Do I Really Need To Hire A Webdev – Design Firm Or DIY?
A question I see all the time… The short answer is no. There are a ton of WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) online editors out there for free to little money. But as I’m sure you’ve all heard before, you get what you pay for. Today I’d like to take a bit of time and write up my thoughts on Shopify… an affordable drag and drop ecommerce solution that thousands are already using and loving.
As a Search veteran I get asked all the time “David, why isn’t Google sending me tons of traffic? I did all of my meta tags and descriptions, what gives?” Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) is often times an after thought when building your online empire.
What is SEO?
the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.
There you have the definition, now why am I bringing this up? Proper Titles and your meta description are looked at, but seriously low on the overall scale of what Google considers important. Here’s some things you’ll hear a million times when researching SEO. Content is KING and Linking is QUEEN!
Content is King.
In a perfect world you would have so many great things to talk and write about your [insert product / blue widget / service] that everyone with a blog, everyone in your industry would like, share, comment, and most importantly link back to your content. Field of Dreams quote time –
“If you build it, they will come.”
We’re not just talking about content on your About page, or your testimonials page… we’re talking fresh content that gets people talking, content you publish… usually on your blog. So, again, in a perfect world… you would blog about what’s happening in and or around your industry [service / blue widget / product base] and because Google says ‘Content is King’ – your industry peers would easily find this content (along with your prospective customers) love it and LINK to it!
Linking is Queen.
So you’ve written some killer content and all of your peers are linking to it… so what? A few things you should know about links.
- Not all links are created equally
- No-follow links don’t pass ‘link juice’ (that schweet, schweet ranking signal Google loves)
- Do-follow links from ‘bad neighborhoods’ can actually hurt, rather than help
- A link from a weak site (see: your brother’s nephew’s cousin’s former roommate’s blog about his band) is not ranked 1/10000th as strong as a link from the Wall Street Journal.
Before I end up going too far down this rabbit hole… Just remember – Content & Backlinks. Great David, I thought this was going to be a write up about Shopify. It is. I just wanted to make sure that everyone gets a basic view of SEO.
Now for Shopify.
But first, a bit of geek speak… Have you ever heard of a Robots.txt file? No? Let me share this with you really quick.
In a nutshell
Web site owners use the /robots.txt file to give instructions about their site to web robots; this is called The Robots Exclusion Protocol.
It works likes this: a robot wants to vists a Web site URL, say http://www.example.com/welcome.html. Before it does so, it firsts checks for http://www.example.com/robots.txt, and finds:User-agent: * Disallow: /
The “User-agent: *” means this section applies to all robots. The “Disallow: /” tells the robot that it should not visit any pages on the site.
Now, I know some of you will read the following line that says “robots can ignore your /robots.txt. Especially malware robots that scan the web for security vulnerabilities, and email address harvesters used by spammers will pay no attention.” And think, well Google will obviously ignore my robots.txt file that says DON’T read my blog or any of my Collection pages… I obviously want those indexed (so you know, content & linking can happen). However…
Robots.txt instructions are directives only
The instructions in
robots.txtfiles cannot enforce crawler behavior to your site; instead, these instructions act as directives to the crawlers accessing your site. While Googlebot and other respectable web crawlers obey the instructions in a
robots.txtfile, other crawlers might not. Therefore, if you want to keep information secure from web crawlers, it’s better to use other blocking methods, such as password-protecting private files on your server.
So, in a nutshell… Googlebot will obey the instructions in a robots.txt file. With that being said… and the powers that be at Shopify fully aware. WHY, Why do they block every shop owners /blog and /collections from being indexed? If you ask and get an answer, please reply and let me know. This is a known problem and yet thousands of people believe that using a drag and drop WYSIWYG web editor is ‘Saving Money’ – HA! Have a look this screen cap from one of their ‘Success stories’ websites.