It’s not a big secret that e-commerce plays a big role in helping today’s businesses turn a profit. Unfortunately, in order to succeed at e-commerce, you need to drive traffic to your online store. But in order to get that traffic, you have to invest in a variety of methods of getting the word out. Thing is, that takes money, and the whole reason that this subject has come up in the first place is because you want your business to make money, not spend more of it.

That’s some predicament, eh? But don’t despair; there are ways of bringing traffic to your site without spending overly much. The following suggestions require little in the way of money, and just a bit more of a time investment. Check it out.

SEO
Search Engine Optimization is the means by which your site places higher in on a search engine result page. The closer to the top of the page, the more likely your site will be noticed by the user, which in turn increases the chances of a visit, which in turn increases the likelihood of a conversion into an actual spending customer. But first, you need that high rank!

Consider optimizing your site’s images by making sure that keywords make up a part of your image file names. Your page titles should be concise, using less than 70 characters, and include two keywords: a primary and a secondary, as well as your brand or company name. Also, Google likes it when you include a lot of viable, relevant links. More on that later.

Good Content
Whether you generate it in-house or hire a professional blogger to put together some stuff, nothing beats useful, entertaining content. Start a blog and create posts that are relevant to your business. You don’t even have to update it every day; a couple of times a week should suffice. Consider bringing in a guest blogger every once in a while to offer a fresh perspective as well as lighten your in-house workload. Up to date, original content scores higher in search results. Conversely, your site gets penalized for redundant content.

Social Media
What comes to mind when you hear “Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest”? If you answer “the name of a law firm”, then you’re in huge trouble. On the other hand, if you recognize them as the heavy hitters of the social media scene, then congratulations! Now the big question: can your business be found on those networks? Any business, be it brick and mortar or virtual, needs to build an online presence in order to generate public interest.

Social media is ideal for conveying news about promotions, events, discounts, contest, and other goodies that consumers lose their heads over. What’s more, it costs nothing. Your only investment is the time needed to create and update/monitor the pages.

And while we’re talking about social media, make sure to create a Google local listing, as the majority of people are now using Google to find a business instead of a more traditional means like the Yellow Pages, for instance.

Links
There’s a link strategy that costs you nothing, builds symbiotic relationships with similar businesses, and results in link-rich content that everyone including search engines love. But this strategy also needs to be handled with utmost care and done just right, or the whole thing will blow up in your face. Call it the nitroglycerin of the online world. The strategy is called reciprocal links.

Google’s search algorithms not only punish irrelevant links (a coffee shop’s website throws in a link to Weird Al Yankovic, for instance), but also certain link schemes that fraudulently manipulate search results.

With a reciprocal link, you and another website agree to put in a link to the other. The aforementioned coffee shop, for instance, could put in a link to a bakery located in proximity to their address, and vice versa.

As long as the links are relevant, they should pass muster with Google’s filters. This plan also helps you to forge mutually beneficial partnerships with other businesses.

Low Risk, Low Cost, Great Returns
So there you have it. Of course, there’s a lot more budget-friendly ways to drive traffic to your ecommerce store to be found out there. Experiment and see which ones work best for your business. Good luck!

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