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How to Find the Right Keywords That Will Rank #1 on Google

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keywords

Do you want more traffic?

Well, who doesn’t?

The reason you want more traffic is that you think more traffic equals more revenue.

But here is what you’ll learn the hard way… as your traffic goes up, your revenue won’t increase at the same pace.

And in many cases, as your traffic goes up, your revenue won’t increase one bit.

In other words, if you get the wrong kind of traffic, you’ll find yourself spinning your wheels and becoming frustrated.

It happens to all of us, let me show you what I’ve learned the hard way.

So how good is my search traffic?

Take a look at the screenshot below.

neil patel keywords

That’s a laundry list of keywords that drive me the most traffic. But there is an issue with a lot of those keywords. They drive traffic but not revenue.

Keywords like affiliate marketing, SEO analyzer, SEO checker, statistical significance calculator are all terms that won’t drive me any revenue.

I don’t offer affiliate marketing services and anyone searching for terms like “SEO analyzer” are looking to do SEO themselves versus paying my agency to do it for them.

Even terms like “statistical significance calculator” don’t drive revenue. Anyone searching for that is looking to see how their A/B tests are performing versus hiring my agency to run tests for them.

If I naturally ranked for these terms without any effort, that’s one thing. But I created dedicated landing pages, like this one, because I was trying to rank for them.

In other words, I spent time and money ranking for keywords that don’t drive any revenue.

Now, there is a reason why I rank for these terms and I do want this traffic, even though they don’t drive revenue, but I will get to that later in this post.

First, let’s go over how you can pick the right keywords to rank number 1 for.

How to pick the right keywords

You probably already have some ideas are a good fit for your business. I want you to type them into Ubersuggest.

online marketing

Ubersuggest will show how many people search for that keyword within a particular region as well as the SEO difficulty and paid difficulty.

In addition to that, you’ll see a laundry list of keyword ideas if you click on the “keyword ideas” navigational option.

keyword ideas

What you’ll want to look for are keywords that have high paid difficulty, which means the keyword is so valuable that a lot of people are competing for the paid ad spots.

In addition to looking at the paid difficulty number, you’ll want to find keywords that have a low SEO difficulty score.

When a keyword meets those 2 requirements it means it is easy to rank and people find it valuable enough to buy ads on the keyword. And if they find it valuable enough for people to buy paid ads, that means the traffic is converting into customers.

That’s more important than just finding popular keywords as traffic doesn’t always equal sales.

And when you are doing keyword research, make sure you pick the right regions.

Not all traffic is equal

Again, you already know I get good traffic, but as I mentioned earlier, not all of the traffic is equal.

Just look at the regions that made up my traffic in the last 7 days:

regions

The United States makes up a large portion of my traffic. Over time I’ve expanded globally, hence you are seeing my traffic increase in regions like India and Brazil. Even Japan, which is the newest region I have been expanding to, has been growing rapidly.

Knowing the split between regions, which ones would you say make up the largest portion of revenue?

If you guess the United States, you are correct. But what region do you think is in second place?

If you guess India or Brazil, you are wrong.

I love those two countries, but the United Kingdom generates more revenue than both of those regions combined, even though it produces 25.6% of the traffic as Brazil and India combined.

Are you picking the right regions?

When you are doing keyword research, you need to think about regions. This is also the main reason why I integrated regions within Ubersuggest.

You can’t just focus on keywords that have high paid difficulty and low SEO difficulty. You need to focus on the countries where the majority of your customer base is.

Now, you know SEO is competitive and it takes a while to rank. So if you can go after up and coming regions that you know you’ll want to target in a few years, then you should go after those keywords right away.

It takes a while for people to see this, but the reason I have done pretty well when it comes to picking the right terms is that I focus on regions that aren’t ready for my company just yet but will be over the next 5 to 10 years.

I know that sounds crazy, but to do well you need long-term goals and a strategic outlook for your business.

To give you an idea of how I think, let’s look at how the worlds GDP is going to change over the next 10 years:

That video bases GDP growth off of historical data. Companies like Standard Chartered believe there will be much more aggressive GDP growth, especially coming out of Asia.

  1. China: $64.2 trillion
  2. India: $46.3 trillion
  3. US: $31 trillion
  4. Indonesia: $10.1 trillion
  5. Turkey: $9.1 trillion
  6. Brazil: $8.6 trillion
  7. Egypt: $8.2 trillion
  8. Russia: $7.9 trillion
  9. Japan: $7.2 trillion
  10. Germany: $6.9 trillion

No matter what source you look at, almost everyone is coming to the same conclusion… countries with big populations will see faster GDP growth.

If I were you and I was trying to pick the best keywords to rank number 1 on Google, I wouldn’t just focus on countries that are already established and saturated, I would also focus on countries that are growing fast and aren’t competitive yet.

Even in the short run, although some of these countries may not have as much demand, there is no competition, which means it will be easier to take up a larger chunk of the market.

How do you find popular keywords in these countries?

Doing keyword research in new countries isn’t as simple as typing in random keywords and seeing what’s popular.

You can do that with tools like Ubersuggest, but that may still cause you to pick the wrong ones.

For example, in the United States, the keyword “SEO” is more lucrative than the phrase “digital marketing.” But in Brazil, the phrase “marketing digital” (their version of digital marketing) is more lucrative than the term SEO.

In other words, cultures are different.

So, what you should do is use a tool like Similar Web to see who your closest competitors are. When I look at NeilPatel.com on Similar Web, it gives me the following results:

similar web

You can then take those competing URLs and enter them into Ubersuggest.

ahrefs

What I want you to do is first look at the “top pages” report. This report shows you the most popular pages that are driving traffic to any given site.

