It is vitally important to increase traffic to online store of your dreams. When you open an online store, it’s an opportunity to establish your brand. You are in competition with the biggest names and with other startups. To make your store successful and to increase profits, you need traffic because more traffic brings more customers.
With so much competition around, it becomes important to work aggressively to increase traffic to online store as potential shoppers won’t come on their own. You need to work really hard and to invest some money (not necessarily) to promote your store.
Even if visitors don’t buy anything first time, increased traffic gives good signal to search engines like Google. This will increase the search engine visibility of your store.
Here are few strategies that are proven to increase traffic to online store:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the first thing you need to work on after opening your store as it’s a major factor contributing to the success of your business. A well-optimized site gives you higher rankings in search engines.
Don’t worry, it may seem to be complicated but in the beginning you need to learn the basics about how search engines work. You don’t need to hire SEO expert or learn technical details. Simple optimizations and common sense will do the job. Read this SEO starter guide by Google for more insight.
If you use WordPress, Yoast SEO is an excellent free plugin that can make a huge difference in search engine visibility of your online store.
If you want to get the basic SEO done by an expert that charges nominal fee (starting $5) you can find one at world’s leading marketplace to hire freelancers.
2. Online Advertising
Online advertising helps you in creating brand awareness, promoting sales and in acquiring leads.
Facebook ads, AdWords (by Google), Twitter and LinkedIn ads can help you attract highly targeted customers to your online store. Out of these, Facebook ads and AdWords are the most widely used advertising platforms.
Facebook, being a social media proves to be more effective as marketeers see more interaction there. You can target users to whom your ad will be shown based on demographic, interests, hobbies etc. These built-in campaign objectives make Facebook advertising quite versatile.
AdWords works in a different and highly effective way. Google will show clickable relevant ads to people who search for particular keywords in Google. Advertisers do bidding on keywords that Google thinks are relevant to different search queries.
All these ads are affordable as you have the flexibility to spend as per your daily budget.
You can hire a social media expert with a fee starting only $5.
WhatsApp is an incredible app to communicate with friends and to build new customers. You can share product photos in groups and with your contacts with a link to your store.
Instamojo, an innovative startup gives you the option to add payment link on WhatsApp so customers can checkout from there itself.
Let’s first understand how Pinterest works:
Pinterest is a social network that allows users to visually share, and discover new interests by posting (known as ‘pinning’ on Pinterest) images or videos to their own or others’ boards (i.e. a collection of ‘pins,’ usually with a common theme) and browsing what other users have pinned……… infront.com.
Pinterest brings together customers and store owners that offer quality products. Shopify and Pinterest have partnered to help online store owners sell through the Pinterest platform. You can pin your products on Pinterest directly from your online store on Shopify which become buyable pins.
Pinterest can be a powerful driver of traffic and big-ticket sales….. Shopify/Pinterest
IMPORTANT: You can use this feature in India using Shopify if you accept payment in US dollars, accept direct payments by credit cards and have one of these payment gateways enabled on your store: Shopify Payments, Braintree, Stripe, First Data Payeezy, Authorize.net or CyberSource. So, use of Pinterest is mainly for sellers who plan to sell globally with currency setting as dollars in their online store.
But, if you are selling in India and need to set currency option in Indian rupees in your store, you can also create free online store on Instamojo and create a payment link. Pin product photos on Pinterest then share this payment link in your pins. Customers will be redirected to the checkout page on Instamojo instantly to make purchase.
Facebook and Pinterest should be at the top of the list of your social media strategy. With proper utilization of these platforms, you can attract customers from all over the world and generate huge sales volume.
Read this infographic for greater insight.
5. Affiliate network
Affiliate marketing is one of the smartest ways to increase traffic to online store. The concept is simple. Sites that have good traffic can post links and banners of your products on their pages and you offer them commission when someone clicks on these links and makes a purchase. It’s a WIN-WIN.
Recruiting affiliates on your own is tedious and a risky job. You should use services of well reputed affiliate network like ShareASale. By giving some share of profit you get high traffic and free advertisement by displaying banners.
You can join this affiliate network here.
6. Content marketing
To increase traffic to online store must have a blog. Blogging has a great positive impact on search engine rankings and improves the credibility of your store. Look at the leading online stores. They all have a blog.
Blog is essential to connect with your existing and potential future customers. It gives you an opportunity to build a community which ultimately helps you increase the number of repeat and loyal customers.
You can post useful information about product benefits and upcoming offers, answer customer queries and do lot more with your blog.
If you feel you don’t have time to write, don’t worry, you can find a freelancer here who will take care of this. Look for one here.
Once you start receiving traffic, give your visitors a choice to opt for newsletter subscription which will help you to increase the number of repeat customers. Keep sending them offers, loyalty discounts, useful content and information about any future launches etc.
But, you need to be extremely careful about the type and frequency of emails you send to these subscribers. If you sound spammy, you can lose them.
So, be professional and respect the privacy of your valued subscribers. Weekly or fortnightly newsletter is recommended by online marketing gurus as ideal frequency that will not annoy the readers.
8. YouTube channel
Owned by Google, YouTube is the second largest search engine next to Google.com itself. Its bigger than Bing and Yahoo combined. If you don’t have a YouTube channel, you are missing a lot.
Just like a blog, YouTube channel helps you to build community as people will subscribe if you keep posting quality videos that they find useful. You can also show your products in action through a video which helps customers make a decision to make purchases.
It’s not necessary to have only product videos. Add good informative videos on topics related to customer benefits to increase traffic to online store and to attract highly targeted customers.
Need help creating videos in the beginning? Hire an expert.
9. High quality backlinks
Google gives better ranks to the sites who are linked to by quality and authoritative sites. This is what we call as backlinks. Backlinks are considered extremely important for ranking higher in search engines and to increase traffic to online store.
But, getting quality backlinks is not so easy. There are different strategies you have to adopt like writing guest articles on these sites with link back to one of the pages on your website. Actually, guest posting is the smartest way to attract back links. The site you are writing for gets a good content. In return, you get a link to your site which brings traffic.
Apart from guest blogging, there are other ways like getting interviewed, blogger outreach etc. get quality backlinks. We won’t go into the details here. You can read this article about how to get more backlinks.
Warning: NEVER buy backlinks or exchange links with low quality and scam sites. Google will know that and your site will get penalized. It’s better to have no backlinks at all instead of trying to fool search engines. They are way smarter than we think.
10. Offline promotions
Look at how sites like Flipkart and Amazon etc. promote by giving media ads but that is not possible for every store owner especially for new ones.
That doesn’t mean you can’t promote offline. Be creative and find ways to promote your store offline. Let your friends and relatives know that you have started a new venture. Always keep visiting card with store name printed on it in your pocket and give it to anyone you meet.
Small promotions like advertising at local level with hoardings, leaflets, posters, bulk SMS etc. can be quite effective as well.
To increase traffic to online store, you need to consistently work for its promotion. If you start with following even 2 or 3 suggestions given in this article, you will notice decent increase in the number of daily visitors. Try to follow all the suggestions (one by one) and you will be the next success story.