Each year, more and more people turn to the Internet to do their shopping. Retail stores are closing left and right as eCommerce becomes ever bigger. This means it’s an excellent time to have your own online store, so that you can take full advantage of all these customers. However, it also means that you’ll have a lot of competition.
As more people do their shopping online, more people also open up their own online store. If you don’t have a solid marketing plan in place to get yourself noticed, you’ll have a hard time standing out from the crowd. With that in mind, here are 4 practical and effective ways to get your online store noticed and start driving traffic.
Optimize Your Site for Search Engines
The first thing you’ll want to do is make sure your website is optimized for search engines. Search engines are one of the primary ways that people find information online, so you’ll want to appear as high as you can within search results. In fact, studies have shown that if you’re not on the first page of Google, you’re likely to not get much traffic at all.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to boost your search engine rankings. For starters, make sure you’re using keywords that fit your store, and that you’re using them strategically throughout your site. This guide goes into further detail on keyword research and using them on your site.
Next, work on speeding up your site. Slow sites not only drive customers away, but they hurt your search engine rankings. Reduce the file size of your images, switch to a faster server, and only use the best WordPress plugins.
Finally, submit a sitemap to Google. A sitemap will let Google know the structure of your site, making it easier for them to index and rank it. Whenever you make large changes to your site, it’s a good idea to create a new sitemap and submit it again.
If you can do little things like this, you should have an easier time moving up in the search results. Of course, search engines are not the only way that people find information online, and that leads us to our second strategy.
The next thing you’ll want to focus on is social media. Millions of people use social media each day, sometimes spending hours scrolling through their newsfeeds. If you can get yourself noticed on social media, you’ll be able to start driving more traffic to your website.
To grow your social media following, you need to do a few things. First, start interacting with influencers within your niche. Find the most popular accounts within your niche, then start following them, responding to their posts, or sharing their content. This is a good way to introduce yourself to the niche, and gain yourself some attention.
After that, work on sharing useful content. Share blog posts you’ve written to your social accounts, along with other useful articles you come across. Take pictures of your products and post them on Instagram. Create video guides and upload them to Youtube. Think about what your audience wants, then go about sharing that stuff through your social channels.
Social media is all about interacting with your customer base and with people within your niche. Use it as a tool to reach new people, and once you’ve built up a sizeable following, you should notice an uptick in your website traffic.
To make the most of both your SEO and social media efforts, you should get into content marketing. Content marketing is creating things like blog articles, video guides, or podcasts and sharing them on the web. Here’s how it works:
Let’s say you’re a company that specializes in helping others start a business. You create an article called “Guide to Becoming a Dropshipper”. You then share this article across your social media accounts, and bring in traffic as a result. Some of this traffic is customers, who purchase one of your products, while some of the traffic is other industry leaders within your niche. They like your article, so they decide to link to it within one of their own.
Now you’ve gotten an essential piece of SEO – a backlink. More high-quality backlinks to your site will boost you up in the search rankings, and get you even more traffic. With one high quality blog post you were both able to improve your SEO, and bring in customers.
You can also write blog posts, or create other content, and post it on other websites. This will allow you to take advantage of another website’s built in audience, and gain you some recognition within your industry. Either way, content marketing is a great strategy to start using, and is one of the most practical and effective marketing methods available today.
Run Paid Ads Online
The last strategy you can use is to pay for ads online. This method costs more than the others – which were essentially free – but the results could be even better. With paid ads online, you have two major options.
The first is to run ads through search results. With this option, your website will appear at the top of search results for the keywords you choose. This can get rather expensive, especially if you’re targeting very popular keywords. However, if you can find less competitive keywords, but ones that still get a high volume of searches, it could be worth it. Rather than spending all your time trying to organically rank for certain keywords, you can basically skip to the head of the line by spending some money.
The other option is to run ads through your social media accounts. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all have tools available for businesses to advertise on their sites. By using these tools, you can target very specific niches, and get your message to the exact audience you’re looking for. This means you won’t have to waste any of your ad dollars advertising to people who are unable to buy from you anyway.
Paid search isn’t right for every online store. If you’re working on a limited budget, you may want to consider the less expensive options mentioned above. However, if you have a few dollars to spare each month, you can set up some small campaigns and see what kind of results you get. Then, if the ads yield a good ROI, you can invest that profit into more ads.
Start Driving Traffic Today
As you can see, it isn’t too difficult to start driving some more traffic to your online store. Yes, you might have a lot of competition, but there are also millions of people online who might want to buy from you. You just need to gain yourself a little attention, and then hopefully things will snowball from there.
Start by doing some keyword research, then dig into content marketing and using social media platforms. After you have some success, set aside a small portion of your budget for paid ads. You can then continue to scale up, possibly even getting to the point where you outsource internet marketing altogether. It may take some time, but if you can create consistent habits, you should find that your traffic numbers start to increase before long.