When you are running an e-commerce business, you know that the traffic you get to your website is just as valuable as the people that would come into a brick and mortar store.
Driving qualified traffic to your website helps convert leads into customers and to develop a strong online presence and brand reputation. While spending large advertising dollars helps to target and boost traffic to your website, it is essential that you develop an organic inbound strategy to continue the flow of natural sales to your e-commence site.
Having an inbound marketing strategy will make the purchasing process more enjoyable for your clients, and it will help to increase sales and traffic to your website organically. Here are a few simple adjustments you can make to see improvements with your brand interactions from strangers to returning customers.
Inbound marketing are efforts you make to naturally and organically bring customers to your website. In comparison, outbound marketing is when you directly reach out to your clientele by sales efforts, cold calls or by spending advertising dollars. Inbound marketing is more about user experience, offering value to your customers and making sure your website is easy to find and navigate. Inbound is often a subtler approach, but don’t let that convince you that it is not important.
It is important to organize your inbound strategy by thinking about every point of contact you have with your customers.
What questions and problems do they have at every part of their journey with you? How can you engage, entertain or inform them? How can you make their experience smoother and easier to understand? How can you bring them back if they abandon cart? How can you reward them for their loyalty?
We can break down the customer inbound journey into three simple tactics: Content, SEO and email marketing. Content can be an avenue to engage, entertain or inform top of funnel clientele, SEO and website optimization will improve your website experience and increase visibility to middle funnel customers, and email marketing can continue to engage, re-engage and reward bottom funnel purchasers.
High quality creative content is an excellent way to engage a cold audience. They can see your content as a tool for inspiration, education or entertainment. When you offer your potential customers something of value before they purchase, they are often more compelled to engage as they don’t feel they are simply getting “the pitch”. When customers see value in your brand and your content, they will become warmer to your products, services and sales pitches. In the increasingly congested digital space, quality content can also offer an excellent way to stick out from your competition.
Content can come in many forms, from blogs (the most common), videos, photography (especially in B2C retail and fashion), white papers, e-books, infographics or podcasts. Content is something for the customer to enjoy that does not involve a purchase.
Maybe you write a blog explaining how to style a bold pair of boots, make a video interviewing a local chef who loves your hot sauce, or create a downloadable whitepaper that breaks down how your sustainable shoes help support the environment. The more unique your content is, the more likely it is to bring in qualified traffic.
You can also use content to do some customer service and sales work for you. Content is a great opportunity to expand on your selling features, help answer frequently asked questions in a creative way and show off your brand style. You should see content as a chance to expand on every part of your customers’ sale journey. Add Call to Action’s at the end of your content to promote further engagement and action with your brand.
Ensure you utilize your social media channels to share your content to the largest audience possible and drive social traffic to your site. The opportunities and inspirations for content can come from any part of your business.
Once you bring people to your website with engaging content, it is important that their experience there is smooth and enjoyable. A smooth website experience acts in the way a sales person does in a retail store. The customer experience can have a big impact on brand impression.
Make sure your navigation is simple and intuitive, using things like drop down menus and links to customer service and products to help visitors find their way. Offer upfront information on your products, including information on taxes and shipping. Provide secure check out verifications. Include fun product descriptions to further detail the value and features of your product or service.
Offer social media integration where customers can share, tweet or pin your products to their network. Share your customers’ voice by providing easy access to reviews. You want to provide all the information and support that a consumer would need in their buyer journey. The more you can background information you can integrate into your website, the more you can focus on important clients, rather than being bogged down with small questions and details. Let your website do the work for you.
There are also some basic SEO tactics that can increase your visibility and ranking in search engines to reach an audience that is already looking for your products or services. It is essential that you do industry specific keyword research and include key phrases in your copy on your website. This helps identify to Google what your business is all about and helps categorize and rank your website.
Make basic on-page changes like image optimization and adding meta-descriptions and tags. Improve your page load time and have consistent URLs. The better your SEO, the smoother your website experience and the easier it is for new customers to find your business.
Once you have an engaged customer, it is important to keep in contact with them. Whether they abandoned cart, bought a product, or are a repeat customer, email marketing is an excellent way to automate and personalize your content. You can create workflows that are segmented to each portion of your funnel, engaging customers in drip campaigns or sending exciting update emails on new products or promotions.
If a customer abandons their cart, send them a personalized email with the product and ask how you can help. If a customer buys a product, email them with other products that might appeal to them. Invite a customer who buys often to a promotion or reward program. The more personalized you can make this process, the more attached your consumers will feel to your brand.
Offer many opportunities on your website for a user to provide their email address. Subscribe buttons, sign up forms or CTAS at the end of blogs are all easy additions. Consider offering content with an email access wall or asking for email to send a receipt. Email is an excellent avenue for engagement, so ask for the address at any chance possible.
Inbound marketing is a cost-effective and intuitive strategy to increase organic traffic, develop satisfied customers and improve sales. Including informative content and smooth user flows on your website will all work towards a positive customer experience. At the end of the day, it is important to choose a strategy that works best for your business, so tracking, testing and analyzing your results will always be the best informant of a successful strategy. Adjust optimize for what your audience responds to best.
Feeling a little lost in the SEO world? Are you feeling unsure about what types of content to create? Our team offers a variety of a-la-carte services that can help you at every point of your inbound strategy. Book a free consultation call today!