How to Bring Quality, Targeted Traffic to Your Online Shop

 

 

 

 

How to find quality, targeted traffic

This is a guest post by Arianne Foulks of Aeolidia.


 

I’ve discussed conversion rate on on the Aeolidia blog before, and this is a useful companion piece, about how to get serious buyers to your website in the first place.

It can be very puzzling figuring out how to get people to visit your site, especially if you’ve been relying on a service such as Etsy to drive traffic to you. Once you have a website of your own to promote, you need a plan to reach out to all the right people.

I have a lot of great email chats with creative business owners who receive my newsletter, and I was recently asked:

Another thing we are currently working on right now is probably something a lot of new e-commerce site owners are trying to figure out – good quality traffic. We are working through our marketing plan/checklist now, but I know it’s just going to take time to get the traffic flow we want. I think all the pieces are there – good quality site, good products, and good social media interaction. We just need to grow our trickle of customers to a steady flow!

This question shows a lot of insight, because the biz owner knows she should be looking for good quality traffic, not just traffic. “Traffic” is how we refer to the flow of people onto and through our websites. Your traffic is how many visitors  you get. If you have low quality traffic, you may get hundreds of thousands of people on your site, with only a few remaining there to purchase.

High quality traffic will give you a lot of sales with less people visiting (and less marketing effort on your part).

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Why you want targeted traffic

Many of our clients run creative businesses that are so unique and out of the mainstream that they’re going to want highly targeted traffic – meaning visitors who understand the type of business they are, and who are looking for the kind of stuff they sell.

For instance, we featured Finspo on our blog recently, a business that creates wearable mermaid tails. You can’t just tell a random person on the street about Finspo and expect them to bust out their wallet. Advertising someplace for everyone to see will likely be a waste of Finspo’s ad dollars. But advertising in places where she knows mermaid tail lovers are hanging out will pay off well, such as a sci-fi/fantasy conference where people dress in costume, or a mermaid-loving Facebook group.

Your business doesn’t need to be wildly unusual to want targeted traffic. Most readers of a blog like Design*Sponge, for example, are interested in design, naturally, so a business selling design-oriented products or services would much prefer the targeted traffic of a Design*Sponge editorial post than a mention on a website that caters to an audience who don’t value design.

The more unique or niche your business is, the more carefully you’ll want to target your marketing efforts. If you feel like you offer something most everyone would want, go ahead and send a firehose of untargeted traffic to your site and enjoy! But generally, it’s easier to distinguish yourself by not appealing to the masses, and instead speaking to your own group of likeminded people.

Research your target customer

So, how exactly do you do this?

Research your target customer

Things to know when marketing your products or services:

  • Who is my target customer?
  • What problem can I solve for my target customer?
  • What desires can I fulfill for my target customer?
  • Where does my target customer hang out?
  • How does my target customer communicate?
  • What motivates my target customer to make a purchase?

Spend some time in your customers’ shoes and find out what blogs they’re reading, what hashtags they’re following, what Pinterest boards they build, what language they use.

This will allow you to do the right thing when trying to attract them.

Make a plan to attract the right people

Understanding your target customer will help you know:

  • What blogs you want to be featured on
  • What sites to advertise on
  • What keywords to pay for
  • How to word your pitch, advertisement, or website
  • What benefits to point out
  • What offers to make
  • What collaborations to forge

How can you apply this research?

Here are some ways to market your business and get the traffic that will convert to sales on your website:

  • Get editorial features, do giveaways, or guest post on blogs that you know your perfect customers are reading.
  • Pitch your business to niche publications.
  • Use Google’s retargeting ads to only advertise to people who have already visited your site and are likely to be interested (best quality traffic!).
  • When purchasing keyword ads, use very specific keywords, rather than vague or broad ones (for Finspo, “mermaid tail,” not “costumes”).
  • Adjust the copy/content on your website to speak directly to your target customer, and remove anything that’s trying to pander to a wide audience. This will help with retaining the traffic you get, and making sure Google shows your site to the right people.
  • Post regularly to a blog on your site that is very specific to what your target customer is interested in. This will make you show up on Google when these people are searching for their interests.
  • Be familiar enough with your audience that you can keep them subscribed to your newsletter and  your social media feeds, and share with their friends.
  • Collaborate with a non-competing business that has an audience that will like your stuff, to promote each others’ work in a win-win way.

