More than half a million Shopify stores have sold their products online at one point or another. More than 370,000 of them are still alive and using this platform to sell to online customers. When you consider the fact that these stores make up a small portion of the online commerce ecosystem, the numbers become mind-boggling.
In other words, it takes a lot to make your Shopify store stand out and earn any kind of decent revenue.
One of the ways to help your Shopify store stand out and start making money is to ensure people actually find it in search engines. To cut a long story short, you need to do SEO for your store if you want to see it succeed.
Use Shopify’s Own Features
One of the best things about Shopify, when it comes to search engine optimization, is that their own people seem to be quite versed in the whole thing and the platform actually boasts a number of features that can help your store follow Google’s (Bing’s, DuckDuckGo’s) guidelines for best practices.
These are nothing spectacular, but they help take care of the on-site basics that can build a decent base for the rest of your SEO efforts down the line.
For example, Shopify features editable title tags, meta descriptions and URLs, as well as ALT tags, automatically generated sitemaps and robots.txt files. They even provide automatically generated canonical URL tags which help avoid duplicate content. You can also find great domain names for your store(s), register them without leaving their website and even play with subdomains.
Even people who know nothing about SEO can sit down for a reading session of a couple of hours and learn SEO 101, that will help them set up their store for success.
It sounds like fanboy stuff, but really, kudos Shopify.
Often times, Shopify store owners do not have the time to also run a blog, especially if they happen to run a few separate stores. This is a big mistake, as a blog can be a great SEO tool.
For one, with great content, you keep people on your website, even if they are not purchasing, which is a great signal for search engines that your website has quality to offer. Also, it is a fantastic way to fill your website with keywords without seeming spammy in any way.
Once you start doing some guest posting (we will get to that later), you will also discover that other website and blog owners feel much more comfortable linking to a blog post on your store’s site than a commercial page. Of course, you should still try to get links to your commercial pages, but when this just isn’t happening, links to your blog posts will also help.
Finally, if you come up with innovative and interesting content, it is very likely that your visitors will get involved in the conversation, which makes for a fantastic signal for search engines.
Be Smart about Product Images
There are a few things to keep in mind when dealing with product images on your Shopify store. For one, you need to optimize them before you include them on your store’s website. This will speed up your loading times, which is something search engines love.
Also, you will want to include ALT tags for every image of every product that you feature on your page, as it will let search engine crawlers know what the image is of (machine image recognition still isn’t that advanced).
This will also help vision-impaired visitors know what is on the page. While it is not an SEO thing, it is a common decency thing.
It has been a couple of years since online shoppers have become majorly mobile, meaning that they do their shopping on their mobile devices (mostly smartphones). Because of this, all SEO efforts should keep in mind the need to be mobile-friendly.
The first step, of course, is to ensure that your Shopify store is mobile-friendly. In a perfect world, all Shopify templates would be 100% mobile-friendly, but this is still not the case. Google provides their own mobile-friendly test tool which will point out the issues that might be hurting mobile users and you will want to fix these as the first step.
You should also learn more about the differences between desktop and mobile searches and modify your content appropriately. Google’s Mobile Index is not yet live, but it is safe to say that it will happen one day.
Of course, you can always take this a step further and start using the mobile marketing platform that will best suit your needs, even beyond simple SEO.
Utilize Product Pages
Product pages should always feature an original product description. Many Shopify store owners decide to simply copy descriptions that they find on the manufacturer’s website or other stores. This is a huge mistake as search engines will flag this kind of content as duplicate and penalize your store. It may be time consuming, but it is a very basic SEO thing to do. If done the right way, product descriptions can be a good way to optimize your pages for search engines through smart keyword practice.
Another good way to utilize product pages is to give your customers the chance to write their reviews of your products. This will provide your product pages with additional content, which will be as natural as possible, also giving search engines signals that people are engaged enough to leave their comments.
The important thing to remember is that SEO is not some sort of a magic wand that will save your Shopify store. You will need a good product. You will need a product that people are willing to pay for.
SEO’s job is to ensure that people find it.
That is all.
As mobile technology trends and usage continue to evolve it becomes more important than ever for e-commerce companies to focus their efforts on mobile users.
Expanding Mobile Trends
Mobile traffic has been growing steadily. By the end of last year, online traffic from mobile uses had surpassed traffic from desktop computers. According to an IDC survey, more than 70 percent of people in the US own smartphones, and 94 percent of them use their phones to search for information. Smartphone research on products is done by 79 percent of users, while 83 percent use their phone to make reservations at restaurants and hotels.
