We’ll be covering:
• Choosing a Niche for Dropshipping Business.
• How to Create Dropshipping Website Store with WordPress and Shopify
• Website Optimization and Page Speed for Online Store
• Products Finding and Dropshipping Suppliers.
• SEO Optimization for Dropshipping Website.
• Social Presence and First Stage Free Advertising.
Good guide is short guide. We won’t cover what dropshipping is and why, instead we’ll try to sum up everything you’ll need to start.
Time is money, friend (c)
1 Choosing a Niche for Dropshipping Business
Good advice here would be - Choose products and overall niche which is close to your own interests. It's important that your niche won't become a heavy burden for you to build your store and expand. Your own wide knowlege of your niche will definitely relate to the quality of your business.
Search AliExpress and Taobao for items that seems interesting to you. Think about your favourite irl stores. Choose from your own perspective. There is no right or ideal niche. Every product will find it's customer.
In this particular guide we'll talk about women's fashion niche.
2 How to Create Dropshipping Website Store with WordPress and Shopify
There's two different paths you could start up your store
• Your own website.
• Popular online platforms like Amazon, eBay and etc.
Your website - Your rules. Dropshipping on popular platforms is a topic for another longread guide.
First of all, the name of your store. Everything starts with your domain.
It's smart to include the keyword that related to your niche in your domain name.
Should I buy .com domain? You may ask. Well, there's no particular reason to stuck with .com domains, they became the meta of internet because they was introduced so early. Google will index your .store, .co, .uk store just as good as .com domain suffix if the website itself is good. Keywords in domain are playing it's role in seo, suffixes - not really. It's all about content. Internet was created for it. So if you'll end up with amazing site name that you like but it's already taken - feel free to observe alternatives for domain suffixes. I would recommend avoiding dash in domain name, but that's not playing any seo role either.
Let's get to the intresting part: How to create a dropshipping website. There's options. Most common and popular nowadays is WordPress with free shopping plugin WooCommerce and another option is online service Shopify. Both options are user friendly. Let's see what's the difference between them.
Shopify is a paid service that handles all technical job for you.
You're taking their free 14 days trial, buying cheap domain from GoDaddy with 90% discount coupon and your store is online. Literally that's it. You're going to have an amazing stats analytics within admin panel, ssl certificate included, a lot of plugins to help you optimize your store and even built in option to sell your store. Shopify is definitely your choice if you're completely newbie in creating websites.
WordPress is free and giving you total controll over your website. WordPress itself was delevoped for creating blogs but with a help of WooCommerce you can turn it into online store easily. You'll have to buy domain name, SSL certificate, and hosting for your wordpress to start. GoDaddy offers good and cheap hosting that was created specially for wordpress, with wordpress auto installation. You can use any hosting provider actually, there are many good and affordable ones.
Good advice - choose the one with CDN network built in. We'll talk about it in the next step.
WordPress is your choice if you know how websites work and ain't afraid to learn new information about website building to create the best one that fit's all your needs. It's going to cost you less to maintain it than Shopify on a long distance.
There are some hidden advantages of using Shopify instead of Wordpress. Some payment systems will more likely approve your store for Shopify. It depends on your country and region. You can easily connect PayPal as main payment method for both systems.
3 Website Optimization and Page Speed for Online Store
Website Optimization for online store in your case is starting with your website theme. Both Shopify and WordPress have built in free themes which could be used right away, but we advise you to find unique and seo friendly theme on ThemeForest.
You can find a lot of amazing themes for Shopify and WordPress.
Good advice - dont rely too much on demo preview of themes. The main things there are how top menu looks and does the theme have good mobile responsiveness. Everything else is customizable.
This is important for seo part.
Then plan and create your main menu and category hierarchy.
It should be simple and user friendly. Imagine that your goal is to make as much website pages accessable from every other page where user could be, like to access "Tops & T-Shirts" category from "Contact Us" page with one click.
Next crucial step is image size optimization. You can make your logo svg so it would weight only 1 kilobyte. All jpeg images for banners and every product must be compressed. There are plugins that could compress all images automaticly for both Shopify and WordPress but we highly recommend you to use JPEGmini as a software on your computer and compress images by hand because they have the best compressing algorithm.
Use Image Lazy Load if your theme have this feature or use plugins.
