With an increase of retailers moving towards online platforms, Shopify has made selling online more accessible to professionals and amateurs alike. Shopify has created a robust platform to assist everyone in becoming more visible in the virtual world.
As an extremely powerful and capable platform, everyday users must learn how to take advantage of Shopify’s capabilities by discovering how to use it for their product pages, UX enhancement tactics, and a variety of other ways that are designed to enhance a store’s performance online.
This can be a little tricky for merchants to navigate on their own so it is important to us that we help you figure out how to optimize your Shopify store online and to fill in some of the gaps.
Here are a few great starting points to help you build your brand online
1. Customize CSS Theme
Shopify offers a multitude of theme plugins that will help you customize your site and optimize it to better suit the needs of your business.
To achieve a specific look and feel it may be necessary to edit the CSS code to produce the desired effect.
Before making any changes to your code it is always recommended to make a duplicate copy of your current theme. This way if anything goes wrong you are always able to revert to your original theme. It is fairly simple to set up, just go to the online store > themes > select ‘duplicate’ from the ‘actions’ menu and you’ll open up the source code editor.
Once you are inside the source code editor, head over to the CSS file entitled ‘theme.scss.liquid’ which can be located in the ‘assets’ folder and then proceed to make any changes to the layout or presentation of your site.
2. Make Navigation Easy for Users
Making the user experience a great one is a non-ranking SEO factor that will indirectly affect SEO but still engage people to continue to happily navigate your site.
Google is very precious about the information as to what is a direct ranking factor, however, we know that the better your site functions, the more likely people will enjoy browsing it.
Any e-commerce merchant on the quest for success online must have their search engine optimization up to scratch.
If a user can navigate through a site with ease then it’s indirectly said to affect ‘time-on-site and ‘conversions’, which in turn results in enhanced SERP rankings.
Always consider making a simple site structure that is streamlined to enable search engines to crawl and rank pages more specifically. An example of a user-friendly search structure would be:
Homepage > category page > Sub category page > Product page
This framework is excellent at ensuring that your products on your Shopify products are easily accessible and close to your homepage.
Making sure that your site’s architecture and design is simple and flows intuitively ensures that the user experience is more enjoyable and that customers can navigate to your products in a few simple clicks.
You will also want to ensure you have a contact and about page to let shoppers and search engines know that you are credible and trustworthy.
3. Your Shopify Speed is Important
To optimize your store, it is paramount that you provide an exceptional on-site user experience. A very helpful way to do this is to focus on maximising your e-commerce site speed.
A slower loading page can open you up to a frustrating user experience, thus leading to a higher bounce rate.
At this point, any effort that you have put into the user experience element of your site becomes fairly pointless. If you do not have visitors sticking around because they are bored of waiting then you can expect them to go somewhere else.
Try using our PageSpeed Tool to ensure your page is loading at the sweet spot of 1- 2 seconds.
4. Get a Handle on the Right Keywords
Keywords are crucial as they speak to the intent of the user. Looking at things from a user perspective helps!
Start by brainstorming the main topics that your customers are searching for and topics related to your industry. You want to line your keywords up with how and what people are searching for in your industry.
Here are some ways to target important keywords:
- Identify a demographic for your buyers
- Explore forums on topics related to your industry
- Search social media for hashtags related to your industry
Note titles, meta descriptions and image alt-text that are being used by your competitors
5. Ensure Your Product Pages are Optimized for Search and Buyability
Ensuring that your best and most sought after products are at the forefront of your Shopify site will ensure that users are finding exactly what they are looking for.
This can be done by using the keyword map you just created to optimize your store pages.
With a keyword map that speaks directly to your customer and a hierarchy that is easy to navigate it is an important next step to put your best product pages forward.
How do you do this, you ask?
Optimize Titles and Meta Descriptions with Keywords
Your SEO will improve by writing original copy. Inserting your keywords into your copy, description and titles to sound natural, a mission that every SEO writer will easily take.
Optimize Your Images With ALT TEXT
Hiding in the back-end of your photography is also an opportunity for SEO keywords to live.
The good news is that these do not have to be as coherent sounding as their cousins, title tags, and meta descriptions, but can still hub a ton of keywords to help your products perform better in image search as well as serving as an accessibility resource for screen readers for visitors who are visually impaired.
6. Don’t Forget To Link Externally to Your Store
Backlinks are the stamp of approval from other sites that tell the public how great you and your services are. They are also important because they build a reputable network of relationships and friendships within your industry. Think of it as a great recommendation via SEO.
Backlinks aren’t always the easiest to attain but here are some places you can begin to look:
Sometimes suppliers will allow you to post a link on their website, advertising that you carry their products. Find contact and send them an email, it never hurts to ask.
Reach out to industry professionals for interviews that will produce both links and content on both ends.
Ensure that for every mention of your product in an article, that there is a link to your supply or product.
7. Content Matters
Content is always a great place for more keywords and to also talk about your brand in a way that is not sales-y.
Here you can share your mission, harbour your inspiration and develop awesome graphics, photography and blog posts that answer the questions your audience wants to hear.
Think about who your customers are and the types of things they are interested in, online.
This will give you the information you need to begin creating content that is engaging, entertaining and relevant to your key customers.
Your marketing content shouldn’t necessarily speak to product information but be answers to what your core demographic wants to hear.
Shopify has plenty of great options for a plug and plays experience, but it is the way you optimize your page that will put you a cut above the rest online.
Ensuring that you have a great user experience, that your title tags and descriptions are using relevant keywords and that you are producing great content your user wants to read are all factors that contribute to an out of this world Shopify user experience.
There are plenty of free SEO tools online that you can use to ensure you’re on the right track.
At the end of the day, great SEO is about great user experience and exposure. To find your target audience, shoot in their direction, network with industry professionals online and leverage original content through your social media platforms and you are heading in the right direction.
Have a question? Reach out on Twitter!