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The Only Shopify Optimization Guide You Will Ever Need

September 10, 2018
- Update on 
September 10, 2018
BACK TO BLOG

The Only Shopify Optimization Guide You Will Ever Need

September 10, 2018
- Update on 
September 10, 2018
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(Complete with tips on optimizing product information)

Almost 70 percent of online shopping carts get abandoned. To put that into perspective, for every 100 customers you get to your online store, only 30 end up buying from you.

Furthermore, the number of Shopify businesses is increasing every year – 200,000 new merchants joined the platform in 2017 alone. As an ecommerce business on Shopify, you aren't just competing with other industry players, you're also fighting against customers' indecisiveness. Fortunately, optimization can help you overcome both those challenges.

This in-depth, step-by-step guide will help you optimize your Shopify store, right down to optimizing your product information for maximum success. After reading this guide, you will be able to:

  1. Improve your conversion rate.
  2. Get customers who have abandoned carts to come back to your store.
  3. Organize your product information better to ensure efficiency and accuracy across channels

Optimizing Your Shopify Store

1. SEO

For your Shopify store to rank high on search engines, it is important that you add the right keywords to your store. Google's Keyword Planner, a free tool, is a great place to get started with keyword research. There should be a healthy mix of very competitive and moderately competitive keywords. It is important that you don't overstuff the content of your Shopify store with keywords. Primarily, there are four areas in your Shopify store where you can add keywords. These are:

  • ALT Tags
  • Page Titles
  • Meta Descriptions
  • Body Content of a Page

Meta description is perhaps the most important field for ranking high on search engines. In order to edit metadata of your Shopify store:

  • Login to your Shopify administrator account
  • Click "Online Store"
  • Click "Pages"
  • Choose the page you want to edit
  • Change the metadata

In case you want to change the metadata for your Shopify store's homepage, after clicking "Online Store", click "Preferences", and then edit the metadata.

It is also recommended that you edit the metadata for each product on your store to include high-ranking keywords. In order to edit metadata for a product on your store:

  • While logged in to your administrator account, click the product you want to edit the metadata for
  • Find "Edit Website SEO"
  • Change the metadata according to your preferences

Make sure your meta descriptions are less than 150 characters. Anything more than that will get truncated in search results. It is also important that you write unique meta descriptions for every page and every product on your store. That's where the importance of product information management comes in, which we will discuss a little later in this guide.

After adding keywords to your store, the next step is to submit your website's sitemap to Google. Once you do this, Google will start indexing your store and include it in search results. To submit your sitemap to Google:

  • You need to access the root directory of your primary domain name. For this, you will need administrative privileges
  • For example, if your Shopify store's domain name is laurashandbags.com, you will find the sitemap at laurashandbags.com/sitemap.xml
  • Next, you need to verify your website with Google. Login to your Google account - the same account that you use for Keyword Planner - and head to Google Search Console
  • Add your Shopify store's domain name by clicking "Add a New Site"
  • Next, click "Verify this Property" and then click "Alternate Methods"
  • Under "Alternate Methods", click "HTML Tags". Copy the entire tag that appears below "HTML Tags"
  • In your Shopify admin account, click "Online Store" and then click "Themes"
  • Find your active theme and click "Actions". In the dropdown menu, find "Edit Code"
  • On the next page, under "Layout", you will find "theme.liquid". Click this and a code editor will pop-up on the right of your screen.
  • Paste the code that you copied from Google after the first "" tag
  • Click "Save" and go back to Google Search Console to verify your store

Once your website is verified, you can now submit your store's sitemap.

  • Go to Google Search Console again
  • Find your store's domain and click on it
  • Click "Sitemaps"
  • Click "Add Sitemap"
  • In the box that appears, type "sitemap.xml" and click "Submit"

2. Beyond keywords

Including relevant keywords in your website content is the first step to optimizing your Shopify store. Product categories are just as important. You cannot create your own product categories. The product categories that you have must conform to Google's product categories. Here is a list of all product categories that Google has. Currently, there are more than 6,200 unique product categories that Google recognizes.

You need to choose your site's taxonomy wisely since you can choose only one of the available 6,200+ product categories. The idea is to get as close as possible to defining your product through product taxonomy.

