An online store lives and dies with by its volume of traffic.
Stores with amazing products will still fail if no one visits the site. Those products will go to waste if no one knows about the store.
This makes learning how to drive traffic to your online store a top priority.
It’s not complicated.
It’s all about links.
How to Drive Traffic to Your Online Store: Build a Network of Links
The key to driving traffic to a site is link-building. Inbound and outbound links are both valuable.
Companies can use a number of platforms. YouTube, Facebook, WordPress blogs and more are avenues to build links.
Guest-blogging is a good idea too but companies need to establish a relationship with other bloggers first.
Not sure where to start?
Here are five simple steps to learn how to drive traffic to an online store.
1. Use Blogs
eCommerce sites with blogs see a 434% rate increase in indexed pages.
Those blogs also generate 67% more leads. 61% of US consumers bought a product after reading a post.
If a customer is looking for used cars for sale in Des Moines, their first step is likely reading blog posts for advice. Only after educating themselves will they consider visiting an eCommerce site to look for deals.
If a customer is looking to buy movies for the holiday season, they’ll likely read blogs that review some of the newly released titles. They’ll then visit an online store after forming an opinion on what’s good, based on what they’ve read.
See how effective blogs help in driving traffic and conversions for a site?
While there are free blogging tools, it is better to invest more to get the most out of blogging. Here are several expenses a blog may incur:
- Hosting services
- Uptime management
- Domain costs
- Salary for designers and blog writers
- Additional coding
Depending on a company’s needs, blogging costs can range from $250 to $20,000.
2. Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the oldest but still most effective ways of driving traffic to a site.
Companies that collect visitor information, such as their email, can send newsletters to their advantage.
Newsletter recipients are targeted consumers. They’ve already shown interest by visiting and registering to the site.
Now a company only has to promote specific products or deals to those targets to gain conversions.
A visitor might not purchase anything until they learn about limited discount deals and other promos. With efficient email marketing, a company can inform that consumer about those deals.
If you avail of downtime managing services, you can also notify loyal customers when your site won’t be available. This will reduce customer disappointment.
There are other benefits to email marketing, such as:
- It’s easy to share
- It increases brand awareness
- The metrics are easy to measure
- It’s cost-effective
If a site is running on a CMS like WordPress, there are plug-ins that help establish an email marketing campaign.
3. Social Media
There are over 2.789 billion social media users. Facebook remains the largest social media to date but Twitter and Instagram quickly follow.
There are also video platforms with social media elements like YouTube and Twitch.
In short, there are a lot of people on social media.
Companies do take advantage of these numbers. By the end of 2017, 70.7% of US companies will use Instagram as a marketing platform.
People spend more on brands they trust. Social media sites allow a company to build a repertoire with consumers.
It is also advisable to use social media platforms for SEO purposes. Occasional posts linking to new pages or products will help index a site’s pages. It will also promote those products to followers.
4. Reach Out to Social Media Celebrities
Some of them are popular celebrities with a lot of followers.
A company can send products to these celebrities and ask them to endorse their shop. This is a recommended way on how to drive traffic to your online store.
Their followers already trust those celebrities and that trust carries over to endorsed products or services.
This style of building relationships and followers is mostly popular on Instagram and YouTube.
Here’s a real example to show how this works:
Gaming companies like Nintendo send free copies of their new games to YouTube personalities. These copies are sent days or weeks before the game’s official launch.
The YouTube personality will make a video reviewing the product.
Video reviews will showcase all the good and bad aspects of the product. The viewers will then base their decisions to purchase that product on what they saw.
5. Don’t Forget Basic SEO
Search Engine Optimization is one of the more important steps but it is also one of the most forgotten ones.
Even if a company is running their site on CMS tools like WordPress, they have to invest in SEO tools to keep their pages indexed.
A company has to work on fixing their title and meta descriptions. It’s important to not forget doing keyword research and sprinkle them as needed through each page.
This step includes managing inbound and outbound links too. Make sure none of the links are dead or they don’t lead to inactive pages.
Outsourcing to an SEO company can be expensive but it pays off in the long run. Experts can analyze a website’s SEO metrics and determine where the company needs to improve.
While costly, the traffic improvement will make up for it.
One Last Thing: Site Downtime Management
Learning how to drive traffic to your online store is only half of the equation.
The other half is about turning those visits into conversions.
You don’t want visitors to window-shop. You want them to buy something.
Those visits are meaningless if the site is down. Even the most active sites have weekly downtime periods.
Customers won’t return to an online store if they always find it offline for downtime management.
Now it’s possible to know when a site is down and to know this before customers do. It’s now possible to plan ahead and adjust accordingly.
Don’t wait. Valuable traffic could diminish due to mismanaging downtime.
Contact us to start managing downtime.