Want to increase your sales? Build out a website that reflects back to your buyers the personas they identify with.
That’s step number one. But it isn’t the only step. Once you get a site up and live, you must understand:
1. How to drive traffic
2. How to convert that traffic
3. How to bring people back
4. How to measure and report
5. How to repeat that success
This post will teach you exactly how to do that, subsequently increasing sales, revenue and customer loyalty. Here are a few things you’ll discover.
How to Drive Ecommerce Traffic and Convert Customers
• What is the 10x content and why it is crucial for increasing your search rankings to drive traffic to your website?
• How to use industry influencers to grow sales through search engine optimization.
• The importance of mobile and social optimization (89% of smartphone usage is spent on social media apps!) for sales.
• Why you should follow your competition’s most engaged users.
• What Phrase Match Keywords are –– and why you’ll get more bang for your buck with them than with Brand Match or Modified Broad Match keywords.
• Why segmenting your Google Shopping traffic can lead to significant uplift.
• The importance of reviewing your site search report once a month and querying your own site for at least the top 20 most common searches.
• How to use psychological triggers to increase and drive conversions.
• Why the internet is a lot like online dating [i.e. test, iterate, test again].
• The value of buyer personas and why you should break your analytics efforts down into multiple segments of visitors.
• What Google Analytic’s Model Comparison Tool is, and when [also why] to use it.
This is us leading you to the ecommerce waters – it’s now up to you to drink.
How to Drive Traffic to Your Online Store
In the online retail world, traffic is the foundation of your brand’s success. If you can’t drive traffic to your site, conversion and analytics (the second and third tactics) won’t matter. But, how exactly do you increase ecommerce traffic? A variety of ways. Today, we’ll be covering:
• Search Engine Optimization: The strategy to increase net new organic (non-paid) traffic over time.
• Social Media and Social Media Strategy: The strategy to engage with your audience on social media platforms to bring them and their friends back to your site.
• Ad Words/PPC: The strategy of paid placement across the web to earn net new traffic and re-capture visitors who bounced.
• Google Shopping: The strategy of using Google Shopping to earn middle and bottom of funnel traffic (i.e. high-converting traffic).
Let’s dive in.
1. Search engine optimization.
In my mind, there have been three major phases in SEO.
1. In the first phase, it was all about metadata, keyword density and basic structure. Search engines were simpler back then and easier to fool. It was possible for startups to compete with industry heavyweights.
2. The second phase added a new emphasis on unique, quality content and inbound links. This phase gave birth to the ‘Content is King’ movement.
3. The third phase, the current phase, is the most virtuous of all. To compete with big box chains as a small-to-mid-sized ecommerce retailer, you now have to create what experts call 10x content –– content so meaningful, unique, comprehensive and shareable that it’s ten times better than anything else someone could read on your chosen subject.
You also have to prove to search engines that you’re a contributing, relevant and respected player in your industry community.
Easy, right? Let’s walk through how to optimize your site to increase traffic.
There are 4 main ways.
1. Architecture, links, general content
2. 10x content
3. Community influencer status
4. Links (again, because it’s that important)
Architecture, Links, General Content
Everything from the first two phases is still important.
In fact, without solid site architecture, unique content and a paddock of quality inbound links, you can’t even get a seat at the table.
Think about all those SEO basics as a qualifying competition you have to win to prove you deserve a chance at the Olympics –– or at even playing the game.If you fail to perfect these basics, you likely will not qualify for further consideration in the minds of the search engines.
These are the bones of your site –– and they need to be strong.
10 x content can take the form of:
• User guides
• Definitive essays and/or explainers
The list goes on and on, and is added to every day by the cleverest and the most hungry.10x content needs to have a fresh angle, a wealth of expertise and style, and obviously, overwhelming value.You’ve got to become one of those hard-charging expert innovators, and it’s not easy.That’s why athletes need coaches and successful businesspeople need mentors. It takes a community to build this kind of content and expertise.
And, the hard truth is that if you can’t become this kind of an expert, then you probably don’t deserve to rank highly for your keywords.
Invest in Google Ad Words and pay-per-click advertising.
The fastest way to drive traffic to your online store — and the kind that will drive conversions — is to pay for it.
But pay-per-click advertising is a subtle art, especially when you’re trying to compete on unequal terms with a big-box retailer.