Shopify is becoming one of the most popular eCommerce CMSes. It’s a hosted service and rated as the best eCommerce platform for small to medium scale businesses operating a single shop. In August 2017, Shopify was supporting over 500,000 businesses around the world, with more than 1.2 million people actively working on Shopify backend platforms. It is growing by around 75% a year, and in 2017 saw around $40 billion in sales.
Shopify comes with many themes that can be customised, allowing start-ups on a tight budget to avoid expensive web development costs. You can sell both physical and digital goods with Shopify, and a range of add-ons allow it to be expanded and integrated with other platforms.
So, if you’re thinking of setting up an online store, look at Shopify! But this is not an ad for their CMS, it is a guide to getting the most out of it. eCommerce is a minefield for SEOs, with duplicate content, thin content, dead pages, suboptimal URLs structures and poor content management solutions often meaning that winning in the SERPs is not as easy as creating a smooth selling experience for the user.
However, we have seen Shopify used with great success on some of our larger retail clients – knitting brand Deramores uses Shopify. So let’s take a look at what you can do to boost your business.
HOW TO GET MORE VISITORS TO YOUR STORE?
The same rules apply to a Shopify site as other sites – the key difference is in implementing these rules. More organic search traffic requires great content, good site architecture, logical navigation, fast loading pages, and quality referring links. So here are our Shopify SEO rules:
USE COLLECTIONS WISELY
Collections on Shopify are similar to Categories in WordPress. The number one retail rule also applies in eCommerce – you want all your shelves full. Collections that only have a couple of products make your site look empty, and this puts people off. Also, if you are making the effort to get people to land on your collection pages, make sure there is something worth buying!
Collections pages should have some SEO optimised content that describes the products on the shelf – this should be well written content, as you want people to read and act, as well as giving the search engines some juicy copy to process. The items in each collection need to be related, obviously, and not duplicated – if the same products keep appearing in each collection, shoppers will be put off. Most importantly, make sure that the products in the collections are active.
Shopify has manual and automated collections. Manual gives you much more control, so if you only have a small range of products, this may be the best option. However, it requires more management. Automated collections will ensure that every product appears on the website.
NAVIGATION – LINKING TO COLLECTIONS
Navigation on shopping sites is often the hardest task to master. Ideally, every product should be no more than 3 clicks from your homepage. 2 clicks is best. This means, each collection needs to linked in the main navigation, and then all products appear in the first view. Easy with 100 products, but if you have 5000 product lines, it becomes a greater challenge.
UNIQUE PRODUCT PAGES
Next are the product pages. Each one must be unique – never use the suppliers descriptions. Enhance titles so that they use a combination of the product name, the brand and a description. The first paragraph should tell the buyer everything about the product, and the next should focus on selling the product. Technical aspects should be left to the end.
Make sure your images all look fantastic too, but also ensure they are optimised for the web – large images are the number one cause of slowly loading websites today. There is no point in improving page load speeds if you are using 2Mb photos for your products!
Your URLs should contain the keywords and product names that your shoppers are searching for. While some pages will contain parameters, it should be obvious from the URL what the product is.
Shopify deals well with canonical tags to prevent duplicate content penalties, and Shopify creates the sitemap.xml and robots.txt files automatically.
WRITE A BLOG
Shopify also provides an integrated blogging platform – use this. Blog posts are a great way to promote products, reach out to the community and engage with shoppers. If you have a new product line, or an upcoming promotion, write a blog post and share this on social media.
The number one rule of blogging for eCommerce is remembering the sales funnel – you want people to read your blog before buying a product. So make sure you link to your product pages using a combination text and image links, so that readers become shoppers.
If you need help optimising your Shopify website, contact FSE Digital today. Our team of web developers, site auditors and content specialists will get your site optimised in no time, and all you’ll have to do is manage the orders as they come in.