What’s Best for my eCommerce Business? Shopify vs BigCommerce Store

When embarking on your first business adventure online you will be forced to make a crucial decision: What’s best for my business? A Shopify or a BigCommerce store?

This is not a question to be taken lightly. Most people only do a quick search on the internet and go with the first result they find. However, each platform has its unique strengths and weaknesses and will either give your business a nice traffic boost or hinder your marketing efforts due to some limitation you didn’t anticipate when choosing a home for it.

But first, let’s see why you need an eCommerce platform in the first place.

What Do eCommerce Platforms Do?

In the days of yore, and I mean just a few years ago, building a website required extensive knowledge of programming languages. Even if you only needed a small landing page.

Unless you were a big commercial brand, your websites would look and feel clunky right off the gate. Entrepreneurial individuals with enough drive to dive into coding developed and maintained websites for their businesses with relative ease. However, internet moguls would always outpace them in terms of aesthetics, user experience, ease of use, inventory management, content generation, and search engine optimization.

Platforms are the market’s response to these pains. They are basically website builders that allow users with limited development knowledge to create and customize online stores. ECommerce platforms are easy to use, and they have become the best way to start selling products online in minutes. Just pick the template you want, upload your product pictures, set your prices, and you just got yourself a Shopify or BigCommerce store. That’s an ideal world, and we don’t live in an ideal world, do we?

It is always better to give an eCommerce SEO expert a call when you are ready to take full advantage of your Shopify or BigCommerce store.

What are the advantages of setting up a Shopify or BigCommerce Store?

We already mentioned the ease of use. Technically, you don’t need to know much about website design or development to get your eCommerce store up and running.

They all come with an immense catalog of themes that allow you to effortlessly give your online business a professional feel. Moreover, theme customization is now easier than ever, giving you the freedom to move things around, try different locations for your products or services, and create pages at will.

Additionally, platforms are SEO-friendly. You only need to install a couple of plugins to make sure your content, URL structure, metas, and redirects are all in working order. This reduces the time you would spend learning how to optimize your website for search engines.

Both BigCommerce and Shopify have incredibly easy-to-use checkout processes. One of the stickier points of building an online store is managing payment options, inventory, and shipping (not to mention returns). Both platforms now easily integrate with payment gateways that virtually automate much of the financial aspects of your business.

Finally, they all provide useful metrics that give you a bird’s eye view of how your business is performing. They not only provide information about traffic and sales. You can also see which products are performing better, where your visitors are going once they enter a page, and what part of your website is causing people to stop on their heels before completing their customer journey. This data helps businesses save time and resources by giving them the tools to constantly tweak their stores depending on their marketing strategy.

However, this sounds almost too good to be true. “These automated platforms that do everything for you and allow you to set up a store on autopilot must cost a fortune”, I hear you say.

The good news is that they are pretty affordable. The bad news is that eCommerce platforms are not a set-and-forget solution. There is still plenty of work to do if you want to give your competitors a run for their money. But let’s take a look at the pricing of the two biggest eCommerce platforms today.

BigCommerce vs Shopify: pricing

If you do a side-by-side comparison of the pricing structure of these two platforms trying to find a clear winner, you would be disappointed. The two are apparently identical at first glance.

However, there are plenty of differences between the two.

One of the most glaring differences is on sales limits. BigCommerce imposes a $50k sales cap on their standard plan, a $180k cap on their Plus plan, and a $400k cap on their Pro plan. The only way to get rid of gross merchandise value limits is to hire their custom-priced Enterprise plan.

There are no such limits in Shopify, which gives them a plus here. However, Shopify does impose transaction fees while BigCommerce has a nice and flat 0% transaction fee on all of its plans. There is a way to get around those pesky fees on Shopify, though. If you use their Shopify Payments system, they waive all transaction fees. The problem is you have to live in one of the following countries to qualify for their Shopify Payments program:

Australia
Austria
Belgium
Canada
Denmark
Germany
Hong Kong SAR
Ireland
Italy
Japan
The Netherlands
New Zealand
Singapore
Spain
Sweden
United Kingdom
United States of America

If your business is not located in any of the countries listed, you have to use a third-party payment gateway or app for processing your customers´ credit cards. Shopify might be adding more countries to that list as it expands, allowing more people around the world to use their convenient Shopify Payments.

BigCommerce recommends using PayPal as a partner for processing credit cards. PayPal is less region restrictive than Shopify Payments and, all things considered, features fairly similar advantages and fees. In fact, when comparing credit card rates, Shopify Payments has slightly higher rates than BigCommerce (2.4%-2.9% against 2.2%-2.9% respectively). These percentages might not mean much for small businesses. However, for those dealing with high-volume sales, it might leave a pretty noticeable dent in the bottom line.

Website Visuals

The importance of aesthetics cannot be overstated. ECommerce platforms came into existence to eliminate the need for web designers and developers to put together a nice-looking and functional website.

With the help of templates, we can instantly have a properly organized homepage that looks professional and clean without the fear of having to learn to code when we feel like moving things around.
Both platforms offer a wide variety of free templates to get you started right away.

BigCommerce used to take the cake here by offering more free templates and more customization options and tools. One frequent quibble among designers and developers was that their templates were too similar to each other. They only had slight differences in color palettes. That apparent lack of diversity is offset by the ease of use of their customization tools, which was deemed superior to how Shopify approached their design process.

However, in 2021 Shopify launched their online store 2.0 and added a ton more features to make our lives even easier. They adopted a modular building approach that eliminated the gap between them and BigCommerce in terms of ease of use, but it is evidently based on their competitor´s most successful features.

Product Categories and Options

The first thing we want to do is upload our product to our store. We want to see how our virtual shelves look, write product descriptions, set prices, and start selling, right?

Both platforms offer pretty intuitive ways to do all that. However, they have slight differences.

Shopify allows you to create categories and populate them in bulk. But they really hit it out of the park with their “Smart” collection feature. It automatically populates your categories with new products according to conditions you set to said category. You can set a condition that says that any product with the tag “dog snack” should be included in the “Pet” category, and forget about manually entering your products. This is a real-time saver for businesses that have hundreds or thousands of products.

BigCommerce does not lack a bulk product upload process, but you still have to place them in the right category or collection. That is not to say that there are no advantages to having a BigCommerce store. For those who sell products with a wide variety of sizes or colors, the platform allows you to create up to 600 product options and varieties, giving a lot of room for combinations. By contrast, Shopify only offers up to 100 combinations.

For those offering products that require user input, we find that BigCommerce is a lot easier to use than Shopify. This is due to Shopify´s requirement of third-party apps to be able to enter custom data (like a line of text or a file). BigCommerce allows you to do this effortlessly without making you learn to code or spend money on third-party applications.

Content Generation Tools

This is where both platforms fall short when compared to others like WordPress or even SquareSpace.

They are eCommerce platforms that focus on selling products and making your life and that of your customers easier. They do not aim to inform or educate people about the products you sell or the latest news in your industry.

This makes it a bit tricky if your business depends on search engines to generate traffic. A comprehensive search engine optimization strategy must include blogging and constant content production to be able to rank.

BigCommerce and Shopify know this, and they have included basic blogging features in their platform. However, for those used to more advanced content management platforms, these features feel pretty bland. For example, they won´t give you access to basic SEO plugins aimed at content optimization. Additionally, BigCommerce lacks RSS feeds which prove vital to syndicate your content to other outlets, thus closing the door to massive link-building opportunities.

Of course, many workarounds allow Shopify and BigCommerce store owners to leverage the power of other CMS such as WordPress, but they require an in-depth knowledge of the platform.

If you´re wondering how to properly optimize your online store, get in touch with one of our eCommerce SEO experts and ask for a free SEO audit of your website.

BigCommerce vs Shopify: Conclusions

As we can see, both platforms are well-balanced and offer very similar value. The fact that they´re constantly trying to outpace each other, incentivizes them to keep improving their platforms and offer increasingly better features.

But, only one platform will get the job done depending on your business model.

