eCommerce platforms that perform are often hard to find. Magento is the obvious market leader and the system we love working with here but beyond that, the likes of Shopify are now starting to gain momentum.
In the last few years especially, it’s fair to say that Shopify stores have exploded in popularity. Not only does the Shopify system offer a simple route into selling if you’re just getting started out in eCommerce, but international giants like Budweiser and Red Bull are now using it to reach new markets globally.
Since its launch back in 2004, Shopify has slowly blossomed into one of the leading eCommerce solutions for many small and medium-sized businesses around the world – over 400,000 online stores use it at the time of writing this post, generating over $34billion last year. They operate with a clear focus on helping that first-time business owner get up and running, offering everything a budding entrepreneur could want without the need for coding knowledge.
Whilst this incredible recent growth in popularity is fantastic news for Shopify as a business, where does this leave its established customer base? Is it becoming harder and harder to stand out from the crowd? Is there anything you can do to ensure your store continues to grow?
Well, yes there is. And we’re going to explain how.
Increasing Site Visibility Through SEO
Now don’t panic – I know that some people see the phrase ‘search engine optimisation’ and want to run a mile! It doesn’t have to be that way though.
Understanding the steps you can take to improve your Shopify’s visibility in Google search results can have a huge impact on your bottom line. Even having just one high-value keyword ranking at the top of page one on Google can bring in huge amounts of traffic, so SEO isn’t something you should ignore.
The good news is that Shopify does a significant amount of the legwork for you, meaning that basic optimisation elements are taken care of from day one. That said, you can certainly go beyond this to boost organic performance further to truly get the most out of the Shopify platform.
The most important way to do this is understanding what keywords you want to rank for, as well as being clued up on which keywords your direct competitors rank for. The best way to do this is using Google’s Keyword Planner or, if you really want to dig deep, a paid service like SEMrush.
Once you have your keywords, you can begin to work them into your content including page titles, product descriptions, metadata, image tags and more. This will give Google a much better understanding of what your store is selling and give you a better chance of ranking higher.
A Well-Planned Content Marketing Strategy
Another easy way to reach new customers is by developing what is sometimes referred to as a ‘sticky website’ – this basically means creating a site that customers want to explore and stay on for a good amount of time.
The easiest way to do this for an online store is through Shopify’s blog functionality. All you need to do is add high-quality content that is both useful and relevant to your target audience – simple right?
If writing content isn’t your strong point, you could look into creating a set of videos or even a podcast. The idea here is that you should be regularly releasing content that demonstrates your expertise in your industry and provides real value to your audience. Tapping into the interests of your customers can make all the difference when it comes to sales and you also get the added bonus of creating more entry points to your online store.
Bear in mind that a good content strategy isn’t something that appears overnight – it takes time and commitment to truly reap the rewards here.
Social Media Outreach
So with SEO and content marketing playing more of a long game for your store, you might want something a little more immediate – that’s where social media comes in.
The magic of social media outreach is that one exceptional post that goes viral can bring in huge traffic. The downside here is that this is very tough to achieve – most online stores will never enjoy the benefit of this magical moment in their lifespan.
That said, with more than 2 billion users, a campaign on Facebook is a great place to start. Set up a business profile and start sharing your blog posts, videos or podcasts to get the ball rolling. You could also consider boosting posts at a small cost to increase their visibility and reach a larger audience.
Take a moment to look around a social media site like Facebook and you’ll see all the big eCommerce players will be on there, but this approach will still work regardless of the size of your business.
Don’t forget to create accounts on Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and LinkedIn too – the bigger your audience, the more traffic you’re likely to see reaching your site. Just remember to include a good call-to-action and links to your store.
Using Influencer Marketing
This final tip is potentially the most challenging to get right – but it’s also the most lucrative if done correctly. You just need to box clever and spend appropriately.
Influencers are prevalent in almost any industry but in recent times, they’ve started to have a huge impact on the way eCommerce works. When you pay an influencer to promote one of your products via their social media channels, this could lead to a big spike in sales on your store as customers trust the influencer’s recommendation.
It’s worth noting here that different influencers see value in different things. One influencer may just be grateful for some free samples in exchange for a mention on YouTube, whilst another may only want to promote a business that shares their morals and philosophy.
Take the time to speak to each influencer and understand what is important to them, and then act appropriately.
When it comes to increasing traffic to your Shopify store, the onus is on you to choose the methods that are most suited to you and your business.
If you can’t commit the time to work on SEO or content marketing, maybe social media outreach is a better choice. If you want instant measurable results, invest in a popular and well-considered influencer to see that boost in traffic. See which methods work best for your store and your industry, and make the decision based on the change in your bottom line.
Whichever route you choose to go down, generating more traffic to your Shopify store is an ongoing process and something that takes the investment of both time and money. Start small, get the ball rolling and see how your store improves!