Steps to set up an online store V: How to capture traffic

 In Tips e-commerce

We’re continuing another week with our magnificent and dynamic chapters on what steps to take to set up an online store. In today’s episode, we address how to capture traffic for the first sale in our online store.

We understand “traffic” as visits. Not bulk visits, ie quantitative. Qualitative visits, which can bring us those first sales that will encourage us to continue reinvesting the money we make back into our online store to help it grow.

I want to be very clear on one thing: an online business is like an offline business, meaning you have to pay up for it to work. There have been many times I’ve heard, “We’ll spend 300 € in advertising and if we make the money back, we’ll put in more. If I make money, I put more money in. If I put in 300 € and make 1,500 €, I will continue investing. If I do not earn more than 300 €, I will not invest.” I think it’s great that people make that reflection. We all want to count our chickens before they hatch, but things don’t work like that.

We’re talking about the man who invests 100,000 € to open a franchise of a well-known chain of healthy bar-restaurants. I won’t mention any names because I’m giving the example. Do we really think that this person is going to close the business after 3 months if he hasn’t earned back the 100k €? It would be absurd, right?

Similarly, will we stop investing in recruitment for our online store if we have spent 300 € and we have not made the investment back? Of course not! For several reasons:

  1. Normally when you launch a recruitment campaign, you invest and you divide it up. As you divide, you capture higher quality traffic. But without investing, you don’t know if the public you’re reaching is good or not. You need data to know that and therefore, you have to invest.
  2. If I spend 300$ and my direct competition is investing 3,000$ at the same time, how can I stop investing if I want to beat them? Keep in mind that on the internet you’re not going to trick anybody.
  3. If I invest 300$ and make 100$, I shouldn’t give up hope because the people that bought from me will return and they can generate more than those 300$. Let’s think about if we have a recurring product, the traffic we capture won’t just make a purchase and then leave. If we do it well, they will come back.


Alright, we let this out, let’s get to the point:

How to capture this traffic?

I could tell you about the SEO and generation of databases to send emails, two channels that best convert a sale. But unfortunately, those channels start being effective in the medium term. When we already have URLs ranking on sites that can bring organic traffic (the SEO consists of making this traffic more visible) and when we have a good database of records, we can begin to see pretty numbers in conversions from email marketing.

What we want is to sell now. Or yesterday. Or the day before, if you rush me. As such, we need short term traffic that is qualitative. How do we get this traffic to generate sales? Paying of course. Let’s go to the two largest options for advertising through clicks that there are today: Google Adwords and Facebook Ads.

Google Adwords is ideal for capturing a bottleneck of traffic. Within Adwords we have networks like Search (advertising on search results), Shopping (product sheets from the search results), Display (advertising on sites that put network advertising from Google Adsense), Express (geographic local advertising ), Video (Youtube advertising), Remarketing (those advertisements that chase us with products we’ve seen)

The ideal combination to make your first sale is Search + Shopping + Remarketing.

In Search, we use transactional terms to capture traffic. Let’s use an example that I have a cat food store. I’m interested in advertising with terms like:

  • Cat food
  • Cat food online
  • Buy cat food
  • Cat food + brand
  • Cheap cat food
  • Best cat food
  • Price of cat food
  • Sending cat food to + city
  • Etc


capture traffic

In addition, I’m interested in having my cat food catalogue in the Shopping results with its product listings. I can do this using the my cat food catalog is in the results of Shopping with your product listings. This I can do so using the Google Merchant Center. I upload my cat food products and start see my advertisements here: resources of Google Merchant Center. I upload my feed product feed cats and see my ads start here:



Magnificent! Now that I’ve captured the public and directed them to my website, I already have more numbers to get my first sale but what do I do if they don’t buy from me? Well, Adwords lets us chase the person in question with our banners through Remarketing.

Say you just visited the URL,, which is where I buy food for my beloved mutt. In this case, since I just put the example of cat food, I just saw a card for Royal Canin Feline Kitten 36 that’s for tiny kittens like those in the Internet GIFs. Now the banner of that product is going to chase me around the confines of the Internet, thanks to Remarketing, that has planted a cookie to show me the product throughout the network Google Adsense.

But, what happens if I don’t make my first sale with this? I can turn to the biggest advertising and gossip network in the world: Facebook Ads.

Facebook Ads allows me to advertise by targeting cool things like:

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Country
  • City
  • Neighborhood
  • Zip Code
  • Emotional situation
  • Likes and interests
  • Who they’re a fan of

Believe me, you can target much better than in Adwords and the cost per click is a lot lower. Therefore, we can refine our target a lot, and it’ll be cheaper.

With these two alternatives for generating traffic and investment, we can easily get our first internet sale. And those to come!

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