Shopify seems better suited for small stores that need to start selling a handful of products in the least amount of time. Their smart categories feature is fantastic for those who plan on growing their catalog. Additionally, they offer a free “abandoned cart saving” tool which is fantastic for generating additional sales.

However, we feel like BigCommerce offers more value for high-volume businesses. Lower credit card fees and more flexibility become more attractive if your plan contemplates long-term growth and scalability. The platform also includes more features like reporting, multi-currency selling, ratings, and reviews. Shopify forces users to purchase third-party apps if they want to expand their tool belt.

Which one is better for you? Let us know in the comments!

10 Shopify Tips For Accelerated Store Growth

Shopify has solidified itself as one of the best eCommerce platforms out there, but if you want to get more sales and grow your store, you still need an aggressive digital marketing plan anchored by carefully implemented SEO.

The entire idea of search engine optimization may be somewhat overwhelming for merchants and store owners, which is why we’ve put together the following list of effective Shopify tips that will actually help you to improve the way your website ranks in the search results.

Although Shopify SEO may seem intimidating at first, with the right direction you will be able to generate results. Whether your store is brand new or if you have been around for years, optimizing your website for the search engines is one of the best things you can do from a marketing and growth standpoint. If you want to out-rank your competitors and actually improve your online business, it’s the most effective way forward.

Why Shopify SEO is So Important

Ranking well for keywords in your industry is one of the crucial growth elements you need to be focusing on. The trouble is, you’re not going to find the solution in the Shopify app store or in any other pre-packaged solution. These are changes you have to make yourself.

The payoff can be massive though, as more users will be noticing your business and clicking onto your products. You could say that organic search results are the lifeline for most businesses these days. While social media marketing and paid ads are effective as well, there’s nothing that compares to having your business show up in relevant searches by users that are already actively looking for a place to shop.

Most of the time with other forms of marketing, you have to convince someone that may or may not be interested in shopping that your products are right for them. However, with SEO, you are effectively reaching out to people who are already in the mind to purchase a product. This essential difference means that if you are able to target the right people using the right keywords, you will receive a steady flow of potential customers to your online store.

Shopify Tips For Growth

Now you might be able to see how the Shopify tips we highlight below can help you grow your business. Without a doubt, search engine optimizations are one of the keys to eCommerce success, no matter what industry you are in or how old your store is.

The Best Shopify Tips To Grow Your eCommerce Store

One issue that you might have when it comes to your SEO is knowing which tactics and tips to utilize first. There are hundreds of ranking signals according to Google, and trying to address them all on an ongoing basis is not a good use of your time. Rather, you want to hone in on the most important areas of SEO and do what you can to increase your rankings by making small but powerful changes.

At a certain point, it is usually the best choice to hire a professional Shopify company for your digital marketing, but the following SEO tips will at least get you started on the right track.

1. Highlight Your Best Products on the Homepage

One easy way to improve the quality of your website is to make sure you are highlighting some of your best products on the homepage, with relevant keywords and supporting text. Also, include attractive product photography and calls to action that will get users to click. Google wants to see relevance and a low bounce rate, and this is one of the better ways to address these areas.

2. Condense Your Product Images

If you have high-quality images on your website, you have to make sure that they are properly condensed. Large images will negatively impact how fast your website will load, and we all know that a slow website is not something most users will put up with for long. Try and keep most of the images on your website under 100K. Thumbnails should be quite a bit smaller than that.

3. Remove Any Dead Products

404s and empty product pages are bad SEO, plain and simple. Don’t be lazy when it comes to the usability of your Shopify store. If you have a product that you no longer carry, delete the page and redirect the URL, or update the page to display relevant content that will aid users on their shopping journey. Never leave an empty or dead page, as Google will not appreciate it.

4. Add Content to Your Category Pages

Likewise, don’t think of your collection pages or category pages as places to dump product imagery or links. These pages should have optimized text that provides value to your users and describes the kinds of products that are being offered in this section of your store. Each category page should act like a landing page highlighting a bunch of important products.

5. Pay Attention to Site Speed

We mentioned image size above, but you should be paying attention to the site speed of your Shopify website in general. If your site is loading slowly, it might be time to jettison a few apps or hire a Shopify development team that can assess the situation.

6. Update Your Blog Frequently

Google loves to see fresh content, and so do your users. Your blog should be frequently updated with industry-relevant information. This means everything from how-tos, product reviews, industry overviews, and more. Also be mindful of the keywords you use and make sure that you are doing your best to optimize this content for the search engines.

7. Add Reviews and Testimonials

Users want to be able to trust where they shop. Be sure to add any relevant testimonials, product reviews, screenshots of social media praise, or anything else that might lend credence to your business.

8. Disavow Any Spam Links

Spam links are inevitable on the Internet. These low-quality links could be pulling down your whole website, so make sure you check up on these in the Google Search Console and disavow them regularly in order to ensure that your website doesn’t get flagged as spam too.

9. Build Powerful Links of Your Own

At the same time, you should be working on your own backlink profile. One of the best ways to do this is to post great, shareable content to your website. However, you can also work on establishing partnerships and relationships with other people in your industry, so that you might be able to guest post with them or ask for a backlink.

10. The Importance of Social Signals

Finally, don’t ignore your social media accounts. While it is a small SEO ranking factor, it’s still one that is under your control and worth noting. If you want to drive sales and improve your business, you have to be active on social media.

Use These Shopify Tips as a Starting Point

While all of these tips and SEO techniques are a good place to start, they might not be enough if you really want to sell your products effectively. This is especially true if you are in a crowded niche or are just starting out. Shopify is a great platform and all, but regardless of where you host your eCommerce business, you still need to put together a workable marketing strategy.

That’s where we come in. Here at Genius eCommerce®, we know a little bit about how to rank Shopify stores just like yours. In fact, this is what we specialize in. Our SEO plans for Shopify are completely customized, which means that everything from the keywords to the strategy revolves around your specific business needs. Rather than try and tackle all of your SEO yourself, it’s far more effective to let marketing experts like us handle things.

For better conversion rates, more foot traffic, and bolder brand awareness, get in touch with our team today by calling 888.982.8269.

Looking For a Shopify Marketing Agency? Consider The Following

Whether you are trying to harness the power of paid advertising or if you are trying to appear higher in the popular search engines in order to get more organic traffic, you are likely going to need the help of a skilled digital marketing agency.

For Shopify store owners that are in the process of growing their business, marketing can be the deciding factor as to whether or not you will succeed. A Shopify marketing agency that knows the platform and that has a long history of running effective marketing campaigns can help you over that hump and get you the results you are looking for.

How do you know what kind of agency to hire for the job, though? There are hundreds of companies out there all claiming to be the best when it comes to promoting eCommerce stores and helping them get on page one and make tons of money with PPC.

We’ve put this short guide together with information on what great agency partners offer in terms of services, as well as general tips on how to approach your Shopify SEO and pay-per-click ads. Getting this area of your business right is crucial if you want to stay ahead of the competition.

What Does a Shopify Marketing Agency Do?

If you have never hired a Shopify agency or worked with one in any capacity before, you may be a bit foggy on what the purpose of one is or if they actually provide any real benefit.

The main purpose of a Shopify marketing agency is to help you build a strategy that works for your business specifically, while taking care of a wide variety of different technical tasks related to SEO and PPC. A qualified marketing company will also create high-quality content under the scope of the campaign they build, including blog content and ad copy.

Even if you happen to have a strong marketing background in your own right, it’s not logical or feasible in most cases to manage your own marketing. This is not only due to the extremely technical nature of some of the tasks but simply the manpower needed in order to manage an effective marketing campaign. A team of Shopify experts would be able to help you with keyword research, interlinking strategies, consistent blog content, remarketing techniques, pixel installation, and backlinking.

This is just skimming the surface, of course. There are a litany of factors to consider when it comes to effective digital marketing in the eCommerce space, which is one reason why serious store owners are turning to agencies more and more in order to manage all of their digital marketing needs. This also includes important aspects of growing a business including email marketing and social media marketing. A full-scale digital marketing agency for Shopify stores will cover all of these different areas, taking them off your plate and managing them through the lens of a carefully laid out campaign that is customized to your store’s needs.