The best part about this report is that you can break down popular pages by country.

top pages

From there you can see the popular pages and even the keywords that drive traffic to that page within that country.

ahrefs top pages

And similar to the top pages report, you can do the same thing with the keywords report.

ahrefs keywords

With the combination of the top pages and keywords report, you should have a list of great keywords to go after. Not just from a domestic standpoint, but from a global standpoint as you can see the popular keywords for each country in Ubersuggest.

But how do I rank number 1?

Once you have a list of keywords, it’s time to create content and focus on ranking at the top of Google. But you already know that. 😉

The real question is, how do you rank high?

Well, I have tons of blog posts on that. Here are a few of my favorites that will help you out:

  • How to dominate Google – there are over 200 factors in Google’s algorithm. One too many for you to follow. In this post, you’ll find a 4-step process that will help you climb to the top. It’s made SEO more feasible as there is no way you are going to focus on all 200 of Google’s algorithm factors.
  • How to build links when no one will link to you – link building is still a huge part of Google’s algorithm. This post breaks down how to do link building when nobody knows you and you don’t have money to spend on link building.
  • The future of SEO – if you want to rank high and maintain your rankings, you need to know the future of search and how algorithms are going to change.
  • How I think about SEO – this post breaks down my personal SEO strategy for NeilPatel.com. If you copy it, you will do well. Look at the brand hack I mention in that post, it helps a lot with rankings.
  • The advanced SEO formula that helped me rank for 477,000 keywords – this is how I rank for thousands of keywords on Google.

Once you start ranking for the terms you want to go after, you need to do one last thing.

The last step

Remember how I said earlier in this post that I rank for terms like “SEO analyzer” that don’t drive me any sales?

And how I want to rank for those terms?

Once you rank for the main terms and even the long tail ones that will drive you direct revenue, you need to start winning mindshare.

The way you create a successful SEO campaign is to capture an audience before they are even ready to become your customer. This way your brand will grow with all segments of your potential customer base.

Just think of it this way, when people Google the term “SEO analyzer” and land on my site, the majority of those people will want to do SEO on their own.

But a small portion of those people may get frustrated and realize that they should just hire someone to do it for them.

And then there is another group that will search for that term, want to do SEO for their own site, and they’ll even get great results over time. Then when their friends asked them how they did it, they’ll mention how they used a free tool on NeilPatel.com.

Their friend will probably check out my site and maybe even contact me for services as they don’t care to do their own SEO.

In other words, when you are doing keyword research, you’ll want to focus on ranking for all the terms in your industry if you want to build the biggest brand and dominate.

The mistake I made is I went after those terms too soon. It worked out in the end, but I should have first focused on keywords that drove direct sales and then went after the keywords that would grow my brand.

Conclusion

SEO isn’t free! It takes time and money.

You have to look at it as an investment just like you would with paid ads.

So, if you are going to rank for keywords and do SEO, go after the correct terms. Spend a little bit of time doing keyword research and competitive analysis because you don’t waste a year climbing to the top of Google only to find that the term you went after doesn’t drive any sales.

And if you happen to be lucky enough to have extra money to invest in SEO, consider expanding internationally. It’s the best move I made, and I am dumping in as much money as I can to dominate the globe.

Businesses no longer have to live within one city, region, state, or even country. You have to think global if you want to win in the long run.

So, what do you think about my keyword research process?

The post How to Find the Right Keywords That Will Rank #1 on Google appeared first on Neil Patel.

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The Best Ecommerce Website Builder

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Launching an online store and trying to decide among the best ecommerce website builders, but don’t know which one’s right for you? They all seem to promise the same things: gorgeous templates, robust analytics, effortless inventory management, wonderful customer support.

I’ve got you covered. I took a look at all of the options to find the best website builder for creating an online store.

In my research, I paid attention to the following criteria:

  • Functionality — The major difference between an ecommerce site builder and a “normal” website builder is you’re going to be running your business off this platform. It needs to accept payments instantly and securely. It needs to have a useful dashboard to monitor traffic, sales, and inventory. It needs to keep have a cart the makes buying easy, and a system for calculating shipping.
  • Ease of use — There should be an easy way to add and remove products, an easy way to see your analytics, and an intuitive sales dashboard that can serve as your home base.
  • Design — The templates should look good out of the box and be easy to customize without expert (read: $$) help; and the designs should be pretty hard to mess it up or make worse.
  • Customer support — When things get tricky, you don’t want to feel like you’re going it alone.
  • Marketing — The pages should be SEO optimized, and the template should work work with your social channels and easily to connect paid ad channels.
  • Add ons — Since almost no system will have everything for everyone out of the box, I made sure the website builder had a way to accommodate additional needs.
  • Pricing — Sure, I get that an all-in-one solution like an ecommerce website builder will be more expensive than a DIY option, but we don’t want to pay through the nose, and we want what we get to be worth it. This includes the terms for payment processing. This is the last bullet on the list for a reason though: saving a penny here isn’t worth losing out on a dollar later on.

Which online store builder should I use?

The short answer: You should probably go with Shopify, especially if you plan to do more than $5,000/month in sales. It’s the industry leader for a reason. It has the level of in-depth analytics, inventory management, POS, shipping options, and every other ecommerce feature that you need (and that you really need at the $5,000+ level. If you’re not thinking that big, it’s time to get started.

New digitally-native and niche brands are the future of retail. — “Small Is The New Big,” Forbes

If you’re running more of a professional portfolio with some sales or subscription offerings, then hen you should check out Squarespace. Price wise, they’re basically the same. Squarespace wins for design; Shopify wins for ecommerce features.

