Every day we get requests from eCommerce Business Owners, especially new Shopify Stores, about increasing traffic on their websites.
None of the businesses that reached out to us for help were properly optimized in order to get the traffic to convert. I mean it, ZERO, out of 100+ inquiries in the last 2-3 months alone.
Very few had a good understanding of what types of traffic exist and how they could optimize each source.
I’ve probably seen tens of millions of $ spent on ad campaigns that were doomed to fail for the above reasons alone so before you spend any more money on traffic spend 3 minutes reading this quick guide.
The 6 Most Relevant eCommerce Traffic Sources
If you want to grow traffic on your website you need to first be sure to understand the foundation: what types of traffic can your website get and how to get the most out of each source?
While there are plenty of traffic sources online, the 6 most relevant (in order of importance and weight) are as follows.
1. Organic Traffic is made up of users that land on your website after doing a search on Google, Bing, Baidu, Yandex, etc. This source is very relevant and typically counts for 30-35% of eCommerce Store traffic.
In order for you to receive organic traffic, your website needs to show up on search results pages based on keywords that are relevant to your business. This is called SEO optimization and there are agencies that focus solely on this, however, the main points that you can handle in-house are:
- Make sure you have a bug free website (excellent mobile experience, no technical problems, bugs, etc)
- Have a fast website (search engines grade sites based on their speed – the higher the speed, the more relevance)
- Create good, quality content on the website (detailed product descriptions, reviews from customers, embedded videos, guides, and infographics)
2. Paid Traffic has two main components, Paid Search and Paid Social Media. Together, they should account for one-third of your website’s traffic.
- Search is pay-per-click traffic you push to your website from search engines using services like Google AdWords, Bing Ads, etc.
- Social is pay-per-click traffic that you push from Social Media Platforms using their built-in services like Facebooks Ads, Tic Tok Ads, Instagram Ads, etc.
3. Direct Traffic is comprised of visitors that typed your website’s address directly in the address bar (or clicked a non-tracked email link). These are typical visitors that are familiar with your brand and website and are very relevant to your business.
In order to optimize your direct traffic, it’s good to have a clean and simple domain name (or buy domains that are similarly named and redirect them to your shop). You should also invite users to bookmark your website and make it easier for them to revisit.
4. Email and SMS Marketing traffic contains visitors that arrived on your website after they click on a link in a newsletter or in an SMS/MMS. Email traffic is almost never made up of new visitors, but of visitors that have, at one point in time, visited your site and subscribed to your newsletter.
Email traffic typically has the best conversion rate and as long as you keep your list clean it will be one of your main sources of income.
5. Referral Traffic arrives on your websites from other non-organic or paid sources like blogs, vlogs, forums, news, etc. You can increase your referral traffic in several ways:
- set up partnerships with bloggers (send samples for reviews)
- ask your suppliers to add you to the “Suppliers” or “Partners” pages
- be active on chat rooms (Facebook Groups, Forums, etc.)
6. Social Networks can be a good source of traffic as well as quality posts can send traffic to your website without paid ads or post boosts. It’s important to analyze social traffic by channel and by post type in order to understand what you need to focus on.
How to Push Traffic to Your New Website
Newly established websites rely heavily on Paid and Referral Traffic sources. Both these sources can and will easily drain your budget.
It is crucial to make sure that before you push traffic to your new website, you have ticked two very important boxes.
1. Optimize your website for a great mobile browsing and shopping experience.
It does not matter one bit if your site looks great on desktop. Mobile and Tablet Traffic accounts for 60-85% of all your visits. It is very important for your e-commerce store to be responsive.
Take time and browse your site on a few mobile devices. Are you happy with the experience? Then go to your biggest competitor’s website. What are they doing better and what would it take for you to implement it?
2. Set up Email Marketing Automation Flows
Let’s get something straight – paid traffic will the most expensive way for you to get new customers – it only makes sense to give that traffic your best shots to get it to convert. You do this by creating email automation flows.
- the minute your paid traffic visitor arrives on your site you have a very limited time frame in which you can either get them to convert (place an order) or get their email address or phone number so you can bring them back to the site in the future
- once you have their email address you should have, at the very minimum the following automation flows readily available so they enroll at least into one of them:
- New subscriber flow (incentivized first purchase for new subscribers)
- Site Abandonment flow (for visitors that do not view any products, just homepage and other static or category pages) – typically this will be an email that talks about your brand and your strengths.
- Browse Abandonment flow (for visitors that have viewed products but abandoned the session) – this email should remind them about the product they viewed and show them similar best-selling, popular products.
- Cart Abandonment flow (for visitors that added a product to their cart and abandoned the session) – incentivizing this is crucial for new customers. Ideally, you should have 3 emails ready in this flow, the first one to trigger 1-2 hours after the abandonment event, the second one after an additional 22-23 hours, and the third one 2-4 days later.
Post Purchase: most new customers that originate from paid traffic sources are typically one-time buyers that found the right product quickly through an ad, landed on your site, and checked out. They did not have time to see other products or get to know your brand. Your goal is to get the most out of your investment by bringing them back to your site without paying again for their visit.
You can do this by creating a post-purchase flow, specifically targeting new customers that incentivize the second order. A good offer will bring back one-time buyers and they will take time to see your catalog and find something else they need.
For our clients, the New Customer Flow has on average 4 emails:
- Thank you for your purchase – right after the order was placed – a personalized message from the business owners, a short story about the brand, and social proofing (information about physical locations, reviews from Google, Facebook, Yelp, BBB, etc)
- Let’s get social – 1 day later – this email highlights all your social channels and shows the new customer that there’s a community behind your brand (be it small, you’re out there!)
- Secret Sale Event Momentum Build – 2-3 weeks after the first order was placed – notify the new customer about a coupon or promotion they will receive, unique to them, before the end of the month
- Secret Sale Event – incentivize the second sale. This email should be a 24-48h sale event but remember, the offer needs to be good. It’s much easier to get the third sale than it is to get the first two!
Follow our extensive guides and set up a corporate-grade Email Marketing Automation program for your Shopify store.
Paying for traffic is a must today, and most companies are not prepared to get the most out of it. Set up your email marketing automation flows and get a HUGE advantage over your competition.
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