If you’re looking to increase the success of your Shopify store, driving traffic is key.
But for many businesses, investing in expensive ads may not be the most cost-effective approach.
Fortunately, you can use various techniques to generate more sales without breaking the bank.
In this guide, we’ll explain how to drive traffic to your Shopify store without relying on paid advertising.
We’ll discuss strategies such as content marketing, email marketing, and influencer campaigns that will help you bring in more customers while also optimizing your budget.
1. Optimize for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
If you don’t want to spend on ads to get traffic, you first need to make your store appear when people search for keywords related to your product.
To do this, you’ll want to optimize your store’s SEO.
a. Identify and use relevant keywords throughout your content
Right off the bat, keywords are words or phrases someone may use to search for a product or service online.
For example, if you are selling organic pet food, your keywords could include “dog food,” “organic dog food” or even more specific terms like “natural dry dog kibble.”
Not all keywords are the same.
Some have the potential to bring you traffic, while others will be a waste of your time.
As such, it is crucial to take some time and research potential keywords that relate to your shop, products, and services to identify the best ones for boosting your site traffic.
Doing this manually is hectic; that’s why tools such as Google Keyword Planner exist.
Here’s how to use it:
- Go to the Google Ads website and sign in with your Google account.
- Click on the “Tools” button in the top menu, then select “Keyword Planner” from the drop-down menu.
- Select “Discover new keywords” from the Keyword Planner menu.
- Enter a seed keyword or phrase related to your product or service in the “Your product or service” field.
- In the “Targeting” section, select the country and language you want to target.
- Click on the “Get Results” button.
- Sort the keywords by CPC (cost per click) or competition to find keywords with low competition.
- Filter the keywords using monthly search volume, CPC, and competition.
- Look for keywords with high search volume but low competition and CPC.
And then, add these keywords to your SEO strategy and optimize your website content accordingly.
Here’s the thing:
When researching keywords, consider which terms are popular on search engines such as Google and Bing.
This is because these are the two popular search engines right now.
Besides Google Keyword Planner, there are others, which include:
- Ahrefs Keywords Explorer: This tool allows you to research keywords, view search volume, CPC, and other metrics, and discover new keywords and backlinks for your website.
- SEMrush: This tool provides keyword research, competitor analysis, and other SEO and PPC-related information.
- Keywords Everywhere: It is a free browser extension that provides search volume, CPC, and competition data for keywords on multiple websites.
- Moz Keyword Explorer: This tool provides keyword research, SERP analysis, and other SEO-related information, including a keyword difficulty score.
- Long Tail Pro: This keyword research tool finds long-tail keywords with low competition.
Remember, most of these tools are paid. But some offer a limited free plan and sometimes a free trial.
b. Optimize your site for mobile-friendliness
79% of traffic to Shopify stores comes from a mobile device, such as a phone or tablet?!
As such, mobile-friendliness is a key factor to consider if you want to drive traffic to Shopify store without ads.
You can do this by ensuring that the design of your store looks great on smaller screens and has easy navigation features like swipeable menus, quick loading times, and an intuitive user interface.
First, pop your store on Google Mobile-Friendly Test.
It is a great way to ensure that your store works well across different devices.
If it turns out weak, start by investing in a responsive theme.
A theme determines every visual aspect of your site, so if something is to change, it should start here.
You should also look into website speed optimization tools such as caching plugins and image optimization services.
These can help reduce loading times and ensure customers have a smooth browsing experience when visiting your store.
c. Utilize link building to drive traffic
Once you’ve optimized your site around easy keywords, and have ensured it renders well on all devices, you need to build links.
Link building is an important off-page SEO strategy for driving traffic to a Shopify store without ads.
This tactic involves creating and optimizing both on-page (linking to pages within site) and off-page (linking to other websites) links that lead customers back to the store’s website.
And all works to increase the store’s visibility online, leading to more potential customers finding it.
On-page links should be optimized to ensure they are relevant, unique, and engaging.
Off-page links, however, should be focused on providing value to the readers by improving their overall experience and introducing them to other helpful content sources related to the topic of your store’s products or services.
While at it, only go after high-quality backlinks.