The other online store builder worth recommending is Wix, which has a pretty cool AI-builder that’ll turn your social media into a website with a coordinating color palette and pre-populated photos. If you run a bookings-based business, or a music business, then there are features in the Wix stores that are definitely worth checking out. It’s also one of the cheapest options, though if you’re picking your ecommerce platform by price alone, we need to have a side conversation about how you need to get your head in the game. There are some flaws I discuss further down in the in-depth reviews you should take into account — and see if they’re dealbreakers for you during your free-trial period.

Side note: No matter which website builder you pick, you should use the free-trial period as a test run. What features are missing and can you live without them? What’s it like to actually run your business from that platform?

I also reviewed WooCommerce which is an open-source, subscription-free way to sell things through your WordPress store. If you’re running a content site, I wholeheartedly recommend building your site with WordPress; it just wins in the content management space. Simple as that.

Finally, Weebly, which was recently acquired by payments processor Square, is fine, but not impressive. The standards set by Shopify, Squarespace and the other contenders are just too high for Weebly to hit them. I’ll keep an eye out though.

The top 5 ecommerce website builders compared

Shopify

  • Best ecommerce platform for most businesses
  • Drag-and-drop store builder
  • 70 themes: 10 free + 60 paid
  • Competitive pricing

Shopify is my favorite ecommerce software — and the one I recommend to just about everyone. It’s the leader in the industry and rightfully so. The most important ecommerce features are ready to go without any customization, and Shopify makes it easy to customize anything else with its super robust app store. If you run into any issues, there’s 24/7 support.

The worst thing about Shopify is the price point — and it’s generally competitive. The subscription, which starts at $29/month is right in line with what you’d pay with any hosted option, and so are the payment processing fees, which start at 2.9% + 30¢ credit card rates and only get better from there. I just don’t like the 2% additional fee for non-Shopify payment processors. I get that Shopify wants you to stay in the Shopify ecosystem, but offering multiple payment options is better for customers and one of our 8 quick wins for ecommerce sites.

Shopify ecommerce websites preview

Pros

  • Robust app store
  • Clean, modern themes
  • Intuitive product pages
  • Easy-to-use drag-and-drop store builder
  • Competitive payment processing rates
  • Safety and security
  • Speed
  • Can create landing pages
  • Optimized for SEO
  • 24/7 Support

Cons

  • Additional fee for payments from non-Shopify payment processors, like PayPal for example
  • Blog feature is minimal — it’s technically there, but it’s not enough to run a content site on
  • Majority of the apps in the Shopify app store aren’t free, so you could also increase your monthly spend there
  • Liquid set up, not PHP
  • Lock-in feature — it can be challenging to move your store away from Shopify. It’ll export as a CSV file, but it’ll be time-consuming to rebuild where you go next

Shopify pricing

It’s competitive, but like I said charges an kind of annoying fee for external payment processors. All in all, I think the price is worth it.

  • $29/mo for Basic Shopify — 2.9% + 30¢ credit card rates + 2% for non-Shopify payment processors
  • $79/mo for Shopify — 2.6% + 30¢ + 1% for non-Shopify payment processors
  • $299/mo for Advanced Shopify  — 2.4% + 30¢ + 0.5% for non-Shopify payment processors
The difference between these packages:
  • Increase in number of staff accounts: 2, 5, 15
  • Unlock gift cards, reporting, and advanced reporting
  • Unlock third-party shipping calculations
  • Better rates on shipping and payment processing as you increase in the plans

Shopify themes

When choosing a theme, I suggest skipping filtering by price point. None of the themes on Shopify are going to break the bank — the most expensive themes are $180. If a theme has what you want, that’s the theme for you. Go to the all themes and ask yourself a few questions.

Shopify ecommerce themes

The first question is the most important:

  • How many products are you selling? Just one? A few? A lot? If you are selling one item your site will be very different than another online store that’s selling hundreds. In fact, set this filter and see if that’s enough to bring the templates down to a reasonable number.

If the number is still large, then you can filter even further:

  • Do you need a size chart?
  • What social media do you want integrated? Instagram? Twitter? Pop-up email form?
  • Would you like a “related products” feature?
  • Do you need video capabilities?
  • What layout and menu option will be easiest for your user to navigate?
  • What’s your store’s style? What’s your business like? Which theme reflects your business and creates the feeling or idea in your customer that you’re looking for? If you don’t have a clue where to start with this question, I recommend filtering by Industry. You’ll get a sense of the types of designs Shopify considers in line with most businesses like yours.
  • How are you going to tell your brand story? Is it in video? Writing? Photos? Are you running a crowdfunding campaign and the goal tracker is part of that story?

Find one you think you like? Check the theme reviews.

Shopify theme reviews positive
If other people have this theme and are frustrated, that’s a little peek into the future for you too.

Shopify theme reviews negative
Back away from themes with frustrated customers who haven’t had good luck with customer service.

Take a look at the demo sites both mobile and desktop versions. Then take a look at the actual stores using the theme. Are these in line with what you want to make?

If everything checks out, choose your theme. Don’t worry — you don’t have to buy it now. You’ll pay for it later, after you have a chance to test it out. Do check out the different versions of the theme — these will control the overall look and feel of your site, and you’ll want to decide which one you like best at this point. It can be hard to tell which one is best when you have only template content to look at.

I went through this process with a hypothetical business that sells one, and found a theme I like for this business. I chose the Showcase theme because I like the full-page photography. I picked the theme, answered a few questions from Shopify and then got to my dashboard.

