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Best Ways to Drive Shopify Traffic – Launching a new Shopify store is an exciting milestone, but your work isn’t done once the website is live. The next critical step is driving traffic to your fledgling shop.
Getting eyes on your products and brand is crucial for generating those first sales and establishing trust and authority in your niche.
Driving initial traffic as a new store isn’t easy. You’re likely starting from zero, without an existing audience to market to.
This complete guide will walk you through the top 10 proven tactics to effectively drive traffic and boost exposure when you’re just getting started on Shopify.
1. Optimize Your Shopify Store for SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) should be at the core of your Shopify traffic strategy.
SEO is the process of optimizing your online content to rank higher in search engines like Google. The higher your pages rank for relevant product keywords, the more free, targeted traffic you’ll get.
Here are key SEO tips for Shopify stores:
- Pick a niche. Focus your products on a specific niche to rank for focused keywords. Don’t try to rank for broad terms like “shoes” as a new store.
- Do keyword research. Use Google’s Keyword Planner and tools like SEMrush to find keywords with high search volume and low competition. Target keywords with under 10,000 monthly searches and low advertiser competition.
- Optimize pages for chosen keywords. Include your selected keywords in strategic places like titles, headers, product descriptions, alt text, and content. But don’t over-optimize! Write for humans first, search engines second.
- Create blog content. Quality blog posts optimized with your keywords drive more organic search traffic. Prioritize informational posts that rank for non-product searches.
- Enhance on-page SEO. Make sure your pages load quickly, have effective navigation, are mobile-friendly, and leverage SEO app extensions.
- Get backlinks. Build links from relevant websites to signal authority and ranking potential to Google. Reach out to your niche bloggers and influencers.
Focus on long-term, effective SEO strategies over trendy quick fixes to earn lasting rankings. SEO takes time, but earns free, quality traffic.
2. Run Paid Social Ads to Your Target Audience
Social media advertising is a powerful option for laser-targeted traffic. You can display your ads to extremely specific demographics and buyer interests.
For most ecommerce stores, Facebook and Instagram ads reign supreme. You can create tightly focused campaigns to deliver your ads to ideal buyers.
Other social platforms like Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, and TikTok also offer paid advertising options worth exploring.
Make sure your social ads lead to a customized landing page or product category, not just your Shopify home page.
Target broad interests initially until you gather more customer data. Then create lookalike audiences and tailored segments.
3. Market on Forums, Groups, and Communities
Don’t just spam your store link! Provide real value by actively participating in online communities related to your niche. Offer advice, respond to questions, and build relationships.
Once you’re a recognized contributor in a forum or group, it’s fine to add links to your Shopify store in your forum profile and signature. But keep self-promotion to a minimum and focus on helping people.
Great places to engage with communities include:
- Reddit – Find active subreddits related to your industry.
- Facebook Groups – Search for groups tied to your niche and buyers.
- Quora – Answer shopper questions and establish expertise.
- Industry forums – Find specialized forums frequented by your target customers.
The more you can establish clout and get your brand known, the more community traffic you’ll earn over time.
4. Reach Out to Influencers
Influencer marketing is white hot, with good reason. Partnering with relevant influencers puts your products in front of engaged, targeted audiences.
Research micro-influencers in your niche with 5K to 100K engaged followers. Micro-influencers typically have higher engagement rates, more affordable sponsorship packages, and are eager for brand partnerships.
Offer to send free products for reviews and sponsored content. Most influencers are receptive to trying products from new brands.
Aim for dedicated, sponsored posts or Stories showcasing your products, rather than quick shoutouts. Don’t expect influencers to post “swipe up to shop” style links directing people immediately to your store.
Be willing to compensate influencers for their time and partnership. Free product alone is often not enough these days for influencer campaigns. Even small amounts of compensations lead to better results.
5. Run Retargeting Ads
Retargeting (or remarketing) ads target people who have already visited your Shopify store with ads across the web.
This brings shoppers back to complete purchases they didn’t make the first time, or reminds them about products they were interested in.
Retargeting works fantastically well, delivering returns as high as 800%. The endless versatility also allows limitless creativity.