Google has also recognized the importance of the mobile consumer. Their Accelerated Mobile Pages concept was released last year and is already making an impact on marketing strategies.
The expanding use of mobile devices has changed e-commerce. More people are relying on mobile internet access as a much more convenient means of getting online. Any e-commerce business that doesn’t support a mobile-friendly virtual store is losing out on a huge market segment.
According to BizReport.com, mobile users spend 60 percent more time on their smartphone than any other device. They expect a good mobile experience from every site they visit. Furthermore, a 2016 survey from UrbanAirship.com reveals that 80 percent of businesses were planning to budget for a shift to mobile commerce, or m-commerce.
Mobile Friendly Sites
The growing transition from traditional desktop computers to mobile devices is driving significant changes in online web design and marketing campaigns. Interacting with the touchscreens of mobile devices is a different user experience than a computer keyboard or mouse. Developers trained to produce computer applications are now forced to adapt applications to smaller screens and limited computing power.
Mobile-first strategies mean aligning marketing and storefronts to the needs of the mobile users and their devices rather than desktops. Designing web sites for mobile devices should be the priority, not a secondary consideration. Desktop design can utilize more graphics and computing power for greater visual appeal and functionality. But this doesn’t scale to mobile devices well, so the mobile user is experiencing slow page loads, confusing layouts, or poor site navigation.
Mobile designs call for reducing graphics and needless content for a layout that’s more suited to smaller screens. By using a mobile design, you’re creating a positive experience for the majority of online traffic. When you’ve perfected your mobile design, you can adapt it for larger screens by creating additional or alternative versions that include more content.
The mobile-first strategy should be focused on creating not visually stunning or feature-rich store fronts, but simple, user-friendly layouts. These should also integrate mobile payment systems and flexibility for popular platforms such as both iPhone and Android. Faster and easier access for an increasing number of mobile users will bring up conversion rates.
Powerful computers with wide screens can accommodate visually and programmatically complex web pages. Designers need to understand that mobile devices are more limited. They should be regarded as more primitive devices that may also experience unstable connections. Every button has to be necessary, and every function supportable. Mobile development should be oriented to economy of design, not needless overhead.
Mobile Design Elements
The smaller screen requires less clutter of text, imagery, and navigation. These elements should be minimized for simple, efficient flows between pages or processes. Mobile users expect their interactions to be satisfied with a few taps or swipes. Interfaces should provide a clear set of options and a call to action. It’s important to prioritize features and add more only where performance and objectives are not compromised.
This comes down to every element being designed with mobile users in mind. Lists should be short and easily scrollable; forms should be short, easily read, and require minimal text entry or multiple choice answers. You can use resources such as Google’s Site Speed tool to evaluate how page speeds are affected.
Mobile Payment Systems
A mobile-first design is only going to increase in importance. More users are using their smartphones and tablets to do product research but also for making purchases directly from their mobile devices. Payment processes should be easy to understand and follow. A faster, easier flow from browsing to purchasing will improve mobile sales.
A study by GfK reveals that as much as 40 percent of online consumers begin the purchase experience on one device but buy from another. While mobile purchases have increased, conversion rates for these users are still low. Shopping cart abandonment will increase for e-commerce sites that aren’t mobile friendly.
E-commerce platforms should be capable of retaining as much data as possible on every user experience. As mobile shoppers move between devices, they should be able to quickly recall their order or account information. Logs and timestamps can show you the exact path from initial contact to conversion. You can see which pages users prefer and which they abandon. This gives you the insights to create better designs and marketing campaigns.
A Mobile Future
Perfecting your mobile friendly pages helps you to constantly improve the experience for mobile users. Platforms that can detect a range of devices being used to access your site can provide information on what works best with all users, whether via mobile access or desktop browsers.
In summary, research shows that the use of mobile devices among younger and future users is only going to increase, while sales of desktops are down. Today, 21 percent of millennials don’t use desktops at all to access the internet. Wi-Fi and mobile devices are fast becoming the favorite computing option. All of these mobile device users can be shopping online anytime, and from anywhere. On-the-go consumers expect fast and simple interactions with web sites.
Mobile-first strategies are about designing e-commerce sites to drive more sales to a growing segment of online users. Mobile shopping patterns are not the same as desktop shopping. They require different designs and different marketing approaches. But as their numbers increase, a mobile-first strategy is the best option for sustaining e-commerce companies.
