PLEASE SHARE

Starting an E-commerce business can be pretty daunting. There are a lot of things to consider including the website, hosting, design, management & marketing! So today I am going to teach you how to build an ecommerce website from scratch.

There are plenty of companies out there that will you charge you thousands of dollars to build an E-Commerce website – but truth be told, you can do it yourself easily!

This E-Commerce tutorial will teach you everything you need to know step by step!

What You Will Learn

  • How to build an E-Commerce site
  • E-commerce website design tips and tricks
  • E-commerce on site SEO & link building
  • E-commerce marketing & traffic generation
  • How to manage & maintain your E-commerce store

I’ll hand the reins over to Charles for this epic 12,000 word tutorial!

Guess Who Is Back

After the HUGE Success of my Rand Fishkin guest post for Matt’s blog, I thought I’d return once again.

This time, I’ll be going through my personal E-Commerce sites over my shoulder.

You will learn how I build them, optimize and generate epic traffic and even more epic sales!

Who Is Charles Floate?

I’m Charles Floate, owner of Godlike Marketing & Blogger at G** of SEO. I’ve been an SEO for 5 years now, even though I’m only 17 and have previously worked for companies such as Wow Internet, Foster SEO and Bootcamp Media.

So, what have I been up to since September when I wrote my first guest post here?

Well, I launched Godlike Marketing, did a ton of case studies, guides and various other Tutorials.

Along with quitting my job, getting my own office to work from (mainly write from) fulltime and have been making tons of other “web properties” and trying to build them up, including a few of the E-Commerce sites I’ll feature below!

How To Build An Ecommerce Website Step By Step

I thought I’d include a super easy navigation guide just incase you want to read a chapter at a time or come back later and want to quickly skip to a specific part of the guide!

Learning how to build an ecommerce website can be quite daunting so please take your time.

Also, watch out for the bonus tips at the end of some chapters!

Prologue – An Introduction to this Guide & E-Commerce

So, why do I have the audacity to tell you how to build an ecommerce website, how to optimize it, maintain it, generate traffic to it and all the cool things that you guys are waiting to get your teeth into in this guide?

I’ve been an SEO for close to 5 years now, have been an internet marketer for various E-Commerce businesses all with various success and currently run a number of my own E-Commerce sites.

I started a site back in early August with Matthew Barby called Corner Sofa Company.

In this guide you are going to learn to build an E-Commerce site just like this one!

corner sofa company

Sorry for the gigantic screenshot, but it had to be done as I’ll be further dissecting parts of this site later and exactly how we built it.

It also gives you an awesome look into what kind of sites you can build with this guide (and I know, it is a BOSS design!).

Traffic So Far

Here are some of the traffic stats from the full month of September 2013 which we launched it properly.

corner sofa company analytics sept 2013

Might not seem like a ton of traffic but with an absolutely killer bounce rate and for our very first month of putting it live, that’s pretty d*** good!

Also bare in mind from June (Started) to October (Site completely Finished, everything looking awesome and links built etc) we only dropped around $700 in expenditure.

Chapter 1 – Setting up Everything for your Site

I’m aiming to put as many of this guides steps into video form so you guys can get a real perspective of how to build an ecommerce website. Of course most of the guide will be written, and yes it is HUGE!

Installing & Configuring WooCommerce

In the below video tutorial, I’ll show you how to build an ecommerce website using wordpress onto a brand new domain, as well as Install WooCommerce and Configure it to fit your industry, countries taxes and payment settings.

It’s literally that easy and is much much much easier than using complicated alternatives like Magento.

Now all we have to do is move on to installing the theme to make our site look all pretty and setup any necessary specifics for the store itself.

You can get e-commerce web hosting & a domain from any of the places below. Deals change all the time so check out each one!

Chapter 2 – Design and Development

The design side of things is actually pretty simple!

As we’re running WooCommerce, it’s the same as designing a WordPress site with a few extra options to fill out to make sure the theme is setup correctly in conjunction with WordPress.

WooThemes (the awesome guys behind WooCommerce have a sweet collection of free WooCommerce themes you can trawl through!)

I personally use ThemeForest, which offers a TON of awesome premium E-Commerce website templates.

If you were wondering, Corner Sofa Company is in the Room 09 Theme (with a bit of extra hacking of the theme to make it look even awesomer! – if that’s a word)

Theme Design

Picking your E-commerce template/theme can be brand building or smashing, luckily! There’s a TON of WooCommerce themes available, and some really cool specific WooCommerce designers.

I can’t pick the theme you want as it’s more up to your taste in design etc… but here’s a few of my favourite, both free and premium –

Free Themes

Here’s a couple of my favourite, free woocommerce themes for you guys to potentially use in your site –

Wootique

Wootique is made by the guys who actually develop woocommerce, it’s a really clean and simple storefront with a ton of customization options for you to make it your own with a few simple changes.

how to build an ecommerce website with wordpress

Virtue

Virtue is a free theme by Kadence, it’s more of a blogging style theme but offers an addon shop that makes it look really functional for anyone looking to make money of their blog.

virture woocommerce theme

Premium Themes

I actually think it’d be a lot better if you looked through all the awesome themes on Theme Forest before actually buying any, as you might see one that grabs your attention and is perfect for your brand.

I’ll still however give you some heads up with a few of my favourite below –

Sellya

Sellya is an awesome theme that offers some fantastic features including awesome mobile responsive design that’s built into change with your changes.

There’s a ton of different designs/patterns to use, Google fonts integration, different industry skins so you can quickly optimize the theme and a ton more options you can check out on the sales page!

sellya woocommerce theme

Room09

It’s the same theme we use for Corner Sofa Company, and offers a TON of cool options for you to develop a site around, though we’ve hacked it to pieces and added a ton of awesome graphical work to it.

Room09 still looks kick a** on it’s own and does come with a really helpful support team and a ton of different options/features.

room09 woocommerce theme

Theme & Design Development

I’m really no specialist expert on WooCommerce theme development and have only done a bit of hacking of themes.

So, I thought I’d link to this easy to understand guide!

Amber Weinberg has an awesome blog for any wanna-be wordpress developer, so I suggest adding her to your Bookmarks or your feedly to keep up-to-date with her epic tutorials and news pieces.

The guide offers some easy to learn things, that if you already know how to develop a WP theme, you can just change over all the knowledge you already have and throw in this guides info.

If you don’t already know how to create a WordPress theme, then Derek Banas did a pretty cool video on making one from scratch and you’ll learn everything you need to know in under 25 minutes!

Chapter 3 – Logos and Graphics

For most of the graphics I use on my E-Commerce sites there’s 2 routes that I take to get graphics made up, quickly and professionally. I’ll go over both in detail below!

48 Hours Logo

I’ll start with my favourite which is using 48HoursLogo to get a load of different designers to battle it out to make your graphic for you.

This gives you the opportunity to have logos, packaging, website, banners designs and a ton of other different kinds of graphics super easily!

Matt created a split test to see how much money his logo was costing him – the results of his logo test were pretty interesting!

Check out my video tutorial below –

oDesk

I’ve used Freelancer, eLance etc… All before and though there is a lot of fluff on oDesk (like most freelance sites).

But if you do your interviewing properly, you be able to get some awesome designers, writers and pretty much any kind of freelancer you’re looking for through oDesk, always at a fairly cheap rate as well!

Louis from CloudIncome who did the 2nd ever guest post for Matt’s blog earlier this year wrote an awesome guide to using oDesk to find really cheap writers!

Louis’s oDesk hiring strategy is pretty much the same as mine when it comes to hiring Freelancers though as most of you will know, the graphical world is a lot different from writing and we’ll have to do things a little different than Louis, but check out his guide regardless here!

Step 1 – Writing the Job Description

This is by far the most important part of the process, if you want to find writers that are suitable to your needs and that can handle the quantity you’re after, then your job description has to describe, in detail what you’re after.

Starting off your job description, you want to confirm that they’ve actually read it rather than just inputting a template cover letter so you want to put a line within the article that they can put in their cover letter.

Example –

“At the Start of your Cover letter please put: RANDOM WORD. Anyone who fails to do so will be immediately declined”

This will confirm you’ve got the correct people for the job.

I needed a graphic for this post, so here’s the description and title I gave for the post –

odesk title & description

It gives a clear look into what I’m after, as well as gives opportunity for further work and includes the random word for my cover letter.

random word listing

Step 2 – Selecting Requirements

oDesk offers a criteria you can set to get the best possible candidates for the job. I have a set template for this, as I only want a few things.

English – I need the English level of any freelancer to be a minimum of 4/5, if they’re below this I tend to have real difficulty explaining this to them.

Feedback Score – A freelancers Feedback score is their average feedback from all their jobs. I go for a minimum of 4.5 Feedback score as anything under this, in my eyes means they haven’t done 100% and I want the best possible quality I can get.

There are a ton of other requirements you can set but those are the main 2 that I really care about, here’s the full options for you guys anyway –

odesk qualification options

Step 3 – Post your Job & Wait

It’s that simple, just hit the big green “Post a Job” button and you’ll have freelancers gagging to join your team!

post a job odesk

Now you’ve got to interview all your candidates, this can be tricky but it’s super easy to throttle people down to the best of the best!

Step 4 – Interviews

First you’re going to want to filter out all the ones who didn’t put your random word at the beginning of their application, this is easy just hit the “Sort by” drop down menu and click “Rate (High to Low)”.

sort by odesk

Then you simply look through their resumes by clicking their blue name button, read their cover letter as well as check out their previous feedback and profile underneath their cover letter.

Drop the freelancers a message that you like the look of and go from there!

Step 5 – 3 Bonus Hiring Tips

  • Ask for a watermarked mockup of the graphic to get an Idea of what each Freelancer can offer
  • Use Google’s Reverse Image Search to make sure they aren’t just stealing other people’s work
  • Ask questions in a detailed manner, this means if they find English hard it’ll blatantly show in their responses.

Chapter 4 – SEO Optimizing the Entire Site

Now OnPage SEO is pretty important and most E-Commerce stores really don’t push their onpage optimization for individual products, where as I’ve seen epic success with making sure every product has a unique 200 words and a killer meta description and title.

If you see some of the more basic stuff on here that you really aren’t interested in, then don’t be afraid to skip past, this guide is for everyone!

There’s a few extra bonus tips I’ll also throw in at the end for OnPage optimization to both improve CTR and your rankings.

You can also follow these 25 ecommerce conversion rate best practices.

Yoast’s WooCommerce SEO Plugin

Most of you will know Yoast from their awesome free WordPress SEO plugin, but they also offer a premium WooCommerce plugin.

Though you don’t necessarily need it, it can be an awesome extra bonus for $29 to help further improve your sites SEO.

It adds Twitter Product Cards, OpenGraph, Schema Data, even more advanced breadcrumbs and a whole host of other neat features to compliment your stores SEO even further!

Meta Data

For the meta data, we’ll be using the Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin which is the same as the WooCommerce version just with less features.

After installing the Yoast plugin, you’ll get an added extension to the editing page like this –

wordpress seo by yoast

Meta Titles

Meta titles are really important as you want to appeal to the visitor, as most visitors will just look at the title and click through, but at the same time have it optimized for the search engines themselves.

Now, I tend to format my meta titles like this:

Product Name + Keywords + Company Name

So in essence you get something like this –

Cooper Jumbo Cord, Modular Corner Sofa – Corner Sofa Company

Which breaks down into this –

  • Product Name: Cooper Jumbo Cord
  • Keyword: Modular Corner Sofa
  • Company Name: Corner Sofa Company

This in my opinion is the best of all 3 worlds, you get the super-niche keyword from people searching for the very specific product name.

As well as the power from a strong keyword and finally the brand awareness from your company / brand name being within the SERP.

Meta Descriptions

Your descriptions can be a lot more targeted towards the searches engines indexing them, than the viewer reading it as most people won’t bother to read the descriptions you put.

I don’t really have a set format for descriptions, but I tend to just describe the product whilst using as many of my targeted keywords for that specific product as possible.

