To sell, you need shoppers. To get shoppers onto your site effectively requires you to know and use a wide variety of marketing strategies. We've included five of the most vital tips for getting more traffic onto your ecommerce site.
1. Google Ads (AdWords)
Google Ads (the new name for AdWords) is an essential piece of the puzzle when it comes to driving clicks from search engine results pages (SERPs) to your website. The top tips? Consistently monitor your KPIs, competitor bidding, & keyword research.
Useful key performance indicators for Google Ads campaigns when it comes to getting more website traffic are cost-per-click (CPC) and clickthrough rate (CTR) – how much does it cost for every visitor who clicks, and what percentage of people who see your ad actually click it.
If you’re interested in measuring the effectiveness of your web traffic, cost per acquisition (CPA) is fundamentally important. You can set up Google Ads to monitor conversion actions, such as signing up to a newsletter, adding a product to a basket, and checking out. Understanding how much you’re paying on a given keyword to generate a single customer conversion in one of these areas is useful for optimising your spend.
Don’t miss opportunities at the top of the funnel as well as the bottom. It may be worth bidding to draw browsers who aren’t entirely sure what specific item they want, or who don’t know what type of product suits their needs. Building your product discovery architecture in accordance with the buyer’s journey is essential to success.
The sale is not the be-all and end-all of engaging a customer. A customer who finds useful information on your site which informs her next purchase is still more likely to come back again, even if she didn’t make that purchase with you. This is more likely to occur with top of funnel and middle of funnel keywords and search terms.
2. Premium Content + SEO
Writing content around funnel-focused keywords and search terms draws in customers looking for information. These customers might be interested in which type of product fits their needs – this is a great article topic for lots of brands. From there, they need to know where they can find the right type of product at the right price. The key is selling softly – emphasising the quality and value of your product without appearing to push it on the customer.
It may also be a good idea to invest in lifestyle content, ideally adjacent to products, but always relevant to your audience. For example, upstart UK women’s footwear brand Public Desire livetweeted every episode of the last series of TV’s Love Island. They understood that their audience was highly likely to be invested in the show and demonstrated a human aspect of the brand by sharing their enthusiasm. They also regularly post lifestyle-oriented content on Instagram, usually focused on food, nights out or animals – again, all targeted to their audience of young women. It’s not just social media that this strategy works for, though it often fits best there.
Speaking of which: more and more time gets spent on social. Not every channel is right for every brand, but if you have new products you want to show off or engaging content for your audience, your social media channels are powerful amplifiers, plain and simple.
Social channels also offer powerful targeting capabilities with their ad functions. That allows brands to run campaigns to boost their organic audience & drive web traffic directly through the ads, and to target these campaigns to specific audience segments, increasing their relevancy and the brand’s reach within its target demographics.
4. Email Marketing
It’s still the most common marketing tactic for retailers, but it certainly hasn’t been perfected. Most shopper surveys indicate that shoppers feel they receive too many emails and not enough of them are worth opening.
This means that one counter-intuitive way to get more out of your emails might be to send fewer, at least on a per-customer basis. By focusing far more on segmenting the customer base according to what is likely to engage them. For example, fashion retailers need to understand which of their customers are trend followers and label enthusiasts. This group will respond much better to new product launches, information about the latest season and what’s new in stock than the average shopper, who may be more interested in promotional activity, loyalty offers or lifestyle content.
5. Location-based searches
Google any brand name and often the suggestion ‘near me’ will crop up as you type. Even searching just for the name of a brand often triggers a Google Maps section to appear high on the SERP, which captures more valuable visual real estate than a normal page.
The lesson? Make sure your physical locations are indexed properly, up-to-date and easily available. Searchers rarely click through from links further than halfway down a results page, so maximising the amount of space in the top half which is devoted to your brand is essential. Maps pop-ins are one great way to achieve this. Social media such as Twitter also often generates cards showing the latest updates, which also take up space and draw the searcher’s eye. Finally, video content is often prioritised in search rank and features thumbnail images – so making sure the brand’s YouTube presence is up to date and attractive can also draw incremental traffic.
Some may be concerned that they are cannibalising their web traffic by putting up these attractive alternative channels to engage with the brand. The problem with this is that if you don’t offer these options, someone else might. It’s better to steal your own traffic and still have that relationship with that customer than for someone else to be stealing it for you.