No matter if you’re just starting out with your first store, or are running a multi-million dollar enterprise, every eCommerce entrepreneur has one question that never leaves their mind:
“How can I drive more traffic to my website?”
After all, traffic is the lifeblood of your business. More traffic means more sales and without it,you're doomed to failure. So, whether you’re looking to attract your first customer or your 100,000, generating more traffic always needs to be a top priority.
But generating traffic isn’t always easy. Sometimes it can involve a pretty steep learning curve and it’s not hard to waste time and money on strategies that don’t deliver results. As a business owner, you need resources that can guide you through the process at lightning speed.
That’s why we’ve put together a list of 8 proven strategies that help you boost your traffic and scale your business with ease.
Sounds good? Then let’s jump in!
#1 Use paid social advertising
One of the most effective ways to quickly boost your store’s traffic is to get savvy with running ads on social media platforms. The beauty of these platforms is that, unlike traditional advertising like newspapers where the readership is broad and undefined, social media advertising allows you to laser-target the people who are most likely to buy your product.
Here are 3 social media platforms you can use to your advantage:
Facebook’s powerful advertising platform allows you to show ads to potential customers based on their interests, age, behavior, location and more. And while most eCommerce entrepreneurs probably know a bit about Facebook ads, too many are leaving piles of cash on the table by not leveraging one of Facebook’s most powerful features: Dynamic retargeting ads.
Dynamic retargeting is incredibly useful because it lets you serve personalized ads to people who’ve already visited your site. It leverages your Facebook Pixel’s behavior data to automatically create and retarget highly relevant ads for your audience. How effective are these ads? The research suggests that visitors served these ads convert at a 5x higher than regular traffic ads.
Another key consideration to keep in mind when running Facebook ads is which ad format you choose - Facebook lets you choose between video, static images or a carousel of images. In tests we ran, we found video to be the overwhelmingly obvious choice when it comes to creating winning ads for dropshipping. So, it’s worth investing the time yourself, hiring somebody else or using a software tool to help you create eye-catching video advertisements. (Hint: Sales Source does that for you)
Source: No Reach
Instagram is Facebook’s baby brother, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s any less powerful at driving traffic to your store. Instagram boasts over 500 million monthly active users and is the platform of choice for millennials - that means it’s ideal if your target market is aged between 15-35.
Running Instagram ads is done through Facebook’s business manager, so you’ll be able to view the same helpful metrics as your Facebook ads. Instagram is all about visual appeal, so make sure your ads are able to entice people’s eyes with a stellar creative.
Pinterest is a goldmine that’s often overlooked by dropshippers. But that’s a shame because the statistics don’t lie - 93% of its users say they’ve used Pinterest to make a purchasing decision while 54% have bought an item after first discovering it on the platform. That’s huge.
Pinterest is a hub for niche groups, especially for those with an interest in DIY, home decor, hand-made crafts, and fashion. These passionate groups make Pinterest ideal for selling tending, visually appealing products.
Pinterest lets you promote your own pins, boosting them to the top of your defined audience’s search results, and letting you get your products seen. Promoted pins look extremely native (i.e not like an ad) and so can be very effective at grabbing attention and luring new visitors to your store.
#2 Dive into influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is a great way to gain traffic to your site by expanding your reach to a whole new set of potential customers. Influencers have buckets of trust and credibility with their audience, and so by partnering with them, you’re able to leverage that sell more products.
Influencers are trendsetters who have an engaged audience on platforms like Instagram or Youtube. They’re incredibly valuable because consumers take their advice and recommendations very seriously. Especially when it comes to shopping since it’s typically honest, unbiased and reliable.
In fact, 70% of millennials prefer recommendations from their peers as opposed to celebrity endorsements! And according to Nielsen a whopping 92% of consumers value word of mouth recommendations over any other type of advertising. Yes, that did say ninety-two-per-cent.
So how to start advertising with influencers? Well, begin by building a list of potential influencers whose message aligns with your brands - you can browse hashtags in your niche or use the Instagram search function. Then simply reach out and start a conversation - some common approaches are:
- Sending them a free product to review
- Offering them a discount code to share with their followers
- Offering then an affiliate link to put in their bio
- Exchange products for quality photography/content
- Discuss prices for paid promotions or shoutouts with links to your store
#3 Optimize your search engine ranking
If customers are searching for your online store but can’t find you, then you’re missing out on a huge amount of free traffic. In fact, the top 3 sites that appear for a google search absorb 75% of all search traffic.
That’s where search engine optimization comes in. SEO is a set of techniques that help your online store rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) making your website more visible to people who are looking for your products.
It’s easy to see why stores that rank well in the search engines, see massive growth in their profit margins - they’re no longer having to allocate a large portion of their marketing budget to paid ads to get site visitors.
There’s a lot involved in optimizing your search engine ranking, but here are some of the basics that you can start implementing today to beat out your competition for the no.1 spot:
- Start a blog that adds value to your audience & add strategic keywords to your posts
- Include external links to experts in your industry
- Include keywords in all of your product descriptions & images
- Create a web of internal links so Google indexes your site
- Build links to your site from other reputable sites
- Optimize your website to run at top speed
Focusing on SEO won’t bring the instant returns of paid advertising, it’s more of a marathon than a sprint. But if you put in consistent effort, starting with even a few little adjustments can make a big difference to your traffic over the long term.
#4 Leverage the power of GoogleAds
While you’re waiting around to get ranked in the search engines, you can use Google Ads to quickly capture the attention of high-intent traffic by buying ad space.
Google is a pay-per-click advertising method - so that means you’ll only get charged when somebody actually clicks on your ad or watches your video.
