How to boost Shopify store traffic
What you need to do to increase your Shopify store traffic
It feels like everyone you know has a Shopify store.
It’s no surprise they do. Everyone wants their share of the $4 trillion, or 16% of all retail sales global ecommerce represents. Ecommerce sales are exploding, and will only go up.
Estimates suggest the pandemic pushed the growth of ecommerce by five years. Some estimates suggest it’s closer to a 10-year push. Either way, the demand is there.
I could go on and on about where ecommerce has come. But you know the numbers and the backstory. What you care about is where ecommerce is now and where it’s going.
Ecommerce already represents a $4 trillion global share of the marketplace. By 2023, it’s expected to top $6.5 trillion. Big woah. Now I see why everyone I know has a Shopify store.
But for online shop owners, it’s not just monitoring cash flow. Every day, the competition online grows steeper. With all the noise in the digital landscape, traffic doesn’t come easily. It’s tough to get the attention you need to drive traffic and revenue. But it’s not impossible.
Keeping up with the latest trends in ecommerce and utilizing the tools at your disposal are paramount to success.
I’m going to show you a list of ways you can increase your Shopify store traffic. Follow these tips and believe me, your traffic will boom.
Have a need for (page) speed — People like to go fast. It makes sense that good businesses are fast. Slow pages hurt your first impression.
Shopify allows merchants to monitor and improve page speed with a tool called Google Lighthouse. It uses performance metrics to rank your speed with a number out of 100. Though you shouldn’t expect a perfect 100 score, nor do you want it.
Your theme, images, and videos all contribute to page speed. Yes, a video will take longer to load and slow down your load speed. But video is important for user experience. You determine the trade-off of load speed and user experience.
But if you have pop-ups, get rid of them. Pop-ups slow down your page speed. Plus, they’re distracting and awkward. For mobile users, pop-ups are about as ugly of a turn-off as bad breath. Disable them.
Motion for mobile — Mobile is no longer a secondary source of ecommerce traffic. It’s the primary. People are on their phones a lot more than on their desktop.
Guess what? People like the convenience of shopping anywhere. Statista estimates that by the end of 2021, 73% of ecommerce sales will take place on mobile. If you needed more of a push, Shopify says 66% of its 2019 Black Friday sales were done with mobile.
How do you win mobile ecommerce? Start back with the last tip. Your pages need to load extremely fast — especially on mobile.
Take a look at this: Google found that 53% of mobile shoppers will leave a website if it doesn’t load within 3 seconds.
Google likes fast-loading pages, and rewards them with better rankings. Improvements to your page speed will help you avoid a high bounce rate. Targeting return customers? You should know that at least 79% of customers dissatisfied with website performance are less likely to buy again.
OK, enough on page speed. You need to also consider the design. You know this already, but mobile is a lot more limited compared to desktop. Build for a more basic browse.
What that looks like: Keep important elements above-the-fold. What’s that mean? The term got its origin from newspapers where the day’s most important news was put above-the-fold. On mobile, this is what your customer sees without additional scrolling. I recommend you include the most important information and your call-to-action here.
Listen, it’s easy to get carried away with the extras. But those extras don’t win on mobile. They actually turn customers away. Give users what they need through quick and smooth delivery. Emphasize your most important content with visual hierarchy, and make it simple. Consumers should be able to shop on their phones as easily as they can on their computers.
Know the right (key)words — Websites need to rank well on Google. You know it. Your neighbor knows it. Online shoppers? They prove it by giving their attention to the highest ranking sites.
Most web traffic is generated by search engines. But did you know? Less than 5% of searchers make it to the second page of search results. Oh, and the third page? About 1% make it there.
You need to be on the first page. But the journey doesn’t end there. Google’s top result nets about 33% of the traffic, on average, followed by about 18% for the second result. Numbers decrease quite sharply from there on out.
Using the right keywords will get you on that first page. You can identify the right search terms with keyword research. I like to start by Googling my product (or a similar one), and looking at the suggested search queries. This is how I determine how people are searching for my products. I’ll then search my competition with the same intent. Then, I hop over to Google Keyword Planner, where I can look at more specific details. What I want to look for are two things related to the keywords — volume and competition.
