How to get Exposure for your Ecommerce Site without SEO

Ecommerce marketing and SEO go together like peanut butter and jelly. However, that doesn’t mean you need to go all in on SEO just to get traffic to your product and category pages. This video will teach you a number of effective strategies that will drive traffic to your site without the need for content marketing or link building.

Video Transcript

Hey. What’s up everybody? It’s Brian Dean, from Quick Sprout. In this video, I’m going to show you how you can market your e-commerce site without SEO. As you know, SEO is really great for e-commerce because the traffic tends to convert, but it’s also extremely competitive. With sites like Amazon and Target dominating the front page, it can be hard to get traffic from Google. I’m going to show you some strategies that you can tap into today that doesn’t involve SEO.

The first is to build an email list from the traffic that you do get to turn those browsers into buyers. A great example of a company that’s doing that is called Kitchenwear Direct, which is in Australia. It looks like a normal e-commerce site; in a lot of ways, it is. If you scroll to the bottom and you go to their homepage, too, you’ll notice that they have a call-to-action here, ‘Subscribe to our newsletter’, which most people who go to e-commerce site ignore because they just want to buy something. They give you a $10 coupon, so it really encourages people to sign up. When you sign up, you’re much more likely to buy from these people rather than someone else. Every time you have a promotion, you can send out an email to the email list that you’ve developed. If you’re just trying to turn ice-cold traffic into customers, as you’ve probably seen, it doesn’t really work very well for most e-commerce sites, so you may want to build an email list by creating a newsletter. Not just creating a newsletter, giving them a nice incentive to sign up, like a $10 coupon, a 5% discount, or something like that.

Another great way to get exposure for your e-commerce site is to create a blog and create a blog with great content that also features some of the products that you sell. A company that does this really well is Zappos.com. If you go to Zappos, it just looks like any other e-commerce site that sells clothes and shoes. When you go to their blog, they do a great job of integrating their products into great content. They don’t just say, “We just added some new shoes, you should buy them.” They either break news, like they just broke news that Riva announces Danica Patrick as a brand ambassador. If you didn’t know that, you could see that here. They talk about important things in the industry, like fashion companies that have picked up new sponsorships or maybe merged together. Basically, it focuses on the fashion industry. They also give how-to tips. For example, they have this Friday Fix, which is a series of blog posts that teach you how to dress casually but still look nice on Fridays, which is usually dress-down day, and of course, they feature some of their products. If you’re blog isn’t getting a lot of traction, you may want to start getting away from product announcements, and integrating your products into quality content like Zappos does.

Here’s another totally different way to do the same thing. Land’s End has created a really, really cool online catalog called Apostrophe. When you go to Apostrophe and you look through it, it’s actually hard to tell that it’s a catalog and not a magazine. It’s very attractive, very visually beautiful. The cool thing is that when you see something that you might want to buy, you can actually purchase it. Say I wanted this coat, all you have to do is click on this little sticker icon, and you can buy it. Isn’t this a cool way to get exposure for your products without having the traditional e-commerce setup? It’s pretty much the same story throughout the catalog. When you see something, you can buy it. The great thing is it ropes customers in. When they land on a page that’s very clear that it sells things, even if they’re looking to buy, it doesn’t really draw them in like something beautiful like this. Next thing you know, they see something they like, and they might make a purchase right then and there.

Another great way to get exposure for your e-commerce site is to create content that appeals to your target audience but doesn’t even discuss your products. REI does this very well with their YouTube channel. What they’ve basically done is identified the people that tend to use their products, which are outdoor enthusiasts and people that cycle, and things like that, and they’ve created different sub-channels like REI Expert Advice, REI Backpacking and Camping Expert Advice, and Cycling Expert. They’ve found their target audience, and they create videos that appeal to them. How to fix a flat; this obviously has nothing to do with what REI sells, but people that are cyclists tend to shop at REI, so when they see this video, they’re more likely to go to REI.com and make a purchase or sign up for their newsletter.

Another great way to get traffic and exposure to your e-commerce site without SEO is guest posting. Although guest posting is used very commonly for SEO, you can actually use it just to get traffic to your site. What you’d first want to do is just like REI did, identify your target audience. Where are your customers hanging out when they’re not shopping online? As you probably guessed, your target audience spends most of its time not shopping. Where are they those other times? Let’s say that you’re targeting cyclists. You’d want to search in Google for something like ‘“cycling” + “write for us”’. Then you’d look for cycling blogs that accept guest posts like ‘The Over 40 Cyclist’ and ‘Cascade Cycling Club’. You just want to make sure that those sites have a lot of engagement, because you’re not really doing this for SEO, you’re doing this for referral traffic and brand exposure. You want to make sure that the site actually gets traffic and has an engaged audience that they’ll send to your site.

What you want to do is take a look at one of their recent posts; here’s a recent post from this site. See how many comments it gets. In this case, there’s only 4 comments, which isn’t that much. To go through all the effort of contacting this person, writing a post, sending it over, you’re probably only going to get a couple of visitors. It’s probably not worth it. You may want to go back to your search and look at other cycling sites or other fitness sites where your target audience might be hanging out when they’re not searching for products to buy. You can also find really great guest posting opportunities on a site called My Blog Guest, which is basically a dating service that brings together sites that are openly accepting guest posts and people like you that are looking to guest post on other people’s sites.

What you want to do is head over to MyBlogGuest.com, create an account, and then go to the forum. What you want to do is scroll down and go to Looking for a Guest Author. These are where blog owners post that they’re looking for a guest author. If you were in the cycling space, you’d want to choose Sports as the category. My Blog Guest will show you sports-related blogs that are looking for guest posts, and then you want to follow the same process of checking out the blog and seeing how many comments and social shares that it got.

That’s all there is to promoting your e-commerce site online without SEO. As you can see, it’s mostly focused around content. You want to create great content that appeals to your ideal customer, and then get it in front of them. Thanks for watching this video. I’ll see you in the next one.