Four Methods to Drive Traffic to Your Online Business

Read on to learn more...

By Miva | December 13, 2017
Illustration of man advertising website



Want to read this blog offline?

No worries, download the PDF version now and enjoy your reading later...

Download PDF

In 2016, consumers spent $327 billion online—a trend which only continues to rise. Are you effectively promoting your business to claim a slice of sales online?

The secret to ecommerce success in 2018 lies in driving strategic, targeted traffic to your store.

In a marketplace saturated with competition, driving traffic to your online store will not only win more customers; it will also increase sales. Increase traffic to your online store with these four strategies.

Four Methods to Drive Traffic to Your Online Business

1. Word of Mouth Marketing

Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM) has long been called “the original social media platform”, and for good reason—92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising (Forbes).

71% of consumers who have had a good experience with a brand on social media are likely to recommend it to others. (Ambassador)

Master WOMM and you dominate your market. With the widespread reach of social media, you can get consumers talking—and purchasing—that much faster.

Master Word of Mouth Marketing in three steps:

  1. Engage: Social media allows what no traditional media ever did: the ability to interact with consumers. Today, brands have an ear to the ground of what their customers truly want, affording them the opportunity to evolve effectively.
  2. Equip: Give fans a reason to talk about your brand. Through amazing products, useful content, and more, brands today are providing utility—not just asking for the sale.
  3. Empower: Give consumers a number of ways to talk about your brand. Smart campaigns like Lay’s “Do Us a Flavor” invited fans to create their own flavor of potato chips (and share it!), resulting in nearly 4 million submissions.

2. SEO

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of gaining traffic from organic search queries.

93% of online experiences begin with a search engine. (Search Engine Journal)

Search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo use algorithms to crawl and rank websites. The more relevant your content, the more visible your site.

Three ways to increase your reach through SEO:

  1. Conduct Keyword Research: Identify the most relevant keywords and phrases using tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner.
  2. Optimize Meta Data: Add these keywords to the page titles, meta descriptions, and alt tags on your site.
  3. Include Unique On-Page Content: Refresh content regularly, such as blogs, press releases, customer reviews, and product pages. Search engines favor fresher sites first.

Interested in improving your SEO? Visit our blog for 5 Simple Ways to Improve SEO for Your Online Store.

3. Local Business Listings

Where retailers once looked to physical directories, local business listings on the Internet can capture those seeking your product or service online.

78% of local searches on mobile and 61% of local searches on laptops result in offline purchases. (Search Engine Land)

A local business listing is an online entry that contains your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) along with other details. Several websites today allow businesses to create free listings—a particularly useful traffic driver for retailers with brick-and-mortar stores.

Top search engines for local business listings include:

  • Google My Business
  • Facebook
  • Yelp
  • Yahoo! Local, and
  • Bing

Once you’ve listed on the major search engines, choose platforms relevant to your industry. Angie’s List is a leading business directory for home and healthcare while TripAdvisor targets travel and hospitality needs.

4. Advertising

There are three key ways to target your audience online: intent based advertising, demographic or psychographic advertising, and geographic or area-based advertising.

1. Intent Based Advertising

Purchase intent is the measure of probability that a consumer will purchase a service or product. Through intent based advertising, you can reach the right customers with the intent to buy.

Common intent based advertising methods include:

  1. Search Engine Marketing: Ads placed on search engines, such as text-based, pay-per-click ads.
  2. Advertise on Amazon: Advertisements taken out for your product listing on the ecommerce marketplace, or even to your own site.
  3. YouTube Ads: Consumers watch almost 5 billion videos on YouTube each day. YouTube ads allow you to reach consumers with high purchase intent based on the videos you target.

2. Demographic or Psychographic Advertising

In his book Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us, marketing guru Seth Godin explains that people tend to operate in tribes bearing a resemblance to their own demographics and/or psychographics.

Demographic advertising refers to parameters which are used to segment an audience into specific groups. Commonly used demographics include gender, age, location, language, and income. Psychographic advertising, on the other hand, targets psychological criteria: attitudes and aspirations which can’t be measured by a census alone.

Savvy retailers have found success by advertising to consumers within certain demographic and psychographic categories via:

  1. Podcast Sponsorships: With podcast listening on the rise, sponsoring popular podcasts gives you access to affluent, educated listeners who spend at least 5 hours and 7 minutes listening each week.
  2. Influencer Advertising: 70% of teenage YouTube subscribers trust influencer opinions over traditional celebrities, and 24% of influencers cite Instagram as the best platform to engage consumers (Ion). Aligning your company with the right influencer could see a boost in conversion for your brand.
  3. Affiliate Bloggers: 47% of customers report using ad-blocking technology (The Leverage Way). Bloggers, on the other hand, are seeing a rise in subscription. Bloggers partner with brands they believe in, reviewing products and sending readers to the brand’s site through an affiliate link.

3. Geographic or Area-Based Advertising

Similar to local business listings, geographic advertising allows you to target consumers based on location—through social media, and offline:

  1. Facebook and Snapchat Ads: Thanks to the highly targeted nature of social media, you can target consumers based on a variety of factors. Facebook allows companies to target based on location; interest; even life events, while Snapchat allows advertisers to engage a younger fan base in fun, interactive ways.
  2. Billboards and Direct Mail: Offline advertising is not obsolete, but it’s important to use these methods to drive traffic online. Ensure your marketing collateral includes links to your website and social media so you can engage with, and track, visitors.

No longer can online retailers expect to draw customers organically. Beat your competition and increase sales through strategic, targeted traffic to your online store. By understanding where your customers are and how they want to be reached, you stand to win new customers—and their business.

New call-to-action

About The Author

Che Elizaga

Cheryl Elizaga is a Brand Strategist and Copywriter with nearly a decade of experience catalyzing meaningful, measurable action for Fortune 100 companies and industry pioneers alike. A contributing author to the Miva Blog, Cheryl helps ecommerce companies own their brand and harness the tools and technology of the leading Miva platform to drive growth.

Love it? Share it!

Back to top

Author's Bio


Miva offers a flexible and adaptable ecommerce platform that evolves with businesses and allows them to drive sales, maximize average order value, cut overhead costs, and increase revenue. Miva has been helping businesses realize their ecommerce potential for over 20 years and empowering retail, wholesale, and direct-to-consumer sellers across all industries to transform their business through ecommerce.

More Posts Like This

Stay in the Loop

Sign up to receive the latest in ecommerce news, articles, whitepapers, and more.

OR CALL 800.608.MIVA

  • Facebook icon
  • Twitter icon
  • Instagram icon
  • LinkedIn icon