23 Free Traffic Sources For Online Stores In 2021 And Beyond
Here are the most efficient free traffic sources you can use for the benefit of your business! Look through this list and choose the options that suit your personal skills the most.
It’s not a secret at all: the more people you attract to your store, the more orders you’ll receive, and the higher profits you’ll get. Obviously, it works best when your store is optimised to help you enjoy the highest conversion rate possible.
The secret, however, is the following: how to attract more people to your online store, exactly? Where to find the most efficient traffic sources, and how to make sure they don’t cost you too much?
From this article, you’ll learn 23 types of free traffic sources that can be highly beneficial for your business. Plus, you will be able to choose the channels that suit your own personal preferences and strengths!
Best free traffic sources for entrepreneurs who like writing
If you don’t mind producing significant amount of texts, you can easily turn this writing hobby into cash! There are multiple ways to do it.
1. Write blog posts
An entertaining and engaging blog post is a valuable piece of quality content. What’s especially great, you can use it for several purposes.
First of all, it either gives useful pieces of information or simply provides the readers with something interesting to consider. Therefore, it increases the chances of someone stumbling upon your blog during web surfing. If this person gets curious about your blog contents, he/she will also take a look at your store offers. Isn’t that exactly what you want?
Plus, if you have a good article in your blog, you can share it on your social media accounts. This way, you will reach a large audience of potential buyers (and make sure that hundreds of people read your awesome article :))
Does your post share some valuable product-related or niche-related pieces of knowledge? (For example, if you’re describing different methods of plants watering and explain how to choose the most appropriate one). In this case, the article is likely to get reposted in the industry-specific communities – and that’s exactly the place where your potential buyers hang out!
If you write quality content for your blog regularly, do quick Google search from time to time. The goal is to find out whether someone has reposted your article(s), and check whether your store is mentioned in the credits.
2. Write on influential platforms
If you have something valuable to share with your audience (and most likely, you have – you really know a lot about the niche you’ve chosen, right?), it might be a good idea to reach an even wider audience through platforms like Medium.com.
This would require you to have advanced writing skills, but the result would be totally worth it. You will establish yourself as an expert in the field, and your business will gain significant exposure. If you want to improve your brand image and boost your sales at the same time, this is one of the best strategies to try.
Don’t forget to share everything you’ve written through external platforms. Make social media posts and short entries in your own in-store blog to notify your followers about this new masterpiece you’ve created.
3. Go on forums to get free traffic
You don’t really need to be super proficient writer in order to share your thoughts and tips on a niche forum, but it’s crucial to be attentive. Every forum has its own rules that oblige the contributors to follow certain regulations.
If you want to get enough traffic from your forum posting, it’s first of all necessary to learn what exactly you can and can’t write in this particular community.
Then, it’s important to share valuable pieces of advice. The more helpful you are to people, the quicker you will gain recognition, and the sooner you will become a reputable forum member. Obviously, it will inspire more trust to your business offers!
Add your store link to your forum signature (if it is allowed on this portal). Every time you post a reply or comment, you will show forum readers your website address and lure them into visiting it.
4. Answer questions on Quora
Quora portal is considered to be one of the best places to generate a healthy amount of traffic.
On this platform, users post their questions of interest, and various experts (both certified specialists and simply experienced people with no professional background) give their answers and share their opinions on the subject.
As you can guess, the people who leave their questions there are highly motivated to find the solution for their query – this is why it’s really easy to convert them into buyers and loyal customers (in case your store can really help with their requests!).
Look at the most popular questions and answer the ones that are somehow related to your store niche or to your area of professional expertise. Sometimes, it takes some inventiveness to think of a honest and helpful answer that would match your own interests as well!
5. Post on Reddit
This is also a great way to generate high quality traffic, but for an unexperienced writer, Reddit might seem to be quite a challenging destination.
Reddit is famous for its demanding community. You can’t just go there and start posting your site links and ads without getting blocked instantly. At the same time, the portal sees a growing popularity and attracts an impressive amount of readers every day which makes it the perfect destination for entrepreneurs looking for a steady traffic source.
If you want to make a good use of Reddit traffic potential, start with finding suitable threads, and help the posters with the power of your knowledge. As soon as you reach the necessary level of credibility, you can write your own posts that don’t directly promote your store or products.
6. Send emails
An engaging email with a catchy subject line is a good way to remind about your business and motivate the addressee to take a look at your site once again.
In order not to scare away your readers or to make them unsubscribe, be creative in your email marketing efforts. Use and rotate different types of letters. Mix product updates with sales announcements, notifications about the newest blog articles, special offers for the subscribers, etc
7. Write an e-book
If you have something super valuable to share with your audience, and can produce a long, coherent, well-structured and logically organised text, an e-book is the thing that can bring you fame, glory, and money.
