It doesn’t matter if you own a small online store hosted by one of the many available ecommerce partners, or a major ecommerce website. Without the right level of traffic, it will be difficult to make a profit or possibly break even. As long as your business is online, it needs traffic to survive. Discovering effective ways to drive traffic to your online store can be time consuming and sometimes, quite difficult. In fact, one study suggests that generating traffic and leads is a huge problem for most companies today. In view of this, we have put together six actionable tips you can use for driving traffic to your online store. With these simple suggestions, you will be better placed to compete with the big boys.
1) Invest in Google AdWords
One of the fastest ways to drive traffic to your ecommerce website is by paying for it.
If you’ve spent a bit of time on the internet, you must have come across Google AdWords a few times. This is Google’s ‘pay per click’ advertising system that can drive traffic to your ecommerce website. Millions of businesses enjoy huge success rates by using this system. Pay per click means that you don’t get to pay for the advert up front; you’ll only do so when someone clicks on your link, views your product or performs any other action whilst on your website.
There are different ways to get started with AdWords, but the basics are:
- Show your online store’s ads in Google search results
- Display banner or text ads on websites, apps or Gmail
- Upload your video ads on YouTube in such a way that it targets your preferred audience, based on certain criteria such as demographics, age or interests
- Promote your store’s app on Android and iOS devices
It’s important you have a system of properly tracking the performance of these ads, so that you’ll know which is bringing in the most ROI. Additionally, you need to set your budget before taking your ads live, so that you don’t overspend above your allotted budget.
2) Utilise SEO
Search Engine Optimisation plays a vital role in the visibility of your website. After using paid search, you also need to utilise organic search. This is when people can find your website and products in search engine results pages, based on their search query and not because you paid for it. In this case, it helps you be found by those who need what you’re offering.
Admittedly, SEO has a very broad scope, but once you have the basics in place, you will see traffic coming to your online store for SERPs. Some of the basics to consider are:
- Optimising your website to load at top speed
- Include detailed descriptions for individual products on your website
- Add high quality product images, including clear keyword descriptions
- Include relevant keywords in your product description, product titles and other content relating to your products
- Create an XML sitemap and submit to major search engines
- Build relevant links from high quality websites to your content
- Include outbound links to relevant websites in your niche
- Ensure your website is optimised for mobile.
Taking a short time to do all or just some of the basics listed above will help your store rank higher in search engine results, which will lead to more traffic for your website.
3) Optimise for local search
One quick way to drive traffic to your ecommerce website is to position your store for local customers. This involves optimising for local SEO, such as claiming your Google My Business listing, including keywords and phrases with geo-modifiers in your content that customers might use when searching for the type of products you sell. Additionally, you can also choose a domain name that relates to the country or region where your primary target customers are based. For instance, if your market is in New Zealand, you can choose a domain name that ends in .NZ – for example, buycheapiphones.co.nz. Almost every region and country has its own ccTLD, registered by reputable companies like WordPress, Open Host and many others
4) Utilise Social Media
You will no doubt know that social media has turned into a very powerful tool for showcasing your business, products and services. It is certainly the most effective in terms of cost and scope, as it allows you to reach a large number of people, who are likely to have an interest in your products, at very little investment.
Social media provides an ideal platform for engaging with your customers. It gives you the opportunity to hear what they’re saying and respond to them accordingly. More than that, social media can significantly affect the volume of traffic your ecommerce website receives. You can use different platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to reach the kind of people that would show interest in what you have to offer.
One way search engines provide reliable search results is by looking for websites that have good social signals when ranking for search. If done properly, your social media profiles can give your website ranking signals that would significantly improve your ranking in SERPs.
5) Encourage user reviews
Many ecommerce websites do not understand the role of user reviews in driving website traffic. Research has shown that about 88% of shoppers trust online reviews as though they were personal recommendations. This means that potential customers are more likely to buy from you if they see product reviews on your online store left by satisfied customers. Each review left by a customer has a profound impact on the purchase decisions of new customers. It’s therefore important that you encourage and make it easy for customers to leave reviews after any purchase. This also means ensuring your products and services are able to meet the expectations of your customers. Any customer who is willing to take the time and effort to post a review about your business will be more likely to tell someone else about your website.
6) Take advantage of videos
Video marketing is steadily becoming the primary marketing strategy of the future. Video is a powerful tool that helps you convey the right message to your customers at the right time. Studies have shown that customers are more likely to buy a product that has come to their attention via a video clip. This shows the importance of videos in your ecommerce marketing strategy. Such videos can show prospective customers how to use your products, or they can be simple in their style, merely showcasing your available products. You can upload these videos on your website and social media profiles; make sure to include a detailed description with relevant keywords to help search engines understand what it’s about.
These are just a few tips to help drive traffic to your online store. As you go further on your journey, continually analyse your results and look for more innovative ways to provide value to your customers. In time, you will see your traffic soar.