Generating quality content and placing it in an effective way throughout your Shopify theme has huge implications for the success of your store — not only can you use content marketing strategies to draw in new customers, but well-written content such as product descriptions and page copy are key in optimizing your conversion rates.
The blog is a built-in, sometimes overlooked feature available to all Shopify stores and it can also be an effective tool for increasing your reach and even boosting SEO. Here’s how to use to best advantage:
Many store owners look for ways to update or completely change their blog layout, including using the “block” or “masonry” style that Pinterest made so popular where each blog post appears, typically with a photo or image, in blocks that either line up in rows or “stack” on top of each other.
Instead of customizing your theme to alter the blog layout, put your energy toward developing compelling, quality content for your store’s blog or blogs. At the end of the day, having one blog layout over another layout likely isn’t going to improve your sales or interaction with your content if the blog posts themselves aren’t fun and engaging to read.
Spend time researching the types of search terms shoppers are using to find your site, paying special attention to queries that appear to be a question or have clear purchase intent. Then, create blog posts that match these search terms in both the title and throughout the content.
Of course, you’ll also want to make sure the blog post adequately answers questions or starts viewers on the purchase path.
It’s also important to spend time crafting eye-catching and intriguing title tags and meta description tags for each post. Title tags should fit within Shopify’s recommended character count and make it clear what the post is about and what questions it will answer.
The meta descriptions, while not used for ranking factors, are a great way to entice searchers into clicking your listing in the search results page and illustrate your authority on the topic.
Another key way to generate content ideas is to look for what are called “long tail” search terms that bring users to your site or are related to your products or services. Long tail searches are defined as searches that tend to be more detailed but also aren’t as common.
For example, a search for “candles” isn’t very long tail. However, “buy apple scented soy candles” is a great example of a long tail search.
Search engines including Google have been slowly pushing users toward longer and longer search terms in order to deliver better results. Think about it — the more detail a search query has, the better chance the search engine can deliver an appropriate response.
Long tail searches, while not nearly as common as their big brother broad searches, are highly valuable because they tend to be performed by shoppers looking for very specific products and who, in many cases, are ready to buy.
Some of the most important long tail search types are ones that include words or phrases that indicate purchase intent, such as “buy,” “shop,” “best” or “sale."
Long tail searches also tend to have less competition and, by developing content around a variety of long tail search terms, you’ll also be sending search engines and customers clear signals that your site is an authoritative source on the types of products you sell.
A good place to see what Google thinks might be good long tail searches for your products is to start typing in keywords to the search box and make note of the longer search suggestions that appears.
When writing your content, consider these tips for making the content easier (and more fun) to read:
Once you decide to start blogging, try to publish content on a regular basis; don’t just post once in a blue moon. You may want to do an initial brainstorm of possible topics and then set up a schedule for those with potential, so that you’re never scrambling for ideas at the last minute when you realize it’s been ages since you posted anything.
In order to gather followers and stay top-of-mind with your actual and potential customers, it’s important to keep publishing useful content that they can turn to regularly for insights, news and advice. And don’t forget to promote any new blog posts on your social media channels, to help your blog (and therefore your shop) reach as many eyes as possible.
It’s also important to find effective ways to work in calls to action within your blog content.
Consider experimenting with various tactics such as adding an email newsletter signup form on blog article pages or linking directly to relevant collections or products within your store.
Another possible idea is to use permalinks to pre-populate your store’s shopping cart with one or more of the items discussed in the blog post.
It's easy to get caught up in creating content, especially long tail focused content, that's just poorly written text designed to target specific keywords.
While there's certainly nothing wrong with creating content that uses keywords prominently, it's also important to make sure the piece still brings value to the reader, whether it's answer some questions about your products or company or giving them useful tips.
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This year, four members of the Out of the Sandbox Shopify theme team had the privilege of attending the Shopify Unite conference in San Francisco. We’ve since returned with new insights, ideas and lots of enthusiasm for the growth we see coming —both on the Shopify platform and for ecommerce in general.