On the Web: Want to Increase Your Online Sales?
Traffic is like oxygen for a website: it can't "live" if it doesn't get it, no matter how cool its features and graphics are. The simple truth is that you need visitors to get sales. Want to increase your sales by 20 percent this holiday season? You need 20 percent more web traffic to do so.
What's not so simple, though, is figuring out how to cost effectively boost your traffic. Boosting traffic costs time, energy and/or money. In the early days of e-commerce, sales went up because new shoppers were flocking to the web each year. A site just had to be ready to "catch" the visitors that came along.
Today, traffic growth is slowing. To grow sales, you have to aggressively look at ways to increase the number of new buyers on your website. The secret to doing it effectively? Knowing how much you have to pay to generate web traffic, and how well different sources of traffic convert.
The First Step: Reporting
The first step to cost-effectively recruiting more traffic to your website is to report on how much you spent on different traffic sources. Keep in mind that most types of traffic have several different subcategories. Here's a minimum list of what e-commerce marketers need to pay attention to:
● search engine optimization (SEO) — this further breaks down into the different search engines, including Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.;
● search engine marketing (SEM);
● comparison shopping engines (CSEs), which have 10 to 15 viable traffic sources;
● email marketing;
● offline media, such as print ads, catalogs, radio and TV;
● social media;
● online marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon;
● affiliate programs; and
● direct traffic from consumers who type your URL directly into their browsers or have your website bookmarked.