How to drive traffic with low or no advertising budget?

Rhonda
Tourist
11 0 3

I'm basically starting out with little to no budget, just spent 50 bucks on Google Adwords with no results. My current strategies are posting as much as I could on social media and planning to upload some product videos to YouTube and participating on niche related forum and comment on blogs. I'm also posting on Facebook groups as well. Can some one give me their 2 cents on what else I could do? My plan is to start building backlinks for SEO but I'm still in process of learning.  Thank you in advance. 

Cat Gift Shop www.catcatworld.com
Replies 24 (24)
Karlie
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
669 54 125

Hello Rhonda! 

Karlie here from the Shopify Guru Team! There are a few things that can help you drive traffic and then conversion to your store! Your first step would be to improve your SEO - you can read about SEO and Shopify here

There are quite a few apps (some even free!) that you can use to help you improve your store's SEO. Check them out here!

I would recommend checking out Kit for Shopify! Kit is basically a virtual marketing assistant that can help you improve traffic to your store with Facebook and Instagram advertising. You can check out the app here!

I hope this helps, but if you have any further questions - be sure to reach out to Shopify support!

Karlie
Shopify Guru
support@shopify.com

Karlie | Social Care @ Shopify 
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Karan_Jassar
Pathfinder
188 0 31

Rhonda, you already seem to be doing a lot. Social media is important! The key to succeeding on social media is picking one channel and then going all out on that channel. Right now, Instagram is that channel. It's easier to grow on and gets better engagement. On an average Instagram posts get 7.5% engagement whereas Facebook posts get around 1.6% engagement. 

To grow on Instagram, you need to focus on only two things - content and hashtags.

In content, Instagram rewards developing a a visual theme, but other than that the rule is same - not more than 20% of your posts should be promotional. Have a good mix of product and engagement posts. Here are some articles that have everything that you need to know: 

- Develop a theme

- 47 content ideas

For hashtags, use OrangeTwig's hashtag research tool. You'll get trending and related hashtags. Not just that, they'll be automatically included in your posts. 

Another thing that you should do is make your Instagram posts clickable. Here's how you can do that: Clickable Posts. 

Get started with OrangeTwig for FREE here

Can you share your website's link here? Let me have a look and share my thoughts on it here. 

- Karan 

P.S - you can also ask your questions in Seller Success Facebook Group 

Karan Jassar
Founder, https://Socioh.com
Make great ads for Free.
See demo with your store: https://socioh.com/demo?src=sig
Learn about ads here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/sellersuccess/?src=sig
mitchr
Tourist
4 0 2

why are you uploading to social media and youtube? you are encouaging traffic to flow towards social media sites but not your own.

The content should start on YOUR site then posted on social media linking back to youir site.

YT videos sould be on your product pages and links to your site should be in every video desciptions. YoouTube is about subscribers - no subscibers no views

don't expect great results from either for a year or 2 perhaps more

Reid_Thornley
New Member
1 0 2

Hi Rhonda.  The answer in my opinion, is likely not the answer you want to hear.  I have been running a successful online company for 11 years, and the conclusion that I have come to again and again, is that there is no silver bullet.  There's no one single channel, no single marketing tactic, and no single app that will instantly catapult you to success.  There is however, a thread that connects every successful campaign we've embarked upon:  the creation of valuable content.  Concentrate on creating content (blog articles, videos, pages, products, etc.) that your customers will find useful/valuable.  If you do this well, people will link to it, they'll bookmark it, they'll share it socially.  Basically they'll do all the things that are necessary to score well organically in the search engines.  You can entice people to do this also - by getting them on an email list, etc.  But the core of it all is simply valuable content.  If you concentrate on this and nothing else you will see uplift.  It won't be instant, but it will be real and sustainable.

Oh - and be suspicious of any advice that suggests 'this one thing' is the secret to success.  Unless that 'one thing' is somethint that is legitimately valuable to your customer (like great content), it won't work.

James_B_Wright
New Member
2 0 0

The way that I did it was to track down the top bloggers who wrote about the type of product represented in my niche. I then sent them some free stuff. They promptly wrote about it, providing me with low cost advertising. It worked and I have been successful for 5 years just based upon that first jump-start.

Camille_Nelson
Shopify Partner
4 0 0

It's not going to be easy it will take time use influencer marketing is a option I would recommend.

SwaggerDad
New Member
2 0 0

Hey, Karan, I'm having the same issue  Rhonda is going through. Here my website. Thank You

 

http://www.swaggerdad.com

Paige3
Tourist
9 0 10

I really couldn't disagree with mitchr more...depending on your target market, not being active on social media is a death sentence. People also use your social media presence as a quick indicator of a lot of things--it shows how active you are, it helps fortify your brand story and humanize your brand so people get what you're about (if your products aren't the cheapest on the market and you're going up against shops in a popular niche like accessories or apparel, your pitch about why people should be buying from you versus some other shop is crucial), and you can really use it as a type of social proof that helps customers trust you, just like you would use customer reviews. 

