Before you can think about building a list of great reviews, before you can figure out how to handle higher sales volume, and before you need to plan out how to fulfil everything, there’s one important thing you need to suss out: how to increase traffic to your online store. And in this post, we’ll outline some concrete tips you can start using today.
Increase Your Online Presence
One of the first things you want to think about is getting more visible online. This means posting to forums, joining groups, and taking part in Q&As — whatever you can do to get your name and store’s name out there.
The easy place to start is with Facebook, while a site with a higher learning curve (but with potentially higher payoff) is Reddit. There’s a huge and global audience on Reddit, which can lead to more traffic, but you have to be careful because Redditors are a smart, savvy bunch who can smell bs from a mile away. Having said that, here are some shortcuts to becoming a quality Redditor (and minimise the mistakes you make in getting there):
Post high-quality content and write insightful comments. Avoid reposting (you’ll get called out on it and downvoted), and read the rules in the sidebar to make sure you’re posting in the right group.
- Learn how to format your writing, such as breaking up sentences into paragraphs so you don’t overwhelm and turn off readers with a wall of text. Here’s a great site that teaches you all about formatting and markdown.
- Don’t karma-whore. What this means is posting comments or posts with the sole aim of increasing your karma. Instead, be transparent and honest, and only contribute if you’ve got something worthwhile to add.
- That being said, build up your karma so you can be seen as a trusted user, but do it in a legit way.
Get People of Influence in Your Corner
This is otherwise known as digital networking and you want to get friendly with quality journalists, bloggers and celebrities to boost your own credibility. At the very least, should network with people who can connect you to those people.
To get them on your side (and once you’ve figured out who will be an asset to you, and vice-versa), try and target 3-5 people to work with. You’ll want to start by liking and sharing their posts so they first become aware of you, then increase the contact by sending them a message. Keep it relatively short and casual and include the following information:
- Addressing them by name
- How you learned about them and what you love about their content (citing a specific post is even better)
- Who you are and what you sell, and how it’d be a great fit for them
- An offer to send them a free product (or a percentage of profits) if they review your product
- A thank you and your full name at the end of the message
Start and Maintain a Blog
You might think that everyone and their cousin is a blogger nowadays, but that’s not exactly the approach you want to take. Instead, view your blog as a chance to regularly add in novel content so you increase your site’s ranking on Google. Plus, you can build up to being a guest poster on other sites, and even hopefully syndicate your content to other sites.
Give Things Away to Build Excitement
Who doesn’t love to try and get something for free? It costs you next to nothing, can get you tonnes of email signups in a short period of time, and creates huge buzz with minimal effort. However, the downside is the traffic increase tends to be on a short-term basis so you really have to capitalise on it to build it into something more.
Before you start your contest or giveaway, make sure you’re meeting these three steps:
- What goal do you have in mind? For example, do you want to simply drive traffic? Or do you want to get more social media followers?
- What prize are you going to offer? Is it a pure giveaway? Or is it a discount coupon in exchange for an email signup?
- How are you going to promote it, and who are you going to work with to make it happen?
Post Interviews or Podcasts on Your Site
Whereas contests and giveaways are great at short-term traffic increase, this tip is better for long-term growth. It’s more of a slow-and-steady approach with deeper roots, and it gives you a different way to show buyers information and tips they’ve been missing. Plus, it works to educate yourself as well, which you can use in other areas to continue increasing site traffic.
And just like getting influential people in your corner, you’ll want to:
- Immerse yourself in others’ content and comment insightfully on it
- Share their content, or link to it in your own
- Send them a friendly message asking if they’re willing to be interviewed