If you have been in the ecommerce business for some time then you would know that getting a website up and running is just half the battle. To generate any profit from your online venture, you will need to think of ways to draw customers to your website. In order to do that, you have to be clear about the ways you intend to generate organic traffic to your e-commerce store from search engines.
Before we get into the specifics on how you you can start driving more traffic to your website, you need to understand why it is important in the first place. Only then can you truly appreciate the value behind traffic generation.
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What makes traffic important in ecommerce?
Simply put, an e-commerce website that is not attracting visits from prospects is like a needle getting buried in a huge haystack that we call the internet with little chance of getting found. The ability to generate traffic is the lifeblood that makes or breaks an online business. No matter how good your website is or the quality of your content and user interface — none of that matters if the site is not getting any visitors. No sales are generated which means that any financial goals you set for your e-commerce business will not be met.
So how do you go about increasing traffic to your website?
Generating a steady flow of organic traffic to your e-commerce website requires the expertise and skill. Any reputable digital marketing company will tell you that it is the hardest part of running an ecommerce business. However, traffic generation is also the best investment any online business can make and has the potential to yield amazing returns.
Why organic traffic?
While you can always generate traffic to your e-commerce through paid solutions like Facebook business ads and Adwords, the satisfaction of spending money for a near-instant surge in traffic is not sustainable especially for small businesses. When you stop paying for ads, traffic ceases as well.
Unlike paid traffic, the effort made towards generating organic traffic will continue to drive visitors to your website from search engines for months, years and even decades. While it can be tedious at first, organic traffic has the potential to produce a return on investment that far surpass paid traffic and with no recurring costs.
So how do you go about creating a steady flow of organic traffic to your website?
Internet marketing services providers will tell you that there are a lot of ways to increase organic traffic to your e-commerce website. Some of them are good while others are just a waste of time.
The following methods can help you generate organic website traffic in the shortest time:
Produce quality content
Many web marketers make the mistake of producing content regularly without much thought because they have heard that is what is good for SEO (Search Engine Optimization). However, such a strategy can only get you so far and might even tarnish the reputation of your e-commerce store.
Think about it — your site represents your business. In most cases, it is the first and perhaps the only impression that customers get about your business. Similar to how you would not want to sell low quality products or services online, you should not be publishing low quality content online. Strive to produce the best content that you can, whether it is articles, videos or infographics.
What does content have to do with producing organic traffic? Most people do not realize that search engines are capable of determining whether a particular piece of content has any value or not. Content that is helpful to users will rank higher and produce more organic traffic. In many cases, users may even end up advertising your website on your behalf by citing your content in their blogs or sharing it with other people.
Target long tail keywords
Most web marketers spend much of their time and resources targeting 2 to 3 keyword search terms that have large search volumes. Unfortunately these search terms are also extremely competitive especially for small businesses with limited marketing resources. Hence it is often a good idea to go after long-tail keywords or what SEO experts call the “low-hanging fruit” in keyword research.
Let us say for example that you are in the pest control business. Don’t bother trying to rank for keywords like “pest control” because there is little chance that you will be able to overtake older and more established businesses that already rank for that keyword. Instead, you would do well to dig a little deeper and try to be more specific. Go after long tail keywords that are still profitable and do not have much competition.
One way to uncover good long tail keywords is to simply add the area that your business caters to. For example, “pest control in Sydney” or “ant pest control in Melbourne”. These are the kind of keywords that even small businesses can rank for and also sends more targeted traffic than general and highly competitive search terms.
Publish content consistently
Do not be overly concerned with what so-called online marketing studies are saying about how often you should publish articles or any other type of content. Instead, focus on being consistent — at least one new blog post a week is the minimum. If you can publish more without sacrificing quality then that would be better.
Google loves websites that are updated on a regular basis and so do users. An e-commerce website that is consistently publishing good content tells users that your business is reputable and cares about its customers. Hence people are more likely to keep coming back to your website, viewing your content and sharing it with other people — all ranking signals that help drive more organic traffic to your website.
Follow Google’s Quality Guidelines
Google is the source of all organic traffic so it only makes sense that you would want to stay on their good side. It might be tempting to adopt an unscrupulous strategy thinking that it might get you ahead of your competitors but the risk of getting your website penalized in the process is not worth it.
Here are a few practices that you should avoid at all cost:
- building cheap links — services that offer to build thousands of links quickly at a certain price.
- paying for inbound links
- Use exact match anchor text
- published scraped or plagiarised content
Generating a steady flow of organic traffic to your e-commerce website is difficult. If it was easy, then you would see a lot more successful e-commerce businesses.
E-commerce businesses would do well to focus on producing quality content that offers value to users and solutions to problems that your customers are having. Doing so will take time but in the end, all the hard work is bound to pay off and produce more business than you can currently handle.
Nik Tordil Results oriented Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Online Marketing Strategist with over 10 years of professional experience. Had worked alongside a team of SEO Experts in Sydney and helped numerous businesses across Australia in terms of leveraging their SEO / Internet Marketing campaigns and guiding them to success using effective and white hat methodologies.