3. Improving your content

Images play a huge role in ecommerce. Fortunately, Shopify makes it easy to edit images so they look more appealing to your customers. In order to edit images on your store using Shopify's image editor:

  • From your Shopify admin account, click the product you want to edit
  • Click the image and then choose "Edit"
  • With Shopify's image editor, you can crop images, change their aspect ratio, resize them, change technical information such as saturation, tint, and brightness, and even add text to your images
  • When you are done editing the image, click "Apply" to save the changes

While you are editing images, make sure you add ALT tags, too. ALT tags for images help you rank higher on search engines. ALT tags should use important keywords for the product that's being edited. For instance, it is a men's watch, a good keyword could be "men's watch in (include color)".

4. Reducing abandoned carts

Having a simple checkout process is key to reducing cart abandonment. However, sometimes, that's not enough. Shopify's marketplace has plenty of apps that let you reduce cart abandonment by sending automated emails and following up with customers. One of the best is Checkout Boost app. The app:

  • Incentivizes social sharing by giving customers freebies such as free shipping and cashback
  • Allows you to create urgency with countdown timers
  • Allows you to create BOGO offers
  • Allows you to send follow-up emails after checkout for upsells

You can download and install Checkout Boost app here. After installation, follow the instructions to set up promotional and social media campaigns.

Recart is another app that helps reduce cart abandonment by sending push notifications and automated emails to customers.

5. Adding Facebook pixels

Facebook is the largest social network. It is crucial to any advertising campaign. By monitoring visitors from Facebook, you can set up a retargeting campaign to lure previous visitors back to your store. In order to start tracking traffic from Facebook, you will need to:

  • Create a Facebook page for your business
  • Find Pixels under Assets in your Ads Manager
  • Click Set Up Pixel and select the first option
  • Go to your Shopify dashboard and click Online Store under Settings
  • Find the Facebook Pixel field on this page
  • Paste the Pixel that you copied earlier
  • Check your Ads Manager account on Facebook. On the Pixels page, you should see a green dot, which means you are now tracking traffic from Facebook

6. A/B testing

The best online stores out there are always testing their pricing, CTAs, images, and copy. A/B testing, when done right, can improve your conversions drastically. Fortunately, Shopify has plenty of third-party apps that make A/B testing easier. For instance, there is the Quant Price App, which lets you A/B test different prices for the same product. To get the maximum out of Quant Price, make sure you test for a product that gets at least 200 orders in a month.

Convert lets you split test your CTAs. In order to integrate Convert with Shopify:

  • In your Convert app, under "Settings", find the project ID and copy it
  • In your Shopify admin account, go to "Online Store". Click "Themes" and find your active theme. Click "Actions" and choose "Edit Code" from the drop-down menu
  • Under "Layout", click "theme.liquid". A code editor will pop up on the right of your screen
  • Add the code that you copied right before the first instance of "{%if%}

Optimizely is another alternative for running A/B tests on your Shopify store.

Product Information Management

For your online store to do well, it is important that the product information on your website is accurate, SEO-friendly, and informative. If you have a small store with a handful of products, you can easily achieve that with Excel sheets. However, as your store begins to grow, Excel sheets can become cumbersome, and eventually, lead to manual errors. That's where Shopify's CSV file can be helpful. If you are already using CSV files to upload product information to other stores, you can edit them to conform to Shopify's CSV layout.

In order to edit information for products already listed on your store, you need to export the CSV file from your Shopify store.

  • In your Shopify admin account, go to "Products"
  • Under "Products", click "Export"
  • You can either choose to export all the products on your store or products that match your filters
  • The next step is to choose the kind of CSV file you want to download. It is recommended that you use Google Sheets for editing CSV files. You need to select "CSV File for Excel" if you intend to use a spreadsheet program for editing the CSV file
  • Click "Export"

When creating new product listings, it is recommended to add the URL of product images to the CSV file. For doing so, you will need to upload images on another website. When you import your CSV file into Shopify, it will fetch images from the given URL and populate your product listings. Once that's done, you can delete the uploaded images.

If you are importing product information from an old store to Shopify, you will first need to export the CSV file and edit the columns to conform to Shopify's CSV layout.

A Better Way to Manage Product Information

While CSVs help in organizing product information, they can quickly get cumbersome and prone to errors as your SKU count increases. A more efficient way to organize and update product information is through a product information management (PIM) software. If you have a Shopify Plus account, you can integrate a third-party PIM to optimize product information on your store.

