Shopify Review 2021: Is It Worth It

I recently completed a fairly big Shopify project and decided to write a Shopify review to help business owners decide whether or not Shopify is a good e-commerce platform for them. This is not an affiliated post, it is my honest review based on my own experience.

My recent Shopify project started when my fabulous client, Nordic Yarn, contacted me. They have an online yarn store on Shopify and it required an updated look (all websites should be redesigned regularly) and a better navigation plan. They had initially created their site by themselves, but after a while, as it happens once a website grows, the site had become a bit complicated to use. And as they are busy running their business, they didn’t have time to look into updating their website. Answer: My Task Guru to rescue! With their kind permission, I am now sharing my Shopify review.

You Don’t Need To Be a Web Designer Or a Programmer

I am certainly not either, yet I was able to change their website’s theme and make their site user-friendly and pretty. I came up with a new navigation path reducing the main menu from 15 items to the current six. I rearranged the location of all the existing pages, and made some space for new ones. I also added filters and sorting options for all their products. Furthermore, I edited text, images and graphics, fixed formatting and style issues etc. All this tweaking was pretty easy to do. Time-consuming yes, but not too difficult.

Shopify Themes Are User-friendly and Stylish

I spent some time searching for a new theme that would best answer to the client’s needs. Nordic Yarn was initially using a free Shopify theme but they now wanted a more modern, user friendly theme so we opted for a paid theme. Shopify has quite a big selection of paid themes so there is something for everyone. I think in the end Nordic Yarn’s new site looks stylish and user friendly, navigation is easy on desktop, tablet and on mobile. Nordic Yarn has received good feedback from their customers too, which makes me happy and proud of my work. And it proves that they have great theme selection.

You May Have to Deal with Different Support Teams

This was the trickiest part of this project. Whenever there was an issue, I first had to figure out where to get the answer from. Even though Shopify can be contacted via chat and email, it was not always enough. Sometimes the issue was related to the theme (even if you buy the theme through Shopify, some themes are still classified ‘third party themes’ and have their OWN Support) and we had to contact the theme’s Support. But the majority of the issues were related to the apps so even contacting Shopify support or the theme’s support was not enough… You guessed it, apps too have their separate support teams. So if you have 10 apps on your Shopify site, all apps might have different support teams.

Apps for Everything

Whenever I wanted to properly customise the selected theme or get anything special on my client’s website, the answer was almost always ‘you need to have an app for that’. Shopify has its own app store and some of their apps are truly great and also free. And once everything is working well, it is great (although having a lot of apps will slow down your site, not good for usability and SEO…) But if there is a technical issue on the website, then it stops being so great. You first need to find out what app is causing the issue. You may have to be in contact with multiple support teams as mentioned above and this can take time. And nerves. I once spent 2.5 hours in a chat with Shopify’s Support yet the issue still wasn’t solved. Most of the times they were great though, and always friendly. But if you need an app for something, spend some time reading the reviews and investigating what is the very best app for the purpose.

Conclusion of My Shopify Review – Is It Worth It?

While I cannot speak from the Shopify site owner’s point of view, this is what I would say: Shopify is great for sites that do not need many special features or functions. For start-ups and businesses in the fairly early stages, it is a good option when their IT budget is still limited. Shopify’s online store has multiple payment options and the possibility for customers to log in. You can also generate discount codes and have a blog on your Shopify site. Staff accounts are another great option Shopify offers. Team members can have different levels of permissions and this ensures all sensitive data is protected.

One Piece of Advice: Back-Ups

If you decide to go for Shopify, let me offer you one piece of advice: every time you decide to add another app on your theme, before doing so, take a back up copy of your theme. This way, you can easily go back if the app is causing anything funny (or NOT funny) in your store.