Product Descriptions

I’ve always said the more detailed the descriptions, the better. For Corner Sofa Company you’ll see we did a few hundred words per product.

Now of course I’m not expecting you to sit down for hours on end writing generic descriptions about your products. I wouldn’t even expect myself to, for the CSC ones we used Natasha Nixon which offers some killer content on the cheap!

Even though they say their SEO Articles aren’t meant for web use, we’ve found them to be perfectly suitable as long as you give as much detail as possible.

90% of the content on CSC is written by Natasha Nixon, so you can easily get a taster for the quality by checking out some of the main product descriptions on our site.

Most WooCommerce themes have 2 different types of description, you have your small description which on your product page tends to go next to your price.

jumbo cord

Then, underneath your main product details you have your main description which you can put a pretty much unlimited amount of words into.

product descriptions

Our KickAss Unique Product Descriptions!

If you’re running a store that only has a few dozen (or even less products) I highly suggest to spend a lot of time optimizing every page individually and putting as much unique content onto each page as possible.

This means your products will rank for a ton of other long tail keywords, and as we added all these new longer descriptions, we managed to pull in a ton more visits every day and a lot more to every individual page!

Permalinks

Your Permalinks can be found in your “Settings” tab of your WP-Admin. It basically decides how your URLs are displayed, by default they will be displayed as “?p=x**” and that’s a really poorly optimized URL.

So, you’re going to select “Custom Structure” and input the following –

/%category%/%postname%/

Which will look something like this –

custom permalink structure

This’ll put the product category then your product’s name afterwards. This kind of a structure means you can fill out all of the keywords.

Optimizing your Product Categories

You have a few different options within your product categories section and optimizing all your categories properly will make a wealth of difference.

Especially if you have a site with a lot more products than you can optimize individually, you can optimize the categories instead.

The first few options you’ll be faced with when adding a new product category look like this.

product category seo

Add your Title which in this case we’ll be using “Corner Sofa Beds” as our test category to use and optimize it.

The first thing you’re going to want to do is put in the title, this is easy and it’s just the name of your category.

Then you’ll need to add your URL Slug which is the extension in which your category is displayed.

Here’s how it looks once we’ve filled that out.

category name and slug

Next, you’ll have to fill out your description; this is where you can start optimizing everything for the search engines.

I use the same description here that I’ll use for my meta description later on.

category description

Then, all you have to do is fill out the Yoast details which will be in the “Edit Category” page.

Just scroll down to the Yoast settings and fill them out, here’s how I did it for the corner sofa beds category.

category yoast settings

Sitemaps

I personally really dislike the Yoast sitemaps as they don’t really give as much functionality as I’d like when putting a Sitemap together.

So the first thing you’re going to want to do is head over to the SEO > XML Sitemaps and make sure you have the first check box Disabled –

Yoast Disable Sitemaps

Then, we are going to want to install this plugin – Google XML Sitemaps.

This gives us a ton more functionality when it comes to building your sitemap and automatically includes pinging services to make sure the likes of Ask, Bing and Google get your sitemap submitted to them as quickly as possible.

So, you’ve got the Google XML Sitemaps plugin all installed and ready to go.

The Basic options part, you really don’t have any reason to touch so we can just leave that for now, unless you’re looking to do some really strange customization kind of stuff.

Additional Pages – This bit is all about adding in off-CMS stuff, which for those who don’t know what that means, let’s say your main site was in WooCommerce on WordPress but you decided you wanted to add a Forum that was in vBulletin, you’d add the /forum of the vBulletin and any further category pages to the Additional pages part of the sitemaps plugin.

Post Priority – Leave this on the standard Comment count bit, as it really doesn’t matter though you can turn off automatic priority and setup all your own priorities.

Sitemap Location – This bit is where you want your sitemap to go, on default it’ll be /sitemap.xml which for me is perfectly fine, but if you want to specify somewhere different you can just choose to do so.

Sitemap Content – Leave all the standard boxes ticked but add the Category pages and following pages so you get everything indexed.

The rest of the plugin is pretty much up to your own will of what you want the bots to look at and how often.

If you’re running a pretty big E-Commerce site, I always suggest having the Homepage frequency on “Daily” so the infamous GoogleBot will come back and check your site (hopefully) every day for any changes.

Bonus Tips –

Chapter 5 – Product, Content & Sales Management

Managing your site can be ridiculously difficult, managing any site for that matter can be hard but when you’re a 1 man band with orders, calls, emails, products, marketing, design, content and all that stuff to manage it can seem like an absolute nightmare!

I’ll be giving you here some good advice on how to actually manage everything on your site whilst still leaving time to actually Sell your products.

Managing Orders

If you have hundreds of people buying of your site every day, it can be really tricky to manage everything.

Luckily for us every action that happens on the site, WooCommerce uses as a “Comment” using the WordPress functionality already in place, clever guys at that WooCommerce place aye!

woocommerce comment

So, if you ever get stuck on remembering orders you can quickly manage everything within the WordPress comment facility or the WooCommerce orders back end.

They also give you reports, which means if you’re doing your job as an IM’er and want to quickly show your boss how much money and sales (and if you’re running a coupon campaign, you can have a look at individual or all coupon/discount usages) he’s made this month!

sales reports

Shipping

Now when it comes to shipping, I don’t really have much in the ways of advice as it really depends on what kind of product you’re selling.

Some of you might be using the likes of a drop shipping or affiliate service to sell your items, so I really can’t give advice when it comes to that kind of thing.

I personally use a 3rd party when it comes to shipping my products, I buy off them and they ship for me at the wholesale rate, making me some money on the sofa itself.

I do however run another site called Mystic Magic, which I sell trading cards off.

As you can imagine though, trading cards are relatively light weight, especially when I am shipping them generally in “Singles” (which means to ship them a card or a couple cards at a time, yes people actually do buy individual cards!).

I have a wholesaler who sells “Jiffy” envelopes (aka padded envelopes) for a mere £0.11 each per envelope, they look like this –

small mail lite envelopes

Yup, for £11 I can ship 100 different cards all orders ranging from £3 upto £50 per card (Mental, I know!).

Managing Products

Managing products in WooCommerce is fairly easy, unless you’re posting in bulk… Then it can be a HUGE pain.

Luckily for us, WooCommerce have thought of pretty much everything and have built a premium plugin called the “Product CSV Import Suite” which looks like this –

woocommerce mass import

You can buy it here, at a pretty expensive $200 or so though!

Otherwise, WooCommerce has a built in product poster that is pretty detailed, but can take a while if you’re adding hundreds (if not thousands) of products.

I thought I’d give you a quick explanation of how to use the product adder step by step anyway!

Product Name – This is where (you guessed it) the name of the product you’re posting, goes.

Category – This is where your product categories go, just make sure you’re selecting the right one and have all your categories setup properly before posting your products.

Main Description – This is where your main post goes, it’s the exact same as a standard wordpress post area and looks like this –

product description

Just input all that text I was talking about earlier here to optimize your product descriptions!

Product Page Settings – Luckily for us, we have a built in Meta Title/Description tool to input to. Use the Optimize guide in Chapter 4 for this bit!

Product Short Description – This is the bit that gets added on the category pages and is the “Excerpt” if you like of a product page, I suggest putting in what you’d normally put into the meta data in here as it’s around the perfect length for this part and cuts down on content creation cost and time.

Featured Image – This is the main product image, it’ll be displayed on the product page and everywhere else as the main image for your specific product.

Product Data

This tab is FULL of important stuff, so I’ll explain it bit by bit :)

SKU – This is the barcode name normally on the back of a product, it’s the Unique Identifier of a product and is generally suited for the likes of a Bookstore or people searching for a VERY specific product’s barcode.

Regular / Sales price – This is just the determining price, if you input a Sales price you HAVE to input a regular price and it’ll look like this –

sales price

Tax Info – This is just adding or not adding in your tax, easy stuff!

OnSale Info – This is just selling if your product is on sale to add a banner and what not.

Inventory

This is where you can manage your inventory of a specific product, just click the “Enable stock management at product level” button and you’ll be able to easily manage your stock like this –

manage stock management

Shipping – This is easily manageable, if you have a product that can weigh a lot and you’re calculating all the delivery fees using a 3rd party API (such as FedEx) to calculate the distance and weight to then charge the buyer this part is a must!

Just fill out the shipping info and the API / cart will do the rest for you.

Link Products – The cheeky beauty of an upsell! You can add products that are “similar” so they get an upsell at the cart page, hopefully making you a bit of extra bob for some easy work.

Managing Content

You can always use the same process that I put in the graphics guide and use oDesk to find some pretty good content writers, again, just make sure to test them before throwing a bunch of money at them to write content for you.

For products however, I use Natasha Nixon, which was a service originally by one person (yup, her name was natasha) on Fiverr.

Now however, they have a dedicated team of writers and a fully flexed site to deal with all your orders.

SEO Articles

Even though they say they don’t suggest using the SEO Articles as web content, it’s still really good for the likes of a big product description for $6.25/500 word article who could argue?

Especially when you get a 10% discount on Orders over $500, so if you want to order a ton of content straight away for your products, this is your best bet!

Authority Content

This is the juicy stuff, it’s written by published authors and journalists.

It’s rather expensive at around $40 per 500 word article but is perfect if you’re looking for a really well written blog post or press release later on in your site’s development.

I use the authority content to get content written for my press releases, just describe exactly what you’re looking for and you’ll get an epic piece back, normally well over the word count of what you ordered.

Chapter 6 – E-Commerce Link Building

Link building for an E-Commerce site can be insanely difficult!

So, I’ve put together a few different ways you can go about your link building. Though some of them take a lot longer than others, they all have some good return.

I’d start off with your E-Commerce site’s link building campaign by starting with Matthews tutorial from earlier this year on “stealing your competitors backlinks” this’ll help you start off with some good solid foundation links, then you can move onto the more complicated stuff below!

6.1 – Link Building for Traffic Generation

Don Roades did an excellent post on Downtown E-Commerce on what I’m about to explain, but I have a few tweaks!

Forum Traffic

According to Don, you can add some awesome sales to your website just by adding a link into your forum profiles signature back to your site.

forum sales

As you can see, they generated a total of over $14,000 in sales in just a month of posting on 3 forums!

A strategy Matt has used to generate over $95,000 with this very blog!

Finding Related Forums

This isn’t really very hard, you can use your good old friend Google by inputting a Google footprint like:

inurl:forum “keyword here”

You’ll generally be able to find a ton of different forums, I suggest putting a few into an excel document and check the states of the forums, most forums you’ll be able to see said stats by visiting the site and scrolling to the bottom of the forum in the footer area –

board stats

You can also check out Matt’s post on how to find & engage your audience with some forum finding tips!

The Rules of Forum Posting!
Forums and communities, like their community… Most of them don’t like some brash new kid on the block coming in a posting a ton of links to their own site.

Before you post ANY links to your site, introduce yourself and get some members to recognize you as a pretty nice chap!

Then you can unleash your new shiny signature with some links or graphics to gain your site some cool traffic.

6.2 – White Hat E-Commerce Link Building

Though, technically using the forum tactic would be “real white hat” I’ll just be going over some tips on how you can do some really good white hat link building below.

Content to Earn Links

This topic has been overly covered, I’ll admit that one but I thought I’d add it in anyway.

Still, and by the looks of the future of search, “natural links” will always be the best as you’re heavily unlikely to get any kind of penalty.

Natural links are those links that you get for free, they’re the links random people (or some targeted) have placed around the web as they’ve seen your content, liked it and give you a kick a** link in return.

Building a Content Team

This was covered by Matthew Barby (who also left a cool tip for you in the Bonus Tips section in Chapter 10) on find my blog way.

He built a content team and managed to get some awesome, natural links in doing so, check out his post here.

Outreach & Guest Posting

For those SEOs in the crowd, I’m sure you’re horrified by this category as it’s been covered SOOO much.

So I’ll just give you some quick links to follow up on and you can go get started in the guest post game.

