Shopify and SEO: Ranking Your Store In Search Engines

Search engine optimization is a critical part of the success of your Shopify store. So much of your success relies on where you rank and how easily people can find you through organic search.

As you start your Shopify store, you may not be sure of all the steps you need to take to achieve the rankings that you want.

Today, Genius eCommerce will provide a checklist of things to consider for the best SEO practices for your Shopify store. At Genius eCommerce, this is who we are and what we do, providing the tips, tricks, trends, and updates you need to have success in the eCommerce world.

Set Up Google Search Console

There are two steps you should complete to get set up with Google Search Console. First, submit your sitemap to Google. Shopify stores automatically generate a sitemap file, listing all individual pages which helps Google get a look at the organization of your website.

You also want to use Google Search Console to check for crawl errors. Bots crawl through websites and pages and errors occur when a bot cannot reach a specific page or site. It is important to know of these errors and get them corrected as soon as possible.

Keyword Research

Using a keyword planner, which Google also has at your disposal, determine the search volume of keywords and get keyword ideas. The volume of a keyword is the estimated number of monthly searches for that keyword.

As you come up with keywords, map them to specific content types ranging from product pages, category pages, blog posts, and the homepage and construct the pages you should create. Different keywords perform in different ways on each page, so you can target a higher-volume keyword for an informative page or blog post and a lower-volume keyword for a product page designed to draw in purchases.

Optimize Pages

There are a number of things you can do to optimize pages for your eCommerce store. On each page, make sure you are using only one H1 tag. Page titles should be under 60 characters. Meta descriptions should offer as much as possible while staying under 155 characters. Page titles should be compelling and written for human consumption, not search engines and optimization. Include keywords in your page URL. Give your images alt tags and file names.

All of these small pieces of SEO go a long way for your Shopify store and ensure that you will be recognized by search engines.

Link Building

Another step in SEO is to build a link building strategy. The number, quality, and relevancy of links to specific pages and websites are a ranking factor in Google. Links can be used as citations to build trust within your audience and form partnerships with whom you can share and provide value.

In building an effective link strategy, you want to analyze what your competitors are doing, how they have earned links and mentions and look for your own opportunities to get mentions from elsewhere. Free press is a great form of promotion.

Create Quality Content

Content is king when it comes to SEO on Shopify. The first thing to do is to plan your content marketing strategy.

Consider customer questions and if those would be a good topic. Write about the value of your products and what customers get out of it. Match questions that you get or popular search queries with keywords that you have researched.

Consider your word count when producing content. Write original product descriptions that list your features and benefits of the product, not the manufacturers. Add reviews of the product to your pages to help influence customers. All of these things can go a long way to building your credibility.

Additional Ranking Factors

Outside of the major recognizable factors for search engines, there are a few additional ranking factors to consider.

How your website looks on mobile makes a big difference. Google is starting to use mobile-first indexing, so having a quality mobile display and a theme that provides a good and clean mobile presentation is crucial.

Your website’s performance also makes a big difference. Speed is a ranking factor, so you want a website that loads quickly on both desktop and mobile.

If there are any doubts or anything you think you may be overlooking, you can always turn to Google’s recommended practices and use the guidelines provided.

Now that you know some of the steps to take to get your Shopify store optimized and using the best practices on search engines, it’s time to put them into use.

Keep reading the Genius eCommerce blog for more tips, trends, tricks, and updates on eCommerce news and ways to get the most out of your eCommerce store.

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!

BigCommerce vs. Shopify: Choosing the Right eCommerce Store for You

Which eCommerce platform is right for you? There is no correct answer, it all depends on your unique, individual needs. But before you commit to an eCommerce platform, you want to make sure you are choosing the best option.

BigCommerce and Shopify are the two leading eCommerce platforms in the industry. Both platforms offer complete eCommerce solutions, customization of your store and management services. However, both platforms do have their differences, which is why you should take into consideration the features of each platform before choosing one to start your eCommerce store.

We’ve put together a comparison of the two platforms, their features and more:

Shopify puts the focus on the design of your eCommerce store, offering a great user experience and a diverse amount of themes to choose from within their library. Shopify’s user experience is very similar to WordPress, good for users who have used web-based tools in the past.

Users can also build stores around custom themes by piecing together Shopify’s themes or using a free theme within the platform. There are also premium themes available for purchase. Many of Shopify’s themes are created by third-party designers, giving the platform a strong ecosystem of designers and developers.

Shopify comes with the essential tools for managing an eCommerce store, including the ability to manage inventory, set pricing and taxes, customize shipping settings and showcase specific products. There are also additional features that will deepen marketing functions, SEO, and analytics tools. All of these features are available through the Shopify App Store, home to more than 500 apps to help add additional functions to any store.

BigCommerce, however, also puts an emphasis on store design with their platform. BigCommerce is a slightly newer platform – launched in 2009 as compared to Shopify which launched in 2006 – and has taken a more unique approach to the user experience within their platform. While Shopify is based on many of the web tools that users are typically familiar with, BigCommerce expands on this by adding more customization to basic tasks. For example, a user may have to go through a more detailed process to add a product to their store, but this process will include additional advanced options for users who want more detail and customization. One example of this more detailed customization is adding multiple, different images that change when customers select specific options.