Welcome to Shopify ecommerce website platform
From here, I can add merchandise, or I can customize my theme. I’ll do a little bit of both, of course.

Shopify add first product online store backend 2

Key changes to make:
  • Change the font — this ensures your store will look different than other stores, even stores with the same theme
  • Layout, content blocks — you’ll drag and drop these in the menu on the left side and the preview will update to the right
  • Attach your social media feeds
  • Customize the cart experience

Shopify drag-and-drop ecommerce website builder 2

Shopify app store

If there’s anything your theme doesn’t have, like customer reviews, there’s the Shopify app store. Basically the apps are little snippets of code that will add a feature to your Shopify store. It’s like having a dev build something for you, but because Shopify is a huge ecosystem, you don’t have to pay them the real price of custom building you something. They’re going to sell this same code to thousands of other stores. I love this about Shopify. According to the Shopify app store, more than 80% of stores use apps — and I’ll bet if you filtered that number by the number of live, active stores that are really making sales, then the percentage would be really really close to 100%.

Squarespace

  • Stunning templates
  • Professional look
  • Ideal for portfolio sites
  • Has a learning curve

Squarespace has a reputation for beautifully designed templates. That reputation applies to its ecommerce store themes as well. They’re handsome, I must admit it. There are a few things you should know going in: I recommend Squarespace more for professional portfolio sites than true ecommerce stores. It’s just set up for those kinds of stores better.

It’s not a bad idea to run your online store with Squarespace; Shopify is just easier when it comes to managing inventory and customizing every little nuance of your store. The Squarespace builder is a module-based builder. It’s not drag-and-drop — but you can get the hang of it pretty easy. Don’t get frustrated by the “demo” content or “sample” pages. You’ll have to copy the page before you can customize it, a silly step but not one to deter you from getting your work done.
Squarespace ecommerce themes

Pros

  • Gorgeous templates
  • Incredible looking result
  • 24/7 support
  • 15-day free trial

Cons

  • Tabbed interface that’s not super intuitive
  • Design requires high-quality photography (which you should get)
  • Only integrates with Stripe, PayPal, and Apple Pay
  • No app marketplace

Squarespace pricing

  • Basic online store: $26/month billed annually
  • Advanced online store: $40/month billed annually
What’s the difference between these plans?

The Advanced plan includes flexible coupons, subscriptions, abandoned cart auto recovery, gift cards, and advanced shipping. Unless you want one of these features, you’ll be good with the Basic online store. There are also two other plans that aren’t aimed at ecommerce stores — Personal website for $12/month billed annually, and Business website for $18/month billed annually. With the Personal plan you can’t sell anything. With the Business plan you can, but you’ll pay a 3% transaction fee. If you’re doing more than $275 in sales each month, there’s no question between the two plans — you’d be paying in fees the difference in the price without unlocking any of the online store features like inventory, tax, coupons, and shipping labels.

You can also upgrade or downgrade your plan at any time. Unless you know you want one of the Advanced features, I’d start with the Basic online store and go from there.

Squarespace templates

All of them are beautiful. Let’s start there. To find one that fits your store, I’d start by sorting into Online Stores. You’ll see your options are narrowed to 11 templates. Then ask yourself:

  • How many products do I want featured on the homepage?
  • What amazing photography do I have?
  • Do I want to use video backgrounds?
  • Does the quality of my images stand up to the quality of the Squarespace design?
  • Do I have much to say in words? Do I want those words over the top of my images or beside them?
  • What kind of menu do I want?
  • Do I want anything specific: Grid layout? Scrolling features? On-hover effects?

I suggest you preview the theme and notice what it’s like to use the example layout. To be honest, your site is going to be at best like this one, so if there’s anything you don’t like, take note. It’ll likely annoy you even worse in your own store.

Once you find a layout you like, click Start with “Theme Name.” You’ll create an account at this point. Don’t worry, you don’t have to pay yet — you have a 15-day free trial to customize the store and make sure it’s what you want.

How to edit your Squarespace store

To make changes to the pages, you’ll need to make copies of the sample pages. The interface is minimal and soothing, but not very helpful. Just get in a meditative mindset and keep clicking to figure things out. There are a lot of tabbed sections, which I don’t love. But it’s not challenging.

Squarespace drag-and-drop online store builder

I wouldn’t call the builder drag-and-drop — it’s more of a module based style to build and go. You’ll get use to it the more time you spend with the system. Though, I’ve gotta say, if you’re using Squarespace, I suggest you take your cues from the design that’s ready-made. It’s one of the things you’re paying for.

Wix

  • 500 templates
  • Drag-and-drop without limitations
  • Quick-start with the help of an AI designer
  • Unique templates for booking, music, events and restaurants

I really like the way Wix has used AI to automate the design decisions. It’s the exact opposite of the Weebly approach of making you pick a theme based on your first glance. If you already have some web presence — maybe in your Instagram or Facebook — Wix will take the work you’ve already done and create a website to match. You can also start from scratch. That’s one of the things I like most about Wix. It’s pretty much down to help you build your online store the way you want to: with help or without, from scratch or from a template, in the drag-and-drop builder or deep in the code.

Wix online store builder

Pros

  • Cheapest website builder in this list
  • Dozens of payment gateways including Square, Stripe, and 2Checkout
  • VIP Priority Callback support option

Cons

  • Limited reporting and analytics
  • No way to automate or integrate tracking numbers
  • Product pages don’t have a sort filter

The biggest drawbacks for Wix are its store features. Some very basic things you’ll want to do if you’re actually shipping products may become very irritating. I’m talking things like attaching tracking numbers to orders or downloading your reports.