At least 90% of my traffic is driven through social media, and I don't pay to advertise most of the time (or use big influencers, though that is a next step for me) because snagging customers who are passionate about the brand and using them as your influencers (for free!) within their own social circle is what makes the biggest difference for me. This isn't really relevant to drop shippers looking to make that quick buck, but I remember reading something when I was a young artist about how in order to sustain yourself as a person making things you really need around 100 core fans who are crazy about your stuff--any time you have a promotion or relase something new, they're going to buy it. Social media is a FANTASTIC way to build that kind of following, and being friendly and unique and personable (and passionate about what you do!!!) makes people care about you as well as your products.

It'd definitely be helpful to know more about what particular business you are running, since you don't have your shop linked in your profile. Your target market, what you're selling, what makes your products special etc...all of that info would be super helpful to give more specific advice about how to advertise! I definitely agree wtih folks who are recommending influencer marketing, but I also think that that is a tactic that is stronger for some types of businesses than others, and if you don't know where to start with it then it can be daunting. As someone who also works as an influencer (and gets sent free stuff and paid by clothing companies for this sort of thing all the time!) I can also tell you not all influencers are cut from the same cloth, and there are a lot of folks out there who will scam a small business and screw you over--people who aren't promoting your products outside of just posting a shitty selfie in their bathroom wearing your tshirt but only showing the collar of it and tagging you, people who have bought their instagram followers and have like zero engagement...etc.....there's some potential pitfalls, and I want more shop owners to know what sort of things they need to be looking out for and what questions they should be asking influencers in order to be getting reliable partnerships set up. 

Also, what have your results been thus far on social media? Do you feel like it's paying off? 

People are definitely correct in that growth is slow, and organic growth from genuinely interested people is the best but also toooootally the slowest, unfortunately. 

Damon_Tinnon
New Member
1 0 1

 I hate to go all conspiracy theory on this one, but I have two small social media presences, Twitter and Facebook and one large social media presence, YouTube.  I always find that posts do better the when I spend.  For example, I recently posted a photo on Facebook with a link and had about 50 organic reach and about 3 engagements (clicks).  I reposted the exact same link with the photo and boosted it with $10 for Facebook and all of a sudden my organic reach went to over 200 and my clicks began to soar, this is outside of the paid results.  I have a large presence on YouTube, and I find a similar dynamic there as well, when I promote a video with paid advertising, those videos tend to do much better in the long run, long after the campaign is over.  Sorry for a cynical response, but I think there is some truth to it!

Jacky_San
New Member
2 0 0

This is a good topic to discuss. I will keep tracking and see any new inspiration here. Cheers!

Jacky_San
New Member
2 0 0

This is a nice topic to discuss, I will keep tracking here and hope can find some new inspiration of my sites. Cheers!!!

Rhonda
Tourist
11 0 3

Thank you for your useful resources, I'm now tapping into SEO & will start working on on site SEO immediately. I discovered there is so much I can do besides posting on social media.

Cat Gift Shop www.catcatworld.com
Rhonda
Tourist
11 0 3

Hi Karen,

 

Thank you so much for your response! My website is www.catcatworld.com.

I've been using "tags for likes" for finding the hottest hashtags to use and IFTTT to post on multiple channels so I can save myself some time. 

I know content is crucial and ads will drive viewers away so I'm basically focusing on posting entertaining and informative content everyday. 

 

Looking forward for your feedback on my shop. 

Cat Gift Shop www.catcatworld.com
Rhonda
Tourist
11 0 3

Hi Paige,

 

Thank you for your detail response. Instagram is bringing in only about 30% of the traffic to my shop, but it has the lowest bounce rate! My shop theme is gift shop for cat lovers, I know it is a little bit too broad but I really see he potential in this marjet and this is something I'm passionate about. Below is my shop link, please take a look and let me k ow what I can do to improve the traffic. 

 

www.catcatworld.com

Cat Gift Shop www.catcatworld.com
Karan_Jassar
Pathfinder
188 0 31

@swaggerdad: I checked out your website and till I checked your About Us, I didn't understand what you did. Great concept!! I have a two year old and your website has some pretty useful stuff. BUT, you need to present it well. I almost skipped through the categories. Why don't you put create a section for resources and create sub-sections and add these there. It'll be easier for your visitors to find them as well.

