Last updated on November 17, 2020
While you may have ads out there, and social media pages spreading the word about your store, it’s important to optimize your store. This is all about getting it more visible and likely to convert any natural traffic received.
Your store’s website should have a super performance if you’re to rank highly in search results.
The basic Shopify store has good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) at the ground level, but there are more changes you can make to your store to improve its ranking.
Let’s break down the action to take as you optimize your Shopify store for more sales:
Simplify The Site Structure
Remove as many layers as you can between the homepage and a product’s page. If you already have categories, limit subcategories. Or just remove them all together. Try a flat site architecture.
This makes it easier for search engines to scan your site for these product pages. Create special pages where customers can access any other important information. An example is your contact information and description.
Use an “About Us” page and a “Contact” page for this. These pages help to keep people around which can boost your ranking. They also make some shoppers more likely to buy if they know how to get in touch with you.
Target The Right Keywords
Start off with a simple list of some major topics related to your products. Imagine what you’d search for if you were the customer. Check forums, social media hashtags and other elements of competitors’ websites for possible keywords.
These could be in titles, meta descriptions, image alt-text and more. Conduct searches and see how high up the list your site appears. Use tools like Ahrefs to get even more details on keywords and the statistics surrounding them.
Revisit your site and change your text fields like product names and such. Make them resemble the more common keywords suggested by the SEO tools used.
Keep making changes until you’re higher up on the first page of search results.
Enhance Your User Experience
This relates more to how customers feel when using your site. Shorten your loading time. Paste your URL into grading tools like Pingdom and find out how heavy the size is.
Note the speed and revisit the areas where the site has low grades. Put in place a more responsive design. With this one, your site adjusts properly to whatever device it’s being viewed on.
Uninstall any apps you no longer use. Replace some images with smaller ones where fitting. Do away with sliders. Add Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) where the platform allows. This helps your store load faster on mobile devices.
Make these changes on every page where they are needed. Consider changing to a faster and more mobile-friendly theme. You can get great performance with some free Shopify themes.
Resize some CTA buttons like the “Add to Cart” to fit the full screen width. Make sure it can be accessed without scrolling. These size and above-the-fold rearrangements will make your store pass the thumb zone test.
This means people using their thumbs on a small mobile screen are more likely to click on site elements. These conversions get you closer to more sales.
Refine Your Product Pages
Pick out some of your best performing pages and start there. Come up with a format for inserting keywords into title tags for categories. Proceed to your product names and find a way to blend the keywords into them and the other copy.
Place extra CTAs on these pages like “show more” or “view related products” to keep shoppers on the page or the site in general. Offer neat product photography with many angles.
Install Powerful Shopify Apps
As you think about how to set up a Shopify store, research about add-ons, plug-ins etc. The Shopify app store has numerous tools that can help with SEO. Know the specific goal you want to achieve.
Some tools help with images; others are about boosting speed. Try not to apply to many to do the same job just because you can get free ones. This can affect your store’s performance negatively.
Do More and Better Link Building
These links are more about showing how you’re viewed in a larger pool of websites. The more backlinks you have, the better. Start off by picking out websites within your field.
They can be suppliers or manufacturers. Find out their policy on listing authorized retailers. Meet their targets and get mentioned on their site, with a link back to yours. This could be straight to a product or category page.
You can do the same with big industry voices and influential blogs. Do some investigation on sites with broken links. Suggest that they replace them with links to your site. This can be a win-win since it improves their SEO too.
Present Extra Resources
Create slideshows and videos relating to your products. These can be demonstrations on how to use a product. They may also be simple unboxings showing the look and details of a product.
These help to keep people on the store and also make them more confident about the value they stand to get. They can also be used to point shoppers to other offers (discounts and promotions) on your site.
Another way to utilize them is through hosting reputable personalities in fields related to your products. For example, get popular performers or producers to talk about why they like certain music gear.
The goal is for them to share links to these resources with their followers.
Spread Out Some Content
Go through your store and note a few products. Look for popular websites with content on topics related to those products. Contact them and find out their submission policies.
Put together some articles that are interesting and informative. Include your store within them and get them published. This can drive more traffic to your site from people who read that content and click on the links within it.
You can also do the same independently. Create a blog for your store. Update it regularly with new pieces. Some shoppers may be in your store but not quite convinced to buy yet. Make your blog available to them.
If some read an interesting piece from there talking about particular products, they might be led back to those pages. When you present yourself as a credible voice on a specific topic, some shoppers are more likely to buy from you.
Create Landing Pages
Landing pages are simpler pages usually aimed at producing one particular action. Give these pages good pictures. Write the value given clearly and boldly. Place a major CTA on the page, usually something like “Buy Now”.
The value may be presented after the CTA for example; “and save up to 20%”.
Exclude any features like newsletter signups that may distract the shopper. Make sure that your major ads link directly to these pages. They help mainly in getting a quick sale.
Here are a few other easy tips to try out for your store if you want to drive more sales:
Get Your Products Shared
Have good looking social media buttons on your pages. Place them where they don’t interfere with the rest of the information displayed. Encourage shoppers to share your listings.
Throw in a few offers where possible. Make this option available for carts and custom designs too. This may attract more people to your store. A good example is the Shareable Cart app for Shopify.
Fine tune lead generation
Use well timed pop-ups to collect emails. You can then use these to communicate with potential buyers and get more visits. The clicks help you rank higher eventually.
Another option is live chats that you can use to get shoppers to subscribe to Facebook Messenger lists and such.
Offer retaining features
Enable shoppers to save carts. This means you can get multiple visits as a shopper edits their cart and gets closer to making a purchase. You can also remove restrictions on account creation.
Add Structured Data
With this additional information like star ratings and product availability, you can appear higher in results. Those who add things like “3-star”, “in stock” or “40 available” are more likely to see your listings.
There are two things to consider when you’re optimizing your Shopify store. The first is that it’s something that happens both on and off the site. From research to mentions, your focus can’t be on the store’s site alone.
You have to pay attention to your pages, but also to other people’s pages. Don’t forget forums, subreddit and other social media groups.
The second is the duration. Not every customer will buy instantly. It’s your job to know who’s closer to making a purchase, and who still needs persuasion. You should also understand why they are still holding back.
All this must be reflected in the optimization tactics you use. Some will have to be about generating leads, retaining traffic or even simply producing lots of clicks. Other methods will be more about the sale itself.
Don’t neglect a plan simply because all it does is bring traffic. Find other ways to support it. Optimization is continuous. You’ll have to revisit your actions whenever you add products.
Ricky Hayes is the Co-Founder and Head of Marketing at Debutify – free Shopify theme, helping drop shippers build high-converting stores in minutes. He is a passionate entrepreneur running multiple businesses, marketing agencies and mentoring programs.