How to promote an online store?

Where to start promoting your online store and how to promote it to the top? How to increase conversion rate and make customers come back to you?

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If you are looking for simple step-by-step instructions on how to promote an online store, you can go back to the search engine. We don’t have a magic pill, but we do have an article for those who want to thoroughly understand the topic and are looking for structured, useful information.

How to promote an online store?

Competitor analysis. Selection of traffic channels

Choose competitors to analyze

A common mistake when promoting an online store in search engines – the wrong choice of competitors. Competitor analysis – a very important stage of optimization. The main thing to understand on whom to be equal. It is not enough to take as a basis the site of the market leader and copy. Users have more confidence in large brands, and search engines can “forgive” such sites some mistakes. And a younger and less popular store may not forgive. Therefore, choose as competitors such sites that will be approximately equal to you on the assortment, brand popularity, domain age and other parameters.

Select channels to attract traffic depending on the niche and competitors

The strategy for promoting an online store includes several components. In this part we will consider how to choose the right channels to attract traffic, keywords and how to properly optimize the site from the technical side.

When developing an online store promotion strategy, start with analytics, otherwise time and resources will be wasted.

The main channels of online store promotion:

Most online stores are suitable for all of the above promotion tools. However, to choose the most effective ones for your project, carefully evaluate the following factors:

  • product popularity, the
  • level of hot search demand
  • level of competition in the niche
  • geography of the online store (including delivery)
  • price competitiveness
  • level of revenue per unit of order and possible LTV per customer
  • seasonality of demand and sales
  • sales growth potential in your niche
  • promotion tools used by your competitors and their budgets
  • level of knowledge of your own brand, level of trust of current customers, their evaluations and reviews
  • level of service, including in comparison with your competitors.

Search potential is particularly important

First and foremost, check the search terms that potential customers may be searching for you. If there are few of them – it is not reasonable to invest in SEO. If there are no search queries – there will be no hot traffic, and you will have to use other promotion channels.

Example: You sell a unique product, about which potential customers may not have full information or do not even guess about its existence. But the product is useful and necessary.

How will the user find out about it?

First, you can set up targeted advertising to the audience that could potentially be interested in your products.

Secondly, you can take a complicated, but in the long run more profitable way, promoting your online store with the help of content marketing. To do this:

  • tailor your search terms to reflect the user problem your product will help close;
  • write SEO-optimized articles that will give maximum useful information on solving this problem, referring to your product/service.

In this way, your potential customer will come to your page by himself, and further everything will depend on the conversion rate of the site.

Combine promotion channels

It is most effective to use several promotion tools. If your store is very young, do not expect results from SEO-promotion in the first month. To promote the site needs good behavioral factors, which search engines analyze to assess the usefulness of the site. To get primary traffic when promoting a new online store from scratch at first use contextual advertising, if the site is already optimized.

Another example is the combination of channels when warming up the audience before buying. In this case, you can use SEO, retargeting and email marketing to build chains of warming.

Do not neglect such an online store promotion tool as email-marketing. Send out emails to your already established customers. You can offer them a selection of suitable promotions or remind them about a discount for birthday celebrants. In this way you increase LTV – the amount of revenue per customer throughout his life cycle in your company.

Technical optimization

Regardless of the chosen method of online store promotion, it is important that the site is ready for traffic both mentally and physically – it should be optimized technically from the usability and conversion side.

Technical optimization is responsible for:

  • correct operation of the site – the site and everything on it is technically successfully loaded into the user’s browser;
  • correct indexing – when a search engine sees your page is seen, evaluated and remembered and will further show it in search results;
  • loading speed – everything loads fast enough to keep the user from closing the tab;
  • correct meta-structure and page markup – there is all the necessary metadata and necessary markup, e.g. HTML markup, tags

Technical optimization is mostly the responsibility of programmers, who work according to the terms of reference.

  • What you need for minimal technical optimization:
  • optimize the mobile version of the site, since. the majority of the Internet audience uses smartphones; as an option – additionally make an app: for example, Google ranks exactly mobile versions of sites according to the mobile-first indexing algorithm;
  • optimize page loading speed, and try to connect turbo for Yandex and AMP pages for Google – they load faster;
  • customize site indexing for SEO, as this is the beginning of the search engine robot’s acquaintance with your site – instructions for robots (robots.txt), sitemap (sitemap.xml), main mirror (.htaccess), redirects and canonical pages (elimination of duplicates);
  • implement micro markup for improved search engine snippet;
  • connect SSL certificate (https is a secure data transfer protocol).

