Having an Internet presence does not mean being visible! You have a brand new website that you are very proud of (hopefully) but you find that the traffic is not up to your expectations and that your sales are not taking off. Increasing traffic to your online store is a real challenge!
And if you don’t have your own website yet but are planning to create one, ask yourself the following question: how can I attract visitors and generate traffic so that my website is not just a pretty display when I launch it?
In order to best address this issue, I would like to introduce you to the IdeaPixel agency, who partners with SMEs, startups and craftsmen-creators to provide assistance and develop websites. I first had the pleasure to work with them for the design of my own website (Isn’t it beautiful? And what’s more, the traffic it generates is very good!).
Romain and Sylvain are two experts who listen, are pragmatic and efficient. Very quickly, our collaboration became obvious thanks to our common values and shared mission – that of helping craftsmen-creators and entrepreneurs develop their brand in order to move up-market and achieve new goals.
So, how do you increase traffic to your online store? In this article, Romain and Sylvain give us the first keys to increase traffic to one’s online store in three main points:
• First, establish an acquisition strategy
Start by defining your target audience
Whatever actions you are considering, it is an essential prerequisite to define your target audience.
To attract visitors, prospects and customers, it’s important to identify their purchasing habits, interests, personal and professional objectives, needs and so forth.
In order to define your target, it may be necessary to develop personas. These personas are semi-fictional and stereotypical representations of the ideal customer. Elaborating them allows you to better understand and identify your customers’ motivations and use the adequate techniques and channels to attract them. This being said, Hubspot has developed a nice tool to help you create your personas.
Do you know what are the traffic levers?
There are many ways to increase the traffic on a website.
We can consider two main types of acquisition channels: the so-called “digital” or online channels and the “conventional” so-called offline channels.
In this article, we will limit ourselves to the online levers. We are going to outline the ones that we think are essential to boost the number of visitors on your website while remaining accessible for a person launching his or her business.
We will therefore address the following levers: Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Content Marketing, email marketing, affiliation and sms campaigns. But first of all, let’s see on what basis we can start to make these actions efficient.
• Then, make sure you have an optimized website for SEO
To generate traffic to your website, it is essential to be easily found on the Internet. To this end, it is first and foremost a question of being well positioned in the results pages following a search made by an Internet user.
The acronym S.E.O stands for Search Engine Optimization and refers to all the various techniques used to improve a website’s visibility, i.e. the ranking of a site’s pages in the results pages of a search engine based on certain keywords.
Moving up the rankings in the search results will allow you to mechanically increase the traffic on your website.
● How does SEO work?
Search engines take into account hundreds of criteria to rank websites. Several factors must however be taken into account to optimize the natural referencing of your website.
This process is composed of two parts: on-page SEO and off-page SEO.
- 1 – On-page SEO corresponds to the information transmitted to search engines by your site itself.
- 2 – Off-page SEO corresponds to the information transmitted to search engines through other websites.
1- On-page SEO
● Configuration & technical optimization
First of all, your site must be optimized in its structure. Installing and configuring plugins, optimizing databases, images and videos make a website efficient, user-friendly and fast. These criteria are largely taken into account by search engines.
Moreover, the organization of contents, website’s design, presence of internal and external links all help give readability to the algorithms of search engines which in turn can properly reference your website.
● The importance of requests
The choice of queries, more commonly (but unfairly) referred to as “keywords”, is fundamental to your SEO strategy. This choice must be based on a keyword strategy defined upstream and on a genuine knowledge of your target. These queries will have to be strategically placed in titles, subtitles, paragraphs, page urls and meta descriptions.
● Create qualitative content
Last but not least, it is becoming more and more essential to offer quality content on a daily basis, both in substance and form. The content of your website must be relevant and well organized.
Search engines now use very sophisticated methods, including the use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, so as to understand exactly what the pages are about and how the words relate to each other. Algorithms have become sophisticated enough to “understand” and “grasp” the topics and semantic fields of web pages.
It is therefore a matter of enriching your lexical fields to show that you are familiar with your subject. Using only a few precise words and highlighting them on your pages has become simply useless to optimize referencing. Nowadays, search engines focus on the combination of all the different words as well as even the articulation of the pages between them (internal meshing) to identify the content’s relevance.
2 – Off-page SEO
Off-page SEO corresponds to the information transmitted to search engines by other websites. It will be useful and necessary for you to develop your online popularity by creating a vast network of external links (off-page SEO).
The mission of search engines, especially Google, is to make information easily accessible to everyone. To do this, they take into account the connections/links between the different websites that are listed in their indexes.
● Create hyperlinks leading to other websites…
This relationship takes on its full meaning with the notion of hyperlinks. Indeed, we have previously seen the role they play in terms of SEO. Thus, the more links there are leading to a page A, the greater the impact the latter shall have once it is indexed by the search engine itself.
