Drive More Traffic to Your E-Commerce Site in 3 Easy Steps
When you enter the field of e-commerce, it doesn’t take long before you learn the first lesson of being an Internet entrepreneur: Selling products online isn’t nearly as easy as some people make it seem. To make things even more difficult, you can’t even get to the point of selling products until your website generates traffic – and with typical e-commerce conversion rates hovering in the range of 1-2 percent, you’re not going to earn anything resembling a real living until your website receives a substantial amount of traffic every day.
You’re already aware of the fact that you can get traffic by bidding for keywords on Google AdWords. The problem with AdWords, though, is that you’re bidding against potentially dozens of competitors in your niche, and the bids can get so high that acquiring a new customer actually causes you to lose money on the initial sale. That’s a losing battle, and it’s certainly not sustainable if your website has no organic earnings.
Google has excluded entire industries from bidding on keywords, and business in those industries are doing just fine. If major vaping retailers like Vape Juice can get consistent traffic without keyword bidding, you can do the same – regardless of your niche.
Driving traffic to any e-commerce site, in fact, is as simple as following these three steps.
- Make sure your site’s content is on point. Google’s ranking algorithm is designed to identify useful content and give it the attention it deserves.
- Find alternate traffic sources that you can control to a certain extent. Search engine traffic will always be the most valuable traffic your site receives, but you can’t depend on Google as your only source of revenue.
- Generate brand awareness so people will begin visiting your website directly or searching specifically for your business. Your brand name is the most valuable keyword that you can rank for, and you should own that keyword completely.
Audit Your On-Site Content
The golden rule of online content is that you absolutely must own every word on your website. It’s extremely common for new owners of e-commerce websites to get the description text for their products by copying that text from other sources. Copying content from other websites isn’t just a copyright violation; it also guarantees that your content will never receive any traffic from Google. Google’s job is to unearth useful content and help searchers find it. Why would Google recommend a product page with copied text instead of recommending the page on which that text was originally published? If you’ve copied any of your website’s text from other sources, you need to replace that text with original content.
The next step in auditing your website’s content is making sure that every page serves its target search term as well as it possibly can. Every page on your website should have a target keyword phrase. When people search for that phrase on Google, you want your page to come up. Search for that phrase and see what pages Google currently displays. If you can’t honestly say that your page is better than what you see on Google’s search results, then you’ll need to revamp it.
The final step in content marketing is ensuring that your website has a good mix of commercial and non-commercial content. Your commercial content will mainly reside on your product and category pages, and you’ll publish your non-commercial content in your blog. Remember that non-commercial content may not be as likely to lead to immediate sales as commercial content, but it’s also much easier to get your website to rank for informational keywords than it is to rank well for commercial searches.
Find Alternate Sources of Traffic
One of the best pieces of advice that you can take to heart as an e-commerce website owner is that you should never depend solely on Google for all of your traffic. Your entire business model can’t depend on a ranking algorithm that isn’t designed to serve you and can change without notice. Starting right away, you need to find alternate traffic sources that can help to keep your revenue stable even when things aren’t exactly going your way on Google.
After search engines, a mailing list is the best source of traffic that you could ever ask for because it represents an opportunity to communicate directly to your customers without a third party acting as a filter and without other companies competing for attention in the same space. If you aren’t already collecting users’ email addresses, you should start doing so right away. Once your mailing list has a few thousand subscribers – learn more about how to build your mailing list – you can really start to earn consistent revenue from it.
Your business’s social media presence can also be a great source of traffic, but you should only spend a lot of time developing your social media pages if it makes sense for the niche in which you do business. Companies in the vaping and CBD industries, for instance, can’t promote their content on Facebook and Instagram at all. People may not be likely to look for an attorney or an auto parts store on Instagram. If you run a food delivery service or a clothing shop, on the other hand, social media can be the magic ingredient that makes your entire business work.
Use Relationship Marketing to Increase Brand Awareness
If you can rank well on Google for the names of the products or services you sell, that’s a great thing because it means that you’ll probably earn a lot of business. Google’s algorithms are fickle, though, and you can lose rankings for your most desired keywords almost as quickly as you earn them. Your brand name, on the other hand, is the one keyword for which you should always rank first. That can only benefit you, though, if people are actually searching for your brand name.
You should always do everything that you can to build brand awareness and get people to search for your business specifically instead of searching for the products or services that you offer, and one of the best ways of building brand awareness is by forging relationships. Look for bloggers who cover your industry. Find social media personalities who might be interested in reviewing your products. Submit a press release when you have a new product to offer. It takes time to build brand awareness, but it’s also the kind of equity that you can’t lose easily once you’ve got it.