The Outreach Bit
Matthew Barby (Yup, he’s at it again!) armed with ScrapeBox and BuzzStream managed to outreach to literally, hundreds of targets in under an hour, getting some really good quality results back from the outreach campaign.

He did a post here on “Link Prospecting on Steroids.

The Guest Posting Bit
Kristi Heines wrote “The Ultimate Guide to Guest Posting” (I know, an old and tired title and I’m a victim if anything of using those kind of titles, but it really is “the ultimate guide”) for KissMetrics, which literally covers everything.

Saying that though, I would skip the finding bit as you’ve got the tutorial Matthew wrote!

Check out the post Kristi wrote here.

White Hat Tiered Link Building

Rohit Palit (who also works for me at Godlike) did an epic piece on using the normally black hat technique of Tiered Link Building in a completely white hat way using some really quality content, put on some really good places then using them as “Link Properties”.

Check Rohit’s guide out here.

6.3 – Grey Hat E-Commerce Link Building

The true definition of a grey hat has been argued over for donkeys years.

I class myself as a grey hat, and by my definition it means you use both white and black hat SEO tactics to push your site up the rankings and bring in some epic search engine traffic.

So in this part of the guide I’ll be giving you exactly that!

My approach to a grey hat link building campaign is using white hat SEO (such as guest blogging etc..) and manually building the likes of Web 2.0s for your tier 1 then using black hat tactics (such as private blog networks etc…) for your tier 2.

We won’t be fully automating anything, and for this to work it can be rather costly, but the beauty of it is you get quality across the board and it can really increase your rankings.

Tier 1

As I was saying earlier, I highly suggest using white hat things for your Tier 1 services, though understand that it can be highly expensive in terms of time and money to just get 1 guest post published, let alone an army of powerful tier 1 links.

I have a few favourite services to speed up this process though, so no worries there!

Fat Joe Guest Blogging – I’ve used these guys for a few different clients in the past and though when you start talking about the higher DA stuff, they can be rather expensive.

If you’re just looking to build some good quality guest posts with great content, these guys can be awesome!

They have some really good inhouse writers and have been published across the web, including Moz, SEJ and a few other huge IM blogs.

Tier 2

There’s a few different things you can use for your tier 2 links but the best in my opinion is still to use private blog networks, so I’ll be giving you a few options when it comes to the different blog networks available.

Private Blog Network Links

I personally normally use 1 of 3 services to build these kind of links. The beauty of using private blog networks is they offer contextual links on highly authoritative sites at a fairly cheap price.

The first service would be Link Emperor which you can check out my Matt’s tutorial on here.

When using LE to create these kind of links, firstly create your campaign, add your manually spun content and keywords then use the custom order form to order your private network links.

I highly suggest using either Ultimate Buzz, as they offer links at about $1/post and are fairly good at delivering them quickly and on google quality sites (I’ve seen a few of the sites MozRank go upto 6 before, that doesn’t mean DA by the way).

Then, I generally use 2 services that are available on black hat world (yup, however much that forum is turning into a piece of s%$t it’s still got a pretty solid marketplace, if you ignore the mods approving every thread available on there without proper vetting) and wicked fire.

Galaxy Blog Network – These guys are a pretty cheap but good quality site network that offer some ok content, good support and quick turnaround times (Normally you’ll get your report within a few days, and if there’s any issues later on their Skype support will fix them almost immediately!

Juggernaut Blog Network – I’ve only used these guys a few times, but they have some seriously powerful links though are on the more expensive side of galaxy they offer a lot better quality of content, fantastic support and the links are on pretty strong domains.

6.4 – Black Hat E-Commerce Link Building

Now, being a black hat SEO is hard nowadays, if you’re mentally challenged that is.

For some very odd reason people think black hat is just spamming links 24/7 and likewise, with spinning you can only even automatically spin content which will be unreadable.

Doing that then, is if you’re trying to rank on Bing and Yahoo (Which for E-Commerce is perfectly viable and around 30% of our traffic for CSC comes from those 2 search engines).

If you’re going to go into black hat for E-Commerce however, there’s 2 different routes you’ll be wanting to take –

Micro-Spammed Site

These are minisites which you use to generate sales or traffic to your main site. Whilst these are great, you have to have a few in a folder somewhere, ready for the next update which will wipe out your site completely.

Follow my ranking for rand post, which was actually my first guest post on this blog earlier this year.

It follows exactly how I ranked a post for a number of keywords in just a few weeks, with hardly any money spent.

Parasite Pages

These have been making a few different headlines as of recently with the likes of Payday Loans by Mr Cutts (a little taunt at matt cutts anti-spamming campaign) and the viperchill fiasco with YouTube videos ranking really well.

Effectively, you use spammy link profiles targeted at pages on high authority domains such as YouTube, Rebel Mouse and 3rd party blogging platforms.

If you’re looking to use this kind of tactic for E-Commerce then it’s fantastic for both pushing sales and reputation management.

Check out Dan Zarella’s post on using parasite SEO for reputation management here.

Chapter 7 – PPC and Media Buy Traffic Generation

If you haven’t already seen it, I did an epic guide on Traffic Generation around 2 months ago.

Though that really wasn’t based around E-Commerce traffic, so I thought I’d take a look at how we generate traffic to Corner Sofa Company and some ways you can to your own sites.

Adwords PPC Alternatives

Ok, so we’re a furniture site, so we need to find people who are looking at things like home improvement or furnishings.

Now Adwords has been hundreds and hundreds of guides that have already been made before and if you don’t know how to use AdWords then just Google “Adwords guide”, there’s TONS!

You can even automate your PPC management with Wordstream now, so it really doesn’t take much effort anymore.

BuySellAds

BuySellAds is a media buying platform, it has some gigantic sites and you might even see some familiar faces, *cough* black hat world *cough* on their listings.

Ok, so we’re going to look for some sites that will have our target audience in mind.

All you have to do is fire in your related keywords into the BuySellAds search facility and it’ll give you all the sites with your keywords in mind.

Straight away for our first keyword “home improvement” we already find 5 sites with some pretty juicy impressions!

home improvement - bsa search

BuySellAds also has the options of “Ad Bundles” and they’ve got over 30 different bundles to choose from!

Included in these ad bundles, is the “Home Design & Improvement” bundle, which for around $1,250 I can get nearly a million impressions every month and with a good advert shown across all these sites.

I’m sure it wouldn’t be hard to make our money back!

home design & interiors ad bundle

That’s 14 different site placements, totaling 927,000 (DAMNNN) impressions for $1,250.

Considering we can make around $320 profit on each sale, shouldn’t be hard to make our money back if we can pull in a couple 1,000 visitors!

TextLinkAds now MediaWhiz

TextLinkAds is awesome for 2 reasons, it not only builds you traffic from the highly popular pages, but you get DoFollow backlinks included, meaning you can kill 2 birds (preferably penguins) with 1 stone

You can get some fantastic related backlinks along with getting some good visitors from popular sites.

For this example, I’ll be putting in, again “home improvement” and straight away we get 658 results!

home improvement tla

Pretty good, and what’s even cooler about using TLA is we can filter all of our searches by Language, Category, TLD (Top Level Domain, e.g. .com, .co.uk etc), Moz’s DA/PA, the Link Popularity (TLA’s score of how the quality of inbound links to that specific page).

As well as the Alexa rank, the ad price, domain age (Some sites up to 20 years old!), number of Ads sold, Number of Pages, Number of Backlinks, the location of the backlink (e.g. Homepage or subpage of the site) and if it’s listed in the Yahoo or Dmoz Directory.

As you can see there’s a ton of different search functions for us to decide on what kind of a link we’re after!

So, I’m going to search – “home improvement”, have my language as English, and my minimum DA of 45!

It pulls out a whopping 117 results, we could literally build our entire link profile just using this site.

tla search

Unfortunately, I’m not really looking to spend 100s of dollars per link, so I’m going to further refine my search by adding the maximum price as $50.

This takes away 7 results and puts me down to 110! Straight away on the first page of results, I’ve already found a link that can give me 1 of 3 things –

good tla listing

This is great because-

  • It gives me the opportunity to be on a ranked list, which I can use as an extra bit of reputation management.
  • It gives me a link from a site that looks completely 3rd party as they rank sites anyway (Unlikely to get penalized)
  • And it gives me a link that’s on a super highly related website, which should please the socks of that Penguin!

Media Buys

Media buying, for those that don’t know is where you buy a piece of online real estate such as an advertisement or graphic on.

You can use BuySellAds for this, so I’ll be going through some cooler things you can do with BuySellAds in regards to media buying!

So, we’ll be using BSA again! It’s just such a good tool (Where else can one buy a tweet from Paris Hilton?!) moving on to tweets actually, we’ll be looking at buying tweets first!

Buying Tweets

Twitter and Tweeting has become a vital part of most sites online marketing campaigns, with people tweeting over 500 million tweets… Every day! You need to definitely get in on that action!

So, in this example let’s say we were selling a brand new App for managing your money – That’s 2 different kinds of sites we can aim for, any sites related to apps and any sites related to personal finance!

Straight away on clicking the “Tweets” part of our navigation bar, we already find some cool targets –

  • AppCraver with around 46,000 followers and at just $40 for a Tweet!
  • Neal S******* with nearly 70,000 Followers for a mere $80 a Tweet!
  • I Use This App with over 22,000 Followers and at just $20 a Tweet!
  • iPhone Team with over 350,000 Followers and at nearly $270 a Tweet!

As you can see, we have some awesome options to both promote our content and products as well as help grow our social following! Not too shabby finds for a 5 minute search, aye.

Buying Newsletter Placements

If you run your own newsletter, you’ll know how powerful it can be to have 100s of people in your target market to easily re-target!

BSA offers an awesome email newsletter buying facility with a TON of huge blogs across a number of different industries.

So, for this example let’s say we run a Photoshop template selling site, we want to promote our templates to a ton of related users and hopefully grow our own Newsletter.

So, we do a quick search on BSA for “photoshop” go to the search filters on the left side of your screen and select Medium then remove everything but email!

bsa filter

And you’ll get a ton of different options to buy spots on their newsletters from.

In this case, we actually managed to get a pretty cool 9 results, which boiled down to our very specific niche is actually about 5 but those 5 total nearly 800,000 newsletter subscribers!

That’s a potential boiled down to “real statistics / conversions” of around 50,000 people to both see our brand and click through to our site and buy some PSD templates!

YouTube Marketing

YouTube, especially for E-Commerce style sites can be an awesome point to generate traffic.

Just take a look at the Dollar Shave Club campaign if you want a prime example of someone spending a couple hundred bucks in production to making an absolutely fortune in return.

Now, I’m not saying we’re going to make a ton from viral videos, but I will be giving you an awesome tip on how to actually market your videos themselves.

I introduce to you, Tube Assist!

If you’re looking for some info on actually making the videos for your business, then I’d suggest you check out Phil Nottinghams guide to video creation for all sorts of businesses.

Chapter 8 – Maintaining your Site, Traffic and SEO!

This can be really hard once your site starts kicking off, having orders flying in, tons of people asking for extra information, your SEO and general online promotion campaign to manage as well as all that juicy traffic you have and want to and convert into sales.

Maintaining your Site

When your site starts growing, it can be difficult to manage all the different aspects of your site, so I’ve put together some awesome tips to help improve various aspects of your site really, really quickly!

Using Trello

Trello is an awesome card based CRM which will make your life a LOT easier when it comes to managing your site, we use it at CSC to help with a number of things, including managing your orders in a lot easier infrastructure than WooCommerce by default provides.

You start of by making a board and adding your “Cards” to each list of things to do.

trello board

This is our onsite board where we have things to do via the Backend of the site. As you can see I’ve got a card on Adding a New Blog post, and on that card I’ve commented a title I came up with –

trello card title

Now all I need to do is move that card into the “Done” section when I’ve added the post, this makes my time management a lot easier.

If I want to add a deadline to each card or assign cards to specific team members, it’s literally as easy as a click of a button. I can even attach files in case I want to add images or videos to a specific blog post or as another example if I want to add an Invoice to a product order card.

