Beginner SEO in Shopify

For those of you using Shopify for your ecommerce store you may be interested to know how to start to setup SEO (search engine optimization) for your Shopify store.  I wrote this article for those of you who have a basic understanding of SEO but perhaps you’ve never seen how to do this in Shopify so let’s take a tour and show you the nuts and bolts of these settings in Shopify.

Basic SEO in Shopify

What you will notice on pages, products and posts that you are editing in Shopify is that you always have the option to insert some SEO related attributes to your pages and posts including the Page Title, Meta Description, URL & Handle.

Shopify SEO 01

 With these attributes you can setup a few things on the pages that you are editing.  It falls in line with what Search Engines normally look based on the length on these attributes.  If you are new to running your store in Shopify and have no experience doing SEO this can be a great way to start to improve the SEO on your Shopify store.

Outside of setting up SEO settings on products, pages and posts you can also do this at the site level by clicking on “Settings” in the left side menu and what you will find is that you can edit your Store name, Homepage title and a homepage meta description.  As a best practice it makes sense to keep your terms and description broader and less detailed when you are defining them at the site level.

Shopify SEO 02

Interesting SEO Apps for Shopify

Another part of Shopify that people will find interesting can be found in their App store.  The Shopify App Store allows you to download and buy apps that integrate with your Shopify store.  When I searched for SEO related apps on Shopify’s App Store I found a number of apps that fit a wide variety of needs but a few that really stood out are…

Plug in SEO – This app which i’ve used before lets you get a rating on your site in terms of what you need to improve on your site to improve your SEO.  Its a fan favorite with a lot of positive reviews from the Shopify community and its free to use.  Click here to get it

SEO Meta Manager – This little app has a lot of bells and whistles that will  help you to streamline your SEO efforts.  I wouldn’t rate this as a beginner app and will have a bit of learning curve for those of you that have never looked at SEO improvement techniques before.  That being said this is a paid app that costs $50 but according to people that use it its an invaluable app if you want to improve your site’s SEO.  Click here to check it out

Deep Dive on Shopify Mobile

Shopify Mobile app on ipad

I’ve written about Shopify a lot over the past little while and their team continues to amaze releasing a world class ecommerce solution to fit many businesses around the world.  Shopify recently released Shopify Mobile which allows business owners and their customers to do business quickly, easily and in a more “accessible” way.

Inital App Setup

The initial setup of the shopify mobile app is fairly quick and easy and takes a couple of minutes to get it running on your iPad or iPhone.  Currently Shopify Mobile is only available on iOS devices like the iPad and iPhone so if you do have an Android device you won’t be able to harness the awesome power of this app currently.  I haven’t heard of any plans or dates as to when they will release an app that is compatible for Android but I have to believe its coming soon.  When you install the app and click into it you’ll be asked for some fairly generic information including site URL, username and password which looks like this…

Site URL screen in Shopify Mobile App

Once you enter your Shopify store’s URL you’ll be asked to enter your username and password.  Once you’ve done that successfully you’ll see the following screen that tells you your store is ready. Touch this button which takes you to the main dashboard for your store.

"Your Store is ready" screen in Shopify Mobile

The dashboard is fairly generic showing you a bird’s eye view of how you are doing with respect to orders, revenue generated on your Shopify store, visitors, top search terms on your Shopify store, low inventory for those of you selling physical goods and more.  Shopify has done a good job on keeping their mobile app interface uncluttered and yet still relevant to what people want to use it for, in the case running your business at a glance.

Main dashboard screen in Shopify Mobile app

On the upper left hand side of the screen you will notice three white horizontal bars which take you to the menu for the app.  The menu contains a number of useful views of your Shopify store such as customers, products, customers, settings (which include being able to set push notifications when new orders come in and currency formatting) and the ability in a single touch to open your Shopify store in Safari.  As you will read in my beefs section in this post below you cannot create products which does suck but the fact that you can access your store through the Safari web browser may have been a way to keep people happy in using this app because doing that does give you the ability to add products and then edit them in the app.

