A HIPPO Internet Marketing Training blog by Corey Creed

The Jungle Map, your guide through internet marketing

Tools for Working on an E-Commerce Business

August 23rd, 2013

WebToolsAs I stated earlier, I’m spending considerable time right now on my own e-commerce websites in an effort to improve their marketing, product range, conversion rate, and more.  This is long overdue.  These sites make pretty good money and just improving them by 10 to 20% would be a significant benefit to our business.

In the process, I’ve started to come up with a list of tools I use that help me.  These are not just tools for e-commerce, but most are good for marketers in general. too.  I am hoping this will spur some others to write similar posts so I can see what they use.  Here goes…

PRODUCTIVITY TOOLS

My old pal Chris Easler reminded me recently of Trello.  Ok, so now I’m addicted to it.  It is definitely the best thing I’ve ever used for a To Do list.  I am an avid user of the GTD system by David Allen.  It works awesome with this.  We’re also using Trello to track all customers through the process of lead to quote to sale.

excelI’m also using a killer Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.  I made it myself.  It tracks all my time at work as well as what I did each day.  It also serves as a master list of all money budgeted and spent on marketing and office supplies as well as a list of what I’m doing for each client.  We use Google spreadsheets too for light stuff.  But Microsoft Excel is so much more powerful for real stuff.

By the way, if you still don’t understand Excel formulas and pivot tables, go read this and download this free e-book.

On occasion, I’m still using The Action Machine for pushing myself to get more done.

If you have multiple blogs, there’s nothing like ManageWP to keep track of them all and easily work with all of them.

MARKETING TOOLS

Of course Google AdWords rules this world.  Search marketing, remarketing, and display advertising.  I also spend a fair amount of time in Google Analytics, of course.

Go Data FeedBut I’m also working more with Bing Ads.  The import tool from Google AdWords to Bing Ads is fantastic.

For Product listings, I’ve really fallen in love with GoDataFeed.  It does a great job of keeping everything in your e-commerce store accurately synchronized with your product listings in Google and other places, including Amazon.

For call tracking, I’ve completely bought into CallRail.  It’s pricing is great and I’m using it for every client as well.

I also use MouseFlow to be able to actually see what visitors are doing.  It’s cheap and works awesome.

SEARCH TOOLS

After Ephricon, I’ve finally bought into Moz Pro Tools and Majestic.  They’re probably the best tools on the market for SEO.

For seeing how Google visits your site, I’m also a big fan of Screaming Frog .  For large e-commerce sites, Deep Crawl does something similar on a large scale.  (Strange, both of these are from the UK.)

For AdWords, my favorite tool is probably ScrapeBox.  Don’t use it for all the black hat it’s intended for.  Just use the keyword scraping tool for finding negative keywords.  It’s far better than ubersuggest, which is free.  Of course, if you use ScrapeBox, be sure to use it with proxies.  I use BuyProxies.

TRAINING

TrainingI love learning.  But I’m trying my best not to get caught up in reading and watching everything.  I’m trying to be more productive this month.  Overall, it’s working.  But here are a few of my recent favorites.

The standards for me are still Search Engine Land and Marketing Land.  Sign up for both of these daily emails and you practically need nothing else to stay up to date on all online marketing.  I’ve been following all things Danny Sullivan for ten years now.  No joke.  He’s awesome.

For conferences, I’d like to go to another Search Marketing Expo.  But they are a little expensive.  So PubCon would probably be my first choice.  Most recently, I went to the local Search Exchange and may even attend the local BlendConf in a couple weeks.

E-COMMERCE INFORMATION

Lately, I’ve been enjoying reading A Better Lemonade Stand.  It is a blog by Richard Lazazzera as he starts a new e-commerce business.  Check it out.  It’s fun learning about how he’s getting started.

Through Richard, I’ve also started to follow Forever Jobless and EcomLab.  There are interesting endeavors by Billy Murphy.  If I had more time, I’d probably start following the forum at EcomLab.  It has potential.

I also wish I had more time to follow the Practical Ecommerce portal.  It has been blogging for quite a while now.  In fact, I’d like to do some guest posts for them.  {call me}

Because I sell to the hospitality niche, I also should keep up on Hotel Interactive, a nice portal for Hotel news.

 

  • Joe Donahue

    Hi Corey, great post. What products do you sell? Or, are they your customers products/sites?
    Thanks,
    Joe

    • http://www.CoreyCreed.com Corey Creed

      We sell various products to the hospitality industry. See http://www.Hippo-Inc.com. How’s business for you? Drop me a note someday. You have my email address or catch me on social media.

  • Chris Ratchford

    Damn Corey, how much do I owe you for this information????

    I live on ManageWP…. great tool.

    But thanks for the tip about MouseFlow… just yesterday I was looking for something similar and they charged $47/user for a test!

    • http://www.CoreyCreed.com Corey Creed

      Glad you liked it, @chrisratchford:disqus. It really should have been split up into several posts. I just got started and could not stop. :) Yea, I love MouseFlow. I’ve told a lot of people about them. They should give me my account for free by now. :)

  • Shabbir Nooruddin

    Hey Corey,

    I love MouseFlow, too – they work awesome and cost peanuts compared to CrazyEgg and the like.

    Using scrapebox for negative keywords in Adwords is BRILLIANT – would save you so much time and money that would otherwise get flushed in just testing and optimizing.

    For eCommerce info, another great resource is eCommerceFuel.com by Andrew Youderian and my own humble venture, bootstrappingeCommerce.com

    Cheers!

    • http://www.CoreyCreed.com Corey Creed

      Hello @shabbirnooruddin:disqus. Thanks for following along on my blog and commenting. I appreciate the links. It seems as if several are starting new blogs and building audiences on the topic of doing e-commerce. There’s still a lot of potential in doing so.

  • Chris

    Great post! I’ve also been using Asana, and really like it alot. Plus Google Docs/Drive. Been using Aten Software for pulling ecom data feeds. Lastpass & Xmarks for passwords and bookmarks. Definitely pivot tables. And a clipboard history program to all the cutting and pasting.

    • http://www.CoreyCreed.com Corey Creed

      Good call. I should have mentioned LastPass. There’s nothing like it. It’s awesome. For bookmarks, I’m a huge user of Delicious and have been for a while. I have not tried Xmarks. Do you prefer it, @disqus_wDowXkZFTb:disqus?

      • Chris

        Yes, I like Xmarks. It syncs your bookmarks with any browser you use. Not sure if Delicious does that.