Despite the immense opportunity available in the online world, the eCommerce business failure rate stands at a whopping 90% after just 120 days. The reason? Poor marketing performance and minuscule organic reach. Driving traffic to your site isn’t just about paying for ads. Building a sales funnel that offers a wide reach, and more importantly gets your recurring customers is the key to building a loyal online customer base. This article will help you understand all the areas you need to step foot in, to build traffic to your site – both in terms of quantity and quality.
1. Search Engine Optimization
A buzzword for the pro-marketer, no eCommerce business can thrive without a successful SEO strategy. Simply put, Search Engine Optimization applies practices to rank high on search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Search engines index sites on the web and basically show results in order of certain criteria like popularity and relevance to the search term. Research shows that 43% of site visits occur through organic search results.
SEO is a free traffic strategy
Not all marketing strategies on the Internet cost money. Simply following SEO rules to build content on your site can help you improve visibility and gain traffic. You can use several free SEO tools available online to find keywords that are related to your site/products. Use Google Trends and web analytics to find the terms that people search for when they visit your site. For example, if you are an online gift shop, you can use terms like “buy a gift for wife” within your site content. Another free way to improve traffic to your site is to contact complementary product stores and ask them if you can post a blog about your products on their sites. This technique is called backlinking or link-building. Having many sites who direct to your site improves your site score. Many budding online store owners would be willing to do that for free if you are willing to return the favour for them i.e. link to their site on your blog.
Doing SEO in the right way
In a bid to beat the competition, many site owners end up flooding their content with SEO. You might also be tempted to use blackhat techniques like using keywords in your site in areas that aren’t visible to the user. Doing so will get you banned permanently from Google – so be wary of such strategies. Moreover, the SEO competition is a war, not a battle. It will take time for you to start seeing results – just be patient and keep blogging regularly.
SEO Tips & tricks
Whether you are hiring a copywriter or writing the content yourself, use these simple SEO tricks to ensure maximum visibility:
- Research for keywords thoroughly. Optimize for only a few relevant keywords on your home and product pages. Don’t use all keywords.
- Rank for keywords with low competition. As a new website, if you choose highly competitive keywords to rank for, you’ll take much longer to build your site rank.
- Skim through your competitor sites and find out what new keywords they are ranking for. Compete only for the new keywords.
- Use sites like Quora to answer relevant user queries and help build links to your sites.
2. PPC advertising
PPC or Pay-Per-Click advertising is the more direct way to build traffic to your site.
PPC advertising strategy
There are three major areas that you can use to build traffic through PPC advertising:
1. Google Ads
While SEO is an organic ranking that you can do for free, Google allows you to take the fast lane to rank on top for keywords, should you choose to pay for Google Ads. Google Ads also requires proper keyword research as your ads will appear to users based on the terms people use to search for products. The average click-through rate for Google Ads is 3.17%, higher than any other paid model online.
2. Facebook Ads
The most popular social media platform, Facebook has a wide reach in terms of audiences. On average, people spend at least 20 minutes a day on Facebook. Moreover, Facebook allows you to reach out to a vast demographic. All genders and ages use Facebook equally. Unlike Google ads that are based on keywords, Facebook uses a targeted advertising strategy. This means that you can set parameters like age, gender, interest and buyer behaviour for your ads, and Facebook will make your ad visible to that particular demographic. Facebook helps you build brand visibility immensely.
3. Instagram Ads
Instagram follows the same model as Facebook but is mostly used to garner traffic from younger audiences. As an image-heavy app, Instagram requires you to build visually pleasing content that resonates well with the millennial TG. The platform is highly engaging and can give good results if done the right way.
What to choose between these PPC platforms?
As the age-old saying goes, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Give each platform a fair chance (meaning, spend roughly equal amounts of money on each ad) and see what works for you best. Every online business is different, and what works for you is unique to your brand ethos.
Apps for PPC Ads management
In order to help you manage all your PPC ads, you can download these Shopify apps:
- Facebook marketing; A mobile-friendly app that lets you create, run and keep track of Facebook ads on the go.
- Google Ads & Shopping: Helps you keep track of all your Google-related advertising material.
- Flexify: Helps you connect your online store to Facebook Product Catalog.
- Google Ads Conversion Tracking: Track all your Google Ads and see which ones are converting.
3. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing has catapulted over the years and rightly so.
Does Influencer marketing work for Shopify?
Whether you are a small business or a large enterprise on Shopify, you can find an influencer who suits your needs. If you are a new site, you can go with micro-influencers who have about 10000 followers.
Most successful Shopify stores using influencer marketing
- Using 22 influencer posts, Viral Nation was able to generate 4 million engagements – so much so that it crashed their site on Christmas!
- Gymshark, an athletic wear company, grew from a small startup to a %100 million dollar business in just 5 years using influencer marketing.
Top influencers based on store categories
While researching for influencers, don’t just see their follower content. Look ours for likes, comments, shares, posts, and engagement in general. This way you can be sure that you’ll get organic leads that will convert. Choose an influencer who fits your brand story.
4. Affiliate marketing
Affiliates take a commission for products that they sell on their own platform. You will be up against competitors more visibly when you use affiliate marketing.
Does affiliate marketing work for Shopify?
The answer to this question is a resounding yes. Shopify in itself is a great platform for affiliate marketers and you can get in touch with some of the best in the business using the Shopify forum.
Most successful Shopify stores using Affiliate marketing
Everyone from luxury brands to B2B firms uses affiliate marketing. A whopping 81% of brands use affiliate marketing.
Top affiliate markets to reach out to your store
Whether you choose Amazon or eBay associates, make sure that they have good reviews online for the products they recommend. Moreover, you can also find affiliates through meetups that occur regularly in major cities across the globe.
5. Retargeting ads
Also known as remarketing, retargeting is all about bringing back churners at the earliest. Retargeting helps you reduce bounce rates. If a customer visits your site and leaves without a purchase, a retargeting ad will show up on that particular customer’s social media or search engine platform again in a bid to lure the customer back in. You can choose to perform retargeting for both Google and Facebook ads. Here are the stats:
- Retargeting lifts and engagement by more than 400%.
- The click-through rate for retargeting ads is 10 times more than usual ads,
Apps you can use to create retargeting ads
Usually retargeting would require a bit of code tech to function properly. But some apps can help you do it easily:
- Google Retargeting Ads: You can use this app to generate both native and retargeting ads.
- Facebook and Google Easy Ads: Generate regenerated leads on both Facebook and Google using this app.
Whether you are a new business who is yet to find reliable forums for generating traffic continuously, or you are an established online business trying to improve your marketing funnel, this handy guide gives you an overall look at the different ways to generate traffic to your site. There’s so much that can be done that it can be hard to choose one method. But the best way to find out what works best for your business is to try all methods out and then continuously improve on the strategy.
Additional resources on Shopify Success
- Ultimate Guide to Selling on Shopify
- How to create your first Shopify Store?
- How to get more traffic to your Shopify store?
- How to get more loyal customers to your Shopify store?
- How to do Conversion Rate Optimization to your shopify store?
This is a guest post by Salil Panikkaveettil. He is the Co-Founder and CEO of AdNabu. AdNabu helps improve sales in Google Ads for eCommerce companies. If you are running search, shopping or display campaigns in Google Ads, Their software will be able to increase your sales. Sign up today for a 14-day free trial from here. You can connect with him on Twitter or Linkedin.
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