Blogging in Shopify : Basics [Video]

In this video we cover why Blogging is such an important feature for your Shopify store and some basics in getting it setup.


Hi. This is Russel, from Low Fruit Solutions. Today, I’m going to be talking about blogging in Shopify and specifically why blogging is important as a store owner and then the fundamentals or the standard practices that you can do to set up your blog, so that you can set yourself up for success in the future. Onto the first question, why blogging is important. I’ll tell you why blogging is important. Essentially, there are two audience types that you are appealing to with your content, your blogs, et cetera. One, are humans, and two, are robots, right. If you think about that at all times when you’re managing your content, then you’ll do just fine.

Looking at the first group if you will, humans.

Now, there is lots of competition, there’s lots of competition in the internet, in E-commerce, a lot of people selling the same products at roughly the same price or even at a slightly different price differentiation. What makes you stand out? What makes you different to the person next to you? Essentially, it’s your story, your brand identity that will get you over the line compared to a competitor with the same price. Blogging enables you to project to that audience your story, and to basically strengthen your brand identity, provide subject matter expertise and a view of authority. Which in turn creates trust. Trust is something our buyers want from us. Having blogs for people is a very, very good idea.

Now, the other portion of the audience are search engines.

Search engines like blogs too. Not because they enjoy reading them, but because the content all adds into the algorithm that determines where you fit in the search engine rankings for specific keywords. By creating blogs, you effectively extend your content. Because if you create a product, and that product A has x amount of words in its description, images, and so forth, that’s the end of it, you’ve created that product. Now, how do you extend that? How do you extend your authoritativeness or your keyword density without just creating longer descriptions? Well, you could build blogs associated to that subject that will provide that. So for search engines when they look at your store, the number of keyword density and content type enhance your actual store’s weight or gravitas and ranking.

Investing in content. I’ve written this down here. Investing in content is an investment in long-term traffic creation and retention. By creating content, you gather more traffic via search engines, because the weight of it adds to your overall SEO. By doing that, you draw more people to your store, to your site. Then that content, assuming it’s of a good quality, will also then ensure there is longer term retention and ultimately loyalty, which should in turn lead to greater revenue down the track.

Content is king. There’s no doubt about it.

Let’s go over and have a look at what a blog looks like in Shopify. Here’s my demo store.To find blogs, you would look in the online store here. You’ll see it’s aptly named blog posts. Which is a bit of an anomaly to some degree, right? Because in Shopify, you have blogs which are in essence a collection of articles. That’s how it’s defined on the back end, but they term them posts here. Now, what you want to do before you do anything … You can see a number of blog posts/articles here. Is, if you go to Manage blogs, this is where you’ll see your actual collection of articles, right, the name of it. Now, all new stores get one called news. Which is a bit, again generic, a bit nothing. What you want to do is go into this Manage blogs, and you want to click on it, right.

The first thing you want to do is change the title. Why would you do that? Well, let’s go back to the store here, the demo store. Scroll down to one of these articles, the health benefits of pineapples. What you’re going to see in the URL is, you’re going to see the store name, then you’re going to see blogs and then you’re going to see this. Having this as news, that doesn’t really add much to your SEO at all, right. You can get a little gain there straightaway by actually having something that’s relative to what you’re trying to sell or project within that path. It will add weight to it. Having news there is … It’s a bit too generic. I would change it to something that’s more relative.

When you do change it, besides changing the title here, what you also need to do is also click on this button here. Go Edit SEO. The page title will come by default from the blog name. But you should also update this meta description, because this is what is going to show in the search engines results to people when your blog comes up in that list. It’s also another area where you can add a little bit of weighting into your content, by making sure you project the right number of keywords or phrases, et cetera, right. There’s plenty of articles on SEO on that. I’ve just added to the fact that it’s a definitive guide to best of fresh fruit, review of the best fruit, tropical fruit, organic fruit, and seasonal fruits, right.

You’ve got 160 character limit. You shouldn’t really extend it. Just try keep this short and relevent, so that people understand what they’re looking at. To the right here is how you handle comments. Now, this is via Shopify’s native comment system. If you are using an alternative, like a third party, then you wouldn’t really care about how this is done. In this case, I actually think it’s worthwhile having commentary enabled, because you do want people to interact with you. When people interact with your content, they’re more engaged. There’s no doubt about it, right. Having comments disabled, fine, you won’t get any trolling or anything like that. But, you’re limiting the interaction for people to ask and answer questions. Which, a blog should actually ask a question.

