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9 Ways to Drive Profitable Traffic to Your Online Store

Published by Salvador Briggman. Find him on Twitter.

You’ve put in all the work to create a product and set up an online store!

Then, you “open the cart” and… crickets.

Maybe you get a few purchases, but nothing like you expected.

It’s maddening, am I right?

With this article, I’m going to go through a few different ways that you can drive traffic to your online store.

When it comes to online marketing, traffic = $$ sales $$.

You can’t rake in orders unless you have relevant customers discover your website.

Hope you enjoy the post.

Also – if you haven’t already, I recommend setting up your online store with Shopify. It’s the easiest to use online store builder out there. I am one of their affiliates.

1. Quick Traffic: Facebook and Instagram Ads

This is the fastest way to drive traffic to your store, but you must beware.

I’ve seen lots of ecommerce entrepreneurs waste tons of money on Facebook ads.

Just because you send traffic to your online store doesn’t mean that it’s going to convert into sales.

If you’re just starting out, I’d recommend first starting with a low budget ($5 per day) and testing various creatives and audiences.

Personally, I’ve found that doing a re-targeting advertisement by using a Facebook conversion pixel is the easiest way to begin to see results.

2. Get Free Traffic with Social Media

If you’ve never heard of content marketing, the idea is simple. By putting out FREE content, you’re going to establish a relationship with a target demographic. This forms the basis of your social media audience.

For example, if you post photos of cute puppies on your Pinterest, Instagram, or Facebook page, you’re going to get people following you who like cute puppies. The same applies to ecommerce.

Let’s just say that you’ve created a new backpack that an outdoor enthusiast might use on a casual hike. The outdoor enthusiast is your target audience.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What other problems do these individuals wrestle with?
  • Who do these people want to become?
  • Who does these people look up to?
  • What messages or values do they resonate with?
  • What type of media do they enjoy consuming?

After you do a bit of research, you might decide that outdoor enthusiasts love nature and seeing photos of nature. Therefore, you begin to share photos of nature that include an inspirational quote. You could easily use a tool like Canva or Pablo to do this.

As you begin to share these photos, you get more likes, shares, and followers. A certain percentage of these followers end up looking more into your business, resulting in traffic to your website.

Also, every once in a while, you can share a self-promotional post with these followers, causing people to check out your website.

3. Get Immediate Traffic Spikes with Email Marketing

Your goal in marketing should be to minimize spillover.

Every single day, people are visiting your website. The majority of those individuals are clicking off the page, and you’re never hearing from them again.

What if you could maintain a relationship with them?

What if you could grab their contact info?

This is the basis of email marketing. By using techniques like:

You can entice visitors to turn into opted-in email subscribers. You can now continue to market to them further down the road.

If you have 1,000 people on an email list and you get a 10% click through rate, that’s 100 people that immediately check out a new product or piece of content when you announce it.

4. Build Brand Awareness in Online Communities

No joke – this is how I built up the traffic to my own website in the early days.

I also recognized the importance of online communities and took the time to build up my own on LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, and KickstarterForum.

Take 30 minutes each day to engage in a few Facebook groups and online communities where your customers congregate.

Just don’t come off as spammy.

Instead, make friends! Connect with other enthusiasts in your niche. Offer to send them free products.

This is a great way to show that you’re not just out there to make money, but that you also want to serve the community.

5. Reach New Audiences with Media and Influencer Outreach

It’s your job to know your target audience better than they know themselves.

You should know how they consume information, what books they love, and what publications they read.

The great thing about blogs, influencers, and online publications is that they have a built in audience. They’ve already put in the hard work to attract a base of raving fans.

You can present your product in front of this audience. You just have to use several key tricks like these to get in the media.

Along with getting written about on major media publications, you can also get a shout out by a social media influencer on Instagram or YouTube. Honestly, now a days, this might actually be more powerful.

Either way, when you’re mentioned in the media, you will not only see a surge of traffic, but you’ll also be building your credibility online.

You can now say that you’ve been written about x, y, or z. You’re no longer just another ecommerce entrepreneur. There’s something unique about you and your product.

I’ve put together a comprehensive course that goes through step-by-step how to gain the attention of influencers, bloggers, and journalists. You can gain access to the course here.

6. Get Dependable Repeat Traffic with SEO

Muahaha. SEO is my secret weapon. It’s been the foundation of my career as a blogger, YouTuber, and author.

I could write an entire book on SEO, but in simple terms, it refers to search engine optimization.

Every minute of every day, people are typing search terms into Google, YouTube, Amazon, Facebook, and other online marketplaces.

They could be looking to buy something, find an answer to a question, or discover entertaining content.

Of course, you could PAY to have an advertisement placed in front of them when they enter this search query… or you could create content that resonates with this audience and get that traffic for free.

Aside from optimizing the framework of your ecommerce store, including:

  • Image names
  • On page keywords
  • Headlines
  • Backlinks
  • and more…

You can also create content that will address questions or problems that your target audience experiences.

To go back to the backpack example, you could write a blog post entitled, “The 7 Mountains You Absolutely Must Hike Before You Turn 40.”

This type of article is going to attract outdoor enthusiasts who will also be interested in your product.

You might also write one on “X Things You Must Know if You’re Going on Your First Hike.”

I’m just making these up as I go, but you can begin to see how blog content can attract readers that might be interested in your product. Every month, people are probably going to be typing things into YouTube or Google like “What should I know for my first hike?” or “What should I bring on my first hike?”

When they come across your article, that means free traffic to your website.

7. Send Out Free Samples

Sending out free samples is an easy way to begin to get some reviews of your product early-on. It’s also a great way to send traffic to your online store.

In the example above, likely, outdoor enthusiasts are going to know other outdoor enthusiasts. If your product solves a real need, and the customer finds it to be helpful, then they’re going to continue to use your product.

As a natural byproduct of this usage, friends who are also into the same activity will inquire about the product, sending more people to your website. If there are any conventions or events, this is also a great place to get some exposure. You can even do a giveaway to get email addresses.

8. Become a Thought Leader

This isn’t going to work if you’re not willing to embrace the spotlight. However, if you are, it’s a very powerful way for getting traffic to your store.

You can:

  • Contribute a blog post to a niche publication
  • Go on a podcast that your customers listen to
  • Appear on a YouTube show
  • Speak at an event
  • Host an in-person event.

Of course, you must be willing to share a message that will resonate with audience. You could share your own hiking stories, cool products you’ve tried, what you’ve learned about the activity, and more.

9. Hold a Contest or Competition

We’ve seen this marketing technique with Shopify’s “build a business” competition. You can do the exact same thing to drum up interest in your company!

Depending on the type of competition, participants could send in entries, be they photos, videos, or writing pieces.

In the hiking example, you could have participants send in their best photo from their favorite hike. The winner gets a free product, or access to an exclusive deal.

The great thing about contests is that they’re fun! People are far more willing to share them with their friends and on social media, resulting in added exposure for your website.

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