How To Drive Traffic To Your eCommerce Store
Starting an e-commerce business is exciting.
And we understand where your enthusiasm is coming from. You shouldn’t feel like it’s misguided hope or naivety - managing an online store is an awesome way to increase your income and achieve financial freedom.
However, you should put that excitement to good use. Channel it into being productive and growing your store.
That’s where we come in. At Authority Hacker, we’ve been helping people like you grow their online business through the best digital marketing practices out there.
And we’ll do our best to condense what we learned along the way in this post, helping you take your ecommerce site to the next level.
Getting The Basics Out Of The Way
Dropshipping, selling on Amazon, starting an Etsy store, or even subscribing to Woocommerce and building your own site - all of these are not a million dollar idea in and of themselves.
Simply finding a product and quickly knocking out a minimal store page will never cut it.
Like anything else that can provide you with the life you dream, having an ecommerce store is a business, and you should treat it as such. Anyone that’s selling you the “perfect life” for a minimal time and money investment doesn’t have your best interest in mind.
They just want to sell you something.
So we’ll be honest with you. Like anything related to your ecommerce store, driving traffic to it won’t be easy.
And you might not pull it off overnight.
Especially if you’re bootstrapping and don’t have a huge budget for paid campaigns.
But it’s not impossible.
So let’s see how you can go about it.
You’ve probably heard this term thrown around before. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of optimizing your site to show up higher on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) of specific keywords.
So if you sell men’s suits, that’d be a good place to be.
SEO takes you there.
But it’s not easy, so let’s break down this process even further. What you should do is:
- Research keywords to understand what terms your audience uses to find products like yours
- Create content and optimize your pages for those keywords
- Obtain backlinks (that’s references from other sites to your website) to boost your site’s authority
Don’t worry, I promise I’ll keep it as simple as possible for the time being.
The first step in optimizing your site for search engines is finding the right SEO opportunities. Keywords are the terms people plug into Google to find something they need, like “best sneakers 2020” or “spider earrings”.
But you can’t guess what your target audience is looking for.
So instead, you should use a keyword research tool, like KWFinder.
While KWFinder is a very good tool for beginners, we recommend ahrefs for all of your keyword research needs. It’s the second largest crawler after Google, and it’s packed with valuable insight.
If you don’t want to invest in such a tool yet, you can try Ubersuggest - it’s a free tool that can get the job done.
So here’s what you have to do: Go to Ubersuggest and input a seed term - that’s your guess for what your target audience might be looking for, like “handmade necklace”:
After you insert a seed term, analyze the suggested keywords for something that has a lot of monthly traffic, but little competition.
Then rinse and repeat for as many seed terms as you can, which will reveal worthy keyword gems that you can target with your SEO efforts.
Take The Keywords Home
The next step is to take those keyword gems you found, and use them on your website. For example, if you found that “handmade fimo spider earrings” gets a lot of monthly hits, and you have such a product for sale, optimize your product page to include that keyword in its title, description, and metadata.
To change the metadata of your page, you can install a tool like YoastSEO, which helps you change that, and it also gives you a lot of SEO suggestions as well.
Besides your product pages, you can apply the same principle on your category pages.
And if you want to take it a step further, you can identify educational topics, like “best sneakers 2020” if you sell footwear, and write roundups or buying guides that can rank on those topics as well.
You’ll need to invest a bit more in something like that, it’s a big editorial feat if you want to make it work, but the results will speak for themselves.
Other On Page Fixes
With SEO, you want to keep Google happy.
And as long as people have a good time on your site, and find answers to their questions, Google will be happy.
That’s why keywords matter - they’re a way of matching user requests with the content (or products) that you can provide.
But it’s more than just words to it.
The people that end up on your site should have a great user experience. For that, make sure you:
- Provide seamless navigation
- Use multimedia like images or videos
- Insert internal links leading to your other pages, according to your site’s structure
- Improve your loading time with tools like GTMetrix
That’s not the end of it, but it’s a good start.
If you want an exhaustive list of technical fixes for your site, you can run a site audit from ahrefs. This will show you exactly what you need to fix.
If you want to have a comprehensive overview on what you need to fix on your site, make sure you read our Onpage SEO checklist.
Off Page Matters Just As Much (If Not Even More)
But SEO isn’t just about finding and using the right keywords or enhancing your pages.
The last ingredient to this recipe is link building.
Link Building is any process meant to get you backlinks, or referrals to your content and products.
Here’s an important thing to keep in mind: the number of backlinks a page has is strongly correlated with how well it’ll do on the SERP, to the point that ahrefs uses that metric to determine the difficulty of ranking for a keyword.
But it’s not all about quantity.
Because spamming links, or paying for links, or getting too many links from sites outside your niche won’t help at all.
It will actually hurt your rankings.
So you want backlinks from websites with high authority, that are active in your niche.
And there are a few ways to go about that:
- Find broken links on a blog and suggest they replace it with a link to one of your resources
- Write guest posts like this one in exchange of a backlink
- Use HARO (Help A Reporter Out), a platform where you can provide reporters with information in exchange of a link to one of your trusted resources.
If you want to find out more, read about our link building techniques.
And that’s about it for our SEO Simplified section.
If that’s all a bit too much, don’t worry. SEO has a bit of a learning curve, especially until you get used to the jargon, but once you get the gist of it you’ll be better positioned to drive traffic to your ecommerce store.
Now for some more tips on how to drive traffic to your ecommerce store.
Social Media Marketing
Social Media may not yield the most results for all businesses, but this is a matter of striking a chord with your audience.
Chances are, they use social media.
So it’s up to you to identify what platform they spend their time on, and be active there. We’ve seen stores that brought in 80% of their revenue from Facebook pages (and we’re talking about 5 figures each month), and we’ve seen stores that had no success on social media.
If you want the basics of it, make sure you outline a buyer persona, use platform specific tweaks (like hashtags on instagram, or groups on Facebook), create a social media calendar, and post regularly.
Growing a social media following can be tough, and it doesn’t really come naturally to a lot of people.
But you can circumvent the grind with affiliate marketing.
Affiliates on instagram specifically seem to be on fire. If you find the right pages to promote your products, you can expect a nice ROI on even the smallest of investments.
And it’s all in a day's work - research successful pages in your niche and then dm them for a collaboration.
PPC campaigns, whether you run them on Google Ads, Facebook Ads, or even LinkedIn Ads, they’re the type of thing that seems pretty easy to pull off.
Just add some targeting options, set a budget, and let algorithms work for you right?
Big tech companies are trying to make it look simple, so you’ll pay up…
But it’s not that easy.
Sure, Google Ads will automatically help you show up on queries that are as relevant as possible.
But if you don’t do your research well, you’ll get a lot of low scores for keyword relevancy, and you’ll be struggling to show up on expensive keywords in your niche.
As far as we’re concerned, there are two ways around that. You either hire an expert to take care of it for you, or you spend the time to master these platforms and take care of paid advertising yourself.
But don’t take that “spend time” too lightly. Be serious about it, get some courses, and start with small budgets so you can test what works and what doesn’.
The good news? The better you get at paid advertising, and the more money you spend on it, the bigger your ROI will be.
So it’s a decent option to drive traffic to your site.
I like the world of online business because it’s (among other things) so diverse. New tech is changing our businesses constantly, usually for the better.
So it’s only normal that one guest post won’t be able to cover everything you need to know about how to drive traffic to your ecommerce store.
But if you start doing some SEO, get active on social media, contract some affiliates and dabble with paid advertising, you’re better positioned to boost your bottom line and grow your business.
If you want to make all of this easier, make sure you read our piece on the best online marketing tools.