Shopify Mobile App navigation menu

Now, let’s look at a few reasons why you might love using this app and Shopify in general and why you might not.

What I like about Shopify Mobile

  • Clean and uncluttered user interface – I really liked just how easy it is to use and everything is accessible from one or two touches at most.
  • Use it on the go – Gives you what you need to run your business successfully from pretty much anywhere
  • Push new order notifications – Its great that when you receive new orders your iPad or iPhone will automatically update you that you’ve got new orders using push notification.  Its a small thing but a good thing to have.

My Beefs with Shopify Mobile

  • It was only developed for iOS – The intial release of Shopify mobile was only developed for iOS devices like iPhone and iPad. Hopefully there is an Android coming soon.
  • It doesn’t allow you to create products – after reviewing the app further it isn’t possible to create products from scratch. Now for you can do things like add product variations, changing pricing, adding photos and more but sadly no new products.  If you do need to add products you will have to do it through the safari web browser.
  • No custom Analytics capabilities – You can’t show or develop custom analytics on the dashboard.  If you run a more sophisticated business this app might not have enough for you to solely rely on this app.

With all this said if you want to create a Shopify store today go ahead and do so and when you do you can check out this app on your iPhone or iPad to see if its something you can use in your business.  If you already have Shopify today click here to download my free eBook called “Shopify Made Simple” to help you develop your Shopify store.

How to Setup a Shopify Facebook Store

Shopify recently released an app that you can use to add to your Facebook page and sell your products from Shopify on your Facebook page.  Selling on Facebook is really starting to take off lately as various ecommerce platforms like Shopify and ECWID release integrations with Facebook that allow you to sell socially through your Facebook page.  I wanted to show you just how easy it is to set this up in your Shopify store.

Step 1: Install the App – To do this you will need to log into your Shopify store and click on “Apps” under “Configuration” in the menu.  Search for the “Facebook Store” app and click the “Get App” button.  Doing this will start installing your Facebook store in Shopify.  It will ask to access your Facebook profile associated to the Facebook page that you run for your business.

Step 2: Setting up the Facebook Store – Now let’s get to the more interesting part and talk about how you can setup your Shopify Facebook store.  There are a number of interesting features that you can setup on your Facebook store in Shopify including Like Gating, adding Google Analytics tracking, customizing the banner and logo for your Facebook store as well as some other customizations to products shown and how they are shown.  As you can see below its very easy to setup, make changes to and update.

Shopify_FB_01

 

Like Gating

Like Gating is an interesting concept in that if you are looking to build followers to your Facebook page, Like gating makes sure that only people who like your Facebook page will be allowed to shop on your Facebook store.  This does have its benefits but if you are simply looking for a way to sell on Facebook then you might decide not to turn it on initially and focus on selling however it you are looking to build a bigger social presence like gating might help get you more followers and more sales through Facebook.

Shopify_FB_02

 

If anything, having a Shopify Facebook store simply enables you a new way to sell your goods and services socially and because the app is free it makes sense to try and test it out of you do have a Facebook page setup for your business.

5 Ways to Kick More Butt Selling Using Shopify

Shopify recently released 5 more features to help ecommerce store owners sell more products, understand your store’s performance through analytics and build your own reports and help reach out to customer that abandon carts on your Shopify store.  Keep in mind that some of these new features are not available on all versions of Shopify right now so I am going to break it down by the versions you can find these features in specifically.

  1. Abandoned Checkout (Cart) Recovery
  2. Shopify Reports
  3. Advanced Report Builder
  4. Unlimited Email Forwarding
  5. Future Publishing

Abandoned Checkout Recovery (Available on Professional and Unlimited plans only)

Now you might think that this is already available in Shopify but the truth is that you can only view shopping cart abandonment and you can’t do anything about it until now.  Now, you can actually do something when someone abandons a cart on your Shopify store assuming that they’ve added their contact information.  From there you can decide whether to automate the outreach process on abandoned shopping carts or manually review and do this one by one.  It depends the volume of transactions that take place on your store on a daily basis but in doing this it does mean that you have an opportunity to close more business by going back to customers that were interested enough to start the checkout process.

