5 ways to increase traffic to your ecommerce website

Saturday, January 03, 2015

The recent surge in online sales means that ecommerce sites are popping up with increasing frequency, thereby crowding the online marketplace. As a result, online sales are more important than ever, whether your business is large or small. So, what can you do to ensure your business remains competitive in an increasingly aggressive market?

One of the best things you can do to achieve and maintain success in ecommerce is to drive customers to your online store. Whether you’ve only just set up your online marketplace or it’s something you’ve spent months honing to perfection, it’s always a good time to strategize how to attract more traffic. Even if you’re already seeing success with online marketing and ecommerce, there may be new techniques you haven’t considered to secure even more new customers.

Whether you’re new to ecommerce or a seasoned pro, driving traffic to your online store is a crucial part of your business. So, this article will discuss five methods to increase traffic to your ecommerce website. Soon, you’ll be well on your way to improving your conversion rates, mastering your social media and email marketing presence, and driving potential customers to your online business.

Why traffic is the lifeblood of an ecommerce site

Customer traffic is vital to any store, whether brick-and-mortar or ecommerce. A brick-and-mortar retail store may rely on various marketing strategies to reach its target audience and create brand awareness. However, no matter how much social media and email marketing they do, brick-and-mortar retailers still rely on foot traffic as a valuable tool for reaching potential customers.

Unlike brick-and-mortar stores, ecommerce sites can’t simply purchase or rent a building in a prime location where they’re guaranteed to get traffic on their landing page. And without traffic, your website and business will flounder.

So, how can ecommerce drive traffic organically to your site? The following techniques will help you through the process of realizing your online store’s potential through targeted ad campaigns, creative marketing, and quality content.

Traffic can be costly

Before discussing the five methods for driving traffic to your site, it’s worth mentioning the cost. As a business owner, you’re well-versed in choosing where to spend your hard-earned money for the most significant return on investment (ROI). So, why bother increasing traffic if you already see abundant sales on your ecommerce site? Sales will happen organically, right? Not necessarily.

Marketing should make up at least some portion of your annual budget. Depending on the size of your company, this percentage can range anywhere from 3% to upward of 9% of your gross revenue. When deciding where to allocate those funds, increasing traffic to your ecommerce website should be a serious consideration in every aspect of your marketing strategy.

With that being said, not all traffic-driving strategies need to be expensive. When choosing a marketing strategy designed to drive traffic to your ecommerce site, you’ll want to consider several factors, including ROI, required effort, cost, and the amount of traffic the tactic has the potential to create.

Now, let’s dive in and look at five ways to increase traffic to your ecommerce website.

Five ways to drive traffic to your ecommerce website

Social Media Marketing

Social media ad campaigns have the potential to get your business in front of the eyes of the people who are most likely to become your customers. Remember the analogy about foot traffic at the brick-and-mortar? Think of social media ad space as prime real estate where your business is most likely to be seen by potential customers.

One of the superpowers of social media marketing is the ability to create highly targeted ads specifically for your ideal customers. For example, social media websites can filter users by age, location, gender, and other demographic traits.

There are two types of social media marketing strategies: paid and organic. Paid options include ads and post boosting. You can achieve organic traffic by consistently posting quality content and developing engaging content for your followers. Depending on the social media platform, you’ll have different options and price brackets to choose from. Here are some of the social networks to consider:

Instagram: Instagram ads are a low effort, short-term marketing strategy with moderate traffic-driving potential. With more than a billion users, Instagram is a highly populated platform with many prospective customers. First, create an Instagram business account. Then, start making videos, creating hashtags, and posting photos of your products. Creating Instagram ads from your content can take the traffic-generating potential of Instagram to the next level for your business.

Facebook: As the largest social media platform in the world, Facebook has a vast reach and the potential to convert many users into customers. Facebook can filter users based on behavior, demographics, interests, location, and more, giving your ad campaign a laser-focused view of your ultimate customer. Facebook dynamic ads specifically target users who have previously visited your website and automatically generate ads for items the user viewed or added to their carts.

Pinterest: This social media platform is popular in niche groups such as home decorating, crafts, home renovation, DIY, and event planning. If your small business is trying to reach customers in these fields, Pinterest might be the right fit for your marketing needs. Pinterest ads are called “Promoted Pins” and are a form of paid advertising that bumps your company’s pins to the top of users’ search results and feeds. These pins blend seamlessly with other organic pins, making them a subtle tool for capturing your potential customer's attention.

