Back in the old days, if you wanted to start a business you had to save money for years before you could set up a store on the street. That was the case until the rise of the internet. These days it’s very simple to set up an ecommerce website with minimal effort or cost, but being an internet entrepreneur is not quite that simple. You won’t get far unless you learn how to promote your ecommerce website.
Given that there are over a billion websites out there, how do you think customers will be able to find you? Even if you’ve discovered a profitable niche and designed a slick website, your work has only just begun.
So how does your website get noticed? There are hundreds of ways to drive traffic to a website. New ways are invented every day. But for most new internet entrepreneurs, the standard tried-and-true methods are usually the best. Take a look at these profitable, proven methods to drive traffic and get the best ROI for your marketing time and money.
Promote your ecommerce website through pay-per-click advertising
Perhaps the quickest way to start driving well-targeted customers to your ecommerce website is with pay-per-click (PPC) ads. The most notable PPC network out there is Google AdWords, but there are many others. These ads, like most other types of internet ads, will send people to your website when they click on them.
The biggest advantage of PPC ads is the ability to control costs. You only pay when someone clicks on one, and you control how much you pay for each click, which can be as low as a few pennies.
Although this a quick and simple way to start getting traffic, it doesn’t automatically guarantee a profit. In order to succeed with AdWords and other PPC campaigns, you have to understand how to target keywords and how to set a price that will outbid your competitors but still yield a profit. You also have to know your conversion rate, in other words how many clicks it takes for your site to make a sale.
AdWords is probably the most common way that most startup ecommerce websites get their first sales, but it’s not going to be easy to strike it rich. Before investing your marketing dollars, you will have to learn the basics of PPC marketing, then be prepared to learn by trial and error for several months before you are making significant profits.
Social media marketing is probably the biggest buzzword in ecommerce right now. This is no surprise seeing how sites like Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter have grown like wildfire in only a few years, to the point where they have now come to dominate the internet landscape.
Social media marketing is not as much of a passive income as traditional ad campaigns. It usually involves daily time commitment of reaching out to people and building up a presence. However, although it requires some time, it’s possible to build a following while spending little or no money. Depending on what type of industry your product is in, this could be a great way to drive traffic to your site and promote your brand.
Some effective ways to leverage social media are:
- Start conversations on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter
- Use enticing photos on Instagram and Pinterest
- Create a Youtube channel
- Build a network on LinkedIn
Ecommerce email marketing
One of the oldest, yet still effective ways to promote an ecommerce business is through ecommerce email marketing. According to a recent survey, roughly 20% of businesses get the majority of their revenue this way. Like many other types of online marketing, this can also be done by spending little or no money.
Of course, this does not mean you should start sending out thousands of emails to people who have never heard of your business or have not requested any information about it, as this is considered spam. Email marketing, in general, involves building up a subscriber list of people who have visited your site or a partner site and have opted to receive emails.
But don’t people tend to delete emails? It depends on the strategy and design of the email and the subject line. When done right, an email marketing campaign can bring in a lot of traffic with high conversion rates.
Search engine optimization
Perhaps the most traditional and well-known way to get traffic on your ecommerce website is by having people find it in search engine results. The main advantage here, of course, is you don’t have to pay to show up in search results. Also, when ranking high in search results, this gives credibility and authority to your website, making visitors more likely to trust you and make a purchase.
Although many websites get huge amounts of traffic from search engines, the downside is there are no shortcuts to getting placed high in search results. Google and other search companies place a high priority on making sure that pages are only ranked high when they are reputable and valuable to searchers.
Ironically, your position in search is based largely on how much traffic you are already getting. So what’s the use of search engine optimization (SEO)? It probably won’t bring you your first sale, but as time goes by, if your business continues to grow, the search engines will be sending more and more traffic your way.
In order to get the most from search engines you need to know how to optimize your website. It’s important to understand how the content, keywords and layout of your website will affect how well your site ranks on search engines. So, from the very beginning of developing and publishing your site, it pays to spend time and effort on SEO.
These four methods should provide a good start for getting those initial sales. Ecommerce stores sell a wide variety of products and services, so the key is to find a combination of marketing strategies that is best suited to your product and industry.
This article has covered a few of the most effective methods of ecommerce marketing. What do you think are the most important tips for promoting an online business?
To discover how we can help promote your ecommerce business, contact us today.