With Trello, you can easily manage pretty much every aspect of your time consumption on your site. I highly suggest using it as a quick way to manage anything on your site and all you need is a Google account to get started anyway… Oh and it’s Free!

Getting More Traffic & Sales

So, you’ve built up your site and have a ton of visitors every week pushing through from all sorts of places, but you’re still wanting to get more traffic and convert the traffic that you’re already getting every month.

Traffic Generation with Micro-Sites

At G** of SEO (my blog) I use these to pull in a ton more visitors to the site and bring in some more newsletter subscribers completely organically. An example of one of my micro-sites would be WhatIsLinkBuilding.co.

whatislinkbuilding.co

Which straight away you can see is an EMD, then I’ll add a kick a** landing page design (this one I used is the Lister theme from ThemeForest), with a newsletter signup form, video and some epic optimized content to help further push the site up the SERPs.

I’ll throw in some niche related links from a blog network, or just organically build links to it from my own sites and let it bring in traffic from Google, Bing and Yahoo to then push more signups through my blog.

This specific site has only been going for around 2 weeks now and has already managed to pull in 290 uniques and convert 17 people to signup to my Newsletter!

Now, this landing page is targeted more at gaining Newsletter subscribers but you could easily build them around a specific product or your company itself to pull in more traffic and use it as a “feeder” site to send that traffic back to your main site.

Increasing Conversion Rates

Luckily for us, WooCommerce has some excellent built-in features such as the related product and comparison features that I already mentioned earlier in the guide.

A/B Testing

This is simple, just show one thing from your site to half your audience, and show another thing to the other half to find the best click through rate formula.

This can sometimes be as limited as just the header font or sometimes as vastly different as completely changing the product title, picture or even just the Add to cart button.

A/B Testing

Credit to Stu Miller

This is a great way to find out what converts better, and what pulls in more people.

Improving your User Experience

I continually love getting new people to check out your site and try to buy something.

This can be your grandmother who’s only been using the internet for a year and is still on Windows XP with Internet Explorer 6 or your 12 year old nephew that calls you noob every 5 seconds at the dinner table.

People think user experience testing is really expensive and you have to hire a company to do a focus group or hire a big design/development agency to changes things, but it’s really not…

Whenever you’re on the laptop with a family member or a friend or partner, just sit down with them and ask them if they could look through your site and buy something, of course, just stop right at the end when you actually have to put in card or payment info.

This gives you some awesome info and can give you a pretty varied sample to take a way and work from, then just stick all the info they commented on in your phones notes and when you’re next working on your site maybe change the Add to Cart graphic to make it a little bigger or have all the Checkout process on one page

All these small things will help your sites sales sky rocket!

Keeping up with your SEO Campaign

If you aren’t an SEO yourself, I’d always suggest hiring an outside SEO firm on a budget that suits you (and not what they try and upsell to you) and your site.

Though, for some people this can be daunting and some firms want to enroll you into a 12 month contract which for a new business can be crushing.

So, here’s some really easy tips to help manage your SEO over the next few months, on a fairly limited budget!

Link Building

We’re not going to be able to afford a massive white hat campaign with a ton of Outreach, so for clients that generally can’t afford my link building prices I point them to one of 2 Traffic Planet gigs that are really good for fairly new sites.

If you’re a business looking for a service that’ll get you links from strong authority sites in your niche. Depending how much you’re looking to spend you can get really good posts at fairly cheap prices.

OnPage SEO

If you have got a site with thousands and thousands of products, then use Trello to do a category of products every month, you’ll soon see the benefits of having every products onPage optimized when the traffic continues to roll in for a ton of different long tail keywords.

If you’re running a pretty small site then use Moz’s OnPage reports to take a look at any onPage errors you might have, just so that you can continue to tweak your onpage until it’s just perfect.

Chapter 9 – E-Commerce Tips from the Experts

I decided to get some of the top SEO, IM’er and E-Commerce experts to add some valuable insights and tips into the world of E-Commerce so you guys can learn even more from this guide!


Matthew Barby of Wow Internet – Mention Tracking

matthew barbyOne method that I use as a core strategy within large E-Commerce projects is ‘mention tracking’.

Now, by this I don’t mean just setting up a Google alert around your brand name, I’m talking about large scale product monitoring with buyer intent.

One of the tools that I’ve been using a lot recently is BuzzBundle. This tool allows you to search across social media, blogs, forums, Q&A websites and video sharing sites to find mentions of specific phrases.

buzzbundle

In the screenshot above, you can see that I’ve identified a load of users that are actively searching for a solution to an issue they’re having. In this case, they’re looking for screen capture software.

I actually used this for a recent tutorial that I put together on Camtasia Studio and generated some good targeted traffic as a result. This kind of traffic can be invaluable for capturing users with a high level of purchase intent.

Check out this article from Downtown E-Commerce that looks at the best approaches to take when engaging within forums with a focus of generating sales.

Another tool that I use is Mention.net. This tool allows you to track mentions across the web of any of your products or brands.

I use Mention.net to track any mention of my main products online and set up email notifications so that I can jump in and either participate in the conversation, or find webpages that have discussed my products without linking to them – this can be a quick link building win.


Mike Campolattano of SerpChirp – Improve your Customers Experience!

mike campolattanoEvery product you offer has a history and a story to tell so Use these as a way to be creative and develop robust & detailed product descriptions.

Each product in your store should have a number (at least 10) of large size photos (800 x 600 jpeg should be fine) on its details page as well as a zoom photo option if possible.

Remember humans are visual creatures and shopping is generally an emotional decision so the more photos you have the more chance you have of the consumer creating mental ownership of the product.

Make sure you are giving every visitor that views your products an easy way to review and share that item. The more personal choices you give the visitor the more apt they are to perceive value in you and your product

If you aren’t using product videos on your detail pages then you are missing out on huge opportunities to be shared and turn profits.

A nicely done video can have huge value. Also remember to close caption your videos as it’s always a good thing to not forget the hearing impaired in our communities.

Ensure that you have trust badges prominently displayed on your site. Establishing credibility by displaying trust badges can increase conversions by over 70%!


Pratik Dholakiya of E2M Solutions – Some Tips!

Pratik Dholakiya You should always focus on having unique products description in all the product pages to avoid duplicate content issues.

Especially when you’re reselling the products that are available from other sources. I’ve come across many E-Commerce websites having duplicate content issues and being the target of a Google Panda attack, due to lack of unique content on product pages.

These days Lazy Loading seems to be working pretty well instead of creating pagination if a website is having thousands of products.

This would help avoiding duplicate pages, duplicate title & meta description issues in the long run. I’ve also found this to be user friendly as users don’t need to go to next page and wait till the time page loads.

Utilizing a strong blogging strategy most effectively should be an essential part of your marketing activities. Blogging helps a lot to keep your customers engaged and generate new sources of traffic, if you could share helpful tips with your audience – Check out how GrooveHQ did it.

Many E-Commerce website owners doesn’t focus on blog much and mainly because they think their customers won’t be interested in what they share in the blog.

In fact, the customers/users normally always want to read/know more about the product they’re purchasing, so having a great post on each one or even throwing up some video reviews can really help!

From a social media stand point, I’ve seen many E-Commerce websites using strategies like “Share this product on your Facebook wall & get a 10% discount” – This seems to be working pretty well as this opens up new doors of grabbing more customers, follows and it helps with growing your social media campaigns.


Colby Wren from No Hats Marketing – Social Proofing

Colby WrenOne way to establish authority as well as credibility is to social proof your E-commerce brand.

Before you even start an organic following I suggest making sure you look the look before you walk the walk.

That means spending some time setting up for Facebook, Twitter, and Google + adding logos, pictures, content and setup a hootsuite to have scheduled postings for your profiles for the days to come.

BlackHat tip – Buy your followers, buy your likes, buy your +1’s by around 10,000 Facebook fans, 20,000 Twitter followers, and 1,000 +1’s. These can be purchased from Fiverr or AddMeFast this will give the psychological association with an established brand.

Promoting and establishing authority provides the psychological assurance of, “This is not a scam”. That can be very powerful for your conversion rates and growing your real and organic following quickly.

There is something attractive about a large number of followers and likes that makes us want to join the group. Would you rather have your traffic second guessing your website while they pull out their credit card or have them fearlessly spend on multiple occasions?

Many ask me for an example of this engagement and how much time does it take to actually manage from week to week. One of my favourite examples is looking through the Dollar Shave Club’s Facebook page.

They have built a successful E-commerce business based on Brand ambassadors and edgy marketing campaigns. They make sure they respond to every negative criticism professionally and thank every positive comment they can.

Now that they are established they don’t even have to answer questions.

facebook comments

Within the hour a handful of brand ambassadors have addressed the question asked and have provided customer service for the brand that they love. Pretty powerful stuff.

facebook replies

This is just a few of the comments they have received this morning. Think about getting an exponentially larger amount of traffic every single month. For example the average video produced by the Dollar Shave Club receives statistics like this with hundreds of thousands of views followed by thousands of purchases.

facebook example

To put it in numbers you understand each share reaches approximately 500-1,000 people. That means this post alone potentially reached 800,000-1,500,000 people. Even on a small scale this could mean major awareness for your brand.

Having a website that someone buys something from may only happen once and lacks a long-term relationship.

Social media allows you to nurture a relationship with your brand ambassadors and target audience and promote more products.

You never want to saturate your pages with promotions and products, but establishing trust and throwing in products ever 10 or so posts will drastically increase your natural following.


Brent Johns from No Hats Marketing – Analytics Tracking to Increase Conversions

Brent JohnsEveryone goes through the motions of setting up Google Analytics for their E-Commerce properties, but not many people go any further than that.

They’ll analyse traffic based on normal Google Analytics: traffic, sources, demographics, bounce rate, time on page, etc. But taking analytics to the next level, you’ll be able to make concrete decisions and stop the guess work.

But how do you take your analytics to the next level and start understanding exactly how people are using your E-Commerce site and turn your traffic that doesn’t buy a product into profit down the road.

1. Remarketing

If you start to understand why people leave your site, you’ll also understand how to remarket and retarget these people. At what point do they leave your site? If they’re leaving with items in the cart, is your cart too many steps? If you’ve simplified your cart checkout, then perhaps it’s the shipping costs.

If they left your site with items in the cart, try retargeting them with Free Shipping.

2. Quantitative vs Qualitative measurements

People visit your site for many different reasons, but having the amount of people and all the stats available in Google Analytics don’t give you a very clear picture of the why they visit and why they purchased, or didn’t.

Ask your audience open ended questions. “Did you find what you were looking for?” If you don’t ask questions, customers don’t have the opportunity to tell you their experience, and you’ll be surprised how many will tell you the flaws in your site.

It’s easy to decide how your site looks based on your opinion, but constructive criticism from your buyers is a definitive way to know you’re making the right changes to your sales funnel. Polls are a really good way to collect this information without asking for too much time input from your visitors.

3. Combining reports

Data visualization can help lead to actionable decisions and that’s the point of analytical data. Separately, the campaign, mobile, and backend data don’t always reveal actionable data, but visualizations of the data can reveal hidden problems in your E-Commerce site.

Aggregate data is useful, but organized data that provide overall insight leads to actionable data that increase your bottom line.

Chapter 10 – Bonus Tips for WooCommerce

WooCommerce has some excellent bonus tips that you can use to further add functionality to your site.

WP-Lister for eBay Management (Free Plugin)

If you’re looking to manage eBay and (like me) hate the eBay backend, then WP-Lister offers a built in solution to quickly add your websites products and manage sales/bids of all your current products.

Check out their video below for some extra details –

Manage your Customer Relationships (Paid Plugin)

There’s a cool premium plugin on CodeCanyon for WooCommerce called WooCommerce Customer Relationship Management which allows you to easily manage your relationships with customers.

You can use the likes of Skype to call them, it integrates with Newsletter software like MailChimp, you can quickly export the contact details for all clients or individual customers, you can send emails either to individual, select or all customers.

Basically, you get a ton of awesome functionality for managing all your clients really easily!

