Setting up an online store is the first step to get your brand more exposure. However, the real challenge is getting people to visit your site and for that you need to know how to drive traffic to your online store.
Luckily, there are many ways to get more customers to your eCommerce store.
From paid ads, Facebook ads, finding your target audience, and organic search results, this list goes through 12 proven strategies that will grow your business.
So, let’s get started.
1. Paid advertising
If you have a budget to spare, consider online advertising. It’s one of the quickest ways to gain traffic by displaying ads on different online platforms.
Here are several methods to advertise your store without making a huge dent in your pocket:
- Social media ads. Running social media ads like Facebook ads or Instagram can cost you as little as $2 per day.
- Ad network advertising. Increase traffic, web search and pay-per-click ad networks display your ads on different host websites to increase reach. Great ad agencies include Google AdSense and Epom.
- Retargeting. This method includes web cookies that follow visitors when they surf the Internet, and display ads based on the pages they’ve visited.
To get the highest return on investment (ROI) and drive the most traffic to your online store, ensure that your ad is suitable for the platform you’ve chosen, and that it fits your target market.
Instagram Stories Ads, for instance, is suitable for visually-appealing ads that target younger online audiences.
2. Organic search (SEO)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a low-cost yet highly effective way to drive traffic to your eCommerce site.
Applying SEO practices to your content can boost your website’s rank on search engine result pages (SERP) and it is a great method to learn if you want to know how to drive traffic to the website or online store that you are trying to rank.
Search engines such as Google or Bing use web crawlers to see if the information on your site is relevant to the search intent. Informative and relevant content has a higher chance of ranking well and growing traffic.
Apart from that, web crawlers also check whether your site or store is safe and legitimate, as users’ safety is one of their priorities especially for an online store.
Here are some suggestions you can try to boost your site’s SEO:
- Improve speed. Users will leave your website early if it’s too slow, and that can limit how quickly search engines will crawl your site. When it comes to page speed, Google recommends aiming for two seconds or less.
- Submit a sitemap. Submit your sitemap to Google Search Console, making it easier for search engines to crawl and index your site.
- Write proper metadata. Ensure product descriptions and URL links include relevant keywords that your potential customers would search for.
- Check for mobile responsiveness. Most people these days search for information using their mobile devices, so it’s essential to use a responsive layout for your online store, for example.
- Backlinking. These are links on other websites that point to your website or content. If someone is referring to your work, that encourages others to think of you as a reliable source.
While learning SEO practices can seem a little bit daunting at first, if you follow the tips listed above you should be well on your way to improving you SERP ranking. Remember that creating fresh content is always a winner with SEO and avoid over stuffing keywords as this will negatively impact your SEO.
Consider creating a website with a website builder such as Zyro. Every Zyro website template is fully SEO optimized on the back end and the company provide some interesting AI tools like their AI content writer which will produce SEO friendly content for your website when you enter a few keywords from your niche.
3. Engage with your audience on social media
Social media is a powerful tool to drive traffic to your eCommerce store. Over 3.4 billion people use social media today, and that number is bound to increase over time.
Some strategies can help you leverage social media.
- Share user-generated content. A method also known as social proofing, posting testimonials, and reviews from customers make them feel appreciated while making potential customers more interested in your products.
- Create visual content. Examples include illustrations and videos. This type of content tends to do better than posts with lots of text, as it is much easier to digest.
- Native social media features. Use the “About Us” section to link your site, the “swipe up” feature on Instagram to direct users to landing pages, and consider using the “tap to shop” button when you post.
- Implement the 80/20 rule. The recommended ratio between informational and promotional posts, focusing on the former. Excessive marketing content can put off your target audience, so make sure your content has value.
Remember that if you are going to start working with social media then it is absolutely imperative that your company keeps it up.
While social media can positively affect your traffic when done correctly, an irregular posting schedule or a feed that shows no posts in months will actively dissuade new traffic because prospective customers will correlate that with a lack of professionalism and as such a lack of trust.
Before you start on social media make sure you have the time or the resources to do it properly.
4. Blogging and content marketing
Blogging is your chance to show your knowledge about the industry and get a bit more intimate with your audience. When done well, blogging can considerably increase customer trust and brand loyalty.
If you’re not entirely convinced, here’s how setting up a blog can attract traffic to your online store.
For starters, blogging can boost SEO, and content that is both helpful and reliable will have a better chance to rank high on SERPs. Additionally, you’ll have more opportunities to rank high if you post regularly.