Eric D. Gordon is an independent business development and marketing specialist for SMEs. He loves sharing his insights and experience to assist business owners in growing their revenues. You can find Eric on Twitter at @ericdavidgordon
Emails are used by millions of people every day. They’re a great way to communicate with other people and businesses and are suitable for those who may not have a lot of time to talk on the phone. However, when you’re a business and you want to improve your open rates from your recipients, this expert guide will give you the top tips on how you can improve your subject headlines to help increase your email open rates. Let’s take a look now.
Best Methods Of Designing Better Subject Lines
Keep It Short and Sweet
The first step in gaining someone’s attention is by keeping your subject line short and sweet. Long subject lines tend to get cut off and look very unprofessional. Instead, it’s a good idea to keep your subject line 50 characters or less. Use direct words if you’re struggling to keep it under the character limit. For examples ‘Your order from The Baby Store has been shipped’ can be shortened to ‘The Baby Store Order 8272 Is Shipped’. Keeping it short and simple allows for your readers to quickly scan the emails with their eyes to see what’s important and what’s not important. This helps your email to be seen better which can improve your open rates greatly.
Use Capitals On Each Word
Using capitals on each word allows for your subject line to appear more professional. While it’s really a personal preference, it can help to improve your open rate. Here’s an example below:
- Get your discounts inside
- Get Your Discounts Inside
By adding capital to each letter, it helps you to gain your recipients trust and shows them that you take great care in the finer details of your email. Allowing your emails to look professional will help to reduce the risk of it ending up in the spam folder with all the rest of the fake emails.
Here’s an example of both a bad and good example side by side:
Tell Your Recipient What’s Inside
When you’re going to send your recipients an email, you need to tell them what’s inside in a quick way. Your subject line can do this. For example: ‘Your Next Travel Destination Awaits’ doesn’t give much, while ‘Switzerland Travel Discounts Inside’ tells the readers exactly what to expect. This information will give them enough details to be intrigued about what your offering. Make sure when you’re telling your readers, it’s clear and to the point for the most effect.
Use Language That’s Powerful
Subject lines are like call to actions. They need to be powerful enough to inspire someone to click through the email. In order for a subject line to do this, they need to be powerful and have powerful language that gives excitement and urgency. For example:
This subject line while interesting, is a little vague:
- Get Up Close and Personal To Your Favourite Popstar!
While this subject line offers more power with the use of the word ‘limited’ and the pop stars name. It creates a sense of urgency.
- Limited Backstage Meet and Greet With Madonna
Using powerful language will help to generate more clicks and open rates when trying to get your recipients attention. Make sure you use them to your advantage.
Make Your Subject Lines Professional
Professionalism is key to getting people to open your emails. Never use in excess exclamation marks or full cap locks as these make your email subject lines look tacky. Cap lacks tend to make your subject lines feel as if they’re screaming at your recipient. This can come over as pushy which can leave your recipients pushing away from your business instead of being invited in. Overuse of exclamation marks scream spam. If you take note of a lot of spam emails, they tend to use a lot of exclamation marks. Here’s some examples below so you can see the difference:
- FREE TRAVEL DEALS INSIDE!!
- Free Travel Deals Inside!
- New Car Deals Await!!!!!!!!!!!
- New Car Deals Await!
Avoiding these common mistakes can help you to improve your open rates greatly and can make your subject lines appear professional and appealing.
Generating catchy subject lines is about how you present them to your audience. As you can see from the above tips, this will help you to shape your subject lines better so you can present your business professionally to your audience. Without presenting your subject lines in a presentable way, you run the risk of losing out on the open rates that you’re hoping to achieve. So, are you ready to improve your open rates?
Aaron is the co-founder of Studio 56 and is a passionate digital marketing expert who has worked with some of the largest digital marketing agencies in Australia. He has been working in the digital marketing field for ten years. Aaron loves to travel the world to not only enhance his cultural experiences but learn and enhance his skills in the digital marketing industry. He is dedicated to helping others reach their online marketing goals.
If you didn’t set up your Twitter account in 2006, it’s easy to feel behind the times. Even if you registered “the perfect handle”, using social media correctly requires strategy. For celebrities or charismatic bloggers, it doesn’t require much for people to engage. What if you’re a niche company or have specific messaging? How do you get people to care?
