3 - How to Add Value to Your Store
Adding value to your site is what this section is all about. But what is value and how does this apply store? Read on to find out.
What Makes a Valuable Site?
If you have read the previous guide on “ Thin Affiliate” sites (and if you haven’t it is strongly recommended), you will understand that not all sites are created equal in the eyes of Google. It all comes down to how valuable your site is.
What this means is basically how good is your site for a potential visitor? Does it fill the hole that caused them to search Google? Does it offer good quality advice? Would you be proud to recommend it to your friends and family?
In an online world where everyone is looking to take shortcuts it is those that do the job properly that succeed.
So What is Value?
In terms of a website, value is something that makes visiting the site worthwhile. It might be great content, a carefully selected selection of products, useful reviews or simply a great design that gives visitors a great user experience.
Adding Value: Your Store Structure
First and foremost you should start your store on the right foot in the way you organise and add products. Build your store for the visitor. If your sites niche is “Power Drills” then don’t add other “Power Tools” in the hope that you might get sales.
Stay focused on your niche and plan your store categories. In this area it helps to know something about your niche. For example, I run a Pressure Cooker store and I know that my visitors like to browse products by the capacity. I have setup filter options for this (more about filter options in a later guide).
They also trust particular manufacturers, so I have setup manufacturer pages for them.
Try to strike a balance between targeting good keywords for your categories and the usability of your store. In other words, don’t just create categories based on popular keywords.
Adding Value: Content
The most obvious way to add value to your store is by adding content. This is the most measurable way that Google can determine how valuable your store is. Our recommendation is to ensure your site has at least 5 pages of unique content before making your store live.
You can add content to any area of your Fresh Store Builder store. We recommend you start by adding content to your homepage, a few of your main categories and some articles as follows:
- Homepage: Add at least 300 words introducing your store and the products
- Category Pages: Add at least 200 words about the products in the category
- Articles: Add new pages with good quality articles – at least 300 words
- Products: Pick the most important products to start with and add some good information (word count as applicable)
Adding Value: Supporting Blogs and Sites
A good way to add value to your entire site is to run a blog alongside. This is not applicable to all niches but probably more suited to those that have a community type following or are a more popular niche.
Add a blog to a subdirectory (e.g. www.store.com/blog) or a subdomain (blog.store.com). If you do run a blog make sure you have the time to add useful blog posts AT LEAST twice a week. Otherwise, the blog could have a detrimental affect on your store by making it look neglected.
See our next guide for tips on outsourcing content, if you don’t have the time to maintain a blog yourself.
Remember that this is an optional idea and not required.
Adding Value: Downloadable Content
In some niches downloadable and/or printable content might be useful to your visitors. For example product manuals, a shortcut guide to using the product or a poster that relates to the product.
Here are some examples:
- Pressure Cooker Niche: A downloadable PDF with some great recipes. Include your branding for the store and the users will share with other people.
- Digital Camera Niche: Manuals for the cameras (can be found online) or a “Cheat Sheet” pdf which lists common functions and tips.
- Aquarium/Fish Niche: A poster listing chemical information and recommendations for cleaning aquariums.
Adding Value: Your Help and Advice
When your visitors ask you questions via email, list the answers on an FAQ page. Populate this page with common questions originally and promote the page on your homepage.
If possible and if its worth your time (i.e. you are promoting high value items), consider making a phone number available on your site for advice.
Adding Value: Further Ideas
Your specific niche will present you with unique ideas to offer value on your site. Spend some time thinking about your customers, what they need, what would be useful and how you can improve the experience for your visitors.
Analyze your competitors for more ideas on adding value.