How to grow your online store using digital marketing.

Although building a new business takes time and persistence, there are a few tried-and-true ways to grow your online store using digital marketing.

With tactics that can be tailored to your goals, budget, and business needs, you’re missing out if you aren’t adding at least a few of these into your sales and marketing strategy.

In this guide, I’ll outline five digital marketing opportunities any business – large or small – should take advantage of, along with some top tips for implementing them right now.

Table of Contents

1. Promote your products through Google Shopping ads

Example of Google shopping ads listing.

You’ll know that Google Shopping is the place to sell products if you’ve ever used Google to look for them.

The visual and information-rich format allows users to quickly scan through a list of relevant items—complete with price points, customer reviews, and product photos—and make a decision that drives their ‘customer journey’ forward in a split second. 

Simply put, if you’re looking to sell products, then Google Shopping ads are the perfect way to garner clicks and get your online store in front of thousands of potential buyers. 

To get the most out of your Google Shopping ads, I recommend consulting a Google Ads expert if you aren’t already familiar with Google’s complex ecosystem and its ever-evolving policies and guidelines. 

2. Create brand and product awareness with Facebook ads 

Facebook is another ad channel that can easily be tailored to the intricacies of your business, including your budget.

Facebook advertising can be done essentially regardless of your budget, as there are very low minimum daily spends and campaign limits.

The best way to achieve more with less on Facebook? Know your ad types and your objectives, inside and out. 

Facebook gives its users control by allowing you to pick a campaign objective, which might be reach, impressions, clicks, or even conversions. Depending on how much budget you’ve got to play with, some will stand out more than others.

For instance, I’d suggest a business on a smaller budget goes straight to optimising for conversions to then generate more revenue to funnel back into advertising. 

On the flip side, if you already have steady sales but want to expand your customer base, then an objective that skews towards brand awareness might be preferable, as this will allow you to connect with more potential buyers that are aligned with what your business offers.

These broader campaigns are a great way to spark user interest in your brand and, if all goes well, direct them to your site to look around. 

Retargeting is another powerful capability of Facebook advertising.

On your own or with the help of a Facebook ads specialist, you’ll need to set up a Facebook pixel to track user activity across your site.

Once you’ve done this and generated some data, you’ll then be able to re-engage people who have dropped off your site, abandoned their carts, or seen your ads before, through specialised campaigns – giving them a fully automated nudge to pick up where they left off. These campaigns might include an offer like a discount code, free shipping, or a gift with purchase, or they might just entice users to return to your store through compelling imagery and catchy copy. 

3. Engage your audience via organic social media 

Your social media channels are one of the best branding exercises around. Through curated images, engaging stories, and well-crafted copy, you can not only portray your brand in the best possible light, but you can also build a highly dedicated audience at the same time.

Like most things, social media thrives off consistency and forethought.

Before you hit ‘post’, think about your audience and what kind of content they want to see. Everyone’s business will be different, so it pays to spend some time figuring out your unique value proposition and how you want to bring it to life on social media.

Then, once you’ve got a solid plan of what to post, think about how you’ll post it. What does your content calendar look like? How many posts per day, week, or month can you sustain? What is your brand’s visual identity? 

Once you’ve got the social media basics down pat, my advice is to stay agile and keep your eye on the landscape. Most of us know how quickly social media can change, so keeping abreast of current trends, new platforms, and emerging features allows you to position your business as an early adopter and trend-setter, and consequently gives you a much better chance at cut-through. 

Currently, social video is where marketers are spending their time, as evidenced by the rise of TikTok and Instagram Reels. Upbeat, short-form content with a clear message and call to action is the way to consumers’ hearts, especially if it looks organic and authentic. 

4. Utilise email marketing to increase customer retention 

Low cost and high reward, email marketing is highly effective when promoting your online shop – in fact, I consider it a non-negotiable tactic for any ecommerce store.

Not only will you build up your first-party data by collecting email addresses, but email marketing also gives you a way to directly communicate with your customers at a fraction of the price of other advertising methods.

