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Running a good Shopify store is a lot of fun – but it’s also hard work! Here are eight handy Shopify hacks you will hopefully find useful for your online store. Read on to find out what more you could be doing with yours.
Use the power of images to help rank your store.
Correctly optimizing images helps your images come up in more image searches, but it also ups the relevancy of your on-page content. You’ll need images to be tagged up properly for social media sharing, and they’ll need to be compressed to improve page speed.
- Shopify allows you to individually edit image names and image alt texts – make sure you give each product image a compelling alt text description that accurately describes your image, and ideally uses some of your product keywords. Use Plain English and natural language in your image descriptions – they will be read by search engines and screen readers.
- Compress image file sizes so they don’t slow your website down (a key SEO factor). Background images can especially be huge.
- Search engines can also read EXIF data which is attached to all digital photographs – it includes key metadata and GPS information and can help make your website more relevant. Here is how to edit yours before you upload them to your store.
Another way to give search engines more detail about your Shopify store is to implement microdata for your store(sometimes also called structured data).
- Microdata uses special markup language called schema.org in order for your store to show up in search results with more information like product name and price. It helps people make purchase decisions faster and gives people a better search experience.
- It’s a bit technical – you might need to hire a Shopify Expert to implement this. It’s only a small job for an Expert to undertake, but it can make a big difference for your product search results.
You can actually find out your ideal pricing by split testing prices in your store (for free). It’s a great way to see what people are (and are not) willing to pay for your products.
- The wrong prices can sink your store, scare your customers, ruin your margins, and damage your brand reputation. Definitely worth testing them to be sure!
- The Qbot Shopify app allows you to split test prices for free – but don’t go charging ahead and testing everything. Make sure you plan your tests out properly over a set period of time and that you know how to deal with the data that’s coming back.
You have a huge network and database of content, FAQs and tutorials available to you – use them to their full advantage to make sure that you are getting the most out of your store. The upside of going for a big brand like Shopify is all the knowledge that is out there with other users.
- Scour Shopify forums for Shopify Experts – the best ones comment on threads frequently and you’ll see them popping up, weighing in on tricky development queries.
- Watch all the tutorials and read the Shopify blog – it should give you ideas on how to improve.
- Use the 24/7 support – they are there to help and are invested in getting things right for you.
- You can even make suggestions for future developments on Shopify forums– be open and find other store-owners who want the same things. Many ideas from the Shopify community have been taken up this way.
- Don’t see the Shopify community just as a reactive thing – use it to help you better manage your store and ask for advice and feedback from others who have been there too.
Meet Kit – your new Shopify sales assistant. Kit is a smart online chatbot who can take on small online marketing tasks for your store like setting up a Facebook campaign.
- Divert your time to other things that matter more and let Kit help you complete important day-to-day marketing tasks. It’s always nice to have a little help there! (And Kit asks you what to do before diving in, so you still have control).
- Kit obviously can’t do everything, but it’s a good place to start. If you want to get serious about marketing your store online – here are some link building strategies that work for ecommerce.
- There’s a free trial of Kit on right now– you might as well give it go and see whether this virtual assistant is for you. Just make sure to cancel the trial if you’re not seeing results.
Got a new ecommerce idea you just can’t wait to get started with? Try out everything that Shopify can do for free.
- Shopify’s online store builder has a free trial period of 14 days – go from no store to fully operational online store super fast (just make sure you’ve got your stock or supplier sorted before).
- Use all the Shopify resources to help you get things up and running as fast as possible – get a logo designed, autogenerate terms and conditions, and use the free ecommerce themes to cut down on set up costs.
- During those initial 14 days you can start to gauge whether your business idea is going to work for you and whether you’ve got what it takes to go the full nine yards. If it’s not for you – you haven’t lost anything.
Join the content revolution and sell digital content online.
More interested in spreading your knowledge and expertise than selling physical products? Shopify supports selling downloadable products through the free app Digital Downloads.
- Sharing your expertise and knowledge is rewarding. It’s relatively easy to put together a nicely branded white paper, worksheet or ebook – and people are consuming digital content at ever-growing levels.
- You can also sell webinars, consultations, phone calls – you could even start your own knowledge group with membership fees.
- Just make sure that what you are offering is giving people enough value and that it is something they are willing to pay for. You need to focus on actionable content that will help people achieve more with their lives and businesses.
Monthly Payment Management
Every month, you are going to be paying not only for your Shopify plan, but also loads of other crucial apps to help you run the store. These monthly payments can quickly add up and can take a new business by surprise. Add to that all the other subscription tools you might need to help run your store like Hootsuite social media, or SEMrush for SEO, and you’re looking at a sizeable monthly bill…
- Shift any payment dates to reflect your sales income/end of month so that you aren’t ever out of pocket. It’s a good idea to automatically put money aside each month for paying general maintenance costs like these. It helps to know what your break even figures are.
- Make an audit of all your paid tools and services and make sure there’s nothing there you don’t need to be paying for anymore.
- Don’t get sucked into paying for tools you don’t really need because of enticing free trials.
- Opt for annual payment plans when you can – they are often more value for money in the long run.
Hopefully these ideas have helped you get a little bit more out of your Shopify store. What’s your favourite Shopify hack you’ve seen?
Patrick Foster, ecommerce entrepreneur, coach & writer.