With over two billion digital buyers worldwide, you can have plenty of customers lining up for your products. But for that, you need a solid marketing strategy.
Depending on your business goals and advertising budget, you can choose from a range of options — from content creation to pay-per-click advertising.
Here, we’ll explore those and other options to show you how to drive traffic to your online store, turn visitors into loyal customers, and grow your ecommerce business.
Without further ado, let’s dive in.
- Search engine optimization
- Homepage updates
- Email marketing
- Consistent content marketing
- Strategic social media outreach
- Influencer marketing
- Solid social proof
- Sales promotions
- Pay-per-click advertising
- Offline marketing
- Final thoughts: How to drive traffic to your online store
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1. Search engine optimization
The page ranking in the first position on Google’s organic search results has a click-through rate (CTR) of 27.6%. Customers are ten times more likely to click the first result than the one that ranks tenth.
With these perks, it’s no surprise that businesses strive for the top. But how should you go about it?
The best way to rank high on Google’s organic search is by incorporating targeted keywords. You can use research tools like Semrush or Ahrefs to locate and determine the keywords relevant to your ecommerce business. You can then use these keywords for the content on your site.
For example, let’s say you sell wool-related products, and the software shows that users frequently search for "ways to crochet woolen beanies." In that case, you can create blog posts and FAQs for your website using these relevant keywords — attracting customers who are likely to buy your products.
Note that using long-tail keywords (phrases made of three to five words) gives you a higher chance of ranking high on search results. For example: instead of “women’s shirts,” aim for “women’s organic flannel plaid shirts.”
But SEO optimization doesn’t stop at blog posts. It also includes all the key pages on your ecommerce website, such as the homepage, the "about us" page, the category and product pages, and the contact information page.
Another way to improve your website's search engine rank and user experience is to increase your website’s speed and reliability. A reliable, fast-loading website encourages users to return, signaling search engines that your site is worth the visit.
For that reason, ensure your website is backed by high-quality hosting services like Nexcess’s fully managed WooCommerce hosting to guarantee security, scalability, speed, and support.
2. Homepage updates
Homepages let you give a strong first impression and compel potential customers to come back.
You can use different types of pages for your ecommerce website. For example, ecommerce websites like Amazon personalize their landing page according to a user's buying history, upcoming holidays, and festivals.
Still, whether you choose to offer visitors a personalized experience or a neat design, you need to update your homepage regularly to keep it fresh. It isn’t just about aesthetics — frequent updates can contribute to your SEO efforts.
Here are some quick go-to ways to freshen up your homepage to appeal to website visitors:
- Post new customer testimonials on your homepage. New customers love to read feedback before making a purchase decision. Also, featuring customer feedback shows your brand's transparency and helps answer questions that users might have about your products.
- Regularly update the product images on your website. Make sure all images are of high quality, especially those that showcase your products, as most users prefer zooming in on the product images before purchasing.
- Embed a social media stream to your homepage to regularly display user or influencer-generated content, including promotional campaigns.
3. Email marketing
Email marketing is an excellent way to communicate with your target audience. In fact, email marketing can be even more effective than social media marketing — while emails have around a 2.5% CTR, Facebook ads only have an average of 0.07% CTR.
To grow your email subscribers, you need to add a subscribe form to your website and social media pages. New customers should also have the option to sign up at checkout.
Another tactic is to offer incentives like free trials, free reports, or discounts on your products in exchange for email addresses.
You can also collect email subscribers through offline events like exhibitions, trade shows, and promotional offers or by encouraging subscribers to forward your email to their networks.
Just make sure you aren't buying email lists. These lists contain users who haven't consented to give their email, so they'll likely mark your emails as spam, affecting your sender reputation score.
Once you have an email list of users who have willingly subscribed to your newsletter, you can segment the list to further personalize your subscriber's email experience.
You can segment your emails based on the following:
- Subscriber's locations.
- Sign-up dates.
- Open rates.
- Areas of interest.
Better yet? Segmented emails have a 14% higher chance of being opened and a 100% higher click-through rate. Give subscribers the option to choose the categories of emails they'd like to receive and how often they'd like to hear from you.
