Planning to sell online ! Your mind must be bombarded with alot of questions. The first one being which platform should you choose.
SHOPIFY V/S WOOCOMMERCE
Shopify is an all in one ecommerce solution. You can set it up and start running your store in a few days. Not all of us know the technical aspects of coding, thus for common people like us Shopify is the best solution. However WooCommerce will allow you to control a lot of parameters of your store but this comes at a higher price. If you are not a technical person like me , you will get drained in the plugins. And the amount you end up paying will be much higher too as compared to a shopify store.
So how to choose the right one for your ecommerce business?
Shopify has the following PRO’s that will make your decision easier
EASY TO USE : Even if you have no technical knowledge you can create your store and start selling immediately. All the integrations can be easily done.
HOSTED SOLUTION – Shopify does not require self hosting, thus you need not be worried of looking for a hosting partner. Trust me this makes your life a little easier.
INTEGRATION WITH PAYMENT GATEWAYS– Shopify makes integration with payment gateways seamless and easy.
USAGE OF VARIOUS APPS – Shopify allows you to choose from a pool of apps that suit your needs. Find the right app that suits your business.
TRACKING AND MAINTAINING CUSTOMER DATA – Easily collect email addresses of your customers that will help you nurture the leads. Shopify analytics will help you understand your conversion rates easily. It will let you know the source of your traffic and will help you take many well analysed decisions.
ADD COUPONS DISCOUNT CODES EASILY – Shopify makes it easy to create discount codes that can be shared with your customer and increase conversion rates.
INTEGRATIONS WITH LIVE CHAT VERY EASY – You don’t need to worry about creating chatbots. Many themes have inbuilt features that will help you set up chat bots for whatsapp or facebook messengers.
One of the most important decisions that you would have to take while setting up your store is WHICH THEME SHOULD YOU CONSIDER.
A theme is a template that determines the way that your online store looks and feels. Different
themes have different styles and layouts, and offer a different experience for your customers.
For example, if you’re selling spa products, then you probably want your online store to feel relaxed and luxurious.
However there are some features in a theme that you should consider as they will have a direct impact on the SEO of your store.
Features– Upsell / Cross Sell/ Pop Ups/ Videos add/ Descriptions – These features might not directly affect your store SEO but will have a huge impact on the conversion rate of your store. Thus, If you have a good conversion rate Google will consider your site to be more valuable and thus will have an impact on your site.
Speed – One of the most important parameters for SEO is Speed of your site. Thus always check the loading speed of the theme you are planning to choose. You can always test the speed of the demo store through various tools like GT Metrix.
H Tags – Determining the location of the H Tags in your theme is essential. Thus, you need to understand where is the H1 or H2 Tag located in the theme you are choosing so you can utilise them as per your primary keyword.
Always look into these parameters while determining which theme you plan to choose.
This brings us to our next question :
What is SEO and How is the SEO of a shopify page different from the SEO of a WORDPRESS site
What is SEO ?
“Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic to a website or a web page from search engines. SEO targets unpaid traffic (known as “natural” or “organic” results) rather than direct traffic or paid traffic.”As per Wikipedia.
We often think that SEO is done only for blogs. However when we have an ecommerce store Search Engine Optimisation is equally essential.
There are many factors that can make your online store appear higher in search results:
- The number of backlinks your site has
- The authority of the website based on engagement and other factors
- How well have you optimised the content on your store page
When you are new to selling online, it can be difficult to do much about the first two factors.Building do follow backlinks and improving your domain authority can take time , however optimising the content on your store page should be your primary goal.
In short term, the easiest way to get more traffic to your online store is to optimize your content so that a search engine recognizes it as relevant to queries related to your products. This is what we mean by SEO.
To begin understanding SEO strategy , we first need to understand the structure of a shopify store :
A shopify store has 3 levels:
- Collection page
- Product page
While doing SEO of a shopify store we need to optimise each of these levels well to ensure complete Optimisation.
