I remember the first few months after building my site. I was so excited to reach a few hundred visitors in a week. But then, they aren’t buying. ACK!
The unfortunate truth is that a few hundred visitors to your site isn’t enough. At this stage, you’ve probably shared your website with family and friends and they are sharing with their network. The people visiting your site are likely there to support you and see what you’re selling, but aren’t your actual customers.
To see consistent conversions beyond your family/friends, you’ll need a few thousand visitors a week… at least.
Getting enough quality traffic to your site to be meaningful is much harder than sharing with a few family, friends, and their network. Many who throw money at Facebook or Google ads will see a spike in traffic.
Using paid ads is common but only because most people don’t know how to do marketing.
This fizzles quickly because ads are expensive. Although ads generate traffic, it’s often traffic that doesn’t convert. (Sorry to the ad agencies who may be reading this)
This is like using a lawn sprinkler to wash your car. The car will get wet but you’ll need more money and time to get the dirt as the excess water goes down the drain.
Paid ads have their place and time and can also be a crap-shoot. Early on, I’d recommend skipping paid marketing techniques until you have a good idea of who your customers are and where to find them.
Instead, a better tool to use than a lawn sprinkler is a hose with a spray nozzle. It’s more targeted, won’t waste as much, and easier to control.
Investing in these traffic generating ideas will get you more traffic in the long term, not just while your ad runs.
Newsletter / Blog – Create a newsletter sign-up and encourage visitors to subscribe. Yes you have to actually send emails to them once in a while. This can be once a week, month or only on special occasions. Use your blog articles as newsletter articles. Highlight products, something you’re working on, or promotions. Don’t forget to link products in your blog post which takes them back to a product or collection page depending on the topic.
Social Media – First update your profile and include your website. I can’t tell you how many times someone has mentioned their business, but it’s nowhere to be found on their profile. Then, take part in conversations that may be of interest. I don’t mean to blast your products every few days on various posts, but engage in the conversations. Look for groups or organizations that may find your product valuable. Answer questions, comment on posts and be a part of the community.
Promotions – Try giveaways or contests to increase engagement. Promote it to your social platforms and email list. Find other stores or peers that are similar to yours and create a joint effort. Use this example I shared from Nora’s Kitchen.
Discounts – I’m not a fan of discounts in general but to each their own. Offer time-sensitive discounts and promote it through social media, emails and your website. Keep in mind that the size of the discount does matter. If you’re going to offer 5% off, you’re better off not offering anything at all.
Press – The tried and true method of getting press has worked for decades. If your product is one-of-a-kind or your mission is relevant to things happening in the world, reach out to magazines or news outlets. See if they’ll pick up your story.
Referrals – Talk about what you do with peers and folks you already know. Your peers can be a great resource to send visitors to your site. This is especially the case when you offer something that complements their products or you offer something they don’t. For example, they sell crackers but yours are gluten free and vegan! They probably get requests all the time and could send people your way.
SEO – Of course I have to mention search engine optimization as a way to increase traffic to your site. When someone types a search into Google, they are asking a question. It’s your job to tell Google the answer to these questions. SEO is a topic in and of itself but there are lots of things you can work on right now. Create quality content, alt text, structured data, use keywords in your content (without stuffing), and so much more.
Now that you’re getting more quality traffic, it may be time to focus on optimizing your site. Increasing your traffic won’t mean anything if there is a lot of friction on your site preventing them from buying. The Website Rescues is designed for quick tweaks that make buying super easy for them. Don’t lose the traffic you’ve worked hard to get.