Add YouTube Videos to Products

You can quickly add a featured youtube video to your products using the standard WooCommerce page.

Adding the Yoast Video Plugin I mentioned earlier can help vastly improve conversions of both sales and people clicking through from the SERPs!

youtube woocommerce products

In some themes, this will change the Featured Image to your video, not all but some – So be careful as you might want to do a little hacking with this!

Make Amazon Affiliate Sites with WooCommerce (Paid Plugin)

As a load of people generally don’t want to sell their own products, amazon affiliate sites have been all the rage for a while.

There’s an awesome plugin you can use to make quick affiliate sites called WooCommerce Amazon Affiliates which quickly lets you setup amazon affiliate sites straight in WooCommerce.

Fraud Prevention

I got pointed to his by CCarter from WickedFire and I must say, it is pretty awesome!

Sift basically offers a real time tracking of users on multiple site, it’ll flag people that have unusual activity to make sure your site isn’t getting de-frauded by some “real black hat” (hehe) and offers some awesome ways to do so.

Check out their How it works page to learn a bit more about what Sift actually does.

WARNING: Steal Your Competitors Search Rankings, Traffic & Income

Chapter 11 – Extra Resources & Guides to Follow

I thought I’d add some extra resources for you guys to learn even more about how to build an ecommerce website from scratch.

I’m sure you’ll be done with reading for a while (or who knows, maybe you’re even more thirsty for knowledge).

Guides –

Video Tutorials –

294 Responses

  1. 11.19.2013

    WOW! This is just epic! Simply epic. That’s all I can say.

    It took me 35 minutes to read the post and worth every single word!

    Thank you for providing massive value! You’re the man! This is where the industry should be heading!

    Now I feel like building my own e-commerce store LOL.

    • November 19th, 2013 at 1:31 pm

      It took Charles 2 weeks to write it and about 7 hours for me to edit it lol

      • ogenox
        November 19th, 2013 at 6:54 pm

        You’re both crazy! :) I told to Charles that I will sell this guide as WSO. :)

        Great stuff, indeed.

        • November 19th, 2013 at 7:09 pm

          I think we both see the bigger picture ;)

          • ogenox
            November 19th, 2013 at 7:31 pm

            Yeah, I know, nothing is for free. ;)

          • November 20th, 2013 at 12:24 pm

            I’m hoping I sit more towards the free end of things though ^^

      • November 20th, 2013 at 10:45 am

        You are putting a lot of effort for this blog. And that’s the reason behind success of this blog. You are converting your time into money. Your blog is really helping people like me. Everyone can see your invested time in each of your blog post.

        Thanks matt

        • November 20th, 2013 at 12:01 pm

          Thanks Sumit – but for this post, the effort was all Charles :)

        • Charles Floate
          December 2nd, 2013 at 3:02 pm

          I agree Sumit, Matt’s done a fantastic job!

          I think the blog has a long way to go yet though, I’m hoping 2014 can be the year he hits 100k unique visits a month ;) (Hopefully I can too hehe)

  2. 11.19.2013

    Hey Matt/Charles,

    Great post, I love the table of contents linking to each section – can you share how you do that?

    I really enjoy dissecting a business/website so this was right up my street!

    Also thanks for the mention – however you spelt my name wrong :p

    – Lewis

  3. 11.19.2013

    This is absolutely the best and most comprehensive e-Commerce Website Development Guide i ever read!

    Thanks Charles for such a great article and of course special thanks for Matt for sending it over to us. I find it perfectly suitable for my students who are still puzzled about e-Commerce sites and the basics of WordPress and SEO.

    How much time did it take you to write such a long decent tutorial? Great videos as well!

    P.S: I am also a fan of your blog Charles Floate. I tend though to check Matt’s blog more frequently with my whole respect to both of you.

    • November 19th, 2013 at 1:31 pm

      He did a cracking job!

    • Charles Floate
      November 22nd, 2013 at 7:11 pm

      Thanks man! ^.^

      Always love hearing feedback :)

  4. Seomania
    11.19.2013

    Just a quick overview and I am breathless… Awesome.

  5. 11.19.2013

    Good post!
    Its amazing that the site just got over 1000 unique views in its first month!

    • November 19th, 2013 at 7:23 pm

      Hustle hustle ^^

      • Charles Floate
        November 22nd, 2013 at 7:10 pm

        *cough* First Sale in 3 days, STANDARD! *cough*

  6. 11.19.2013

    Hi Charles great post, just at the right time for me as I’m just setting up my first woo commerce site, had a few head banging moments but getting there.

    Glad you touched on the schema data, have just started adding it to my product pages, one thing that was bothering me regarding schema was dupe content on the page as most of the info you input into schema is already on the page, what are your thoughts.

    Have found a source here http://schema-creator.org/product.php (not an affiliate link) its free, it generates the html code. Sorry Mathew it is from Raven, after your spat with them you might want to remove it no problem if you do.

    Just starting the off page SEO, building web 2’s using FCS Networker to auto build the properties and adding unique content to them. Will start building tiers to them later.

    • November 19th, 2013 at 3:08 pm

      Over to Charles :)

    • Charles Floate
      November 22nd, 2013 at 7:09 pm

      I think putting the Schema data into it just gives you even more of a chance, it’s not normally duplicated content if it’s within the Source and Google reads Schema as the code side and not the Text side :)

  7. 11.19.2013

    Wow! This is indeed quite long! Recently made an e-commerce site with woocommerce. Will definitely re-read this post every once in awhile to increase traffic to our site.

    • November 19th, 2013 at 3:08 pm

      Glad you like it Ray!

    • Charles Floate
      November 22nd, 2013 at 7:07 pm

      Thanks Ray, yeh definitely! and look out at my future stuff for some more awesome eCommerce based things ;)

  8. Thomas
    11.19.2013

    Awesome article, read it from top to bottom! Do you have much experience using Opencart? I’m having a bit of a tough time trying to optimise it for SEO as i’m a bit of a novice. Can you point me in the right direction maybe?

    • November 19th, 2013 at 3:07 pm

      Personally I use Magento but why use Opencart if you have woocommerce or magento to choose from?

      • November 19th, 2013 at 3:26 pm

        I already spent the past couple of months building the site on Opencart, and spent a bit of money it, so I guess I feel ‘pot committed’ as they say in Poker. :)

        Do you have any knowledge/advice about SEO for opencart though Matt?

        Stay cool.

        • November 19th, 2013 at 7:19 pm

          Ahhh I see. Well I’ve never used it so can’t comment. My experience is deeply rooted in Magento – everythings just a plugin away!

        • Charles Floate
          December 2nd, 2013 at 3:04 pm

          I know Matthew Barby over at Find My Blog Way has done some stuff in relation to OpenCart and VirtueMart as well :)

  9. D***, I wish you guys had put this up 6 months ago ;-)
    I struggled with some of the questions answered here while starting up an online store.

    Got some things right, some things wrong (it is at KOwines.com, would appreciate feedback).

    Learned a lot from this article. Will implement the other stuff.
    Can’t wait to go home and re-read and implement what I have learned.

    Somesh

    PS. I’m not sure if this is a repeat, but somehow my first comment seemed to get lost.

    • November 19th, 2013 at 3:07 pm

      Haha sorry about that, perhaps you could share some of your lessons?

      • November 20th, 2013 at 1:55 am

        I ended up using opencart, since I will end up with about 5000 products. Being in the software field for almost 25 years, and very knowledgeable with Unix/Linux, I had no issues with the technology.
        (Amazon cloud, Open Cart + a bunch of paid extensions, theme from theme forest, Perl scripts, SQL queries, Apache and WP, cgi scripts).

        What I had issues with was building traffic, SEO and link building. I have not been able get incoming links, partially because when a new vintage comes in, the old one is dead.
        Wonder if I could redirect the old vintage URL to the new one??

        Social shares are also a big problem. People buying stuff do not share.

        I am going to read the link building and Social section again and work on that.

        Wish me luck!

        • November 20th, 2013 at 12:07 pm

          Hi,

          Ahh I see! I have no experience to draw from to advise you sorry

          In terms of social signals, people that buy things do give soical signals – you just have to ask them at the right time. No one shares product pages, but people that have taken action will take action again if you ask them. E.g. checkout thank you page ;)

          • November 21st, 2013 at 5:15 pm

            Hey Matt and Somesh,

            Being creative with your purchase menus can really help you in generating social signals.

            Lots of sites now have a “after purchase screen” that allows you to share with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, G+/Reddit etc.. and most of the time you will be offered a “coupon” or a call to action to show off whatever item you just purchased or what not.

            Be creative and try new things.

            Test and then measure.
            Test and then measure.

            That is the only way to get the most of your E-commerce store.

          • November 22nd, 2013 at 9:05 am

            Nice tips thank you :)

  10. 11.19.2013

    Amazing timing from my point of view :-) I run a couple of stores already and the advice here is spot on. This guide is worth $$$. And then some more $$$$$$. Another great post Matt.

    Not sure I’d totally agree with buying up twitter and Facebook followers though?

    • November 19th, 2013 at 7:22 pm

      All kudos to Charles!

    • November 19th, 2013 at 7:45 pm

      That is only if you are starting from ground zero Simon.

      If you already have a following a good giveaway from incentivibe.com
      for a few months can really help growing your following.

      It is a psychological tactic for your brand that can be fixed with a few hundred bucks at most.

      Just a way to show you have a following and you are a “credible authority”

  11. 11.19.2013

    Killer post, this could be a book in itself! Really great stuff here. eCommerce sites are an excellent way to make money online and run a viable business.

    • November 19th, 2013 at 7:22 pm

      And more importantly, you own the customer ^^

    • Charles Floate
      December 2nd, 2013 at 3:04 pm

      Aiming to eventually get round to writing a book, but it might take a while :P

  12. 11.19.2013

    B***** h***. My head is still spinning. i’ll have to set aside a week or two to read it soon. One small note, In the Guides area, I’m pretty sure “Increase your E-Commerce Sites Page Load Time” was meant to be “Decrease your E-Commerce Sites Page Load Time”?

  13. Epic? Nah. This is beyond epic.

    I’m going with “valiant”.

    Thanks for the valiant post.

    • November 19th, 2013 at 7:20 pm

      It was ambitious!

    • Charles Floate
      November 22nd, 2013 at 7:06 pm

      Wasn’t there a film about pigeons called Valiant?

  14. 11.19.2013

    Charles, great to see another Birmingham local doing well in the online space! I have been coming across quite a few lately!

  15. 11.19.2013

    Awesome guide man! Next you should add sourcing products/dropshipping

  16. 11.19.2013

    Not been a big fan of using wordpress for ecommerce in the past (I’m a magento champion these days), but looks it has progressed decently and might be worth another look. Nice article Charles with some good tips.

    • November 19th, 2013 at 7:17 pm

      Word to that ^^

    • Charles Floate
      November 22nd, 2013 at 7:03 pm

      Thanks David! Glad to see you enjoyed it :)

      WooCommerce has made GIANT leaps in the past few months!

  17. 11.19.2013

    Hi Matthew ,

    Thanks for sharing this great article . I am new to this world of SEO and Web commerce . In fact , I take an hour to go through this article and this is very informative and elaborated ( esp. video tutorials are very helpful) .I need to revisit this article for upgrade my learning .

    Thanks a lot !

    Gobinda

  18. 11.19.2013

    Awesome post !!!
    Really enjoy it. Dont remember when i read such complete
    article.
    One question, in the : Buying Newsletter Placements
    What is BSA ? is this a service ? i didnt fine the website.

    Thank you

    • November 19th, 2013 at 7:15 pm

      Thats BuySellAds mentioned a bit further up

      • November 19th, 2013 at 7:50 pm

        Thank you !!!
        I think that you need to write a post bout all the media buying world.

