Driving Traffic to Your Online Store
You can think about marketing your e-commerce site in terms of three main audiences:
- People who have shopped with you before or at least know about your store.
- People who are looking for the kind of product that you offer.
- People who want to buy the product that you offer if they knew about it.
While this is, admittedly, a simplistic way to think about it, this three-pronged approach can help you think about your different marketing activities and how to divide your time and budget.
For your first audience, people who know about you, you should have a direct line to them — either through email communications, content marketing or via social media. You can communicate with them directly and for “free” (not counting any budget you might spend on tools).
For your second audience, you’ll need to find ways for them to discover the products you have that meet their needs. This can involve search engine optimization (SEO), content creation (like blogging) and search engine marketing.
And for your third audience, you’ll need to think in terms of brand awareness. Are you offering a fix for a problem they don’t know about yet? Or is your target audience using a competitor’s solution? The answers will have an impact on how you approach your marketing.
Once your store is set up, you can start promoting your site to your existing customer base. We’ll also talk about how to make your website easy to find for new customers interested in your product and spend your advertising budget wisely to put your message in front of high-intent traffic.
Try out Google Ads.
Using Google Ads for search engine marketing gives you an opportunity to bid on keywords so that you can show up first in search engine results pages. Getting the coveted “top spot” is what search engine optimization is all about — but, ahead’s up, Google Ads will still show up first.
Search engine marketing is a great way to advertise your website because it doesn’t require any design and can be very effective in driving new traffic. You’ll get results in real-time and can adjust your campaign strategies based on performance as you go.
Learn more about how to prevent false clicks on Google Ads.
Optimize your site for SEO.
Search engine optimization (SEO) encompasses many things, and trying to optimize can lead you down a deep, deep rabbit hole. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you’re just starting out.
Put yourself in the mind of your user — how does your target audience talk about your products, and what do they want to know?
Pay attention to on-page content. On-page content refers to product titles and descriptions, images, any blogs or other content you might have, etc. You want to make sure that content naturally uses the language your customers might use when searching for related products and answers their questions.
Meta tags are important as well. Title tags, which are like headlines for a search engine, help the search engine figure out what each page is about. Each page of your website should have its own unique title tag. Meta descriptions are short summaries of each page. When your site shows up on a search engine results page, users will see your title tag and meta description before anything else.
Leverage your offline store(s).
If your brick-and-mortar business has great name recognition and a loyal following, you can use your in-person time with your customers to help drive traffic to your new online store.
For example, you can use non-intrusive ways to help customers stay engaged with your brand even after they leave the store. This can include asking them to sign up for your email list at checkout, letting them know about our customer loyalty program if you have one and drawing attention to promotions you’re running on social media that they might want to follow.
Consider offering flyers with promotion codes they can share with friends and family who might not live near your physical store. Your in-person customers can be your greatest evangelists and can help spread your message far and wide.
Selling online for the first time or up-levelling your online presence to become a vital retail channel can seem daunting, but it’s more than doable — especially if you take it one step at a time.
Stay consistent, be patient, and don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by doing too much at once. Choose a few of the marketing tactics here that you think will bring the most reward for your business. Then, tweak and adjust as you start to see results.