11 proven tips to drive more traffic to your Shopify store

There are about 12 to 24 million online shops around the world competing for the loyalty of over 2.14 billion online shoppers. With that kind of stiff competition, the biggest goal for each Shopify store owner is to drive traffic to their site. Simply put, low traffic means low sales.

So what does it really take to generate enough attention (and action) from potential customers online? Are there real solutions that work? In this blog, we will cover 11 proven tips to drive more traffic to your Shopify store.

1. Set up a free Google Shopping listing

To say that Google's launch of free Shopping ads in 2020 was a game-changer is an understatement. 

It opened up many opportunities for merchants and shop owners because they can now list their products for free across Google (particularly on the Shopping tab). All it takes is a Google Merchant Account. 

Here's how:

  • Upload your product feed to the Google Merchant Center. Each submitted product feed must fulfill the product feeds' requirements with the correct shipping and tax information.
  • Surface Across Google must be enabled in the Google Merchant Center. The approval process typically takes 3 to 5 business days, after which the products should appear in Google Shopping results.
Google Shopping Free Listing

Optimizing the product data feed is crucial for better targeting and reach. Remember that the ads are free, which means there is an increased possibility that your vertical will become crowded. That's why fully optimizing your product data will set you apart from the competition. 

To do that, map out your customer journey from ads to checkout and highlight your most valuable products. You can also try running mini-experiments to identify which techniques you can use to further optimize your product data. 

For example, if you're a store that sells shoes or Halloween costumes, you can experiment on how you display images or how you assign categories and product titles. The key is to take advantage of opportunities to make your ads distinguished.

Google's free product listings are definitely worth considering if you want your Shopify products on Google Shopping or if you want to explore new target countries without paid advertising costs.

2. Find your social media sweet spot

The role of social media in ecommerce is clear: People are more likely to come across your Shopify store if you connect it with all your social media accounts.

However, it's not always easy to make social media business profiles work. You may be perpetually active and engaging, but it doesn't guarantee interest in your store. One key? Run your social media pages in a way that comes across as authentic and not like a sales pitch.

If your goal is to increase traffic to your stores via social media, focus on Facebook. Why? Because nearly two-thirds of all social media visits to Shopify stores come from it. Facebook also influences a whopping 85% of all orders.

Social Media Market Share by Visitors Count

Wondering the best way to find your social media sweet spot? Start by focusing on your own network and asking friends or family to promote your store by sharing your posts. You can use free project management apps with your team to help stay organized in creating a steady flow of content.

Next, create genuine conversations with users who engage with your posts. Replying to comments on a personal level can go a long way. If you have an outbound sales team, reach out to prospects using a predictive dialer or email blasts.

Look at how this skincare brand is engaging with commenters on their Facebook page:

Most importantly, keep an eye out for followers who need customer support. They're the ones who can truly appreciate your store if you serve them right.

3. Leverage promotional push notifications to drive traffic

Ideally, the visitor should convert on the first visit. The website must be optimized with powerful copy and FAQs so the initial hesitation of the potential buyer can be resolved, and they won't bother checking out competing stores. 

But as said, this is just the ideal scenario, it's now what always happens in reality. So you need to give them a little "push."

Push notifications

That's where push notifications come in handy. 

You can notify past visitors about sales, discount promos, and new product arrivals. This can easily be automated using the drip feature in web push. You can launch a welcome drip campaign or even add a series of push notifications for brand education and awareness.

4. How to master email marketing to drive traffic to your Shopify store

Wouldn't you know it—in this world of advanced sales and growth hacking tools, email is still king? In fact, the digital marketing channel that brings in the most conversions for Shopify stores is email, beating everything else with an impressive 4.29% conversion rate. 

Shopify Email Conversion

One common mistake that Shopify owners make is that they focus so much on attracting new customers that they forget about the potential in everyone else. 

Within Shopify itself, you can launch email campaigns to target everyone: welcoming new customers, engaging existing customers, and even reaching out to those who abandoned their cart sometime during the shopping process. You can even use tools to personalize emails based on the preferences and needs of your users.