Like Shopify, BigCommerce has an extensive theme library with free and premium options. While BigCommerce does not have as many themes as Shopify, the quality of the themes stands out and include the capabilities of responsive design and mobile browsing.

BigCommerce’s customization features stand out over Shopify’s more standard theme setup. Additional features with BigCommerce themes include built-in shipping quotes, gift certificates, product reviews and basic email marketing tools. Like Shopify, BigCommerce also has additional capabilities that can be added through an App Store; however, Shopify’s App Store is larger and provides more options.

So which platform is the better choice? Again, there is no correct answer. Both platforms have similar features and customization options to fit merchants’ needs.

If you are looking for a platform that has a great support system built around designers and developers, Shopify is probably the choice for you. With a greater range of themes, apps and a team of designers and developers, Shopify also has a simpler user interface that makes it easy for merchants to add products and set up options.

If you are looking for more detailed customization and to be heavily involved in the fine details of your store, BigCommerce is probably the better option. BigCommerce is a newer platform with more advanced features and functionality that users can get without having to utilize an App Store. BigCommerce also has a support system of designers and developers, like Shopify, but the platform is not as mature as Shopify and puts a greater focus on coding rather than a basic user interface.

Whether you are looking for a simple user experience or more customization, both Shopify and BigCommerce are leading eCommerce platforms because of their many features, themes and support.

Looking for more information about BigCommerce, Shopify and other eCommerce platforms? Continue reading the Genius eCommerce blog for updates, trends and news.

Getting Started with Your Shopify Website: Your “Going Live” Checklist

Guide to Launching a Shopify Website

After you’ve completed your design, put in your content, and installed all the apps and features that you want, what’s left to do before launching your Shopify website? This checklist takes you step-by-step through all the details you should handle and double check before officially launching your store.

Products

When you are going through your “Going Live” checklist for products on your Shopify website, your primary point of focus will be your inventory and product descriptions. First, check that your inventory levels are where you want them to be. Then, take a look at your product descriptions. Do products have the correct tax status applied to them? Do your products (if applicable) have correct weights? Do you need to add any images to specify variety within products? Do your products have optimized and non-duplicate meta information? Have you determined your gift card and discount policies? If you can answer yes to all of these questions, then your products are all set.

Customers

This section is geared towards eCommerce business owners who have migrated their data to a Shopify website from a previous eCommerce platform. This can include customer data, so if you’ve changed eCommerce platforms, make sure you’ve imported previous customer groups. If you choose to do so, you can create customer groups for further organization.

Blog

If you are planning on having blog content on your site, double check that all the content to be listed is available. Then, there are a couple decisions you have to make in regards to your blog. Do you want customers to be able to comment? Have you added any featured images for your blogs? Do your blogs have unique meta information?

Content Pages

Content pages are an important resource for customers to find information on your business background as well as your business policies. Do you have an about us page? Do you have a contact us page (with an embedded contact form)? Do you have an FAQ and Terms and Conditions Page? Do you have a Shipping and Returns page? These are the most important content pages to include, but you should also double check that any sample or test pages that were used as filler in website development are deleted.

Themes

Before launching your Shopify website, you need to prepare your theme and content associated with it. First, make a backup and then also create a duplicate “test theme.” Another important tip is to add in language translations as a feature to your theme.

Website Navigation

Navigation is a critical feature on any website, not just an eCommerce website. It’s what allows the customer to easily move through the site from one page to another, and so before you take your Shopify eCommerce store live, double check that all of your navigation pages are working. So, make sure that your primary, secondary, and drop-down navigation menus are all available and working properly.

Payments, Checkout, Shipping, and Taxes

Before you launch your live website, Shopify fills in a testing payment option. So the first step to take is to determine your primary and secondary payment options, and also determine whether you want to add any manual payment options (paying offline).

Shopify’s checkout settings gives you a variety of options to choose how much information is given to and taken from the customer during checkout. In order to complete this part of the checklist, you need to determine which fields are required for customer checkout. You also will be prompted to determine what settings will be in place for abandoned cart emails, as well as making sure that refunding and privacy statements will be available.

Your comprehensive shipping plan needs to cover the following things: your shipping zones, what carrier you want to use, what shipping rates you prefer, and how to calculate shipping rates (based on weight or price). If you know there are times you will be offering free shipping, determine that now. Also, make sure your shipping label settings are complete and correct.

There are a handful of settings to determine for taxes. Do you want them added to the product price or added separately? Do you need to charge taxes on shipping? Are there tax overrides/exemptions for certain products or customers?

General Settings

This section is just small housekeeping details. First, make sure your images are optimized for your Shopify website. This will help your website performance and keep the images from slowing down the speed. Then, make sure your website’s homepage meta information is updated and grammatically correct. After that, make sure that you have inputted your Google Analytics account information into your Shopify information so that it can start collecting data as soon as your website goes live.

If you went through this comprehensive list and was able to check all the boxes complete, then you are all set to launch your business. After you go live with your Shopify website, it’s time to start watching your wallet grow. Did you find this article helpful or interesting? Share this to your social media and spread the word about Genius eCommerce!