An e-book is an outstanding traffic generating tool: you don’t spend anything on the book production, and you can easily distribute it across the Web, so you attract new readers, store visitors and buyers with no extra costs.
E-books give you targeted traffic. The person who got your book is already interested in your knowledge and experience. So, it’s much easier for you to convert him/her into an actual buyer.
Free traffic sources for entrepreneurs who like SEO
Some people don’t even want to go deep in the search algorithms: they prefer to stay away from the intricacies of search engine optimisation. For others, it’s a complicated yet efficient tool that defines the webstore prosperity in the long-term period.
If you don’t mind researches and analytical work, this is what you can do to get free traffic from SEO.
8. Optimize product descriptions
As you already know, an informative description is a crucial element of a highly convertible product page.
You can either simply list the features and peculiarities of each particular product, or, if you’re interested in creating an SEO-friendly description, it’s possible to enrich your texts with relevant long-tail keywords.
You will increase your chances of attracting random Web surfers to your store if you include niche-related or product-specific keywords into the description of every product in your store.
9. Optimize images
When dropshipping store owners automatically import products from AliExpress along with all their descriptions, titles, reviews and other details, they obviously grab all the pictures as well.
On the one hand, it’s super convenient: everything gets uploaded at once, and the store owner doesn’t have to make any extra efforts.
On the other hand, there’s always a room for growth in terms of SEO. When you take a picture directly from AliExpress, it commonly has a super weird name, lacks alt tags, and has an inappropriate size.
Make sure that the picture file name contains the relevant keyword, the image has a suitable alt tag, and the picture size isn’t too big (otherwise, the page containing this picture will be loading for ages).
10. Revise and update blog posts
If you run a blog in your webstore, make a tiny checklist for all the important elements that are the must-haves for every article (keyword-rich headings, links to other pages on your site, bullet lists, synonyms to the chosen keywords, etc.). Look at each article critically, and make the necessary improvements according to your checklist.
Update every article at least once a year. Change the year if it’s mentioned in the text, and rewrite factual information if it gets irrelevant. In terms of SEO (and common sense), outdated articles can’t bring enough traffic.
11. Encourage comments
It is a good idea to motivate your blog readers on discussing every entry and sharing their own thoughts and ideas in the comments’ section.
The more people comment on your articles, the more likely they are to provide some additional insights, and this is obviously great because a bigger amount of Internet surfers will see this particular comment (and this exact article, and this specific webstore) on their search engine results page.
In the end of every article, ask an interesting question that would make the readers write their guesses and opinions.
12. Leave your own comments
Go through industry-related blogs and comment on the articles that are somehow connected to your store niche or to your area of professional expertise. Many blogs allow the commenters to provide their own site links, and, in terms of SEO, it’s a winning strategy because it makes you much more visible on Google.
Your comments should be informative and valuable. One-word entries like ‘awesome’ or ‘Agree’ are likely to be considered spammy and deleted, plus, they contribute nothing to your professional image and reputation.
13. Post on classified ads websites
Every country has its own range of classified ads websites: these sites allow users to post their advertisements for free, and they are commonly considered to be a good-working tool for increasing your website traffic.
If your advertisement contains relevant keywords and meets this particular platform requirements, you are likely to make the viewers interested: as you can guess, these people are already highly motivated on making a purchase because they are browsing this particular classified ads website.
Don’t limit yourself with one advertisement placed on one site: create a range of slightly different ads, and post them in various categories on several classified ads sites.
Best free traffic sources for entrepreneurs who like videos
If you enjoy creating videos and have the necessary resources to make them on a regular basis, don’t miss out the opportunity to use them as a powerful traffic driver! Here are the steps you can take.
14. Create a YouTube channel
Curiously enough, people use YouTube for a variety of purposes: to pass the time (obviously), to search for valuable pieces of information, to share their achievements and creative works, etc.
So, a YouTube channel that posts highly informative videos along with the entertaining ones can attract massive attention of the platform users. It means you can heavily benefit from it!
Pay a special attention to the contents of your videos. If they are not perfect from the technical/visual point of view, but explain or describe something interesting or important, they can still see a positive response from the viewers.
15. Follow related channels
Clearly, this is a super simple strategy, but it doesn’t mean it’s inefficient!
All you need to do is find YouTube channels that are in some way connected to the products you’re selling in your store, or to the whole business niche.
The more ‘visible’ and active you become in this specific professional area, the more likely you get to attract attention to your own channel. Recognition is the key to building a strong business brand. Surely, it’s instrumental in attracting more people to your store.
Make sure that your own account looks reliable and makes it clear who you are and what’s your business is all about. Check if you have your store links featured in the ‘About’ section, and pay attention to your videos’ descriptions.
