steps to grow ecommerce siteYour website is the heart and sole of your eCommerce business. It’s how people make their first impression of you and it’s what draws them in to make a purchase. This is why so much time and effort goes into designing a website. While you may have a beautifully interactive site, you’ll come to a point where you realize it doesn’t matter if there’s nobody visiting it. If nobody visits your site, it’s easy to understand why your online business will suffer.

Remember, without website traffic, it’s near impossible to get any sales. A lot of people get stuck at this point and don’t know where to go next. Luckily, if you follow these 9 tips to grow your eCommerce website traffic and sales, you’ll start seeing results in no time.

1) The Importance of Keywords

Keywords are the building blocks of any successful website. They are specific words and phrases used commonly by consumers in your target audience. When applied right, they can increase your rankings on popular search engines. The higher your eCommerce site rank on search engines, the more people are going to visit your website over the competition.

Put together a strong list of target keywords and begin to build content around them. If you don’t know where to start, you can look into Google’s free resource AdWords and Keyword Planner for help. Once you’ve chosen some keywords, optimize them on both your website’s front and back-ends in order to see the most success. Doing so will help your site get noticed through the algorithms used by search engines. Just remember that at the end of the day your website should be built for people, not for search engines.

2) Build Links

With your keywords optimized throughout your website, the next thing to look is building relevant back links. The stronger your connection is to other users, and to internal parts of your own site, the more search engines will like you. Make sure to include internal and external links throughout your website in strategic places.

Whenever you link to another site, make sure that the website you’re directing readers to is both relevant and legitimate. Connecting to random sites just to put a link in an article will do you more harm than good, both on search engines and in the trust of your audience. Stick with interesting and helpful information and it will pay off.

3) Spread Out Your Marketplace

In order to increase your site’s visibility, consider spreading your marketplace over multiple different sites. This is great for people who are just starting out and want to let the world know that they are up and running. It allows you to make sales right from the beginning regardless of visibility of your own website.

Spreading your products throughout different online marketplaces allows you to build legitimate links back to your organic site, find new potential customers and increase your revenue. While it might be difficult to break through on bigger sites like Amazon, there are plenty of other marketplaces where you can be successful. Just run a quick Google search for your niche and you’ll discover hundreds of opportunities available to choose from.

4) Utilize Social Media

One of the most effective ways to increase the amount of traffic your eCommerce website sees is through social media. Create profiles on sites like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and regularly post updates on all of them. The more content you post, the more likely you are to show up in people’s newsfeeds and grab someone’s attention. Always use hashtags and geotags with each and every post in order to gain more attention in commonly searched areas. social media for business

Another way to use social media is by following your competition’s followers, commenting on things in your niche and looking into paid advertisement. Facebook ads are much cheaper than Google, yet provides the same end result: more traffic. The more active you are on these platforms, the more results you’ll see.

5) Perfect Your Email Marketing

Another great way to increase both your eCommerce website’s traffic and sales is through the use of email marketing. With this, it’s important to take the time to make sure that your marketing efforts are effective rather than bothersome. There are so many companies that go over-the-top with email marketing strategies that end up loosing valuable customers instead of gaining new ones.

Start by creating a killer opt-in deal for people to register their emails with. From here you can send out a welcome email and include some sort of coupon code followed by a few more introductory emails over time. The key is not to spam them, yet send a relevant amount of information over so that they’ll visit your website and make a purchase. The bigger your email list gets, the more chances you’ll have to make a sale.

6) Post-Purchase Automation

Following hand-in-hand with email marketing is post-purchase automations. Create a campaign so that after every purchase your customer receives an email. First and foremost, give them confirmation of their purchase along with a brief word of thanks. In the rest of the email you can set up “sequences” based on what they purchased so that they can be sent relevant products, tips and reminders. This is a great way to both cross-sell your products and keep customers engaged and coming back for more.

Post-purchase automation also allows you to receive feedback on what works and what doesn’t. Check out ActiveCampaign for other great ideas on how to take this tip to the next level. Regardless of how you use this tool, make sure it’s in your toolbox. It’s easily one of the most effective tips to grow your eCommerce website traffic and sales.

7) Don’t Lose Abandoned Cart Sales

One of the biggest loses in regards to sales is when companies don’t follow up with abandoned carts. People who shop online do so in their spare time, as fleeting as it may be. One second they could be putting together a new wardrobe and bam, the phone rings or the kids scream. The point is that there are a lot of distractions in life that can pull us away from the computer screen. By the time you get a second to breathe, it’s very unlikely that you’ll remember the casual shopping you were doing. In fact, for every 100 customers that visit your website, about 60-70 will end up abandoning their carts.

This is why it’s crucial to follow up on abandoned carts. In order to stop losing money on these potential sales, make sure that your website has a tool for automatically following up with customers who leave their carts behind. Most eCommerce platforms already come equipped with this feature, so make sure you put it to good use. Craft an attention grabbing email that reminds them of what they left behind and consider giving them a discount code to encourage any sales stopped due to pricing. A little effort goes a long way in this department.

8) Optimize eCommerce Checkouts

While you probably already know how important it is to make sure that your eCommerce site is mobile friendly, do you know if you’re applying the same tactics to your checkout process? Most people may think they are when in reality it’s far from true. Responsive, mobile friendly websites are great and everything, but if it’s a hassle to move through the checkout process on their phone or table, then you’re going to lose a lot of sales.

Make sure that you are proactive and continually improving as the technology advances. Go through your own website and see if you get frustrated trying to check out on your cell phone. Mobile payment options have come a long way in recent years, so make sure that your site reflects it.

9) Consider Offering an Affiliate Program

Finally, with the rise of influencers and every day people looking for passive income opportunities consider offering an affiliate program. Affiliate programs (or affiliate marketing) are when a third party writes about and posts a link directly to your product in their blog or on their website in exchange for a small percentage of the profits. Essentially, it’s free marketing for you.

Since there are a lot of people looking to offer affiliate marketing on their sites, this is a pretty easy step to take to grow your revenue. In order to be successful with these efforts, do your research and maintain a respectable relationship with your affiliates. The more affiliates you have, the more free marketing you get.

When you go through each of these 9 tips to grow your eCommerce website traffic and sales, you’ll start to notice your efforts pay off. In an ever-evolving marketplace, ensuring that you cover the basics is a must. However, if you’re new to the field of eCommerce, some of these things can be hard to master. You need to have a strong grasp on everything from SEO to email marketing and more in order to truly take your site to the next level. Luckily, we’re always here to help as a recognized top Illinois Digital Marketing Agency on DesignRush. We can take some of the more technical things off of your plate so you can focus on what matters most to you. All of our services are customizable so you only pay for what you need!

About the Author: Brad Fogel

Bradley Fogel is a professional web designer and SEO consultant. Bradley has been working in the digital marketing field for over 20 years and is the CEO of Operation Technology, a digital marketing agency based in Chicago, IL. Starting his own company was something he had always wanted to do. It has been very rewarding to him seeing the team at Operation Technology helping small local businesses to large national clients with their digital marketing needs. His passion is developing strong online strategies for clients while making new connections within the industry. Brad’s background also includes a PMP certification from the Project Management Institute. Learn more about Brad Fogel.