As an online retailer, you probably have your ecommerce site up and running already, quite possibly bringing you some sales and revenue too. At this point in time, you are probably wondering how to increase the sales.
This post will show you three effective methods to achieve just that – grow your website traffic and boost sales.
Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC)
This is an online advertising service provided by all the three major search engines today (namely Google, Yahoo and Bing). The following steps will allow you to start advertising your site online using the PPC method. (You’ll have to repeat these steps for each search engine where you wish to advertise):
- Open an account
- Create one or more ads for your site (with text and/or graphics)
- Enter a list of keywords corresponding to which you wish your ad to be shown
- Specify your geographic and/or demographic targeting preferences
- Specify how much you wish to spend/pay each time a user clicks your ad and visits your site
- Specify campaign duration, spend limits etc.
And that’s it. Within a day or two from the time you finalize your campaign (often faster), the search engine/s will start displaying your ads and the traffic (and sales) will start rolling in.
Of all the web marketing methods this article will cover, PPC advertising is the only method that delivers almost instant gratification. It is also a highly accountable method that provides totally measurable ROI.
You can read up some more on PPC advertising as it relates to online retailers at Entrepreneur.com.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is the art and the science of getting your website to show up at or near the top of the results when the prospective buyers of your products search for keywords related to your business and products at various search engines.
High search engine result rankings for the keywords relevant to your products achieved via SEO will almost certainly boost the traffic of potential customers flowing in to your web site, with the resultant increase in sales and revenues.
SEO, however, is not a path that you should tread lightly, for two reasons. First, it is not an easy or a trivial task. In order to be executed successfully and effectively, SEO requires deeply entrenched knowledge, expertise and experience, backed by ongoing study and knowledge update processes. Secondly, if executed in a manner that violates the arbitrarily and rapidly changing best practice guidelines of the search engines in any way, SEO can potentially backfire drastically, causing your site to get blacklisted by the search engines in the worst case scenarios.
To get up to speed with the most current SEO scenario, you can go though this useful 90-slides presentation from Rand Fishkin.
Insomuch as you have an online retail operation going, it is quite likely that your website has been built using one of the several ready-made ecommerce software platforms.
While most of such software platforms provide at least some basic features to facilitate SEO, there are huge differences in SEO features across different platforms.
Social Media Marketing (SMM)
SMM, you can say, is the ‘newest kid on the block‘ so far as online marketing is concerned. As you can readily imagine, there are gad-zillions of people (including your potential customers) spending untold numbers of hours everyday at various social networking sites and services like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest etc. And therefore, marketing your online retail business at these social media sites can certainly be a very lucrative way of growing your brand visibility, traffic and sales.
Most of the popular social networks offer their own self-service advertising programs under various pricing schemes and models, including PPC (that we looked at above), with Facebook, as is to be expected, leading the pack in terms of reach as well as ease of use.
And then, there are many third-party services and agencies that help you grow your website traffic and sales using various social media platforms.
You can read this article at the InternetRetailer portal to get interesting information on social media vis-a-vis small retailers.
Online retailing is a highly competitive business so make the most of the tips above to enhance your marketing operations.
Author bio: Catalin Zorzini is the founder of Mostash.com (a digital marketing studio). He likes hot soup and hot jazz.