In return, ranking higher on SERP increases brand awareness. People are more likely to buy your products if they recognize your brand name.
While blogging primarily helps during the “awareness” stage, content marketing is the process of promoting your content throughout all stages of a sales funnel.
It involves many marketing platforms like social media posts, emails, podcasts, webinars, and much more which are all great for traffic.
At this stage, blogging has become a serious industry due to how impactful it is on SEO ratings. There are many ways to blog but it’s important to always provide high quality content and to continue updating it inline with new keywords to keep it fresh and make sure the it ranks well with SERPs.
5. Guest posting
Guest posting refers to writing content for another company’s website that is within or not far from your industry or business niche.
It’s beneficial to drive organic traffic back to your website, and it also boosts your site’s credibility through the use of backlinking.
Furthermore, guest posting gives you more exposure within the industry and exposes your company to potential new customers.
While backlinking has become more difficult to implement in recent years it is still an excellent system to drive organic traffic to your website if it is done right. This is one of the most popular methodologies in affiliate marketing and that is for a reason.
6. On-page cross-sells and upsells
This method focuses on keeping current visitors on your website for longer.
For example, Amazon’s “Customers who viewed this item also viewed” feature encourages visitors to browse through other related products, potentially showing something that they would like.
Nowadays, online stores include a list of recommended products personalized for the customer during checkout or offer live updates of what people from different cities have already bought.
All of these aspects can increase the page’s dwell time, which is one of Google ranking factors.
7. Giveaways and contests
Hosting giveaways and online competitions is a great way to drive more traffic to your online store, build your database, and generate leads through referrals.
However, to run a successful contest, there are a few key points to remember:
- Have a goal. Know what your competition has to accomplish so that you could both plan and execute it well. These goals may include gaining more social followers, driving traffic to your website, or generating sales.
- Set the rules. This should be based on your objectives. For example, if you want to drive more traffic to your site, participants should register through your website directly.
- Think of a worthy prize. To generate more buzz around the giveaway, the prize itself should be something of value. For example, offering free products or vouchers for your store while free shipping might not be enough.
8. Limited time offers and flash sales
Flash sales are great for traffic since they create a sense of urgency and scarcity, pushing customers to visit your website and buying something for a much cheaper price.
Whether you choose to make a flash sale for a day or for a week, this tactic is highly effective if you already have a solid following.
BestBuy offers daily deals and displays a countdown clock on its homepage. This encourages customers to make the purchase without much debate.
9. Solve people’s questions
Consumers love it when companies are more open about themselves, allowing a more transparent two-way communication. Customers feel appreciated and valued, assuring better trust for your brand.
For example, be active on platforms such as Quora and Twitter.
By solving people’s questions and problems directly, it establishes your authority within the industry. You can also increase brand awareness by linking your website to these platforms, which is especially helpful for people who may not be familiar with your brand.
It’s important to focus on giving valuable answers, yet keeping them short and relevant, offering as much transparency as possible.
10. Grow your email list of existing and potential customers
While slightly old-fashioned, email marketing remains one of the most effective ways to drive additional traffic to your website.
On top of that, email marketing has a high ROI, which means that for every dollar spent on email campaigns, companies will earn $40. You can even adjust your content to fit the segments within your audience for higher conversion rates.
Thus, growing your email list is essential in increasing traffic.
Start collecting emails using several methods at once, including prompting users when they visit your site, hosting a contest, or offering a free ebook in exchange for their email address.
11. Implement growth hacking strategies
Growth hacking is all about observing the reasons behind your business growth, and figuring out how to improve it without spending a lot of money.
For instance, if your business grows every time you send out an email, analyze what’s so special about them that it makes people convert. Then, try to implement similar tactics on other marketing channels.
One common example would be incentivizing referrals where you give out free vouchers to customers if they refer someone else to your website.
Dropbox found incredible success with this method by giving users additional cloud storage space if they bring their friends as well.
Another growth hacking technique is to focus on content marketing and improving SEO, which is another example of a low-cost method.
12. Find some ideas offline
Not everything has to present online. Other, less traditional methods nowadays, may work just as well in bringing more traffic to your website.
You can promote your products on such traditional media platforms as TV shows, magazines, or radio podcasts.
Perhaps a well-planned celebrity endorsement will strike a perfect note with your audience. Send free products to Instagram influencers in exchange for a shout out.
You can even try sponsoring concerts or events to attract new audiences.
For instance, Revolve, an online fashion eCommerce giant, sponsored the beloved music festival Coachella.