What is the number one thing any online store owner wants? Traffic, traffic and more traffic. It is no surprise why: an ecommerce store without site traffic is like a corner store without customers through the door. Traffic leads to potential shoppers. Potential shoppers lead to sales.
In this week’s post, we invited Nicole Blanckenberg, content writer for StoreYa, to show you the top 8 ways you can drive traffic to your online store. StoreYa offers a suite of marketing and advertising apps which help SMBs increase sales, leads and social following. They support more than 160,000 business owners from 186 countries.
1. Email Marketing
Email marketing may be “old school,” but it is one of the biggest traffic-driving machines and also one of the cheapest. So often overlooked by new store owners – with 49% new small businesses reporting they don’t know where to begin and 40% say they just don’t have the time – developing a good email marketing strategy is imperative for marketing and remarketing strategies to bring in good traffic. The first step in taking advantage of email marketing is building your email list. Some ways you can get those valuable email addresses include:
- Use social contests with email entries to help you catch new potential shoppers while also building brand awareness and social followers.
- Use apps like Coupon Pop and offer site visitors a discount or coupon in exchange for an email address.
- Adding a blog to your online store is a content marketing strategy “must,” however, it is also a good way to get subscribers by using RSS subscription buttons in your blog section.
Pro Tip: The most effective way to use email marketing is to segment your emails to target the right people with the right content, which gets you the web clicks you want. In fact, according to MailChimp, segmented email campaigns have an open rate that is 14.32% higher than non-segmented campaigns. You can do this by tailoring your sales email campaigns so that people get products they love straight to their inbox.
2. Paid Search Traffic
Google currently boasts 3.5 billion searches per day; if you want to be seen and heard, search pages are where it’s at. While SEO is a long game, paid search traffic with Google AdWords is a leading traffic driver. If you’re new to AdWords, navigating your way around optimization can seem like a full-time job. Here are some tips to get you started:
Keep it Real and Relevant
It is very important not to mislead potential shoppers just to get the clicks. If they don’t find what they are looking for they will click off your landing page and give a negative impression of your brand. Additionally, it will affect your Ad Rank and quality score, which pushes your ad to the bottom of the pile and it is, therefore, less likely to be displayed. By keeping your keywords relevant to the content of the URL page the ad clicks to, you can ensure your ads are relevant.
AdWords campaigns cannot be set and left – they need constant monitoring and optimizing to ensure you have a constant balance between what you spend and your ROIs (return on investment). By monitoring, pausing and tweaking daily budgets, bids, text and URLs you will get the best results for your budget. If you don’t have the time or know-how, this is one area you may want to outsource. If you don’t have a big budget for hiring agencies, then cost-effective apps like our own Traffic Booster will get you the best results and take the guesswork and hassle out of bringing in traffic.
Don’t Forget Negative Keywords
Negative keywords are those terms you use to eliminate terms you don’t want to appear on. For example, if you’re selling reading glasses, then good negative keyword terms would be “drinking glasses” or “wine glasses.” You can edit these by using AdWords Keyword Tool.
3. Paid Content Distribution
If you have added a blog to your online store to boost SEO and drive content marketing strategy content, then this one is for you. The problem is, you’re competing with millions of blog posts posted every day. Paid content distribution will get your blog content on relevant sites, displayed as ‘related’ or ‘sponsored’ posts at the bottom of relevant content. The main content distribution sites available to you are:
Alternatively, you can even have a sponsored post on a popular publication like Buzzfeed, for example.
4. Social Media Paid Advertising
Social media is the second largest traffic-driving source for online sellers. However, when there are currently a whopping 2.8 billion global social media users, competing for social space to get traffic means putting money where your mouth is with social media advertising. Here are the top two traffic-driving social media advertising platforms for online stores:
Last year Facebook racked up $26.2 billion dollars in revenue from their ad system, making it the king of social media advertising. They currently have 4 million advertisers, and its growing monthly – and chasing AdWords in the number two traffic-driving spot. The trick to getting great store traffic with Facebook is a combination of targeting with custom audiences, optimization and remarketing. Here are some beginner Facebook advertising tips that I wish someone had told me when I first got into the Facebook advertising game:
- That video ads are tops
- Tweak ad placements and distribution times to ensure better results for your spending
- Change headlines and images on high-performing ads every so often to prevent ad fatigue
- Set up retargeting campaigns to match ads to the ideal potential shopper
- Use lookalike audiences to reach more potential shoppers who match your current customers
- Keep audiences small and segmented to deliver highly relevant ads
In April of this year, Instagram surpassed the number of SnapChat users to 200 million and by Jan of this year, Instagram’s global mobile ad revenues accounted for over 10% of parent company Facebook’s global ad revenues. Add this to the fact that Instagram is currently testing features that will allow online stores to sell directly from their posts, and Instagram is fast becoming a traffic-driving superstar.
