Chances are that if you have a Shopify store, you have done a lot of work. After all, building your website, selecting your products, and marketing your business all take a lot of time and energy. However, while pay-per-click and other paid forms of advertising will successfully drive traffic, they do so at a relatively high cost. Besides, excessive spending on paid advertising can quickly threaten your business’s profitability.
Fortunately, there are many free and low-cost techniques that any business can use to bolster sales. One of the easiest techniques is social media, especially since it takes relatively little effort. However, few options are more effective than Shopify blogging. It becomes the gift that can keep giving.
- #1: Select the right blog theme for your store
- #2: Implement a basic blog feature and custom template
- #3: Ensure a clean design for easy navigation throughout the blog
- #4: Implement blog categories and blog post types
- #5: Align Shopify blogging with marketing goals
- #6: Identify high ROI keywords and keyword investments
- #7: Uncover keyword gaps and target search demand
- #8: Generate blog post ideas and successful blog topics
- #9: Adapt blog examples for your e-commerce business
- #10: Enhance URL, page title, and descriptive title
- #11: Optimize search engine listing preview section and description
- #12: Balance educational content and promotional posts
- #13: Showcase physical products through blog content
- #14: Use your blog as a customer engagement platform
- #15: Leverage content marketing and social media platforms
Why is Shopify Blogging Important?
Many retail stores over the years have found that having a blog is highly effective for marketing. And although it’s less common to have a blog as an e-commerce site, these businesses can benefit significantly from having one. In fact, Shopify blogging is an excellent way to bring more people to your website.
Why is it so effective? Simply put, having a blog on any website helps its scoring for SEO. That’s because not only is there more of an opportunity for companies to add keywords that they can rank for, but a blog post can be the sort of helpful content that Google places at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs). Not only that, but the people who search for these keywords typically want information about particular products.
Here’s the thing — ranking at the top of the SERPs vastly improves the amount of traffic you can get from Google. One reason for this is that the lion’s share of web traffic goes to sites on that first page. By keeping a Shopify Blog, you’ll be able to harvest more of that traffic.
Even though not everybody who visits your blog will purchase something from you or even give you their contact information, a large percentage of them will. Just as importantly, they’ll give you that information rather than giving it to your competitors. And in the meantime, you’ll demonstrate that your company is an expert in its topic. Combined, these two factors will put you far ahead of your competition, especially if those competitors are of similar size or cater to the same smaller niche that you do.
As beneficial as Shopify blogging may be, another great advantage is the cost. Done right, your blog should be an important part of your overall SEO strategy. Plus, once you produce and publish the content, it requires minimal maintenance to retain effectiveness, as opposed to advertisements which must be paid for over a long period of time.
With all that in mind, let me share with you my top tips that can help you be successful with Shopify blogging.
Prepare Your Shopify Blog with Templates and Themes
There’s a lot more to Shopify blogging than just putting words on a page. Instead, you need to make your blog visually appealing, relevant, and consistent with your brand. Here are some tips to achieve these goals BEFORE you start publishing – or even planning – your blog content!
#1: Select the right blog theme for your store
Your blog theme helps make a great first impression on visitors because it’s a major part of the visual presentation. Therefore, you should choose a theme that is consistent with your brand identity. That means colors, logos, and designs need to be compatible. But it also means you want a theme that blends in with the overall appearance of your site.
These days, a very large percentage of web traffic comes from mobile devices. Hopefully, you already have your website set up to be mobile-friendly, but if it isn’t, you need to make those changes right away. Ideally, the template you choose should have a nice clean look that is easy for someone with a mobile device to read.
Finally, make sure that your theme is compatible with the e-commerce store’s features. For instance, you want to ensure that if someone clicks on a product link embedded in your blog post, they can see the description and add it to their cart. Otherwise, you’ll lose important opportunities to make sales.
#2: Implement a basic blog feature and custom template
Once you’ve chosen a great theme for your blog, you should create a custom template and tweak your blog settings for the best results. These tweaks will be different depending on your type of website and its technical features.
For instance, you want to make sure that both your website and blog section work well together. Likewise, people should get the same brand messaging regardless of where they visit. Also, design features should always be consistent. Your web designer will help you make these changes. Or, if you’re doing it yourself, then you might need some trial and error. Either way, make sure that your blog and e-commerce sections work well together.
