Nearly three-fourths of online shoppers have been reported to leave a site without completing a purchase, sending cart abandonment rates as high as 80 percent, according to a Barilliance study.Continue reading
The Ultimate Guide To Driving Targeted Traffic To Your Ecommerce Site
Table of Contents
Why You Need a Strategy to Drive Traffic
Types of Organic Campaigns to Drive Traffic
Types of Paid Campaigns to Drive Traffic
Analyzing Results of Campaign Performance
Owning an ecommerce store represents a slew of entrepreneurial perks: It’s a self-run business available to a global audience, it leverages a pre-existing online presence, it requires minimal overhead compared to traditional retail shops, and a desired product with great customer service has limitless revenue potential. Ecommerce stores embody the American Dream.
There are, however, notable obstacles to running an ecommerce hub; primarily having to compete with gargantuan marketplaces like Amazon, Alibaba, and eBay. In fact, expedited shipping and algorithmic pricing have given rise to the theory that Amazon is crushing small businesses.
Even with these hurdles, entrepreneurs and business owners set up their digital shops in the belief that search engines will automatically capture and present the right product to the right audience; but most just end up wondering where all their traffic is. Regardless if you are trying to acquire your first customer or reach $1 million in revenue for the year, a viable business strategy demands increasing traffic in order to see continued growth.
So what does this mean for your brand? Assessing your marketing budget will determine the channels you can use to both find and target your specific audience. While generally time consuming, free organic methods to get in front of users are available to all ecommerce owners. But if you’re looking for a speedier approach, paid strategies offer pages of actionable data and more targeted audiences.
When all is said and done, knowing the metrics that indicate the success of your implemented strategies is complicated, not simply indicated by the number of site visits you receive on a daily – or even hourly – basis. Measuring thousands of visitors without subsequent data on purchasing behavior omits a huge chunk of the story. If it seems like there’s a lot to consider, luckily this white paper can help.
Why You Need a Strategy to Drive Traffic
Retargeted Visitors: Strategic campaigns drive actionable user data. New visitors avg. 2 minutes 31 seconds on site compared with 5 minutes 31 seconds for returning visitors. That’s 3.88 pages per visit vs. 5.55 pages per visit for returning visitors who are more likely to make a purchase.
ROI: ROI isn’t about traffic – it’s about revenue.
Trust. The first five search results account for 67.60% of all clicks.
Visibility. As the saying goes, “The best place to hide a dead body is on page 2.”
Functionality. Arranging an easy-to-use site architecture for search engines equates to streamlined usability.
Relevance. Internal links and external backlinks help establish authority.
Cumulative Effect: Marketers using both organic SEO techniques and PPC ads see an average of 25% more clicks and 27% more ROI compared to using a single technique.
Targeted Visibility: 89% of consumers use search engines to help make purchasing decisions, but ranking high on the SERP (search engine results page) requires strategic SEO.
ROI. On average, businesses generate $3 for every $1.60 spent on Google AdWords.
Measurable. ROI can be efficiently calculated using data such as number of clicks, cost per click, and conversions.
Targeted. AdWords sends ads only to relevant customers who can be targeted based on location, mobile behavior, and language.
Remarketing. Visitors can be retargeted based on past site behavior and shown relevant ads to drive traffic and conversions.
Organic and paid campaigns help increase the visibility of an ecommerce site to specific and highly targeted audiences who are more likely to convert. 1000 untargeted visits is not the same as 100 targeted visits working to drive traffic that sells.
Types of Organic Campaigns to Drive Traffic
Content Marketing Campaigns: Publishing relevant content that provides value to your audience helps establish a connection, ultimately making your marketing efforts more effective.
Product videos: Gives the opportunity to show your product in action and allow shoppers to imagine themselves using your product.
How-to videos: YouTube searches with the keyword “how to” are growing 70% year over year, according to Search Engine Land. Consumers are searching for videos to help them find the best products to complete tasks.
