Have an amazing product you know folks will want, but not 100% sure how to effectively reach that market? Ever wanted some expert advice on how to amplify your product’s presence online? Then check out this installment of our Ecommerce Marketing Checkups series. Our team of marketing professionals will help this compelling product reach the millions who would benefit from it. - See more at: http://onlinebusiness.volusion.com/?p=19412&preview=true#sthash.6hcQPx4F.dpuf
Have an amazing product you know folks will want,
but not 100% sure how to effectively reach that market?
Ever wanted some expert advice on how to
amplify your product’s presence online?
Then check out this installment of our Ecommerce Marketing Checkups series.
Our team of marketing professionals will help this compelling brand
reach the millions who would benefit from it.
Every month, the Volusion Marketing Group assembles a cross-functional team of
experts to take a quick look at a Volusion store and provide recommendations for
In this round, our team selected MyGrillGrate, a revolutionary grilling accessory that
evenly distributes temperature for superior performance. The result is a
juicier, more tender product, making this a must-have for any serious grilling
Our team sat down and reviewed MyGrillGrate’s ecommerce presence. The group
agreed: the product certainly has appeal... but the site could benefit from a few
marketing strategies to reach a broader market.
Read on to see what our marketing experts had to say!
Small Changes Can Make a Big Impact
“SEO is often directed at the search engines, but at its heart, good SEO
always keeps the intended audience and website visitor in mind. You want to
have pertinent content on the website that makes it easier for the search
engines to determine what your website is about and engage your human
audience at the same time. By focusing on keyword research, content
development and link building, MyGrillGrate can easily heat up their online
visibility in organic searches.” - Sharanya Srinivasan, SEO Specialist
The following suggestions are intended to improve the site’s crawlability
and improve the search engines’ understanding of what the site and each
of the pages are about, thus increasing organic traffic for relevant
TitleTags with Keywords& Brand Name:
Title tags are used to concisely describe the page in the search results. Well-
written and keyword rich Title Tags are very important for SEO.
We recommend doing in-depth keyword research and finding 3-5 long tail
keywords for each page that are highly relevant and best describes the page.
Create Title Tags using those keywords by placing the most important
keyword at the beginning.
For example, for the home page, a sample title tag is:
Current Title Tag: MyGrillGrate Web Store
Recommended Title Tag: Infrared BBQ Grill Grates Online | Replacement
Grill Grates | GrillGrate
UniqueMeta Descriptions& URLs:
When looking at the organic search results, users are more likely to click on
the result with the most captivating and unique meta description. And the
search engines use URLs as one of the metrics to show relevant results.
By having compelling meta descriptions and easy to read URLs, you can
stand out in the pack of results.
For example: for the page “GrillGrates for Rectangular Grills,”
Current URL: http://www.mygrillgrate.com/category_s/40.htm
Current Meta Description: None
Recommended Meta Description: Grill perfect meat at your next BBQ with
the innovative GrillGrate, the must-have infrared grill accessory! Great for
fish, pizza & vegetables too!
OptimizedPhoto Alt Tags:
Images help the user understand what the page is about and MyGrillGrates
website has great images. But unfortunately, the search engines cannot
understand images like a human can.
We recommend using the Photo Alt Tag feature to help describe the images
to the bots and capture the organic traffic through images.
It is important to have relevant content on the page to help search engines
easily understand what the page is about when they crawl it.
Adding fresh and high value content on the website pages will help users
better understand your products and help in improving the natural search
Content is King:
Links are an important factor in SEO. Having inbound links from authority
websites increases the trustworthiness of the website to the search engines.
On-page content and blogging are great link building tools. As a best
practice, be sure to vary the anchor text to avoid creating a spammy link
It is highly advisable to link up your blog profile to Google+ profile and add
rel=”author” tag for better visibility in SERPs. For example, Meathead
Goldwyn has his Google+ profile tied to his content and it displays like this:
#2.PPC: Plan your Strategyand
“The summer is the perfect time to get PPC efforts fired up for MyGrillGrate.
However, because GrillGrate is a product that the average grill owner may
not be familiar with, it will be important to diversify your PPC strategy
and focus on the problems that GrillGrates are solving through
keyword selection and ad text creation.”
- Kate, Volusion Search Marketing Manager and PPC expert
The following suggestions are best practices for running PPC for MyGrillGrate.
Don't be afraid to experiment with your PPC. Grillers may not know these
types of grates exist, so you need to find a way to reach them in more creative
GrillGrates can either sit on top of, or replace the existing grate, so advertise
on replacement grill keywords, making sure to use lots of variations in ways
that people may be searching:
• “replacement grill grates” “
• “Weber grates”
• “new grates for grills”
• “grill grates for Huntington grills”
Lookingfor ReplacementGrill Grates:
DoingResearchto Buy an Infrared Grill:
GrillGrates turn your existing grill into an infrared grilling surface, so
advertise to people looking to buy infrared grills in the first place.