What Determines if a Marketing Agency is Reliable?

Now that you have a better idea as to how important a marketing agency really is for your eCommerce business, the next step is to actually figure out which agency to place your faith in.

Marketing is by nature a rather subjective field. Of course, you can chart success through metrics like traffic and sales, but even these points are often difficult to track back directly to a particular marketing effort or technique.

It’s best to measure an agency by how willing they are to create a custom strategy for your business, how many different areas of eCommerce marketing they actually cover, and what their reputation is like. If you find an agency that focuses on custom solutions that cover the whole field of eCommerce digital marketing, and if the company in question has a stellar reputation, you can feel pretty comfortable about hiring them.

It’s important not to get too caught up in vanity metrics when you first invest in your Shopify marketing. If an agency makes claims like they can automatically guarantee you a top spot in Google or quadruple your ROI in only a few months, you should head for the hills. A reliable marketing agency is more like a strategic partner that allows you to formulate a sound digital marketing strategy that can help you to slowly grow your business and weather the ups and downs of the industry.

It also helps if the agency in question wants to kick things off with open communication and a free audit or free consultation. This is how you know they are ready for a long term relationship rather than just making a quick buck.

Finding The Perfect eCommerce Agency For Your Online Store

If you are ready to grow your Shopify store and attract more customers, you need to jump on board with a skilled Shopify marketing agency that can handle all aspects of your search engine optimizations, pay-per-click ads, social media accounts, and more.

For this degree of eCommerce marketing expertise, we’re the team you will want to work with. Genius eCommerce specializes in all aspects of digital marketing for online stores, and as Shopify partners, we are able to deliver incredible results for merchants on this platform.

Don’t waste time trying to handle your own marketing when you can partner with an agency that has the capabilities to transform your brand presence and get you recognized in your niche. Call us today at 888.982.8269.

2021 Shopify Marketing Plan: 3 Powerful Growth Strategies

Launching an online store has never been easier, with the help of user-friendly eCommerce platforms such as Shopify. However, just because you are able to open a store doesn’t mean anyone will actually be able to find your products and buy them.

Success in eCommerce is often dependent on how well you can promote your products and get your name out there, which means you need a foolproof Shopify marketing plan that can help you build a customer base and grow your brand.

The problem with digital marketing is that there are dozens of different tactics and hacks floating around out there that can lead you astray, wasting your time and money. Rather than chase a hundred different ideas, you need to narrow your focus on a handful of proven marketing techniques that will actually yield results.

If you want to grow your business you have to go with what works, and execute efficiently.

The following growth strategies are based around the most reliable avenues of eCommerce digital marketing, and will help you grow your Shopify store effectively.

How to Grow Your Shopify Store Properly

While it might be tempting to implement every fresh new marketing strategy you come across in order to build your brand and increase traffic and sales to your Shopify website, this is not only time-consuming but in most cases ineffective as well.

Shopping on Social Media
A simple and effective marketing strategy will help users connect with your brand, which will result in more traffic and sales, as well as greater brand awareness.

In order to find consistent success, you need to consolidate your marketing tactics and follow a more narrow path that is focused on tried and true methods of growth. While this may seem less glamorous than jumping on board with the latest trends and marketing masterclasses, it’s ultimately what will get you the best results, especially in the long term.

Here at Genius eCommerce® we have a solid 3 lane approach to Shopify marketing that includes comprehensive eCommerce SEO, agile pay-per-click advertising, and social media management that is based on building an active shopper base.

Let’s dissect each of these 3 areas of eCommerce marketing to better understand why they are so important to focus on and how they

Shopify SEO: The Backbone of Your Growth Plan

For many store owners, search engine optimization remains an enigma. What keywords to focus on, what kinds of content to create, what site improvements to make. It can all seem a little daunting.

You will even read articles that say things like Shopify isn’t good for SEO or that you need certain special plugins, or that you need to follow this one special technique that some marketer invented last month.

Needless to say, the majority of all of this information is wrong. In fact, SEO is still the kind when it comes to eCommerce digital marketing, and should comprise the backbone of any full-scale Shopify marketing strategy.

The reason for this is that nothing can quite compare to organic traffic and sales. When users are searching for a specific product and your website pops up, that’s incredibly powerful. You could make the argument that nothing else in the world of marketing compares to those top spots in Google at the moment.

Simply from a brand awareness standpoint, SEO carries incredible weight. The more your website and branding appear in Google search results, the more recognized you will become within your niche. This can be accomplished through careful implementation of certain on-page optimizations, keyword research, and a solid linking strategy.

Despite all of the zany SEO trends that are out there, the truth is that the same timeless techniques are what will provide you with the growth you’re looking for. Here are the general guidelines you will want to follow:

  • Perform comprehensive keyword research that takes into account your industry, your competitors, search intent, user shopping behavior, and your specific products.
  • Develop a content strategy based on these keywords. This means adding the keywords to relevant pages on your website, into optimized blog articles, and in meta titles and descriptions as well.
  • Make sure your navigational hierarchy, categories, and links all make sense. Users should be able to easily navigate your Shopify store in order to find what they are looking for.
  • Optimize for speed and efficiency throughout your site. While page speed isn’t everything, a slow website can lead to more bounces, which Google may take as a sign that your website doesn’t offer a polished experience.
  • Provide value that extends beyond your products. Your website should be informative, offering tips, behind-the-scenes information on your brand, giveaways and contests, how-tos, and more. You want to be the go-to authority online for your products and perhaps even your niche entirely.
  • Formulate a backlinking strategy. This is difficult without the weight of a skilled Shopify SEO agency behind you, but ideally you will want to connect with other websites in your niche and reach out to them for backlinks. You will also want to get listed in local business directories and other 3rd party websites. This is what will help raise your domain authority.
  • Keep tabs on your growth and be agile in your approach to SEO. BE willing to prune content, add value to underperforming pages, create proper 301 redirects when removing or changing pages, and address server errors and other issues as they arise in Google Search Console.

Obviously, pulling all of this off without the help of a dedicated team of Shopify marketing professionals is a tall order, which is why we recommend hiring a capable agency to help you manage your SEO for you. Even if you have a marketing background, eCommerce SEO is not something that can be managed by one person alone, nor is it something that should be addressed without a carefully crafted strategy in place.

Scaling With Smart Shopify PPC

Of all of the different marketing activities you are bound to perform for your online store, PPC is the most likely to generate quick results.

It’s not even all that difficult to see a decent return with eCommerce PPC if you know a little about targeting and how to write convincing sales copy. The trick is maximizing your budget and using PPC ads to actually scale and grow your business.

Creating an ad strategy that is cost-effective and that truly represents your brand can be somewhat challenging. This smart approach to PPC requires a deeper understanding of your target audience, better-worded ads, and a more dynamic strategy overall that makes use of all of the different tools that platforms such as Google and Amazon have to offer.

The trick with getting the most out of PPC isn’t often in the ads themselves, but in the angle you take with the entire campaign, as well as the finer targeting details. A skilled digital marketing agency that understands your audience and industry will be able to create a more nuanced campaign that can help stretch your budget, get more conversions, and even improve your brand appeal.

Looking at your ad campaign as simply a way to generate traffic is too short-sighted. PPC can be used as a powerful growth tool in the right hands, but there’s more to it than simply spending more money or adjusting your targeting. You may need the help of a professional team of PPC experts that specialize in eCommerce to see the kind of results you want.

Launching an eCommerce Social Media Strategy

Your Shopify marketing efforts shouldn’t end with just SEO and PPC. Though it can seem daunting at first, social media offers an incredible opportunity to grow your business, through increased customer loyalty, brand awareness, traffic, and sales.

Users on Social Media
Millions of users are on social media. It’s your job to connect with them and help them find the products they are searching for. A smart social media plan can help make this happen.

