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Welcome to How To Drive Traffic To Your Online Store. In this guide, we’re going to be talking about ways for you to get as many members of your target audience as possible to visit your online store, where they’ll hopefully convert to customers. We’ll go into detail about SEO strategy, using social media, making the most of referral traffic and paying for traffic. First up, it’s everything SEO.

Part 1: Organic Traffic

Let’s face it. There’s no point having the world’s best online store if no one ever visits it; there will be some metaphorical cobwebs and your business won’t be making any money. You need to make sure that your target audience visits and buys from your online store.

The importance of a SEO strategy

You can increase your website traffic with a targeted SEO strategy. Google receives over 40,000 search queries a day and 3.5 billion searches a year. You need to make sure your online store is served in the searches relevant to your business.

<< 10 Free SEO Tools for the Solopreneur >>
To do this, you need a keyword-informed strategy. When you know the relevant words and phrases that are being searched for, you can create keyword targeted content to increase your organic traffic, like blog posts. To do your research, enlist the help of a tool like Google Adwords’ Keyword Planner (it’s free!). In his guide to increasing blog traffic, entrepreneur-extraordinaire Ryan Robinson recommends chasing “long tail” keywords, which are longer phrases with lower competition. In essence, this is the difference between trying to rank for “buy t-shirts” and “buy superhero t-shirts online”.

Once you know the search terms you should be targeting, you can optimize your blogs so they start ranking for those keywords.

  • 91% of searchers don’t venture past the first page of search results, so ideally, that’s where you want your blog to appear.
  • 50% of searchers don’t look past the top 3 results so you want to rank as high on page 1 as you possibly can.

Simple tips for optimizing blog posts

You don’t have to be a technical SEO whiz to get your blog posts ranking for your target keywords.

Here are some simple tips to follow to get you started:

  • Include the keyword in your title
  • Include the keyword in the first paragraph
  • Include your keyword in at least one sub-heading
  • Make sure your keyword constitutes roughly 1.5-2.5% of your total word count (be careful not to fall into the trap of ‘keyword stuffing’ – you want your keywords to flow as a natural part of your post)
  • Make sure all images have the alt text field filled in and with the keyword included

Use anchor text (this means link text in your blog post to other parts of your online store, but make sure the links are relevant to your blog’s topic!)
Make sure your blog post has a title tag and a meta description and that your keyword is included in both.

<< The Ultimate Guide to Starting A Blog: The Basics >>
Another consideration is that Google has started ranking content based on how user-friendly it is to view on mobile devices. In 2014, the number of searches on mobile devices overtook those on desktop devices for the first time. Double check your blog looks good on mobile before you post it.

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Lastly, to get a visitor from your blog post to your online store, make sure to include a clear call to action.

That’s it for the first part of our series on How To Drive Traffic To Your Online Store. Next time, we’ll be talking about how you can harness social media to increase traffic to your online store.

Part 2: The Power of Social Media

Now that we’ve covered organic traffic and how a focused SEO strategy can help you get the right visitors to your online store, let’s look at another free channel: social media.

online store

Why use social media?

There are 2.7 billion social media users in the world. This amount grew by 21% in the last year and is set to keep soaring.

In fact, social media is now such a well established method of communication that there are 5 ‘core’ social media platforms and this doesn’t change much from year to year. Here’s the breakdown of online adults that use each platform:

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There’s lots of scope for using these platforms to increase the number of visitors to your website and there’s also different ways you can do this.

<< Take Your Social Media to the Next Level with these 8 Simple Tips >>

Do your research

First things first, you need to do your research. These may well be the most popular social media platforms in general, but that doesn’t mean they will be the most successful in encouraging your target audience to visit your online store.

You should start out by finding out which social media platforms are most used by the people most likely to purchase from your online store.

Capitalize on your following

If you’ve already built a large following on social media then try sending out some posts with a link to your online store and a reason why it should be visited. If you’ve got an established following of your target audience, you should hopefully gain some highly qualified visitors to your online store.

Raise awareness of your online store

There are ways you can expand your reach on social media for free. An effective way to do this is by using hashtags. Do some research into relevant, actively used hashtags and include these in your posts to expand your reach. Just make sure you add value to these conversations. If not, you could face criticism for spamming and risk people becoming annoyed with your brand.


Use visual content

40% of people will respond better to visual information than to text. Including images and videos on social media increases the chance your post will be shared or engaged with. Getting your post shared is another way to raise awareness of your online store.

