As a small business owner, you may already understand the importance of traffic. The more people who visit your store, the more likely you are to make a sale. But how do you get people to visit your website?
Well targeted ads can work like magic. However, if you're just starting out, you're undoubtedly on a tight budget, making the thought of a heavy advertising budget seem out of reach. Fortunately, there are many other ways to drive traffic to your website- For free!
Interested? Great! We'll walk you through the fundamentals of driving traffic generation and discuss ten tried-and-true ways for driving traffic to your ecommerce website without breaking the bank.
What Does Website Traffic Mean?
The term "traffic" refers to all of the visits to a website. To be more specific, the number of visitors to a website.
The more customers who visit your store, the more sales you will receive. However, this is only true if your site's traffic is "relevant," which means that the visitors are genuinely interested in your products or services. That is why it is critical to target the appropriate audience with your content and offerings. But I'll get to that later.
Free Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Website
1. Word Of Mouth
If you want to generate free traffic, never underestimate the power of word of mouth marketing. Ask your friends and family to help you get the word out about your website. Ask them to share your instagram posts, or recommend your products to their colleagues.
According to Nielsen’s latest Global Trust in Advertising report, which surveyed more than 28,000 Internet respondents in 56 countries, 92% of customers consider recommendations from friends and family the most credible forms of advertising.
Of course, this should not be your only way of blowing up your website’s traffic. However, if you're just getting started, word-of-mouth can help you acquire an incredible number of visits to your website.
2. Double Down On Email Marketing
If you haven’t already started building an email list, there’s no better time to get started than now to get started. Email marketing is a free way to build relationships with people who might be interested in buying what you’re selling. Set up an offer that makes prospects freely join your email list.
A few tips on how to grow your email list:
- Add a subscribe form to the home page of your website.
- Add a subscribe form to your social media pages.
- Set up an irresistible offer that makes prospects willfully join your email list. For instance, free shipping with the first order or free download of an ebook.
- Add a sign-up checkbox to your checkout to collect customers’ emails.
- Encourage subscribers to recommend your newsletter on social media or forward it to their friends to subscribe.
After growing your email list, start sending out newsletters with information about your coming offers like special sales, website launch, free shipping etc exclusive for your email subscribers only. And there you have it, free website traffic!
3. Make The Most Of Your Social Media Platforms
One of the quickest and easiest free ways to drive traffic to your website is through your social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, etc.
When you post relevant content for your target audience consistently, you’re more likely to show up in their feeds. It’s also important to note that too many salesy posts will drive away even the most loyal followers. Instead of promotional posts, create content on topics relevant to your niche. This is much more valuable to your audience and will help you build a following.
Other ways you can generate free traffic to your store via social media:
- Add relevant hashtags to your posts to make your posts discoverable on the platform.
- Run contests and giveaways to increase your following and, eventually, visitors to your store.
- Share time-sensitive discounts on your social media profiles
4. Explore Micro- Influencer Marketing
Micro influencing is fast becoming mainstream. It's not just a cheaper route to go, the ROI is also impressive. Instead of influencers with a huge following, it’s better you reach out to micro-influencers.
These are people that have niche expertise and 1,000 to 50,000 followers. Although they have a moderate amount of followers, their effect is mind-blowing. Not only will it be easier to get in touch with them, but micro-influencers also often have a more engaged audience.
Think about what niches are best for your product and reach out to respective influencers. For example, a skincare brand can partner with health and beauty influencers, or bloggers that write about skincare and beauty in general.
Their niche expertise means their followers have a higher trust in their opinions. Plus, since micro-influencers have more time to communicate with followers, they have a higher engagement rate.
They've got the curves, banging body, and glowing skin that appeals to almost every audience. They are low budget Kim Kardashian. I often refer to them as freelance influencers, they run the influencer economy.
The Jean Shop Ghana grew from 100k followers in January to over 198k as of this writing, with three (3) curvy jeans models showing off dangerous curves in Jeans daily and we are not getting tired of keeping up any time soon.
Go ahead and recruit micro influencers en masse. Micro influencer marketing is a great strategy for early stage traction.
5.Create Relevant Contents
Content remains king in the kingdom of traffic and brand building. Blog posts, Instagram, Tiktok, Facebook, Youtube videos and podcasts are all types of content that can help with getting visitors to your site.
For example, you can post articles relevant to your niche on your website or on other blogs or sites like “How to Choose Skincare Products for Your Skin Type” to get people interested in your online courses.
On another note, make sure that each piece of content you publish on other websites links to your website. Also make sure your content is easy to share. Add share buttons to your blog posts or podcasts to ensure maximum exposure for each post.
Reels, shorts and Tik tok videos are other awesome content formats that have the most viral tendencies these days. Ensure you make hay while the sun shines on these platforms.
6. Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
Google is the world’s largest search engine, and you want to show up in searches relevant to your business and location.
To optimize your Google My Business listing:
- Fill in all of the details about your store, such as your business description, hours, address, and of course, a link to your website. Update this information as soon as it changes.
- Add photos of your storefront and products. Businesses with photos have 35% more click-throughs to their websites than businesses without photos.
- Keep the business description short but detailed. Include relevant keywords and search phrases in your description.
- Manage customer reviews and reply to them.
- Share offers, events, and products directly to Google Search and Maps through posts on Google My Business.
You can also let potential shoppers get in touch with you from the listing via special buttons like “Message” or “Website.” The ability to interact with your business right from your listing increases the chances of getting new customers.
7. SEO - Show Up On Google’s First Page
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is basically ensuring your website shows up in relevant searches.
Use keyword research tools like SEMRush, ubersuggests, or Ahrefs to find the keywords relevant to your niche. That’ll give you insights into what people are searching online when they are thinking about buying a product like yours or when they are researching the topics in your niche.
Then use the keywords you’ve found to increase your website ranking in relevant searches:
- Add keywords to your product descriptions.
- Add keywords to meta titles and meta descriptions. Meta titles should give users a quick insight into the content of a page. Meta descriptions are a short, relevant summary of what the page is about. Those are attributes that determine how your page appears on a search engine results page:
- Use long-tail keywords (phrases made from 3-5 words). For example, “organic skincare brand in Nigeria” instead of “skincare brand.” Long-tail keywords are easier to rank for and usually get more clicks than shorter, more generic terms.
- Create relevant content with appropriate keywords, for example, blog posts for your website or an FAQ section.
Keep in mind that though improving SEO is great for increasing search traffic, it shouldn’t be your main startegy of driving visitors to your store, although it takes lots of time to start working. Though it’s definitely worth improving your SEO, it’s just not the best option when you need to boost traffic fast.
Figuring out SEO on your own can be tricky, so read our in-depth articles about search engine optimization for e-commerce:
Well now you know how to get traffic to your website for free. But maybe you have some more tricks up your sleeve? We’re definitely eager to hear from you about new strategies that has been working well for your business! Feel free to share a tip or two in the comments section to inspire your fellow online merchants.