Use cache and css compression plugins like W3 Total Cache for WordPress.
Quick addition about CDN from previous step: What is CDN and how it's affecting my website.
You can always check your website speed with this Google Tool and get recommendations from them how could you optimize it even more.
4 Products Finding and Dropshipping Suppliers
When you're looking for products on AliExpress - it's all about seller's reputation. Always check user reviews. Take a look on real user photos and only then add products on your website. Check for big brand replics. It's better not to include them on your store. Sometimes you may add an item not knowing it's a replic and get a message on your store email from official retailer with request to remove it. If so - dont panic, just be polite and do it. Rarely huge retailers will contact you with such requests if your store is small, but it may become a critical problem if you, let's say, have a 400k users on your Shopify store monthly and some brand contacted Shopify directly without sending you an email and Shopify just banned your shop interely. That may be a heart breaking experience, so please be smart.
By the way, In this particular case WordPress is better than Shopify, because you controlling every part of your website on your terms.
Quality of product photos is really important. Make them bright and good looking. But do not overuse filters and color correction that changing product color greatly. You don't need refunds from your customers who recieved an item which is different color from the one listed your website.
If you're using some of the products that are listed in our Wardrobe, feel free to use our images. We're doing our best to make them look awesome and instagram ready.
Reminder: Сompress every image before uploading on your website.
There are tons of great products on Aliexpress. There's even more on Taobao. To work with Taobao you'll have to find an agent who'll hande shipping directly to your customers. You can use SuperBuy for that or you can always contact us and we'll consult you about your dropshipping business and will find reputable agent in China for you.
5 SEO Optimization for Dropshipping Website
SEO optimisation is, perhabs, most important thing to do if you're aiming for long term results. If you're just launched your online store you may not seeing huge results right away. But on a distance - it may play the most important role in delivering your content for other people.
There's a lot of awesome guides and courses for seo optimization than we could possibly write up in a single article, but let's cover the basics.
Overall seo is like a guide map of your website for search engines to deliver it the right way for right audience.
Every page must have it's title and description with main keywords to describe what user should expect by visiting it.
Title - 50-60 characters.
Description - 155-160 characters.
Seems easy and too short, right? The main idea here is the focus keywords and the way you use them. You may focus on low competition keywords on first stages and then optimize the whole website for popular ones.
First of all - you should write up your seo for people, not for machine to index it. Google algorithm contains a lot of variables sums up to define your rank. This part is often misunderstood. Everything counts. Your domain age, amount of backlinks to your website, reputation of websites that backlink to your site, social media presence, your website load speed and etc.
If you're using WordPress - YoastSeo plugin is your must have. It's free. Get it right after WordPress installation.
Shopify have lot's of similar free and paid plugins that could make it easy for you to edit meta information for products in chunks with premade template and etc. By default Shopify have a seo block within every product and page editing admin page where you can see the character length restriction for your title and description.
Analyse competitors in your niche. Analyse the PPC advertisements and their descriptions in Google. Use Google Keywords Planner and Google Trends.
After you've done with seo optimization - add your website and it's sitemap (generated automaticly with plugins) in Google Webmaster Tools.
6 Social Presence and First Stage Free Advertising
So now website is up , looking neat, optimized and filled with products, what's next? How to find clients?
Your first steps should be aiming for social media. Most important for you would be Pinterest and Instagram, but the more social media you'll use, the more engagement you'll get.
Pinterest is, actually, the most efficient way of free advertising for women's fashion niche. Register business account and enable rich pins for price auto grabbing. Create 15+ boards (you can use your category names for them). Get free browser plugin and start pinning every product image from your store. Include description and hashtags. Quality of your images here playing a huge role for users to interact with them and visiting your store. Be consistant in creating pins. Use Tailwind. This is the best Pinterest tool on the market so far for schelduing pins, joining group boards and stat management. Scheldue up to 12-48 pins per day.
Good advice - be patient and consistant with social media.
After socials, you should start to build a do-follow backlinks for your website from trusted sources. Do/Buy a guest posts for blogs in your niche, collaborate with video bloggers and etc.
If you're aiming for paid advertisement, we would recommend to use Google Adsense, get your products listed with Google Merchant, Instagram paid ads and Reddit advertising.
Develop your own strategies, test every advertisement method, build backlinks, be consistant with your social media, build your brand reputation.