There may be people that have older model electric grills and like the idea
that they can get an infrared grilling effect without having to buy a whole
Lookingfor Information About Grilling:
GrillGrates prevent flare ups and cook foods more evenly – sealing in flavor
and juiciness without the threat of them falling through the grate.
Advertise on informational searches that relate to these benefits like:
• “how to grill steak”
• “grill flare ups”
• “grilling vegetables”
These terms may be less likely to convert, but they are a lot less competitive
so they are a lot cheaper as well.
(that utilize proper landing pages for each ad group to make ads stand
out and appeal to searchers)
• For more general grill grate-related searches use ad text that indicates
that the grates work with your existing rectangular or round grill and
send traffic to the homepage.
• For informational searches use ad text that is specific to that topic and
send traffic to the Science of GrillGrates page
GrillGrates are already pretty unique, but don’t forget to highlight your value
propositions to set yourself apart from your competitors and get searchers
excited about your products. Use phrasing like:
• Made in USA
• Award Winning
• 30 Day Guarantee
#3.Shopping Feeds:Have GreatProduct Data
& Presentthe Right Product to Shoppers
“Shopping Feeds work best for clients that have the meatiest product data.
This allows the correct information to show up in the shopping engines and
makes for the easiest discovery in searches.”
-Mia, Shopping Feeds Specialist
MyGrillGrates has great product data, but as with most stores, there are areas for
improvement. Product titles need to be descriptive without being too long, and
descriptions need to draw the shopper in and let them know what they will be
SubmitGood Product Titles:
Many of the titles on the GrillGrates site
contain great information perfect for
shopping feeds. For example, “GrillGrates
for the XL Big Green Egg and all 24"
diameter grills + GrateTool” describes the
product, size, and also names the specific
grill the product is compatible with.
Revisit titles like “SINGLE 17.375" x 5.25"
Panel” that don’t specify that this product
is for a grill.
Note that the shopping feeds only know
what you tell them, so you want to make
sure shoppers can tell exactly what the
product is for before clicking through to
With shopping feeds, it is important to have the information portrayed in a
way that the engines will recognize and accept.
Currently, MyGrillGrate has many of the product descriptions formatted
using html tags. While that may work great for the website, before
submitting to shopping engines, the html needs to be removed so the
engines will accept the data.
Products that are out of stock or not currently available should be removed
from the feed.
Often online shoppers want to purchase right away, and having products in
the feed that are not currently available may lead them to click to your site
but ultimately purchase from a competitor’s websites instead.
Also, on cost-per-click shopping engines, merchants have to pay for every
click to the website, so it is important to present products shoppers can
#4.SocialMedia – Connect & Engage
“MyGrillGrate.com fosters a unique community of people that are
passionate about the grilling lifestyle. Through entertaining blogs, video, and
content, as well as compelling posts and questions that focus on the
customer (and not the brand), MyGrillGrate can cook up a loyal community
that is engaged and excited to spread their message.”
– Cindy Day, Social Media Specialist
“Provide a place for this focused community to come together and talk. By
creating avenues that foster communication, MyGrillGrate can boost its
followership and likely heat up the engagement of those followers. Grill
them for answers, ask questions, ask for photos and listen!”
- Tori Klem, Marketing Account Manager
The following suggestions are meant to grow the target market, increase
customer loyalty, improve audience engagement, and signal engagement
to search engines.
Blog – GreatJob Humanizingthe Brand:
MyGrillGrate does a great job of putting a person behind the brand.
In ecommerce, shoppers lose the personal aspect of shopping;
however, through a blog, brands are able to bring that aspect back to the
online shopping experience.
Not only does this personal identity help build trust, it allows blog readers to
really visualize what it looks (and feels) like to use the products.
Providing people with behind the scenes buzz allows them to feel like they
are closely connected to a brand. MyGrillGrate should continue to show
real life photos, tell stories, and write in the friendly, relatable way that they
Blog – EncourageEngagement:
There is a community focused around the art of grilling. MyGrillGrate should
encourage the readers to add their opinion and thoughts to every post.
Ask questions at the end of each post,
• “What do you think?”
• “What works for you?”
• “What’s your preferred type of grill - charcoal or gas?”
Many grill masters have their own secret tips or tricks, so use questions at
the end of blog posts to get that valuable input.
• “What’s your best grill tip?”
• “What’s the one most unusual ingredient in your secret marinade?”
Blog – Tackle Unique& Exciting Topics:
One goal of a blog is to provide value to the
readers. By writing about common, unanswered
questions or really interesting themes, your readers
will want to return to your blog for future questions
and share the posts with their own network, too.
