Facebook and Google ads has gotten more competitive and expensive over the past few years, which is why many ecom entrepreneurs are trying to learn how to get free traffic to their Shopify stores.
And as I have been involved in this industry for many years now, and I have attended many free and paid courses on Shopify and marketing methods, I decided to create this list of nine proven methods that successful online store owners are using to drive targeted traffic to their stores without paying for ads.
Check out these nine amazing ways, especially number 9, and tell me which one you like the most.
9 Ways to Drive Free Traffic to a Shopify Store
1 – Giveaway Contests on Facebook
Having a Facebook page or group is essential for having a successful Shopify ecommerce business, not only for using paid ads to get traffic to your store, but also to build a community and engage with it in a way that would help you get free traffic.
You can even get your business go viral with this channel by creating contests and get people invite others to follow your FB page or join your group, by incentivising them of getting the chance of receiving one of your products for free.
The way you do this is that you create a post at the beginning of the month when you ask your page followers or group members to do three things:
- Comment on the post by saying “I want this”.
- Visit a page on your store to subscribe to your list.
- Share the post on their news feed in order to get others interested in the product to see the post, follow you, join your list, and comment as well.
You keep the contest running for few days or for a week, and then you do a draw a winner from all of those who commented or joined your list in the days of the contest.
And then you send the item to the winner for free.
It might cost you few bucks to buy and ship the products, but now you have grown organic followers who wouldn’t follow you or join your list if they weren’t interested in what you sell.
And these people might come back later to your store to buy the product that they wanted but they didn’t win it.
Also, now you can send them promotional emails as long as they are on your list.
Remember that you need to keep your page or group active in order to keep getting organic free traffic from Facebook to your Shopify store.
And you do that by posting engaging content to your followers such as memes, educational posts, entertaining videos, benefits of certain products, …etc.
2 – Instagram Hashtags
Instagram is another great way to engage with your potential customers and grow a following without spending money, in order to finally drive targeted traffic to your Shopify store for free.
Most Shopify store owners do this the wrong way, as they only post images of their products and ask people to go and buy them.
People are not on Instagram to buy, but to get entertained, and you need to give them what they want, before you tell them to go to your store buy something.
The way you do this is that you create a business profile, and you keep posting entertaining content related to the niche you are in, just like any other profile in the same industry.
These could be niche images, engaging videos, or even memes and quotes.
And in the description of each post, you use up to five popular hashtags that are used by other similar profiles.
You need to do this on daily basis until you start getting your posts found by people using hashtags to look for posts in your niche, and they might start following you.
How do you sell with this strategy?
You do this in a passive way by linking to your store in the description of your profile and telling people that they can get teh best deals on products in the industry through your store.
And maybe, once a week you post about one product, while keeping the daily schedule of posting entertaining content.
Also, remember to use stories to share the posts after you post them, and also, to show photos or videos for your products in action.
One example: if you sell Yoga products on your Shopify store where you sell print on demand products, and you want the free traffic from Instagram, you keep creating memes with funny or spiritual quotes, and you share some videos of yogis doing certain poses, in order to grow the following.
And in your IG description, you say something like: “Check out our store for Yoga inspired apparel”, and you keep the link to your Shopify store in the description.
And you can at the same time ask people under every post that has a meme or a video to visit your store through the description in order to check out the latest deals or products.
3 – Seo
Seo (search engine optimization) is one of the most feasible and evergreen traffic methods because people usually use search engines like Google and Bing in order to find products to buy.
This is different from people browsing social media platforms in order to get entertained.
And that’s why, your Shopify store’s conversion rate can be higher if your traffic comes from search engines compared to how it would be if your traffic comes from Facebook and Instagram as in the previous two methods above.
The downfall might be that seo takes some time in order to start getting your Shopify the free organic traffic, but at the same time, it makes it harder on others to outrank your store in the search engine results once your store has already ranked.
This is because most people don’t want to follow this method because they are impatient.
Now to do seo for ecommerce, you need to follow certain steps, such as:
- Finding the keywords your audience uses to search for the products you sell.
- Do on-page seo for your store, category and product pages, by including the keyword in the product title, description, and image alt tags.
- Doing some technical seo such as compressing images in order to make your Shopify store load faster, in addition to make sure that the Shopify theme you are using is a mobile responsive one.
And there are many other tips that help you get free traffic from search engines to your Shopify store.
And because Shopify is really good for beginners and easy to use, they make it easy to do the basic seo stuff.
Even better, one of the best resources to learn how to do this is the SEO Training for Beginners course from Shopify itself, which is offered now for FREE.