Design Your Shopify Blog for User Experience
Whether you’re Shopify blogging includes several posts a week or a couple per month, a good user experience will encourage repeat visits. Therefore, your blog should include a quality menu or search function, plenty of internal links, tables of contents, and other tools that will make your readers’ lives easier. Here are my top tips for a great user experience to implement before you start blogging.
#3: Ensure a clean design for easy navigation throughout the blog
Implementing intuitive navigation menus and site structure helps to minimize the clutter on your page. While you should already be doing that with your storefront, blogs are just as much a part of your online presence. Therefore, clean formatting and quality layout should be present throughout your website. Minimizing clutter and distractions provides for a better user experience.
Remember, quality formatting and easy navigation keep people on your website longer, regardless of how they got there. And in turn, you’ll turn some people into customers.
#4: Implement blog categories and blog post types
One of the best ways to maximize your Shopify blogging efforts quickly is with blog categories. The main reason for this is that organizing your posts makes it easier for people to find them. And at the same time, you can cater to people’s needs and preferences.
In addition to using different tags and categories, you should use various formats that are more attractive to different segments of your market. After all, what appeals best to a baby boomer may not do as well with GenZ., And vice versa. That’s why having multiple posts with formatting is such an important principle. Your audience segments can easily choose to read the articles that are most important to them while also hearing your brand message.
Laying the Foundation: Keyword Research and SEO Strategy
As you already know, having a blog on your website is very helpful for SEO. However, you want to ensure that you attract the right traffic to your website. Achieving this goal requires a careful selection of keywords and topics that are compatible with your overall SEO and marketing strategies. So now that we have the technical infrastructure above in place, it’s time to start our blog planning.
#5: Align Shopify blogging with marketing goals
Before you even start blogging, it’s critical that you align your blog with your company’s overall marketing plan. One reason for this is that your brand needs a consistent voice across its online presence. And at the same time, you need to have certain measurable objectives that help determine your blog’s success.
Creating goals for your blog is very similar to any other marketing campaign. For instance, you want to define the extent to which you want to do consumer education, promote brand awareness, and announce company news or product promotions.
As a concrete example, a clothing company might do a tutorial on how to properly take measurements and buy the right sizes. But they may also want to do a brand awareness campaign on why their clothing is better than the competition, and finally, a blog post about their spring clearance sale.
For each of these topics, your marketing team should ask why it’s important and what you want to achieve. The sizing tutorial, for example, would be beneficial because it helps people decide which sizes to buy more accurately. Not only will that make people more confident in their purchasing decisions, but it should also reduce customer service costs and returns. And in this case, everyone wins because customers generally hate returns, also.
Ideally, each of these posts should follow your overall marketing calendar so that you have a unified voice across all your marketing channels.
#6: Identify high ROI keywords and keyword investments
Your next step to Shopify blogging success is choosing the right keywords. This can be very difficult, depending on how competitive your niche happens to be. So, to extend our clothing example, there’s likely to be much more competition in men’s athletic wear than in tuxedos. Similarly, big and tall sizes have less competition than standard ones. So, Shopify stores that sell standard-sized athletic wear will have a lot more competition for the same SEO keywords than a big and tall formalwear shop.
As you strategize on keyword choices, it’s best to pick a mixture of keywords that will help you rank without breaking the bank. Basically, the idea is to keep your return on investment as high as possible without using keywords that are so specialized that people won’t search them very often. Within the clothing store example, a good keyword choice might include a particular brand of formalwear (say, “Calvin Klein”) as opposed to a type (like “bowtie”).
#7: Uncover keyword gaps and target search demand
In marketing, generally, there are a lot of missed opportunities. Frequently, marketers get so hung up on a particular keyword or set of keywords that they forget there are other options available. Similarly, there can be keywords that are highly relevant to your store’s niche but that everybody is ignoring or that most companies are ignoring. A great way to rapidly increase your traffic is to find these missed opportunities.
Once you find those opportunities, you can elevate your Shopify blogging by writing posts around the missed keywords. Then, your blog can quickly pick up the traffic that other people are missing out on. From there, you’ll have a great opportunity to move site visitors along the sales funnel.