If you’re making the choice on which ecommerce website builder to use simply on price, I implore you to stop using that as your methodology. There is a false logic at play. The $6 you’d save by choosing one website builder over the other will not be worth it when you’re wasting time trying to make the software do something it’s simply not built to do. Give the website builder you do select a thorough test run during your trial. This is the software you are using to run your business — don’t let a few bucks stand in the way of getting software that’ll really support you.

Wix pricing

  • Business Basic for $20/month
  • Business Unlimited for $25/month
  • Business VIP for $30/month
What’s the difference between these plans?
  • Storage: 20GB, 35GB, 50GB
  • Video hours: 5 hours, 10 hours, unlimited
  • VIP plan also gets VIP support with Priority Response
  • There are also 4 non-ecommerce plans that won’t allow you to accept payments

If you’re interested in learning how to make a Wix website for your online store, I have a whole tutorial on it, so I won’t repeat myself here.

WordPress with WooCommerce

  • Complete control over your ecommerce site
  • No subscription fees
  • 1 theme, with variations and customizations

WooCommerce is a little bit different than the other ecommerce options we’ve looked at so far. It’s a self-hosted option, which is the more DIY version. A website builder like Shopify is like living in a hotel where everything is already included: there’s a coffee maker and coffee grinds, clean towels, and shampoo. If anything breaks you know you’ll have help. But it’s also more expensive and you have less control and ownership. You can’t take the towels from the hotel home with you, for example. With WooCommerce, you’ll build your own site on WordPress and use the free WooCommerce Storefront theme. It’s not a drag-and-drop website builder, but you can customize the look and feel.

Pros

  • Free theme
  • Works with WordPress blog
  • Great for content-heavy sites
  • Easy to customize with add-ons

Cons

  • Not a drag-and-drop builder
  • Not an all-in-one solution

WooCommerce pricing

  • Free
  • Common add-ons range from $10–$60 a year

With WooCommerce you can get started for free. You’ll need to buy a domain name and set up web hosting. We have a how-to guide on all those steps here in How to Start a Blog. When you get to Step 6, choose a theme, you’ll choose the WooCommerce Storefront theme. There are a few different “child themes” to choose from — these change the look of the theme the way a new coat of paint changes the look of a room. Some child themes are free; others are $39.

I recommend also checking out the WooCommerce extensions. Most sites will benefit from the customizer bundle. You may also need features like the pricing table, a contact section (yes, you definitely want this), and maybe a hamburger menu. Some extensions are free, others are paid. The price points are reasonable.

Weebly

  • 35 ecommerce themes
  • 348 apps

Weebly was bought by Square in 2018, and though Weebly is run as a separate business, it’s clear to me that Square is attempting to bolster it’s full-service suite of offerings for small businesses — with the cornerstone of that suite being in-person POS systems and payment processing. The drag-and-drop builder is intuitive, but the set-up and guidance isn’t all there for me. For the price point — $4/month less than Shopify — I don’t think it’s worth going with Weebly.  
Weebly ecommerce themes 2

Pros

  • Intuitive drag-and-drop builder
  • Includes memberships, forums, support

Cons

  • Not very useful in helping pick a theme
  • No way to sort themes by feature
  • Cluttered page system that’s not good for more than 10 pages
  • You’ll need to manually copy blog posts if you migrate

If you’re launching an online store, you can skip right over the Starter and Pro plans — you’ll be pay a premium of 3% on every transaction and you’ll be limited in a lot of ways. You won’t be able to modify your cart, for example. For the price, I think you’ll get a better store from Shopify’s $29/month plan.

  • Starter $8/month annually
  • Pro $12/month billed annually
  • Business $25/month billed annually
  • Performance $38/month billed annually

What’s the difference between these plans?

  • Weebly transaction fee: 3% on Starter and Pro, 0% on Business and Performance
  • Number of products: 10, 25, unlimited, unlimited
  • Features only available on Business and Performance: Shopping cart, digital goods, product reviews, coupons, inventory manager, shipping calculator, among others

Weebly themes

When you create a store, Weebly will ask what you’re selling and if it’s online or offline, or both. After just two questions, it’ll pop you into a store for you. This seems kind of curt, and it is. When you click customize your store, you’ll be able to choose a new theme. How will you decide? Weebly doesn’t make it easy — there’s a page of themes offered, but you can only sort them by the top-of-the-fold look and feel.

Weebly pricing

The first few options are pretty and white.

Take note of a few things:

  • How large are the photos?
  • Is there a border?
  • Is there text on the photos?
  • Is there a CTA?
  • Where is the menu?
  • How many products are featured in that first view?

Since there’s no filtering, your best hope is to choose one you think looks like your store should look.

It’s pretty intuitive to add products and personalize your store. Keep checking back with the preview and you should do fine.

In sum: How to choose the right ecommerce platform for your online store

For an online store, you can’t go wrong with Shopify. It’s the industry leader, easily one of the best ecommerce website builders, and it’s well worth the price point. I like it a lot — particularly how much you can customize it with the app store. It’s got the analytics you need to run a real ecommerce shop. I also like the designs from Squarespace. They really do make it possible for a total beginner to create a professional looking site.

The other contenders for all-in-one builders are Wix and Weebly. I found them to have limitations, so they’re not my top picks. I did like the Wix AI creator and the features it boasts for booking businesses and other speciality stores, like music or video creators. It’s worth checking out (there’s a free trial period) if one of those things intrigues you. I’ll keep tabs on Weebly. However, right now it doesn’t come close to competing with Shopify and Squarespace.