The key here is to find a marketing company that knows the difference between ordinary social media management and eCommerce social media marketing services. Everyday management might seem beneficial when in fact for most businesses it’s just a waste of money and doesn’t actually move the needle when it comes to producing actionable results.

You could opt to spend money on certain social media platforms but this is always necessary. You should use paid advertising to supplement your marketing efforts, not as a strategy all its own. You still need that organic engagement in order to build a strong and dedicated audience.

If you want to properly grow your Shopify store, you need to utilize the power of social media marketing, which extends beyond mere Facebook ads and influencer marketing. You need a sound eCommerce-centric strategy that builds your accounts and pushes authority to your online store. This way you will be able to start increasing your organic presence while creating digital assets for your brand, which is ultimately one of the best reasons to be on social media in the first place.

Which social media platforms should you be focusing on, however?

Although there are quite a few viable candidates out there, with new platforms popping up every year, there are only a select few that you will want to set your sights on for eCommerce purposes specifically. Typically, these include Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. If you operate an online store, these are the three platforms you need to be on.

Compared to the clear benefits of SEO and PPC, you might be wondering why social media is worth using at all. Is it actually worth incorporating into your digital marketing campaign?

  • Social media is the best way to communicate your brand online. Oftentimes users will trust an Instagram page more than they will an actual website or online store.
  • Users associate active social media accounts with authority, trustworthiness, and legitimacy. A lack of a social media presence is a red flag for some people.
  • Social media puts a human face on your brand and business. You can use these platforms to easily connect with your customers and build relationships.
  • Social media opens up alternative sales channels.
  • Platforms like Instagram and Pinterest can help you spot trends and adjust your content strategy accordingly.
  • Social media can be used as a growth monitoring tool. Without getting bogged down in vanity metrics like follower counts and impressions, these platforms can help you easily see how much engagement you are getting, the overall sentiment toward your products and brand, interest levels in certain products, and are a reliable place to ask for feedback from your audience.

At this point, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be using social media if you are trying to grow your Shopify eCommerce business. The right approach is necessary, of course, because ordinary social media management is unlikely to get you anywhere significant. A talented marketing agency that appreciates the value of social media and the right techniques to use for growth, will be able to make a difference for your store.

The Ultimate Shopify Marketing Solution

Your eCommerce business needs to be carefully cultivated in order to scale the way you want it to. No matter what your specific goals are, this still means that your marketing tactics need to be created thoughtfully, with reliable methods that are proven to work.

To create marketing strategies of this caliber, you need to be aware of all of the latest eCommerce trends, you need to be adept at all of the different marketing tools that are available, in-depth knowledge of Shopify is a must, and you need to have a workable system in your pocket that gets verifiable results.

We cover all of those key points and more. Genius eCommerce® is about developing powerful growth strategies for eCommerce businesses, using full-scale SEO campaigns, agile PPC plans, and social media marketing as well.

If this sounds like what you need in order to get your Shopify marketing plan on track, give us a call at 888.982.8269. Our team of eCommerce experts will work closely with you to develop a strategy that is customized to your industry, brand, and audience. We don’t do cookie-cutter here, and you can’t afford to go with such a pat solution if you want to grow your business and increase sales. Give us a call today and unlock the full potential of your Shopify website.

Prepare Your Shopify Store For Google’s New SEO Guidelines

Managing a Shopify website is difficult enough without having to keep track of what Google is up to. However, if you want to stay on top of your organic traffic and do everything in your power to grab those page one positions, you will want to read up on Google and the new SEO guidelines that are rolling out later this year.

You may have heard about Google updates in the past and never really put much thought into whether or not they would affect your SEO, but the new page experience update that is on the horizon may hold more weight. While no one knows for sure how impactful this update will be, some experts are certain that it could spell doom for certain outdated websites that aren’t paying enough attention to user experience.

If you want to make sure your eCommerce store is still standing strong this May after Google rolls out its next algorithm update, this is the guide for you. Below you will find important insight into what Google is looking for out of a professional eCommerce website, and what you need to do in order to weather the storm.

What is Page Experience?

So what exactly is page experience and why is Google harping on it in this new update?

Actually, while they haven’t been directly calculated into Google’s search algorithm yet, these metrics have been considered ranking signals for quite some time. Mobile visibility, layout shifts during the loading process, how soon a user can interact with important on-screen elements. All of these factors have been on the periphery of SEO for years, but now may be coming into the forefront

Ultimately it boils down to user experience. Google’s mission is to rank pages that best meet the needs of its users. The more reliable Google is in serving relevant content, the more likely users are to continue to use the service. It’s just that simple.

This means that it is in Google’s best interest to prioritize high-quality content whenever possible. It’s not only about using the right keywords in the right places anymore. Google wants to know that your Shopify store is actually providing users with a beneficial experience. Can they find what they are looking for easily? Does your navigation make sense or is it confusing? How quickly does a product page load and can the “add to cart” button be clicked easily on smaller mobile devices? All of these different user experience factors may seem trite compared to something like using the right page title or keyword, but not to Google.

In fact, these kinds of user experience factors are what Google is pushing in this new SEO update. They are creating even more stringent SEO guidelines that website owners and digital marketers will need to follow if they intend on getting on page one.

Understanding and acting on these changes may be what separates your eCommerce business from your competitors once this update goes live in May 2021, so it is important that you educate yourself on what your website needs in terms of search engine optimization to ensure that everything checks out.

Understanding Google’s Web Vitals and What They Mean For Your Shoppers

There are three wordy terms you are bound to hear more and more of in the coming months as it relates to your Shopify SEO: Largest Contentful Paint, First Input Delay, and Cumulative Layout Shift. While there are many other potential ranking factors that could be bundled into these new SEO guidelines, such as a greater emphasis on safe searching and HTTPS, these three terms constitute the bulk of what Google is looking for in terms of user experience.

Let’s break each of these terms down and explore what they mean for your online store:

Largest Contentful Paint

To put it simply, the LCP web vital considers how fast it takes for the main elements of a web page to render. A slow render time for your website will increase the bounce rate and dampen the user experience. While the overall speed of your website and the LCP have long been considered important factors when it comes to SEO, they haven’t been fully integrated into the algorithm until now. Once this new Google update hits, it will be important to have a website that not only loads fast but that displays important interactive elements as quickly as possible.

First Input Delay

The First Input Delay is another page experience metric that determines how fast a web page can actually be interacted with in a meaningful way after it has been accessed. We have all had an experience with a slow loading web page that takes forever to interact with despite the fact that elements of the page have already loaded in. The First Input Delay can be a huge determining factor in the overall quality of a web page, which is why it is being considered as a future ranking factor.

Think about it from the standpoint of an online shopper. They search for what they are looking for in Google, eager to buy the first thing that matches their tastes or needs. Your website comes up in the search results and the user decides to take a chance and click the link. All seems well, the page is loading in. However, despite the fact that the image of the product is visible and the “add to cart” button is there as well, you can’t click on anything. This lack of responsiveness can crush the shopping experience, leading to a high bounce rate.

Importance of Page Experience For SEO
A fast and snappy website that is responsive and polished is what Google is looking for. Your page experience needs to have that professional feel if you intend on navigating through future SEO updates.

Cumulative Layout Shift

The Cumulative Layout Shift is a metric that determines how elements on a web page may change position as they load in, which could cause a poor user experience.

This is another one of those nebulous ranking factors that you may never have considered before when working on your eCommerce SEO, but it is something you need to take note of. If your website loads slowly and has clunky elements that shift around all over the place during the rendering process, this could potentially cause a user to “misclick,” or click on an element that they didn’t want to.

Sending a user to the wrong page is a surefire way to get them to bounce. For instance, what if a user visits your website and sees your “Blog” in the navigation bar. They try and click on it but the actual link they are clicking on is the cart, or some kind of product. This could send the wrong kind of message and may even make the user think you are trying to scam them.

Getting Your Shopify Website Ready

All of the pages on your site need to take these page experience ranking factors into consideration going forward. If you want your Shopify store to have that professional look and feel that not only pleases users but that also keeps Google happy as well, this is all but essential.