They have much more value than low-quality ones regarding increasing search engine rankings and driving traffic.
Not to forget, Google penalizes sites that engage in unnatural link-building practices, so stick with organic tactics.
- submitting content and press releases related to your store’s products or services on respected websites like Forbes, Huffington Post, etc., as well as other relevant industry sites;
- participating in discussion forums or Q&A platforms such as LinkedIn Answers, where you can provide helpful advice about the topics of your store;
- working with influencers who have a large following interested in what you offer – these are just some examples of techniques used for effective link-building strategies.
And, of course, guest blogging!
d. Create content that’s useful and engaging
All these SEO strategies won’t work if your content sucks!
As such, one of the best ways to drive traffic to your Shopify store without ads is to create useful and engaging content.
Yes, content marketing is a powerful tool that allows you to reach potential customers in an organic, cost-effective way.
You can provide helpful and interesting information for your target audience with well-crafted content pieces, such as blog posts and video tutorials.
Producing useful content will help drive more traffic to your store and build credibility among potential buyers.
For example, if you offer helpful tips or advice related to products in your store, customers are more likely to trust your brand when they’re looking for products.
But how do you get there?
Well, you need to create content that resonates with your target audience.
So before you start writing or creating videos, know your target audience.
Identify their wants and needs and the problems they’re trying to solve with your products or services.
Once you have that information, it will be easier for you to come up with content ideas that provide helpful solutions for them in a creative way!
2. Leverage Social Media Platforms
Another one of the best ways to get traffic to your Shopify store without ads is through social media.
As of October 2022, there are 4.74 billion social media users worldwide. Around the world, there are 5.07 billion internet users, equating to almost 63.5% of the world’s population?.
That’s a lot of people waiting to visit your store!
And guess what?
Nearly 28% of internet users aged 16 to 64 reported that their primary motivation for using social media was to find inspiration for activities and purchases.
a. Set up a profile on each social media platform
First, identify the right platforms to drive traffic to your Shopify store using social media.
There are over 31 social media platforms. And you can’t possibly be on all of them.
You need to choose the ones that are specific to your target audience.
Once you’ve decided on a social media platform, creating an account or profile for your business is time.
This will be the base from which you can start promoting your Shopify store.
Each platform requires different information, so make sure to fill out all of the required sections for each one you join.
For example, on Facebook, you will need to add the name of your business and a profile picture; Instagram requires an account handle and bio text; Twitter needs a username, header image, and description for your store.
While at it, make sure they are consistent with other channels that represent your brands such as a website or blogs so people can easily recognize them everywhere.
Finally, link all social media accounts back to each page in Shopify – this way, customers have easy access from any platform when shopping at your store!
b. Share content regularly
This is one of the main reasons why you are on social media, right?
Content sharing is key to driving traffic to your Shopify store without ads.
So, regularly creating and sharing content will keep customers engaged with your business and interested in what you have to offer.
When creating content, think about topics related to what you’re selling or the issues your customers might be dealing with.
Make sure it’s interesting, relevant, and adds value to their lives.
Consider using different types of content like blog posts, videos, and podcasts as a way to reach more people.
Once created, ensure you share the content across all social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube.
Make sure every piece of content you create is optimized for each platform.
They all have different content requirements.
c. Connect with influencers and other businesses
This is another effective way to use social media to drive traffic to a Shopify store without ads.
You see, influencers have access to a large network of followers that may be interested in the store’s products.
On the other hand, engaging with other stores in the same industry can create beneficial cross-promotional opportunities.
Both can be win-win!
To start, research who is popular within your target demographic and reach out to those who show potential interest in your store’s products.
Ask them to review or promote the product on their social media channels.
You may have to offer some incentives like a special coupon code, or free samples, or even a payment upfront.
As for the other brands, look for ways your business can collaborate with them to share audiences and resources.
This could involve discounts if customers use both businesses’ services or cross-promotion campaigns that would benefit both parties involved.
d. Engage with customers
Not only will it help build trust and loyalty, but it also helps to drive more sales.
Start by focusing on creating a positive customer experience.
Offer helpful advice and product recommendations that are tailored to their individual needs.