If you want to run a WordPress site, then look into WooCommerce. You’ll find it is very familiar and has all the things that are great about any WordPress site: nearly limitless customization, great content management, excellent SEO, all subscription-free and open source. Granted, you’ll probably end up spending some on customizations and will need to throw down for your domain name and your web host. But if you’re the type that’s curious about building a self-hosted site, you already knew all that.

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How to Grow an Idea into a Fruitful Product or Service

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Let’s take it back … Way back … Before the internet was a part of creating your business. What steps…

The post How to Grow an Idea into a Fruitful Product or Service appeared first on Copyblogger.

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The Best SEO Tools the Pros Really Use in 2019

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When I first started using SEO tools and tried to figure out which one was right for me, I was pretty confused.

There are a bunch of tools in the space, they seem to overlap a lot, and there are way too many specialist tools to sort through.

And which one’s have data that I can trust?

After using all these tools for years and years, I’ve come to realize there are only a few choices you need to make.

First, there are three main tools in the market: SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Moz. Everyone uses one of those three. We’ll get to our recommendations for these down below.

I call them the SEO workhors — and all three of them qualify as one of the best seo tools. These workhorses carry the bulk of the weight in any SEO program, but you only need one SEO workhorse.

Any serious SEO program absolutely needs a SEO workhorse. The rank tracking, keyword research, and link analysis are all too difficult or time consuming without one. I’ve tried to get away without paying for them; that was a mistake. I could have gained a lot more traffic by using one of these tools from the beginning.

After you pick your main SEO workhorse, I highly recommend you take full advantage of the free tools. Google Analytics and Google Search Console are both world class and I consider them both required tools in day-to-day SEO operations. Plus they’re free.

Beyond that, there are a few specialty tools worth picking up if you’re doing those types of tasks.

Pretty simple all-in-all.

Here’s how your decision process will go:

  • Pick SEMrush, Ahrefs, or Moz as your SEO workhorse.
  • Install a SEO plugin if you’re on WordPress.
  • Add an advanced SEO crawling tool if your site is massive.
  • Add an outreach tool if you’re doing link building.
  • Get the free SEO tools in place: Google Analytics and Google Search Console.

Best SEO Tool for Beginners: SEMrush

If you’re new to this whole SEO thing, I highly recommend that you go with SEMrush.

Compared to the other “SEO workhorse” tools, it’s by far the easiest to use. Ahrefs definitely has a learning curve and Moz has never clicked with me — I can never understand where to find anything.

SEMrush’s rank tracking reports are also the best in the industry. I check our reports every morning. Within a few minutes, I feel like I’m in complete control of what’s going on. All the other tools spread stuff out all over the place. Or the reports coddle me too much and don’t have enough density. SEMrush has that perfect balance of usability and depth with its reporting. You’ll have everything you need without getting overwhelmed.

SEMrush has all the other essential parts of a SEO workhorse: link analysis, keyword research, and competitive analysis. All of them are more than good enough to hold their own against the other SEO workhorses.

SEMrush Position Tracking

Just for Quick Sprout fans, SEMrush is offering a 7-day free trial, which they don’t normally do. In order to give you full access to their pro plan, they will ask for a credit card before starting the trial.

Best SEO Tool for Advanced Folks: Ahrefs

If you’re more comfortable with all this SEO stuff and want a tool to really flex your skills, go with Ahrefs.

They’re the “new” SEO kid on the block and I have to admit, their tool has a ton of depth to it. Every time I log in, I find a hidden feature or report that makes me giddy.

That’s also the one weakness, I’m still discovering new features I had no idea existed. Ahrefs doesn’t hold your hand at all. For an SEO expert, it’s liberating. The tool is denser than granite. But I’ve watched SEO beginners try to get their heads around it and they really struggle. After poking around a bit, they stop logging in altogether.

Ahrefs Dashboard

Ahrefs is perfect if you know exactly what you want and are determined to get it.

On specific features, I prefer the link analysis in Ahrefs over the other tools. So if you’re planning on doing a lot of link building, it’s worth getting through the learning curve.

Best SEO Plugin for WordPress: Yoast

There are probably thousands of SEO plugins for WordPress.

Only one of them matters: Yoast.

I consider it a required plugin on any WordPress site. It automates a ton of SEO tasks and makes things like meta titles and descriptions super easy to update.

I don’t spend any time on this decision — I install Yoast and move on.

Just use the free version of Yoast; there’s no reason to upgrade.

Check out our full list of recommended SEO WordPress plugins here.

Best SEO Crawling Tool: Screaming Frog SEO Spider

There’s one type of SEO task that the main SEO tools struggle with: crawling and auditing huge sites.

When you have a site with thousands of URLs, there’s just no way to go through the site on your own. And the audit tools in SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Moz are pretty basic.

For a massive site that needs a huge audit, a dedicated crawling tool makes the task so much more manageable. The entire UI and all the workflows are built around having to manage thousands of pages at once. There’s no extra clicking or back and forth. And the tool automates as much of the process as possible. You’ll instantly find all the broken links, missing meta descriptions, bad redirects, and duplicate content on your site.

Screaming Frog SEO Spider is our preferred site crawler. It’s been around the longest and has site crawling dialed.

You didn’t hear this from me, but since site audits are usually a one-and-done type project, you can sign up for the tool, pay for a few months while doing your site cleanup, then cancel it once you’re done.

The only folks I know who have long-term subscriptions are SEO consultants who do multiple audits every month for clients.

Best Outreach Tool: Pitchbox

I remember the days when you could get away without doing any link building in SEO. That’s how we built the KISSmetrics marketing blog to over 700,000 visitors per month. We just posted a ton of great content over an 8 year period.

