2021.1.11

How to Grow Your Online Store Organically

Written by Austin Chegini

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The digital economy is growing, and more businesses are opening online stores to tap into this demand. As more retailers turn to the web, competition will only increase. 

Your store needs to stand out if you want to succeed. While you should certainly focus on advertising, improving your organic reach is the secret to dominating the web. 

Five ways to increase your organic traffic

No matter if you are just getting started or already have an e-commerce store, addressing each of these issues will help you grow naturally.

Search Engine Optimisation

Search engine optimisation is the primary way of gaining organic traffic. Before your website appears on a search engine like Google, robots review each page. These crawlers try to assess what your site is about, the value of your content, your trustworthiness, and more. 

SEO is the process of making sure these robots understand your website so it ranks higher on search engine result pages. All too many businesses do not recognise the importance of SEO, making their sites hard to find. 

If you want to grow your online store organically, you need to follow the following steps: 

  • Improve your site’s technical specs: Your site should load fast and be free of errors. Make sure you upload small images, fix all broken links, and use smart URL structures. 
  • Follow HTML markup: Make sure all headings use the right tags, meta descriptions make sense, links are attributed correctly, and images of alt text.
  • Do basic keyword research: While Google uses natural language processing to understand your site’s content, you still want to use keywords strategically to help guide search engines.
  • Gain backlinks: Backlinks are hyperlinks from one website to another. The more high-quality backlinks you get, the higher your reputation will appear to robots.

After following those basic steps, you might want to brush up on some more SEO tips from experts like Neil Patel.

Build your email marketing list

You should do everything you can to grow your marketing list. For online stores, that starts with lead forms.

On every page of your store, a pop-up should appear to get the visitor to sign up for your email list. Make sure these forms are not too intrusive and provide an easy way to dismiss them. 

Be sure to offer something in return for signing up. While many stores give new members a certain percentage off their purchase, free items might be more enticing. Customers can easily dismiss a potential discount, but they will have a harder time declining a free item.

Once your email list grows, be sure to use it appropriately. You do not want to send too many messages and end up in the spam folder. Likewise, you do not want to send poorly written emails that are easy to ignore. 

For more information on creating stronger emails, read over this guide from Mailchimp.

Regular social posting

Your social media accounts help establish your online presence and direct traffic to your store. Not only are these channels great for marketing your products, but they also help establish your social proof. Regularly posting on various social media networks increases your legitimacy in the eyes of users.

To start, choose two to three social channels that will best put you in front of your target audience. For most online stores, these platforms will be Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

By focusing on only a handful of accounts, you will have a more manageable workload. Also, you will make sure your messaging doesn’t fall on deaf ears. For example, you do not want to promote clothing sales on LinkedIn. 

Next, focus on creating a diverse range of posts. The majority of your content should not sell your products too hard. Instead, try to create posts that feature your products naturally or promote engagement with your audience. 

Review these examples of e-commerce stores with awesome social media strategies.

Content marketing

To supplement your SEO efforts, your store needs to create a content marketing plan. This form of marketing increases brand awareness and boosts lead generation. However, it is not meant for making the hard sell. 

Your store’s content marketing plan should focus on creating value for your customers. You want to help them, answer their questions, and position yourself as a trusted source in the field. 

For most stores, content marketing includes:

  • Blogging: Your store’s blog can cover topics like seasonal trends, “how-to” articles, and industry news.
  • Buying Guides: Create helpful guides for customers that show off your products. For example, you can create a hiking guide that features jackets and boots or a home renovation guide that shows off hammers and safety equipment.
  • Short Videos: While written content will be best for organic SEO value, it’s good to add videos to the mix. Structure them just as you would a blog, but make them fun and exciting. 

Create an omnichannel strategy

Since no one can say when stores can return to normal, it is important to integrate your physical and online stores. Customers want simplicity, so creating a seamless experience will help them see your store favorably. 

Omnichannel selling is the process of linking all sales channels into one. If a customer adds an item to their online cart, your customers should be able to see it in the physical store. If a customer buys something online, they should be able to pick it up curbside. As more people turn to their phones for shopping, the need for omnichannel will only increase.

Your omnichannel strategy starts with your hardware and software. Your point of sale is incredibly valuable. With the right system, you can simplify nearly all aspects of your business and get more done. 

Here’s what you can do with the Epos Now retail point of sale system:

  • Build and manage your online store: Epos Now partners with platforms like BigCommerce so you can connect your in-store and online inventories.
  • Create email marketing campaigns: Our Mailchimp integration makes it easy to send out targeted emails and reminders to keep customers coming back.
  • Improve customer loyalty: Our loyalty integrations are perfect for rewarding your customers and encouraging them to shop more.