4 – Content Marketing
With the previous three methods, you would normally drive people to product pages on your store directly.
But what if your audience still doesn’t know that they would benefit from a product that you sell, how do you convince them to buy it?
For example, if you sell cat scratching post, you can do seo for the product page targeting the keyword that people use:”cat scratcher”.
And your store might rank for that keyword and get organic traffic who know that they need this product.
But these might not be the only ones who need that products.
There are people who need it, but they don’t know yet that it exists.
And here comes using content marketing for getting additional free traffic to your store.
You simply use content marketing in order to educate people and answer their questions, and then, drive them to buy your products.
For example, people who have cats but still don’t know that there’s something called “cat scratcher”, might ask on Google stuff like: “how to stop my cat from scratching furniture”.
And here comes your role.
You need to write a blog post on your Shopify store answering this question, and optimize it for seo, so that it appears on Google when someone types this search query.
And in your post, you mention tips on how to solve that problem, and some of the tips would include buying products from your store that are used for this purpose.
Other ideas of posts could be list based posts such as:” best dog food stands for small dogs”, where you list the top products from that category in one post and write a small description about it, and you like to the page of each product.
Or you could write a review about a certain product that you sell where you show more details about it, and then lead people to the product page.
This way, you catch buyers at an earlier phase, and they might convert well if they feel that the content you create helps them.
5 – Email Marketing Automation
Email marketing is another way that you can use to get high quality evergreen traffic to your Shopify store for free or low cost.
Shopify collects your customers emails and you can use different apps such as GetResponse for sending future promotions through automated or broadcast email messages to your previous customers, especially when you offer discounts, have new products, or when you run contests.
But even before you get customers, you can still collect emails from visitors of your Shopify store by showing a pop-up message that invites them to join your list in exchange for a discount code of 10% for example.
This way, you build your email list, and you potentially convert the subscribers into buyers through the first visit to your store as you give them a special discount that others don’t get.
There are some apps such as OptinMate and Privy that allows you to create these pop-ups, but if you use some premium Shopify theme like Turbo or Flex by Out of the Sandbox, then you can create these pop-ups without the need of these apps.
6 – Affiliates
Instead of taking the risk and paying for ads or taking long time to optimize your store for organic traffic methods, you can hire affiliate marketers who can do the heavy lifting for you, and bring you customers, and you only pay the affiliates on the sales they bring to you.
You can specify either a flat earning per order, or a percentage of the order value, which is usually anywhere between 5%-15% for physical products.
This way, you make sure that you don’t pay for marketing unless you have guaranteed sales.
But to do that, you need to use some paid app in order to set up an affiliate program for your Shopify store, such as Refersion and OmniStar, which come with a monthly fee, but most of them come with a free trial.
7 – Pinterest
Pinterest is another great platform to show off your products and get buyer traffic for free to your Shopify store.
Many people use Pinterest to get ideas for stuff to buy, and sometimes they go to search for something that they need to buy now.
You need to pin your product pages on Pinterest with nice images of your products, or sometimes pin blog posts that you have on your Shopify site.
Make sure that when you pin a product, use the name of the product in the pin, or use a similar keyword that you can find through the autocomplete feature in the search bar of Pinterest, so that people find your pins when they use these keywords.
And it is a good idea to use boards to organize your products that belong to different categories.
8 – YouTube Video Reviews
When people here about a new product and consider buying it, they usually look for reviews of it on Google and YouTube.
And here you can catch them by creating video reviews of the product you sell, upload them to YouTube, and link from the description of your review video to the product page on your store.
9 – Coupon Sites
This is a tip that not many are aware of, which is why I like it.
Shopify allows you to create discount codes for your stores and you can leverage this feature by creating coupons, and then listing them on sites that offer discount coupons in your industry or in any industry.
One example is a site that is called couponfollow.com, which people visit in order to find coupons for different products in all industries.
You can list your coupon codes on this site, and other similar sites, and when people visit them to find discounts and deals, they might find your coupons, visit your store, and use them to buy from you.
This way, you get new customers that you wouldn’t get without offering this discount coupon.
Conclusion – Is it Possible to Get Customers to a Shopify Store without Ads?
Sure. With the nine ways of driving free traffic to your Shopify store mentioned here, you can get buyer traffic without taking the risk of paying thousands of dollars on Facebook and Google ads.
The key is to start with one method, give time and be consistent until you succeed, before you start with the other method.
Tell me what method you liked the most and you want to adopt.
And you if you have any question, or any other method that is worth adding to this list, please, tell me in the comments’ section below and I will do my best to get back to you asap 🙂