers use around your products
- Crafting tightly matching ads with compelling copy and headlines
- Setting daily budgets that make sense for your margins and targets
- Landing high-converting website pages with clear calls to action
Assuming you target less competitive long-tail keywords, gaining top sponsored placement lets you intercept searchers, demonstrating clear purchase intent. Displaying text, images, and even video ads across Google’s Search and Shopping verticals increases exposure further across multiple touchpoints.
YouTube video discovery ads also reach Millennial and Gen Z demographics at expanding rates if you sell products that resonate with younger consumers. Dynamic search advertisements essentially put your ecommerce store in front of motivated customers at critical research and decision stages.
Expanding into paid social promotions across meta platforms like Facebook and Instagram similarly amplifies visibility. Their extensive ad targeting and analytics help you discover which specific products and creatives strongly resonate with your audience personas for optimized spend. For all paid channels, diligently track conversion performance to double down on what works and cut poorly performing placements.
Paid ads can accelerate website traffic and sales during critical growth phases when paired with organic marketing. Use this balanced marketplace approach to earmark a sufficient budget to maintain visibility and watch revenues climb faster.
Influencer Partnerships Extend Trust and Authority
Influencer marketing expansively leverages the rapport and follower bases that popular social media personalities build around topics aligned with your niche. While still considered an emerging channel, research shows over half of consumers rely on influencer opinions and recommendations before making purchases. This presents a massive credibility opportunity for ecommerce brands willing to strategically partner with relevant influencers, producing sponsored yet authentic endorsements.
But how exactly does it benefit online merchant visibility and drive sales? When carefully orchestrated, influencer partnerships publish content that:
- Introduces your ecommerce brand and products to new segmented audiences
- Provides third-party confirmation regarding product quality and satisfaction
- Directly links to your online store in captions to drive traffic and conversions
- Boosts keyword rankings and perceptions from added external links and tags
Micro and mid-tier influencers in the 10K to 500K follower range often deliver the highest engagement and ROI, with nano tiers under 10K growing quickly, too. Ensure those you sponsor create videos or posts that genuinely align with their personal brand identities.
Forcing mismatched endorsements invariably falls flat. Offer reasonable compensation for quality sponsored placements. Be clear that deliverable expectations include tags, links, and branded hashtags to quantify reach.
Claim and Optimize Online Listings
As the digital marketplace expands, more online platforms emerge for businesses to list location, contact, operational, and product details. For ecommerce, some listing services are crucial for increased visibility. Maximizing your presence by fully registering and optimizing profiles on key directories should become standard practice.
One universally vital listing is Google My Business (GMB). This free platform essentially acts as the backbone for how your online store’s information appears in local search maps, knowledge panels, and results. Given Google’s immense search dominance, optimizing elements like business hours, descriptions, images, and attributes can directly impact visibility and traffic.
You can further amplify GMB reach by encouraging customer reviews tied to your listing. This drives volumes of validation signals into local SEO. For brick-and-mortar merchant hybrids, location pages list any physical showrooms as well.
Facebook and Instagram business pages similarly help amplify ecommerce credibility and visibility due to their unrivaled user base. Keep profiles updated with products, images, contact options, announcements, and deals. Instagram shopping tags on goods drive exposure. Engage consistently with commenters and reviewers on both platforms.
Industry-specific directories also warrant listings for added visibility with built-in shopper bases. The key is identifying and registering with shelves hosting your customer personas for traffic and credibility signals.
Trust Symbols Provide Reassurance
Visibility may help drive initial store discovery, but conveying legitimacy and security reassurance directly impacts conversion rates. That’s why prominently displaying trust symbols like money-back guarantees, secure checkout badges, encryption seals, and third-party service affiliates should receive design prioritization on ecommerce sites.
Elements like TRUSTe or McAfee SECURE trust marks work to combat perceived credibility gaps from buying goods online. They signal that comprehensive business processes and technology safeguards are in place to protect customer information. Compliance adherence from PCI scans or the EU’s GDPR helps justify trust badges as well.
Likewise, overtly stating returns policies with badges reading ‘Easy 90-Day Returns’ or ‘Free Shipping’ provides sought-after guarantees during product evaluation stages. This answers any hesitation some more tentative shoppers may have.
During checkout, mirroring these trust-builders alongside security seals reassures customers that entering personal financial information is safe and protected for completed purchases. Consider further easing uncertainty by offering customer service live chat or helplines to enable questions.
In totality, visible trust symbols displayed across your online store promise visitors and returning customers that transparency, integrity, and service are integral pillars upon which your brand operates.
Achieving high visibility and credibility in ecommerce is challenging yet distinctly achievable through the disciplined implementation of certain high-impact strategies covered here. From optimizing for organic and paid search opportunities to actively engaging social media audiences, the traffic and authority-building process involves patience and diligent effort.
Yet brands willing to nurture reviews, influencer partnerships, online listings, and trust symbols as outlined gain an eventual edge that pays continual dividends toward standing out from the pack. While not overnight successes, these visibility and trust pillars over time intersect to drive conversions and cement consumer loyalty in a distinct way. Use them carefully to take your e-commerce store’s growth and credibility to the next level.