Shopify Reports (Available on Professional and Unlimited plans only)

Shopify reports allow you to see a number of things at a glance, specifically…

  •  Report on products, orders and payments
  • Measure sales by amount or count of products sold
  • See which products are selling on your Shopify store and which ones aren’t
  • report historically month to month on sales

For those of you who still aren’t impressed than you will want to check out the advanced report builder in the next section that allows you to do some more advanced analytics.

Advanced Report Builder (Available on Unlimited plans only)

If you are looking to take your Shopify reporting to the next level the advanced report builder allows you to do that by building out more custom reports.  It really takes off where standard Shopify reports end allowing you to drill into the specifics of the data on your Shopify store.  Keep in mind that you will only start to see this when you upgrade to an unlimited plan with Shopify.

Unlimited Email Address Forwarding (Available on all plans)

This concept is simple.  In a lot of cases today you might have multiple email addresses for different inquiries like Sales, billing, general and more.  What if you are really a one man or woman operation? What if you manage all the requests for your company’s business?  Being able to forward and funnel all requests to one email is sometimes a neccessity because you don’t want to constantly check 5 different email addresses and having the unlimited email address forwarding can help solve for this problem.

Future Publishing (Available on all plans)

This in my mind is simply the ability to schedule a blog post, product, page or collection on your Shopify store in the future.  The interesting thing here is the concept that it serves.  If you have a product you are launching than being able to schedule it to go live on your ecommerce site is very very useful.

It’s important to keep in mind that depending on your online business model that not all of these features will benefit you so finding the right fit of technology for your business should be the overall goal to ensure you are using the right technology.  For instance, not everyone will benefit from the advanced report builder functionality so keep this in mind when you look at Shopify monthly plans to buy what you will consume and use.

Product Review: Store Grader for Shopify

The team at Shopify continues to develop tools, apps and a ecommerce platform that are fun and easy to use when setting up your own ecommerce operation.  Recently they released a tool called “Store Grader”  to help you further improve your Shopify store for search engines to find you, usability for your customers, your content and performance of your Shopify store.  What this tool looks at specifically is your store’s

  • SEO
  • Usability
  • Performance
  • Content and Social Marketing

And from there it establishes a grade for these areas of interest for your site.  I wanted to test this out with an actually Shopify store so for the purposes of this product review we are going to use Mindzai Toys because I want to be as impartial as possible in reviewing this tool and also I am not affiliated with them in any way but they do sell cool designer toys, just in case you wanted to know.

Shopify-Store-Grader-01

So as you can see, once we enter in the URL for the Shopify store we want to grade we can start to access how our site is performing based on a scorecard model as seen above.  The scorecard checks 17 points of comparison currently and assesses your Shopify store based on a number of characteristics.

Now, what I like about this is that it is checking a number of characteristics of high performing sites and ensuring that you’re Shopify site meets these successfully and from there you can drill into a specific area of your Shopify site’s grade by clicking on the score you want to take a closer look at.  In this case, I want to focus on the technical score because I can see it has a lower score than the other areas.  When I click on this I am bring to something that looks like this…

Shopify-Store-Grader-02

I was dreading the thought of getting to this section and not having any follow up items for me to do or next steps to take but the store grader tool has told me that there is an issue with some HTML errors its found on my site and given me more information on how to fix them by pushing me to the HTML validator tool from W3C.  This is definitely a big help to the average Shopify store owner because it diagnoses and proposes a fix to the issue.

If you have a Shopify store currently than check out the Store Grader tool here and sign up to my mailing list for a free copy of my eBook called “Shopify Made Simple”.  If you are developing or are planning to develop a Shopify store than this free eBook is a must have!