Checking the correctness of the account structure

SEO optimization allows you to boost your website in search results and will make it more convenient for people. As a result of the right actions, search engines will correctly interpret your content and present it to users. Let’s break down what you need to do to effectively promote your website with SEO

Selecting the right keywords

At the beginning of the road to SEO-promotion of an online store, it is better to choose low- and medium-frequency keys. The higher the competition, the narrower niche can be promoted. Do not underestimate “low-frequency” – they have the following advantages:

  • they are easier to promote, because the lower the frequency of the key, the less competition for it;
  • as a rule, low-frequency keys have a more precisely formulated intent (desire), so the user will be more loyal to buy.

Start promotion with narrower product categories and low-frequency keys, increasingly expanding further semantics.

Website structure development

Create a site structure based on the semantic kernel (semantic core)

A voluminous site structure is one of the features of online store promotion. The hierarchy of pages is developed on the basis of the collected semantic kernel. Landing pages should be created for all types of queries:

  • the most general (high-frequency) queries should lead to the main or section pages;
  • more detailed queries (medium-frequency) – on category pages, such as “category + brand” (“Umbrellas Samsonite”), “category + characteristic” (“Folding umbrellas”), etc.
  • the most precise (low-frequency) – on product pages or subcategories (depending on the case).

This approach will help to bring the target audience to the site. Do not forget that the structure should be logical, intuitive, and content should not be duplicated in different sections.

Do not make a large nesting

Ideally, the user should get to any product in 2-3 clicks. Too much nesting negatively affects the usability of the site.

Expand the range of products

In search engine promotion online store assortment is of great importance. A site with a wider product line is more likely to meet the needs of the user.

Create more product cards by combining different characteristics – color, look, important technical parameters (memory capacity, power), material, etc. For example, having one smartphone model in the assortment, presented in three different colors and with three variants of memory capacity, we can get 9 different items.

If you have products on sale that are not always in stock, create cards for them (if they are not available). Make a note of the availability and timing when the product will be available in your online store, add a notification option when the product arrives.

Creating internal linking

Good internal linking will help speed up the indexing of the site its usability and conversion rate.

Links in menus and categories

Provide links to all categories and subcategories. In this case you get a clear site map.

Example of links in menus and categories


To make it easier to find and capture more searches, you can create “tags” by combining similar qualities of products.

Example of links in menu and categories from our client's website

Blocks of similar or related products

Offer the user similar, similar products or recently viewed products. This will increase the likelihood of making a purchase and the time spent on the site. This is important for its evaluation by search engines.

similar products example


“Breadcrumbs” (navigation chain) simplify the understanding of the structure of the site and make it easy to go back. This factor also has a positive effect on SEO: the links to pages contain anchors (keys).


Features of advertising promotion of an online store

Any, even a very well-made site with competitive prices, will not be able to become convertible if you do not deal with its advertising, especially at the initial stage. Advertising causes the Internet user to want to come in and see what is interesting in this store.

For an online store, several types of advertising are suitable, which we will understand in detail. However, for a competent advertising campaign it is necessary to determine what and to whom we advertise. knowledge of the CA – one of the fundamental factors not only in Internet marketing, but also in sales in general.

To competently enter the online market, you need to know your product, namely:

  • advantages and disadvantages;
  • price/quality ratio;
  • what benefits the product will bring to customers.

It is also necessary to determine the audience to whom we will offer the product in order to get the most targeted traffic. To do this, you can use different criteria that will be specific to your CA, such as:

  • Socio-demographic factors (gender, age, marital status);
  • geography of users;
  • what they are interested in, what their online preferences are.

Choosing a contextual advertising tool

Here it all depends on your goals, that is, what you want to get from advertising campaigns. For example:

  • Search campaigns – hot traffic;
  • Google Contextual Media Network (Display Network) – warm/cold;
  • Google shopping – hot traffic
  • media advertising – reach, brand recognition;
  • retargeting/ remarketing – return visitors to the site.

Dynamic ads

If the online store has a very large assortment of goods, and it is impossible to collect semantics for each position (in fact, it is possible), you should use dynamic ads. In the settings of such ads, not keywords are uploaded, but the site is specified. The system will analyze it and will show your ads for the desired queries, automatically generating headlines.