Nowadays, that’s not nearly enough. SEO has just gotten too competitive.

My rule is that if I’m not willing to do outreach for link building, I shouldn’t be focusing on SEO for traffic. I should find another strategy to grow my business.

I’ve done a bunch of outreach projects out of Gmail and a Google Sheet. It’s such a pain. Especially when a team is involved. Keeping track of who contacted who, updating last status, remembering to send follow-ups, coordinating and updating templates, it’s all a massive pain that takes up way too much time.

And outreach is painful enough, no reason to make it any harder.

These days, I always use an outreach tool when link building. I don’t even consider the option of skipping it. A good outreach tool automates the majority of the outreach. It’s a game-changer. I used to hate outreach with every fiber of my soul, now I don’t mind it.

Our favorite tool for outreach is Pitchbox. It’ll find contacts for you, automate email follow ups, and keep track of all your outreach contacts. Seriously, use it.

Make Use of Google’s Free Tools

Google Analytics is our favorite website analytics tool. And the search data in Google Search Console is a gold mine. Don’t bother trying to pay for any of the paid analytics tool. Google Analytics gives you more than you’ll ever need and it’s completely free.

We have a guide on how to set up Google Analytics here.

After you get Google Analytics installed, go set up Google Search Console too. It’s completely free and you’ll get access to your data once Google Search Console verifies your Google Analytics account. Other than the authentication to prove that you own the site, there’s nothing else you need to set up for Google Search Console.

Google Search Console is the one and only place to get real keyword data from Google. Every other tool is a best guess. It also records all the errors Google picks up on your site, tells you what’s been indexed on your site, and gives you impression and click-through data on all your keywords. I can’t overhype it enough — use it.

We never work on websites without installing both of them and they’re completely free. Even if they were paid, they’d be worth every penny.

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The Best Ecommerce WordPress Themes

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Choosing the right WordPress theme is important for everyone, but it’s especially crucial for ecommerce businesses: Your theme will ultimately have a direct impact on your conversion rates. As you know, conversions translate to dollars in the ecommerce world.

Here’s the thing — selling products online is extremely competitive. You’re up against global giants like Walmart and Amazon, as well the other smaller ecommerce shops in your industry. It’s unlikely that you have the same budget or resources to a pay a developer to build your site as the major online retailers. However, you still want your site to stand out and to convert visitors to customers. You might feel like a plankton swimming with whales.

The right WordPress theme solves this dilemma for you.

As a small business, your theme will be your website designer, developer, and a part of your tech support. Choosing the right one is crucial. There are thousands of WordPress themes on the market. Plenty of them are stylish, good-looking, and seem like they’d do the job, but not all of them are designed with ecommerce shops in mind.

When you’re trying to find the best ecommerce WordPress theme for your business, you need to look for ways to optimize the customer experience. What will they see when they land on your site? How are the products displayed? What’s the navigation like? You want everything to be easy to find and be visually appealing at the same time.

As an expert in this space, I’ve researched the best ecommerce WordPress themes and narrowed down the top five for you to consider. Use this guide as a reference as you research the best option for your ecommerce shop.

1. Artemis

Artemis Theme

Artemis is a great option for ecommerce shops that sell products with WooCommerce. This theme adds class and professionalism to your WordPress website.

Artemis has a modern design that’s extremely versatile. The theme comes with tons of different layouts and design options and it gives you the option to highlight what matters most to you on your homepage. You can showcase featured products, specific collections, discounts, and more.

It has a visual composer that lets you customize the page by simply dragging and dropping elements where you want them. You can start with a pre-built template and customize it to fit your needs and design style.

It’s great for sites that sell clothing but has the flexibility to reach niche categories as well. For example, let’s say you sell something unique, such as bicycles or watches. The theme makes it easy for you to emphasize specific features of your products with a combination of images and text descriptions.

I love that this theme supports videos in the product gallery. Rather than just showing your customers different angles of each product (which you should be doing), you can also include a video demonstration of the product. The theme is fully responsive and comes with the Slider Revolution plugin for free, so you can easily create a slideshow or presentation of your products as well.

With Artemis, you can also set up a shopping cart dropdown function on your site. Visitors can add items to their cart and continue shopping without being redirected. There’s also a wish list feature. These elements will help you increase the average order value for your ecommerce store.

Another benefit of this theme is the product quick view option. When a user clicks on a product, the image enlarges and shows a quick description of the item, as opposed to redirecting to a new landing page. This feature helps ensure you always have fast loading times.

Artemis is stylish, dynamic, and overall one of the best ecommerce WordPress themes you can buy. In my opinion, it’s well worth the $59 price tag.

2. Vitrine

Vitrine Theme

If you want your ecommerce shop to stand out from all of the cookie cutter designs out there, I’d definitely recommend the Vitrine WordPress theme.

This is one of the best ecommerce WordPress themes because it’s so easy to use. You can import and install a demo with just one click. Other themes require complex downloads and configurations that are confusing and time consuming. You won’t have that problem with Vitrine.

There are more than 30 shortcodes available that make it easier for you to customize the content on your website. This theme is fully ajaxified as well.

Vitrine lets your customers add items to their wish lists, quick view items, and compare different products on your website. The theme also has extensive options for add-to-cart functionality.

I also like the sticky add to cart feature that this theme offers. Rather than putting your most important CTA at the top or bottom of the screen, where it can be hidden or out of view, the sticky button ensures that it’s in plain sight at all times.

