In my discussions with online sellers, the best sources of traffic for an online store are as follows:
1. Offer the best products and build a solid reputation. Everything starts with creating the best products you can possibly offer. Granted that some of the best products do not necessarily translate to huge success, small online retailers cannot afford to sell mediocre products. Customers are most likely to buy a product from a reputable online company with the LOWEST LANDED (Delivered) COST.
2. Rank well in the search engines (organic search results, not the pay per click). SEs can be a big source of traffic. Check the on-page factors and be sure to get linked from authority sites in your topic area.
3. Generate good visibility and reviews from shopping comparison web sites such as Shopping.com, Epinions.com, Bizrate.com, etc. Also use Froogle. While you may have reservations on using shopping comparison sites because of its emphasis on price, many Web users rely on shopping comparison sites to find the best-value products that are most suitable to their needs and requirements. Your business needs to be listed in these sites in order to give you targeted traffic and increased online exposure without the prohibitively expensive offline brand advertising.
5. Utilize the growing power of RSS. One way is to send out press releases and make sure it gets to the main news sites such as Google News and Yahoo News. Press releases allow you to (a) attract media attention; (b) get more back links to your website without sending each website an email request; and (c) get more visibility especially for your products. Press releases may not bring you immediate sales – but it has the potential to give great results esp. if media picks up on your story and talks about your offerings.
Getting traffic is one thing; and another to turn your visitors into buyers. While working on your traffic, make sure to improve your conversion. I suggest you read our article How To Sell More on the Web: 30 Tips To Increase Conversion Rates For An Ecommerce Site
Send me an email if you have other tips on how to get more visitors to your online store.