A few ideas for blog topics may include:
• “How different cultures grill” series
• “Which college tailgate has the best BBQ?” series
• Seasonal grilling menu ideas with recipes
• “How to host your own [type of grilling event]”
• Grilling trivia
Blog – UseNetworkfor Guest Posting:
Similar to the previous tip, bring in guest
bloggers to post to the MyGrillGrate blog.
This may mean a popular BBQ pit master
writing a post on specialty grilling sauces or a
chili cook-off winner posting on the top 10
BBQ cook-offs in the southeast.
The goal is to bring in relevant people who
will contribute meaningful content that adds
value to the blog.
Make a Good First Impression& Build Trust:
Online, first impressions can be the difference
between the start of a long-term trusting
relationship and a lost opportunity. Build trust
and wow customers by seeing your Facebook
business page as the front door to your
Create high quality custom icons for thumbnail
images that lead to the brand’s
YouTube, Blog, etc. You would never walk away
from a customer in real life, so don’t do it
online. Respond to all
questions, comments, posted pictures, etc.
using the brands name and post on a consistent
basis (at least once a day).
Update the cover image frequently (especially
for family-oriented type holidays, etc. 4th of
July, football season, etc.). Make it as easy as
possible for customers to buy by adding the
shopping site’s URL in the short description.
Facebook– EngageYour Community:
• Always be listening
• Ask lots of questions
• Share articles
• Post quick tips, recipes, trivia, fill in the blank, etc.
• Ask people to share their recipes
• Create a fun post schedule that people can look forward to and easily get
excited about such as, “what do you want to see us grill next?” or “name
• With each link and photo that you post, give it meaning by saying
something about it, asking a question, or pulling your favorite quote out.
• Don’t be afraid to check out the competition and other like brands
(Weber Grills) to scope out ideas and see what works for them.
YouTube– Optimize& Engage:
• Make it easy for the customer to buy - include a link to the shopping
website in the About section.
• Google crawls YouTube video descriptions; take advantage of this by
transcribing all videos and optimizing those for search using relevant
• Good job with subscribing to like-minded YouTube channels (Weber, BBQ
• Keep the conversations going by responding to all
comments, questions, etc.
YouTube– Do More of What Works:
The most popular video is, “Grilling the Perfect Burger” - take cues from this
and create more instructional and how-to videos such as,
• “Grilling the Perfect Shrimp”,
• “Grilling the Perfect Steak”
At the end of videos ask your audience, “What do you want to see us grill
Twitter– Get Involved & Grow Community:
• Optimize your profile with high quality images.
• Submerge yourself into the Twitter community.
• Create excitement and buzz while building trust by offering unexpected
value, listening, participating in conversations, and providing sincere
• Use a listening tool such as Hootsuite to set up a means to actively listen
to conversations about your brand and related topics.
• Search various keywords and hashtags
(#grill, #recipe, #steakoff, #bbq, etc.) - use these to reach a wider
audience when posting.
• Stay up-to-date on related industry topics such as meat recalls or
anything else that your community would consider valuable
Twitter– Gain Demographic& Psychographic
Insight by AskingQuestions:
Think of Twitter as the ultimate marketing research tool that you can glean
data from 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Ask questions and gather meaningful feedback.
• Who taught you how to grill?
• What is the best drink to pair with a burger?
• What is the craziest thing you grilled?
• What is your favorite fruit to grill?
• What do you drink when grilling?
• What’s your must-have burger topping?
Pinterest– Reacha WiderAudience:
Because Pinterest is nearly 70% women, having the brand on Pinterest
opens up the product to women, who traditionally may have not been a
part of the target audience.
MyGrillGrate does a great job of having properly segmented boards, geared
toward different themes (appetizers, beautiful backyards, gifts for
grillers, etc.). This can be further built out by expanding the type of pins and
creating additional boards such as holiday specific and special occasion
Pinterest– ActivelyBuild a Following:
Currently, MyGrillGrate has 102 followers but is only following 57 of those.
• Show your followers you equally care about their interests by following
• Actively search Pinterest for pinners interested in cooking and grilling
and follow them.
• Experiment with Pinterest contests to grow your followership; this may
mean creating a contest where users create boards on a certain theme
(Dream Backyard, for example) and use a hashtag for all board-related
pins. There are a myriad of types of Pinterest contests you can create;
draw examples from http://pinterest.com/pinchat/contests-on-
Pinterest– Repin RelatedPins:
MyGrillGrate’s Pinterest board is very cooking heavy, focusing on pins about
grilling recipes that are almost all found on the GrillGrate website.
• Diversify pins to engage the brands followers even more.