Using PIM software for your Shopify store makes sense when:

  • You regularly collate information from more than one channel
  • You have a high SKU count
  • You need to reduce manual errors in product information
  • You spend considerable man-hours uploading product data manually

PIM software creates a centralized database of product information. It also organizes fulfillment information from various channels into one central repository. Other benefits of a PIM software include:

  • Reduces time-to-market for products
  • Reduces the risk of overselling
  • Expands the list of available channels to sell your products
  • Makes it easy to manage inventory allocation across channels

For integrating your Shopify store with a third-party PIM app, you need to follow the same procedure as you would for any other app. Install the app from the Shopify app store and authorize the app from your admin account.

Using tags for better management

In order to be more productive, especially when you have thousands of product SKUs, tags can be helpful for finding content quickly. Shopify allows you to add different types of tags to your store, including:

  • Product
  • Customer
  • Transfer
  • Order
  • Draft Order
  • Blog Post

To add a tag to your store:

  • Go to the product, order, or blog post that you want to tag
  • Find the "Tags" section
  • Add a new tag or choose from existing tags
  • Save

The process can be manually taxing when you have hundreds of products to add tags to. For adding and editing tags in bulk, consider using the Simple Bulk Tag Editor. The third-party app even allows you to schedule tags for a later date.

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Product Information Management

For your online store to do well, it is important that the product information on your website is accurate, SEO-friendly, and informative. If you have a small store with a handful of products, you can easily achieve that with Excel sheets. However, as your store begins to grow, Excel sheets can become cumbersome, and eventually, lead to manual errors. That's where Shopify's CSV file can be helpful. If you are already using CSV files to upload product information to other stores, you can edit them to conform to Shopify's CSV layout.

In order to edit information for products already listed on your store, you need to export the CSV file from your Shopify store.

  • In your Shopify admin account, go to "Products"
  • Under "Products", click "Export"
  • You can either choose to export all the products on your store or products that match your filters
  • The next step is to choose the kind of CSV file you want to download. It is recommended that you use Google Sheets for editing CSV files. You need to select "CSV File for Excel" if you intend to use a spreadsheet program for editing the CSV file
  • Click "Export"

When creating new product listings, it is recommended to add URL of product images to the CSV file. For doing so, you will need to upload images on another website. When you import your CSV file into Shopify, it will fetch images from the given URL and populate your product listings. Once that's done, you can delete the uploaded images.

If you are importing product information an old store to Shopify, you will first need to export the CSV file and edit the columns to conform to Shopify's CSV layout.

A Better Way to Manage Product Information

While CSVs help in organizing product information, they can quickly get cumbersome and prone to errors as your SKU count increases. A more efficient way to organize and update product information is through a product information management (PIM) software. If you have a Shopify Plus account, you can integrate a third-party PIM to optimize product information on your store.

A PIM software for your Shopify store makes sense when:

  • You regularly collate information from more than one channel
  • You have a high SKU count
  • You need to reduce manual errors in product information
  • You spend considerable man-hours uploading product data manually

A PIM software creates a centralized database of product information. It also organzes fulfilment information from various channels into one central repository. Other benefits of a PIM software include:

  • Reduces time-to-market for products
  • Reduces the risk of overselling
  • Expands the list of available channels to sell your products
  • Makes it easy to manage inventory allocation across channels

For integrating your Shopify store with a third-party PIM app, you need to follow the same procedure as you would for any other app. Install the app from the Shopify app store and authorize the app from your admin account.

Using tags for better management

In order to be more productive, especially when you have thousands of product SKUs, tags can be helpful for finding content quickly. Shopify allows you to add different types of tags to your store, including:

  • Product
  • Customer
  • Transfer
  • Order
  • Draft Order
  • Blog Post

To add a tag to your store:

  • Go to the product, order, or blog post that you want to tag
  • Find the "Tags" section
  • Add a new tag or choose from existing tags
  • Save

The process can be manually taxing when you have hundreds of products to add tags to. For adding and editing tags in bulk, consider using the Simple Bulk Tag Editor. The third-party app even allows you to schedule tags for a later date.

Optimizing process is essential to maximizing profit and to scaling your ecommerce business. Venzee gets your products live on your Shopify store and every other sales channel or marketplace you sell to. Let us build your custom solution.
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