Today we are talking about how to give your store a visibility boost. This is really focused around ways to improve your SEO or search engine optimisation, which is just a technical way of improving visibility.
Don’t worry what we are talking about today is NOT technical whatsoever.
Seriously this is just a simple checklist of 5 things you can do to get more eyes on your store, so you’ll probably want to take notes.
I’m going to walk you through all 5 of these tips and explain why they work and how it improves your visibility for your shop.
Alright here we go. Five tips to help you boost your visibility.
1. Set up a Google My Business Listing for your shop.
Google My Business is a free tool on google. (duh.) In a nutshell it’s the yellow pages of the internet. Remember phone books, guys?
So, basically anytime you search for a store or a restaurant, you see a list of businesses near you with all the business info. The hours of operations, the phone number, address, link to the website, and customer reviews.
All of that is controlled by Google My Business. Google loves when you use their products, so of course, they show businesses that have this setup in the search results first.
In order to set this up you just go Google.com/business or even just type google My business in the search bar and you’ll see it.
You’ll go through the set up process. Let me give you a few pro-tips.
-If your address is based out of your home, you will have to enter your home address in order to get your account verified. After you’ve verified your address, you can take off the address. Also you can’t have this setup to go to a PO Box, it has to be an individual address.
-If you don’t want to list your public phone number you can also sign up for a free Google Voice phone number.
Now let’s talk about why this helps. Well first of all, Google loves you to use their tools. I think that’s pretty obvious.
But this is also REALLY beneficial for helping you get found in your local community. Fun fact from Hubspot: 46% of all Google searches are seeking local information. And just by having your Google My Business Listing setup, you can capitalize on those local searches.
On top of that, after your listing is approved you can ask customers for reviews and they will show up on your listing too. When your profile is brand new I highly recommend reaching out to your local customers and asking them to leave a review on google.
2. Give customers some way to leave reviews on your website.
On Shopify there are a bunch of different review apps, there’s even one developed by Shopify aptly named Product Reviews. Some are specific to each product or some are just for your store in general but reviews in general are a wonderful thing for your shop.
First of all, customer reviews are great social proof. Shoppers want to hear what other people thought of your store. I’ve actually done a poll on this topic before, wondering if customers would rather see reviews from real people or press/celebrity endorsements and nearly everyone said reviews from real customers.
Seeing the input of other people is invaluable for shoppers. It gives them comfort while making their own purchase.
Reviews can help your store by adding more words to your page. One of the struggles a lot of shop owners have is that they don’t have enough content on their pages, especially product pages. So the reviews can help add content to your pages.
Plus you can use your reviews on social media for good content, which is a great bonus.
3. Review and edit your site title and description.
The site title and site descriptions are settings in your shop. You can find it under preferences in Shopify.
The shop title is what shows up when you are looking at a website in the browser tab. Usually it's just the business name, but there's some space there where you can add one or two keywords to make it really powerful.
Like you might add Fine Jewelry, Sustainable Clothing, Artisan Soap. You want to keep this section pretty broad, since you don’t have a lot of space for anything else.
So then we have the site descriptions. 9 times out of 10, business owners will put their tagline here.
The site description is not the same as your tagline. The site description needs to describe your shop. What do you offer? Who is it for? You really shouldn’t need to do “keyword research” for this description. I’m positive you already know this info. You want to write about 2-4 complete sentences about your shop. This is also a great place to add your location. Something like Handmade in Seattle or Visit our shop in San Diego.
You can see how this works if you Google your shop. The part that shows up in the larger text in blue is the site title. And then under that in gray is the site description.
And then for a BONUS TIP - Put a reminder in your calendar to review the site title and description once a qtr or every 6 months. Details change quickly. For example, you might have decided to work only in gold jewelry and need to remove anything that says silver.
4. Write a roundup blog post or newsletter!
(I think this is the most fun.)
The strategic way to use this post would be through blog posts, but if you aren’t blogging, you can use a newsletter but know that it’s not going to get the same juicy SEO boost.
Round up posts are like 5 things I’m loving this month, or 5 things to pack on your next road trip, or 5 things you need in your beach bag. Etc.
It doesn’t have to be 5 whatever number you like, but five is easy and quick.
So you’ll want to pick a theme for your posts.
Then you’ll choose 4 other businesses that fit your theme and write a quick post, and say why you love them.
Stay away from people in the exact same industry as you.
For example, I have a client whose business is targeted around sailing. So she could do 5 Accessories for your next sailing adventure. So she sells really cool jewelry that has a UV indicator so you know when you should be applying sunscreen. That’s one of her products. She can also include a really cute sailing themed tank top, a fun hat, a good book, maybe a fun snack. She’s actually REALLY great at these types of posts. Check out her website here.
For each of the items you’ll write up a short paragraph and link to the other shop. Gush about what you love about them. Hit Publish.
Now the first part is done. This is good for SEO because it’s linking to other websites, linking out is good for search engine optimization. The internet is a web so linking to other websites is important. You could totally stop here and the benefits would be awesome.
But you can take this a step further by emailing or DMing those other shops, and telling them you tried their product and you loved it, and you wrote about it in your latest blog post and give them the link. This is going to flatter them and make them feel really good. And starts creating a connection with that shop owner. And they might even share it out themselves. WIN WIN.
Then to take it one step further, you create a cute graphic for your instagram stories and tag the other shops, they will most likely reshare and that helps build your audience. It also helps them grow their audience. ANOTHER WIN for both of you.
These types of posts also do really well on Pinterest. There are tons of round up posts on Pinterest, like 50 Instant pot recipes or 15 must haves for a new baby. If you need ideas you can head over there just scroll for a few mins to find a few good examples.
You can totally add this type of post to your content calendar once a quarter to keep the momentum going! It’s a really effective blog post for e-commerce shops.
5. Compress your images and add alt-text.
Or actually I should say, Add alt-text and then compress your images if you can. This is two steps but they go really well together.
The first part is adding alt-text to your images. Alt-text is an html that gets added to the code part of your websites, so you don’t see it on the front but it lives in the coding. This little tag tells Google what the image is.
The main purpose of this is that shoppers and website users who use screen readers to view your website are able to tell what the time image is of. This makes your website accessible for those who are visually impaired.
There’s also the hidden benefit of being able to use keywords in those tags to enhance your ability to show on Google search results, particularly in the image results.
You can add this text in each image when you are uploading photos but if your site is already up, it’s faster to use an app for this.
I actually have an old blog post that walks you through this whole process on my websites. You can find it here.
Now the second step of this process is compressing your images. Another one of the ranking factors for websites is site speed, or how quickly your website loads. Humans don’t want to wait for a site to load. Unfortunately, stores are notoriously slow because every product has multiple images associated with it. Photos and media are the main things that take up space.
Now that same app can compress your images but it only does 50 for free. I totally think it’s worth it to pay for this app for at least one month to compress all of your images and then you can go back to using the free version. Or you can search for a cheaper app, there are some that might cost a little but less, but I personally love the Bulk Image Edit app. I’m the person who prefers to use the tried and true, instead of looking for the cheaper option all the time.
You can also compress images before you load them to your shop using a free tool like TinyPNG.com or make sure to compress them in your photo editing software like Photoshop or Lightroom.
Ok, so there you have it. Five pretty easy and quick ways you give your store a visibility boost. Set up google my business, add reviews to your site, edit your site title and description, write a round-up blog posts to feature other businesses, and compress your photos.