How to Get Traffic to your eCommerce Store

On the face of it, it’s a simple formula:
  
Your Online Store + Traffic = Conversions & Sales

Online Store – check. But Traffic?... What? Where? How?

Traffic is the lifeblood that flows in eCommerce veins

Knowing how to tap into the richest sources of traffic is another main contender for the make or break of your online business.

There are many people trying many ways to generate traffic with many different degrees of success. Some are easy, others require more effort. Some are free (organic) and others incur a cost (paid). There is definitely no off-the-shelf package that will fit every need but we’d like to introduce you to a few ideas to get you started:

Creating Relevant Blog Posts

This one will cost you nothing but a little time.

Chances are potential customers aren’t actively looking for your product, they’re looking for the solution to the problem that your product can provide.

So, posting informative content that positions you as a trusted, credible authority is a key tactic to getting your eCommerce site searched and found. Tie in how your product or service can complete the answer they’re looking for and you’re off!

Be original, be genuine and be on-topic and armies of searchers will beat a path to your online door.

Get social

Some would say that if you don’t have social media as part of your marketing strategy you don’t have a strategy. Oo, harsh…

But the reality is, everyone lives on social so, if you want to get in customers’ faces, you’ve got to be there too.

There are a multitude of platforms and benefits – not least of which is… they’re free!
Popular social media platforms include:

Instagram
LinkedIn
Facebook
Pinterest
TikTok
Twitter – and there seems to be more every day

The real key is choosing the one that’s popular with your target audience. Fish where the fish are. Boomers are still using Facebook but it’s old hat to Gen Z and millennials. They’re all on Instagram and TikTok.

A big benefit is how you have such control over the content – you can create customised messages totally focussed on who you want to reach. Be aware of the standard that audiences expect, though – check out your competition to see what they’re up to and make sure your posts have at least their quality or better. Be individual, be striking, be memorable – you’ve got a brand – express it!

Another huge positive is that you can engage directly with prospects – answer questions, offer advice and, ultimately, drive them to your website.

Check out our proven to convert ad copy templates and get some inspiration!

Broaden your email scope

If you’ve been mainly using emails to promote your products (first of all, it’s a wonder you still have a significant database – nobody likes to be sold to all the time) – try thinking of it as an engagement growth tool. Try sending a high proportion of informative communication – it might be a teaser to your site’s blog or just a brief tip. There’s no magic ratio for content/sales – you’ll find one that works.

In fact, all your content can be used cross-platform. Quotes from blog posts can make good Instagram posts. Shot a webinar? Put up a 1-minute extract on Facebook. Don’t think of every task as a need for something fresh – you’ll exhaust yourself. One solid piece done on a Monday could slice n’ dice for multiple platforms throughout the week. All of which will be working away at their main job – traffic.

Using keywords and the importance of SEO

Speaking of search, when you are creating content for your site, it’s important you understand the role SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) plays in helping drive traffic to it.
First of all – why is search important?

A recent survey of billions of search results found that 28.5% of Google searchers click on the first organic result. As you can see, there’s a sharp drop off as you go down to the 10th listing. And, as for the second page of search results? You don’t even wanna know…
So, how do you rank high? With the right keywords. Keywords aren’t just single words, they are ideas or subjects that define what your content is about. In SEO terms, they represent words and phrases that searchers enter into search engines, also called "search queries."

Therefore, you want to use well-chosen keywords that come up in results. A challenge is finding the balance between volumes of search outcomes. Choose keywords that are too common - say, “dog leads” if you’re in the pet supply business - and you’ll be swamped and lost in an ocean of results – never to be clicked.

But pick something too rare and specific - say, “mink-lined dog leads” - if that’s your thing – and it may never be searched. Same outcome.

So, you need to find a way that narrows it down but not too much - say, “dog leads + your neighbourhood”.

While it’s valuable to study your own niche and the competition and define a few relevant terms, there are also research tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner that will give you information and suggestions on the most effective words to get in front of customers.

Technical SEO – not so visible, but super powerful

Once you’ve decided on the keywords that work for you, you don’t just pepper them throughout your blog posts. (For one thing, Google’s crawlers don’t look kindly on what’s called ‘keyword stuffing’ and may penalise you. Remember to keep it natural, those bots are pretty sharp…)

The real ‘Optimisation’ of SEO kicks in when you use them where they aren’t seen. Including but not limited to:

URL – Being specific here helps. Don’t just say: “yoursite.com/shop/Product_1” if it’s dog leads, say something like: “yoursite.com/shop/dog_leads”

Meta Description – This is a short summary of a page’s contents (up to about 155 characters) that appears in the HTML. Treat it like a mini-ad, brief and to the point.

Search engines show your page in their results more when the searched-for phrase is within the description. They’ll also often display the meta description making them a powerful influence on click-through rates. A crucial optimisation factor.

Image titles – Again, don’t just label them “Image 1” or whatever. Having a relevant description in the image title not only helps crawlers find your page, but it will also show what the image content is if the browser can’t display it.

Link Anchor text - These are visible characters and words – usually underlined in a different colour - that link to another document or location on the web. It can be to another page on your own website or to an external site. Both improve your ‘bot’ findability.

For instance, we might encourage you to learn more about Why you should move your business online – and that has helped our own SEO.

Ok, wow … that was quite a lot on the one topic of SEO. But that’s because it’s become super important to your traffic numbers and cannot be overlooked.

So, what else?

Optimise Your Online Store for Mobile

It seems incredible to us but there are site operators who have only set up their eCommerce stores for desktop and ignored other devices. This is about much more than a poor user experience. You could be missing out on half your potential revenue before you’ve even started.

Just 4 years ago m-commerce accounted for just over 30% of online sales. Trends indicate that this year the world’s sales will make up for over 50% of all e-commerce!

If that doesn’t indicate that you need to ensure your online store is optimised for mobile, well – we despair. In fact, Google has announced that it is going ‘mobile-first’, meaning it will rank websites that perform well on mobile higher compared to those that don’t.

Now, chances are you’ve chosen a platform to host your online store that incorporates mobile-responsive formats. If so, all good. But can you see how important it is to be sure?

If you want to know if you’re on the right track, enter your URL in a page like the Google Mobile-Friendly Test to see how it stacks up.

Just get yourself out there

This is only the tip of the traffic iceberg. (The big, important, highly visible tip…)

But there are many other ways ‘beneath the surface’ where you can generate attractions to your site.

That blog you wrote… submit it as a guest post – there will be related sites that will welcome your content and give you those valuable backlinks. (The less said about bought backlinks, the better.)

Is your business pinned on Google Maps? Look into that.

Check out our free ad copy templates and get some inspiration!

And more – we hope we’ve stimulated action on some steps you can start taking to drive that all-important traffic to your online business. 

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