• Re-pin funny grilling quotes, pretty backyard landscapes, tailgating-
related photos, and other pins that the target audience would consider
Instagram - Instagram is a great social network that allows brands to
showcase insights into company culture which will further humanize the
brand, answer common customer questions, highlight offers or events, take
advantage of the rich media focus, and experiment with short videos.
Brands use Instagram to run contests or encourage engagement by asking
their communities to submit their own photos or videos with a chosen
hashtag. Example: “Share your holiday happenings with us!
#4thofJulyisGrate” With over 130 million users and its partnership with
Facebook, Instagram is worth exploring to discover if it fits into the current
Vine – Vine also uses short videos to tell a story and utilizes hashtags like
Instagram. The seven second limit capitalizes on peoples short attention
Forums - Forums are great for gathering ideas and keeping up with what your community
is talking about. Check out: http://www.bbqbackyard.com/.
Quora - Use Quora to search for different terms such as grill, grilling, bbq, etc.
to get ideas for blog posts, things to ask your social networks. Quora is a
community where brands can provide unexpected value by answering
questions or gather insights by asking questions.
Connecting Offline with Online - Ever thought about making a cookbook? Why not?
MyGrillGrate could create buzz on social media throughout the creation process of a
book. This would allow them to gather instant and immediate feedback and make
necessary changes while creating excitement about the books release.
#5.ConversionConsulting:A Lot of Things
DoneRight,but Who’sComing to the Site?
“The site looks grate, and sees lots of traffic, but with three sites and
analytics not installed properly how do you know how your customers
finding you? If you really want to smoke the competition, you’ll learn what
your visitors are searching for and if they’re buying it on your site.
- Josh, Volusion Marketing Account Manager
The following suggestions are meant to steer your customer to the checkout.
Navigation- Getting Around:
The overall look with the butcher paper background
and smoky colors target the BBQ demographic: dudes
with scorch marks and barbeque sauce flowing
through their veins.
The sparse, left-hand navigation gets you where you
need to go…mostly. The #1 spot of the navigation
menu is held by GRATE DEAL of the DAY!, which
currently has nothing in it…a common mis-steak.
Populate it with products or remove the link– like
ribs, you can always bring it back, baby.
You don’t need a lot of products to do well, just a few good ones targeted to
The product images here are good, but within the category pages the
images are too small to tell what they are at a glance. Make sure the images
take up the available space and your products will sell themselves.
Also, when you have several products within a category page, you are better
off displaying them in a grid pattern; the more products your customer can
see without scrolling, the better.
MyGrillGrate makes good use of video to
demonstrate their products. In fact, there is so
much information to share that there are three
websites dedicated to selling this product:
grillgrate.com, buygrillgrate.com, and
Although they all may have their uses, when
clicking on a link to grillgrate.com a new
window opens up taking you off of the
We would recommend duplicating, in a unique
way, all the information a customer needs to
purchase on the mygrillgrate.com site.
The goals during the checkout process are: make it easy to purchase your
products and manifest trust with your new customer.
MyGrillGrate.com takes a step in the right direction by including their
shipping information and return policy in several places during the checkout
However, requiring a phone number and email address to purchase, without
explaining the need for both, might raise suspicion; especially since it’s
followed up with a checked-box presuming the buyer wants to be placed on
a newsletter list.
Adding a text field to explain that a phone number is required should there
be a problem with delivery, etc. goes a long way in reinforcing that trust.
Checkout Checkup Continued:
Another way to build trust is to have an encrypted checkout. Secure
checkout using a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is expected by most online
This site has a SSL and it works properly - customers have a secured
checkout experience with MyGrillGrate.com - however, the certified badge
on the site should verify it’s secured status when clicked on. This image is
part of a larger image that redirects elsewhere, and should be replaced with
the correct image and link.
Lastly, after a purchase, use the order confirmation page (AKA the “Thank
You Page”) to encourage your customers to return by offering a coupon, an
instructional video, or encourage them to enter the giveaway you’re already
This empty Order Confirmation Page can be transformed…
… into a real Thank You Page.
Checkout Checkup Continued:
The site is using Google Analytics to track visitor data. However, with two
other grill sites collecting visitors and then redirecting them to
MyGrillGrate.com to purchase, much of that data is lost.
Instead of finding out where customer are coming from, what they are
searching for and buying, most of the data simply says they arrived from one
of the two Grill sites.
By setting up cross domain tracking with analytics you can see how that
customer flows from their search for “better ways to grill outdoors,” all the
way to the purchase and retain that information for your marketing efforts.
(How to set up cross-domain tracking in Google Analytics:
SetUp Cross DomainTracking:
When you have multiple sites with different domain names pointing to
a single e-commerce site, we recommend setting up analytics (such as
Google Analytics) with iFrames so that you can easily identify the source
through which the visitor came to the website.