You can retarget people who:
- Visited specific product pages
- Searched for products
- Visited your blog
- Reached your checkout page
- Added items to their cart
Dynamic retargeting shows people products they viewed or added to their cart. This boosts relevancy.
Just don’t overdo the retargeting frequency and come across as creepy. Let shoppers breathe between ad exposures.
6. Guest Blog Outreach
Guest posting on authoritative blogs related to your industry helps expose your brand to new audiences. Make sure to get a link back to your store in the author bio section.
Stick to genuine, value-driven guest posts. Don’t submit blatant advertorials just to get a link. Provide actionable strategies that align with the blog’s audience.
Build relationships with blog owners by commenting on their content and sharing their posts before pitching guest articles. Personalized pitches also boost open rates.
If writing guests posts feels overwhelming as a new store owner, hire freelance writers skilled in outreach and conversion-focused content.
Starting small with a few high-quality guest posts provides significant SEO and referral traffic benefits. Then scale up guest posting outreach over time.
7. Create YouTube Demo Videos
YouTube delivers over two billion logged-in monthly users, making it a prime shopper resource. Well-optimized product demo videos can drive customers to your store.
Keep videos short and engaging, showing your products’ features, unboxing, and use cases. Optimize titles and descriptions for search visibility with keywords.
Upload videos natively rather than embedding them. Add your store link, email signup, and other calls-to-action in the video description.
Repurpose videos across social media like Instagram Reels and TikTok for extra visibility. Short-form video content performs incredibly well on these platforms.
Over time, your channel authority grows, allowing you to rank for a wider range of product-related searches. Don’t underestimate the power of YouTube for ecommerce stores.
8. Build Email Subscriber List
Email marketing allows you to directly reach customers interested in your brand. But first you need to build your subscriber list.
Use popup forms, signup bars, and opt-in incentives across your store to nudge email signups. Offer discounts or exclusive content in exchange for emails.
Make sure to integrate email signups into every user interaction, including:
- Product purchase flows
- Blog post subscriptions
- Downloadable resources
- Retargeting ads
- Social promotions
Send “welcome” autoresponder sequences when users first subscribe to start nurturing leads. Provide value and build loyalty before directly selling to them.
Priming your email funnel from day one helps you maximize profits as your list grows. Don’t leave this powerful asset untapped.
9. Run Contests and Giveaways
Contests, giveaways and sweepstakes boost brand awareness while collecting emails, social follows, and UGC. They add fun engagement opportunities perfect for new stores.
Require users to follow you on Instagram, subscribe to your emails, or share posts to enter. This exposes your brand to their networks for extra attention.
Creative contest ideas include:
- Product giveaways
- Photo contests
- Captions contests
- Hashtag campaigns
- Reviews for discounts
- Referral programs
Add Instagram and Facebook ads to promote your contests. Redirect entrants to a landing page with email signup forms to build your list.
User-generated content from contests provides social content and peer storytelling. Hashtag campaigns create discovery opportunities as entries populate the tag feed.
10. Attend Local Events and Networking
Don’t underestimate the power of in-person networking, even in an ecommerce business. Attend local events related to your industry like trade shows, networking nights, conferences, and more.
Set up a display booth showing off your products if appropriate. Or simply engage with other attendees and share what you do. Collect business cards and connect with brands in your space.
Look for local popup markets, craft fairs, and other short-term events accepting vendors. These are often cheaper to participate in than big conferences and trade shows.
The key is putting your brand and products directly in front of your target buyers. You can close sales right on the spot while also driving online traffic after.
Hand out discount codes and promotional cards to incentivize post-event purchases. This helps tie in-person networking to online traffic and sales.
Start Driving Traffic Today
Ramping up steady streams of traffic takes time, but following these proven store traffic strategies accelerates the process for new Shopify merchants.
Don’t get overwhelmed trying to implement them all at once. Prioritize foundational tactics like SEO and social ads, then diversify traffic sources over time.
Pay close attention to which channels deliver results and double down on those winners. Track analytics to optimize conversions from the traffic you drive.
With smart strategy and effective execution, you’ll be on your way to Shopify ecommerce success in no time. Now get out there and start driving high-converting traffic to your new store!