I hope you found my Shopify review useful. Get in touch with My Task Guru for a free non-obligation chat regarding your online project.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Why Companies Should Be on Pinterest – Marketing for Business

Have you always thought Pinterest is only used by women for wedding planning and finding new recipes. Well, that’s not all there is to it. You might also think that your customer base is not on Pinterest, but if you check what your competitors are doing, you actually might find them on Pinterest. And if you don’t, by creating a Pinterest for Business account you will give your business an advantage.

In this post, I will tell you why you should consider adding Pinterest to your marketing strategy so hear me out. There are some very good reasons why you should be on Pinterest.

Reason #1: Pinterest Drives Organic Traffic

Even though Pinterest is not officially a search engine, it behaves very much like it. So shift your mindset from thinking it is just another social media channel to realising it is powerful traffic bringing machine, some people call it a visual search engine.

When a Pinterest user is searching for something, your content is shown to them via images. When they click on that image, they are being redirected to the page where your original content is located. This creates free, organic traffic on your site – great for SEO!

Reason #2: Pinterest Converts Browsers into Buyers

Pinterest is powerful in reducing the number of steps the customer takes from discovery to conversion. It makes it easier for customers to get straight to your product or service. Visitors from Pinterest convert into leads or sales faster than from any other social media site. Read that again – quite impressive, right?

Reason #3: It Helps Promoting Many Types of Content

You can use Pinterest to promote many types of content. Yes, linking your blog post or website article to Pinterest is a common practice, but there’s more to it. Other types of content you can link to your Pinterest account are podcast episodes, Instagram posts, YouTube videos, or landing pages where you promote your offers. So if you thought Pinterest marketing for business is only for bloggers, there are so many other ways to use it. You can even repurpose your existing content and promote it on Pinterest, the possibilities are limitless.

Reason #4: It Can Make You Rank Well on Google

When you have a Pinterest for Business account and you build a proper Pinterest marketing strategy, this can help you land on the first page of Google’s search results – FOR FREE! Even though there are paid ads available on Pinterest, with a proper Pinterest marketing strategy in place, you can also get there without spending any money.

Reason #5: Brand Awareness

People do not use Pinterest for just checking the images on their feed, but after clicking on them and visiting your site they also pin and save the posts. This is great for business because it means your pins are more likely to be seen, and they even go viral. And should that happen, well that is terrific for your brand awareness!

If you think Pinterest might the something you should look into, I encourage you to create a Pinterest for Business account. That will give you the possibility to view the data you will need in order to run Pinterest marketing successfully. But that’s another story, so stay tuned for more. And if you need help with your online business, do not hesitate to get in touch with My Task Guru.

How To Have a Productive Day (6 Top Tips)

I wanted to share productivity tips that I follow in my daily life to maximise my productivity. These tips do not include obvious things like healthy eating, exercising and taking breaks (everyone knows these already, right?) but actual steps you can do to get work done. So get organised and have a productive day by following these tips:

1. Create a Routine if You Want to Have Productive Day

No matter what you are working on, create a routine. The purpose of a productive routine is not to overload yourself but to create a structure for your day to make you more disciplined. So block times for specific tasks, and stick with your schedule.

2. Prepare the Night Before

Always plan your day the night before. Update your To-Do list and write down all the tasks that are on your mind and need to be done on the next day. It clears your head and reduces the number of decisions you have to make in the morning and also saves that energy for your tasks.

3. Utilise Your Most Productive Hours

Use your peak productive hours of the day wisely. Take note of when you have the most energy and motivation, designate that time for your urgent tasks. For some, it might be immediately in the morning while some people are more productive in the afternoon or evening.

4. Complete The Most Important Tasks First

Save the less important & easy tasks for when you don’t have as much energy and start with the most important tasks. If the project is time-consuming, break it down into smaller chunks and work on it step by step.

5. Try Not to Multitask

Stop admiring people who seem always busy. You don’t want to be like them! Why? Because perhaps these people just have poor time management skills. And it is actually much better to focus on one task at a time. Multitasking makes you less effective, less productive, and it slows down your brain. And remember, being busy and productive are not the same thing. You can be busy all day and still get nothing done.