Email is also an excellent tool for nurturing customers who aren't ready to buy. You can invite them to subscribe to your newsletter and keep them in the loop until they're ready to make a purchase..

For example, this online printing services site encourages visitors to subscribe to their newsletter with a simple sign up form:

Below are expert tips on how to make the most of your email marketing campaigns to drive traffic to your Shopify store:

  • Identify and understand your target market
  • Build a credible, updated, and detailed email marketing list
  • Explore new email design trends to create an exciting and engaging newsletter
  • Place carefully planned CTAs to drive action
  • Always check your email deliverability (look for free spam checkers)
  • Experiment with different approaches through split testing

5. Rank higher in search results using Google Keyword Planner

You can't talk about driving traffic to your site without mentioning SEO. A well-planned Shopify SEO campaign will help your store rank better in search results pages and reach a bigger audience.

Google's own Keyword Planner is a fabulous free tool to develop keyword ideas and identify specific keywords to target. You can incorporate those keywords into your metadata and content to give your store a fighting chance to compete against a plethora of content available online. 

In the same way that you can optimize listings on Amazon, you can also optimize your Shopify store by using the right targeted keywords for the best possible ranking. 

Targeted keywords are equally helpful in on-page optimization for your Shopify store, such as changing specific words on your home page and product pages to improve conversions.

Google Keyword Planner

Experts usually recommend using long-tail keywords for SEO because they are more detailed and targeted. For example, if your shop sells mannequins, you might want to use long-tail keywords such as "photography mannequins online store" or "mannequin shop with direct shipping" instead of just "mannequins for sale." Doing this narrows down your target audience and brings in high-intent customers to your shop. 

Your site's URLs and images are also valuable opportunities for incorporating the keywords you're targeting.

6. Team up with influencers and brand ambassadors

Is the use of influencers to drive traffic to ecommerce businesses still considered an out-of-the-box strategy? Not quite. In fact, a massive majority of brands have been taking advantage of influencer programs since at least five years ago:

Brands working with influencers

Influencers, also called brand ambassadors, help to drive traffic primarily by increasing brand awareness. Because they already have an established follower base, they can quickly generate more shop visits and sales. Their opinion is considered credible to those who look up to them, hence the term "influencer."

Almost all influencers use social media as their primary tool for marketing. In that regard, Instagram and YouTube are considered favorites. The partnership usually comes in the form of:

  • PR packages - a free, curated box that uniquely features your products
  • Sponsored posts - works by paying an influencer per post to show how they're using the product
  • Social media takeovers - works by someone taking over your social media Stories (on Facebook or Instagram) and posting regular content
influencer marketing

Below are some tips on how to find the right influencer for your Shopify store: 

  • Know where your customers are. Are they Instagram or Twitter users? Do they spend time watching videos on YouTube? Are they the Facebook type?
  • Look at the other brands they're representing. Do you belong in that group?
  • Decide your budget per post and overall, including the cost of free items you'll be sending. 
  • Study their follower count and engagement. Decide what level of popularity your influencers would need to be for you to partner with them.
  • Regularly check for online events and other opportunities

7. Trade exposure with Ads Exchange

A powerful way to trade exposure with other brands is through the use of free Ads Exchanges. These are digital marketplaces where publishers can sell ad space to businesses. It allows brands like you to offer banner ads as well as native, video, mobile, and in-app advertising options for your Shopify store.

The process is pretty simple:

  1. Publishers put up the spots available for ads
  2. You bid on the ad space
  3. They determine if you qualify
  4. Your ad goes up

The three most popular types of exchanges are Open Ad Exchanges, Private Ad Exchanges, and Preferred Deals.

3 types of Ad Exchanges

An Open Ad Exchange is a public marketplace with an extensive inventory of ad spaces. It's free to everyone, which also makes it prone to misuse and malicious activity. Meanwhile, a Private Ad Exchange is more secure and allows the publisher to control who can bid on their advertising spots.

