Updated: Dec 25, 2021
Shopify is the gold standard of eCommerce. No other platform even comes close. But the reality is that there is only so much that software can accomplish on its own. Shopify can hand you the tools and the ‘How-To manual,’ but they can’t use the tools for you, and they can’t make decisions on your behalf.
That much is up to the merchant.
So, what is the secret to having a successful Shopify store?
Well, it’s not a secret at all – the most successful Shopify stores are the ones that drive the most traffic to their site.
Driving traffic to a Shopify store consistently and continually is the modern-day equivalent of having a goose that lays golden eggs.
It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
You see, anyone can set up a Shopify store, but it takes real skill and experience to make that store successful. So, how then do we drive real traffic to a Shopify store? Or any other eCommerce store, for that matter?
We asked 50 different marketing, SEO, and successful eCommerce merchants that very same question.
What is their “secret sauce” for making more sales?
We listened to their responses and compiled a database of all the answers we received. Every time one of our experts voiced support for a particular tactic, that tactic received a ‘vote.’
In addition, we looked into the credentials of the experts who participated by ranking them according to their Alexa rank.
For anyone unfamiliar with Alexa rankings, Alexa is a web-based SEO analysis tool that evaluates every website on Earth in a head-to-head comparison by assigning them a rank that reflects their overall popularity.
The most popular website on Earth (Google) is #1, and - like a golf score – the higher your Alexa ranking, the less popular your website. This ranking system means that when a website gains traffic, its Alexa rating decreases.
The Alexa rankings of the marketing experts we spoke to range from 16,201 to 6,443,675.
Eight of the experts we spoke to had Alexa rankings below 100,000. Thirty-two of them had Alexa rankings below 1,000,000, and the average Alexa ranking among the participants was 1,096,639.
In total, our 50 experts suggested 31 different tactics for driving traffic to a Shopify store.
We scored each method according to the number of times one of our experts mentioned that tactic. When there was a tie, we settled it by giving preference to the tactic that experts with low (good) Alexa rankings had endorsed.
Unlike previous marketing studies, we didn’t hear any bad ideas.
Some tactics were more popular than others, but none of our experts suggested anything we would consider a waste of time. Every idea we heard had some degree of value.
We combined the overlapping ideas for clarity, but the overall ranking order remains the same. The most popular ideas are at the top of the post. However, we caution readers against disregarding the tactics at the bottom of the list.
Yes, they received fewer votes than the other methods, but these are still excellent ideas that will yield good results.
We encourage our readers to implement the complete list of tactics.
The most effective methods for driving traffic
1. Content Marketing
With 22 mentions, Content Marketing has earned the top spot on our list, and it’s easy to understand why. Creating and publishing information that answers people’s questions will increase your placement in search engine results and attract the most attention.
“It all starts with a talkable product,” says Dan Gdowski, Content Marketing Specialist at ShipMonk. “With that as the foundation, you can rely on tried-and-true strategies like paid advertising and link building to close the gap.”
We should also mention that Gdowski’s website had the lowest (best) Alexa ranking of any other expert we interviewed.
“Basically, in order to generate buzz, your products first have to be buzzworthy,” says Gdowski.
All of our experts were in agreement that when it comes to content, quality always beats quantity.
“The content does not need to be too in-depth,” says Harriet Chan – Co-Founder and Marketing Director at CoCoFinder. “The most important thing is to keep the content relevant. You [should place] the content at the bottom of your category page and be sure to include the most searched keywords for the product,” said Chan.
“You can utilize keyword searching tools to come up with the most appropriate keywords. They will help to generate organic traffic to your online store.”
We should point out that Keywords was the second-most popular answer that we heard from our experts and was mentioned 17 times.