Product ratings and reviews: Working as social proof, customer reviews with user-generated photos allow shoppers to personally connect with a product.
Q&As: Enables visitors to ask for missing information while crafted responses also serve future shoppers.
Engaging Title: No click-bait headlines, please! You’re encouraging visitors to read your article, so attention-grabbing diction and choice keywords under 70 characters are best.
1st Paragraph: Cover the key points early on to keep your reader continuing.
Relevant Image: Add a photo or infographic to make the post more appealing, especially when shared to your social platforms. While stock photos are functional, personalized and relevant images are more engaging, and infographics are currently the most shared content on the internet.
SEO Links: Link keywords used throughout your post to past blogs or relevant site pages. The point is to be as helpful a resource as possible.
Call To Action: Whether it’s asking a question or encouraging a visit to another post, remind your reader what you would like their end goal to be.
Spread to Social: Clearly display your share buttons and double-check that the text that auto-pulls through is coherent and under the character limit. Make it as easy to possible for others to share!
Manage Social media Like a Pro
Provide Information: Offer your fans information, but withhold just enough to encourage a click. Facebook generally cuts off text on mobile after around three lines, so keep it concise.
Video: The newsfeed currently prioritizes video, so uploading your video content directly to Facebook automatically activates video while users scroll. Make sure it’s engaging while muted as videos initially play without sound.
Live Feeds: Facebook Live, similar to Instagram Stories, is best utilized when pre-promoted by your brand. Aim for structured events such as interviews or organized forums.
Engage With Users: Answer users’ questions and engage with comments in order to build a strong community and brand voice.
Images: Insta users are expecting beautiful, professional looking photos. Omit branding when possible and use apps such as Camera+ and Snapseed (or the built-in filter feature) to enhance your image.
Videos: While professional photography is still the primary form of posted content, videos are rising in popularity. You can either record directly from the app or upload an already completed clip.
Hashtags: Use hashtags to tap into trending topics or manage your community by creating new hashtags for users to add to their user generated content.
Captions: Write a caption relevant to both your brand and the image. While you can’t directly link out from Instagram (minus the ability to customize the bio link with URLs to new blog posts, recipes, products, etc.), you can include a CTA to drive engagement.
Format: You have 280 characters to manipulate, but that doesn’t mean you should use them all. Keep it short – like a sound byte.
Mentions & Shares: As of 2016, you can @mention someone at the beginning of a tweet without extra punctuation for it to be seen publicly. Engage with other accounts and share relevant content by retweeting.
Polls: Use Twitter Polls to tap into trending topics, ask for feedback that helps your business strategy, discover product preferences, or ask lifestyle questions that tie back to your business.
Images & Videos: Use images size at 1280×720 to drive engagement, and upload your video files directly to the platform for them to play automatically in the feed.
Uploading: Make sure your video is searchable with a relevant and easy-to-find file name and title. Catchy titles must be attention-grabbing but toe the line between engaging and informative. Compatible file types are also a must – no MOV1234.mp4!
Site Link: Begin your description with your website URL, and end it with a link to any blogs, websites, or social channels you want viewers to visit.
Tagging: Expose your video to an even wider audience when they search by using tags. Make them all-encompassing but directly relevant to your topic.
Call to Action: Want viewers to click a link or read more? Tell your viewers what to do.
Stay Vertical: Images in a vertical image style generate more engagement than any other image size. The perfect ratios are 2:3 and 4:5.
Create Smart Boards: Pinned images assigned to thematic boards tend to attract more interest. For instance, if you run an online surfing shop, you might create one board on “1960s Longboards” and another called “Classic Fishes.”
Host Contests: You can promote a contest where fans and followers can create boards about your brand or products.
Inspiration & Color: Images with bright or dominant color generate more engagement – as do images without human faces. For consistently in-stock items, you might also consider adding price directly to the pinned image.
Search Engine Optimization: Search results deemed most relevant and accurate to your search appear at the top of the SERP. If more than one page provides equally relevant content, the highly optimized site takes the lead and appears at the top of the SERP.
