What are the must have marketing apps that can help my Shopify store?
As a Shopify Expert and a Shopify App developer we get asked this question a lot.
The answer I give might surprise you… No, I don’t just pimp our own apps.
(Although if you’re looking for the easiest most effective referral marketing app out there, take a look at Forewards ☺ Or if you need some help connecting your store to a third party warehouse for fulfillment you can use CSV to FTP ☺)
No the advice that I give is this:
Before you start adding marketing apps to your Shopify store, make sure you’re getting the most out of the features that Shopify gives you to begin with!
I come across far too many Shopify stores (as well as store built with other awesome platforms like BigCommerce) that are loaded to the gills with value added marketing and sales apps, but lack some of the foundational basics that every store needs to have. The funny thing is, addressing these issues can easily be done with the features included with the basic shopping cart capabilities.
Let’s take a look at some of the commonly overlooked elements in many Shopify stores.
Before you dive into adding extra bells and whistles to your store, there are two crucial elements that you want to spend some time on.
1. Design and Usability
The first is design and usability. Our front-end designer and developer Sarah has gone over a number of helpful tips and tricks on design and usability. I suggest you give them a read through and see if anything might be applicable to your store.
- 5 Design elements to make your ecommerce store stand out
- Death to the stock photo
- Why you shouldn’t use a carousel
If your store isn’t easy to navigate, or confuses your customers in any way you’ve got a problem that no value added app will be able to fix. So spend the right amount of time on that, and if you need to get some outside help Shopify has an awesome network of experts that can guide you through these early stage decisions
Second you’ll want to take a look at your SEO strategy. Don’t have one? Now is the time to create one.
We put together this handy dandy SEO guide to get you started on the right foot when it comes with putting in the work today to get tomorrow’s search engine traffic.
Let’s take a look at some of the tools built into the Shopify platform that you may have overlooked.
If you’ve read through our SEO guide you know that the key to great SEO is strategically using your keywords. Shopify helps make this a bit easier by having some really clearly labeled areas for you to use them.
First your product descriptions. Product descriptions are a great place to not only embed some keywords, but also a great place to add some convincing value propositions to all your items for sale as well
The same holds true for your store itself. I’ve seen way too many online stores jump right into a product catalog on the home page without any descriptive text or anything frankly describing what the point of the store is. If you’re selling board games, it’s not enough to put a whole whack of board games on your home page. Tell these potential customers what makes your store special and why they should care. Again Shopify makes placing this on your page a fairly simple task.
Next place for keywords. A blog. The folks at Shopify understand how important blogging and content can be to any online marketing effort. So they include with the Shopify platform a pretty easy to use blogging platform as well.
Don’t leave this stuff blank. Use your blog to talk about your story, about your store, about your passion, and of course about your products. This type of inbound marketing and content effort, helps both to build your brand and your expertise. But equally important, this is the content that will lead Google to find you as well
Now the technical (ish) part. Your meta data. That’s information that website visitors will never see (or look for) but is the first thing that search engine crawlers will use to find you. Make sure you’ve got all this meta data in place. Again, Shopify makes it easy. Rather than forcing you into the HTML, just use the fields they provide you for each page.
Think you’ve got your bases covered? Great! Now before you move on, give your work a double check. Again, Shopify has an awesome FREE tool that you might not know about to help you check that you’re on the right track.
If you go to the Shopify user forums (which you should be on anyways for other helpful advice), they have a store grader tool that helps check the basics of your store. Specifically looking at usability and SEO. The best part is when you read through the score details, Shopify provides you with some pretty actionable tips to improve your store.
So before you go diving head first into the app store adding too many marketing apps for your shopify store. Make sure you’ve got all these basics in place.