SEO For Shopify 101: How Content And Link Building Can Help You Rank
Make your store rank by producing high-quality content, promoting your content through diverse unique ways, as well as making efforts to earn backlinks from external sites.
A Shopify analytics report might not make any meaning or sense to the layperson. At best, it would look like a photo album and he/she might just flip through it from one end to the other. But the reaction of a web analyst will be the exact opposite.
To a web analyst, a Shopify analytics report is a piece of useful information that will help him understand how his marketing strategies are performing.
For him, the report is a summary of diagnosis of the health of his site which will help him to troubleshoot areas where his site is not performing well like poor traffic, low revenue, etc that he sees.
So, what the layperson sees as lines of code or unreadable data, the web analyst sees as a meaningful treasure trove of information that could make or break his website’s popularity, rankings, and traffic.
Just like the scenario above, many people do not understand the essence of content to the success of eCommerce businesses, however, producing high-quality content and making efforts to get a lot of backlinks to your store are the nerve centre of your eCommerce business.
In this write-up, we will take a sneak peek on how content and link-building are the foundational building blocks of successful eCommerce businesses and how these two strategies can help you rank high on search engines and boost your Return on Investment (ROI).
Now let’s get rolling!
What is Content
From a literal point of view, content is any information that is fed to the web. But from the context of eCommerce business, content is more than just any information on the internet. It’s a kind of information that pleases both search engines (to help you rank) and your site visitors whom you want to convert into customers.
For this reason, content begins with keyword research to help you develop content that is SEO-friendly, at the same time, appeals to the needs of your customers or reflect exactly what your customers are searching for on the internet.
There are free tools out there that can assist you to conduct keyword research. You can refer to this blog post.
Types of SEO Content
As explained above, how to boost traffic to your store should be of essence to you as an eCommerce merchant. You can’t achieve this without producing SEO-friendly content that is easily discoverable on the internet, as well as answers the needs of customers.
The following are the types of content you can produce to drive traffic to your store:
Your website conversion rate depends largely on your product page. A good product layout will drive massive traffic to your shop which will lead to more conversions as well as enhance your SEO.
Using high-quality images, customer reviews, videos showing your product from multiple angles, as well as detailed specifications that clearly spells out the price, weight, country of manufacture, etc can increase organic traffic to your store.
Adding appropriate ALT texts to your images, as well as providing a vivid product description about your products will help search engines to understand what your page is about and reward you accordingly by ranking your page higher.
Experts predict that more than 80 percent of all consumer traffic will be via videos by 2021. According to a study, 864 thousand hours of video are created daily. This means video content has the potential to help us reach a large audience and boost brand awareness.
Educational videos that demonstrate your products can help you communicate with your target audience in a way that is easy, timely whilst providing flexibility, value, and relevance.
Infographics are large-format images that contain a lot of data on a single subject. An infographic is best suited for breaking down complex concepts, showing trends, simplifying presentations, mapping relationships, and providing essential insights.
Because of its ability to simplify complex concepts to its barest minimum combined with its graphic nature, infographics are liked and shared on social media up to three times more than other content.
We have all read books before and know how beneficial the glossary section is. Same way, people always search for the meaning of terms and phrases on the internet on a daily basis. Hence, having a well built-out glossary (targeting say ecommerce terms, Shopify terms, fashion terms, etc) is a perfect way to redirect search traffic into your store.
A directory is a useful taxonomy of links to sites or resources around a given topic such as a list of names, addresses or other facts. For example, a dog food blog might create a directory of places to buy dog food, from major department stores to independent shops around the country.
A blog post is a piece of writing published on your site for the consumption of your audience. This means your blog post is an important resource that answers customer needs.
According to a study, 2 million blog posts are shown on the internet in a day. Blogging can enhance your Shopify SEO because drafting a blog post requires using a wide range of on-page SEO tactics to help you rank in search engines and get customers to visit your site. These on-page SEO tactics include using shorter URLs, using ALT texts, and using the right keywords in title, meta descriptions, etc.
