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Secrets of How to Advertise Your Retail Store Online.

Updated on August 4, 2017
Jeff Watters profile image

Jeff Watters is a business consultant & freelance author who lives in Havre de Grace, MD, former manager of Mattress stores & AWAI member.

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Before beginning this fascinating article, be advised, the information is about promoting your business with a website! Ready to roll? Let's get started.

Improving sales figures in your retail store or your Internet website is easy to do with this effective method that brings qualified buyers to into your retail store via your Internet website. Whether your business desires to use a retail store or online "shopping cart." to capture new customers, this skill set helps you build "Internet Landing Pages" with visitor specific criteria.

It is through landing pages you will build your advertising with a system I developed this back in the 90's when customers would tell me they wanted a million hits to their website. This worked then and it works now - so there is no need to pay a high-priced Search Engine Optimization company to get you more hits!

If you have a retail store and don't sell a product from your website why have an website? One million hits to your site will do nothing for you unless you are making sales or improving customer relationships.

So how do you get those sales?

First you have to get qualified customers to your web pages, then convert them into buyers and this conversion process only takes place once you get them to the site by offering them a reason to buy from you. Remember that you want one-million customers, not hits. Let's move on.

Let's begin with establishing a business model we can use for this article. By representing several product lines or offering various services, which most businesses do, we will discover together the easiest way to capture a large audience and then convert them to customers who spend money in your store and therefore produce profits to you.

In this article, we will use a streamlined example of a Carpet Store.

In order to keep it simple, I will use only a few products and services. However depending on your business model it can be unlimited and completely detailed. To make it simple please understand I am limiting the criteria so it can be learned and understood in just a few short minutes. However, you should not limit your criteria when following this model.

So let's look at what a carpet store sells before we dive into the material.

Products: Carpet, Padding, Finishing pieces or Trim, wall base, Transitions, plus you can publicize the brand names your company represents, each on their own page which is another landing page to your website and, therefore, your brick and mortar store.

Services: Installation, carpet cleaning, repairing carpet, inspections of installations, plus the qualifications and certifications of the technicians, and estimate services with floor plans for a fee.

Related Products: Vinyl flooring, hardwood, laminates, specialized products such as cork, linoleum, ceramic tile, composite materials, etc

Do You have a we site? If you do you need landing pages.

If you don't have one then you need to get one right away. You can buy one for less than a hundred dollars a year and with many low-cost web designers it is within reach of even the smallest business. On your website there will be the main page, usually called a home page. In the early days of the Internet these pages were normally labeled "index.htm" or "index.html", but now they may have other suffixes. Once you have this page you would add more pages and link them together, add your images, etc.

Around the turn of the century, something happened with the indexing software that catalogs content on the Internet. They no longer just followed links, the accessed every document on the server regardless of its name or type. This is to the domain owners advantage as she/he could now develop specific landing pages and do geo-targeting by using zip codes on certain pages. In addition, you can target high-income neighborhoods. The people that can afford your product and exclude those zip codes that only buy the cheap stuff.

What is a landing page and how do advertise with it?

Here is what I teach my clients. Copy your home page and rename it to anything you wish. Change it so it only represents one product, from our example, that product is carpet. So name it carpet.html or whatever extension you are using (html, htm, asp, php, etc). Now do the same for padding.html, finishpieces.html, trim.html, wallbase.html, carpetinstallation.html, carpetcleaning.html, carpetrepair.html, installationinspection.html and all the brand names you sell as well. People will search for brand names in their hometown so use the town names of the places you serve as well. Also, use the brand names of the manufacturer's your business represents.

Work on one page a day making it product specific and writing detailed information about that one product so it is not an exact clone of the original. Also, change the imagery as well. The more information you add that is product specific the better it will rank in the major search engines. Be geo-specific, even if you have to use another copy of the page to make it local to your store. I am told a keyword rich page includes 7% of the copy, meaning, 7% of your local town page should say, Dover, Delaware if your store is in Dover, Delaware. Then repeat for the nearby towns you serve. Again, not an exact copy, use a thesaurus, and some original material in each page.

What to Eliminate

Remember, each page only deals with one subject, so eliminate the material dealing with the other products on this page and customize the text so it deals with the product (product specific) you are advertising on this page. So here is how it works. Assuming you have you name, address, zip code, phone number and contact information on the original page, you have just created a targeted marketing piece for each of your products. Search engines like this! The people that run Google and all the other search engines don't like having ten thousand search engine result pages (called SERP's in the business) when you are only searching for one. That is why you narrow down your pages to "one subject" for each page as much as possible.

The question arises, won't that interfere with my home page? No, it stays the same. Don't delete that page, just rename it, then copy and paste, rewrite it for specific products, places, services. Use the renamed pages to be the product specific pages. Second question, won't this eliminate the need for the home page? No, you don't delete that content ever! Keep it and only upload the new, product specific, enhanced pages to your server using file transfer protocol (FTP) and ensure those pages are linked to your home page. These product or service specific pages will rank higher in the search engine results pages, the SERP's if you have good content at the beginning and end of the page.

Since you copied your home page the new pages will still have the links that existed on the home page. These landing pages will only be different in the wording or content and hopefully the images. People will still be able to navigate your site. Best of all, within a few weeks the new landing pages will be cataloged by the search engines and you will have many more entry pages into your website and your business. The more entry pages the better the chance you have at capturing the business.

I mentioned Geo-targeting above, this is important, you should include zip codes and the names of the towns you serve with your retail store on your geo-targeting web pages. This could include customer testimonials, shipping charts, branch locations, etc. This idea captures people that search locally for your product but don't use the exact town you where your branch is located.

NOTE: With smartphones people as use the term "near me" when searching. Include that phrase.

This is a very brief explanation. If you have questions or need help send me an email and I will help you. Feel free to leave a comment or join my "fan club" to get all the updates to this page and others that will be online soon.

The last thing, get the domain hosting service to set your .htaccess file to allow all robots in your root directory. They will know what this means.

PS: Bonus tip: Always keep a copy of your web site content on your computer for safe keeping.

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    • Anjili profile image

      Anjili 5 years ago from planet earth, a humanoid

      Thanks for sharing this useful information. It goes a long way towards concluding the chain of monetizing websites and drawing customers to sites. Very useful