SEO for Shopify | Denise Millet
Today's podcast guest is Denise Millet.
Denise is on a mission to take the overwhelm out of technology so that entrepreneurs and business owners can take back their time and refocus their energy into growing and scaling their businesses.
We discussed search engine optimization (SEO) techniques that Shopify store owners can use immediately to improve organic traffic with the search engines. Denise gave some incredibly valuable tips.
Find Denise at https://mmediagroupllc.com
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Full transcript of the episode:
And so what our goal has to be is just be
included first to make sure you show up so that if
people are looking for your products, they find them.
Hey, everybody, welcome to the Traffic Handler Podcast.
We're talking about retail marketing here here
about getting new customers, making new sales,
and growing your retail business with ecommerce.
I'm Amy Biddle. I'm your host.
Today's guest is Denise Millet.
Denise is on a mission to take the overwhelm
out of technology so that entrepreneurs and business owners
can take back their time and refocus their energy
into growing and scaling their businesses.
Thank you, Amy.
It's so great to be here. Thank you.
I'm just so excited to have you here.
We're going to have a really exciting conversation.
So just to talk about what we're going to
talk about first today we're going to talk about
user friendly tech for Shopify store owners.
This is a huge topic.
So we're going to break this
down, make it really simple.
And just so you know, if you're listening,
if you do this stuff, you're going to
see a real difference in your bottom line.
Denise and I had an amazing conversation before the
show about what we can do with SEO.
And you had a three point system.
Denise, can you tell us a
little bit about those points?
One, two, three, and how
we're going to yeah, absolutely.
I look at SEO as three different categories
of things that you want to look at.
And the first one is things you do tactics,
things that make the ranking where you show up
in search engine results higher or lower.
And we're not going to really talk about
that today because that's not really what the
focus has to be when you begin.
So we're going to put that one aside.
The second one is on-page SEO, we call it,
which is the meta tags and the things you can
do when you set up a product within Shopify that
can help you be seen on search engines.
And then the third topic is really the content
pieces, the things that you can write to support
your products so that search engines will find you.
That's awesome. That's huge.
Everything you just said, I mean, we could do
a whole episode on the on page stuff.
Let's start there because she said we're
not going to worry about ranking.
And a lot of people think SEO is like, oh,
I'm going to end up on page one of Google.
Well, Google has like 3 million people
coming every minute to search on Google.
So it's an enormous opportunity for everybody to
get it right and to get yourself there.
But along with that, 3 million people
searching, there are many more million advertising
and putting their things out there.
And we just have to remember
Google's out there to make money.
So they're using some of
those prime spots for advertisements.
And so what our goal has to be is just be
included first to make sure you show up so that if
people are looking for your products, they find them.
It may not be on page one, but it could
be page two or page three, or if you have
something really unique, you could show up on one.
So you just want to get in there
first and then you work on ranking and
building it up and having a better presence. Okay.
So just by doing the things that we're
going to talk about today, we're not worried
about showing up on page one.
We're not worried about ranking.
So this is not what this conversation is about.
But now let's get a little bit into number two.
Point number two, which is really the launching point
of our conversation today, which is the on-page stuff
and how you can... with your Shopify store.
And this is anyone, this is Shopify. This is Shopify.
Plus, how can you really get into the on page stuff?
You know, what's interesting is Shopify makes
it super easy to do this.
So as you're adding a product and you look at
your pages at the very bottom, you'll see a sample
search engine entry that shows up on search engine results.
So if you fill out the title and the description.
Right, the title, you have 70 characters
and the description, you have 320.
If you fill that out with the things that
people are going to search for to find your
product, then that's going to be used in the
search engine results and in the database in Google.
So all you have to do is fill out
those two fields and that catapults you forward.
And then the other thing that you can do
is when you have a heading on your page.
So the very bold, big print, that's your heading.
We call it an H1 tag, but that's too technical.
But the header tag, that is also used to scan when
they're scanning pages, to find stuff, to index you and put
you in the database, you need one of those headers in
big bold print, and that's used along as well.
So those three things are very important to get
into the database and they show you a sample
of it right at the bottom of the page.
So if you just fill out those fields, you're going
to get indexed, we call it and include it. Okay.
Indexing is a science all by itself also.
So let me cut away for just a second
because I want to do our sponsor plug.
Today's episode is sponsored by Schema app for Shopify.
They enable you to connect with customers
at the beginning of their buying journey.
And adding structured data to your Shopify store
helps search engines better understand your website.
This increases the chances of customers finding
and purchasing products or services like yours.
Get started today at schemaapp.com that's
Okay, there's one last piece of data that you
can do in Shopify that really is helpful.
If you had put an image on a page, so your image
of your product and you click on that image, it brings up
a pop up box, and there's this thing called Alt. Alt text.
