Starting your own business has never been easier, thanks to Shopify. It is the second-largest eCommerce platform in the world, with over a million merchants.
Users love it for its user-friendliness, and shoppers trust Shopify stores, which is why there were over 44 million Shopify shoppers in 2020 alone. In that same year, Shopify stores had around 58 million visits.
That said, if you want to be a successful Shopify merchant, it’s not enough to launch and stock your online store and hope for the best. You have to promote your store and products to your target market.
Aside from using a Shopify chat plugin to connect with customers, let me show you how to reach more potential customers with digital PR and make them love you. By the end of this post, you’ll be able to do online publicity that drives sizeable traffic to your Shopify website and generate steady sales.
Why all Shopify Websites can Benefit from Digital PR
Several marketing options are available for promoting websites, like Shopify coupons and other kinds of promos, but digital PR delivers some of the best return-on-investment. Digital PR (Public Relations) involves creating brand awareness through various Internet-based strategies, which we’ll discuss later.
Digital PR doesn’t just bring your brand to the attention of your target customers. It also convinces them through storytelling that you are the perfect Shopify store for their needs. More reasons to promote your Shopify website with digital PR are:
Lower Barrier to Entry than Traditional PR
Traditional PR channels, such as TV, billboards, and magazines, require paying for slots to advertise your brand. Integrating your offline audience into your online marketing funnel is difficult with traditional PR unless you use technologies like custom QR codes or you use call-to-actions directed to social media profiles or websites. Audience targeting is limited, and time to conversion for traditional PR is higher than digital PR.
Unlike bigger brands, you might not be able to afford the high cost of traditional advertising. Instead of competing for limited advertisement slots, save money and connect with the right audiences through digital PR.
Broader Regional Audiences
Only locals see the adverts on a local TV station, newspaper, or the street corner billboard. If you intend on selling to customers in a different state or country, digital PR can help you reach them faster and at a lower cost.
By combining Shopify and digital PR, you can become a successful national or even international seller.
Accurate Audience Targeting
Traditional PR is similar to fishing with a net, meaning you have no guarantees of reaching customers that might actually convert.
Digital PR allows you to tailor your marketing campaign to target readers of specific blogs and listeners of specific podcasts. Accurate target marketing eliminates waste by ensuring that you advertise to people who are most likely to buy your products.
Backlinks are invaluable for Google SEO. Digital PR doubles as SEO PR by providing strong backlinks that search engine optimize your Shopify site and boost your search page ranking. A higher search page ranking equals more organic traffic and potential sales.
How to Do Digital PR (and Profit from It)
When you properly do digital PR, it:
- Improves brand recognition and reputation
- Increases targeted traffic visiting your website
- Establishes your reputation as a thought leader
- Boosts customer loyalty and sales
If you would like your Shopify website to experience these benefits, follow these 3 steps:
Step 1. Do the SEO Prep Work
Like we stated, one of the best things about digital PR is its SEO (search engine optimization) benefit. However, if you want these SEO benefits in full, you have to do a bit of prep work, the biggest of which is optimizing your website’s homepage.
Your homepage is the first thing visitors see after clicking on the backlink used in your digital PR campaign. Optimizing it requires identifying the keyphrase or keyword(s) your target audience uses to find websites like yours. You must strategically insert this keyword across your homepage.
Besides making your site more likely to appear in relevant search engine results, optimizing your homepage to target a relevant keyphrase also facilitates backlinks. It works best if your backlink’s anchor text is your keyphrase.
Other ways to optimize your homepage are:
- Add your keyphrase in your homepage’s meta description, page title, and subheadlines.
- Use header tags to break up your page and make it easy to scan.
- Use bullet points where possible to concisely deliver valuable points.
- Add quality copy and use calls-to-action to guide visitors to do what you want.
- Leave sufficient whitespace to make your page appear uncluttered.
- Add internal links that guide visitors to other pages on your Shopify website.
- Add relevant and clear images to spice up your pages.
- Insert your keyphrase into the alt text and file name of your biggest images.
After search engine optimizing your homepage, it’s ready for your digital PR campaign. The traffic from your campaign is more likely to convert after landing on your optimized homepage.
Step 2. Regularly Execute 2-3 Digital PR Strategies
Various digital PR tactics exist, and each one requires a different level of commitment and skill. I recommend selecting and executing two to three tactics that fit your style, personality, and resources.
For instance, tactics that involve writing, such as guest posting, may not be for you if you don’t have the patience or interest. If public speaking excites you, podcasts or speaking engagements may be perfect for you.
Below are the most effective digital PR tactics:
- Podcasts: The latest podcast data shows that over 144 million Americans listen to or watch podcasts. That makes it an excellent platform for reaching potential clients that don’t enjoy reading website content. As your podcast fan base grows, so will your online authority, brand awareness, and traffic to your Shopify website.
- Guest Posting: Guest posting on high authority sites creates powerful backlinks that boost your Shopify website’s SEO. Posting on high-traffic sites also helps reach more internet users and drive traffic to your site through your backlink.
- HARO: Help A Reporter Out (HARO) is a platform where journalists ask questions and experts like you provide answers. The journalists or writers asking questions may be from small blogs or major online publications. If the reporter loves your HARO response, it could lead to a feature in a major publication. My below response led to a Business Insider feature that’s still a useful backlink for my website.
- Premium Online Publications: Publishing content on leading online publications (like Today and Entrepreneur) generates instant credibility for your brand. That’s because people see these sites as reliable sources and believe only reputable experts get published on them. Use this to your advantage by publishing on such platforms. Don’t forget to add anchor texts with a link back to your website.
- Speaking Engagements: Through online or offline speaking engagements, you can connect with your target audience and talk to them about your expertise. Make people crave your talks by adding value to your audience’s life and proffering solutions to their pain points. The more successful your speaking engagements are, the higher your brand’s visibility becomes.
Compared to using just one of these tactics, implementing two to three tactics increases your chances of success.
If you have the resources and are willing, try them all, but don’t forget to monitor and evaluate your campaign. Evaluation helps identify the tactics delivering the best results so you can focus more of your energy on them.
Step 3. Promote Your Digital PR on Social Media
When your digital PR campaign yields great publicity, you need to share it on social media. Don’t think of it as bragging. Instead, look at it as proving your credibility to the world. Your successful publicity is social proof that individuals and online publications recognize you as an authority within your field.
Social proof is a potent psychological tactic for winning over the attention and approval of social media users.
The more publicity you get and the more you celebrate it on social media, the more enthusiastic and interested your followers will be about your brand. Interested followers are more likely to engage with your social media content and share it with their friends.
Celebrating your publicity on social media will also get the attention of other brands that would like to partner with you.
Lastly, it provides the opportunity to share content that might lead to sales. Generate sales by sharing a screenshot of your publicity coverage and add a link to your relevant sales pages.
Get optimal visibility by sharing your publicity coverage multiple times on all your social media pages. Avoid appearing repetitive by sharing your post from different angles (personal and professional) or sharing fresh insights.
The Wrap Up
That’s all you need to know to start driving traffic to your website with digital PR. If performing digital PR yourself seems like too much work, or you don’t have the time, consider hiring a virtual assistant or freelance writer to handle it for you.
Outsourcing lets you focus on the other parts of running your Shopify website while your digital PR team brings in the traffic that leads to more sales and business growth.
About the Author
Dayana Mayfield is a digital PR strategist who helps small businesses and bloggers drive backlinks and increase their authority through digital PR. Download her SEO PR Checklist, and connect with her on LinkedIn.