1. Ask yourself first, why do you care?
Before you create any marketing approach, decide why you want to promote. Do you want to converse with your audience? Maybe you’d prefer a more diverse group of people. Or perhaps you want to collaborate with specific groups within your industry. If you have a clear sense of what you’re doing, it will show in your actions. For several years I worked in the parenting and lifestyle industry blogging for several platforms under one company. We had 10 employees. Now, I am working at an organization that has over 200! However, some of the same rules apply even though the industry and size of company are drastically different.
2. Be consistent with your messaging
With one person at the helm of your social media and marketing, your company is able to distribute messaging that is streamlined, timely, and collaborative. If you have too many cooks in the kitchen, your editorial voice is unrecognizable. You can work with different members of your team to get ideas or to boost specific events or blog posts, but one person should be constructing the messaging.
Having content like this Windows Through the Years page is a unique way to pass along information to our audience. Because it’s evergreen and interactive, we can share this several times throughout the year depending on what is happening according to our editorial calendar.
2. Start small but keep at it
The great thing about Twitter is that if you are active, people will start engaging with you. The entire philosophy of Twitter relies upon people working together to showcase their skills. It may seem like a small feat capturing 2 or 3 new followers or getting 1 or 2 likes. The growth will be small at first. But if you capitalize on trending hashtags or institute a theme (Like #ThursdayThoughts or #WellnessWednesday) you can create content centered around what’s already popular.
You can amend the types of trends you see and use those hashtags to make the most of your content. It’s important not to boost your material with an improper hashtag. You can get suspended or even removed from Twitter if you abuse the trends. Get clever with them, but don’t exploit them.
4. It doesn’t hurt to spend a little cash
Something to think about utilizing is Twitter’s Promoted Tweets. Try using a promoted tweet to redirect people to your blog or published content by placing $10 or $20 behind it. Set a monthly budget and track those tweets over time to see the resulting interactions. While engagement can feel like a slow process, you should see immediate results with Promoted Tweets.
5. Make it easier on yourself with automation
Automated platforms like HubSpot, HootSuite, and TweetDeck are helpful services to track and schedule messages. While you could spend hours a day constantly updating, scheduling in several messages for the week can help you stay organized. It’s important to check your feed each day to see if you’ve gotten any engagement, but you can focus on other projects and be less distracted by Twitter noise if you schedule them out.
6. Capitalize on the status of your best followers
When a verified Twitter user follows you or networks with you, don’t miss this opportunity to capitalize on their status. They might not have a ton of followers, but their verification standing is important as an influencer. That little blue check next to each name signifies expertise in a certain field. Weather they like your post, retweet it, comment, or follow you, any type of action from their end is an opening to a conversation.
7. But don’t make it awkward
Direct Messages can result in a slippery slope between dialogue and stalking. Keep in mind you can only Direct Message users whom you are following and who are following you. The point of these messages is not to harass someone- but to entice them in to furthering the exchange perhaps over email or business phone call. If you’re a business targeting an individual, the last thing you want to do is try to sell to them (either with a product or an idea) over messaging. It’s easy to forget that behind a persona is a real person—with feelings! Sarcasm or snarky remarks can be taken out of context, so remember to bear on the professional and friendly side when chatting with people. Keep messages brief, to the point, and with a positive attitude.
8. Be colorful
Posts with photos do infinitely better than those without. This is where you can get a little bit more creative if your copy isn’t super engaging. Subscriptions to photo libraries like iStock can be useful, though pricey. Plan your budget and stick to it. Original photos, while they may be trickier to acquire, are beneficial to showing your audience that you’re a real person behind whatever it is you are promoting. Use a photo (not a logo) in all of your posts.
9. Finally, don’t forget to have fun, too
Ultimately, Twitter is a helpful tool to engage with your community and industry, but at the end of the day, it’s also supposed to be fun. There are cool features like GIFs which you can use (sparingly!) in your messaging to humanize yourself and company. You can also add original images to make your posts stand out. If you’re not a graphics master, free services like Canva can help you create quick and colorful visuals.
Try one or two of these tips and see which ones work best for you. Once you get into the swing of things, experiment with other things like videos, twitter parties, and Follow Friday campaigns.
Mandy Fisher is the Digital Marketing Manager at 1E. She is a journalist, actor, and content creator. She has been seen on Broadway, in magazines like Real Simple, as well as sites like Mashable, USA Today, and Forbes. Photos and videos are all her own. She lives in New York City and drinks too much coffee.