How to Increase Traffic to Generate More eCommerce Sales

Every eCommerce business wants to generate more sales, and at its most basic, the formula for eCommerce success looks like this:

More Traffic = More Sales

As a result huge amounts of effort, time, and money, are spent on trying to find ways to generate more traffic that converts into sales.

There is however another level to that formula which often doesn’t get talked about anywhere near as much. You can generate more traffic and get more sales, but what you should be focused on is building the correct type of traffic that is more likely to convert. That will allow you to maximise your returns with less effort overall.

What sort of traffic do we need?

Creating quality traffic that will convert so you can maximise your sales and ROI is all about understanding the intent of your visitors. Why does this matter? It matters because not all visitors are created equal. One visitor might be visiting your site ready to make a purchase right now, whilst another one might be looking to do research. Of these two types of visitors you need to attract visitors with a buying intent to maximise your sales immediately, whilst users with more of a research intent. Need to be reached for more medium to long term sales growth.

Want proof that research intent is important for making consistent sales? Look no further than Google’s own research which describes the “Zero Moment of Truth” when a user is researching their purchases as a point where it’s vital to get in front of the buyer. But it’s important to remember that the Zero moment of Truth is incredibly early on in the user’s buyer journey so focusing on it will not deliver short term gains.

How do I generate traffic with a high level of buying intent?

Traffic will high levels of buying intent can be generated from a variety of digital marketing channels, but each channel will require a significant amount of effort and expertise to maximise the sales, so it’s important that you should be prepared to work hard on all of these channels, or be prepared to work with experts and agencies that have specialisms in the channel so you can get the most out of the channel.

This is especially true for what is arguably the most important channel you can use to generate more sales for your eCommerce store…

Channel 1: Search Engines (most notably Google)

For the vast majority of the world Google is the homepage of the internet. If we type something into our search bars it defaults to searching Google. The use of Google is so ubiquitous that Google has become a verb in everyday use. It should come as no surprise then that one of the best ways to generate high quality traffic with a level of buying intent is through Google.

I can guarantee you that at some point you have decided you wanted to buy it, searched the name of the product on Google and then gone on to buy the product incredibly quickly. That’s an outcome that happens billions of times every month, so you’d be mad to not want to get a slice of the action.

How do you attract high quality buying intent traffic from Google quickly?

If you want a quick turnaround you need to start investing in PPC campaigns and advertising on Google’s search engines results page (SERP) through Search As and Google Shopping Ads.

How to use Search Ads

Search Ads are the adverts at the top of the page which don’t use images.  As you can see from the image below, they offer a range of ways to grab the user’s attention including highlighting sales, offers and information of relevance to the user.

The ads are triggered when a user searches for a key term that the store if bidding on (in this case the term is Rebooks). You can bid on any key term you like, and it’ll probably bring in traffic to your site, but unless it’s got a high level of buying intent then your chances of getting a sale decrease.

Most key terms that people search can be broken down into either Buying Intent Key Terms or Informational/Research Intent Key Terms. On a very basic level a search for the phrase Reeboks will have some people looking to make a direct purchase of a new pair of trainers, but they could be looking for general information about the brand as well. Compare that to the phrase “Buy Cheap Reeboks” or “Buy Reeboks Online” and you have a much more specific search which details more strongly what the users wants to do (purchase a pair of reeboks). As a rule, the more specific a key-terms are the more exact the intent behind it, so if you can identify a host of high buying intent key terms for your products you can bid on them and generate traffic that will convert to sales.

What about Google Shopping?

If you take another look at that Rebook Google search result image above, you’ll see there’s another section highlighted. That’s the Google Shopping Advertisements.

Simply put Google Shopping is a comparison-shopping engine that allows retailers to advertise their products in an eye-catching and visually appealing way.  The fact that you can use pictures in Google Shopping Ads means that they stand out on the SERP and are a great way to attract high buying intent traffic.

This is especially true as Shopping Ads only appear when it’s a search for a product, which means you have less risk of having your ads appearing in searches which have lower levels of buying intent.

Are there any issues with using PPC adverts and Google Shopping Ads?

The downside to this approach is that whilst it has an immediate effect on your traffic and sales, it can be very expensive to operate as you need a consistent budget to pay for the ads. This means you need to make sure you’re generating a significant ROI for the channel in order to cover not just your general business costs, but cover your ad spend as well. This means whilst you can generate sales very quickly, you may not actually be generating that much profit overall without a carefully defined strategy and properly set up campaigns.

For Google shopping there is also the fact that the entire system is based around your Product Feed, which can be difficult to set up correctly, and if it goes wrong can kill your adverts immediately.

It’s important to make sure that you’re managing your campaigns properly. This is where working with Premier Google Partners comes in. Premier Google Partners are agencies and Consultants who have been identified by Google themselves as the Crème de la Crème of PPC management and are experts in delivering PPC and Google Shopping campaigns, so you’ll know you’re in good hands.

How do you attract high quality buying intent traffic from Google over time?

If you’re looking to generate high quality buying traffic over the medium and long term, then PPC alone won’t cut it.  You need to also look to invest in Search Engine Optimisation. This is essential because PPC on its own won’t attract all of the clicks for the key terms you’re after. Only around a third of the clicks for a key term will go to PPC, meaning the bulk will go to Organic rankings, and that means you need to be ranking highly in the Search Engine Results for the same key terms you’re bidding on.