        • November 20th, 2013 at 12:21 pm

          That would be a can of worms in itself, but I have an ideas notebook with some possible things to explore already :)

          • Charles Floate
            November 22nd, 2013 at 7:01 pm

            If you need any help with Media buying I’ve spent about $6k in the last year alone on it :3

  19. 11.19.2013

    Hi Charles & Matt, just wanted to say well done & thanks for such a comprehensive guide, lots of good tips here. It’s certainly made me re-look at automation for a lot of the tasks that take my time.

    Woocommerce is my cart of choice and it’s great but when it updated to 2.0 and my third party theme hadn’t it really screwed my site for a while. I’d say it’s a good idea to stick with a Woo theme if you’re using Woocommerce, it’s just easier on updates etc.

    Stellar work guys, keep it up!

    Steve

    • November 19th, 2013 at 7:13 pm

      All credit goes to Charles!

      • Charles Floate
        December 2nd, 2013 at 3:06 pm

        Matt did spend a good 8 hours or so proof-reading this badboy so credit goes to him for being able to read that much :P

  20. 11.19.2013

    This is awesome. Another great post Matt!!
    I’m currently building a large E-commerce store with Magento Go. I wanted to use WordPress with woo-commerce plugin but my store will be too big for WordPress. The store will eventually have almost 9,000 sku’s. Magento seemed like a better platform for me, but I have never used it before. Learning a new platform takes time. :(

    Matt I wanted to get your thoughts on this. Do you have any experience with Magento? Is it better to use Magento for larger stores and WordPress for a smaller store with only a few hundred skus?

  21. Emeka Madusha
    11.19.2013

    Lovely Post!!! This is a killer. But the ultimate question is what will the store sell. What model. is it dropshipping or any other means…how does one make money from e-commerce..as an individual with no product.

    This will surely help a lot of us readers

  22. 11.19.2013

    I’m blown away by how much this post covers, definitely some high level stuff that I’ll have to bookmark for later.

    I’m actually building an ecommerce site right now, and so I’ve got to ask probably a noob question. This requires you to have your own products, an inventory, warehouse, etc.?

    • November 20th, 2013 at 12:23 pm

      Not always, you can drop ship!

      • Charles Floate
        November 22nd, 2013 at 6:58 pm

        That sofa company is actually a dropship site just the company that sells them to me (then ships them to my customers) is owned by a family member :)

  23. 11.19.2013

    Cool to see you’re accepting more guest posts now. Good stuff Charles

    • November 20th, 2013 at 12:23 pm

      I was never not accepting them, its just none of them met the standards I want to maintain!

      • Charles Floate
        November 22nd, 2013 at 6:58 pm

        Yeh, Shame I just take Matt’s standards and throw em out the window :D

    • Charles Floate
      December 2nd, 2013 at 3:06 pm

      And don’t expect this to be my last guest post on Matt’s blog – As his traffic and audience grows, I am to steal you guys as much as possible <3

  24. simon
    11.19.2013

    Hey Charles – thanks for putting this together, many people really appreciate the content you and matthew put out there.

    Terry Kyle (of traffic planet) is putting out some really good parasite page experiments right now that walk people throu that process.

    Cheers.
    Simon

    • November 19th, 2013 at 7:23 pm

      Thanks Simon!

    • Charles Floate
      November 22nd, 2013 at 7:11 pm

      I’m Actually working with Terry on some cool stuff at the moment in regards to parasite stuff! :)

  25. 11.19.2013

    hey matt , another fantastic tutorial im sure it will be very popular , one question from me though , i have an online adult store was wondering the best way to approach marketing this kind of niche
    thanks

    • November 20th, 2013 at 12:22 pm

      Hi Daniel,

      Kudos to Charles.

      First of all I would look at what the competition is doing

      • Charles Floate
        December 2nd, 2013 at 3:07 pm

        I have a client in Wales who does Adult Toys, horrific industry from a content marketing perspective :P

        At the moment, we’re doing a lot of parasite page seo with reviews, look at for my guide on that tomorrow!

  26. 11.19.2013

    Superb post (in fact calling it just a ‘post’ does it a disservice I think!). Some fantastic in-depth advice here and pretty much all the bases covered – the one thing I’d say could be added (and apologies if I’ve missed it) is payment gateways. This seems to be an area that concerns and confuses a lot of people I speak to. I’ve recently switched from PayPal to Stripe and can say that it’s fantastic – really easy to set up using the Stripe Woocommerce Extension.

    I’ve used a few of the steps outlined above for a site called Send Me a Christmas Tree and can vouch for this guide being a really cost-effective way to get a very professional looking e-commerce site.

    Congrats on producing a fantastic resource :)

    • November 20th, 2013 at 12:20 pm

      Ahhh yes that bit was missing, and paypals different options can be quite confusing!

      • Charles Floate
        November 22nd, 2013 at 6:56 pm

        I was going to include it, but last time I did stuff about financial stuff people started getting a bit p’d off with it for some reason.
        PayPal is pretty standard and I covered it in the Video (Where to choose your options) but didn’t really want to take much more detail than that :)

        • November 24th, 2013 at 11:19 am

          Ahhh didn’t see that, do you explore the differences between the PayPal options? Eg keeping them on site rather than taking then off site to complete the transaction

  27. 11.19.2013

    Wow, that was a long one. I am curious, how many words total did this guide end up being?

    Matt, I am also wondering if you have checked out http://wordpress.org/plugins/word-stats/, id be interested in seeing how many words total your blog has on it right now.

    Cheers!

    • November 20th, 2013 at 12:20 pm

      Hi,

      WordPress post editor says 11149 – it was longer before I edited it lol

      • Charles Floate
        November 22nd, 2013 at 6:54 pm

        It was about 12,000 words before Matt decided to remove all the curse words hahahaha :P

  28. 11.19.2013

    Hi Matt/Charles,

    I really enjoyed this tutorial and it has come at the right time for me. I am in the process of building my wife’s ecom store and wanted to ask your expertise.

    Which is (in your opinion) best to use? WordPress(WooCommerce) or Magento? (I know it is a very general question, but some pros and cons would be nice :) )

    Is there a way to stop “theme bleeding” when using WooCommerce? By this I mean the internal linking to a product page from a category. I saw on the furniture website that for e.g. the category cornersofacompany.co.uk/category/fabric-corner-sofas/ has some products listed on but then when i click on a product listed there, the url is cornersofacompany.co.uk/shop/paige-chaise-left-hand-corner-sofa/.

    So there doesn’t seem to be any theming coherency. Ideally for me I would like the category page to internally link to the products by the following means: mywebsite.com/category/product-name/

    Hope this makes sense.

    • November 19th, 2013 at 7:14 pm

      Hi,

      I would use Magento for ecommerce personally.

      Will leave your other questions for charles, I haven’t used WooCommerce!

    • November 19th, 2013 at 10:23 pm

      Magento’s an option, but I’d also advise taking a look at Prestashop if you want something reasonably fast to set up.

      I’ve tried WooCommerce a couple of times and for various projects and just never managed to get on with it. In theory it’s great but implementing a decent size e-commerce setup (100 products+) turns into a complete pain in the a***.

      OpenCart which was mentioned in an earlier comment is also really easy to configure and install, although not great when it comes to SEO out of the box. Plenty of free plugins available to help with that though.

      Matt

      • November 20th, 2013 at 12:19 pm

        When you tried WooCommerce was it version 2? From what I can gather thats when it became pretty good!

        • November 21st, 2013 at 8:53 am

          Good question – I have a feeling we used it in anger when it was V1, although we have developed a site for someone in the last 3 months that used WooCommerce so that would have been a later version. Might be worth looking into again by the sounds of it :)

      • November 20th, 2013 at 1:13 pm

        Thank you for your suggestion Matt. I’m actually checking out the demo as we speak. Looks pretty good. Quite similar to magento backend. Don’t seem to see a newsletter module though. Or a paypal payment method. Will keep looking.

    • Charles Floate
      November 22nd, 2013 at 7:00 pm

      Hey,

      Yes, it’s all about how you setup the permalinks ^.^ Just like a standard wordpress installation but with a few more options!

  29. 11.19.2013

    Ecommerce is blowing up! Great stuff Charles! You should bless us with an ecommerce case study I know many who will be interested.

    • November 20th, 2013 at 12:18 pm

      Good suggestion :)

    • Charles Floate
      November 20th, 2013 at 12:31 pm

      I’ll hopefully get around to writing a big case study followup to this, but I almost think this is a case study within itself! :D

  30. 11.20.2013

    This is a monumental post! The furniture website that you made looks like an expensive web design firm made it.

    What I like the most is adding the table of contents and sectioned everything into a chapter. Chapter 6 – Linkbuilding is a must read for any e-commerce store owner!

    • November 20th, 2013 at 12:18 pm

      All kudos to Charles!

    • Charles Floate
      November 20th, 2013 at 12:30 pm

      Thanks man ^.^

      Yeh, we spent a few quid on the design but the entire site and promotion only cost us about $600 total ^.^

      Could easily spend $6,000 on a design with an agency!

  31. Vladimir Bestic
    11.19.2013

    Great topic! Great read!

    Good job Matthew and Charles :)

    • November 19th, 2013 at 7:10 pm

      All thanks to Charles for this one!

      • Charles Floate
        November 22nd, 2013 at 6:59 pm

        Got to give credit to matt for spending literally HOURS editing it though!

  32. 11.20.2013

    And this is why your blog is one of the few I actually read. Absolutely awesome content, overdelivery like the CEO of Sony coming to delivery your Handycam and …. well just brilliant.

    Thank you both for the effort and links – it is jaw dropping. I have uncovered more information than two weeks scouring the web for information on ecommerce site building.

    Thank You, Thank You.

    • November 20th, 2013 at 4:06 am

      I forgot to ask – what software do you use to add the little red highlight boxes on your images – I know I could use photoshop but it is overkill – wondered if you used something simple? Also any tips on best software to draw simple diagrams?

      • November 20th, 2013 at 12:06 pm

        Where do you mean sorry?

      • Charles Floate
        November 20th, 2013 at 12:24 pm

        I actually just use Paint ^.^

        Windows 7 + – Select the Box and it’ll have no fill, just the outline by default!

      • November 21st, 2013 at 5:19 pm

        Windows Snipping tool…

        or Snagit works really well.

        • November 24th, 2013 at 11:24 am

          Snag it – I remember that! Thanks for reminding me. Snipping tool – can you draw straight lines with that? :-)
          Thanks for the heads up again.

    • November 20th, 2013 at 12:06 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it :)

  33. 11.20.2013

    SUPER AWESOME…. Matt…ur Too Good…
    Can u highlight hows and 101s of using magento…should we not be using that for building larger ecom websites

    Anyways this is the best blog….Keep up the Awesomeness…

    Regards
    Amit

    • November 20th, 2013 at 12:05 pm

      You would like to see me follow up with something magento based?

      • November 20th, 2013 at 1:09 pm

        I would :)

      • Charles Floate
        November 20th, 2013 at 12:28 pm

        Sorry to inform you Matt, I already have something Magento-based in the works <3

        • November 21st, 2013 at 10:53 am

          Mine will be better :P

          • Charles Floate
            November 22nd, 2013 at 6:53 pm

            *Cough* already at 8,000 words with it ;) *Cough*

          • November 24th, 2013 at 11:20 am

            Can use yours as a template then :P

  34. 11.20.2013

    Goodness, you can sell this for more than 100 bucks quite easily. Super value that’s all I can say!

    • November 20th, 2013 at 12:04 pm

      Would you prefer to pay for it? We could make that happen you know :P

      • Charles Floate
        November 20th, 2013 at 12:25 pm

        Shall i setup a micro-woocommerce site selling it? xD

        • November 21st, 2013 at 10:53 am

          Why not? Chuck it behind a $17 pay wall, WSO it up and see what happens ^^

          • Charles Floate
            December 2nd, 2013 at 3:09 pm

            I’m going to work on an ECommerce eBook me thinks… This was 90 pages, aim for 200 if I can :D
            Then push it for sale for $89 + $19/month for access to a paid forum and blog :P

          • December 2nd, 2013 at 8:40 pm

            Well do that as well, call this version 1!