And it was intended for people who are visually impaired
so that if you had a screen reader, it would
read this and tell the person what the image was,
or if the image can't load for some reason, this
text is supposed to show up on the screen.
But what people use it for now is another way
to put a description of your product, because Google will
also take that and link that to the image and
link that to you and your website.
So it's just another opportunity to put 50
or 60 character description with your product to
help boost that you get included.
So there are four things on page, right?
There's the Alt image text.
There's the description, the title, and
the H1 or the heading.
So those four things, if you do
those four things, you're going to get
included and they will find your information.
Okay, that's awesome.
So let's say a store owner has a bunch
of SKUs, they have a whole bunch of inventory,
and they've never done any of this.
How important is it that they go in
and kind of go through each of the
products and get all this information in there?
Well, Google also looks at fresh data.
They don't like stale data.
So even if you have a product that's been out
there for a long time and even if you did
these things, you want to revisit on a regular basis
just to make sure it's accurate and up to date,
and they go through the Shopify database on a regular
basis and scan through the products, I'm sure to pull
out data for them because they want to be current.
So if you were to make changes today, as they're
going through the Shopify site to find their content that
they want to serve up to their users, they're going
to find the changes you put in there because it's
going to be fresh and it's going to be current.
It may not be overnight. Okay.
But it will be helpful to do
so if you haven't done it before.
I mean, Shopify stick some stuff in there
off of your page, but it's not often
helpful and doesn't describe the product because they'll
just take the first 70 characters.
And that could be like nothing to describe the product.
It could be your intro.
So you could go back and adjust these things and
update them, and it would make a huge difference.
Okay, so there's how Google thinks, which in
the grand scheme of things is one of
the great mysteries of the universe.
We don't know the timing that they're going to
do this, but they are going to re-index
or reread the data on the site.
Now, I know some of our members, some of
our listeners have thousands and thousands of products.
And going through and updating their product pages and updating
their websites is really sort of a big deal.
But so is the on-page work.
I mean, it's kind of a big deal.
So, yeah, I get it.
And I think you could take
your most profitable products first.
You could take the ones that you want to move the
newest or the most attractive and just start yourself a system
to do five or ten a week or get your VA
or someone who's helping you maybe to do five or ten
a week and just do it gradually.
I mean, it could be a heavy lift
if you haven't done any of it.
But another thing they can think about is the
template they use when they create a new product.
They can make sure that what's on that page,
in the description, in the first 320 characters are
going to get put in the description by default.
So you could make sure your page when you actually
create a new product that has that in there. Yes.
And the heading is going to go into the title.
So if you actually make your headings descriptions on your
page better to describe the product and show up at
Google, then you kind of save yourself a thing because
Shopify will put that stuff in there.
But you have to make sure it's at the top.
It's better to have more control, though, right?
I mean, people are searching with specific
words and you're trying to match what
they're searching, so you get included.
So I would not think that the template and
the page is the best way to go.
But you can start there if that's your beginning place, especially
if you're in a fast paced thing and don't have a
lot of time to do a lot of that upfront.
But I definitely agree you have to go
back and spend the time and be specific.
Right now, the thing you said about how
to choose the items in the store that
you're going to update, start with your best
sellers, start with your most popular products.
And by doing that, you're actually
naturally working with that Google algorithm
that they're going to come through.
They're going to send bots.
These are not the same bots as Facebook bots.
These are different bots, but they're going
to send technology through the store to
read the site fairly regularly, right? Absolutely.
There are programs that run continually,
and they call them crawlers.
So basically they just follow links, they get
to a page and then they say, okay,
well, what is linked to this page?
And we'll go to visit all those
things that are linked to it.
So they probably started Shopify and go store
by store and go through, but they'll look
and say who's had changes recently.
And if you haven't changed anything, well, then
there's nothing new for them to look for.
Okay, so that's one of the reasons you want
to keep it up to a date or keep
it fresh and continually make changes to your store.
If you just have a store that's sitting
there for three years and you never change
anything, which I'm sure isn't the case in
Shopify because things move rapidly in ecommerce.
But some people could be there
just with their books or whatever.
If you don't make updates, then
the programs are not brilliant.
They're smart, but they're not brilliant.
So they can only read data.
And if that date hasn't changed, then there's
nothing new for them to look at.
That is so brilliant.
So regular updates are actually going to help, right?
Help you be reindexed and rescanned.
All your information be rescanned.
Okay, that's super cool.
In my group, we have kind of a checklist
of like how to self audit your business.
And I can see that doing this on page
SEO work, the age ones titles, the descriptions and
the alt tags, those should be regularly updated through
the site just to keep the content fresh. Right.
And for helping the crawlers. That's cool.
I'm going to add that in.
I learned something today. Thank you.
That's my goal.