Google Contextual Media Network (Display Network)

These types of campaigns allow you to deliver the necessary information to a wider range of users. Targeting is done by location, topic, interests, remarketing, keywords, age, gender, parental status. The recommended way to use them is to combine them.

Remarketing and Dynamic Remarketing

Remarketing is a useful and much-needed tool for almost any kind of business, as they help bring presumably interested customers back to a website. With dynamic remarketing, visitors to your website can see different ads based on which pages they have already visited.

Smart banners

As in the case with dynamic remarketing, the system automatically selects its content – individually for each specific user. Therefore, different users will see banners with different content. There are two types: retargeting and behavioral.

To start, you just need to choose a banner template and upload feed – information about your products – to the system.

Google Shopping

This is a shopping site, where any seller has the opportunity to show ads for goods with photos and the cost of goods, and potential buyers can see these goods, learn their characteristics and go to buy in the online store. Here you can highlight such advantages as low cost per click, automatic generation of ads, automatic updating of information about the product.

Example of google shopping on their website
Example of google shopping in search

Media advertising

Usually this format is used to build brand knowledge and increase demand for a product or service. You can also use it to promote promotions or create emotional ads.

Like remarketing, media advertising is a text and graphic banner on third-party sites. Despite its low conversion rate, it is used in conjunction with other advertising – it increases reach if there isn’t enough of it on search, and when media has created demand, remarketing comes in to lead the user to purchase.

Targeted advertising in social networks

Unlike context, such advertising is shown not by requests or interests, but by user characteristics, which helps to create a personalized offer for each audience segment.

Use all possible targeting: socio-demographic (age, gender, education, presence of children, etc.), geographic, interests. Collect a segment of users similar to the original audience, for example, your customers (look-alike).

A plus is the availability of Lead Ads – a format that allows you to collect leads directly on social networks, without going to the site.

Keep the main important points in mind when creating ads:


Keep the main important points in mind when creating your ads:

  • a unique selling proposition in the headline;
  • relevance of headlines to users’ search queries;
  • relevance to the landing pages the ads lead to;
  • use of extensions (quick links, clarification, contacts).

In the process of creating ads take into account the following principle: the higher the quality of written ads, the higher will be the CTR (clickability rate). The CTR, in turn, determines the position of the display and the average price of a click on the search.

Semantics collection

Semantics for advertising is different from semantics for SEO. In advertising, it is better not to use “informational” keys, as well as general high-frequency queries. Before collecting semantics for an online store, determine how “deep” queries you would like to cover.

For example, you are promoting an online store of spare parts for cars. You can collect semantics on hot queries, for example: “buy a starter”, “starter store”, “where to buy a starter”, etc. However, to increase relevance, it is recommended to expand towards manufacturers: “buy starter mazda”, “buy starter mazda 3”, “buy starter mazda 3 sport”.

Increasing the conversion rate of your online store

Conversion is the number of users who performed an action divided by the number of all users who visited the site and multiplied by 100%. The normal conversion rate for an online store is 1.5-2%. If out of 1,000 visitors to the site make purchases 15-20 people, it means that the store works successfully.

Let’s look at the main points that are important to pay attention to when filling the site.

Completeness and usefulness of information

The more you can close a potential customer’s questions, the less likely they are to leave for a competitor’s site. Provide the most complete and understandable information on:

  • registration and payment of goods;
  • delivery and tracking of the parcel;
  • return of goods;
  • as well as contact information (support phone number, store addresses, etc.).

Provide a characteristic of the goods. If the product is unique, give details on how to use it.

Quality photo, video, design

Website design should be as simple and clear as possible, not distracting from the user’s purchases.

For effective promotion of online store can not do without a “beautiful picture” as the user sees your product no matter how presentable it was not in life exactly as it is depicted on the monitor. Try to use unique photos of the product and create them yourself.

Photos of the product should be a lot – from different sides, with different characteristics of the product, up close, from the underside, to give virtual “feel” and consider the product – it is important when buying online. Your product may be no different from your competitor’s product, but its presentation will decide everything.

Try to use video – a walkthrough of the model in clothes, a mini review on a gadget, how this sofa looks in different interiors, etc.

Add a function to view the product in 360 and zoom in on the photo when hovering.