There is no telling just how impactful these new SEO guidelines will be once they roll out. In the past, certain updates that were thought to cause havoc didn’t actually change things all that much. What we do know is that for going on a year, Google has seen fit to mention this update on several occasions, and has seemed to emphasize its importance. Although they have stated that if you are already taking care of your SEO properly, you won’t experience any difference in your rankings, we all know that this could mean just about anything.

You can’t be sure that your website is properly optimized unless a skilled eCommerce SEO agency is at the helm. Whether it’s forgotten duplicate content, dead pages that haven’t been redirected, or a clunky homepage that is causing your bounce rate to spike, your SEO strategy needs to be comprehensive and air-tight. Every aspect of creating a beneficial experience for the user needs to be taken into account if you intend on actually meeting the needs of your shoppers and defying any future algorithm updates.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when preparing your Shopify website for this upcoming change to the SEO landscape:

  • Make sure all of the images you are using on your site are properly compressed. Large images can dramatically increase the time it takes to load in more important elements.
  • Does your category structure and navigation hierarchy make sense? If you have too many categories or parts of your site that seem to overlap or are redundant, you may want to scale them back in order to improve site size and shopping efficiency.
  • Consider removing plugins and apps that you don’t absolutely need. Every add-on and integration you include in your Shopify store may come at a cost. Every line of extra code in the header of your web page could hold up the loading process and potentially impact your site in a negative way.
  • Think about going more minimalist if it fits your brand. Pare down your homepage and simplify some of the elements so that only the important elements are left. If there are parts of your website there for decoration alone and aren’t helping the sales process, consider removing them.
  • Work on your interlinking. The search engines are looking for context, and that means taking enough time to create a logical sitewide hierarchy. In terms of the upcoming updates, you want to be mindful about all aspects of the user experience, not just the big three mentioned above.
  • Get a technical SEO audit performed in order to make sure that nothing is amiss that the search engines might count against you.

While it may seem like an unnecessary load of work, there’s no telling just how serious this update will be. Some websites that have been neglecting their load times and other user experience elements may be in for a rude surprise come May.

If you are already following stringent SEO guidelines based on user experience, great. However, if you have been reluctant in the past to invest in your search engine optimization and haven’t given your online store the proper attention, now’s the time.

Mobile Usability For User Experience
Your Shopify store needs to be just as functional on mobile as it is on desktop. Mobile usability is already a huge ranking signal but after May’s update, it could weigh even heavier.

Future-Proof Your SEO With Genius eCommerce

Google and other search engines are constantly refining their algorithms in favor of the users. What this means is that as the search experience evolves, the same old SEO tricks and marketing tactics become obsolete. Google only wants the best of the best ranking on page one.

Does your Shopify website qualify?

While this SEO guide may have shed some light on the upcoming page experience update slated for May of this year, you may not be aware of how to implement the proper changes so that you can be ready. Even if you have an established business and a thriving website, that could change in an instant if you aren’t taking care of your SEO.

If you want to be proactive about your online presence and nip any potential SEO issues in the bud before they complicate things and impact your rankings, you need to start letting a professional eCommerce agency manage your website. Here at Genius eCommerce®, meaningful SEO campaigns that get results for eCommerce businesses is what we do.

Our experts know exactly what Google wants to see out of a website. Whether it’s a strong backlinking profile, proper on-page SEO, or a mobile-friendly interface that accommodates shoppers on every device, we know how to analyze these issues and address them in the proper manner.

One of the best reasons to invest in quality SEO services is that not only can you prepare for this upcoming change in the Google algorithm, you can essentially future-proof your website by implementing SEO best practices. With the help of a skilled marketing agency, you can stay on top of fluctuations in how Google ranks websites and make sure that if your site does take a tumble, that you can get right back on the horse with a powerful campaign.

Give our team a call at 888.982.8269 if you want to take decisive action to ensure that you are following the proper SEO guidelines and that you are doing what you need to in order to grow your Shopify store the way you want.

10 Key Reasons to Hire a Shopify SEO Expert

Optimizing your eCommerce website for the search engines can be tricky business, especially if you don’t have extensive experience when it comes to SEO. To actually get results, you need to perform the necessary keyword research and have a sound content strategy in mind, and that’s just for starters.

What can a Shopify SEO expert do for you? For one, they can demystify the search engine optimization process and help you finally get traction when it comes to ranking for certain keywords. A professional eCommerce SEO agency will have the knowledge and the tools to enhance your Shopify store and push it to new heights.

If you have been thinking about investing in SEO services for your Shopify website and wonder if it’s truly worth it, the following guide will help clear the air and show you just how important it is that your SEO is handled properly. This is not an area of your business that you want to leave to chance or skimp on.

The Complexities of eCommerce SEO Require a Professional Touch

There’s a good chance that at one point or another, you have considered working on your Shopify SEO without any help from an agency or professional. How difficult could it be, right? All you have to do is select a few keywords, pepper them into your page titles and blogs, find a few local backlink sites, and bam, page one results.

Not quite.

This old way of viewing SEO used to work over a decade ago for many websites, but those days are long gone. As Google has updated its algorithm and as competition has burgeoned, it has become absolutely necessary to take SEO far more seriously in terms of strategy, work, and time investment.

These days, it’s all about the user experience, domain authority, and proper technical signals that determine whether or not a website is worthy enough to rank on page one. Google wants to see that your Shopify store meets certain criteria, that it is regularly updated and that it is actually providing users with a professional experience. If you have a clunky store and a poor keyword strategy, the chances of you landing on page one is scant at best.

To get the kind of results you are looking for, it’s essential that you look into hiring a professional SEO agency that has a background in eCommerce. This is the only way you can be sure that all aspects of your SEO are being taken care of.

Shopify SEO Benefits

10 Reasons You Need a Shopify SEO Expert

There are many reasons why you would want to hire a professional to manage your Shopify SEO campaign. Below we have highlighted 10 of the key reasons that stand out, and which you absolutely need to pay attention to if you intend on succeeding with your online store.

1. Increase Traffic to Your Store

Traffic is perhaps the biggest reason to hire a Shopify SEO expert. Many online businesses struggle to get an adequate amount of traffic, and it’s usually because they are buried in the Google search results. Unless you have a comprehensive digital marketing strategy in place for your Shopify website, chances are page one results will elude you.

2. Target Better Keywords

A skilled agency that understands current SEO trends and what your store really needs may be able to unearth better keywords to target, which may lead to faster rankings and a stronger foundation for your website. SEO experts know how to perform proper keyword research, which often results in finding high-quality longtail keywords that can be utilized to lay the groundwork for higher volume keywords down the road.

3. Improve Your Brand Authority

One of the side-effects of good SEO is higher brand awareness. By appearing in more searches, more users naturally will learn about your brand. Half of sales is relevance and recognition. Even if a user doesn’t purchase something from your website today, the fact that your website popped up will keep you in the back of their mind, and may result in a purchase sometime down the line.

4. Widen Your Audience

Riding off of the increase in brand authority is the natural broadening of your audience. Shopify SEO experts can help expand your reach on Google and target new groups of users you may not have even realized were interested in your products, or who you simply weren’t targeting properly based on your old ways of doing SEO.

5. Up Your Conversions

Traffic is important, but it doesn’t mean anything unless it’s resulting in actual sales. SEO professionals know how to target keywords that don’t simply generate traffic, but also help users convert as well. This improved keyword strategy, coupled with the proper technical SEO updates for your Shopify store, can often result in a natural increase in conversions over time.

6. Streamline Your Website

User experience has become one of the most important aspects of SEO. It doesn’t matter whether you are running a simple blog or a massive eCommerce site, it has to provide a professional experience if you want Google to take you seriously. That being said, a well-implemented SEO campaign can improve the user flow of your website, enabling shoppers to navigate quicker and find what they are looking for. This signals to Google that your website is worth ranking.

