Driving traffic is a vital part of running any online business, especially in dropshipping. It won’t matter how great or affordable your products are. If you aren’t getting the right traffic from the right traffic sources to your business, you won’t be able to sell anything. How you do it is also important. There’s no point in getting thousands of visitors if there’s only a 1% chance of a conversion. You can get the same number of sales from a hundred visitors if they’re from the right traffic.
That’s why in this guide, I’ll share 13 proven methods to drive traffic to your store. I’ll discuss what these sources of traffic are and how to utilize and implement them so you can enjoy better results from your business.
Google Shopping Ads
Google Shopping Ads are the product ads that appear right on the top of Google search results. It’s a powerful tool to get targeted traffic that converts really well. These are ads that show up only when potential customers directly search for a relevant product.
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This traffic source uses product data from a business’ Merchant Center account, not keywords, to determine where and how to show ads. Google uses the product details in matching Google searches to your ads so they show up on the most relevant products. It’s one source that every eCommerce business should be using since it allows businesses to get extremely targeted traffic for a price.
To create and run a Google Shopping Ad campaign, you first need to convert the products in your dropshipping store into shopping ads. Here’s how to get started:
Create a Google Merchant Center Account
This account is specifically designed to showcase stores and products to people who are searching and interested in buying products like yours.
Link Your Shopify Store
Since you’re on Shopify already, you can simply integrate your store into your merchant account using a Shopify app called “Google Shopping Feed.”
Link Your Merchant Center and Google Ads Accounts
You also have to connect these accounts to let your product data flow from one another so you can use it to launch ad campaigns.
Launch Your Ad Campaign
You can’t drive traffic to your store without launching the actual ads. To launch your campaign, you need first to get your products approved, which may take some time. After that, you just need to fill out additional settings for other factors like budget, locations, and more.
Google Product Listings
One of the free, main traffic sources you should use is Google Product Listings. These are extremely similar to Google Shopping Ads, except that these are free. They are product lists and ads that appear on the specified Google Shopping tab or section when you search for something and not on the top results.
There’s no reason for businesses to not use this as a traffic source because it would cost zero dollars to do so. You just need to have a Google Merchant Center account, link your Shopify store to it, and enable the Google product listings so you can start appearing and get that targeted traffic.
Here’s how you can enable the listing:
- 1In your Google Merchant Center account, click the “Growth” section in the left navigation menu and then the “Manage programs” tab.
- 2Choose ”Show your products in free product listings on Google.”
- 3Verify additional settings like your business information, phone number, your website, your products, and more.
You can think of this as SEO, and one common misconception about getting organic traffic is that you have to use the most competitive keywords in your industry. For example, if you’re dropshipping stand-up desks, you might think that you should try to rank organically for the keyword “stand-up desks.”
Although it might work and you rank and get traffic, at the end of the day, the traffic you get isn’t ready to buy yet. These people are only searching for these keywords without knowing what exactly they want to buy yet.
Instead of focusing on these types of keywords, I recommend focusing on less competitive keywords. These keywords will most likely lead to direct sales and higher conversion rates. The type of organic traffic you want to rank for can include the brand names of the product you’re selling, the SKU numbers, and any other unique product identifiers.
If you want to know more about how to get organic traffic, you can check out the blueprint in our DSL coaching program.
Google Search Text Ads
Search text ads are sponsored text ads that appear on the top Google search results. There are many ways to use this and not all end up profitable.
Let’s say you’re dropshipping stand-up desks again and you bid on the same “stand-up desk” keyword again. You get traffic, but again, these people still aren’t ready to buy. If you’re just getting started with Google Search Text Ads, I wouldn’t recommend using these types of keywords.
To get started, check your Google shopping campaign results for keywords and products that are selling and create search text ads for those products. This way, you can show up in two search results – one in Google Shopping Ad and one in Search Text Ads.
Although there’s a lot less volume in Bing than in Google, there are still people who use Bing so there’s still an audience there. Here’s how to get traffic to your Shopify store: you just have to create a Bing Shopping account and copy all the settings you have in Google into Bing. This is easy to set up since Microsoft just copies the entire user interface if you already have Google.
With Bing Shopping, you can lower your budget to about 20% of what you use and spend on Google. This would be a great addition to your store’s traffic sources.
Blog Banner Ads
Blog banner ads, in general, are display ads that use images to get the attention of online visitors. They’re designed to drive traffic to the advertiser’s website or store. When using this, you’ll go to industry sites that already have your target audience.
Let’s use the stand-up desk example again; here’s what will happen:
- 1You go on Google and search for things like “ergonomic furniture blogs” or “ergonomic furniture design” or something like that.
- 2You go through the search results and open up blog posts and content pieces that people are reading that might be interested in relevant ergonomic furniture like a stand-up desk.