Google: Google Ads are a unique type of social media marketing in that you can advertise your products directly to people searching for them. Google ads can put your ads on Google and YouTube, two of the largest search engines in the world. The biggest drawback to utilizing Google ads is that the process can be complex and challenging to navigate. If you don’t have experience with this platform, you can end up spending a lot of money marketing your product to the wrong audience.

Overall, curating your brand’s presence on the social media platforms that closely align with your ideal demographic is a great place to start. Engage with your customers, develop a following, and encourage friends, family, and existing customers to like and share your posts to reach a wider audience.

Search Engine Optimization

Right now, potential customers are already searching for your product online. But unfortunately, if you’re not one of the top results returned by the search engine, your customers are unlikely to find you. So, how can you ensure that your ecommerce site ranks in the top search results?

The best way to get your website to rank high in Google’s search results is by going through the process of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your website. Enhancing your SEO essentially tells Google that your business has all of the qualities that make it a good fit for whatever your potential customers are searching for.

This optimal SEO setup includes ensuring that all of your website’s pages are keyword-rich, including product descriptions and images alt text. Backlinks and meta descriptions also play an essential role in your search engine ranking.

The best SEO practices can sometimes be elusive, and there may also be technical issues on your website that inhibit your ranking in search engine results. For this reason, it’s sometimes a good idea to purchase an SEO plugin that can tell you where your SEO weak spots are. Additionally, you might want to hire an SEO consultant to help you with keyword research and the implementation of SEO best practices.

If you decide to go at it alone, there are a lot of great resources for narrowing down your specific audience and conducting keyword research to enhance your SEO ranking. Reddit can be a good starting place for customer research. Its forums are divided into particular niches on almost any topic. After creating an account, you can start making posts and asking questions to get a specific idea of what your audience wants.

Pay-Per-Click

Once you understand the keywords most likely to drive traffic to your ecommerce website, you may want to invest in a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign. A PPC campaign allows your website to be seen at the top of the search results page without ranking for those keywords.

Google Ads is one of the most efficient digital marketing tools for conducting a PPC campaign by allowing your ad to be displayed on Google search results, YouTube, Google Maps, and below search results on Google Play.

When you launch a PPC campaign, it’s vital to have a polished and relevant landing page for your website. In some cases, this is your homepage, but not always. For example, if your customer is searching for ‘how to choose the right swimsuit,’ you won’t want to direct them to a product listing when they’re looking for video tutorials or blog posts on the subject.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a popular and influential method for driving traffic to your ecommerce website. It allows you to educate your customers as well as sell to them by creating high-quality educational content on your ecommerce website.

Establishing your brand as an authority in your niche can help bring more traffic to your website while building trust with your potential customer base. This can lead to a high conversion of online traffic to sales, making content marketing a wise ROI.

Content marketing, like SEO, is a vast topic, but here’s what you need to know. Your customers are usually not just looking for a product. They’re looking for a solution to a problem. If your content can target these potential customers and offer to solve their problems with your quality content, you will build trust with your clients, making them more likely to turn to you when they need or want one of your products.

Email Marketing

The previous four marketing techniques have focused on attracting new customers, but it’s crucial that you don’t forget about your current customers. Email marketing campaigns utilize your email list to disseminate engaging content designed to encourage returning customers, customers who have abandoned their carts, or to entice new customers. Building an email list is one of the most effective marketing strategies because it allows you to communicate directly with your potential customers and deliver content specifically suited to their needs.

By using email marketing software, you can create personalized marketing campaigns for individual users. For example, you can entice a customer to revisit their abandoned cart with a 10% off coupon or offer discounts to returning customers for sharing your products on social media, which can help bring additional traffic to your site.

Conclusion

Driving traffic to your ecommerce website is crucial to any successful small business. In the increasingly aggressive online marketplace, staying abreast of the most effective marketing strategies is vital to maintaining your customer base, enticing them to make purchases, and attracting additional customers.

Whether you choose to pursue a social media ad campaign on your favorite platform, pay for a PPC campaign, optimize your SEO, enhance your content marketing, or engage in an email marketing campaign, implementing any of these strategies will have you well on your way to improving conversion rates and driving potential customers to your online business.


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Heartland is ready to help.

Heartland is the point of sale, payments and payroll solution of choice for entrepreneurs that need human-centered technology to sell more, keep customers coming back and spend less time in the back office. Nearly 1,000,000 businesses trust us to guide them through market changes and technology challenges, so they can stay competitive and focus on building remarkable businesses instead of managing the daily grind. Learn more at heartland.us.