But you may want to not to allow anyone to comment and publish because you’ll probably end up with a lot of spam. Pending moderation is a good call. Let’s go back, right? Let’s go back. Now, we’re going to have a look at our articles within this blog. There we go. Got to go back one more. We’re going to look at that one I was just looking at. These are the key elements within your article. You’ve got your title. Again, you want to include something that’s relative to the content and to your overall store to a degree. In this case, I put health benefits of pineapples, because people may be interested in that specifically when searching. It’s a direct keyword, a long keyword string. We’ve got visibility. If it’s hidden, it’s not going to be visible to any of your readers. What we’ve got here is some basic content. I also put an image in here.

When you put images into your blogs, what you want to do is you want to put a reasonably high-res version and have them sized. Then you want to set the image size here. There’s a good reason for this. The reason is that when you upload an image into Shopify CDN, it will save it off into a number of different sizes, so that it can call them back in the size that is required. You can put a high-res image there, and then you can downsize it or choose whatever size you want, right. But it won’t overburden the payload, in other words, it wont make a page slower if you set the sizing correctly, because it will pull back the right one.

Alt text is also important.  In my case here I’m using it to display image captions. But, if you think about it from the robot audience, then it’s relative because alt text while hidden to the human, is not hidden to the robot. Your search engines will be crawling that and be looking at text strings. There’s a whole bunch of articles on SEO for alt text strings, so I’m not going to go into that. But, in this case I’m using it as an informative portion for the human audience as well. I’m just going to cancel the editing. Now, just another quick pointer is that your image names, when you upload them, should also include for the robot audience some descriptive text. In this case probably it’s store name, article, and then something, motive for the image itself. That term again, it adds more to the robot view.

I’ve got a couple of images in here. Now, you always want to put a featured image on your articles unless that’s not fitting in with your theme. Because ultimately, humans are visual creatures, and we are drawn to imagery probably more than text to a large degree. As they say, a picture tells a story of a thousand words as opposed to the other way. Now, for featured images you also want to do the same piece. You definitely want to add an image alt text to your featured image. Because again, it’s good for the robotic audience, which is good for search engines. Here we have Author, and this is the blog title. We can change all these things. Now, what’s also quite key is this little side piece here, tags. You can see I’ve got a number of tags in here.

Tags are a way of categorizing your article content, so that if you display tags on your store, someone who’s just read an article, sees the tag called vitamin C. He could click on vitamin C, and then all other articles related to vitamin C will be displayed in their search. Likewise, if you’re using any application product that displays related articles that uses tags, then having this filled in makes sense. There’s no real downside to having a lot of tags. Obviously, just make sure they are meaningful to the content. I think that’s really the key at all times. Now, SEO, edit the web SEO. You’re not going to really have to do too much here. Unless you don’t like what the content is, it will take the top end of the article, likewise to the title. The handle you can modify a little bit, but you can only modify from the article name down. The rest of the URL remains the same, right.

There’s a number of little formatting options here for when you put the actual content in. If you need to see what the actual HTML looks like, you can click on this, and will show you … Because that’s all it is really. It’s just an HTML blob or string if you will, that then is reconstituted and displayed as your blog article. Let’s have a look at if you’re appealing to the human side, right. We talked a little bit about the robot side. Here is that article. As you can see it has the nice really high-res featured image here, which is quite catching. It’s nicely set up. We’ve got image captions, the ones I was displaying here. We have social network sharing options on the images at Pinterest, so they could pin that to Pinterest. Likewise, you could do yourself.

We have some sharing options here, where we can share to Facebook, to Twitter. We have a product offering which is related to the content itself. I will scroll down a little bit. Author detail here, and an opportunity to then jump from this article into another article of relevant content. This is quite well put together. If I was reading it, it’s engaging, obviously outside of the text content itself. But it looks good. When you’re doing things for humans, aesthetically they should be pleasing, right. You should try do the styling, et cetera. Robots don’t care about the aesthetics, they care about the text. That’s the real way to put it. If you focus on delivering to both audiences within the articles you create, then you can’t go wrong.

Going back to why content is an investment and why you should make sure you do blog articles, is while you can pay to do AdWords, to do promotions, et cetera, for your store, those are one-time events. Creating content that is then indexed and added to, and grows, et cetera, over time, is what will get you to that point of the holy grail of organic traffic, which means non-paid for traffic. Which is what all store owners should be aiming for ultimately, is to have a loyal base of organic traffic. That’s blogging in Shopify. Hope you found it useful. Any questions, et cetera, please reach out to us either via the YouTube channel or our article or our support options on our website. Thank you very much for watching.

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