How to Get Real Traffic on Shopify – That Will Buy!

Here's how to get traffic to your online store. Marketing and promoting your business is a huge part of having a successful online retail business. You can do this yourself, hire someone in house to do it, or hire a marketing agency to devise and implement a strategy for you.

I have been getting so much enjoyment out of speaking with the creative businesses that subscribe to my newsletter lately! We have been having some real conversations, and one of the things we’ve been discussing lately has been conversion rate – the simple math that tells you what the heck you can expect when you get traffic to your online store.

A sweet reader read through my explanation of how conversion rate works and what it means to you, and replied,

Thank you!!! This is EXACTLY what I have been scratching my head about lately and trying to muddle my way through and not even know where to start. Thank you so much for bringing this into the Aeolidia stable.

I’ve been a huge fan of your blog and tips for yonks and there is not an agency that even compares to what you offer.

Just the tips in this email alone 100% clarified what I should be looking at (and I discovered it was something I was ignoring because I was scared of facing it, my conversion rates!).

In my email I offered to anyone to take a look at their stats and get back to them with a personalized plan of what they should do. I had a LOT of email conversations that week. But I found that my answer was nearly the same for everybody. So I’m sharing it with you!

What to do before you begin trying to increase sales on your site

First, make sure that what you’re working to promote is something that is going to sell well. Think of it this way. If Oprah was going to feature your site in six months, what would you do to prepare? If you knew for sure that a billion people were going to click over and start looking around, what would you want them to see? This is what I would want to feel confident about if my Shopify site was about to get a ton of traffic:

1) Is the product remarkable?

Am I selling something that is easy to sell, once people see it? Does my product sell itself? Do people clamor to buy it and rush to share it with their friends? If my product wasn’t a hot seller to my target customer, I wouldn’t want Oprah to mention it, and I certainly wouldn’t want to spend all my time struggling to try to sell it.

If your business does really well with wholesale accounts, in your own brick and mortar, on Etsy, or at in-person events, congratulations! You’re ready to go, and by the way, you should probably just hire us to take care of everything for you. Since your product sells well in other venues, you know if you use the right strategy online, you will get plenty of sales in your own shop.

2) Does the website convert?

If all of Oprah’s fans are going to hit my website, I want it to have a high conversion rate. If I can convert 5% of a billion people, I’ve got it made. 0.05% of a billion people… well that’s still 50,000 people. But you see what I mean.

Your website should immediately answer the question, “what is it, and why would I want it?”

If I was going to spend time and/or money marketing my site, I’d want to be sure I was getting the best results I could. Here are some ways you can improve website conversion yourself. Please get in touch with us if you’d like a custom site that will convert your target customers to sales.

Okay, so you have a killer product and an effective website? But no one is really shopping?

What to do if your business is awesome but you don’t get enough traffic to your site

With an Etsy shop, a brick and mortar shop, or even a trade show or craft fair booth, you can just kind of exist, and people will walk in because they’re passing by. Then you can show them how awesome your products are and make a sale! On your own Shopify (or other ecommerce) site, no one is going to just pass by and notice you. You need to go out and find them yourself.

Marketing and promoting your business is a huge part of having a successful online retail business. You can do this yourself, hire someone in-house to do it, or hire a marketing agency to devise and implement a strategy for you.

Promoting your Shopify store

If the marketing budget is tight, it’s all stuff you can do yourself. It’s a lot of work, and you’ll need to really throw yourself into it to see results. I would pick ONE method to start with, and do the very best you can with it.

Here is my list of the five ways to get traffic to your site.

I would start with something that’s already showing signs of working for you, and putting all of your effort into that at first. Google and Pinterest search results are important, but can be slow and hard to tell at first if it’s working. Social media and influencer marketing is more immediate, but not as long lasting. Make sure you’re working to get other people to mention you, rather than talking to your own small group all the time.

Include a dash of newsletter in your strategy at all times, because you should never neglect your email list – these are the people who love you best! You don’t want them to forget that they signed up when you finally get around to emailing them.

If you focus on social media, pick ONE platform to be the best at. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Once one social media channel is working well, you can add another. You won’t get anywhere if you try to get everywhere right away.

The quickest way to grow is to have influencer accounts with your target followers as their audience share your shop with a strong call to action.

Paying to promote social media posts

Plan to either spend some money or send some product to influencers as payment for showing off your goods. For a benchmark, our marketing team spends between $150-$250 USD per month on advertising for each of our clients that they work with. You might choose to invest in Facebook ads, Instagram promotions or features on influencer accounts, promoted pins on Pinterest, or Google AdWords.