#8: Generate blog post ideas and successful blog topics
Based on everything we just covered, you should now be able to begin generating blog post ideas.
You want to make sure that your articles touch on topics people want to know about. Conducting keyword research to identify popular topics is one of the easiest ways to do that. In this case, you’ll know that a topic is hot if the keywords are trending. While Google Trends is a blunt instrument to find the hottest topics of any particular niche, it can be a good place to start.
Another easy way to generate blog post ideas is by monitoring industry trends and competitor content. This will let you see what other people are talking about. And while you might not want to write a me-too post, you can get a sense of how well people are responding to a given topic. You can also see what aspect of a topic your competition is treating the most, which may show you some missed opportunities that you can capitalize on.
#9: Adapt blog examples for your e-commerce business
Another way of generating blog post ideas is to look at your competition.
No matter what you sell, Shopify blogging requires that you keep track of industry blogs. Even though there are often enough readers for all the best blogs, you will constantly compete for the top positions on SERPs. In addition, you must convince readers that what you say is valuable and authoritative.
To accomplish these goals, you should study successful blog examples within your industry. Look at both what they have to say and how they say it. You’ll also notice other marks of success, such as how they organize the blog, guest posts, and other extras. Then, incorporate best practices and adapt them to the needs of your blog. Just remain faithful to the principles of best practice.
Optimize Your Shopify Blog: On-Page SEO Elements
As you begin to start adding new blog posts, I would argue that the most important part of Shopify blogging is careful optimization. That’s because you want to ensure your content is as easy as possible to find on the search engines. To do this, you need to practice sound on-page SEO techniques at every opportunity. Here’s the two most important ones for you to implement:
#10: Enhance URL, page title, and descriptive title
One of the best techniques for enhancements is creating descriptive and keyword-rich URLs Google will read these and immediately know what your page is supposed to be about. And if your text is consistent with your URL, it’ll go a long way toward making sure that your blog pages perform to their best potential.
Similarly, you should be writing compelling and unique page titles with target keywords. Ideally, your URLs and page titles should closely match each other. You can see examples of this technique both on this page and most of the rest of my site. To see it, look at the title that pops up when you hold your mouse over the tab on your browser. Then, compare it to the URL in the address bar. Both of these techniques will ensure that your potential customers see what your page is all about.
Further Reading: The Ultimate Guide to SEO for eCommerce Websites
#11: Optimize search engine listing preview section and description
Elevate your Shopify blogging by crafting informative and engaging meta descriptions. Just to recap, your meta description is the Snippet that Google displays underneath your page title and URL. Essentially, your meta description is a brief summary of the topic of each webpage. Ideally, you should write your own meta description. Otherwise, Google will do it for you.
As you write each meta description, ensuring proper use of header tags and keyword placement is critical. Again, Google uses this information to rank your page, so make sure that you do it right.
Further Reading: Shopify SEO Checklist: 11+ SEO Tasks to Increase Store Sales without Paid Ads
Engage Current Customers and Attract New Ones through Your Blogging
In my opinion, the ability to do this is one of the most valuable aspects of Shopify blogging. That’s because the more people visit your website, the more that you are likely to sell. At the same time, if you’ve been in business for any period of time, then you have existing customers. Engaging these customers is a great way to not only show off your customer base but also bring in new people through word-of-mouth recommendations.
There are many ways in which we can use blogging as a strategic tool here. Here are some tips to help you do exactly that.
#12: Balance educational content and promotional posts
Creating a content mix that educates and engages readers is another important aspect of Shopify blogging. In short, people don’t like to hear about the latest promotion constantly. This comes across as salesy and will often turn people off. At the same time, you don’t want to waste an opportunity to tell people about your products and services or to convert them into customers with the latest promotion.
On the other hand, integrating product promotion in a way that adds value to the reader is an age-old and often effective technique. People generally don’t mind this because they’ve already gotten something of value from your brand. Furthermore, depending on the topic, they might be looking for ways to use your product or to select the best one for them. The key to maximizing your ROI is to give customers what they need in such a way that they will realize your products are the best solution to their problems.