Respond quickly and effectively to any queries or complaints promptly.
Post often and interact with your followers – answer their questions, share interesting content related to your products, or even just offer friendly conversations!
This will go a long way to build relationships with people who may eventually become loyal customers of your Shopify store.
3. Utilize Referral Programs and Discounts
These two can effectively drive traffic to your Shopify store without relying on ads.
With a referral program, you offer incentives to customers who refer their friends and family to your store.
Each person who signs up earns a reward or discount, and the new customer also gets something for signing up.
For example, you can offer a 10% discount to both the referrer and the referee.
You can also offer the referrer a 10% recurring commission for any purchases made by their referrals.
On the other hand, providing discounts or special offers encourages potential customers to visit and make purchases from your store rather than competitors.
It is a tactic that can also be used to reduce cart abandonments and increase sales.
You can set up discounts for customers visiting your store for the first time or even offer free shipping or a gift with purchase.
4. Leverage Email Marketing
Did you know?
There are 4 billion daily email users.
That could explain why 37% of brands are increasing their email budget.
And the better part?
The average expected ROI is $40 for every $1 you spend on email marketing?!
This clarifies why email is the perfect way to drive traffic to your Shopify store without ads!
a. Collect emails from customers
An important part of email marketing is collecting emails from customers.
You can’t do email marketing without a list!
This list provides the opportunity to reach out and engage with potential customers and keep current customers informed on new products or promotions.
And can also be used to further incentivize potential customers with special offers or discounts that are exclusive to your newsletter subscribers.
To build a list, start by adding a pop-up form on your website that encourages people to sign up for your newsletter and offer exclusive content, discounts, or free shipping in exchange for their email addresses.
You can also provide an incentive for customers who complete their first purchase, from a discount code to bonus points on future purchases.
Moreover, you can have social media followers subscribe directly through Twitter and Instagram even if they don’t visit your website.
b. Develop a targeted email marketing campaign
Once you have a list, it is time to start marketing!
You need a targeted campaign for this to work!
To build an effective email campaign, segment your customers into different lists based on their interests or past purchases, and tailor emails accordingly.
In your campaigns, use engaging visuals, optimize for desktop and mobile platforms, test different subject lines, and offer incentives like discounts or exclusive deals to encourage subscribers to take action.
c. Utilize email automation
Email automation is a sure way to leave the heavy lifting to machines so you can focus on what’s important!
By automating emails, stores can ensure customers receive timely and relevant emails targeting their interests.
For example, sending an automated email to welcome new subscribers can greatly make them feel valued and encourage them to take action.
This can send automated emails with product recommendations, discounts, and other offers tailored specifically for each customer.
It’s also possible to set up drip campaigns that nurture leads over time based on their behavior or interests.
Such drip emails could include sending educational emails followed by promotional messages when the lead is ready to purchase.
d. Create engaging content for emails
The aim of an email list is to build relationships with customers, so you must create content that resonates with them.
When creating content for email campaigns, remember to follow the 80/20 marketing rule.
- 80% of the content should be focused on providing helpful and interesting information
- While 20% should be promotional.
Offer tips, provide exclusive discounts, and even include customer stories in your emails; these are all great ways to ensure that customers keep coming back for more.
And don’t forget about storytelling!
It’s a powerful tool that can help you engage and connect with customers on an emotional level.
Finally, measure your email list’s performance by tracking open rates, click-through rates, and other metrics. This will give you valuable insights into what content resonates best with your audience so that future campaigns are even more successful!
Driving traffic to your Shopify store without ads is an achievable goal for any business owner.
It takes time, effort, and creativity to make it happen, but with the right strategies, you can get people to your site organically and convert them into paying customers.
Developing a social media presence on multiple channels like Facebook and Instagram is essential for cultivating relationships with potential customers and expanding your reach.
Link building is key to improving search engine rankings in order to drive more organic traffic.
Finally, focusing on content creation such as blog posts or videos can boost brand awareness while providing valuable information that encourages user engagement.
With all of these methods combined, you are sure to drive significant amounts of quality traffic to your Shopify store without spending money on advertising!