Higher search volume leads to more potential traffic to your shop. Lower competition means a higher likelihood you rank for the keyword. Key point here: Look for high volume and low competition. It’s also important your keywords are relevant to your product. You can’t fool Google with inauthentic keywords. Once you’ve identified the right keywords, do this. Update the keywords in your title tags, meta description, and all throughout your product pages.
Offer an unforgettable experience — Think of the last time you went shopping at a brick-and-mortar store. There were big and attractive displays. Products perfectly positioned. Lights lit to a bright hue. Colors primed to set the mood.
Retailers do a lot to drive our buying decision.
My question: Why do online retailers think this same experience can be triggered with a single, low-resolution image of the product?
If this sounds like you, you need to rethink your online user experience.
To draw a high rank from Google, you need two things. You need people to visit your site and people to stay on your site — special emphasis on the latter part. If Google notices a high bounce rate, it’ll rank your store lower and lower.
It’s not hard to notice what makes for a nice user experience. Think of the online stores you frequent. What’s common about them?
- High-quality product images
- Videos that showcase the product
- Honest and candid reviews
Take a look at any good Amazon page and you’ll see these elements in focus. I’ll guarantee you the more effort you put into your user experience, the better traffic and conversion you’ll see. Make shopping an experience worth their time.
Use video (like a lot of video) — For years, I’ve wondered how Best Buy stays in business. Every other retailer has taken a hit from Amazon, so why not them?
People like me treat Best Buy as a showroom for Amazon. It’s an old fact that people want to try the product before they make a purchase. Best Buy wins this over Amazon.
Then comes along Carvana, a car dealership that’s all online. Why would someone buy a car without first kicking the tires? Well, turns out they do.
How? Video is how.
If any illustration, Carvana shows just how effective good video can be. I mean, a car is a rather big purchase and requires a lot of trust. Even from a basic standpoint, video is a proven winner. Take these facts in:
- 62% of consumers watch product videos before making a purchase
- 84% were convinced to buy after watching a product video
Videos can help people visualize your product in action, and that’s proven to make a lasting impression. I can’t understate the value of video, whether it’s used to showcase your products or inform with a how-to.
Remember, your goal is to make it crystal clear why your product can help people. Often, people won’t know anything about your product, let alone have established a need for it. Video helps satisfy consumers stuck in the curiosity stages. How-to videos can help fill in the gaps and lead to better conversion.
Ecommerce marketing is competitive.
I’ll tell you this: You’re more than likely not going to land on the first page of Google results tomorrow.
Yes, Google can be the major driver of your store traffic. But recognize that the top performing page results are not overnight successes. Everyone had to work to get there. Improving your traffic is a long-term objective.
You’re in it for the long-haul.
Google, like you, is in the business of making money. It might offer short-cuts to help get you to your goals. But it’ll cost you money and may not even yield the results you want. I’m not saying Google Ads doesn’t help — it does. Google Ads alone isn’t a viable solution.
How do you rank your site organically without spending money on paid ads?
Organic traffic to your Shopify store can come in a number of ways. Start with the five objectives above and I’ll list more in a future blog.
Already a step ahead? Here’s your next task: Update. Update. Update.
If you want to make money on the internet, it’s not as simple as setting up a Shopify store and monitoring cash flow. But it’s getting easier.
Stick with it. You’ll get there!
If this blog helped you, share it with a friend.
Share your successes in the comments. I’d love to hear them.
… Want to make more money with your Shopify store? …
I have a secret.
Starting a small business or trying to build an online storefront comes at a cost. If your store is just starting out and needs a little ecommerce functionality, Shopify is a good option. But as you start to grow and generate more traffic and sales, that may change.
Shopify charges 2.9% plus a 30¢ transaction fee. If you sell expensive products or sell a lot of them, that will add up fast and cut into your profits.
I have news for you.
You don’t have to use Shopify to accept ecommerce payments.
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