  35. 11.20.2013

    Hi Charles & Matt,

    Wish you guys put this up a couple of months back when I first started my woo-commerce site, never mind time to sit down rework the site and follow the steps listed out here :) and must subscribe to Charles blog. This is a splendid piece of work

  36. 11.20.2013

    Awesome post. Im just wondering, if using woo commerce & the theme sellya would be recommended for a site selling digital videos. The idea behind this would be a customer see’s the product page which is a trailer of the full length video an some image stills from the video. They then purchase, and receive a link to download the file (automated)

    • November 21st, 2013 at 7:52 am

      Handing this over to Charles…

      • November 22nd, 2013 at 10:55 am

        Thanks, look forward to his response

    • Charles Floate
      November 22nd, 2013 at 6:52 pm

      Definitely Bob!

      In the product settings you can actually choose whether it’s a Physical or Virtual (Downloadable) product, so it’s really easy to make sites to sell things like eBooks and Software!

  37. 11.20.2013

    I read a lot…and i mean A LOT and this is one of the best posts I have ever read, its up their with Matts tiered link building guide.

    I have saved about 10 “to read” links and marked a similar number of paid services to test out.

    excellent guys keep up the great content.

    You guys should really get together and create a conference/meet-up event covering this kind of stuff, I would certainly pay to attend.

    It beats the h*** out of the c*** that you listen to at mozcon and link/search love events which are purely targeted at agencies with clients and budgets of £10k per month.

    this is real stuff for real sites.

    • November 21st, 2013 at 10:51 am

      Thanks Lee :)

      I usually hate conferences and find little value in the pitch fests. I have discussed going to the BHW conference with Charles though!

      • Charles Floate
        November 22nd, 2013 at 6:51 pm

        And I emailed Matt something a few days ago ;)

        I may have something in the works Lee ;)

  38. 11.20.2013

    Fantastic article, will take some time to work through but looking forward to see and measure the results!

    • November 21st, 2013 at 7:51 am

      Let us know if you have any questions!

    • Charles Floate
      November 22nd, 2013 at 6:50 pm

      Don’t forget to update us with your thoughts on my post when you’re done reading it Nick haha! ^.^

  39. 11.20.2013

    Wow yeah this post has crazy level of detail- thanks for posting this :)

    • November 21st, 2013 at 7:50 am

      All credit to Charles!

      • Charles Floate
        December 2nd, 2013 at 3:09 pm

        I am humbled, and have a slight ego boost thank you Michael :D

  40. 11.20.2013

    Another great article Matthew! Such a coincidence that Im planning to build an e-commerce site and happened to stumble across this. I’ll definitely apply some of these great technique and anticipate the outcome.

    Kind Regards,

    P.To

  41. 11.21.2013

    This is one beast of a post! Now imagine if all the content on the web was as epic as this?

    • November 21st, 2013 at 7:49 am

      We are trying :)

    • Charles Floate
      November 22nd, 2013 at 6:50 pm

      Haha, yeh I’m aiming to continue this level of content up into the future! ^.^

  42. 11.21.2013

    Wow, awesome post Matthew, you really deserve an award for your amazing blog. Thx for sharing your knowledge. :)

  43. Sterling Okura
    11.21.2013

    Great tutorial Charles. I’ve been doing ecommerce since late 90s (yes I’m getting old) and this is the most comprehensive tutorial I’ve ever seen. Love how you cover traffic generation as well as technical aspects.

    For bigger clients I prefer Magento, but WooCommerce works great for smaller stores and I use it regularly.

    p.s. Matthew, just voted for your blog and cheered when I saw your percentage of votes so far. Go get ’em!

    • November 22nd, 2013 at 9:07 am

      Thanks for the vote :)

    • Charles Floate
      November 22nd, 2013 at 6:48 pm

      Wow, the 90s! When I was born (Sorry for making you feel older, but you made me feel way younger :P hehe)

      Thanks for the vote of confidence on the guide, don’t forget to share it with the other peoples in eCommerce! :D

  44. 11.22.2013

    Wow…. very detail…. some people will sell this stuff but you give it to us for free….

    thx

    • November 22nd, 2013 at 8:58 am

      No worrys :)

    • Charles Floate
      November 22nd, 2013 at 6:46 pm

      Thanks Michael, really glad you liked it ^.^

      A LOT of people said I could of sold it :P

      • November 24th, 2013 at 11:22 am

        You still should, pack it as a WSO and make a case study off the back of it!

  45. 11.25.2013

    Been looking around the blog for about a month now Matt and have to thank you for all that I have learned! This post is fantastic Charles.

    Very new to this, still working out what products and site to set up. My question is how would you set this up with an affiliate product where each product would take you to the purchase page (shopping basket) of the page you are the affiliate for? Or am I going about affiliate marketing the wrong way?

    Steve.

    • November 25th, 2013 at 2:14 pm

      Thanks Steve! Will let Charles answer your questions!

  46. 11.29.2013

    Very new to this, still working out what products and site to set up. My question is how would you set this up with an affiliate product where each product would take you to the purchase page (shopping basket) of the page you are the affiliate for? Or am I going about affiliate marketing the wrong way?

    • November 29th, 2013 at 10:38 pm

      Hi,

      No that is a way to do it, off the top of my head I don’t know – but that will be something simple like a plugin.

  47. 11.30.2013

    Hi matt and charles

    I have registered a domain name . I am planning for godaddy to be my web hoster. As my budget is low , which shopping cart software should I select which is cheap as well as provide majority of the features. Should I go with open cart, magento, woocommerce or coffee cup shopping cart. I also intend to have logon id and password system for order booking on my website can you help

    • December 1st, 2013 at 12:52 pm

      Personally I would use Magento but Charles like woocommerce

      • December 1st, 2013 at 1:17 pm

        can you please guide how to use Magento to develop ecommerce website and how is it better then Woocommerce according to you

        • December 1st, 2013 at 10:28 pm

          I will perhaps cover this in the future in detail :)

  48. Kristof
    12.2.2013

    Charles,

    How did you manage to make the small description text for each product visible on the home page for the crawlers. When you look at the SEORCH results for your site, it shows 744 words in the Text- Tag. By clicking Show more you’ll notice that it includes the small descriptions for each product eventhough the descriptions are not visible on the home page. Is this something that the SEO plugin takes care of or did you do anything special to accomplisch this?

    • Charles Floate
      December 8th, 2013 at 12:03 am

      Hey Kristof,

      It’s just part of the theme ^.^ I’m not a pro coder etc… So wouldn’t be too sure :)
      Normally though you can do it by using a spoiler plugin within your product’s excerpt

  49. 12.5.2013

    Hey Hi,

    I am preparing my website on local host I downloaded word press from there official website and when I run exploit scanner it says it has malicious code like base 64, why is it so and one more thing I have certain .php files how can I check whether it contains some malicious code and how can I decode it , can you please give some tip about it

  50. 12.8.2013

    This is totally getting bookmarked its totally like getting a blogging manual handed right to be.I know what my homework is this weekend

  51. 12.8.2013

    hey matt,

    thank you for releasing such a useful article on ecommerce.

    my question is that why is it that sites built with woocommerce are usually slow and sluggish.

    pls what advice can you offer me for my ecommerce @ http://jamtechproject.com as it turns out to be slow. its built with woocommerce.

    • December 11th, 2013 at 9:19 am

      Hi,

      No worrys :)

      Usually because people use cheap/budget/shared hosting

  52. 12.11.2013

    Thanks for the highly detailed advice, looking good matt

  53. vietnamrum
    12.17.2013

    Just had a few hours in a coffee shop in Vietnam, drinking cafe sua rhum (coffee, condensed milk and rum) reading this excellent tutorial and the comments.

    Not watched the videos yet, that is for tomorrow and a refresher of this article again.

    Excellent work, thank you
    Vietnamrum

  54. 12.22.2013

    Uh Wow, I’m huh I’m huh,,, blown away. I mean, c***, this is dense. Well done. Wow, wait, I said that.

  55. 12.27.2013

    Matt, you always have great stuff and content. I set this aside and am now looking at ecommerce. You saved me some time.

  56. Benlee
    1.1.2014

    I read this article in 1 hour, I felt my eyes because I am doing business, great, thanks author. a perfect article.

    • January 2nd, 2014 at 12:26 pm

      Hope it helped you out!

      • January 2nd, 2014 at 12:29 pm

        which theme is the best to be used in wordpress for ecommerce ?

        • January 2nd, 2014 at 12:48 pm

          Charles discusses this in the article but one that matches your niche and is easy to navigate/clean on the eye without clutter

          • January 3rd, 2014 at 9:14 am

            what is GPU license, can I use my friends premium(paid) plugins for wordpress having purchased by him without violating any law ?

          • January 3rd, 2014 at 3:49 pm

            No idea best to speak to the author of each plugin in question. Some have unlimited site uses and others not.

  57. 1.15.2014

    Great post, working through it now…

  58. 1.22.2014

    Hi Matt,

    I’ve just been reading Chapter 6, about the tier 1 links. Just a heads up: The link which is titled “Niche Blog Posts” that links to the traffic planet forum is no longer working. When you land on the page there is a message saying “Sorry, we couldn’t find that!”.

    I know Charles wrote the article so little chance you will know the answer to this. But do you know if that would be because the poster has deleted that thread and have stopped offering the service? Or have they just moved the thread.

    I appreciate there is a good chance you may not know the answer to that question but thought i’d ask anyway in case you wanted to replace the broken link.

    Cheers for your time. Chris.

    • January 23rd, 2014 at 10:13 am

      Thanks for the heads up, guessing the service isn’t active anymore. I’ll let him know!

      • Charles Floate
        January 28th, 2014 at 10:08 am

        Hey Chris,

        Yes, you’re right ^.^ It’s not active anymore. Then again, this post was made over 3 months ago :P

        • January 28th, 2014 at 11:23 am

          Haha I guess that is how quickly things change these days :D

          Great post btw.

  59. 1.25.2014

    :) Nice blog. Thanks for precious tips

  60. 2.1.2014

    All of this is easy, the hardest part and the most important part that is entirely left out is how to find a product that you can make money with.

    • February 2nd, 2014 at 7:20 pm

      Just take a look around you, read a newspaper, watch the news, walk around shops

  61. 2.19.2014

    Some great ideas here. It would be great to see real life test results so as the prove the effectiveness of buysellads especially, as your wording “we could throw up some ads and make sales” leads me to believe that it is conjecture and assumptions. I also have an ecommerce store in furniture niche and would be great insight before I spend £1000 testing. ;). Likely I’ll just test it myself.

    Sorry to be a killjoy. I guess it’s why your blog s so great Matt, as you provide concrete evidence. ;)

    Cheers,

    Chris

    • February 20th, 2014 at 9:30 am

      BuySellAds are one of the biggest networks going, plenty of people earn big with them.

      Lots of ecommerce stores places banner ads as well, take a look at Amazons integration of Adsense for example.

      If you need to spend £1,000 to deploy a banner test on your e-commerce site you are getting ripped off.

      • February 20th, 2014 at 5:10 pm

        Hi Matt,

        Thanks for the reply. Yeah I agree. I will test it out as I agree banner ads are a great way to get targeted traffic. I also like manually finding blogs and negotiating a 7 day trial with the blog owner.

        Keep up the great work!

        Cheers,

        Chris

        • February 24th, 2014 at 9:44 am

          Have you found you get good results doing that vs the amount of time invested?

          • February 27th, 2014 at 1:25 pm

            To be honest since I haven’t tried buysellads, I can’t compare but I would say buysellads is faster, but might find some cheaper deals doing it manually.

            I’ve only just started so will let you know in future comparing manual to buysellads, and other networks.

            I just followed Chad Hamzeh who suggests searching for them manually.

          • February 28th, 2014 at 9:31 am

            Why not use buysellads to place buys and find the best performers, then just approach the sites that convert well directly to do a private dealings.

  62. Devon Deionne
    3.3.2014

    Very well detailed post, keep it up Matt

  63. 3.9.2014

    Nice post. I have a question related to the 48hourslogo.com setup. If I set a contest at $100, and pay the entire fee up front to entice more designers will I need to pay an additional fee for the design I want after they are all submitted.