5. Paid Display Advertising
Display advertising refers to those ads that appear on websites and other content. These can be banner or block ads that include text, images, video or audio and can drive traffic to your store. The advantage of these ads is that they will cost you less than search ads, but need to be on-the-money with text and images to ensure you get good clicks and views: i.e., AKA ROIs.
Your biggest display advertising platform is Google Display Network and it can be a big traffic booster.
Pro Tip: Keep your keyword list small, around 5-20 very related keywords and phrases, and make sure that they are highly relevant to your ad content to ensure you drive more traffic from Display Network ads.
Other display advertising platforms include: Propel Media, BuySellAds, Clicksor, Propeller Ads, Infolinks, Yes Advertising and Adcash Admedia.
6. Links From Reviews
Product reviews with links to your online store can not only bring in a lot of traffic from your store but establish you as a trustworthy brand. And the stats don’t lie: 88% of consumers consider online reviews very influential when purchasing a new product from a new brand. So how to get popular online blogs to review your products? Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Make sure your products are relevant to your bloggers’ niche and their readers
- Connect with bloggers first by following their social accounts
- Send personal emails
- Give them enough information and samples in order to review your product
- Be prepared with a budget you’re willing to spend, as bigger, more influential bloggers tend to have a fee for their reviews
7. Third-Party Resource Platforms
Resource platforms such as Quora can be a huge, free traffic-driving force. As an example of just how powerful it can be, look at Smart blogger Imran Esmail’s case study where he shows he got 83K views from one question alone.
To get these results, merely pasting a spammy link to your store won’t cut it. The trick to mastering these platforms is to be able to offer relevant, helpful, resource-backed expert information in your niche. The added bonus of this is not only traffic but positioning yourself as the top authority within your niche. According to Imran, here are the first steps you will need to take to get started on cashing on this awesome traffic source.
Step 1: Create a Good profile
If you’re in the health food niche and are selling juicers, for example, you’ll want to position yourself in your profile as an expert. In your summary, talk about your experience and tell your personal story. Also, don’t forget to link to your online store blog (as long as its content is relevant to your niche, of course), your social profiles or any groups you may run.
Step 2: Do an In-depth Answer Search
According to Imran, you’ll want to look for those answers and topics that are getting the most views and upvotes. Using the above example, you would search topics like ‘Juice and Juicing,’ which as you can see below, has 100k followers.
You can then research those topics to find the most popular questions and save them for later.
Step 3: Craft Answers Carefully
As we mentioned in the beginning, a one-sentence answer and a link will not get you upvotes and traffic and will cause more harm to your brand than good. What you want to do is create relevant, highly thought-out answer, that:
- Tells a story
- Has visuals
- Goes deep
Yes, SEO is a long-haul game, but it’s a necessary one. When it comes to PPC vs. SEO, a winning strategy has both. Good SEO practices will not only ensure you get consistent traffic long-term but will ensure you’re optimized correctly for good Ad Rank scores, which we mentioned above. SEO is not only about ensuring your meta data is on point and your titles are tagged, it involves a lot more than that. Here are the top three things, according to SEO experts Search Engine Land, online stores can do to improve their SEO on a continuous basis.
- Don’t delete out-of-stock product pages; instead, add relevant similar products to the page as an alternative and use the page to let shoppers know when the product will be back in stock.
- For discontinued product pages, it is not enough to just delete the page. Their advice is, “If the expired product is replaced by a newer model, using a 301 permanent redirect from the older page to the newer model’s URL tells Google you want this page ranked instead. Your SEO value will be retained.”
- Add content to your product pages, prioritizing those pages already getting good traffic, by adding good descriptions, including internal link architecture, using breadcrumbs, and adding a Relevant Products feed.
The key to driving good traffic to your ecommerce store is that you need a multitude of traffic streams to bring in the traffic, and ultimately the sales, you want. We hope these 8 top ways you can drive more traffic to your store give you a big boost in adding to your streams and getting more people onto your site.
Have questions? We’d love to hear from you, so drop them in the comments below!
StoreYa is offering a deal to all Compass blog readers on their Traffic Booster app. Get the Basic plan for $50 (normally $100)! We will add $50 for your first month. This plan includes the set up + management + optimization + ads budget.