No matter how on-point your product line might be, and regardless of your exceptional customer service and secure payments software, your business does not stand a chance of thriving without a steady (and hopefully increasing) flow of traffic. Understanding how potential customers make the journey to your ecommerce mecca is one of the best ways to identify and remove any friction in the process, while simultaneously enhancing the more seamless aspects. This particular blog will be focused on increasing organic traffic.
The online roads that lead to your website.
Before we dive deeper into organic traffic, a few definitions are in order. Specifically, there are four categories of traffic that you should be getting on your ecommerce website.
- Direct. These are customers who already know about your brand. They arrived on your homepage because they entered your website into their browser.
- Referral. As the name implies, these visitors heard about you elsewhere and clicked on a link to check out what you have to offer. This traffic often comes as a result of the links you have placed on other high-authority sites. You can expand your reach and increase your referrals if you post credibility-generating blogs and informational articles on your site.
- Social. Maintaining an active, dynamic presence on sites such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok is an effective way to add enthusiastic followers who’ll be happy to spread the word about your brand. As they do, traffic to your pages will increase, thus raising your chances of gaining long-term customers.
- Organic. These people found your site after conducting an online search, usually via Google but also potentially by way of other sites like Bing or Yahoo. Given that you have a great deal of control over the scalability of your online organic traffic, it is an area of intense focus for savvy ecommerce retailers.
Although you can take steps to increase traffic in all four of these areas, organic traffic is the most scalable. Making a few intentional tweaks to the way you do business can markedly amplify your customer numbers and, ultimately, your sales.
How to drive organic traffic to your website.
No doubt, you have conducted searches on Google or Bing for your own personal needs. If you’re like most people, you probably clicked on sites that appeared on the first page of results. Those businesses did not get into those premier positions by accident. Instead, marketing teams used a combination of paid advertisement, social media, and search engine optimization (SEO) to gain the attention of the engine’s analysis bots.
As you might imagine, these tactics can be costly and often require the presence of a full-time team of savvy multi-channel marketers. How can you as a smaller business generate similar buzz? Fortunately, there are steps you can take that will not break the bank and don’t require millions of dollars in consultation fees.
- Understand your target market. Ask yourself who your customers are, what they want, and what social media pages they traditionally use. Then decide what keywords are the most compelling links between them and your products and services.
- Create and maintain a social media presence. After learning where your customers spend their time, establish a fun and interactive presence there. That means providing high-quality content that people will click on and share as well, as carrying on conversations with your loyal followers. Product demonstrations and testimonials are also great ways to harness the power of sites like Instagram and YouTube.
- Gather and leverage email addresses. Be sure that your homepage contains a form that can capture potential customers’ contact information. Most people will be happy to provide it, particularly if you offer product discounts, or give them access to your information-packed newsletter. Speaking of your newsletter, it should be an ambassador of your business that’s filled with informative blog articles and details about upcoming shows or promotions, compelling product information, and more.
- Use effective SEO techniques. Since Google holds about 95 percent of the search engine market share, your primary focus should be on raising your rankings on this platform. Do so by picking a domain name that is connected to your brand and easy to remember. You can also use keyword optimization tools to ensure that you understand the language that best captures customers’ queries for your specific products. Analytics software will give you a strong sense of which of your words are working and which should be changed.
- Lure buyers with sales and promotions. These could be traditional coupons and product discounts, or you could utilize your database of loyal customers to offer tiered promotions based on how much they have spent on your products in the past. Depending on the goods you offer, you could also combine your most popular sellers into kits or value packs.
- Leverage local marketing. Whether you have a global presence and accept international payments, or focus solely on one city, use location-based marketing to your advantage. Make sure your brick-and-mortar space is documented on Google Maps. Opening physical shops or popup venues is another possibility; however, it can present significant financial obstacles for many small business owners to overcome. Even if you aren’t ready to take this step, you can still attract customers in your area simply by tagging your desired location when you send out a social media post, or by making brand-connected location names a part of your SEO keyword campaign.
- Work hard to create a buzz about your brand, new products, and so forth. You can do so by asking friends, family, and other network contacts to pass on the message, including your website name, social media pages, business-related hashtags, and media kits. Don’t forget to show up at local networking events where you can hand out business cards and network with like-minded colleagues. You could also consider writing a press release or blog post that you can distribute to local media that includes your brand name, company mission/vision, description of products or services, and specific information about your location, as well as any events you want to highlight.
Connecting what you are selling with the people who want to buy it is one of the most daunting challenges facing you as a business owner. However, implementing some or all of the above actions into your business model can be quite effective in increasing that all-important organic traffic. Remember, each new visitor to your website is a potential long-term customer poised to help you increase your profit margin. When you think of it in those terms, it makes the work of generating higher traffic much more worthwhile.