Since March, Canadian eCommerce sales have doubled due to COVID-19. Social distancing, and the accompanying advice to stay home when possible, have meant customers are no longer window shopping or browsing the aisles. Instead, they’re taking to the internet in growing numbers to buy their goods. How well positioned is your business to deal with this changing trend?
Launching, or overhauling, your business website can be likened to opening a new retail store. As a business owner, you’re keenly aware you can’t just open the doors and expect customers to come flooding in. Websites operate in much the same way. Luckily, there are several cheap and effective tactics you can employ to drive more traffic to your website.
Lean on Social Media for Website Traffic
Canadians are social media addicts. A remarkable 64 per cent of us have a social networking profile, and over 50 per cent have accounts on more than one platform. In 2019, a milestone was reached in this area, with social media ad spend surpassing print media ad spend for the first time ever. That being said, you don’t even have to spend money to see results – you just need a little imagination.
Marketing on social operates differently from other, traditional mediums. Businesses must strike a more conversational tone, offering catchy and engaging posts that readers are enticed to click on. Content on social should be shareable, with images and videos highly encouraged. Refer to our article on Creative Ideas to Improve Your Social Media Engagement for some ideas on the type of posts to start with.
The World of Search Engine Optimization
Each year, Google processes over 2.3 trillion searches. Of these queries, approximately 67 per cent will click one of the first five organic search results. Placing your website among this cohort will dramatically increase your visitor numbers. To achieve this goal you’ll need to play by Google’s rules.
Google’s search algorithm uses more than 200 factors when ranking a website. With many of these factors a carefully guarded secret, how can businesses give themselves a helping hand to rank? Start by creating a Google My Business account. This free listing gives you further prominence in search listings and contains space to include pertinent details such as your opening hours and contact information. Reach out to existing customers and encourage them to leave a review. Google increasingly leans on customer reviews in their search algorithm. Don’t be afraid of negative reviews, resolving them publicly shows you’re trustworthy and willing to go the extra mile to fix problems.
Businesses looking to give their visitor count a quick boost should allocate marketing budget to targeted advertising. A Google Adwords campaign will quickly land your website on Google as an advertiser, targeting users who are searching using keywords that match those you have specified in advance.
Facebook also offers several advertising options for users to allocate spend toward a specific goal (from driving traffic to a website, to conversions or even just likes). Both Google and Facebook allow you to focus only on your business’s target demographic, and set the limit for how much you want to spend.
Lend Your Expertise
Ever considered contributing a guest blog to a popular website? Many websites, including Small Business BC, offer guest contributors an opportunity to share their expertise through a guest blog. Not only will the article promote you, and your business, to a larger demographic, it will also establish you as an authority in your field.
These guest blogs also help with Search Engine Optimization. Feel free to organically link back to any relevant products or services you offer within the blog. Avoid the temptation to be too salesy. Instead, focus on the problem at hand, or topic you are discussing, and how your product/service can help.
Give to Receive
Create something of value that you can give away on your website for free. Gate this resource behind an email sign up form. Not only will this drive traffic to your site, it will also help you curate an email subscriber list for your marketing newsletters. Over time, this growing sales funnel will create a positive feedback loop of traffic for your website.
For example, if you’re a bookkeeper, you could create an e-book with a catchy title like, “Five Ways Small Business Owners Can Save Money on Their Taxes” and offer it as a free download on your website. Promote this free offering heavily. Customers love a freebie, you just have to ensure there’s value in what you are offering.
Find Out More
At Small Business BC, we’re committed to helping business owners reopen in a safe and successful way. Our Back to Business campaign features specific advice and guidance in the following areas:
- Operational Health & Safety
- Restart Strategy
- Marketing & Communications
Alternatively, visit our BC Business COVID-19 Support Service and connect with our Business Advisors to get answers to your specific questions on reopening.