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Repurpose blog content

If you’re pushed for time, why not repurpose some of your blog content for use on social media? Try turning small snippets into social media posts and link back to the original blog for further info. Free tools like Canva are available to help you do this. You could also consider other, more visual ways to display information from your blog, such as an image, video or infographic.

Just remember to include a clear call to action from your blog post to your online store.

That wraps up part 2 of our How To Drive Traffic To Your Online Store guide. Hopefully,we’ve given you some ideas of how to use social media to increase the traffic to your online store. Don’t stop here! Keep reading to learn how using video and live streaming can also help increase your traffic.

Part 3: Using Video and Live Streaming

In part 3 of our guide about increasing traffic to your online store, we’re discussing the power of using video and live streaming in helping you gain visitors to your online store.

Using video and live streaming: what you need to know

Let’s start with the facts:

  • 52% of users will stick around for longer on a website if it features a video
  • Businesses that use video grow revenue 49% faster than those who don’t
  • Due to the nature of our brains, we’re more likely to retain information that we learn visually

Drive traffic to your online store using video and livestreaming

One way you can use video to increase traffic to your online store is by teasing your video on another channel (such as social media), with a link to your website where the whole video can be watched. Post a snippet or share a still image as the teaser.

<< How To Use Live Video To Market Your Online Store >>
Videos are all about increasing engagement. You could use them to:

  • Promote the products in your online store
  • Demonstrate how your products and services are created and developed
  • Provide your audience with advice and training

Alternatively, you could create videos that are relevant to your target audience but don’t advertise your products and services specifically. Instead, the video entertains or informs your audience. They’d still find their way to your online store because of the clear call to action and link at the end of your video.

Jumping on the live streaming bandwagon

Live streaming is fast becoming a popular method of communication with businesses. It’s not hard to see why: users of Facebook spend 3x more time watching live videos than traditional videos.

Live streaming is a way to create a buzz around your business and raise awareness with people who might not have otherwise discovered your online store.

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(Image via Venture Beat)

Live content is, by definition, more exciting than pre-recorded videos as it’s in the moment and so has an exclusive feel. Supplement your live streaming efforts by creating a hashtag to start discussion around your video, encouraging your audience to tell their friends and family or sharing the link through other channels (like email).

Repurposing your videos

You can use your videos and live stream recordings time and time again. As long as your video isn’t only relevant to a specific event or moment in time, you can share it on social media again to save yourself continuously creating new content.

There are new users to the internet all the time. Don’t be satisfied with using your video as a one hit wonder; have a think about who else might enjoy watching it and finding their way to your online store. As a result, you’ll see an increase in your traffic and hopefully your revenue too.

Why not take a shot at creating a video? It doesn’t need to be a perfectly edited piece; have a go with your mobile camera and share on social media to see what sort of engagement you can attract. Video is a powerful tool, but we’re not quite done. Let’s look at how others can help you increase traffic to your online store with guest posts and backlinks.

Part 4: Gaining Referral Traffic

Ready to talk backlinks and guest posting? Jump on in, the water’s great!

What are backlinks?

A backlink is a link on someone else’s website or somewhere else on the internet that links back to your website.

Backlinks are also sometimes called the following:

  • Inlink
  • Incoming link
  • Inbound link
  • Inward link
  • Citation

How can backlinks help your online store?

Now you know what a backlink is, let’s talk about how they can increase the number of visitors to your online store.

Backlinks are a tool to help you gain what is known as ‘referral traffic’ to your online store. Backlinks will help you increase awareness with an audience that might not have come across your business otherwise. You are effectively capitalizing on another website’s traffic.

Backlinks are also a way for you to improve your SEO, which will affect how highly Google ranks your online store in organic search listings (like we talked about up in Part 1).

online store
A backlink is most valuable when it’s on a website that’s well-respected, highly trafficked and also relevant to your business.

You should secure backlinks to your website through relationship building and not by paying for a mass of links from all different types of websites, irrelevant to your business. This is frowned upon by Google and won’t help your search ranking.

Guest blogging

Having the opportunity to write a guest blog post on someone else’s website is another way to increase awareness and gain that link back to your online store.

<< How to Grow your Blog Audience Part 3: Guest Blogging >>
Guest blogging is a two-way street. It’s good practice to offer the other party the chance to guest blog on your website too. So that this doesn’t affect the quality of your blog, make sure the other business is relevant to your readership.