And while you can spend money quickly using Google Ads, you don’t need a huge budget to get started - new accounts even come with up to $75 in advertising credit to get you off on the right foot. It’s completely up to you to decide how much to spend.
There are several ways you can use Google Ads to boost your eCommerce store’s traffic:
- You can appear at the top of the search page in Google’s search results
- You can advertise video promotions on YouTube and target your audience based on interests or demographics
- You can advertise with display ads in Gmail, on websites or in mobile apps
- Use Google shopping ads to display your products on the search results page
As with any form of paid advertising, it’s critical to be able to optimize the performance of your campaigns to get the best return on your money.
Google Ads is quite intuitive, however, it can take a little bit of practice to get proficient with them. Google offers its own course designed to help you get the most from your ads (and digital marketing generally) - it’s well worth checking out.
#5 Develop a referral program
Referral marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to spread your message, drive more traffic and generate more customers for your store. It’s so powerful because people trust recommendations from friends an insane amount. In fact, When referred by a friend, people are 4x more likely to make a purchase than if they’d found your store on their own.
So, incentivize your customers and fans to share their favorite products with their family and friends and in return shower them with discounts or other benefits like free priority shipping, store credit or free gifts.
A large part of Harry’s (pictured) success in growing into a 7-figure eCommerce business was down to their excellent referral program. Their pre-launch campaign encouraged people to refer their friends by email - the more leads they referred the more the rewards they got. Their friends also got 10% off their first purchase. It’s an excellent example of a win-win referral program that resulted in over 100,000 email sign-ups in the first week.
#6 Draw in traffic with content marketing
Source: Scotts Menswear
Content marketing is about creating engaging, creative, informative and helpful material around the topics and issues that your customers care about. When you do this, you’ll not only attract customers to your business but you’ll win their trust too. And as any good marketer will tell you; trust equals sales.
Your content can take many forms - it could be a podcast, it could be how-to guides, youtube videos or just good old fashioned blog posts. High-quality content positions your brand as an authority in your niche - just look at the blog over at Scotts Menswear (pictured) to get an idea of what we’re talking about here.
Content marketing doesn’t just please customers either - when executed correctly you can charm the search engines too which means you’ll get the traffic-boosting effects of better search rankings too. Use free tools like Google’s keyword planner or Keyword.io to identify the best opportunities for your store to supercharge it’s search rankings.
You can also supercharge your marketing efforts by combining content marketing with other tactics such as paid ads or influencer marketing. For example, instead of going straight for the hard sell by advertising a product, you can run some of your best content through Facebook ads to a highly targeted audience. Visitors will be introduced to your brand with content that interests them. That way they’ll much more likely to purchase when you hit them with a killer offer though a retargeting ad in two days’ time.
Don’t think it’ll work or that it sounds like too much effort? Just remember that you’re reading your blog and engaging with our content right now!
#7 Use Email to boost your traffic
Email marketing is one of the best ways to boost your store’s traffic. In fact, over 80% of marketers say that email is their numero uno when it comes to driving customer acquisition, engagement, and retention.
Given that studies show that for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $42 you can’t afford to be missing out on your slice of the pie.
Like all things worth doing, email marketing takes a little bit of planning to get right. You have to make sure that every email landing in your recipient’s inbox is value-packed and worth opening.
Start by choosing your email platform - Klaviyo and Ominsend are both great apps that are free for beginners and integrate seamlessly into your Shopify store. Then start collecting emails - use a pop-up on your store to capture visitors’ emails in exchange for a 15% discount code.
Also, make sure that you out a couple of basic flows in place as part of your email strategy. A flow is a marketing automation that sends emails based on certain actions. Spend a half-day setting up the following:
- A welcome email for new subscribers
- Abandoned cart reminders for shoppers who didn’t complete their purchase
- An upsell offer for people who made a purchase
- A request for review following a purchase
Once you’ve established a workable list, it’s time to start sending emails to drive traffic to your store. Writing emails can often be a sticking point for many entrepreneurs so here are our top tips to help you get it done quickly and effectively:
This is the key to getting email traffic to your site - if people don’t open your email they’ll never click your links. Here’s a useful formula to ensure good open rates:
[Number or Question + Adjective + Keywords + Promise]
For example, “The 3 Sharpest Men’s Watches You’ll Love” or “How can an awesome watch upgrade your style?”
Call to action (CTA)
Your CTA is the gateway to your site - remember the whole reason we’re sending emails is to get our recipients to take action. Link every photo and important piece of text to your site and come up with a compelling CTA that readers just can’t resist.
Here’s a few to get you started:
- Shop now
- Act now
- Shop now. Get 40% off
- Don’t delay, save now
- Shop our bestsellers
- Yes! I want one
- Claim your coupon
- See you hand-selected deals
- Get 50% off now
- Get free shipping now
Content & Visuals
Keep your written content short, snappy and to the point - readers aren’t interested in hanging around much longer than a few seconds. Equally, make sure that your visual content is high-quality. We rely so much on our eyes when buying a physical product, so this is your chance to put your goods in the spotlight with some killer photography.
Adding these 7 tactics to your marketing toolkit should help you drive a serious amount of traffic to your store. With more traffic, you have more opportunities to convert those casual browsers into paying customers and that means more profit for you.
Learning how to drive traffic using the strategies outlined in this post won’t only drive more traffic to your store - but it’ll transform you into a better all-round marketer and make you a more effective digital entrepreneur.
And that’s a wrap! Got any questions about how to increase website traffic for your online store or how to master any of the 7 techniques? Did we miss any effective traffic generating tips? Share your questions and thoughts in the comments below!