16. Leave valuable comments
Every time you discover a visually appealing, helpful, or emotional video that is dedicated to some of the issues you’re solving with your business, use the comments field to thank the author for the incredible job and to share your personal opinion on the subject.
Don’t leave a comment just for the sake of commenting. Your goal is to become a prominent figure in this specific area of knowledge. When you leave a comment under a popular/informative video, you easily reach a part of this channel’s audience, so you need to be polite and professional in your writings.
17. Place your videos on other platforms
Why limit yourself with YouTube? There are lots of alternative platforms that can also attract hundreds of viewers (and potential buyers).
Depending on the specific features of your products and the dropshipping niche in general, Dailymotion, Vimeo, and even 9GAG TV can turn out to be wonderful places to share your videos.
Don’t forget to share your videos in social networks as well! If you want to show them on Facebook, it’s better to upload them on the platform directly, and not just share a link from some external source.
Free traffic sources for social media fans
Social media platforms’ purpose is to help people easily talk to each other and to stay connected. So, in terms of distributing information and raising awareness about this or that thing, social media are irreplaceable and super valuable. This is what you can do with them in order to get more store traffic for free.
18. Create a social media account – one of the best free traffic sources in 2021
A Facebook group, an Instagram/Twitter/Pinterest account, or a page on any other popular social network is essential not only for your social proof, but for your brand recognition and business exposure as well. It increases your website visibility in terms of SEO, helps reaching a wide audience of potential buyers, makes it easier to talk to future customers, and serves as a convenient platform for demonstrating your store offers.
Ready to start inviting Internet users to view/follow your social media account? Make sure this page features all the necessary contact details and already has several engaging posts.
19. Update content regularly
To keep your viewers and followers interested, you need to post something consistently. Your goal is to make high quality posts. Ideally, they should encourage your readers to discuss your entries, to visit your store, and eventually, to make a purchase.
Experiment with interactive posts. Polls, votes, contests, etc. are the activities that make followers involved into the ‘life’ of your page. These are real traffic magnets!
20. Transform content types
Out of ideas what to post? Look at the types of content you already have, and try turning it into something different. For example, you can turn a short article into an infographic picture, product features text – into a simple video, etc.
First of all, it will give you the opportunity to grab attention of the people who overlooked the initial post. Because of their perception traits, users don’t always notice the things we want them to see. Some people ignore long texts, others pay no attention to videos, someone just scrolls down pictures, etc.
Plus, repurposing your content, you can post it on social media that weren’t suitable for it before. For example, you can’t post a text entry on Pinterest. Instead, you can convert it into a picture and easily reach a new audience.
Are you repurposing a piece of content in order to place this new post on some specific social network? Learn the technical requirements of the allowed text length, video duration, images size and resolution, etc.
Free traffic sources for sociable and extroverted entrepreneurs
For some people, it’s super easy to talk to strangers and become friends with them; for others, it’s a nightmare.
Don’t see any difficulties in starting and maintaining a conversation with someone you don’t know? Use this personal trait for the benefit of your business!
21. Cross promotion
Simply speaking, you find a blog/store that operates in the same niche as yours, and contact the owner. You offer to mention each other in one another’s social media posts in order to increase your audience coverage.
In other words, this is something similar to the Instagram shoutouts strategy – the only exception is that none of you is doing it for money.
Remember that in this case, this person is your partner, and not the competitor! Both of you are benefitting from this collaboration, so being nice is the key to a fruitful partnership. Discuss the details of the posting politely and come to an agreement together.
If you don’t feel confident enough, start with a cross posting strategy. Repost some of this account’s entries and ask to do the same for you in return. Don’t forget to mention the author of the original post!
22. Guest posting
This is the next step in your long-term friendship with the partner account you’ve chosen.
Offer your partner to write an article for his/hers blog, and ask to mention your website/business name. Everybody needs good content, which is why they are likely to agree. So, do your best and don’t let them down! Remember that lots of new potential buyers will see your guest article, and its quality will influence their buying decisions.
Alternatively, you can do it the other way round. Ask the partner to write an article for you, and post it with all the due credits. You’ll get great engaging content, and your partner will get an increased media coverage.
23. Guest featuring
There are lots of types of collaboration you can try. Filming a part for your partner’s video? Sure! Giving an interview for the industry experts roundup? Great idea! Contributing to a prize fund of a contest you’re holding together? Why not!
Don’t forget to make sure you’re featured in the list of sponsors/guest stars/co-authors!
As you can see, the more you think about it, the more tools and tricks you can come up with!
Inventive entrepreneurs create dozens of ways to reach new, untapped free traffic sources. Have you tried any in your own online store?