Blogging is the easiest way to put your products at the doorstep of your consumers. This is because blogging is an effective way of establishing your brand as a voice of authority. Consumers trusting your brand will enable you to earn backlinks from reputable sites. Backlinking from reputable sites is a key consideration search engines look at when ranking sites. The more backlinks you enjoy from external sites, the more search engines regard your site as providing value to people.
Your blog post content could take the shape of any of the following:
- Articles — blog articles such as news articles, interviews or feature pieces are a form of blog content that can generate a lot of traffic to your site. People generally want to hear the stories of top industry executives and some of the challenges they overcame on their journey to the top. When such interviews are well crafted and published as blog posts, it is likely to enjoy more social shares leading to many people reading the blog post.
- The same thing applies to news stories or breaking stories about top industry trends, new takeovers, etc. Such news stories often enjoy a great outpouring of shares and backlinks which enhances SEO.
- Lists — Another type of blog content that enjoys a lot of social shares and clicks is an article that literally lists a number of actions (such as “Five (5) Quick Ways to Increase your Shopify Store Reviews).
- Guides — Guides are also a form of blog content that generate loads of traffic. This kind of content usually shows/teaches how to do something (such as “How To Improve The Speed of Your Website with Kudobuzz SEO”).
How To Write Content That Rank
At this stage, you know all you need to know about content and the various types. Now, let’s dive into how you can write content that ranks.
Let’s take a look at the following:
Writing Compelling Headlines
Ever heard the saying, “don't judge a book by its cover”? Sorry to burst your bubble; that does not apply here. People will click to read a link because of the headlines.
According to a study, eight out of 10 people will read a headline copy, but only two out of 10 will read the rest, which presupposes that 80 percent of readers never make it past the headline.
Another study also shows that traffic can vary by as much as 500 percent based on the headline. This means that if you don’t craft a good headline for your content, chances are that your blog post will not be read or shared. Your headline is therefore, crucial for the success of that content.
Using Bullet Points
Your primary reason for writing content is for your people to read. If not, why are you wasting your time? The truth is that people skim before they read because they don’t have time. The use of bullet points is primarily to keep people reading.
As a content creator, bullet points help to break down a dense pool of text to make it easily digestible and keep your reader’s attention focused. This is because bullet points are best for subheadings.
So in effect, using bullet points can help drive visitors to your website and trigger the purchase of your products.
Here are some tips on how to write bullet points that people read:
- Express clear benefits. Think of bullets as mini-headlines.
- Keep your bullets symmetrical. 1-2 lines each.
- Avoid bullet clutter. Don’t write paragraphs in bullets.
- Remember bullets are not sentences. They’re just like headlines.
Are you familiar with the saying that “a picture is worth a thousand words”? Well, the truth is that people love to read content that has images or videos embedded in them. This is because images summarise an entire piece of content at a glance in a clearer manner than just written words.
Therefore, make sure to use ample captivating images to boost your engagement, improve readership and encourage conversions for your blog posts. There are tons of awesome free stock images at unsplash.com and pixabay.com.
However, note that although images enhance the aesthetic impression of your store, large images can also slow your site. Generally, visitors do not have the patience for a slow loading site.
Therefore, work on how to improve the speed of your website in addition to this. A tool like the Kudobuzz SEO app has a compression feature that can resize your images to appropriate sizes without distorting their quality.
Optimize For SEO
(Image Source: pixabay.com)
The ultimate aim of this whole discussion is how you can put your content at the doorsteps of your readers. You should, therefore, draw an SEO checklist for your eCommerce business that will help outrank your competitors.
To be able to optimise your content for SEO, consider the tips below:
- Add a proper meta title
- Add a proper meta description
- Optimize for focus Keyword
- Use related keyword variation
- Add image alt attribute
- Interlink my content
For a piece of detailed information on how to optimise your Shopify store for SEO, you can refer to this blog post on how to boost traffic to your Shopify store to drive sales.
To spice up your content, make it more engaging by breaking it into subheads.