Your 'About Us' should be the opening page so visitors know what you do and what they should expect from your website. Although your about page is fairly well written, here's an article that has some tips: What to include in an About page 

Now about your product descriptions - don't leave this blank. Give size information, color, care instructions, etc. To add some personality, write something catcy. I think you can take some tips from this article: Product Descriptions that Sell More 

You have a great following on Instagram. What you should focus on is immediate gratification from Instagram. I mentioned clickable posts in my answer above. I think you should make your posts clickable as well. It's much better to take your users to a specific page rather than taking them to a generic page. Here's how you can make your posts clickable with OrangeTwig: Clickable Posts  

Get started with Clickable posts for FREE here

Let me know if this helped. 

- Karan 

 

Karan Jassar
Founder, https://Socioh.com
Make great ads for Free.
See demo with your store: https://socioh.com/demo?src=sig
Learn about ads here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/sellersuccess/?src=sig
Qompi
New Member
1 0 2

Hey Rhonda

You are reminding me when i was first starting my online business. It was tough i must say that. You can Learn SEO but you are wasting your time there is a short-cut to all of this. Don't get me wrong you can Learn SEO and master it maybe you will make more sales who knows life has no guareenties. Let me give you a lesson. Life is war and also business is war you have to do what you have to do to survive. Ask yourself these questions how many people are selling what you are selling? where are they selling? what are the trigger words? how many visitors to do they get every month?

This is war you have to know who are your competitors and what are they doing. Do not play fair, everyone is looking to make money online. if you play fair! that money that's in your pocket will go to their pocket. That's not the goal, the goal is to make more on what you have. hope you folllowing on what im saying

Let me show you what most people dont know and it will save you time

first we make our research based on our Nich to find our competitors
we go here www.myip.ms Put the ip address of shopify 23.227.38.32 then click on "other Sites on IP"
It will show you all shopify stores starting from best performing store. You have to find the store related to your nich then we make research on them.

We go to www.similarweb.com past their domain name and wala! all information you need will be there. If they are getting so much visitors per month that means their system is working! then we take a sip on that vodka cause we found that whale that's eating all the fishes.

Then

we go to their store to purchase something but all we are going to do is to spy on their funnels. We have to know what's working.

Then

We use clickfunnels to steal their $1 million machine funnels with just $97. What is great about clickfunnels they will teach you how.

we copy them but not exacly like them, similar like them. every campaign they did on social network or any keywords they use, we copy and modify. you can make your $100k within 3 months with this process if you can put it in action and learn even if u fail do not give up learn 

I don't have time to Learn strategies to get traffic. I learn on what's making money, copy, modify then make money 

Donna_Ranfurly
New Member
1 0 0

Hey Karan

I know little/nothing about Instagram and found your feedback to be VERY helpful!  I shall go through your links carefully!

Donna

 

SwaggerDad
New Member
2 0 0

Hey Karan, Thanks for the advise. I will look into updated it asap. Thank You for all the tips!

Anonymous
Not applicable

Some quick feedback.

Most of the traffic from our Shopify site comes from mobile, yours probably isn't any different from ours in that respect. When I open up your store on my mobile phone all I see is an image of a cat. Now I'm going to make two comments here. first, is that cat strikes me as being a stock image and it doesn't add anything to your store at all. It doesn't tell me what the store is about, it doesn't tell me what I'm about to be looking at, it doesn't give me your store name, it really leaves me simply looking at the image of a cat.

The next thing that jumps out at me is that your images are simply taken from Ali Baba or wherever it is that your drop shipping from. (I'm dictating into my phone for speed. Sorry for any odd spelling or context errors.)

In order for your store to look more cohesive and professional, you should be bringing in samples of each of the items that you sell in the store and taking professional photographs. If you can't afford to take professional photographs at the very least take your own photographs on a white background.

I believe if you have a look through the Shopify blog there may even be an article about how to crop items out of the photograph and have them show on a white background. So you can always try that as a stopgap until you get the items to photograph yourself.

Don't underestimate the value of good photography. If you spend money on nothing else, spend it on your photography.  Photography is the only way, or your images are the only way for somebody who comes to your store to decide whether or not you were providing a professional good quality product. If the photography is all over the place someone a white background some in the middle of her room some with I don't know you got some there that look really really strange with plastic bags in the background or something, it doesn't inspire customer confidence.

Please don't take this as criticism, all of this is intended to help you improve your store. And I apologize for the tone again I'm dictating this, and sometimes the phone miss translates what I'm saying.

The last piece of advice I will give you is that the items on the top of your page feel completely different from the items on the bottom of your page. 

Try to choose items that work cohesively together. You want everything to look like it was chosen with the same design eye. Again this goes to consumer confidence. As a consumer I have nothing to judge you against other than what I see on your website. If it doesn't go together well then I am going to assume that it has not been well chosen and that the quality might be mixed.

I suggest that you choose the items at the top of your page and skip everything from the pyjamas(?) down. (all the pink stuff) 

I hope this helps!

Congrats on taking a great first step into entrepreneurship!

Good luck,

Colleen

PS: This turned out a bit longer than I expected... 🙂