Paid advertising isn’t the only strategy for increasing your product visibility. There are plenty of things you can do to get more seo organic traffic and increase sales without blowing through your budget.
We’ve seen companies spend countless hours creating eCommerce SEO strategies that drive millions of dollars in revenue, so we decided to put together a list of some of the best strategies we’ve come across.
Take a look at this list and see what you can implement to generate more organic traffic and boost your revenue:
1. Content marketing (blogging)
Creating content for your site is the ultimate long-term investment strategy. This includes blogging, videos, infographics, presentations, and more. The goal of blogging is to boost brand awareness and authority, increase website traffic and search rankings, and engage with your audience.
According to Hubspot: “Content marketing has been proven to work better than traditional promotional strategies such as television advertisements or billboards. This form of promotion gives you the opportunity to speak directly to potential customers about topics that are relevant to your business, which can help establish you as an authority within your industry.
When visitors come to your site after reading great content, they may feel compelled to return for future reference and to find out more about your products or services. Audience retention is key because it means that people are listening to what you’re saying. And it’s likely that some just might turn into paying customers.”
Hubspot also found that content marketing had a multiplier effect on traffic, generating 3 times more traffic from search engines than just paid search ads. If done correctly, content marketing can be one of the best ways to get targeted organic traffic to your site.
2. Link Building
Technically, you need links to get more organic traffic and increase your search rankings. Having a top 10 Google ranking doesn’t just happen; it takes time and effort. Dozens of tools such as Moz Link Explorer can help you research the most popular sites in your industry so that you know where to get links from (seriously, don’t build links from shady no-name sites, they actually work against you).
According to research performed by Moz: “The #1 ranking factor in Google’s search results is the number of high-quality sites that link to a given webpage. Links remain one of the most powerful and effective ways for an online business to influence its rankings in search engines.”
Reaching out to relevant sites which already link to similar products and asking them to consider linking to yours is one of the most effective ways you can drive traffic. You can also participate in public online discussions, contribute to forums relevant to your industry, and get backlinks from every single page that mentions your brand or product name (e.g. Amazon).
3. Guest blogging
While link building is a long-term investment strategy, guest blogging is a short-term tactic to get more organic traffic and increase search rankings. It might even result in immediate results if your post goes viral or gets published on a major site with high domain authority (traffic, trust, and other signals Google uses to determine rankings).
Before you start submitting articles for publication, it’s important to know that guest blogging is constantly changing. Many major publishers have put up strict guidelines on what they will allow so if you go this route, make sure you do your homework first. If your article gets published, it might put you in front of an audience that’s much larger than the one you have on your current site.
According to Ahrefs: “If done correctly, guest blogging can be an extremely effective way for a business to generate large amounts of referral traffic from major publishers within a short period of time. It should go without saying that this type of link building is not possible with every website. For guest blogging to be successful, your site needs to be an authority on the subject you’re writing about and should stand out from the crowd.”
4. Create content that “goes viral”
The obvious statement here: If it goes viral, you will get a lot of organic traffic (whether that’s through linking or the sheer volume of people seeing it). That’s the whole point, right? If you can get massive amounts of people to spread your content, even if it is an infographic, video, white paper, or download, then you will drive more organic traffic.
Spend some time looking for trending topics and create something that will help people with what they are trying to do (e.g. “how-to” articles, infographics). If executed correctly, your content might end up on the top of Reddit/HackerNews or at least massively shared across social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. Even if you don’t make the front page of one of these sites. You might get 100-1,000 organic visitors (and more through referrals).
5. Social media marketing
The social media traffic is highly targeted and reaches people at all stages of the buying cycle. It’s a great way to drive traffic to your site since social channels have massive audiences. However, many business owners overlook it because it’s easier to promote their content on paid channels like Facebook or Twitter.
According to traffic data from social media management platform Sprout Social: “Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn users visit these sites multiple times per day and at consistent times each week. More than half of the respondents who use Twitter and YouTube say they visit those sites most often before 10:00 a.m.”
If you can identify which social platform or platforms your target audience spends time on, it will be easier to find the right people and increase organic traffic. According to a blog post from Social Media Examiner: “Facebook has reported 1 billion active users, 100 million active users on Instagram and 500 million Tweets per day. Twitter, which has 500 million total users, also says 75% of its users are outside the United States.”
If you want to drive traffic to your site via social media marketing, it’s going to take a long-term strategy of producing ongoing content and sharing it at the right times with the right people. While this doesn’t necessarily mean daily posts, it does mean that you should be consistent.
By posting valuable content at certain times of the day or week (when your audience is most active), you can drive more organic traffic to your site. If you create a good strategy for social media marketing. It can also translate into referral traffic as well. More importantly, you will get to know your audiences better and create a relationship with them which can lead to more sales.
According to outreach specialist Michael Brenner: “We all know that content is king in the digital world, yet many brands still have no clue how to actually go about distributing said content. For example, LinkedIn Pulse allows you to distribute 5 blog posts per week to the network of more than 400 million professionals. In other words, you can get your content in front of a huge audience for free.”
6. Email marketing
Email is still one of the most highly-targeted and effective ways to reach your audience. If they sign up for your email list via an opt-in on your website. You can send them links to content they might be interested in.
One of the biggest problems in email marketing is that people tend to forget about it and opt-in or opt-out. This means you could lose subscribers who never see your emails again. However, by creating a content strategy and sending emails at certain times (for example, once per day), you can remind people to come back to your site.
If your email campaigns are about average, you will be able to increase the number of people opening up your emails by 5-10%. This could help you get more traffic to your site through re-engagement. On top of that, by promoting your content in email campaigns, you can monetize that traffic really well compared to social media marketing.