7. Make Improvements to Your Business

Driving traffic and conversions is the backbone of digital marketing, but you can’t ignore the residual effects of what quality SEO services can do for your business as a whole. When you take all of this into account, including better brand appeal, a more helpful online store, and more domain authority from backlinks, this will go a long way toward improving your eCommerce business on a larger scale.

8. Save Time

A pain point for many store owners is a lack of time. If you aren’t trying to micro-manage your own SEO, this can help free you up to focus on more important things. A professional SEO campaign can actually save your entire business operation time, which is your most valuable asset.

9. Save Money

By proxy, if you are saving time you are likely saving money as well. In the long run, a sound SEO strategy will pay for itself. The increase in traffic and conversions will eventually make your entire business more profitable, while freeing you up to work on other parts of your store that may need more attention. The result is more resources that you can allocate elsewhere instead of wasting time trying to manage SEO by yourself.

10. Pave the Way For PPC

Finally, with the right optimizations in place, you will be able to get more out of any PPC or social media advertising you are using. A better-optimized website will always get more conversions and be favored by Google, Bing, and other platforms over unoptimized sites.

Improve Your Online Store With Shopify SEO Services

It no longer matters how old your website is or how popular your products are. Google wants to see relevant keywords, professional technical optimizations, plenty of high-quality backlinks, and that users are actually sticking on your website and converting.

Unless you intend on becoming a one-person marketing agency, you need the help of veteran Shopify SEO experts that can construct a rock-solid strategy for you, so you can enjoy more organic traffic, better brand recognition, and higher conversion rates.

If this sounds like the direction you want to take for your Shopify store, get in touch with one of our SEO professionals by calling 888.982.8269.

The Top 8 Best Shopify Themes For SEO This Year

One of the most important steps during the course of setting up your online store will be selecting the proper theme. If you want your website to have the proper functionality to meet user expectations and rank well in the search engines, using one of the best Shopify themes for SEO should be a priority.

There are many factors that influence how well a website performs, but when it comes to eCommerce platforms like Shopify, the theme is usually one of the most important. If you start with a flimsy foundation, all of the fancy apps and thoughtful content in the world won’t make up for it.

Google has been refining its algorithms over the past few years, and it has become clear that speed and sleek interfaces weigh heavily into how a website gets ranked. If your store is sluggish and uses outdated and clumsy navigation, menus, buttons, sliders, and other features, you aren’t going to generate a positive user experience, and Google will notice.

We’ve put together this guide to maximizing your Shopify SEO by starting off on the right foot with a theme that will help you create a great experience for your users. We will cover the key reasons why you need search engine optimization to begin with, and go through the benefits of each of our top picks to see which of them might be right for your store.

Why Do You Need Shopify SEO?

You might be wondering why you even need SEO to begin with. You may have a solid social media presence or a hot product line that you know will sell like hotcakes, so why would you need to think about where you rank in Google?

Where you rank in the search engines will play a large role in the overall success of your online store. While it’s entirely possible to manage your business through advertising alone and completely ignore the search engines, there is more to SEO than simply organic traffic.

Shopify SEO Traffic
There’s more to SEO than just traffic. Your standing in the search engines can have a big impact on your brand authority and the overall success of your business.

Your standing in Google is what forms the backbone of your online identity. If you aren’t appearing high in the search engines for your important products, your competitors are likely to take a lion’s share of your potential customers. What’s more, your brand is suffering due to a lack of exposure. Having your Shopify website consistently appear on the first page of Google is an authority signal that tells users you are the real deal.

A reliable stream of organic traffic is nothing to turn your nose up at either of course. In fact, this traffic often forms the backbone of most online businesses and is something you definitely want to strive toward if you intend on succeeding online.

Benefits of Starting With an SEO-Friendly Shopify Theme

By selecting a high-quality Shopify theme that is properly optimized, you give your website the best chance to rank high in Google and go up against the other big names in your industry.

There are several important benefits to selecting one of the best Shopify themes for SEO:

The better a theme is coded and the more inherent features it has, the more likely it is to help your store climb the search engines. The faster loading times will directly translate into fewer site bounces and more conversions, which Google will take note of as well.

Think of your Shopify theme as the foundation of a home. You can certainly try and do a lot with a house once it is already built, but the overall condition of the structure will be largely dependant on the theme. This is why you want to take the time to research a high-quality theme that will adequately meet the needs of your users and help you craft a professional shopping experience.

The Top Shopify Themes For SEO This Year

There are literally hundreds of different Shopify themes to choose from, so it’s easy to get lost in the decision-making process and wind up with a dud. No matter how nice a theme may appear from the outside, it’s important to understand the functionality it delivers and whether or not it is coded with speed in mind.

If you take a look through Theme Forest or the other venues online where Shopify themes are available, you will see that there is no shortage of fancy and eye-catching themes that have what would pass for great-looking layouts. The trouble is, many of these themes provide minimal levels of customization, are slower than molasses, and aren’t coded well.

Star

Star Shopify Theme

The Star theme by theme developer Outlane is the shining example of a quality premium Shopify theme that is designed with user expectations and SEO in mind. From the sleek layout options, dizzying array of features, and lightning-fast load times, this theme has it all.

The key highlight to Star is its two primary layouts, Polaris and Sirius. The former is the more modern, flashier option while the latter is more traditional.

Negan

Shopify Negan Theme

This one makes the list for being a snappy minimalist Shopify theme that is quite affordable and comes loaded with important features, including a variety of ready-made layout options. Its clear benefits include a sleek general aesthetic that is liquid, fast, and easy to use, along with popular features such as customizable product category layouts and unique typography options. The theme is also designed from the ground up with SEO in mind.

Everest

Shopify Everest Theme

This incredible Shopify theme is one of the best in recent memory, loved for its attractive layout options and recent overhaul which focused on speed optimizations. The result is a responsive, lightweight, and feature-rich experience that makes it easy to create an engaging online store.

Some of Everest’s other notable features include an out-of-the-box mega menu, AJAX Canvas Cart, streamlined mobile design, great search functionality, faux sales notifications, product quick views, an array of advanced pagination options, and more.

Zeexo

Shopify Zeexo Theme

An incredible multipurpose Shopify theme with modern design conventions and optimized for the search engines. This theme has over a hundred prebuilt layouts that are perfectly suited for a variety of industries, such as fashion, jewelry, technology, and cosmetics. Growave app integration, full RTL support, completely fluid layouts, and incredible page speed are just a few of its more notable features. A great all-around option for professional store owners who want to stand out in their industry.

Micra
Shopify Micra Theme

This Shopify theme offers a super minimalist, modern storefront that boasts 100% responsiveness and a solid variety of features. Great SEO capabilities, quick view, dropdown shopping cart, and other clean and essential features make it a great option for trendy fashion stores, accessories, shoe outlets, or similar niches.

Amanto

Shopify Amanto Theme

A gorgeous theme available on the Envato Market, it includes unique and attractive layouts, incredible customization options, a built-in mega menu, product labels, AJAX add to cart and wishlist features, blog post sliders, completely fluid designs, and is built with SEO in mind from top to bottom.

While Amanto claims to be suited more so for the electronics industry, it has all of the features and layouts necessary to craft a beautiful storefront for just about any niche, from fashion to toys, or anything else. This is a newer theme developed in 2020 that is truly designed with user expectations and search engine optimization in mind. From the modern layout options to the comprehensive list of features, this is one of those premium themes that really has it all.

Calfia

Shopify Calfia Theme

Another incredible Shopify theme that will help ensure your SEO has the right foundation, it has an array of different eye-catching layout customization options that are sure to push conversions. Despite the graphic-rich layouts and impressive array of features, the theme is remarkably lightweight and perfectly tailored for SEO.

The Calfia theme is an excellent choice if you are creating an online clothing boutique or fashion outlet, as it captures that trendy and attractive atmosphere that works well for such niches.

This is another premium Shopify theme that also has all the features you could ever need in terms of core functionality, including layered navigation, unlimited color variations, Facebook chat integrations, an Instagram images slider, buy together functionality, unique header and footer style options, and full control over the site identity. In terms of the best Shopify themes for SEO that are out right now, you can’t go wrong with this option.