What we do, you know, it is what you do.
It's the magic.
And just for those of you who are either coming
in late, listening on double speed, or I can't wait
to get to the end, please look in the show
notes to get more information about Denise.
We've got her website, her
email address, and just everything.
You need to be able to find Denise and work with her.
And that'll be in the show notes.
Totally excited to be able to share.
You're kind of my secret weapon
with this stuff right now.
All right, so do you have anything else
to add with point number two on page?
No, I think we've kind of done it, and
I think if people just start getting into a
habit, it will yield results for them.
It may be a slow burn at first, but
it will come up for them and show up. That's good.
And in general, search engine optimization, SEO,
that's a long haul kind of work.
It is a long term strategy.
It's not a get rich quick
overnight serve you up, whatever.
It's a consistency factor.
It's being consistent, it's being
relevant and up to date.
And they're actually kind of simple tasks.
It's not like you have to write a white paper on every
product you have or make a big to do about it.
It's really simple steps, but consistency
and frequency makes a big difference. So cool.
All right, should we move on to your content formula?
The third point or the third
type of SEO search engine strategies?
We talk about is we have to
remember that Google is selling advertising.
They want their searchers to stay on their site.
So they're going to see tons of ads because the more
the people click on the ads, the more money Google makes.
And that's just like the basics.
So we have to understand that now Google
looks at content which is written content as
they value it by this formula called the
E-A-T formula, which is expertise, authority, and trust.
And that when you create content, like a blog post
that links to your product that supports the product.
So you have a link to the product.
You've set up all this on page stuff.
But then the text, the bots, those crawlers come
through and read all the text and they pick
out the search words that are relevant and they
index that page and that supports the product.
So you're like getting a double support for
the product by having content that's valuable for
Google, people who are using the search engine.
So if people are putting in, like my
example, if people are looking for red sneakers
and they type in red sneakers. Right.
How many millions of pages are going
to come up with red sneakers? Right?
Well, if they actually start searching
for red mesh sneakers, Nike, whatever.
Well, who's got text or description of
red mesh sneakers, item 900 or whatever?
If you have those words within your description and
within your blog post about the beauty of these
wonderful new running shoes, then you elevate yourself by
giving that content because Google's like, great, I can
answer this question that this person has asked.
So you're providing useful information, useful
content that links to your products.
So you're just increasing the chances that you're going to
be served up as a result in the search engine. So cool.
Does that make sense?
Yes, it's perfect.
So the E-A-T formula that you're talking
about, expertise, authority, authority and trust. Okay.
Expertise, authority, and trust.
So how about for all the people who don't want to
blog, is there really a choice or they really not?
You kind of have to do it if
you want to be part of this.
No, that's the right answer.
I really think that there are so many different things.
I'm sure that this algorithm or this
program that Google is looks at.
But if we remember, their bottom line is they
want to show ads and they want their people
to stay and search through their pages. Right.
And us people that are trying to get
organically without paying for ads, we're there. Right.
So there might not be an ad
for red mesh sneakers, Nike style, 900. Right.
So Google might not have an ad for that, but
they're going to have to deliver results either way.
And they want to deliver the
most helpful and useful stuff.
So if you have that content that describes these
sneakers and how amazing and wonderful they are to
the world, and they're going to make you float
and jump higher and do all these things.
I want these.
It seems like work, but it's not
because you're just giving yourself a boost.
You're helping yourself show up better. Yes.
Do you do it for absolutely everything?
Maybe not, but maybe you take your best sellers, maybe
you take your most important products for you and you
do that and you become known as more you give
yourself more expertise and authority by doing it regularly, consistently,
your frequency and all that stuff.
So I'm going to say, yes, you need to create content.
Does it have to be a research paper? No.
A blog post is a conversation. Right.
So you're having a conversation.
And yes, you want to use the words that people
are going to try to search for in that conversation.
Let's be serious about this.
Like don't call them fuchsia sneakers, call them
red, because that's who we're looking for. Okay.
So make sure you can figure out what people
are looking for and use that in the text.
And I think in the long term, simple things like
creating a few paragraphs and sharing your views in a
blog post on a regular basis can really help.
And the linking and linking,
making sure Google loves links.
They love links because you're giving them an
opportunity to find out more and to connect
more things together in their database.
And that all builds up
your authority and your expertise.
And it's going to help them trust
you to be trustworthy with their customers. Right?
That makes so much sense.
That crazy triangle about trust. Well, yeah.
No, it makes perfect sense because we have
a client member, somebody who actually hires my
group to do ads and help with ranking
and on page and sell more stuff, basically.
So I think her top seven or eight pages
looking in like Google Analytics, for example, their blog
posts, those blog posts lead to product pages.
So without even running ads to blog pages right
now, there's always going to be a cost. Right.