You don’t want to do this haphazardly when you’re paying, so be very diligent that the audience you will be reaching is engaged and is interested in your type of product. Make sure photos and text promoting your product are the kind that have produced sales for you in the past.

If you do any type of advertising, you’ll want to read up on what makes an effective ad on that platform. I’ve heard of a lot of people paying for ads that do nothing for them because they didn’t have a strong call to action, the audience they chose wasn’t a good fit, or all kinds of other mysterious reasons promoted posts on social media flop.

Research, test, and evaluate

When you run ads, you want to evaluate how they did and if they were worth it. If ads are cutting way into your profits without creating enough volume to offset it, something needs to change in your strategy.

Wherever you plan to focus your efforts, whether it be Instagram, Facebook, or elsewhere, go check out what your competitors are doing that seems to be working. Not to copy exactly what they’re doing, but to get a feel for what your shared audience responds well to.

Chat with others (possibly in our awesome Facebook group for product-based businesses) about what works for them.

The bottom line?

Show up every day. Provide value. Interact with the right people. Figure out what works. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Get More Traffic and Make More Sales on your site

Want to get started figuring out how to do this yourself? Grab our workbook to research and pin down what you know about where your best customers are hanging out. It explains traffic-generating concepts in more detail, and you can use the included tips to make a plan to get high-quality, high-converting traffic to your website.

Grab The Guide

About the Author

Arianne Foulks is a popular educator and small business enthusiast. As a champion for creative brands, she has a 15+ year reputation for thoughtful redesigns that help businesses level up. She loves having a problem to solve, and has focused throughout her career on building online homes for fascinating people. She is raising boys, will walk any distance, always has a pile of novels by her bed, and was once bitten by an elephant seal.

View more articles written by Arianne >

  1. Pingback: Weekly Bulletin #102 - MAKER MENTORS

  2. Thank you so much for the advice… I am ripping my hair out getting traffic that counts… I am sick and tired of fb ads and buying course after course. I took what you said and started to put it into action and wow I am already happy to see that I am get a good flow of traffic. thank you so much.

  3. If you want to succeed and make sales with your shopify or online store, simply focus on one or two advertising Chanel and be great at using them.

    I love Instagram and Blogger out reach.

    With Instagram you generate instant sales.

    Blogger Outreach, i literally send free products to blogger requesting they write review about the product and link back to me. This method will keep making you sales in future even when you aren’t running promotion (best investment). I do that currently with my store

  4. Marcio Santos says,

    Thanks for the post Arianne.

    My favorite part was your bottom line breakdown where you mentioned “Show up every day”!!!

    I can’t agree more!

  5. Eirik says,

    Thank you for the advice. I really liked the part with Oprah example in which you said “what would you do to prepare if you knew that Oprah will feature you in 6 months and you will get tons of traffic” I realized that I was focusing on only bringing new traffic and put 0 effort on converting it!

    I was having a hard time bringing traffic to my online store, tried Google and Facebook ads but they were very expensive. I searched for free alternatives and found a way to promote store via quora blogs, so will definitely try it. I also found a shopify app called “Sixads” which offers a free plan for bringing traffic by showing your ads on other stores. I haven’t tested it much yet but it’s always nice to find free alternatives for paid advertising.

    I also tried to optimize my landing pages and adding tracking info, so the people would trust me more and convert better. The apps that I used for that purpose was “Pagefly” and “Aftership”. They have some drawbacks but seemed to be the best option for now. By doing that I raised my conversion rates by 1% and the amount of disputes reduced significantly.

    • Sounds like you’ve been hard at work! Thanks for stopping by, Eirik.

      • Eirik says,

        Yup, as I said I tried quora but it wasn’t good for me, got some clicks but nothing more.

        But sixads app + retargeting was a real game changer for me, and I will explain why. :)

        At first it didn’t work well, I got very low CTR on my ads and no sales. Then I decided to contact their support and ask if I am doing it right. They explained me that I am selling products that can be found in any local shop, so why people should buy from me? Also the price point was way too high and I promoted way too many products at the same time. They told me to test only 4-8 products at first and after collecting data delete not working ads.

        This tactic helped me to get a few sales but it didn’t satisfy my needs, because I wanted way more sales than “a few”. Then sixads support suggested to retarget that traffic I got from them, because people don’t usually buy the first time they see a product and when you retarget that traffic, it is no longer “cold” and convert much better.

        This advice brought me much more sales with a silly cost per conversion because as they said, it converted much better. I would suggest to try this tactic for everyone who’s struggling with facebook or google ads.

        • Debbie says,

          Can you clarify what you mean by retargeting?

          • Retargeting ads are those ones where you visit a site, and then notice ads for them popping up in Google and on Facebook, etc. Instead of finding new customers, you’re advertising to people who have already been on your site.

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