Subheads can be likened to signposts on a major highway. It helps readers to navigate through your blog with ease by drawing their attention to key points in your post. It also helps your readers to follow the flow of your text down the page, letting them know they’re moving toward a conclusion.
To ensure your readers leave a comment, share your blog post, follow you on social media, or purchase your product, do well to add a clear call-to-action. For example, if you like this post, then I’d really love it if you can share it on Twitter and Facebook.
What Is Link Building?
Your effort at creating content that ranks cannot be achieved without building links with reputable websites.
If you’re wondering what link building is? Well, it’s basically getting other websites to link back to your website. This is important because search engine algorithms consider backlinks as an important factor in ranking content. This is because a site or content that enjoys a lot of backlinking from reputable sites is a signal to search engine bots that the site or content is of a quality resource worthy of citation. Hence, sites with more backlinks tend to earn higher rankings.
For a more in-depth explanation of how PageRank is calculated, read through these resources:
- The original Google PageRank paper
- An in-depth discussion of the formula behind PageRank
- The Wikipedia page on the subject
The bottom line is that search engine bots regard content that earns a lot of backlinks from external sites.
How To Get Other Sites To Link to Your Site
At this stage, you might be scratching your hair in wonder of how to get other sites to link to your site.
Guest blogging is the practice of swapping content with other reputable sites to help you earn backlinks from those sites. Apart from helping you to earn backlinks, it will also help you introduce your products to a new audience. The audience of the site you’re blogging for may be enthralled about your content and hence, decide to check your site out leading to build up of referral traffic.
Depending on the level of quality of your content, guest blogging can help establish your brand as a voice of authority in your field, which will to brand awareness.
To start with your guest blogging campaign, identify other reputable sites relevant to your target audience, strike a deal with them and agree to publish each other’s blog post on your sites.
Your content — no matter how compelling and uniquely sterling it is — will not yield much results if you do not have a content distribution funnel or strategy that will enable you to get your content at the doorstep of your audience.
According to Derek Halpern of Social Triggers, your content distribution effort should take 80 percent while the actual production of the content should take the remaining 20 percent.
So you see, you may create a high-quality content that people will naturally want to reference and link to, but you first of all need to let them know such a content exist.
Try the following content promotion strategies to boost the reach of your content:
- Send new content to your email list.
- Share your content multiple times on social media.
- Encourage your social followers to share your content.
- Interview influential people in your industry and urge them to share the post with their large social followers.
- Submit the post to a content community in relation to your industry.
- Add social share buttons to your content to make it easy for readers to share your content.
- Use paid ads and remarketing campaigns.
It can be frustrating as a starter after investing heavily in a number of strategies and still seeing poor numbers. Be patient. Do not be tempted to use other unorthodox means such as buying links from other sites. It’s unethical and search engines like Google can penalise you greatly for that which will eventually crash all your Shopify SEO efforts.
Internal Link Building
Apart from earning links from reputable external sites, you can also build links internally. In fact, it’s the easiest cost effective and yet efficient means by which you can improve your Shopify SEO ranking.
The good news about this strategy is that you have full control over link building efforts.
So for instance, since this point is about link building, if I link this blog post to a previously published blog post about link building, search engines will consider it valuable which will boost my ranking efforts. However, you should avoid linking an unrelated blog post to another in an effort to boost your ranking. SEO best practices dictate that anchor text be relevant to the page you're linking to, rather than generic text.
Building external links to your site is good, but also focusing on optimizing your internal links to build quality in-bound links with rich anchor text to the proper pages can help you with an unparalleled ranking boost for free!
In sum, how long it takes for your content to rank and the overall success of your content strategy is heavily hinged on producing high-quality content, promoting your content through diverse unique ways, as well as making efforts to earn backlinks from external sites. Include the above tips on your eCommerce start-up guide to help you put your business ahead of your competitors. But while implementing all these strategies, you should also know how to fix all 404 Page Not Found errors on your site to sustain the gains.
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