Another reason why this is one of my favorite ecommerce WordPress themes is because it comes with blog design templates as well. Blogging is a great way to drive organic traffic to your website and keep people coming back, even if they’re not always shopping. But, your blog layout shouldn’t look the same as your product catalogs. Vitrine recognizes this with designs made specifically for ecommerce blogging.

Social media marketing is also vital for ecommerce shops — and the Vitrine theme makes it easy. Instead of downloading a separate social media WordPress plugin for that specific feature, there’s a built-in Instagram feed plugin. I love this because it amplifies the work you’re already doing on social and helps convert visitors into followers. You want to make sure your website visitors follow you on social media so you can continue to market to them in the future.

Vitrine employs lazy loading, which is great for websites with lots of photographs. Rather than loading all the images at once, they’ll only be loaded as the user scrolls. With lazy loading, you won’t have to worry about slow page loading times on product pages with tons of images. (And you want tons of images.)

The Vitrine WooCommerce WordPress theme costs $40.

3. Halena

Halena Theme

I’d recommend Halena to anyone who wants a modern and minimal theme on their ecommerce site. The layouts are very simple, which is great for showcasing top products on the homepage.

The layouts offered by Halena remind me of luxury websites. But that doesn’t mean you need to charge $10,000 for a watch to use this theme. You can transform any ecommerce site into one that’s elegant and tasteful by using Halena.

The designs are of high quality and really showcase your images in a way that is more creative, unique, and somewhat abstract. It’s certainly not a conservative or traditional theme.

Unlike other WordPress themes, the content and settings on different Halena demos can be mixed and matched. With all of the configuration options, I’m sure you’ll be able to create a design you’re completely satisfied with.

You can completely customize your product pages as well as additional landing pages. The theme can help you create an About Us page that generates leads.

Halena has four unique product layout styles.

  • Product zoom
  • Lightbox
  • 360 degree
  • Video

This theme has a comprehensive ajax product filter. It allows customers to narrow their searches down by selecting multiple attributes and filters from the side menu.

One of my favorite features of this theme is the unique lookbook. Here’s how it works: Let’s say you’re selling clothing on your ecommerce site. You can show images of models wearing different items, and allow website visitors to click on articles of clothing that grab their attention. By adding hotspot pins that are ajax enabled, users can add those items to their cart by directly clicking on the image, as opposed to navigating to a product page to buy it.

Don’t know how to code? No problem. Halena has a visual page builder that is simple enough for anyone to use, regardless of technical skill level.

Hundreds of free fonts come standard when you install this WordPress theme, which is priced at $49.

4. Shoptimizer

Shoptimizer Theme

Shoptimizer is optimized for speed and conversions — two of the most important elements for every ecommerce website.

This plugin is unique in the sense that it’s built differently. Rather than focusing on the latest design trends, the developers analyzed data. After researching the top ecommerce websites on the Internet, they came up with themes that follow those best practices.

The first best practice: speed. The reason why Shoptimizer is so fast is because the theme automatically minifies the main CSS files on your website. It also creates a critical CSS file that loads content nearly instantly from the viewpoint of your website visitors. In addition to lightning fast page loading times, Shoptimizer is also made to improve your organic reach by improving your SEO strategy.

Next, a distraction-free cart. With Shoptimizer, the checkout process clean and keeps the user focused. By removing clutter and steps from checkouts, it will decrease your shopping cart abandonment rates while increasing conversion rates.

Shoptimizer also has a sticky bar for the product details. When people scroll on a product page to get more information, the title, product thumbnail, price, and add to cart button stay at the top of the page in plain sight. This theme includes critical information next to the add to cart button for every product. I’m referring to things like:

  • Customer reviews
  • Availability
  • Return policies
  • Shipping options
  • Safe checkout badges

All of these add credibility to your website and increase the likelihood that your website visitors will buy something.

You can also leverage FOMO and scarcity on your product pages. This theme has an option for a sales countdown timer, as well as a real-time availability tracker. These persuasive techniques will help you drive more conversions.

The theme is built for accessibility, making it easier for you to reach as many customers as possible, including people with impairments or disabilities.

Speed and conversions aside, the theme is also beautifully designed. You can purchase this ecommerce WordPress theme for $99.

Pro Tip: If you want to buy this theme, add it to your cart but don’t check out right away. I left it in my cart for a couple of minutes, which triggered a popup offering it for $49 instead.

5. Hugo

Hugo Theme

You’re a business owner, not a website designer. Hugo recognizes the fact that not all ecommerce webmasters are skilled in design. Some website owners just want to sell without having to deal with complex configurations on their sites.

If this sounds like you, then you’ll definitely want to take a look at the Hugo WordPress theme.

The layouts offered by Hugo are extremely simple. If you want to make any changes, just to use the drag-and-drop page builder. It’s responsive and hassle-free to set up. Instead of spending days or weeks setting up your ecommerce shop, you can be up and running in no time at all.

Overall, the styles on Huge are modern. You can choose different color schemes to match your company logo and make sure that you’re appealing to the right audience.

Hugo’s biggest differentiation from other ecommerce WordPress themes that we’ve seen is the backend simplicity. It’s perfect for new WordPress users or ecommerce shop owners who aren’t concerned with minor design details. If you’d rather spend time selling as opposed to playing around with endless customized elements on your website, this is the best ecommerce WordPress plugin for you.

Conclusion

What’s the best ecommerce WordPress theme?

With so many options to choose from, it’s a difficult question to answer, but after extensive research, I’ve been able to narrow down the top five.

Each one of the themes on my list has something that makes it unique or stands out from other options. So take the time to review each to see which theme fits the needs of your ecommerce site. No matter which theme you choose, I’m confident that it will improve the overall design, layout, and performance of your ecommerce website.

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