Everything I learned at Shopify’s SEO class

As most of you who follow me know I am launching my brand Plan Chicly in the next few months. Peep our first product launch. Like most solopreneur’s everything pertaining to this blog and my new brand is all in my hands, including SEO. Mainly because I don’t have the budget to pay an expert thousands of dollars to do it for me. Thankfully, Shopify is an amazing platform to host your ecommerce site on and they offer classes on certain important subjects, such as SEO.

I went to their class at their downtown LA headquarters and learned more in the 2.5 hours I was there than the years of self-taugh knowledge I thought I had. Needless to say I was kind of shocked at how some of the simplest things can instantly de-rank your website. AKA Google makes you die a painful business death!

Let’s be real we’re all trying to make it to the first page of Google no matter what kind of a website we have (blog or ecommerce) and it takes time and smart decisions to do this. Let me teach you everything I learned during this class taught by top SEO guru Rhian Beutler.

BUT FIRST, WHAT IS SEO?

SEO is an acronym that stands for search engine optimization, which is the process of optimizing your website to get organic, or un-paid, traffic from the search engine results page. In other words, SEO involves making certain changes to your website design and content that make your site more attractive to a search engine. You do this in hopes that the search engine will display your website as a top result on the search engine results page.

Easy explanation from LYFE Marketing.

SOME IMPORTANT STATS…

  • 5.6 Billion searches a day – 63,000 every second
  • Over 90% of traffic happens on the first page
  • Voice search has increased to 50%
  • There are over 200 signals Google uses to rank your site
  • People are searching in full sentences now more than ever (thanks to voice search)
  • 50-60% of searches happen on a mobile device
  • 15% new searches a day

MOST IMPORTANT THINGS GOOGLE LOOKS FOR

  • Content is king these days and Google is always looking for websites who consistently upload new content- blogs are an amazing way to put out content.
  • Your meta tags (Title, Description, Alt, H1, etc) are reallyyyyy important- keep them different & don’t stuff them with keywords.
  • Web performance is CRUCIAL! How fast does your website load? You only have 5 seconds of a persons attention, if your site takes longer to load they are clicking out! Compress your images, don’t add videos to your home page if it lags, and make sure your mobile site is optimized for ALL mobile devices (not just iPhones).

SOME DON’T DO’S

  • Don’t overuse “meta tags” this no longer works to your benefit with the new Google algorithm. Google can detect you stuffing your data with keywords and it picks this up as spammy material. Meta tags are keywords you use to define your web page. Search engines use this to detect what your page is about. For example for this specific blog post I might use keywords such as “SEO, Shopify SEO, Blog SEO, Learn SEO, etc.”
  • Never buy backlinks, Google is smarter than the human brain and can instantly detect spam like activity such as purchasing backlinks. Backlinks are a link one website gets from another website. For example if my friend links my blog on her blog that is considered a backlink.
  • Don’t have your site popup be within the first 5 seconds try to make it a non-intrusive popup (like the ones that are there but you can still scroll). Popups stop Google bugs from crawling and examining your site, you want Google to crawl over your site because you want it to get familiar with what you have and offer.
  • Don’t perfect your desktop site and neglect your mobile one. Work on perfecting the mobile.
  • Don’t write like a robot just to ‘keyword stuff.’
  • Don’t use stock images or vendor copy.
  • Don’t have stale content laying around.
  • Make sure you don’t have 404 errors (no broken pages). Make sure everything links to something- even discontinued or out of stock items (don’t delete them just redirect them).

BASICALLY, MAKE SURE YOUR SITE IS…

  • Mobile friendly on all mobile devices (not just iPhone).
  • Secure.
  • Fast.
  • Has a sitemap- why it’s important?
  • Has great descriptions that are different but relevant (don’t put the same description for your titles- reword).
  • Backlinks are organic.
  • If you have affiliate codes be sure the affiliate won’t post it all over the internet- that’s spammy. Instead use a good regulated affiliate program.
  • JSON-LD (structured data)- Shopify already does this for you but if you are on a different hosting platform be sure to have this so you can give Google information about your store in a way it understands. This helps you to rank better and get found.
  • Consistently upload content- remember content is king focus 80% of your efforts on this.
  • All images have an ALT descriptions (including logos).
  • If you do blogs implement one keyword for every two sentences. Make it organic, don’t ‘keyword stuff’ and make sure it is at least 500 words.

AMAZING RESOURCES TO UTILIZE

  • Lighthouse Chrome extension- this audits your website for FREE!
  • Hemingway Editor- most people have 4th grade reading level so your content needs to be put simply.
  • Google Webmasters– A YouTube channel dedicated to Google everything.
  • SEO Checklist– an amazing checklist of who to go about optimizing your website + lots of resources!
  • SEO Manager– If you are on Shopify use this plugin to rank higher.

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XOXO,

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