Through your emails, you can send users promotional content, like seasonal offers and new product launches. However, remember to mix it up by providing quality content that builds brand awareness and helps your target audience — and leaves them with a clear call to action.
Lastly, remember to craft compelling subject lines. After all, 69% of emails are marked as spam just because of poor subject lines.
4. Consistent content marketing
Content marketing is one of the most efficient and affordable tools to grow organic traffic, build authority in your domain, and grow your online business. You can create different types of content, such as blog posts, videos, ebooks, and podcasts.
Content marketing helps you rank higher on search engine results when optimized correctly, empowering you to reach a wider audience. However, you should never sacrifice the reader in favor of optimization.
Your content should tend to your ideal customer's pain points to position your product favorably. Pair that with information about their lives and interests, and you'll be capable of creating content that engages them long-term.
After creating the content, promote it widely through email, social media platforms, and your ecommerce site.
5. Strategic social media outreach
Around 60% of the world's population (approximately 4.7 billion people) uses social media. The most popular social media platforms are Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok.
Since people spend around 2.5 hours daily on social media platforms, brands should strive to have a social media presence. Especially considering that they let you connect with your target audience through organic and paid methods.
Just make sure to choose a platform fit for your audience. For example, YouTube or Instagram would be great platforms to capture your audience if you sell online courses.
Moreover, avoid being too promotional and post relevant and useful content consistently. The more you engage users, the more they’ll watch your content, and the algorithm will help you show up more frequently on their feed.
For example, you could teach them about industry-specific terms relevant to their fields (remember to add relevant hashtags).
If you’re in the B2B space, consider joining LinkedIn. There are around 61 million senior-level influencers and decision-makers frequenting the platform.
6. Influencer marketing
Influencer marketing occurs when social influencers promote your products. It's most common on platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok.
The influencer market is growing significantly, with the market size reaching 16.4 billion in 2022. A 2022 report by Semrush found that 86% of B2B brands succeeded with influencer marketing.
Besides promotions, influencers can help you with feedback about what works for your product niche and what doesn't. They could even advise you on your content strategy and the platforms best suited for your potential customers.
You can also hire influencers for things like:
- Expert content roundups with influencers in your niche.
- Product reviews on their social media platforms.
- Guest posts for other blogs.
- Affiliate programs.
7. Solid social proof
Social proof is the best way to get your target audience to trust you. Studies show that 90% of people like to read customer reviews before buying a product.
Testimonials and case studies are the most compelling social proof for B2B brands.
Make sure the customers or influencers speak about the features of your product that you want to highlight.
Examples of social proof include:
- Blog articles.
You can also encourage users to use branded hashtags. That allows them to tag you in the content they create.
8. Sales promotions
If you're new to a specific market, sales promotions are an excellent way to expand your reach.
Sales promotions can take many forms, including giveaways, discounts, and contests. These can be offered on your site directly and even across social platforms.
One of the best ways to get a quick response from your audience is by evoking a sense of urgency — promote limited-time offers and deals.
9. Pay-per-click advertising
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a method in which you pay for every click your advertisement receives. Some examples of PPC are Google Adwords and Bing Ads.
Search engines let you bid for the keywords of your choice and then create marketing campaigns and content around those keywords. PPC will help you reach the top of Bing or Google search engine results without needing SEO optimization.
In a Clutch survey of 506 users, 75% of users said they click on paid ads for information. In that sense, PPC can be a great asset to support your SEO efforts.
Here’s what a PPC ad looks like:
10. Offline marketing
It might sound strange, but your online business could do with some offline marketing. You can spread brand awareness through conferences, trade fairs, meetups, and workshops.
These are also great networking places, which can lead to sales and business partnerships.
You could even organize a conference or workshop where industry leaders speak on subjects that help your target audience.
Create flyers, business cards, and gift bags with your products' names on them. You could also insert samples of your other products when shipping a customer the products they ordered.
Final thoughts: How to drive traffic to your online store
Now that you learned how to drive traffic to your online store, you can build a solid marketing strategy for your ecommerce business.
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This blog was originally published in August 2021. It has since been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.