Don’t ever let anyone tell you that generating traffic is easy for e-commerce sites. As soon as you look at the back-end interface of your first website – and blank page syndrome really starts to set in – you’ll realize that you have a long way to go before your first online business will be profitable. You’ll spend days looking at a big zero on the visitor counter, and you’ll wonder what you’re doing wrong. You might start looking for advice online at that point, but the advice you find will be so disjointed and contradictory that you’ll have trouble figuring out which tips to follow and which ones to ignore.
In this article, we’re going to do things a bit differently. The goal of this article is to provide a step-by-step roadmap that takes your e-commerce website from no traffic at all to making your first sale in the shortest amount of time possible. We’re going to assume that you have products in stock and ready to sell – and from there, it’s just a matter of doing the work. Roll up your sleeves; it’s time to make some money.
Create a Home Page That Explains Who You Are
No matter what industry you’re in, it’s a good idea to spend plenty of time studying your competitors. If they’re successful, after all, they must be doing something right. One of the first things you’ll notice when you visit any highly successful e-commerce website is that a good home page never simply throws the visitor straight into the product selection. If you don’t introduce your business first, people won’t know why they should buy from you and won’t remember who you are after leaving your site.
Create a home page that explains who you are and describes what you’re offering. Identify your business’s unique selling proposition and make sure that visitors understand what makes you different within the first few seconds of visiting your website.
Build a Structure That Helps People Find What They Want
Before people can buy products from you, they have to find what they want. There’s always a chance that people might arrive at one of your product pages after searching on Google – we’ll discuss that next – but those who don’t land on product pages need a way to find the products they want without spending a lot of time searching. Your website should have a search field, and it’s very helpful to have a site search with the ability to make suggestions and correct misspellings automatically. Use a logical navigation structure that places the broadest categories on the top level and drills down to more specific categories.
Concentrate on Your Product Pages
When you build an e-commerce site, you should always spend the majority of your time working on individual product pages. The organic traffic that your product pages receive will always correlate directly with your website’s revenue for two reasons.
- When people search for specific products, it’s often because they’re in buying mode.
- When someone lands on a product page, only one action is needed – clicking the “Add to Cart” button – to start the buying process. When someone lands on a blog post, on the other hand, making a purchase requires several actions. The more steps there are in the buying process, the more likely it becomes that a potential customer will change his or her mind and go somewhere else.
With those two things in mind, it makes a great deal of sense to spend more time on your product pages than you do on any other area of your site. The more helpful, informative and attractive your product pages are, the more likely those pages will be to receive organic traffic and generate sales.
When you work on your product pages, focus on writing great text descriptions because text is the primary factor that Google uses to determine the topic and relevance of a webpage. Make sure that your descriptions are reasonably long and provide all of the information that someone might want to know if they’re considering buying those products.
Build Awareness with Non-Commercial Blog Content
As great as it would be to have thousands of people visiting your website’s product pages and immediately clicking “Add to Cart,” generating traffic for your site probably isn’t going to be that easy in practice. The problem is that there are already plenty of other companies in your niche, and it’s going to take a while before you begin to outrank any of those sites for keywords of significance.
While you work to improve your rankings for the commercial keywords that will bring potential customers to your product pages, you need to find another way to generate traffic. One way to do that is by bidding on keywords, which we’ll discuss next. Keyword bidding costs money, though, and there are also some product niches – such as Delta 8 – in which keyword bidding isn’t allowed. Organic traffic, on the other hand, is free.
When your website is new and isn’t generating a great deal of organic traffic yet, the best way to get organic traffic with your blog is by focusing on non-commercial topics. That’s because all of the businesses in your niche are competing for the same commercial keywords, which will make it hard for you to break through the static. Instead, build your business’s reputation by writing blog posts about topics that have nothing to do with buying products. Focus on providing information that can help people have a better experience with the products they already have.
Use Keyword Bidding to Attract Targeted Web Traffic
One of the most effective ways to bring targeted traffic to your website is by bidding on search keywords through Google Ads. Through keyword bidding, you have a chance to show up on the first page for keywords that are important to you but aren’t currently bringing any organic traffic to your site.
Before you jump in and start bidding on keywords, though, you should be very careful about setting your budget because it’s very easy to blow through all of your funds on Google Ads without making a single sale. Try to identify effective keywords based on the bid price, how likely people will be to buy after clicking through to your site and how much you expect to earn from the resulting sale.
Your ultimate goal is obviously to spend less on keyword bidding than what you earn from the sales generated. Remember, though, that it’s sometimes okay to break even or even lose a little money on an initial sale if it means that you’ve earned a new customer who will return to your site in the future and buy again.