#13: Showcase physical products through blog content
Integrating product features and benefits within informative articles is a great way to convince people to buy. After all, some people have trouble visualizing a room simply by using measurements to place it in their home. On the other hand, product showcases, and various types of social media can help people choose the right product for their needs.
Don’t forget to use product images and videos in your blog. This improves the visual appeal and the need for people to sift through extra content just to get the answers they want. Forcing people to do this will often result in their leaving anyway, in which case you have accomplished anything. So make sure that everything looks great BEFORE you Publish.
Further Reading: 7 Types of eCommerce Videos Your Website Needs to Increase Sales
#14: Use your blog as a customer engagement platform
Another great aspect of Shopify blogging is the opportunity to build relationships with your current customers. One way that you’ll do this is by providing information to them. However, there are other opportunities, such as giving people a chance to make their voices heard.
For instance, one of the most popular ways for e-commerce sites to spread the word about their products is with testimonials and reviews. Your blog can easily feature several customer testimonials, such as how a product works well for them or helped solve a problem. Similarly, you could encourage people to comment on your posts, which is a form of user-generated content. And finally, if some of your loyal customers are bloggers, you can easily ask them to do a guest post.
Finally, consider using a blog post to address customer feedback or questions. Often, you’ll title the blog in a way that signals its intent, such as “answering common questions about our product” or “these are some exciting developments.” These posts both inform the consumer and demonstrate that you care about customer concerns.
#15: Leverage content marketing and social media platforms
Your Shopify blogging efforts won’t go very far if you simply post content and hope people find it. Instead, you should leverage the power of social media to drive traffic to your blog. For example, you can publish a link to your latest blog post on Facebook or advertise with an attractive short form video on Instagram.
Similarly, you should always encourage social Sharing and engagement. These techniques help you boost your reach and expand your audience over time. There are a few ways to do this, such as by adding social media sharing buttons to your blogging section or encouraging people to share in some of your calls to action. Either way, you’ll increase your blog traffic and boost your following.
Finally, don’t forget about email. Your blog posts can now become dedicated sequences of email content to educate customers and keep them coming back to buy more!
Further Reading: 10 Ways to Leverage Social Media in eCommerce
Monitoring Blog Performance and Adapting Over Time
Last on my list of Shopify blogging tips are two pointers for tracking and improving your blog’s performance. Like most other things in marketing, numbers are your friend, and adaptation is your best ally. Without them, the competition would wipe us out and make it difficult to remain visible. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be this way if we use the right analytic techniques.
#16: Track blog performance metrics
Monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs) such as traffic, engagement, and conversions lets you articulate how well your blog is doing. It also means you can track progress and spot weaknesses in your overall performance. For instance, you might find that your SERP position is improving for one keyword and decreasing for another. This information lets you take corrective action for the underperforming keyword.
Utilizing analytics tools like Google Analytics to track user behavior is also helpful. Patterns in user behavior let you maximize your efforts so that the right people see your blog posts at the right time. In other words, you can optimize your blog according to customer behavior. And finally, you can use this analytics information for targeting and other off-blog marketing efforts.
Further Reading: 15 Important Ecommerce Tools You Need to Know in 2023
#17: Adjust blog content and strategy based on results
Finally, analytics information helps you to adjust blog content and improve performance. Specifically, content that is underperforming can often be improved so that it does better. In some cases, you’ll find that a post doesn’t measure up at all. Then, you might have to replace it.
Similarly, analytics information can help you adapt your content strategy to focus on high-performing topics and formats. In other words, you might find that interviews perform poorly, but everyone wants to read your product tutorial or Q&A. The answers for your blog may be different from your competition because your audience – or its expectations of your brand – may vary. Therefore, it’s critical that you pay attention to the data and don’t just try to copy the competition.
Shopify blogging is an important way to market your e-commerce store. Not only does it dramatically improve your site’s SEO, but blogs bring people to your website who may buy things. And although visitors may not buy something on their first visit (or ever), you’ll get a lot of leads and a higher level of conversions. Meanwhile, the blog can become the place where people who love what your site offers can hang out.
After you start blogging on Shopify and see all of the benefits in terms of increased traffic, more content to invest in your content marketing, and of course growing sales from your organic channels, you’ll wonder why you hadn’t started earlier!
Hero photo by Justin Morgan on Unsplash