The Ultimate Guide to Starting a Shopify Blog and Shopify Blog Formatting
All online businesses need to generate web traffic to succeed, and 51% of traffic comes from search engines.
So, it should be no surprise that US businesses spend more than $70 billion annually on search engine optimization (SEO). The higher you’re listed in search results, the more traffic you’ll be able to generate. And the more traffic you generate, the more sales you’ll make.
It’s not enough to just make it to the first page of results for a given keyword. Most clicks go to the top three results, with the first result taking in a full 33% of traffic.
How can you make your Shopify store rise to the top of search engine results pages (SERPs)? Peppering your site with keywords that are relevant to your products will certainly help. But you can’t simply add these keywords without any context (a practice known as “keyword stuffing”), or else your site will be penalized by Google.
This is why your Shopify store needs a blog.
Whatever it is that you sell, with a little imagination you’ll find that there are endless topics to write about. This gives you unlimited opportunities for incorporating keywords organically.
There are other benefits to adding a blog to your Shopify store as well, including:
- A blog allows you to advertise promotions, direct more attention to less popular products, and broadcast other messages that benefit your business.
- Blog content gives people a reason to stick around on your site, and increasing the duration of the average visit is another way to improve SEO.
- By publishing informative content such as how-to guides and interviews with experts, you will impress visitors and establish yourself as an authority.
Examples of Exceptional Shopify Blogs
Each of the examples listed below demonstrate how you can leverage your Shopify blog to advance your business’s interests.
Huel sells powdered food. Their product is designed to satisfy all the human body’s nutritional needs.
For people to buy into their product, Huel needs to give the impression that they know what they’re talking about when it comes to food science and physiology. They’ve done exactly that with their blog, which eschews all but the most necessary design elements for a serious, no-nonsense look that resembles a college syllabus.
Beyond the design, the high-quality content contained in Huel’s blog support their status as an authority on nutrition. Also, with posts like “Comparison to Soylent” and “Comparison to Jimmy Joy”, Huel can convince visitors that their product is better than what competitors are offering.
Recent articles published by the bed sheet store QuickZip, such as “INSIDER's GUIDE to High School Grad Gifts” and “The Perfect Sheets for Bunk Beds!”, show how your Shopify blog can be used to promote products.
With Shopify blog categories, you can divide your blog up into separate sections. The subscription wine service Vinebox has made the most of this feature with their blogs for “Tips & Tricks”, “Learn”, “Holidays”, “Travel”, and “Ask-A-Somm”.
Like Huel, Vinebox uses its blog to educate, and this works wonders for their brand. Why pay for a wine service if you’re not convinced that the provider is an expert on wine? Vinebox’s blog gives you good reason to trust their expertise.
Adding a Blog to Your Shopify Store
Setting up your own blog on Shopify only takes a few minutes.
1. After logging in to your Shopify account, select “Online Store” in the left sidebar and click on “Blog posts”.
2. Select “Manage blogs”.
3. Select “Add Blog” (note that there is already a default blog titled “News”).
4. Give your blog a title to continue.
You can also adjust the search engine settings at this step, including your page title (this shows up in SERPs and as the label in browser tabs), meta description, and Shopify blog URL.
These elements are crucial for SEO. Search engine algorithms consider more than just on-page content for their rankings. They analyze all the information that they can collect to determine how relevant pages are for a search query. Optimizing your off-page content will give you a big boost in SERPs.
When you’re done, select “Save” to add your new blog.
Adding Blog Posts
Adding a post to your new blog is also easy.
1. Go to “Online Store” > “Blog posts”.
2. Select “Add blog post”.
3. You only need to add a title to save the post. At this stage, you can also add the body content of the post, an excerpt for your home page, and SEO elements (page title, meta description, and URL).
You should upload a featured image here as well. An eye-catching image for each post on your blog’s main page will help you hold the visitor’s attention and encourage them to click.
When you’re ready to publish your post, make sure it’s assigned to the correct author and blog in the “Organization” section. You may want to add tags in order to group similar posts together on your blog. Then, select “Save”.
Shopify Blog Formatting
You have the option of choosing between HTML or the built-in rich text editor for Shopify blog formatting.
The rich text editor gives you eight options for the text of your post. There’s Paragraph for normal text, and then there are six Heading levels (Heading 1 is the most important, Heading 6 the least). The eighth option is Blockquote, which separates quoted material from the rest of the text to improve readability.
Use the following buttons in the rich text editor to further format your text:
- Bulleted List
- Numbered List
- Indent Text
- Unindent Text
- Align text (left, center, right)
- Change text color and background color
- Insert table
- Insert link
The rich text editor makes it easy to add media to your posts, too. You can upload images and videos from your computer, or you can embed them with URLs.