  • The closet can be viewed in 360 mode;
  • There is a video;
  • A picture of an open, filled closet makes it clear what approximately fits in it;
  • The cabinet is presented in the interior of the room;
  • There is a diagram with dimensions.

Work on brand, unique selling proposition

The persuasiveness of the brand and your offer also affects conversion rates. Store credibility can be bolstered with the proper presentation of company information, testimonials, and answers to questions.

Company information

Tell the story of the brand, your goals and principles of work, benefits, what you have managed to achieve.


Testimonials are one of the most important criteria for making a buying decision on your website. Try to incentivize people to leave product reviews as much as possible, for example, by offering a discount coupon or points. To be more effective, reviews should include photos or videos.

Question Answers

The rubric of answers to customer questions will make the customer stay longer on the site and increase their loyalty.

Create a compelling offer

An offer should differentiate you from your competitors by showing that you are giving the customer something very necessary and yet special. This is something that will be very important to your target audience while also being your competitive advantage. The best offerers, like unique selling propositions, are born precisely at the intersection of these two entities. A good offer should answer the questions: “What are you selling?”, “Why does the customer need it?”. The answer to the first question you will take from the understanding of your product, and the answer to the second – from the prescribed Characters of your target audience.

Also, when formulating an offerer, try to sell not the product, but the solution it provides.

Website page design

To increase the conversion rate of an online store website:

  • indicate how many times the product has already been bought – this will increase trust
  • show how many products are left in stock, or how many people are currently viewing it – this will create a sense of high demand for the product, and that it may soon be gone
  • write discounted prices – this will create a feeling of a favorable purchase
  • set up automatic filling of data on the site, remembering favorite or regularly bought goods
  • make sections “New Products”, “Discounts”, “Best Sellers”, “For Gift”, “Season Trends”, etc. to guide the visitor when he doesn’t know exactly what he wants
  • leave items in the cart even if the visitor has left the site and set up retargeting on them
  • give the opportunity to cancel the action, for example, when removing an item from the cart – so, a person will think again, perhaps hesitate and leave the product
  • install online chat on the site, so that the customer can quickly find out any information of interest to him
  • create useful articles, services

Example: an application where you can see how the furniture will look in your interior.

Example: a test to determine the right size and style of jeans.


Improve usability

Add filters, search, sorting
If a user can’t find the product they are interested in, they will quickly return to the search engine. So take care that the filter is as complete as possible, and the search is in a prominent place.

Add a “Favorites” and “Comparison” block to the site
This will increase usability and the possibility of conversions. By adding a product to favorites, a customer may eventually “mature” into buying it. With the help of the product comparison function it is very convenient to compare products by characteristics in order to decide on the choice.

Make order placement as easy as possible
The more steps you have to take to make a purchase, the more likely it is that the buyer will not make it. Therefore, the usability of a website is closely related to its conversion rate. What can simplify the purchase:

  • minimum number of fields in forms
  • minimum number of steps in the checkout process – put in cart – checkout – pay – done!
  • adding a “buy in 1 click” button
  • absence of any distractions in the shopping cart.

Increase LTV: repeat sales
If a purchase is made, don’t forget about the customer, try to extend their LTV – lifetime customer value. To do this, you can:

  • Set up an e-mail newsletter with periodic offers of discounts (regular or personalized), season trends, special offers for holidays and birthday
  • Set up retargeting for products that the customer also viewed but did not buy. If the customer is satisfied with the order, he is more likely to buy again
  • Give coupons or promo codes with a discount on the next purchase.

More comfort – more customers
As cliché as it may sound, but for a customer to recommend your store to his neighborhood, you need a high level of service and quality of goods. Make shopping as convenient as possible. For example, provide the opportunity to try on/see the goods right at the point of delivery, create convenient applications for smartph


Now you see that there are no secret ways to promote an online store. We have described all the elements of promotion, the only thing left is to start acting.

Do not forget to analyze – track how customers react to your innovations and how conversion changes.

A brief checklist that will help promote your online store:

  • Strategize 7 times and promote 1 time.
  • Use several traffic channels, combine them.
  • Create a site as convenient, functional and “pleasing to the eye”.
  • Do quality service and think about your potential customers.
  • Generate useful and interesting information.
  • Carefully treat the choice of advertising tool and selection of semantics for ads.

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