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5 Free Ways To Drive Traffic To Your Online Store

 by ryan on 12 Nov 2013 |
1 Comment(s)
Web Traffic Tap Turning On

Setting up a successful online store requires a lot more than just getting shopping cart software. Once it is up, with all of the bells and whistles sounding off, you have to find a way to get traffic pouring into your site on a daily basis. If your budget is a little tight, you may want to investigate free ways to drive traffic to your ecommerce website first.
 
As you sort through these ideas, please note that "free" doesn't necessarily mean that it's the best method for drawing traffic to an online store. Many successful online store owners get higher conversions when they buy targeted traffic through banner and contextual ads.
 

1. Contests and Sweepstakes


People love to win free stuff. Take advantage of that by offering contests at your site and on social media. Make sure that the goodies you're giving away have something to do with the products you sell.
 
If you need help setting up a sweepstakes offer, check out Woobox and WishPond.
 

2. Blogging


Search engines love blogs because they offer fresh content on a wide variety of topics and are often shared via social media.
 
When you post regularly to a blog on a particular topic, search engines will eventually pick up your site as long as the content is of a high quality. You should be passionate about the topic you're blogging about and provide readers with information on how to use your products.
 
Stuck for ideas on what to blog about? Consider inviting guest bloggers to post in exchange for a link back to their own site.
 

3. Forums and Community Sites


One of the most popular ways to bring attention to your online store is to participate in online communities like Reddit and StumbleUpon or popular forums like Vogue.com.au or Yahoo! Shine.
 
The rules differ at each site, but in many cases you can create an online profile containing a link to your website or even place the link inside of a post.
 
Avoid being spammy or else people may not trust your links. Instead, focus on posting useful information regularly so that people will seek you out.
 

4. YouTube Videos


It's time for your close-up! You may not realize the power of video, but put it this way--if a picture is worth a thousand words, a humorous or informative five-minute video is worth a million.
 
If you want to draw more free traffic to your ecommerce website, create interesting and useful video content for YouTube. The most watched videos are ones that make your target customer laugh or provide how-to demonstrations of the product you sell.
 
The great thing about YouTube is that it's very easy for the customer to share the video with others, resulting in even more hits to your online store.
 
If you need an example to follow, check out Whiteboard Fridays at moz.com or the Will It Blend? campaign by Blendtec.
 

5. Partnerships


Your target customers have many interests besides your wonderful product. Another way to reach them is to find out what those interests are and then contact other companies who serve those interests to form partnerships.
 
For instance, if your online store sells food processors, there may be a blog publishing recipes and cooking shortcuts that caters to people who really love to cook.
 
Contact the blog owner to offer a very special offer or promotion to visitors on a visible area of her site in return for a commission for each sale.
 
For instance, you might be able to negotiate a side banner, an email blast or tweeting your offer to the blog's many followers. Also, remember to ask each new customer to leave his email address along with how he heard about your online store in order to claim the offer.
 

As you can see there are plenty of ways that you can start drawing free traffic to your website--simply use your expertise and knowledge of your target customer's habits to develop your marketing plan.

Are there any other creative ways you've managed to drive traffic for free? Let us know in the comments below.

(photo credit: jasonshim via photopin cc)
 

Comment(s)1

Julian Mark - Comment
Julian Mark19 Feb 2014Reply
Good read!
Thanks.

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