On top of this though, through SEO you can get ranking for key terms that are relevant to your target audience (for example key terms with research intent), but that aren’t likely to have a high chance of conversion. These are not terms you’d want to waste your ad budget on, but you can increase brand awareness, provide value for users, and increase your chance of generating a sale at a later point by creating supplementary content for research centred key terms.

Anything else I need to know about attracting high buying intent traffic from Google?

If you really want to get to grips with understanding Buyer intent, you should check out a talk one of our team gave at Brighton SEO. Part of the talk focuses on keyword intent so you’ll likely find it useful.

Channel 2:  Email marketing

One of the most powerful channels for any ecommerce store is email marketing. Why? Because it allows you to not just tap into existing demand for your products, but it can also create demand for products from people who have already purchased from you.

The best way to do this is through highlighting your products and offers to your userbase, but doing this properly and to full effect means you need to hit the following three areas hard:

1. Having High Quality Data

Quality data is central to the success of any email marketing strategy. It’s not just about having emails that don’t bounce though (which is what most people think of when they talk about quality data). It’s actually about having a wider array of data that you can use to generate more specific strategies and content to create more traffic and sales.

The sorts of areas you’ll need to look at include:

  • Being able to track what products individual users have purchased to allow them to be emailed to re-buy them / purchase similar products that may be of interest.
  • Being able to track demographic information about users so you can identify what certain types of customers engage with and then use that to segment your email data in ways that will present the most relevant offers and products to them.

2. High Quality Offers & Products

If you’re constantly trying to sell people the same thing over and over again, you’ll probably find yourself hitting diminishing returns quite quickly. Whilst some areas are able to see success pushing the same products time and time again (such as FMCG where customers may want to purchase the same thing regularly to avoid running out), most eCommerce stores will need to push a variety of products to their audience to generate traffic and sales.

Similarly you’ll also need to have a variety of high quality offers that will entice people to buy. This can be classic offers like buy-one-get-one-free, or something a bit more out there like making purchases and being entered into prize draws. Either way you’ll need to generate a calendar of offers and work out how and when they should be presented to your email marketing audience.

3. Email Marketing Automation

One of the best ways you can efficiently and effectively use email marketing is by setting up automation processes that will send emails to your audience without you having to set them up every single time. The real benefit is that you can utilise the data you have stored to personalise the emails and offer deals and products that are highly likely to generate a sale, whilst not having to manually drag that data out and craft each individual email which allows for high volumes of emails as well as highly optimised and personalised emails.

The sorts of emails you’ll be looking to create include areas such as:

  • Welcome emails – For when they first sign up for an account
  • Repeat Purchase emails – Get them to purchase again after a set amount of time
  • Vouchers and Discount Codes – For when someone hasn’t bought something in a while, and you want to entice them back
  • Abandoned Cart emails. – For when someone doesn’t complete their purchase and you want to remind them to complete it.

Channel 3: Paid Social

One more channel that you’ll want to utilise to generate more traffic that with a higher likelihood to convert is via paid advertising on social media.

Whilst most discussions about social media and marketing focus on building online communities organically, this is time consuming and can have very mixed outcomes when it comes to generating sales. Paid advertising through social media can be VERY effective to reach your target audiences though, especially if you have a strong idea about which core demographics you’re trying to reach, or if your audience has certain interests that you can easily tap into.

For eCommerce, Facebook is probably the best platform of paid social advertising, but other platforms may be appropriate depending on who you are looking to target (E.g. If you’re hitting Generation Z as a core demographic you might want to invest in TikTok advertising).

What is the best way to use paid social media advertising?

Successful paid social media advertising is based around the core idea of hitting the right audience with the right incentive. For eCommerce the incentive is almost always an offer or pushing a particular product that the audience will respond to. These can be the same sort of offers that you’re pushing to your email list, so you can maximise the returns for your effort on that front.

Building out the audiences is the trickiest part of the approach. Ultimately it involves you performing audience research to understand who your target audience is and what they will respond to. If you want to learn more about how to do that you can check out this guide.

If you’re struggling building out your audience research or translating that research into a targetable audience on social media for your adverts, you should always go and talk to paid social media experts.

Channel 4: Remarketing

The final channel to focus on is actually a combination of channels. Remarketing is a term used to describe advertising campaigns that are built out of individuals who’ve already been to your website. So by use of banner ads across Google’s display network, advertising on YouTube, and adverts on paid social media you’ll be able to present a range of products and offers to people who’ve been to your site so you can get them to come back again. You can tailor your message by creating different target audiences such as an audience for those who have converted (who might get sent adverts that are mor generic and brand focused) or you could send discount codes to individuals who had not completed a purchase to entice them back and buy something.

Remarketing is a paid channel like PPC and Paid Social, so you’ll need a specific budget for it, and because of this you may need to get help from experts on all the different channels you’re using as part of your remarketing campaign, otherwise you run the risk of wasting your budget ad not generating the sales you need.

With these channels active you’ll be able to generate high quality traffic that will convert quickly. If you need additional help though please fell free to fill in the below form and our team of award winning experts are more than happy to help!