How to Drive Traffic and Buyers to Your eCommerce Site
A previous post here outlined how to get your eCommerce site online. Now that your online store is open for business, let’s look at the best ways to get people to visit – and even more importantly, a purchase.
Marketing and advertising
There are many tools you can use to market your website, including paid online banners, keyword ads, affiliate programs, referral programs, webinars and pay-per-click advertising. Traditional avenues like print advertising, post-sale marketing, a company e-newsletter and content marketing should also be a part of your marketing and advertising efforts.
Another tactic that many Canadian business owners have used successfully is to offer bloggers, journalists and broadcasters free insights on your industry through interviews, columns, podcasts or video commentaries. Demand for content is so high these days that media outlets are often scouting out new voices to add to their roster of experts. They get some insider expertise, you get branded as a credible industry authority and your business gets its name out there for free.
Social media sites are a great (and free) way to market your business, and they also help you boost your ranking in search engines. Besides setting up accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and YouTube, you can:
- Put ‘share’ buttons on your pages so users can easily re-post your content via those sites.
- Use hashtags related to your industry or products in company tweets; when people are searching for those terms it helps drive them to your company’s Twitter content.
- Post news, tips, photos, blogs, contests, coupons, polls, videos, newsletters and other useful, interesting content on social sites (consistent marketing messages can be a turnoff so be light on them).
- Give your social presence a personal, authentic voice to build a community that you can drive to your eCommerce site.
- Keep the content fresh, timely and practical so followers don’t abandon you.
- Respond directly to customers’ compliments, questions and complaints.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Some quick and helpful tips include:
- Putting blogs, videos, automated news feeds and customer testimonials on your site.
- Keeping content fresh since it boosts your SEO rank.
- Asking other sites to link to yours.
- Making sure your site’s code contains keywords people are most likely to use when searching for your company and products.
This blog has covered the topic of SEO quite extensively, so be sure to check out past SEO-related posts including additional helpful SEO tips outlined here.
The bottom line
Taking a ‘build it and they will come’ approach to your eCommerce site likely won’t work. No matter how amazing your products and services are, you can’t sell anything through your site if people can’t find it. Pairing the latest social media and SEO tools with more traditional advertising and promotion will help you drive people to your site and ultimately sell your products and services.
If you’re time pressed or you’re having trouble getting started, a service that combines several marketing and SEO tools together can be a quick and affordable option to deploy. For example, the Bell eCommerce Bundle includes submission of your site to all major search engines, ads in over 40 online directories, top placement in the Bell Business Directory and the ability to send a monthly email marketing newsletter to your customers and prospects that have signed up for it.
Which tools and methods have you used to promote your ecommerce presence online? Which ones were most effective (and cost-effective) for your business? Share your thoughts in our comments area below.