Vodoma

Shopify Vodoma Theme

This powerful and responsive theme takes the top spot here as the best all-around Shopify theme for SEO and likely one of the best ones in general at the moment if you are looking for out-of-the-box professional functionality. Not only is the theme coded elegantly and is designed with speed and user experience in mind, but its layout designs are also extremely creative and it comes packed with features.

This Shopify theme has truly impressive page load times, Progressive Web Apps integration, dozens of attractive skins, unlimited footer styles, complete control over metadata and title tags, Google rich snippet features, a high-quality built-in mega menu, a comprehensive banner creator, fine-tuned control over the shop layout, disable right-click, beautiful AJAX search, and unique blog layout options. What’s more, it’s not even the most expensive theme on this list, making it the easy option for anyone who wants to create a truly professional online store with all the bells and whistles.

How to Improve Your Shopify SEO Even Further

The theme you select will often depend on your industry and your specific business goals, but regardless of the products you sell or what kind of store you manage, SEO has to take top priority. If you aren’t making the proper optimizations on your website to improve the user experience, you are going to find it hard to rank on page one for any of your keywords.

Starting off with a high-quality theme is just the beginning of your Shopify SEO efforts, however. While clean code and great user-centric features make a difference, they aren’t everything. You don’t start off with a professional foundation and then build the rest of your house out of mud and sticks. This is where many store owners fall short, by neglecting their SEO after the fact.

Here are a few additional eCommerce SEO points to consider when managing your online store:

  • Make sure your product titles use informative keywords
  • Create comprehensive product descriptions that educate your customers
  • Don’t spam your users with popups or other visual clutter
  • Use high-quality images throughout your website, and make sure to use alt-tags
  • Use Shopify SEO apps like SEO Booster, SEO Image Optimzier, and AMP by Ampify Me
  • Your navigation should be intuitive and helpful, not stuffed and cluttered
  • Streamline the checkout experience as much as possible.
  • Don’t surprise users. The content of every page should be able to be discerned by the anchor text or button that leads to it.
  • Start a blog! These provide valuable information to your users and are incredible SEO tools.
  • Work on cultivating high-quality backlinks in your industry.

Sound like a mountain to climb? You’re not alone – for most store owners, taking care of all of the aspects of website optimization while trying to manage the day-to-day operations of a business are a tall order to say the least. This is one reason why a professional Shopify SEO company is something you might want to consider investing in.

Here at Genius eCommerce, we excel at providing top-notch SEO services for Shopify store owners who want to rank on page one and find real success in their industry. We understand what it takes to construct a campaign that gets results, starting with in-depth keyword research and competitor analysis that will ensure that your store has the edge it needs to compete.

Our SEO campaigns are specifically tailored for eCommerce websites, and with our team of knowledgeable Shopify experts at the helm, you can be certain that your store will begin to attract more traffic and get more sales than ever before.

If this is what you are looking for, what are you waiting for? We can help you select the right theme, choose the most impactful keywords for your niche, and start generating powerful SEO-driven blogs that will make you an authority in the eyes of your users and Google as well. Contact us today at 888.982.8269 to get started.

How to Improve SEO on Shopify in 5 Steps

The success or failure of an online store will often hinge on whether or not it can pull in enough organic traffic. If you are a Shopify store owner and are concerned about your ability to rank higher in Google and bring in some of this traffic for yourself, this guide will be a great resource for you.

Making the right SEO enhancements for your website can be a comprehensive undertaking depending on what your site needs and how well it is already performing. However, if you are simply looking for a few reliable ways to improve your Shopify SEO that don’t require a load of technical knowledge and will help you get great results, the following techniques are just what you’re looking for.

It’s important to keep in mind as you work on any aspect of eCommerce SEO that you keep user experience and conversions in mind. You’re not simply improving a page for the sake of the search engines, you have to make sure that your website actually caters to your users and helps them find exactly what they are looking for as efficiently as possible. Part of what makes your website worth ranking is how well it meets certain expectations from real users, which requires a bit more forethought, planning, and creativity to address than simply plugging in a few keywords on certain pages.

With that being said, the steps below are simple to implement but can make a strong impact on site performance from both a technical standpoint as well as from a user expectation point of view.

1. Optimize Your Product Pages

If you want to improve your Shopify SEO, your first and primary area of concern should be your product pages. Surprisingly, this is actually one of the areas of online stores that gets neglected the most. It’s not uncommon for eCommerce websites to feature gorgeous homepages and awesome mega-menus yet have weak product pages featuring thin content and low-res photographs.

This is a recipe for a low conversion rate and doesn’t do you any favors in Google’s eyes either. Your product pages are technically the heart of your website and should be worked on extensively if you want to see better results. The health of any good Shopify store depends on whether or not the products appeal to your users or not. Even if a user happened upon one of your products because they were searching for that item specifically, a short description, lack of valuable information, or bad photos could very well be enough to turn them away.

Shopify Product Optimization
Each product page on your Shopify store should be attractive and engaging, with high-quality photos where possible as well as informative descriptions that act as a resource for your users.

It’s competitive out there and if you want your website to stand out, you have to make sure your product pages shine. You also have to keep in mind that your homepage isn’t always going to be the first page your users are going to see when they land on your website, because it will be the product pages themselves that appear in Google for certain search terms.

This means that you could pour a ton of money into a page on your website that won’t even factor into the decision-making process that your customers will undergo when they decide if they want your product or not. Any well-built and optimized eCommerce website needs to treat each product page as its own self-contained sales page that features high-quality photographs, in-depth information, and supplemental information regarding the quality, the construction process, or various applications for the product in question.

2. Pay Attention to Your Meta Titles and Descriptions

Likewise, you also want to make sure that each page of your website has its own thoughtfully written meta title and page description. These are important elements to consider if you want to quickly improve your Shopify SEO in a meaningful way.

If you need a quick refresher, your meta title and description are what typically displays when your website appears on Google and other search engines. They play a direct role in the viability of your ability to rank, because they provide context to Google and authority to the user. If your meta title is misleading or spammy for example, this would indicate untrustworthiness and would hinder your website.

While it may seem arduous creating custom titles and descriptions for each page of your website, it’s well worth your time to do so, otherwise your Shopify store won’t perform as well as it could be. These elements are there not only for Google’s benefit, but to provide helpful information to users searching for certain types of content. Your meta title will often be the very first piece of content that a user sees regarding your online store, so it’s important that it is optimized accordingly.

An informative and well-implemented meta title is concise and should feature a primary keyword. The user should be able to infer the general gist of the content they will see if they click the link based solely off the meta title. The description is there to supplement the meta title, providing a bit of secondary context if the user should need it. Applied correctly, each of your meta title and description combinations can be utilized like a micro-sales pitch, both informative and intriguing. Just be sure not to use any spam tactics such as an abundance of capital letters or exclamation marks, because Google will pick up on such things and possibly weigh them against you.

3. Work on Your Shopify Blog

This is one area you certainly don’t want to ignore. Years ago it was somewhat unorthodox to have a blog on an eCommerce website, but today it’s an expected fixture of most brands, regardless of the nature of your business.

It’s important to treat your Shopify blog as a place of value for your customers. This is your opportunity to provide your unique insight as it applies to your niche or industry. Your users are almost surely looking for reliable information about the products that you sell, including reviews, opinions, comparisons, and how-tos.

A first-hand account that details the use of a certain product or service is worth its weight in gold on the Web. Shoppers are always looking for personal accounts and how-tos regarding the products they are thinking of purchasing. In terms of user experience, a well-implemented blog is absolutely indispensable.

Shopify Blog
Investing time into your Shopify blog is worth it. Not only are blogs crucial for eCommerce SEO, they also provide valuable information for your customers.

As important as blog content is for the benefit of the user, it may be just as important in terms of pure SEO value as well. Google has made it clear that high-quality, informative, engaging content is what ranks. The reality is that you’re not always going to be able to get certain products or secondary pages to rank on your website because either the keywords are too competitive or the content on the page is just too thin.

