In our Build Your Online Shop series we have looked at the setting up of your online store on a tight budget and even compared Magento and Shopify to determine the best platform for a startup eCommerce company. However, after setting up your shop and getting it online there is still more to be done to get the traffic you need so that you can begin selling.
Once you have launched your online store, you need to get customers to visit. This is by far the hardest part of the battle because you need to tell people about your site, as well as, ensure that they come back. There is no way you are going to make money if you do not have traffic coming to your online store. As a result, you need to focus on the ways in which you are going to use to enhance traffic in your online store. We look at 15 tips today for the Lean Startup to leverage in getting traffic to convert to customers.
1. Spread the gospel about your online store
You can always use word of mouth to tell people about your new business. You do not have to do everything by yourself. When you tell people about your online venture, the probability is that they are going to tell others about it too. Always take advantage of the links that you already have. Your family and friends are the first people you should inform after you have launched your online store. This way, they will be the first people to visit the store. They will be your first customers.
Your friends and can also tell other people about your online store and share the experiences that they had on your site. You can always use their experiences to create a foundation for your online store’s word-of-mouth campaign.
2. Create a blog
Blogs serve a lot of purposes for individuals who own businesses. A blog can play a major role in determining the success of your online store. One of the primary functions of a blog is to ensure people are updated on what is going on. If you create a blog for your online store, you will be in a better position to keep updating your customers on the products that you have sourced out. When people stumble upon the blog, they will get to learn about the existence of your store and maybe visit it. Individuals who are already customers will be reminded about the store and the products you offer.
Blogs also assist in search engine optimization (SEO) because when you have a blog and you keep posting on it, the number of pages increases. We all know the general rule that one post is equal to one page and the more the pages, the higher the chances of making it on Google’s search engine. The Google search bots that visit your website have a preference for up to date content. The best way to make sure that your content is up to date is by posting on your blog as often as possible.
3. Write Content
Once you have created a blog, it is imperative that you start writing as soon and as consistently as possible. Always ensure that you have adequate knowledge of the product that you are selling in your store and write about it. The more you write about your products, the higher the chances of people sharing your content and even finding it easily on google.
4. Market your content
You do not have to post every article you write on your blog. You can always give them to other bloggers to post on their blogs. This is known as content syndication. It is a win-win situation for you and the blogger who has shared your content. Always remember to include a link back to your site. This will bring in more traffic to your store.
5. The Find and Pull method always works.
Since you have already embarked on writing content on your blog, also ensure you know what other bloggers are writing about. First, you need to know high-traffic blogs that make posts that are related to your product. You also need to know whenever any post is made. This can be done using Google Alerts. Make sure you read the post and comment on it, and link back at the comment section to a post that you have written in the past on your site or to the online shop itself but your blog is usually more preferred. When somebody clicks on your name, they are directed back to your blog. This increases traffic because the person is more likely to visit your site again if the content is good or the products are his or her taste.
6. Use social media to market your products.
Never ignore social media when it comes to the promotion of products. Social media was not only created for socialization, it has grown to be a marketing hub for various successful businesses. You should always view it as a marketing channel that is responsible for brand awareness and web traffic. In addition to that, it is an inexpensive way of advertising your products. Over the years, various social media platforms have been held responsible for the success of many online businesses.
Platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, and Google Plus have been of help a lot to your store when you are first starting out because you can depend on this platforms to bring you traffic because SEO efforts and organic traffic take time to build. Social media platforms also enable you to showcase your products by posting photos, links and sometimes giving a bit of information about them.
7. Build Links.
Link building is the process of getting other websites to link to your site. The best way to increase traffic to your online store is by getting linked to by active websites within your niche. You have to talk to other bloggers and site owners and ask them to link your site to theirs. Some will do it for you without asking for anything in return while you will have to pay others to do it. It is important for you to link your online store with sites that sell or blog about products that are similar or related to yours.
The Google Algorithm also depends on other sites endorsing your site as the authority on given search terms. Links from authority sites improve your position on Google search for certain keywords meaning increased traffic and rankings for your store.
8. Use incentives to reward customers.
It has been observed by most online store owners that most of their traffic comes from referrals. You can use your already existing customers to refer their friends to your online store. In return, you can reward them with incentives such as referral bonuses or coupons if they refer a friend. You can also offer your customers discounts on a certain number of people that they refer to your store.
9. Follow up on customers after their orders.
It is vital to communicate with a customer after they have placed their order. You should also make a follow up once they have received your product. You could ask them about their customer experience, as well as, request them to post their comments on your site. These reviews from customers help a great deal in convincing customers to participate on your site. You should also make sure that you entice your customers to continue spending their money on your online store. Communicating with a customer after they have purchased your product reminds them of your existence. The more they remember you exist, the easier it easy to remember your name when they need to recommend your products to someone.
10. Get your Customers to Sign Up for your News Letter
You can use email to send your newsletter to your customers and site visitors. Emails have been identified as a very effective method of increasing traffic by most online marketers. You can devise a way that will help you capture the email addresses of all the individuals who show interest in your site. This is easy to do using subscription and opt-in forms available online for different platforms.
11. Work on enhancing your user-friendliness.
Researches that have been conducted in the past have shown that most people refuse to go back to stores where they experienced bad customer service. You have to keep in mind that your main aim is to increase your traffic and this can be done by maintaining the existing ones first. For this reason, you have to work on ensuring that your customers have an excellent experience while shopping at your online store. If they are impressed with your services, then they will obviously return for more and even better refer their friends there.
12. Use Adwords
You can use Adwords to get people to visit your site and consequently, convert them profitably. However, you have to invest a lot in Google Keywords and Adwords tools. After all, nothing good comes easy. You have to ensure that you bid highly to get words that will attract people to your site using Google’s AdWords dashboard. The higher you rank for more expensive keywords the more visitors you get.
13. Post your store on a share site like Reddit
You can write a short summary of your site and post it on Reddit. It is estimated that most of the internet population hangs out on Reddit. The summary you write will serve as an introduction. This site has hundreds of millions of visitors worldwide. Your store and the products you sell can be the beginning of a meaningful discussion on the platform. The main advantage of using Reddit is that most people on the site engage with content on the platform a lot. The site also has numerous topics that one can read. You can get a lot of advice on how to start a small business and manage it from within these discussions. The people who participate in your discussion can also pay a visit to your site.
14. Use the online influencers to your advantage.
You can always increase your traffic flow when you make your online store public. You can do this by ensuring that you get the attention of the press and bloggers who will be willing to interview you. In order for this to happen, ensure that you have a unique story that you can sell to them. You do not have to be interviewed by the big sites or newspapers, smaller sites are good enough as well. As long as they feature you, you will be exposed to the public. As people get to know you from such interviews, they will increasingly want to check out your online store too.
15. Offer something for free.
It is widely known that nothing sparks people’s interest like free things. People like things that are given out for free and they will tell others about it. If you are giving something for free on your online store, then you are likely to drive traffic to your site because more people will come looking for that product on hearing that its a free product and they will probably buy more products in the course of that.
Do you have any other tips to add to the ones I have listed above? Share in the comments section below.