At Shopi SEO, we have many inquiries from a wide range of Shopify store owners. Many of them realize the importance of Shopify marketing and (obviously) want to draw more visitors to their store. However, not all of them have come across the term SEO before (otherwise known as Search Engine Optimization.) Therefore they do not fully understand the services that we provide. Others have a small understanding, but do not understand how Shopify SEO experts can really help them. That is why we have decided to do a simple “round up” to help explain Shopify SEO for beginners and how professional marketing services can grow their business. Thomas Jones, is a new ecommerce store owner selling baby clothing and he has (happily!) put us through the grill on all his queries. So without further ado:
Thomas – What exactly is SEO?
When you search for something on Google, do you wonder about how Google decides which results to bring up first? After all, Google is a business and wants to give their users the best result possible – otherwise we might start using Yahoo! instead. Search Engine Optimization is the process of helping a website rank higher in search engines such as Google. Search engines use certain algorithms (measuring methods) to determine how relevant a certain website is to a search. Now Google does not tell us how their algorithms work, otherwise all the spam websites would be using underhand tactics to trick them. Therefore SEO experts have to consistently work out these algorithms, and in turn, modify their client’s websites to become algorithm friendly.
Thomas – That makes sense, so how does improving my SEO help my Shopify store?
The higher you rank on Google, the more visitors and sales you will get. It really is that simple. Most stores want to be on the first page of Google for search terms that relate to them. This is because many online shoppers do not shop past the first page. If you shop online yourself, you will realize that you probably do not click past page 2, unless you are doing some intense research!
Thomas – For my shop, which sells baby clothes, some really big stores come up like Amazon, Ebay and John Lewis on page 1. How can I compete with that?
Of course Google shows trusted and well known brands first. This is because their websites are:
Google knows their users will have a good experience whilst shopping on their sites. Although you may not be able to compete with general terms such as “baby clothes,” we will be able to look into other search terms to rank for. This is called keyword research, and is the first steps of SEO. We won’t fully go into the details of keyword research (as this is something we will do for you) but a keyword we might look at for your brand is “boutique baby clothes uk.” The great thing about these specific, longer keywords is that the searcher usually has more INTENT to buy than the shorter terms anyway. Meaning conversions are normally much higher.
Thomas – I can pay for adverts to be on Google page one right?
Yes of course you can through Google Adwords. This may work to bring some visitors to your store. Though it has been shown that many users are prone to ignore adverts now. However many advertising budgets will soon run low as not every click will convert into a sale. Over time you will end up spending more money than you make when running a business on paid advertising. Organic search is a better investment, as when you begin to rank organically, you can be on Page one for a long time and not paying for clicks.
For instance, one of our clients used to spend £400 per month on advertising and get a 5 percent conversion rate. They decided to invest their budget into organic SEO instead and managed to secure a place on page one. Their organic rankings now pay for themselves and they have made more money than they invested into the SEO in the first place. SEO truly is one of the world’s best ROI’s.
Thomas – So what types of SEO options are there? Where do I begin?
If you have had absolutely no SEO performed on your Shopify store then you will need to begin with onsite optimization first. Onsite optimization is exactly what is says; the optimization of your physical website. There are many characteristics of your website that can be edited to make it more Google friendly. Many of the tasks are simply using research to input the correct titles and meta. Other tasks are more complex such as editing code and speeding up the website. You can find out more information about the work we do with Shopify onsite optimization here.
Onsite optimization will help your Shopify store to rank higher, however a true SEO strategy needs ongoing work. Especially in a niche where many stores have been optimized well. How can you rank above the rest? This is where offsite optimization comes into play.
Thomas – Tell me more about offsite optimization
Offsite optimization is a monthly set of practices that help boost your site rankings. It is advisable that you have had full onsite optimization first before going ahead with this. Offsite optimization has one aim: to make your Shopify store more trusted and relevant in Google’s eyes. There are a number of techniques that we use to do this including link building and content marketing too. Obviously we cannot give our trade secrets away on how we get stores to rank so well, but we can say that we concentrate on getting authority from the right sources online.
You see, the one way Google ranks your website is to see how many other websites think you are important. If no one is linking to your website online, then your website will be deemed unimportant and will not rank well. Therefore back links are a crucial aspect of SEO. It also considers WHO is linking to you too. If Cosmopolitan links to your fashion website, it probably means you are an authoritative brand as that is a respected website. However if a rubbish spam site links to you, this will not pass on any authority. Not all links are created equally. It is important to get the balance of numbers of links, and quality of the links in the correct balance.
Thomas – How do I know what SEO services I need?
The best way to find out the SEO services your store requires is to ask us to perform a free Shopify SEO audit.
Last updated – 02/10/15, please email us your Shopify SEO questions and we will keep on adding to this list.