These days, the primary way in which many websites stake their claim on the first page of Google is through their blog articles. The reason behind this is that you can select a topic, research keywords for that topic, and meticulously craft a piece of content that is designed with purpose behind it. If you write content that answers very specific questions that you know shoppers in your industry will have, and if you utilize keywords properly, you are bound to rank and pull in traffic using this method.

Your Shopify blog also will act as a sales funnel if implemented correctly. It’s easy to create a how-to article or informative piece on a certain product or service that you offer and then link to said product throughout the article. This is not only a common practice, it is almost an expected part of the eCommerce landscape now. When a user is searching for information about a product, you are making their lives easier by providing a handy link right to the product in question. This way, if they are sold on the product after reading your article, they don’t have to search for the product elsewhere on your website, they can simply click the link and make their purchase right there.

This also provides SEO value as well, because this is considered a contextual link. Your well-researched and informative blog piece is essentially telling Google to pass authority and “link juice” to the product that the piece relates to. This boosts the authority of the product in the search results. If your blog article ranks well, it will pass some of that authority onto the product page, upping the stature of your entire website.

4. Remove Duplicate Content Wherever Possible

If you have hundreds of pages or products on your Shopify store, it’s all too easy to get lazy with content. This is a problem for multiple reasons, not least of which because users pick up on thin content like this.

The main reason why you want to avoid duplicate content on your website is that it can harm your SEO. Google has never specifically revealed exactly what constitutes “duplicate content” and just how much of a problem it actually is, but the general consensus is that you should try to minimize your use of it whenever possible.

While it may seem tedious, you don’t want to repeat descriptions on your product pages. This provides no value to the user and Google can sniff it out quite easily, and while it may not crush your rankings, it certainly won’t help them. To improve Shopify SEO you have to start with the basics, and this means cleaning up your content and taking it seriously.

What would you think if you walked into a supermarket and read the description on a box of cereal, only to read the same exact thing on the next box of cereal despite it being a different flavor or a different product altogether? What would be your impression of that brand or business?

The same thing applies to your online store. Duplicate meta titles and descriptions is not only unprofessional and potentially damaging to your SEO, it simply sends shoddy brand signals. If you are trying to build a brand that your customers trust, you want to avoid lazy practices like this at all costs.

5. Implement an Internal Linking Strategy

Finally, you want to develop a comprehensive internal linking strategy that helps to spread authority throughout your website while also optimizing your user experience. As far as SEO issues are concerned, this one is fairly common as well but relatively simple to correct if you take a step back and look at what your users need.

Internal linking is exactly what it sounds like: the links between pages on your website. While many SEO services harp on backlinks (and for good reason, they are one of the most important ranking factors), not nearly enough attention is paid toward internal links. You want to make sure that your entire website is easy to navigate and that there is a clearly defined flow to the information that you provide.

This includes a proper use of breadcrumbs as well as having an informative footer full of important links, as well as an HTML sitemap that covers all of the key pages on your website for easy access. You also want to consider the categories you have set up for your store as well as your navigational hierarchy. When users want to find a specific product on your website, it should be easy and intuitive for them to do so.

All of these points only cover one part of internal linking, however. You also want to make sure that your product pages and blogs are making great use of links as well. Your blogs should all have plenty of links that point to the appropriate pages on your website so that your users don’t have to search for them manually. In fact, you want to make it a point to set up informative pages on your website that address certain questions about your products or aspects regarding the use of your products, so that you can link to these pages later with your blogs.

This way, you create a web of internal links that pass authority to each other while also providing your users with a coherent and straightforward path to the information they are looking for or the products that they are interested in purchasing. This is essentially how you want your website to function, as a “web” of useful information that is all connected and interrelated.

While these steps include basic SEO tactics that can be used by anyone, it can still be a lot to digest. Between making high-quality blog posts with proper internal linking to figuring out how to target the right keywords and create impactful product pages that generate conversions, you’re looking at a full-time job beyond managing your business.

This is why if you seriously want to improve your Shopify SEO, you need an agency in your corner with extensive experience when it comes to ranking online stores. It doesn’t matter what industry you are in, if you want to get on page one and start pulling in a decent amount of traffic, you have to take the necessary steps. The time and effort you put into these SEO techniques will pay off down the road when your Shopify website begins to grow.

What you need to consider is that while these steps will make an impact if implemented properly, this is only scratching the surface when it comes to eCommerce SEO. What about generating high-quality backlinks from authority sources or addressing design flaws with your website that could be hindering your performance? High-level SEO is a complex matter and if you want to get the right results, you need the assistance of a respected Shopify partner.

Here at Genius eCommerce®, we know the Shopify platform, inside and out and understand exactly what it takes to get the most out of all of Shopify’s features. Our search engine optimization campaigns get results, which is why we are one of the most trusted agencies when it comes to ranking Shopify stores.

Let us demystify SEO for you by giving us a call today at 888-982-8269 and we will work with you to help get your website ranking where it belongs.

The Importance of Picking the Perfect Theme in Shopify

You know how people are told not to judge people by their appearance? That’s not the way it works when it comes to the digital space. Whether it is ads, videos, or a website, appearance and theme is everything and can make a big difference in converting a customer and having people constantly bounce from your website.

For your Shopify store, you need to have the perfect theme that reflects your business and allows people to see it the way you do. You will see a finished product and think your store looks great and should produce results. But what do your visitors see? That’s what matters.

At Genius eCommerce, we know what it takes to produce an eye-catching design that draws customers. We have learned the many tricks and tips of how to use Shopify and are passing them along to you. That’s what Genius eCommerce is, providing you with eCommerce updates, tips and trends to keep you in the know.

Today, I’ll tell you why it is important to pick the perfect theme for your online store in Shopify and how you can do it.

The main reason you need the perfect theme has nothing to do with the platform you choose. It’s all about sending the right message when it comes to your brand. This is the visual representation of your business. The message of the website, from the design to the content, is what you, your business, and your products stand for.

How well you showcase your brand and communicate your message in your design can make a big difference in conversions and the level of trust you establish with your potential customers.

There is a lot of information that shows what users can find more attractive and pleasing to the eye in terms of website style and features. For example, most internet users look at websites in an F shaped pattern, meaning websites that have a strong header and a sidebar on the left side. For a lot of internet users, a website design is also a source of trust. People tend to trust websites with a better design. In fact, 94 percent of internet users say that web design is a reason they don’t trust a website. If it doesn’t look convincing or gives the impression that the product is the same quality as the website, those negatives will send customers looking elsewhere.

But why tell you what works, when we can show you!

Check out a couple of examples here of websites that use a good design and branding to establish a strong online presence that people can trust and gives the right message.

Casa M Spice Co

Casa M Spice Co has used Shopify and their theme and branding to send a message that they are a lifestyle, not just promoting a product. Their design, including a new logo, has been a welcome addition for their business.

Vapaura

Vapaura used Shopify and put together a clean and professional theme for promoting and selling their products. The product page is capable of showing off product options in a way that is easy for the customer to see and navigate.

You can see how these examples get their message across effectively and use great branding and design to express that message. It proves to be welcoming to customers and invites them to explore and find products.

When you are starting your Shopify store and want to pick the right theme for your design, you need to ask yourself about the experience you want to create, the features you want the store to have and how you want products to be displayed. You also want to consider how your competitors approach the design of their websites. Are there features that you want to include that they have? Are there design elements that are similar among several competitors? These are things you should be looking at when evaluating your competition.

When the time comes, enter the Shopify theme store and start going through the many themes and know that there are customization options that can make it your own.

Remember, the design of your website is everything. It is the thing people will see immediately and can be the difference between turning a visitor into a customer.

Did you find this set of tips on Shopify design helpful? Continue to check back on the Genius eCommerce blog for more updates, news, tips and trends. Or send us a message about what you’d like to see in one of our next articles. This is who we are and what we do!

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