How do you market your business?

Are you trying to reach a lot of people, or enough of the right people?

How do you know when you’re doing things right?

What questions do you have about applying this advice to your business?

Please share in the comments!

 


Get your targeted traffic workbook

Arianne has created a free PDF workbook to research and pin down what you know about where your best customers are hanging out. It explains the concepts above in more detail, and you can use the included tips to make a plan to get high-quality, high-converting traffic to your website. Click here to get the worksheet and bring buying customers to your site!

{Video Tutorial} How to Use Canva to Make a Banner for your Etsy Shop (or Anywhere Else).

How to Use Canva to make a Banner for your Etsy Shop

Do you want to easily and quickly create an awesome banner for your Etsy shop (or any other shop or website)?

I’ve got you covered.

In this video, I show you – step-by-step – how to use Canva (a free, intuitive, and web-based graphic design program that I ADORE) to create an Etsy banner in less than 10 minutes.

You can use Canva to create any graphic you need for the web – I use it all the time to make graphics for this blog, my instagram, pinterest, and more. I also use it to make my Facebook and twitter covers (they have a template for both… and for heaps of other things) because it’s just so quick and easy to use.

If you make something with Canva after watching this, make sure to share it with us in the comments – I’d love to check out your creations!

 


 

P.S. I’m going to be making more of these video tutorials. I’d love to know what you think – and if there’s anything you’d like to see a tutorial on, please let me know in the comments below.

5 Things You Need Before You’re Ready to Sell Your Craft Online

 

 

 

 

5 Things You Need Before You're Ready to

I wrote last week about how to work out whether or not selling online is the way to go for you and your handmade business. Today, I want to address the issue of readiness – that is, are you even at the stage where you’re ready to think about starting an online craft business?

When you’re growing a business, there are always things to learn. The list is endless, and always expanding.

However, there are 5 absolutely non-negotiable things that you need to get a handle on if you’re considering selling your work online.

 

1. An Attractive & Useful Product

When you move from making something because you love it, to making something to sell it, you need to shift your thinking.

It’s no longer just about you – it’s about your customer. This doesn’t mean you can’t make what you love – you should be making something you love – but when you design and make a new product, you need to consider whether it’s something your ideal customer will love… and pay good money for.

If you’ve done the work to figure out who your ideal customer is – what their wants and needs are – this will be infinitely easier. And, if you have a brand in place, your new products will naturally have to fit in with that, rather than being a random mish-mash of things you just ‘felt like making’.

 

2. A Brand

Successful businesses have a brand. Full-stop. And it’s not accidental, either – it may have grown organically, but smart businesspeople quickly realise the power of branding in all they do. It makes their work recognisable. It gives customers and fans something to connect to. It makes designing new products and marketing strategies easier because everything you do needs to fit with your brand. Constraints are the best friend of the creative.

It doesn’t matter what your brand is – what matters is that you have one, and that your imagery, photographs, visual marketing, and copy (all the text you use on your site/in your communication) reinforce and align with your brand.

 

3. The Ability to Take Stellar Product Photos

Once you have a brand and attractive + useful products, it’s time to show your products off to the world. When you sell physical items online, your photographs will make or break your business.

There are, of course, a stack of obvious basics that you need to get right, but you also need to capture that elusive ‘wow’ factor that makes your product stand out from the rest. This is somthing that takes time and experimentation – but chances are you’ll know it when you find it. You’ll see sales increase, features increase, and that’s the only true way to know for sure you’ve hit on the right photography formula.

 

4. A Basic Understanding of SEO

Sure, your photos are what will draw someone in and convince them to buy – but how are they supposed to find you in the first place? Via text search. We have yet to reach the point where we can plug our brains into the internet and search for what we want via images (though I’m sure it will happen one day). There are, thankfully, a lot more visual channels for people to find us (such as Pinterest and Instagram). But, for now, you need to understand how SEO – search engine optimisation – works, at least at a very basic level, because in order to search for something specific, our customers still need to use words.