You're going to pay yourself by doing the
blog posts or you're going to buy traffic.
And depending on how you do it,
pay me now or pay me later.
You got to do it that way.
And there's no guarantee on either side.
But I will say that once you get into the rhythm of
it and I would say to people is okay, if you were
searching for your products, you have a product and you were searching
for it, I know you're a little close to the subject, so
it's a little bit hard to think that way.
But step out and put yourself in somebody else's
shoes and they're trying to find your product.
What would they search on? Right.
Would you go to Google in that one line and put in
to hopefully find the best options to get to your product?
How do you find those, though?
Are there tools that you recommend for looking at keywords,
or do you just kind of make it up?
I like to say use Google first. Okay. Type in.
Type in red sneakers and you see the
number of results that you're going to get.
And it's going to be 16 billion. Right.
Because there's a billion red sneakers.
Well, then go add a few more words of description
on there and see how that number narrows down.
And if there's 10,000 or 50,000 or
whatever, you're getting close to something that's
more relevant to real people.
And people want the real thing.
I mean, they'll put in red sneakers and
they'll be like, oh, I don't have time
to look through all these pages.
Let me click on a Nike ad. Well.
Or they're going to say, oh, no, let
me put something else in and look.
So use Google first. Okay.
And don't make it more complex than it needs to be.
Use Google first and see what
they show up for your products. Really.
So you're just going to
the search engine results pages.
That's all you're looking at is type in the item that
you want your prospect to look for on your side.
What they're looking for, what are they
looking for to get to your product. Right.
And then just look at the results pages, the ads
and the organic just to see what comes up.
And then if you look so what you're saying is if
I type in red sneakers and it's like 16 billion results,
that's going to be hard for Google to make sense of.
But if I put in more description in what
I'm searching for and there are fewer results.
Now, we're not talking about ranking, but we're
just talking about indexing and having Google being
able to serve up our store. Right.
More reliably. Okay. Right.
And you never know.
I mean, this the red sneakers in a retail thing,
it's probably a really abstract or too simple of an
explanation, but yeah, I don't think it is too simple.
Well, I mean, think about it with words even. Right.
So when you see a picture of
somebody and you're trying to write something. Right.
And you're writing this description.
Well, if you didn't know if the product was
for women or men, the language is huge.
And if you know it's for women, you cleave your language
in half the minute you know it's for a woman.
Well, it's a database and it's all words that they're
trying to do this and they're using a formula or
whatever to rank it, but it's really just the words.
So think about how when you go to write
something, if you know it's day or night, well,
that cuts half of your language out, right?
I mean, you wouldn't use evening or
dusk or twilight or all those things. Right.
You could use daytime.
So think about it.
In the most simplest of terms and get to
the point where you create content that's useful.
I mean, don't create garbage.
It's something really useful.
Tell them your opinion.
Tell them why you're selling this.
Tell them how it's great it is and why it excites you.
And that's going to excite other people. Yes.
So it can't just be flat.
And here's a red sneaker in a gray box
that doesn't help but share the real thing.
And authenticity makes you more
of an authority, more expert.
And I'll tell you, those blog posts that you
say people get the most hits on, I bet
you if you read them, they're really personal.
They're just conversational.
They're not like salesy or anything.
You don't have to have big formulas.
You just have to speak to people at the level.
You have to get your customers head and speak to them.
This is so good.
So I see that we're running out of time.
Super fast, right?
But the other thing is the people
who are listening to this podcast or
watching on YouTube, they're really busy.
So I just wanted to have you on to talk
about amazing, usable, practical things you can do in your
store to meet new customers and make more sales.
So I'm just so excited that you've been here, Denise.
And in addition to having you in the show notes,
do you want to put in a plug real quick?
I would just let anybody wants to come to my website.
It's a mouthful, but that's what it is.
Just go to the website.
There are plenty of ways to contact me.
All my Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, all that stuff.
And the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mmediagroupllc.com. Awesome. That's great.
Thank you so much for
any questions anybody has recently. So good.
All right, let me finish up with the sponsorship plug.
Today's episode is also sponsored by Bold apps.
Bold offers a full suite of proven apps
for Shopify and Shopify Plus to help grow
your online store, all backed by industry leading
support, including bundles, upsells subscriptions, and much more.
You can find them at boldcommerce.com.
So, Denise, thank you so much for being here today.
It's been my pleasure.
Thank you so much, Amy.
It's really great. Mine too. Thanks.
So you've been listening to the Traffic Handler
podcast, getting new customers, making new sales, and
growing your retail business with ecommerce.
I'm your host, Amy Biddle.
Get more at Amybiddle.me.
And until next time, go sell more stuff.
Podcast music by Dan Lebowitz.
Post production by Melinda Fries.
Production Assistant Laurie Carnes.