● … and benefit from backlinks from other websites!
It is also possible to create links to other websites that will, in turn, generate links to your own website. All this is of paramount importance for Google, which builds up an image of a website’s notoriety and reputation based on the number of incoming links to it and the quality of those links.
Basically, when a website benefits from a backlink from another site, it also benefits from its notoriety. It’s therefore the perfect time to take care of your image and become (more) popular!
Visibility naturally generates traffic. Traffic, if it is well targeted, brings qualified prospects that have yet to be converted into customers and ultimately into ambassadors for your brand. SEO is a long-term process whose results come with time. You thus need to be patient, and above all, have a long-term strategy.
Creating and regularly feeding a blog on your website will bring you all the essential elements to optimize your visibility on search engines and develop your e-reputation. The blog will allow you to set up a bridge between on-page and off-page SEO, hence the importance of accompanying your SEO actions with the implementation of a Content Marketing strategy.
• Finally, activate the acquisition levers to increase traffic
Let’s discover 4 acquisition levers: content marketing, emailing campaign, partnerships & affiliation and finally SMS campaigns
● Content Marketing
Content marketing aims to offer your prospects or customers content that is relevant to their interests. It is about creating and distributing content to guide Internet users to your offer.
Sharing content on social networks, for example, allows you to generate visits (leads), promotes transformation, enhances your expertise and the quality of your products. It also reinforces the “customer support” dimension of your business.
The writing of articles for your blog significantly improves the referencing of your site. Writing content on very specific topics, responding to the problems of your prospects, will offer much more important entry points than most pages of your site. Indeed, how many times have you discovered a company or business just by reading an article on their blog? Although the exercise may appear demanding, it’s really worth taking the plunge!
● Emailing campaign
Emailing allows you to generate traffic on your website, increase the engagement of your prospects, maintain contact with your existing customers and build loyalty. This technique consists of sending personalized messages that can take the form of commercial offers. They must stand out from the many other emails received by your contacts. Targeting is fundamental here to send offers adapted to the needs of the recipients.
To make your emailing strategy effective, it is essential to build, feed and segment a database of prospects/customers.
The first step in this strategy is to retrieve email addresses to create your database.
In exchange for the visitor’s email address, you can offer the following:
- A free downloadable eBook
- A coupon code
- A newsletter
- Attendance at a webinar
- An invitation to an event, a showroom
- The purchase of a product on your e-shop
Then, depending on the number of contacts you have collected, you will need to generate an email chain to automate the sending of messages based on one or more actions performed. Here are some examples for an e-commerce activity:
- Newsletter (blog articles/products, news/company news)
- Promotional Offer (sale, promo code)
- Cart-abandonment: Basket purchase suspended, contact the prospect again within 48 hours.
- Review request: send a thank-you email 48 hours after delivery to request a client review.
● Partnership & Affiliation
Affiliation is a technique that consists in transforming partners or customers into a sales force. It’s about getting people or sites to promote your products. In exchange, you pay these people or sites each time they generate a sale for you, usually in the form of a commission or gift voucher.
The principle of digital affiliate marketing is simple: a merchant site offers a partnership (affiliate program) to other websites, web influencers (bloggers, social media influencers, etc.) or former customers to promote their products in exchange for compensation.
The person registered in the affiliate program obtains a personal URL that he or she can share in an article, banner of his or her blog, emails or social networks. When the Internet user clicks on it, tracking will be automatic. As an example, an affiliate’s URL will include his or her identity and will look something like this: www.example.com=?aff-90785
There are two options. You can either manage your affiliate programs from affiliate matchmaking platforms that are remunerated from monthly subscriptions or commissions, or simply create your own affiliate program on your server. But this requires a little more investment.
● SMS Campaigns
Sending SMS messages to your prospects and customers is a relevant acquisition channel as your recipient almost always becomes aware of your offer(s).
Indeed, even when locked, smartphones indicate in real time that a message has been received and instantly display its content. Your SMS messages will arrive at their destination without ending up in the trash and drowning in the countless commercial solicitation emails.
Also, SMS campaigns are relatively simple to set up and do not require as much customization as emailing.
IdeaPixel introduced us to a few ways to generate more traffic on your website, the most affordable, whether in terms of difficulty or cost.
Afterwards, depending on the activity, it may be interesting to intervene on so-called “traditional” channels that indirectly allow you to generate visits to your site, particularly through physical channels such as sponsoring, attendance at trade shows, paper advertising and many others…
Once you have succeeded in generating significant and quality traffic, it will be a question of transforming your visitors (leads) into customers thanks to a site optimized for user experience. To discover soon in another article!