by Laura McLoughlin
It is easy to feel daunted by the competition. You are one among hundreds, maybe thousands, of
Shopify and other eCommerce stores. Although you are pleased with your site and your products
convince you, you must find some way of standing out in the crowd.
Encouraging a regular footfall is at the heart of selling. It will help if you were visible if you want to
be successful. Here we guide you through some of the essentials of driving traffic to your Shopify
store. At the heart of these ideas is that the more people who visit, the higher the number of
customers that click “complete purchase”.
Search Engine Optimisation
SEO is mainstream now across the internet. Most successful sites understand that Google has a set
of criteria that you must employ to be visible on search engines and so on the internet. These
criteria aim to provide the user of Google with the best experience as possible, as only the most
relevant sites with the most significant authority are listed on that first page.
While this can feel threatening and exclusive, it is also an opportunity. If you research your keywords
and phrases, those that your customers would type into a search engine, and litter these through
your site, then you have a chance to be seen. Your SEO keywords should be in your product
descriptions, in your headings and the backend of your website – so don’t forget the alt text for your
images and the meta descriptions.
You might also want to include a well-written paragraph at the bottom of each of your product
pages. While your customer is unlikely to read this paragraph, you will have an opportunity to
include the key phrases some more. Be aware; keyword stuffing draws penalties that drops you
down the list. Make sure everything on your site is high-quality and of apparent worth to your
reader. Just think: would the customer want to read this?
Improve your ranking some more
There are other ways to improve your ranking on search engines. Imagine your realistic target is to
get on the first page of a list of results, as you realise nobody clicks on that “see more” at the bottom of the
page. Your ambition is to be in the top three, as these are the sites that get a significant proportion
of the clicks.
However, you are up against a lot of competition for this prime internet real estate.
Option 1: you can pay for your place. If you know your target market and can clearly define the
demographics, you can opt to pay for Google AdWords. This service places you at the top of the
page for the people you define and for the search terms you identify.
Option 2: you can improve your domain authority even more by posting to other sites. Writing guest
posts and including an internal link acts as a testimonial for the reliability and quality of your
website. The most links to your site from other quality content providers, the better your ranking. If
you are someone who sells garden benches and you are guested on Home and Country Garden
website, then that link is going to be unbelievably valuable.
Gain traction on social media
Social media is a great way to build a following. Regularly posting the blogs that you write and the
products you sell, as well as other updates, will help gather some traffic. However, getting noticed
on social media is as challenging as drawing traffic to your Shopify store. Therefore, you are going to
have to do more than setting up a page on Facebook and Instagram. And, you certainly can’t follow
your way to a broad audience.
One way to gain some traction on social media and boost your profile is through an influencer. A
social media influencer has worked to achieve a following from the thousands through to the
millions. While you might not be able to afford someone with tens of millions of followers, you could
get someone specialising in your niche with a few thousand friends to start to spread the word.
Studies suggest that these followers will not only encourage visits to your store but also prompt a
more significant proportion of conversions. It could offer genuine value for money.
Once you start to get noticed on social media, you need to be a consistent presence. You need to
stay relevant by posting regularly and at the same time. Again, think about your audience. When will
they be browsing through social media? Is it when they are lining up for coffee in the morning? Is it
in the hour just after the kids have gone to bed? Whatever the perfect time, always post at this time
of day. Social media is a powerful marketing tool, but it doesn’t work by magic. Be sure to maintain
your profiles and be a regular contributor.
What does all this mean?
To encourage footfall to your eCommerce store you have to work hard to make it visible on the
internet. Using search engines and social media you can direct customers to the start of sales funnel
and from there your talent for selling will drive purchases.
Laura McLoughlin is a Digital PR with past experience as a website editor and writer. Away from the keyboard, you can find her binging nature documentaries and dreaming up travel plans. Laura works with Glaze Digital in Northern Ireland.