Many online sellers today are accustomed to selling on marketplaces that charge listing, monthly or commission fees. Most of these marketplaces charge fees that range from 8% to 25% or more. These marketplaces are able to use a portion of this money for affiliate programs, to buy ads on shopping comparison sites, search engines, Hotmail, Youtube etc. This paid exposure helps the marketplace attract traffic on demand which usually results in quicker sales. You too can buy traffic and most likely profit from it, but our goal right now is to focus on making sales that won’t cost you money. In most cases time is the best substitute for money and this is what we will be focusing on.
Let’s now focus on how to generate traffic and sales for free. There are many free options to choose from but we will mainly be focusing on Bing search, Bing shopping, Google search, Google shopping, Shopwiki, TheFind and Yahoo search in this post.
All of these sites are good at what they do and all have provided our sellers with traffic and sales. I don’t want to take anything away from any of them but if you’re wondering, Google in my opinion is the best due to it’s popularity. Google shopping has provided us with more sales than all of our other options combined. Based on our data, we rank the others as follows 2nd TheFind, 3rd Shopwiki, 4th Yahoo search and 5th Bing (mainly Bing search).
I will now explain how these search engines and shopping comparison sites work. I will only provide you with a general idea so that you can better understand why it takes some longer than others to deliver traffic.
Bing search, Google search, Shopwiki, TheFind and Yahoo search index items automatically. They basically send bots in which search our site and collect information/data from pages and then insert this information into their own database.
Shopwiki and TheFind only retrieve item data. Bing search, Google search and Yahoo search collect general data. Therefore, it can take Bing search, Google search and Yahoo search longer to index your items. It can take Bing search, Google search, Shopwiki, TheFind and Yahoo search days or even weeks to index your items.
With Google shopping, we have to setup a data feed for each new seller. This is a one time setup and we usually do this within 24 hours but it can take up to 48 hours. The data feed is automatically updated by our servers afterwards.
A Google shopping data feed is basically a text file that is made up of items. For each item we provide the item’s title, description, picture, price, shipping cost, link to the listing and more.
Google’s shopping bot visits our site once every 24 hours to collect the information and the information is later displayed on the Google site (mainly the Google shopping site).
Google usually displays newly listed items within 24 hours of collecting the data.
Bing shopping uses a data feed as well and they collect this data once every 24 hours. This is all very similar to the Google shopping process.
With Bing it’s hard to tell when newly listed items are displayed on their site but Bing states that this usually takes around 72 hours.
Now that you have a general idea of where your items are seen, we can proceed to optimizing your listings so that they gain better visibility.