The most powerful opportunity at your fingertips via email marketing is segmentation. The ability to target different audiences with your messages means you can communicate with potential (or returning) customers in specific and meaningful ways that are more likely to result in a sale.

Try a cart abandonment email for users who don’t check out, or sending a follow-up discount code for a customer’s next purchase after they have bought something. There are so many ways to get creative with your user data and use these learnings to generate revenue.

Email marketing is also the perfect channel for raising your brand’s profile. I see businesses use email marketing to their advantage every single day – from quick blasts about an upcoming sale to detailed holiday gift guides, content round-ups packed full of interesting blogs, new product announcements, and more, there’s so much opportunity in this space. 

And the best part? Email marketing is one of the cheapest channels around. 

six must-have ecommerce emails to grow your online store online.

5. Attract more customers to your online store with SEO

Finally, let’s talk SEO – also known as search engine optimisation. Ask any savvy digital marketer, and they will tell you how important search engine optimization is to the expansion of your online shop. And when done correctly, SEO will guarantee that your business grows sustainably and receives steady, high-quality website traffic. 

Make sure your website is available to search engines (and users) 

Starting with the basics, your website needs to be fully indexable, fast, and mobile-friendly to even begin to have a chance at ranking well in search engine results.

There are a few ways to make sure your website is being indexed correctly, most of which are directly linked to its setup and adherence to Google’s best practices. The easiest tool to use to confirm your pages are being indexed, or to request Google indexes them if they are not, is Google Search Console

Along with indexing, having a responsive site with a fast load time is paramount, as is a quality user experience on mobile – after all, the majority of users are perusing products on their phones, not their desktops.

Optimise your product pages

Writing content that includes relevant keywords for your products is a surefire way to rise in the Google search results. Make use of both short-tail and long-tail keywords on these pages to help search engines find your content, and use descriptive headers and subheaders to organize your content. 

One of the biggest mistakes I see businesses make is copy-pasting generic product descriptions across their site, which is a no-no from an SEO perspective. – so if you have the resources to write unique content, it’s worth every minute of your time.

Reviews and FAQs on product pages can also help to cover more keywords while addressing important user questions, improving the user experience, and adding authenticity to your brand as a whole. 

Create high-quality content, consistently 

Every business should have a niche and a unique value proposition that sets them apart from its competitors – and the best way to shout this from the rooftops is through good content.

Through well-written and engaging blog posts that hit on relevant keywords, you can supplement your SEO efforts while simultaneously addressing the needs of your target audience. The more relevant and consistent your content, the more value you’re adding to your brand long-term by establishing yourself as an authority in your chosen area.

Reach out to publications for backlinks 

A key piece of the SEO puzzle is backlink generation.

Every time another website with a good SEO score links out to your content, your own SEO status is elevated a fraction, which is why nailing down a backlink strategy is worthwhile.

This can be done by creating quality content and simply waiting for the links to roll in, but a quicker and more effective approach is to be proactive. 

There are a few ways to get on the front foot when it comes to backlinks. Reach out to journalists and publicists via social media platforms like Twitter and HARO (Help a Reporter) and tag them in your content for consideration – the media are always looking for expert sources to provide commentary on current events or relevant and engaging stories to profile.

You could also connect with digital PR firms, or local directories to have your website featured – depending on the relevance and quality of the site, this is often an easy win.

Ultimately, it comes down to creating great content that serves a purpose and niche. By doing this, you’ll naturally encourage others to link out to your content, resulting in good things for your SEO. 

Want to accelerate your digital marketing efforts? 

That’s what I’m here for.

With extensive experience optimising online stores through curated Facebook ads, Google Shopping ads, SEO and more, I’d love to help you set your business on the right track. 

Picture of Louisa Ingelheim

Louisa Ingelheim

Louisa is a data-driven digital marketing consultant with almost a decade of experience in Google Ads management, Facebook Ads, (technical) SEO and Website tracking.

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