Product Review: Shopify 2

Within the last month the team at Shopify released Shopify 2, their major release with updates and a complete redesign of the store admin panel.  This update boasts over 60 enhancements and features all to help you run your ecommerce store using Shopify.  Some important things to note about this release are…

  • You can update your current Shopify store to the new user interface
  • You get all of these updates included in the cost of their monthly subscription service

What’s new with Shopify 2

As I’ve said above this release has some 60 features and enhancements added to help you run your ecommerce store just that much better including things like…

  • A Live Theme Preview options that allows you to test out colors, fonts and other settings – What Shopify did right here is allow people using their ecommerce platform to make changes and see the results as they work without having to code in those changes.  In order to attract more users to their platform this key feature now hits a larger customer base who understand what they want to see on their Shopify store and don’t necessarily need to code it as they would have had to in the past
  • Abandoned checkouts now have their own section on your Shopify stores admin section – When you go to check your orders now you can click to view abandoned orders separately from successful orders your store has recieved

Shopify 2 Dashboard

  • Overhauled Dashboard – This redesigned dashboard gives you the power to track trends in orders including things like top referrals, top search terms, orders in the last 7 days, last 30 days, last 90 days and others.

Shopify 2 Orders and Order Editing

  • Order Editing – With the order editing option in Shopify you can now edit your orders to only charge part of your customer’s order instead of having to cancel it and change details about the order including the customer’s shipping address.

If you’ve got more questions about Shopify 2 check out their frequently asked questions here.  If you are interested in receiving a free copy of my eBook “Shopify Made Simple” today please subscribe to my mailing list and if you are checking out Shopify you can sign up for a free 30 day trial by clicking here.

 Shopify_300x250

Coming Soon: ECWID Made Easy eBook

So far about 30 people have downloaded Shopify Made Simple, my first Free eBook in the last little while.  I’ve been working on another eBook for ECWID called ECWID Made Easy which I will be releasing shortly.  Please keep in mind that this will be a paid premier eBook that I am creating.

The reason behind why I charging for my eBook is simple, to keep producing and spending time researching and updating these guides that I am creating I need to charge for the time involved in making in order to keep helping people make their sites.  I’ve also been toying with the idea of soon starting to charge for “Shopify Made Simple” so if you haven’t picked up a “Free” copy please do as this will be changing shortly.

This brings me to my next question.  Price.  I am wondering what people would pay for an eBook like this to help them learn a technology like ECWID of Shopify?…

eBook Price Poll
How much would you pay for an eBook?

Please feel free to comment below as I will be reviewing these to make a decision on pricing in the coming days and weeks and I value your input here and sign up to my email marketing list or facebook page if you want to get an update when this eBook comes out.

I just released my Shopify Made Simple eBook for Free

Shopify-2010-black

For those of you running a Shopify Store, considering Shopify for their business or interested in learning more about Shopify I’ve written an eBook that I decided to offer for free.  While Shopify is a pretty intuitive ecommerce platform to use for your business I wrote the book from the perspective of the beginner to intermediate user.  I hope that you find it useful in starting your business using Shopify but if you have any questions, suggestions or things you want to see in future versions please let me know.

To Get A Free Copy of This eBook:  If you want to get a free copy of this eBook than please subscribe to my email list and I will personally send you a copy, free of charge.

Newsletter-sign-up

 

How to Use County Tax in Shopify

Someone recently contacted me after having troubles finding a way to charge taxes in the provinces that they do businesses in.  Naturally, I found the question intriguing enough that I wanted to research it and what I found was interesting  first of all was that there was no app to do this which means that you need to rely on native functionality in Shopify.

Next, I logged into my test site to have a look and what I found was interesting is that Shopify currently has a feature called “County Tax Beta” which you can opt-in or opt-out of depending on if you want to use it.  If you didn’t than you might decide to use regions and set it up that way but what county tax beta gives you is…

County Tax (currently in beta) is a new feature that automatically calculates the state and county sales taxes for a purchase based on the customer’s zip code. If the shop has County Tax enabled (new shops have it enabled by default, and as of April 2012, nearly half of all active shops do), the tax rates defined for the state will be ignored in favor of the tax calculated by County Tax, which is more accurate.