You need to ensure that the titles, description and tags (if any) attached to your product are full of keywords that customers will use to find your product.

 

5. Courage

Honestly, I should have put this first, because without courage, you will never succeed. Business is all about experimentation. You have to be willing to take risks, fail… and then pick yourself up and try again. You have to live with fear every day. You have to be comfortable with uncertainty. There are no fail-safe formulas for business success.

Everything I’ve covered here can be taught and learnt. Yes – you can even learn to be more courageous! However, a certain level of self-confidence is definitely a pre-requisite to creating a successful online business.

You need to believe in yourself – that you are capable of facing challenges, learning what you need to learn to overcome them, and that you are worthy of success. You need to believe in your brand, your products, your photography, and be proud of what you are offering to the world.

Because if you don’t believe in yourself – why would your customers?

 


Do you want to learn how to set up your own online craft shop and get it right, first time?

Join us for Set Up Shop – a 30-day e-course that teaches you just that. I learnt the hard way, but you don’t have to – join over 400 crafty entrepreneurs who’ve already taken the course and get your own online shop up and running! 

Click here to find out more…

 

WIN a Silver or Gold Membership to the New Create & Thrive E-Course: SHIFT

 

 

 

 

Win SHIFT

***THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED***

On September 1st, the new Create & Thrive e-course – SHIFT – kicks off!

I’m so excited about this course – I’ve been thinking about it for over a year now. But it was only recently that it all came together in my mind, and now it’s ready for you!

I’ve envisioned it as kind of a ‘next step’ course after Set Up Shop. Not that it’s necessary to have taken Set Up Shop to do SHIFT – rather, it’s for those who are at the ‘next level up’ in their businesses.

When you’ve been in business for a while, you face a whole different set of challenges from beginner entrepreneurs.

  • Rather than setting up your brand and website… you might realise that the ones you have aren’t clearly reflecting your business any more.
  • You might be realising that it’s time to share the load and get help in some way, but you’re not sure how.
  • You need to get smarter with your use of social media because you’re just too busy to keep up.
  • You need to re-examine what you’re offering and decide if you’re still going in the right direction for where you want to be.
  • You need to overhaul your time management strategies.

These common roadblocks – and many, many more – are covered in SHIFT. I’ve drawn upon all the lessons, problems, successes and issues that I’ve personally encountered in my last 6 years running Epheriell (almost 5 of those running it full-time) to create a course that takes you on a 30-day virtual roadtrip from where you are to where you want your business to be.

And if you’re unclear on the ‘where you want to be part’? SHIFT will help you figure that out, too. The aim is to take you on a journey that addresses all the things that are so very easy to neglect when you’re so busy working ‘in’ the business. This course will get you working ‘on’ the business again – which is a crucial component of becoming successful and staying that way.

When I first launched Set Up Shop, I ran a competition to give away a spot – and it was fantastic! I got to hear from so many of you – telling us your stories, your challenges, and your dreams.

So – I decided to do the same thing for SHIFT!

This week, I’m giving away TWO Memberships: one Silver Membership and one Gold Membership

(To find out what each level of membership gives you, pop on over to the SHIFT page here.)

 


 

 To Enter

1. To be eligible to win the Gold Membership, write a comment below, answering the question: Where do I need to make a shift in my business?

2. To be eligible to win the Silver Membership, share this giveaway on social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google Plus or Pinterest), using the tag #WinSHIFT, then leave a comment below telling me which social media you’ve shared it on. You can combine the two comments in one. You get one entry per social media you share on. There are sharing buttons at the end of this post for everything but Instagram to make this super-easy!

 


 

Entries are open world-wide, and close Sunday the 24th of August at 6pm AEST (that’s Australian Eastern Standard Time). The Silver winner will be chosen using random.org, but I will choose the Gold winner personally, based on your answer to the question above.

Good luck!