Keywords: Use Google’s Keyword Planner to find keywords that are most relevant to your products, services, and current target market.
Site Performance: Optimize your website to load fast on all device types and browsers. Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to test your site.
Site Architecture: The homepage, product pages, category pages, contact information page and the about page are the most essential to your online store. They should contain all the necessary tags and should display relevant content. Use Moz to self-educate on how to optimize these pages.
Types of Paid Campaigns to Drive Traffic
Google AdWords Expanded Text Ad Campaigns: As the simplest online ad that AdWords offers, text ads show above and below Google search results and contain headline text, a display URL, and description text.
Instead of simply adding a second headline to your old or current ads, write new expanded text ads. Use the extra characters to supplement your existing offers and CTAs and include more value propositions than you could with a 95-character limit.
Include your most important messaging in the headlines to improve click-through rates. And you still cannot include an exclamation point!
Headline #1 is more important than headline #2, since it may not fully appear.
Expanded text ads have no device preference, so make sure your offer and CTA make sense and are possible on different devices.
Update your ad extensions, particularly if the additional details in your expanded text ad are the same. Google will not serve redundant content.
Google Shopping Campaigns: Shopping Ads appear at the top of the Google SERP following a product-related search and contain a product image, title, price and store name.
Earn visibility as paid results engulf the entire screen for a product-related search on mobile. And better yet, Shopping Ads show at the very top with images.
Unqualified leads are filtered from qualified leads since Google only shows Shopping Ads for (mostly) relevant queries based on the info you provide in your product feed.
While you can’t bid on keywords, adjust your bids through negative keywords and priority settings. Rank your product campaigns by priority so that if more than one product qualifies to show, the campaign with the highest priority will enter the auction first, regardless of bidding.
Remarketing Ads: Retargeting converts window-shoppers into buyers by tracking visitors to your site and displaying retargeted ads to them as they visit other sites online.
Segment your site visitors based on interest in different products.
Customize the ad to each group – more of the same, more variety with different products or a pause on ads for recent purchasers.
Display a clear call to action and provide an offer.
Begin a retargeting campaign with a recommended pool of 5,000 unique visitors per month as a starting point.
Ideal retargeting campaigns show an ad 7 to 12 times over the course of 30 days.
Display Ads: Visually-based ads, centered on images and video, are displayed in the banner spaces reserved for advertising on a website or within the stream of content as a newer “native ad” model.
Visibility and brand awareness are the primary benefits to display campaigns. Whether anyone is clicking on an ad or not, by using strong, memorable visuals.
Native ads are viewed 53% more often than banner ads and display ads that target previous website visitors are 70% more likely to lead to a sale than other display ads.
Reach is not dependent on someone specifically searching for your products or services. Target audiences based on locations and demographics to provide useful information to people who want it.
Best Facebook Advertising Features:
Carousel Ads: Explain the features of a product you sell (or an entire collection), showcase your brand’s USP, or highlight a promotion you’re running.
Up to 10 images or videos
Headlines (for each image or video)
A call to action
The Facebook Pixel: If you’re not using this, you’re wasting your time. It’s how you measure conversions, optimize your ads and targeting, and gain insights about the Facebook users who visit your site.
Go to Ads Manager -> Create a pixel -> Name it -> Create it -> Copy the code onto your web pages to start tracking actions -> You’re done.
Website Conversion Campaigns: After implementing your Facebook pixel, get people to take a specific on-site (or in-app) action after viewing your ad.
An ad must meet a minimum of 15 to 25 conversions during the conversion window you specify. If you don’t usually achieve 15 to 25 conversions in a week, optimize for impressions or reach instead.
Behavioral & Interest Targeting: Reach people based on past purchase behavior, intent, device usage, travel preferences, activities, hobbies, liked pages, or a host of other options.
Facebook collects data from the information that users provide in their profiles and updates, content they share, keywords related to pages, liked apps, clicked ads, and of course third-party data partners.