Source: http://wiki.shopify.com/Province_%28API%29#Special_note_for_U.S._Shops_using_the_County_Tax_feature

So you might be asking yourself, “that’s great Luc, but what does it look like when this feature is used?”  Let me show you here…

Shopify - County Tax Beta feature

For those of you who want to opt out of using this feature please feel free to look for the following link and simply click it to opt out.

Shopify - county tax beta opt out option

Whatever you might decide to do and even though this is still in beta it is a very useful feature that allows you to quickly setup taxes in Shopify and organize it in a way that makes sense from a country by country perspective.  If you haven’t checked out Shopify as an ecommerce platform feel free to click here and check it out.

Launching my first eBook called Shopify Made Simple

Shopify-2010-blackOver the past few months I’ve been working on a few side projects outside of writing, Website-Experts.ca.  One of these projects is an eBook called , Shopify Made Simple that I am self-publishing.  I wanted to write an eBook that walked users and store owners through the ropes of setting up a Shopify store from start to finish.  The finished product is almost done and I’ve even sent out a few copies to some designers and store owners.

So what does my eBook cover?

  • Basic setup
  • creating and managing products in Shopify
  • managing and tracking inventory in Shopify
  • Setting up taxes in Shopify
  • Setting up shipping options in Shopify
  • How to add content to your Shopify store
  • How to setup a domain in Shopify

One of the ways that I am trying to help business owners looking to open a store using Shopify is presenting it in a fashion that appeals to the non-coder audience.  The non-coder audience are people that aren’t familiar with coding and still want to setup a Shopify store.  While the clicks not code mentality is nothing new its a way that I chose to gear the book.  I hope that people find it useful and informative.

Find out how to get a free copy

If you are interested in getting a free copy what you need to do to qualify is to sign up after clicking on my affiliate link with Shopify and opening a paying store.  If you open a free trial using my affiliate link and later decide to pay for it I will be reaching out to you to send you a copy of this eBook free of charge!  Click here to sign up for a Shopify store today through my affiliate link here and if you decide to sign up for a paid Shopify store I will reach out to you to send you your own personal copy of Shopify Made Simple.

For those of you wondering when the book will be available to buy, for those of you already with a Shopify store please email me or post your interest in the comments section of this article and I will send out a quick update when it goes live.

How To Import and Manage Products in Shopify

Today let’s have a look at how you can import products to your Shopify store using a CSV file.  For those of you already running a Shopify store this will allow you to update multiple products at one time from one file which will save you time.

Exporting products from Shopify

Exporting Products from Shopify

Now if you’ve never created products in your Shopify store before you may want to skip to the next section where we look at grabbing the default CSV template to create products from scratch in your Shopify store.  For those of you interested in exporting products from Shopify to make changes and re-import this will quickly show you just how you can do that.

Step 1: Log into your Shopify store and click on the “Products” tab.

Step 2: Click on the “Export products” link.

Step 3: You can either choose to select “all products” or “currently shown products”.

Step 4: Lastly, you can add, delete and edit products in your CSV file and get ready to import them back into Shopify (We will cover this next).

Importing products into Shopify

Importing Products into Shopify

Now that we’ve looked at exporting and managing products in a CSV file we will now cover just how you can go about importing them for the first time or re-importing to overwrite your existing products in a few easy steps.

Step 1: Log into your Shopify store and click on the “Products” tab.

Step 2: Click on the “Import products” link (as seen above).

Importing products into Shopify

Step 3: Next, I want to focus on one area of the import page and as you can see below this gives you the ability to use a generic CSV file if you don’t have any products currently in your Shopify store, or if you are importing or re-importing products into Shopify you can choose from 2 options when importing your CSV file including…

  1. Ignore products that already exist
  2. Overwrite existing products

Once you’ve found your existing CSV file you can then upload it into Shopify.  Using CSV files to manage your existing products or import new ones will save you time instead of using the standard interface to create products so this is definitely worth spending the time to learn so that you can quickly update your products and move on to the next task.