On a lot of parameters the SEO of a Shopify store is similar to other Sites or Stores. The basic parameters for SEO remains same like:
- Title Tag
- Meta Descriptions
- URL Structure
- H Tags
Similar to the SEO of a blog , Shopify store page should also be optimised on the above parameters.
Your title tag and meta descriptions should be within the word limit and should contain your primary keywords.. The URL structure for all the pages should be well optimised. However, in shopify we do have some restrictions of formatting the URL. But if you are a technical person there are ways to edit the URL formats too.
Now let’s understand the parameters that are essential for SEO of our store page but are slightly different being a Shopify Page. We shall discuss this level wise.
HOMEPAGE : In a Home page once you have optimised your title , meta description and URL , you need to identify by checking the page source where the H1 Tag lies. There are chances that the H1 Tag is sometimes in the Header image as a text covering across it or sometimes even in the logo image. Thus, you need to identify where does the H1 tag lie and then optimise the tag for Search engines to identify what is the main purpose for your page.
The Images are an important part for any store page. They would be present across all levels i.e Homepage , Collection page and Product pages.
Optimising your images is also crucial for SEO of your store. The important parameters for optimizing images are :
- Rename your files with your primary keywords and then upload them to your store
- Compress your images as this will have a direct impact on the speed of your page
- Add your primary and Long tail keywords in the ALT text of your images.
The advantage of Shopify store is that you can easy perform the above tasks using apps Eg. BULK IMAGE EDIT by HEXTOM or SEO IMAGE OPTIMIZER . This helps to optimise your images in bulk thus making your task easy
COLLECTION PAGES : While optimising your collection pages always keep in mind the following parameters :
- URL: Ensure you have a correct URL structure.
- SEO Title and Meta description: With the ease that Shopify allows to enter this information there are chances that you won’t go wrong. But always ensure you have your keywords while adding the Title and Description
- H1 Tag + Description with H2 Tag: This is generally one crucial area where a lot of beginners tend to make mistakes. Identify where the H1 and H2 tag of the page lies. And ensure you optimise it well. Ensure you do not miss this.
Also another area which alot of entrepreneurs or even expert tend to miss is the section below the Collection page. Add more content in this area. This could even be the FAQ’s or relevant questions that your customers could generally have. This will help to build more relevancy in your page and thus will further help in improving the SEO of your page.
Now you must be wondering how this can be done. The magic comes by using tools like OPTIZEN. This will help you add content below the collection page and that will help you improve the SEO of your Collection Page.
PRODUCT PAGES : Just like any other page Search Engine Optimisation the prime parameters remain the same. However while optimising a product page in shopify store always ensure that for your products create variations on one page. Do not create separate pages for the variations as this will lead to creation of duplicate content
INTERNAL LINKING: You can easily create blogs for your store page. Create content that aligns well with your search intent and do not forget to interlink the pages. This will help to increase the speed at which the search engines will crawl your site. And will also increase the time your customers will spend on your store page.
There are various other OFF PAGE SEO techniques that you should also incorporate to ensure you have a well optimised page. This includes Backlinking, Guest posting , Local SEO etc.
Improving your rankings on search engine is a slow process but include this in your marketing strategy to achieve your long term goals.
Always remember having a successful shopify store requires consistent effort. Bring a holistic approach by including strategies like SEM ( Facebook , instagram and Google Ads ), a good email marketing strategy ( targeting abandoned carts or even cross selling products to customers) and a constant social media strategy.
Sometimes we tend to lose hope and give up but unless we try we can never know what will work for us.
So keep trying. If something didn’t work, try another approach. One door may close but few more may open but only if you are willing to put in that effort.
NEVER GIVE UP!!!
Harmeet kapoor is working as a digital marketing strategist in the Ecommerce Industry. She is a certified SEO manager by Blue Array Academy.
In case you have any queries or need help reach out to me at LinkedIn.
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