Demographic targeting is also available, including the ability to ensure that the people who see your ad can financially afford the products or services you’re selling.
Custom Audiences: This is Facebook’s version of remarketing to get your ad in front of three groups of people:
Engagement Ads on Wall Posts: Reach people who react, comment or share your content.
Even though these people are a small subset of your audience, by spending no more than $25 on engagement ads, you’ll reach your super fans.
Video Ads: Cheap – costing as little as a penny – and highly engaging.
Lead Ads: These enable people to never leave Facebook to become a lead and to:
Sign up for your email newsletter
Claim deals or discounts.
Obtain price estimates.
Request a follow-up call.
Analyzing Results of Campaign Performance
Increasing traffic is vital to your online store’s success, and you should always strive to lead as many people to your site as your servers will allow. But you cannot confuse traffic for profits, which is why it’s essential to track and optimize the metrics that account for both.
Remember that the most successful ecommerce businesses swim in data, so give special attention to the following:.
Website Traffic: How many people visited your site as a result of specific advertising efforts?
You should be able to view traffic stats from the ecommerce platform that you’re using. If using Google Analytics, it will detail not only the total number of visits to your website but if you are successfully attracting new visitors (i.e. unique visits) and retaining visitors (i.e. repeat visits).
Of course, all of the strategies from this guide, both organic and paid, will drive targeted traffic to your site.
Sales Conversion Rate: Is the traffic driven to your ecommerce site purchasing?
Integrating your shopping cart with Google Analytics and adding the tracking code on all pages of your website will enable ecommerce reporting for conversions.
To improve your conversion rate, use high-quality images, add customer-submitted reviews, enable live chat, and improve your value proposition.
Revenue by Traffic Source: Where is your traffic coming from?
Analytics will break down your traffic into visitors coming from organic search via search engines, referral via another website, direct via domain in a browser, and social via social media.
Use this data to rate the success of your SEO, internal and external links, loyal following, and social campaigns, respectively. Stop what’s not working and double-down on what is.
Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): Is the cost to acquire new customers coming at a loss? Are you spending more to get a customer than what the customer is spending at your store?
Reduce your CAC by improving your sales conversion rates and leveraging referrals. Paid marketing is often effective, but experiment with the organic marketing strategies (i.e. content marketing and SEO) to see if they can drive sales for free.
Average Order Value (AOV): Is your increased traffic also increasing average order size?
Use upselling to improve your AOV. You may use different wording to make a more expensive product more lucrative; recommend products that will complement an existing purchase; or bundle sales.
Offer free shipping for a higher purchase, discounts on minimum purchases or a freebie item with the purchase of a more expensive product/minimum purchase target.
Customer Lifetime Value (LTV): Based on how much a customer is expected to spend on your products and services over the course of their life, are you using the data to inform CAC and customer retention?
Increase your customer’s LTV when you increase their AOV. Customers who consistently order more will generally spend more over a lifetime.
Build long-term relationships with your customers through rewards and transparency in order to create brand loyalty.
Percentage of Returning Customers: Are you getting new customers “in the door” but neglecting current customers?
Improve customer retention through customer loyalty programs,
Send regular newsletter emails that inform of upcoming sales, product releases, and company updates.
Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate: Are the items in your customers’ carts being abandoned before completing the purchase?
Reduce distraction during the checkout page by removing everything else on the page.
Educate your customers about the number of steps required to finish the checkout.
Use remarketing ads to get them back to the cart and/or send cart abandonment emails.
Are you stumped on how to best utilize the organic and paid marketing strategies available?
Let RLC Media help.
We have over 10 experience with optimizing ecommerce websites with the latest SEO, SEM, and PPC strategies. Consult with one of our experts by calling 872.228.7607 or dropping us a line at info@RLCMedia.com.
Our full-service digital agency delivers advanced, creative approaches and ideas that drive results and industry trends. We help you understand your audience better from web analytics, data processing, and targeting to lead generation, acquisition and retention.