    In the video in this post it showed a list of all the logo designs with a button saying “buy now for $X.” Or, was that just because Charles chose to pay the initial 25% fee instead of the entire price?

    • March 10th, 2014 at 8:24 am

      Yes that is right. At the end of the contest you pick a winner and thats that. You then have the option to buy the other designs that you didn’t select as a winner.

  64. 3.11.2014

    Dear Matthew can i use your (Ultimate Guide To Tiered Link Building)

    in my eCommerce website

    thx

  65. 3.13.2014

    Hi,

    thanks for the great post .. Its the best and most comprehensive
    article I have written so far.

    Just one question. You mention to build the page via wordpress and woocommerce plugin .

    In order to be safe and have a strong secure backand and always up to date I was thinking to use a paid alternative such as shopify , big commerce or volusion .

    Do you have a ny experience with those , especially in terms of possiblities for on page seo and generally if pages provided by these provider can reach similar google rank structures .

    Thanks in advance
    J

    • March 14th, 2014 at 10:20 am

      Whatever you do don’t get shafted with one of those services like shopify that let you build your own site. They are very restricting and its a pain in the a*** to change later.

      I would personally use Magento though (the free host your own version)

  66. Susan
    4.2.2014

    Hi Matt,
    Thank you so so much of this content, I’m new to this and most of this info is new. I’m in the throws of setting up an commerce site, and am stuck between an untested developer, learning to do it myself or Shopify. I’m not rich on time. Any thoughts on Shopify? I think it’s expensive as they take a percentage of transaction fee and I’m not sure how evolved their SEO techniques are. Or how about starting on Shopify and then tweaking everything on WordPress in the background??
    Be grateful for your thoughts
    S

    • April 3rd, 2014 at 7:02 am

      Avoid shopify – your just putting a restrictor on yourself from day 1.

      I appreciate you haven’t got time – but would you open a retail store with no shelves with all the stock still in boxes scattered all over the floor?

      Don’t do the same with your ecommerce store.

      Just go with Magento from day 1 and save yourself a bunch of hassle down the line.

  67. 4.9.2014

    Hi Matt,

    Great Epic post!

    Can you give me some guidance on keyword research, in particular how to evaluate how competitive the keywords might be to rank for with eCommerce sites ?

    I understand about finding keywords with buyer intent but I always struggle with evaluating the strength of the competition and deciding on keywords to target.

    Thanks

    Jay

    • April 12th, 2014 at 12:24 pm

      I’m the worst person to ask for that, I do market research – not keyword research.

  68. 4.23.2014

    Your article is the dogs b*llucks Mat/Charles. Any chance of a blog based on Magento

    • April 25th, 2014 at 1:08 pm

      I might do something in the future as I know Magento very well

      • May 21st, 2014 at 8:37 am

        This is a fantastic post, nice one Charles.

        I second a Magento tutorial Matt would be great to see that!

        Can I ask a quick one though, can you point me in the right direction to a good Magento host for a UK based website?

        Cheers!

        • May 22nd, 2014 at 4:24 pm

          I have a friend using https://www.simpleservers.co.uk/magento-hosting which they have been very happy with so far!

          • July 30th, 2014 at 9:19 pm

            I third a Magento Tutorial!

            Had s site developed for me on Magento which set me back $1000 and lots more to edit or make changes!

            Got the guy off Odesk. He was pretty good and took about 2 months to get it to exactly what I wanted.

            That was just for my business so needed no SEO or optimization.

            I feel that a Magento has a more professional backend with a lot more features then Woo or any of the other e-commerce wordpress sites.

            I suppose it really boils down to how big of an e-commerce store you’re setting up.

            Would love a tutorial on it Matt! Thanks and keep up the good work!

          • August 4th, 2014 at 12:07 pm

            Well Magento started when the developers of a £500,000 ecommerce solution quit to start their own project. So that says it all really :)

          • Munir Nathoo
            August 4th, 2014 at 3:06 pm

            They certainly put all they had into it!

            Just a quick question – you know how you can check wordpress themes by inserting the url into “what theme is this”, how would you do the same for ecommerce sites built on platforms like Magento?

          • August 5th, 2014 at 11:17 am

            You know, I literally have no idea – sounds like it should be a thing though!

  69. 6.2.2014

    Hi Matt, looking to set up a UK based “Daily Deals” website but struggling to find a good UK software/ecommerce. Just wondered you could help, or if you run any tuturials?

    • June 2nd, 2014 at 3:56 pm

      I know for a fact you will have to get something custom developed

  70. 6.17.2014

    I recently started doing video tutorials for using OpenCart to build ecommerce. You have some great information here which I may borrow to create some videos. Hope that is ok. Let me know. Thanks.

    • June 23rd, 2014 at 2:00 am

      Define ‘borrow’ like when a friend borrows something and you never see it again?

      • June 23rd, 2014 at 8:48 pm

        No, not like that. Borrow and mention this page for credit. I’ll make one and post back here. Thanks Matt!

        • June 24th, 2014 at 4:03 pm

          Haha sounds good :P Let me know when it is ready!

        • Charles Floate
          June 27th, 2014 at 8:35 am

          Yep, sounds good! ^.^

  71. 8.1.2014

    Loved this! Only took a few minutes to skim through, very refreshing. Wish I came across it last year :P

    Thank you for the great article–You Rock!

  72. 9.3.2014

    Kudos to both You (Matt) and of course to Charles. Lots of great information here!

  73. 9.18.2014

    Your analytics is broken. That dip you see in bounce rate probably dives to zero. It also happens at the same time your pageviews skyrocket. I’d say you had two analytics scripts running at the same time, doubling page views and s******* up bounce rate.

  74. Val
    10.1.2014

    This is just awesome. For you to carve out two weeks of your time to write this epic article means that you value your readers.

    Though am not into e-commerce or anything related to it but this article is surely a nice bet for all those in that niche.

  75. 11.25.2014

    This is one h*** of a guide! I read a PDF on a similar topic you guys had put out but I don’t think it was as detailed as this post. I used Prosociate to make an Amazon affiliate site and have followed a lot of the things taught in this guide.

    Something I’m thinking of venturing into more is doing some outreach for building those Tier 1 links!

  76. Bridgette
    1.21.2015

    Hey Matt – I know there will be people saying what about this ecommerce app or that ecommerce app – but you missed a trick there – if you use ecwids (ecommerce widgets) – then it means you dont have to re design your website – you simply build your store in the cloud and then copy/paste the code into your website – or in fact multiple websites.

    So if you have keyword1.co.uk and keyword2.co.uk you can have the same shop in both – PLUS the main thing about it is that you can easily add it to facebook – people can buy your products without leaving their facebook session – worth a look in my opinion – ecwids.co.uk it’s free as well

    • January 21st, 2015 at 5:08 pm

      Well if it does as you describe, I would never touch it.

  77. Harekrishna Patel
    4.20.2015

    Indeed a great tutorial for eCommerce start-ups. Nicely presented and all information covered under one post. This is one-stop resource for every one who wants to start eCommerce stores. Must read and bookmark.

  78. Joshua
    4.30.2015

    Great content and very extensive. Many of the services you discuss here are actually ones I use myself for my authority sites.

  79. Harekrishna Patel
    4.30.2015

    @ Matthew

    Yes, I enjoyed. In a topic “white hat tiered link building” I recommend http://citationlabs.com/tools/guides/broken-link-builder-guides/. They have developed wonderful tool for finding high-quality broken links in your niche.

  80. 8.26.2015

    Hi Matt,

    your article is really interesting with basic seo techniques. which are really helpful for e-commerce seo prospect. But let me know from last six months e-commerce websites really change trend according to pangium and panda of google. what will be the basic trend for e-commerce seo.

    • August 27th, 2015 at 10:22 am

      Only because people get lazy with their ecom setups not adding content to key pages and taking care of onsite properly.

  81. Bembe Urusow
    10.18.2015

    Hello Matthew,
    Your an absolute genius! I can’t believe your only 17, but age isn’t important to me as much as your amazing skill set. I like to use your talents in the future. I hope you and I will get to know each other in time. Mahalo. Bembe

    • Charles Floate
      October 27th, 2015 at 11:42 pm

      Hey Bembe, it’s a nearly 2 year old article now.. So I’m now 19 :D You can hit me up via my site though, just click my name in this comment.

  82. Ruslan
    10.25.2015

    Hey Matt,
    Great tutorial! I have an issue with my eCommerce website, I have a lot of products in a lot of different categories, and I don’t know how to do the link building for my website this way, if it’s only one niche it’s piece of cake but when there is more than 10 different niches I’m getting stuck.

    I have BuzzBundle and don’t have any idea what keywords to write in it.
    I’m not branding anything yet so I have a lot of famous brands at this moment.

    Any idea how I can build links with BB?

    • October 26th, 2015 at 8:16 am

      Sounds like you are trying to spread yourself too thin. For those 10 different niches, find the most profitable product in each category. Then from those 10 products, pick the 2 that have the highest margin and focus on those.

      Once you have success with those 2, then worry about the others.

  83. 11.25.2015

    Matthew, your blog is phenomenal and your list one of the few I subscribe to because I appreciate not being sold to at every turn.

    To you and Charles, I can tell a lot of time went into this post, but for me, it was missing the one bit of information I’m looking for right now as someone who’s piddled around with e-commerce and is wanting to do better next time: where to get products without losing and arm and a leg.

    That is the piece of info no one wants to give up.

    They’ll tell you to hook up with Alibaba or Doba, or even pay $299 to Worldwide Brands, but that’s all they got. No advice, no insider info or case studies about what’s selling, etc. Anyone wanting to get into e-commerce has months, if not years, of trial and error to go through first unless they’re lucky which I’m not.

    At least mention that your e-commerce experience will only be as good as the product you manage to find ON YOUR OWN, luck, or a combination of the two. I appreciate your enthusiasm, but I’m too jaded to fall into it.

    • December 2nd, 2015 at 4:37 pm

      Well supply chain kind of steps outside of the remits of the blog, but nothing beats picking up the phone and speaking with suppliers directly to hash deals out.

  84. Mike Baker
    1.6.2016

    Well, I know this is very late to comment on such article, but I am a newbie in this growing e commerce industry and hunting on google for a proper description to make an outstanding website. Finally with your article I got so many ideas. Thank you. Keep posting 

  85. 2.4.2016

    Epic post, truly Just wanted to quickly point out a broken link in the suggested reading at the bottom.

    Compete with the Big Boys as a Small E-Commerce Store by Mark Johnson

  86. cheng
    3.15.2016

    How to conduct keyword research for eCommerce website? There are 10k+ SKU but with only one man power? Need to manual review each URL and choose the best keywords? Any shortcut ?

    • March 18th, 2016 at 1:16 pm

      No, instead you should be looking to target category and subcategory pages with a strong internal linking structure to drive the PDPs

  87. DP
    4.23.2016

    This is a fantastic post, thanks so much for sharing your knowledge. Best always.

  88. Linda devis
    5.3.2016

    Delightful post ! A brief description on building an Ecommerce website is described here. To achieve success in business these tips are very useful. For people to learn how to maintain their Ecommerce store your article will be a great help for them.

    How To Build An Ecommerce Website That Fast Tracks Your Success

  89. geometry dash
    5.11.2016

    I would like to say that this blog really convinced me to do it! Thanks, very good post.

  90. happy wheels
    5.11.2016

    Hey what a brilliant post I have come across and believe me I have been searching out for this similar kind of post for past a week and hardly came across this. Thank you very much and will look for more postings from you.

  91. 7.1.2016

    Incredible post, thanks Charles. And thanks Matthew for featuring Charles!

    Guys you are absolutely amazing.

  92. Ruben Baestaens
    8.25.2016

    First time reader, but I’ll be back.
    Thanks for the information

  93. ravi
    11.28.2016

    its amazing guys ….thanks

What are your thoughts?

* Name, Email, Comment are Required