- 3After that, you’ll reach out to all the publishers of this kind of content, most likely for a blog, and ask if you can advertise on their websites.
What you’ll get from this is a graphic spot on the sidebars of these blogs where you can create a “banner” or an image with your marketing message. This banner will directly link to your Shopify store or your top-selling products and will allow you to drive traffic to your store. This traffic is already interested in your product, so there’s a high chance of conversion and sale.
Keep in mind that this wouldn’t go through any ad platform and would go straight to the publishing website instead.
Influencer marketing has become one of the common forms of online marketing and you've probably heard of this. You work with influencers or content creators that create buying guides and the likes, like YouTube channels and Instagram pages.
Look for anyone with a good social presence that has your target audience. Like with blog banner ads, you’ll have to inquire about advertising directly with them – direct media buy-in.
Refer-A-Friend Program & Affiliate Marketing
The eighth way how to get traffic to your Shopify store is through refer-a-friend systems or affiliate marketing. There are a lot of Shopify apps that you can use to do this.
One of my favorites is called “Refursion” which allows you to let anyone interested promote your store in exchange for commissions. They can simply sign up through your affiliate program and get a unique affiliate link that they can share and send to their family, friends, acquaintances, etc. When someone uses that link and buys from you, the affiliate will then earn a commission, which you will decide how much.
Offering this commission is a great way to drive traffic to your store so you don’t have to rely entirely on Google analytics with zero people on your site.
This is another one of the free traffic sources that I encourage beginners without big advertising budgets to use. However, you have to be careful with this because Craiglist can take down your links to your store if you spam too much. You have to do it in a way that will keep your postings safe and that will generate qualified traffic.
Here’s what you’ll have to do:
- 1Go to Craigslist in major cities in the country where you do your dropshipping business.
- 2Create postings of what products you have to offer.
- 3Post a link with a marketing message and your contact information, like your email address, for more information.
This is a great way to get leads that are ready to buy and are looking for relevant deals on Craigslist. This costs less but can get profitable sales, which you can use to reinvest into paid ads.
The same method from using Craigslist will be used for this traffic source. Again, remember to avoid spamming your link all over Facebook because they will just get taken down if you post aggressively.
Also, keep in mind that this is something I only really recommend for beginners who are just getting started. The other traffic sources and channels, especially the paid ones, are where you can gain tons of traffic and quick momentum because there is more traffic available from them compared to the Facebook marketplace.
Meta Ads (Dynamic Remarketing)
Meta includes channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp, which you can utilize to bring people back to complete their purchases for remarketing. Using meta is a great way to instantly get people to buy from your store.
Meta ads are basically ads you use and run on the mentioned platforms to remarket your audience. With these ads, you can target users based on different factors, like location and demographics, and tailor your campaigns to specific goals.
Google Display Ads (Dynamic Remarketing)
You should also run dynamic ads on the Google Display Network, which is all over the internet with millions of sites, apps, and videos where your ads can appear. Almost any major site you visit will be showing Google Display Ads on it.
With your Google Ads account, you can create Dynamic Google Display ads that work like meta dynamic ads. How to drive traffic to your online store with this? When someone visits your store and leaves without buying, and they, later on, visit another site, there will be little ads or images of your products that they looked at on the site. These will contain links that will send them right back to your store to buy.
A lot of dropshippers sleep on this, but with this and a small budget, you can remarket to people that have already found you, generating some of the best return on ad spends among these traffic sources.
It’s your job to get people who come to your store to buy. If they leave without buying, which commonly happens, you want to get their email addresses. The question is how to drive traffic to your online store again after this.
We do this using exit intent overlays with the Klaviyo platform. You can also perform email marketing from the emails you collect from people who abandoned their carts but have already filled out step 1 of the order process. These emails go through our email database so we can follow them up with abandoned cart campaigns and promotions. You can do this for your email marketing and create engaging campaigns to remarket to potential customers.
Summary: Traffic Sources For Your Dropshipping Store
In summary, here are all the traffic sources you can utilize to drive traffic to your store:
- 1Google Shopping Ads
- 2Google Product Listings
- 3Google Organic
- 4Google Search Text Ads
- 5Bing Shopping
- 6Blog Banner Ads
- 7Influencer Marketing
- 8Refer-A-Friend Program and Affiliate Marketing
- 9Craigslist Posting
- 10Facebook Marketplace
- 11Meta Ads
- 12Google Display Ads
- 13Email Marketing
These are all the best sources of traffic for your Shopify store. You can utilize some of them, especially the free ones, and all of them together to get the best results and improve your traffic and sales.
If you need in-depth training for any of them, you can go to module 6 of the DSL blueprint if you’re already a member. If you’re not a member yet, you can still sign up today!