6. Ask Yourself: Am I Making the Best Possible Use of My Time?

There’s no point in taking on the role of a CEO, Online Marketing Manager, Administrative Assistant… all at once. No one can do it all – at least not in the long run. It is simply not viable and certainly not healthy. So if the answer is no, look into outsourcing some of your tasks.

I hope these tips help you to have a productive day. If you need help with project management or online marketing, contact My Task Guru for advise.

VIDEO: How To Create an SEO-friendly Website (5 Tips To Rank Up)

When your website is SEO-friendly, it will appear in more relevant search engine results and drive traffic to your website. So if you are wondering how to create an SEO-friendly website, I will share five tips to get you started. Watch the video or just read the post below.

Tip 1: Create an SEO-friendly Website Structure

It is vital because it will help search engines to understand where your most important content is located. 

It’s good to start by analyzing your competitors’ websites. Compare the navigation and the menu items to the ones you’re planning to list on your site. This will help you notice if you are missing any sections that might be important. 

You can plan the site structure simply by drawing it out on paper or if you want to be a bit more advanced, use an online tool built for this purpose.  Keep the user experience in mind from the beginning, it can also help with SEO. 

In order to create a good structure, list the main product or service categories you want to offer to your visitors. You should create between two and seven main categories. And remember that each category should be unique. 

And then, try to create roughly the same number of subcategories within each category. Ideally, your website structure should be balanced and consistent. And keep it simple.

Tip 2: Menu Labeling

You should use SEO-friendly language in your menus. When labeling your menus, try to think from the customers’ point of view: What would they type in the search engine when they are looking for a product or service like yours. If it’s too generic, they will never find your site.

So add some keywords to your menus. There are plenty of tools for searching the relevant keywords, but Google’s Keyword Planner is free and it will surely get you started. 

Tip 3: Create an SEO-friendly URL Structure

A URL is the address of your website’s page that starts with www for example. And what your URLs look like is actually important for on-site SEO.

The URLs will relate to your website’s overall organization so you need to follow your website’s structure when you’re naming the URLs.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Keep the URLs short and to the point 
  • Use your primary keyword in your URLs, but don’t add too many of them
  • Avoid duplicates, each URL should be unique
  • Note that Google recommends that you use hyphens (-) in your URLs and not underscores (_) 

Tip 4: Site Speed

Google has said that a fast site helps you to rank better. Do not oversee the importance of a fast website. When you are building a site, keep at least these things in mind:

  • Optimize images. In a nutshell, decrease the image size
  • Choose universal browser-supported fonts. If you use a font that is rare, the visitor may not have it installed. And then in order to view your font, their browser is forced to download the font file.
  • Do not use any plugins, codes, scripts that are not necessary 
  • Javascript can confuse search engines, avoid if possible
  • Optimize your code by removing spaces, commas, and special characters. Don’t worry, there are tools that can do this for you. 
  • This is not a free tip, but if you pay more money for your web hosting package you will get a faster server response time. It may not matter that much in the beginning but once your site grows, you can look into it.

There are quite a few other tricks too if you want to investigate this more. And once your website is up and running, there are free tools for testing and analyzing your website’s speed. Do it and I’m pretty sure you will find things to improve.

Tip 5: Internal Linking

An internal link means any link from one page on your website to another page on your website. Internal links are vital for SEO because search engines won’t find a page if there are no links to it.

So be sure to add some blog posts, articles, or press releases to your site. And you can, for example, link new blog posts to the older ones – obviously, once you have more than one piece of content on your site. 

When you start doing internal linking, the anchor text, which is the hyperlink you click on, acts like an ad that you send to the search engines. And the anchor text should encourage the visitor to click it but still sound natural. Use a keyword in them and don’t use the same word too often.

Take some time to set up an internal linking strategy for your website because it’s very important. Should you need help in creating an SEO-friendly website, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me.