Preferred Deals allow publishers to skip the bidding system and sell their ad spaces at a negotiated fixed price for select businesses.

You can install free traffic exchange apps on your Shopify store. Some of the best-rated apps are Free Traffic & Ads by Varinode, Outfy ‚Äë Automate Social Media, and Instant Traffic & Ads.

8. Get your products included in gift guides and lists

We've all Googled "best gift ideas for __" at one point. Imagine if your products or services appear on those lists. That will send an awful lot of traffic to your Shopify store, for sure!

Here's the good news: it's incredibly doable.

Many of these online publications that create gift guides for all kinds of themes and occasions often look for new and exciting product ideas to grow their list. Explore those publications and choose the ones where you think your products could be an eligible entry.

Then, reach out to their editorial team and ask for your products to be considered. Of course, when writing to these editors, you have to be specific about the gift ideas and why you think they're a good choice. For occasion-specific ideas, make sure to contact them at least two months in advance.

This tactic is not just for physical products. A lot of publishers also put out lists of services or tools and compare them with one another. This is more common among computer-related services or other programs like cybersecurity software or business sales and marketing tools. Express to these publishers how you'd love your software or tool to be featured in the list.

9. Try Shoppable Pins on Pinterest to drive traffic on Shopify

We've heard marketing pundits say, "don't sleep on Pinterest." 

There's a reason for that. Just a few months before 2020 ended, Pinterest launched shoppable posts like Instagram and has become a legitimate way to drive traffic to Shopify stores. Just how huge is this marketing opportunity? About 80% of Pinterest users say they find a new brand or product on the platform weekly.

Here's how these shoppable pins look:

Pinterest Shoppable Pins

Pinterest fans primarily use the app when they're looking for inspiration for just about anything. Now that it's also possible to make pins shoppable, Shopify brands and influencers can add their own photo or video for a deeper level of real-life promotion. 

10. Consider selling your items offline

Sometimes, one way of driving traffic online is to promote your store offline. You can use the basic features of Shopify POS to sell whichever location you like, including brick and mortar stores, markets, and pop-up shops.

Shopify POS allows you to create a cart for each customer, which you can also modify by adding or removing products or applying a discount. When the cart is ready, you can then accept payment using a variety of payment options. Think of it as an online ordering system but for your online store.

So how will this drive traffic to your online Shopify store? Easy. You can use the customer's information (email, phone, etc.) to introduce your online store, with their permission, of course. If you have a booth at an expo or fair, you can hand out business cards or stickers with your website information. You can display QR codes in strategic areas so customers can directly access product pages or other content on your site.

11. Sponsor a podcast to drive traffic to your Shopify store

Podcasts are picking up in terms of popularity as a way for brands to market their online stores. When brands sponsor a podcast episode, the host will earn money, and at the same time, brands can generate traffic to their sites. Usually, the host of the show will take a "break" and seamlessly introduce your product or read the ad copy you've provided. 

The host can even broadcast a unique link you created for listeners to visit. The link could lead to a special discount page or anything you'd like them to visit and take action. Essentially, you're piggybacking off the trust already developed by the podcast and its followers.

You might wonder: Is this worth it? And below is the answer:

With the right audience and the right "advertising" pitch, a podcast may be able to give you the traffic you need for your Shopify store.

When looking for potential podcasts to partner with, you don't necessarily have to choose one that's directly related to your products or services. What's important is that the podcast caters to a relatively similar audience so that when your brand is introduced, the likelihood of them visiting your site is high enough to justify the partnership.

If you can't find a good one, start your own show! You just need the right host, the right content, the right guide to podcast software you'll be using, and the right channel.

Get your Shopify store noticed more

Generating traffic to your Shopify store is like breathing in more oxygen for your body. Your store's survival literally depends on it.

You can explore the strategies listed above, but remember to create a plan around your own budget, resources and research. The goal is for you to get the most value for money with your advertising while at the same time attracting more people to check out your site. 

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