Finally, there’s a button that allows you to clear all formatting from a selected piece of text.
The Pros and Cons of Using Shopify as a Blogging Platform
Now you know how to blog through Shopify. But should you?
WordPress and other content management systems are more popular platforms for blogging. You may already be using one of these platforms for your business’s blog. If so, you can integrate your existing blog into your Shopify store.
There are reasons to consider using Shopify’s internal blogging system instead, though. First off, it’s more convenient. Running both a Shopify store and an external blog requires two sets of login credentials and two different hosting solutions.
It may also be difficult to match the layout and style of your Shopify store to the look of your external blog. An internal blog provides your users with a more seamless experience.
Another benefit to an internal blog is that it can be added as a subdirectory to your site, meaning that its URL reads like “www.shopifystore.com/blog”. An external blog must be added as a subdomain (“blog.shopifystore.com”). According to Moz, locating your blog in a subdirectory is significantly better for SEO than locating it in a subdomain.
One thing that WordPress has over Shopify is that there are more add-ons available. The official WordPress.org directory lists over 50,000 plugins. There are ~3,000 apps for Shopify. This nearly twentyfold difference leads to the impression that, compared to WordPress, Shopify is relatively inflexible.
Customize Your Blog Posts with the Shogun Visual Editor
While WordPress has a vast plugin library, it’s not quantity that matters. It’s quality.
For example, Shogun only counts as one Shopify app, but it allows you to create just about any kind of blog post you can imagine.
The Shogun page builder has a drag-and-drop interface, making it especially user-friendly. Even if you don’t know a single line of code, you can use Shogun to create posts that look and function like they were designed by a professional web developer.
To build a blog post for your Shopify store with Shogun:
1. From your Shopify account dashboard, select “Apps”.
2. Select “Visit the Shopify Store”.
3. Search for and download Shogun. Plans start at $39.99/month, and you’re able to try before you buy with the 10-day free trial.
4. Go back to “Apps” and select “Shogun Page Builder”.
5. Select “Create Page”.
6. Select “Blog Post”.
7. Choose a Shopify blog template.
8. Add a name and assign the post to a blog. You can edit the URL here as well. Then, select “Create Page”.
9. Now it’s time to add content and design the layout of your page. Let’s take a look at a few of the elements you can drag and drop into your post with Shogun:
Social Media Bar
Connect your blog to your social media profiles with Shogun’s configurable social media bar. You can add icons that link to your Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, Twitter, Vimeo, and YouTube accounts.
Icon size, icon alignment, the color of the icons, and the color of the bar background can all be adjusted. There are also options for effects like borders and box shadow.
Get your customers excited for a limited promotion or upcoming product release with a live countdown timer. Again, the size, alignment, and color scheme can all be adjusted.
Inserting a map in the middle of a blog post is a dynamic way to describe a location. If you’re giving directions at some point in your post, your users will surely appreciate having a map right at their fingertips. You can set the height of the video, and you can enable or disable zoom.
Add video to your Shopify blog from YouTube or Vimeo.
While you are able to add video with the standard Shopify rich text editor, the video will be displayed as is. With Shogun, you have the ability to choose whether or not to loop the video, autoplay the video, or mute audio. You also have the option of cropping the video by specifying a start time or end time.
Incorporating videos into your content is an excellent method for engaging visitors and increasing your average time on site stats.
Adding a form to the end of your blog post is a good move for user experience, as it allows visitors to ask any questions they might have without navigating to another page.
Also, adding a form will give you more addresses for your email list, which makes future marketing campaigns more effective.
And that’s just a small sample of the elements that are available.
10. When you’re finished with your post, or if you’ve reached a stopping point and you want to come back to the post later, select “Save”.
11. To publish the post, select “Publish.”
In addition to helping you build pages, Shogun can provide you with insight into how your posts are performing.
Shogun keeps track of the following metrics for each blog page:
- Total Sessions (number of users visiting the page)
- Bounce Rate (percentage of users who leave the page without further store activity)
- Top Clickthrough Destinations (where users go to from the page)
- Top Outside Referrers (how users are getting to the page)
Blog page analytics can be viewed in aggregate or broken down by device. You can also compare pages against each other to see which topics are resonating the most with your users.
There’s No Reason Not To Have A Shopify Blog
Every day you go without a blog you’re leaving money on the table.
Adding a blog to your Shopify store has lucrative SEO benefits, and it gives you a chance to set yourself apart from your competitors.
You don’t need to go through the hassle of integrating an external content management system. With the Shogun page editor, personalized Shopify blog formatting is easy. So don’t wait. Start blogging today.