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It is also a good idea to share your expected blog criteria, including things like word count and tone of voice. To protect your website’s search ranking, also make sure that the guest blog is original content and doesn’t include any low quality spammy links.

Creating content for referral traffic

Relationship building isn’t the only way to gain backlinks. You can also get referral traffic by creating content that others feel compelled to share and link to.

To do this, your content needs to be original, interesting, relevant and shareable. You also need to make sure it’s noticed by the people that will share and link to it. You can promote your content through your own social media channels. You might also want to consider using email to directly contact businesses and influencers that might be intrigued.

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That’s it for part 4 of our How To Drive Traffic To Your Online Store. Hopefully, you now understand the basics behind using a referral traffic strategy to increase the number of visitors to your online store. You’d better go and start building those relationships!

Part 5: Paid Traffic

This is the final part of our FounderU guide about How To Drive Traffic To Your Online Store. Our final suggestion is to gain paid traffic. Today, we’ll be talking about paid social advertising, Google Pay-Per-Click and remarketing.

So, you’ve posted on social media, got a great organic search strategy in place, written a few guest blogs and secured some backlinks… but, you still want more traffic to your online store. You can try paying for it.

Paid social advertising

We’re not suggesting that you do anything underhand like buy a bunch of dodgy backlinks. Instead, you can make use of today’s online advertising channels, one of which is paid social advertising.

More and more businesses are cottoning on to the power of social advertising, with budgets doubling worldwide over the past 2 years. It’s encouraging that 25% of people who see a social ad will respond by visiting the store or website.

online store
All of the top social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter facilitate paid advertising. They use something called ‘native ads’ and these see good engagement because they are presented in the same format as other posts and content on the platform. It might not be obvious that they are an ad at first glance.

<< Selling on Facebook Part 6: Using Paid Advertising to Increase Sales >>
You can get really targeted with the audience you want to display your ads to. It’s a great way to increase your reach and gain website visitors, who might not have otherwise come across your online store.

A tip is to monitor your budget often. If more businesses start bidding on the same audience as you, the bid range will increase. You need to make sure your bid is within this range or your ads won’t be shown to your audience.

It’s also a good idea to keep a close eye on your campaign and turn off ads that are low performing to make sure you’re spending your budget in the best way possible.


Another way to reach a wider audience is to use Google Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising.

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Photo via Google Adwords

PPC involves bidding on keywords that your target audience are searching for. It’s important that you do some keyword research as a starting point because you want to find the most searched for keywords, as well as those most relevant to your online store. The relevancy will affect how qualified the visitors you acquire to your online store are and the more qualified the visitor, the higher the chance they’ll make a purchase.

Once you know your keywords, you can draft compelling ad copy that will entice your target audience to click the link through to your online store.

Remarketing your online store

PPC can be quite costly, particularly if there are other businesses bidding on the same keywords as you. A cheaper option is remarketing.

Remarketing is all about targeting contacts that have visited your online store but perhaps didn’t make a purchase. To re-engage them, you can ‘follow them around the internet’, displaying relevant ads to try and entice them back to purchase something from your online store.

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Statistic Credit
Don’t forget to specify the frequency that your ads should be shown. You don’t want to end up bombarding your target audience.

That’s the end of this ultimate guide here on FounderU about How To Drive Traffic To Your Online Store. Hopefully, you’re going away with lots of ideas about how to increase your reach and encourage as many potential buyers as possible to your online store.

Make sure to bookmark this page, pass it along to others, and comment below if you have any questions about what we have covered today!

About the author

Jo Gifford

Jo Gifford

I help people work in smarter, creative ways + get their message out to the world via killer content—blogs, copy, images + social. I am a designer, writer, blogger, mentor, author, creativity addict + prolific geek.
 You could call it a portfolio career of multi-potential multi-passions. I call it being me.


  1. Katie

    This is super helpful. I have been struggling with this part of the online selling game for a while. Can I do all this using Selz too?

    1. Selz

      Kristen DeCosta

      I’m glad you found this so helpful, Katie. You can absolutely use all of these tips to increase traffic to your online store with Selz! When you start a Selz store, you can add a blog to your site, promote on social media, add videos and more!

  2. Greg T

    Wow! This is so much valuable info. Bookmarking this.

    1. Selz

      Kristen DeCosta

      Thanks so much for commenting, Greg! It is such valuable information for authors.

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