7. Competitor backlinks & outreach
As Rand Fishkin, former President of Moz, said in his presentation at BrightonSEO 2015: “The same properties that are the best links for your site are often some of the best links for your competitors.” This is because they are already trusted and authoritative websites themselves.
You can find out which links your competitors have by using a backlink checker. Open Site Explorer, Ahrefs, and Majestic are all good alternatives for this purpose.
Once you have these links, you can use outreach to try and get your content on those sites as well. Or ask them to update the existing one.
8. E-commerce SEO tips & tricks
This is one of the most difficult and technical aspects of eCommerce and SEO and can get pretty advanced. But it’s important to mention here anyway. Any website that sells a product needs to be aware of how Google rates pages for certain keywords.
For example, if your product page for ‘blue widgets is on the site at /widget-color/blue and you want to show up for searches like “buy blue widgets” or “where can I buy blue widgets”, then you need to make sure that these keywords are within the URL.
Another thing to consider is how Google’s algorithm works with products. As of March 2017, Google has started to index products directly on their search results pages. This is great news if you make an eCommerce website or run ads because it means that people can find your product pages more easily.
There’s also the issue of seasonality when selling eCommerce items. For example, if you’re selling winter coats in July, it’s not going to be as effective as selling them in January. To solve this problem, you could create a blog around your products and post content on the blog that is relevant throughout the year.
This gives Google more ammo to rank your pages higher through freshness, engagement, and topic-related keywords. On top of that, people enjoy reading blog posts more than they enjoy reading about specific products so this could increase your click-through rates.
9. First page Google results
Getting to the first page of Google can be difficult for eCommerce websites. But it’s important to at least try. Obviously, if you already rank well on the first or second page then that’s wonderful. If you want to rank higher, it’s all about getting other websites to link back to your site.
Try using the Google keyword planner and researching for other keywords that are related but not as competitive. You can then create content around those keywords and reach out to people who might find it useful in order to get them to link back to you.
If you’re feeling particularly proactive about it, then this tactic can lead to long-term results. For example, if someone is linking back to your site. Because they like the products you’re selling or because you gave them great customer service, then that’s perfect. Once their page gets indexed in Google. Then that link is going to help your website rank higher for the same keywords.
10. Google Shopping feeds & Facebook Product ads
If you’re trying to target specific products within a certain region, say locally in Australia or globally in Europe, then one of the best ways to do this is by using Google product search feeds. For example, if you’re trying to sell sunglasses. And you know that a certain percentage of your customers come from summer countries. Then you can target this demographic by displaying your products in Google’s search results.
You can then do the same thing with Facebook product ads to further narrow your demographics. For example, if you want to specifically target males between the ages of 18-40. Then you can do this easily with Facebook’s ad platform.
11. Competing on price
If you’re selling a generic product that is mass-produced like groceries or other commodities. Then your only option to compete against the bigger stores and brands is by undercutting their prices.
This isn’t ideal for eCommerce entrepreneurs, but it’s a good way to get your foot in the door. As long as your products are competitively priced and people value the service you provide. Then there should be no reason for them not to buy from you.
If they do go somewhere else for their commodities. Then you can focus on selling other items that are more profitable and less competitive.
12. Rivalry within your industry
If you’re selling products that are easily sold online. Then there’s always the option of experiencing rivalry with other businesses.
For example, if you were trying to sell shoes or clothes on eBay. But someone else kept stealing your sales by undercutting your prices. Then you could create a Facebook ad to get around this situation.
The idea is that you want to get other companies or people in your industry fighting for your sales. By using Facebook ads to get their attention. Then you can showcase why they should buy from you instead of someone else. This can be effective because they’re depending on the ads to generate sales. Then they’ll have a vested interest in seeing you succeed as well.
13. Removing buy button ads from your website
Here’s where we get into some more innovative thinking.
What if I told you that there was a way that you can use Facebook ads to make people come back to your site. And buy from you instead of going somewhere else?
The best way to do this is by removing the “buy” button from your website. And only including it during the hours that you’re running Facebook ads. In other words, don’t have a prominently displayed buy button on your site. Instead, you want people to think about it before they actually buy from you.
This will force them to go through the entire sales funnel. And hopefully, end up closing a sale with you instead of going straight to Amazon or another competitor.
14. Make them an offer they can’t refuse … literally!
In addition to removing your buy button on certain days. You can also do this by displaying the buy button only when people are on your website.
The idea is that you want to get them thinking about buying from you. Then have a limited amount of time in which they need to do so before the offer expires. This can be done with discounts or just by offering your product at a reduced price for 24 hours.
By setting a certain amount of time in which your offer is valid. Then you’ll have a better chance at converting more sales. Again, this works best for products that are easily sold online and don’t require much personalization on your part.
Let’s say you’re selling clothing. In this case, you could do something like “Take 30% off any order over $75 before this offer ends!”
The idea is to give them an incentive to buy now instead of waiting for the next sale. Not only does it speed up the sales process. But it also provides proof that you’re actively trying to move your products online. And aren’t just sitting around watching TV all day.
15. Competitive pricing
This is more of a general strategy for online sales. But it can be used to get people talking about your business. Which itself has some great benefits.
The idea is simple: figure out what keywords are used by your competitors. And create ads that use those same words. If their ad mentions the word “leather” your ad does as well. Then you’ll have a better chance of pleasing those Facebook users who happen to search for leather products.
You can use the same idea with price comparisons as well. The idea is that you want people to click on your ad and go into that sales funnel. Then hopefully come out at the other end with a purchase.