This may come as a shock to people starting a new online store, but the days of “If you build it, they will come” are well and truly over. Just creating an online store doesn’t mean that you’re suddenly going to become an overnight Amazon.com
Over the next couple of weeks starting today, I’ll be publishing tips on how to increase traffic to your online store, how to improve conversion rates in your online store, and going into further detail about our proven methods for doing so.
At the end of the day, you can take our recommendations with a grain of salt, but be warned… if you don’t do any of the things that we recommend, your store just isn’t going to succeed!
So here’s the first instalment for you… 20 sure-fire ways to increase traffic to your online store.
20 Sure-fire ways to increase traffic to your online store.
To get the ball rolling, here are 20 sure-fire ways to increase web traffic and site visitors to your online store. Use some or all of them, and let us know which ones worked best for you!
1. Optimise your text for search engines (SEO). The days of 1 sentence product descriptions are over people! To rank well in the search engines when people search for keyword phrases related to your products or services, you have to write good, keyword rich product descriptions, and use your store’s in-built blog!
2. Get your online store listed in directories. Submit your online store to all the major web directories. This will generate traffic directly from the directories themselves and will also help to improve your link popularity. This helps you rank in search engines in a major way!
3. Get your online store listed in search engines. Submit your online store to all the major search engines.
4. Get links to your online store. Get people with complimentary sites to link to your store. Let’s say you sell . Ask the local restaurant owners to link to you, and offer to link to them. Ask the local tour guides, the real estate agents, the night clubs, and everyone else. Links lead to clicks onto your website and help to improve your search engine rankings.
5. Buy links to your store. Buy text links on other relevant websites. That means more spiders stopping by, more people clicking through, and better search engine rankings.
6. Buy banner ads. Buy banner ads on other websites. It helps to build brand recognition.
7. Participate in a WebRing. Connect your store with other sites in your niche.
8. Pay for clicks to your store. Pay for clicks or inclusion on the search engines so that people will see your site in the sponsored links section of the search results when they search for keyword phrases related to your products or services.
9. Set up an affiliate marketing program. With affiliate marketing, you can either pay per click, pay per lead generated, pay per sale, or pay per customer acquired.
10. Use smart public relations (PR). Get news coverage of your business and your online store. Approach online and traditional media. This will often lead to others placing links pointing to your store, which leads to more clicks and also to improved search engine rankings.
11. Use E-mail marketing to promote your online store. Blast out your special offers, but be nice about it! Add a sign-up form to your store, and use a service like Campaign Monitor or MailChimp
12. Use off-line marketing. Promote your store everywhere you can! Put your URL (store web address) on all your number plates. Paint it on your car. Buy newspaper and yellow pages ads with your URL. Put up flyers and stickers. Sponsor your local football team. Do anything and everything to spread the word about your store around your city or suburb.
13. Run regular promotions. Stage regular give-aways and spread the word about it.
14. Get published. Write articles for publication on other websites. The author profile will link to your site. The article will show that you’re an expert.
15. Publish yourself. Write articles for the blog that’s built-in to your online store regularly. This will help you to rank on the search engines and gives your visitors a reason to come back over and over.
16. Ask for reviews. Ask for reviews of your self-published articles on other websites. Ask for reviews of your store, your products, your software, and your service. These will usually include links to your store.
17. Create a newsletter. Ask your visitors to sign up for your newsletter, and encourage them to send it along to people they know. Send a newsletter regularly with teasers or lead-ins to your in-depth new articles or with special offers and the latest products.
18. Post in chat rooms. Become active in bulletin boards and chat rooms focusing on your industry. Leave insightful comments, and people will click on your profile, then visit your store.
19. Give away free stuff. Offer something people want on your online store. Give them a reason to come back and get more. Give them a reason to blog about your, or mention you in a forum. Offer free stuff and update it regularly. Offer coupons or discounts. Content content content!
20. Write articles about other excellent sites in your niche. This builds more links back to your site and establishes you as a credible reviewer, an expert in your space. It also encourages them to link back to you!
So there we have 20 tips to increase traffic!
But wait…. I’ve got 3 more for you…
21. Run a contest and promote it. Photo contests, essay contests, goofy contests, random drawings, anything.
22. Join your local business organisations. Chambers of Commerce and other organisations will often add your site to their member directory. That’s an added advantage over the obvious business-building and networking opportunities.
23. Be a good Internet citizen. Provide useful information in your store, provide plenty of information about your products, your ideology, and your interests so that people feel thankful that you put in the time and effort. Help every person who ever calls you on the telephone or emails you a question. When they ask “How can I ever thank you?” just say, “If you like my store and think it’s useful, tell your friends about it!”