Top 8 Ways To Drive Targeted Traffic To Your Shopify Store
Many people think that paid advertising is essential towards a successful online business, but I’m here to tell you otherwise. You DON’T necessarily have to use paid ads even though it will help. What if I told you that you can succeed on Shopify without having to spend on platforms like Facebook, Instagram or Google advertising? Speaking from experience, one of my current business was actually built up without any paid advertising. If you find it shocking, I’m here to tell you that it isn’t that difficult and that it is actually very achievable. However, you have to know what you can do to avoid paid advertising.
For me, it wasn’t a choice. After putting in some of my resources into starting this business, I then realized that Facebook, Google, and Youtube all had my items on its prohibited item list. Being dumbfounded and surprised, I did not know what to do without paid advertising. Due to coming from a digital marketing background, all I knew was “Digital Marketing = Paid Advertising”. I’m here to tell you that isn’t all true. These are the few methods on how to overcome using paid advertising on your platforms.
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
After I started the business, I thought that since this industry doesn’t have access to paid advertising such as Facebook, Google, etc, I figured that it could work towards my advantage. For example, A well-funded organization could not just dump millions of dollars into paid advertising and effectively drowning the other competitors in this industry as well as the barrier for entry will be significantly increased. So we took it as an opportunity and decided to focus on organic traffic. In the beginning, I’ve put in all the resources of the business to build a strong SEO profile. This is done through blogging, Youtube videos, outreaching to magazines, online websites, blogs just to build up our link profile. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a fantastic traffic source that is highly relevant.
For example, If your online business supplies vegan pet food, when your potential customers search for “Vegan pet food”, chances are you will be ranking very easily and quickly due to the market being so niche and not to mention being able to capitalize on that purchase intent when people are looking for your product and what your organization has to offer.
2. Joint Ventures (JV)
Building joint ventures with relevant companies in your industry are also one of the best ways to drive targeted traffic towards your online store. For example, when I just started this business, there was an exhibition going on for this industry in Malaysia. At that time, I did not have a lot of money and decided to hustle and went to contact the organizers and asked if they needed help on photography or their website. In exchange, they would provide me with an email list or help send out a newsletter, promoting my business. By doing so, we effectively reached relevant target customers within our industry without spending a single cent.
All you have to do is hustle and put in the work, and you might be able to capture the attention of a few big companies in your industry. Give them your contact details, get to work, and support them, as this is a way for you to market yourself and the business. Joint ventures is a powerful tool and very under-utilized because unfortunately, not many people have the grid to go out and hustle.
3. Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the most powerful tools in an online marketer’s arsenal. It is the only thing that is only truly yours. Your customer’s email is such a powerful way to reach your customers and with these data provided, you can send emails to them and keep them updated on your business.
When someone gives you their email, it also shows that the person trusts you and that you have to build a relationship with this person. Use email marketing and continue to foster relationships with your customers, new or existing, it doesn’t matter. Build them into your loyal customers. Email marketing is one of the most powerful, with flexibility, free traffic sources and that the email list is entirely yours.
4. Word of Mouth
Word of mouth marketing is very powerful especially for companies where you have a very “talkable” product. For example, if it was super cool, people would share it on social media with their friends and family. It’s not for every single product, but if you can get it to work, it is extremely powerful and should be leveraged to the maximum.
Word of mouth marketing also brings a huge advantage especially if its product related and if you’ve given spectacular services to your customers, they WILL talk about your business. Strive to treat all your customers like your best buddies, treat them with love, care, and all the attention and they will definitely promote your business for you.
5. Digital Public Relations
This point is more applicable for new start-ups and companies where you need a quick rush in traffic. Unfortunately, this traffic doesn’t really convert but it helps build up the hype. Digital PR is where you reach out to publications such as bloggers, or sites like Forbes, Vice, and Lifehacks. All these platforms are strong with high traffic so it’s great if you can get them to feature your product, but by doing so, it’s not easy.
You will need to have a very unique concept, something cool or news-worthy because that’s what people are looking for these days. They are always looking out for the next big thing and all you have to do is pitch it to them to see if your business is worth and, this is also a great way of getting feedback on your products or services.
6. Content Marketing
Basically, what I’m doing right now is considered content Marketing. I’m providing free value to you guys so you can learn, and at the same time build a relationship with you – my audience. When you provide good content to people who are looking for it or are interested in that topic, you establish yourself as an authority in that field. By producing quality content, it’s a very powerful tool which helps grow your SEO ranking as well. Content marketing shouldn’t be seen as completely separate from SEO as they are actually complimenting each other. If you have a lot of quality content, chances are many publication or bloggers will make reference to your content.
Those content would continue to drive you free traffic over the next 2 or 3 years. It’s one of the most powerful strategies and its one of the most focused areas in my personal business. When you rely on social media on advertising, all you’re doing is buying eyeballs, people might not know who you are and they’re just seeing your ads everywhere. Chances are if your long term marketing strategy revolves around paid advertising, it wouldn’t be very sustainable, you would be going for hit and run products or short term products before you get flooded out of these social channels.
7. Deal Sites
Especially for starters, you would want to leverage on other people’s traffic. Reach out to deal sites such as Groupon or ClickFrenzy, these deal sites are very niche and can drive you high quality and relevant traffic to your website and all you have to do is create a discount code on Shopify for these people. Although you will still be relying on other people, deal sites are a fantastic way to start off a business and get free traffic.
8. Leveraging Communities
Leveraging with communities that are relevant to your business is also one way to drive traffic to your store. For example, if you’re selling dental care products, you might want to join a Facebook community where dentists actually hang out, share content and communicate with each other. Get on these communities, build a good product and offer it to them and by doing so, not only that you would unintentionally market your product, but you will also allow them to get to know you and your business.
At the end of the day, these communities could potentially help you reach out much further.
Jeremy has been running several online businesses behind his laptop for the past 5 years and he has worked as a freelance web developer previously. A trained marketer by profession, he also has Ruby on Rails and web development knowledge. His forte lies in eCommerce, SEO and content marketing. He’s been featured on Vice, Thrive Global, YFS Magazine, Forbes and several other publications. He prefers to connect with people on LinkedIn.