Shopify has been around since 2004 and in my experience is a great alternative platform for small businesses that don’t have developer skills or the capital to hire development agencies, but want to be able to easily manage stock and content before they graduate to larger platforms that allow greater scale.
Shopify can be a great solution for smaller businesses due to its simplicity and ease of use. It also has a number of aesthetically pleasing templates that can be bought and a simple analytics platform within the content management system (CMS), so the user doesn’t need development skills or be au fait with Google Analytics. Also like most e-commerce platforms, Shopify isn’t without its technical issues.
Title Tags & Meta Descriptions
Solution: One of the quickest and easiest ways to check to see whether your title tags and/or meta description is too long (in terms of pixels) is to go to Google and perform a site: command (e.g., site:searchenginejournal.com), or if you want to look at how a specific URL appears in Google, use the exact URL after the site:operator.
Some changes may take a few minutes to propagate within Google, so don’t always expect instant results.
Setting Image ALT Tags
Solution: Unfortunately there is no real solution to this, other than being consistent with how you write your ALT text, and making sure it’s descriptive (i.e., “bearded man in sunglasses”) but not keyword-stuffy.
Forced URL Structure
Solution: Unfortunately, there isn’t an available fix to this forced URL structure, as highlighted by a member of their customer team.
It would also be interesting to know why the folks at Shopify have decided to limits access to users being able to edit their FTP and robots.txt files
Shopify Handling Redirects
When adding redirects yourself, the platform has also made it easy to add one to one redirects in the CMS, but you will need to download adds on from the Shopify AppStore to perform bulk redirects.
Today Google announced a number of updates and improvements to help make third party apps for Google Assistant more functional and easier for users to discover. It’s also adding new capabilities for developers.
Developers can now build Assistant apps in Spanish, Portuguese and Indian English. For the UK, Google announced the availability of transactional capabilities (purchases, reservations or appointments). For the app directory, Google is adding new sections (what’s new and what’s trending). And there will now be an autocomplete feature to help suggest apps to users.
Right now the app directory is relatively hidden and I suspect only a tiny percentage of users know it exists. However, within the directory Google is also creating new subcategories for apps that are more task-specific. The company uses the example of “Order Food” or “View a Menu” in the category “Food & Drink.” There will also be new badges for family friendly apps.
Google is also trying to facilitate more natural app discovery — and this is probably going to be more common than other methods — through “implicit invocation” or “implicit discovery.” This is a form of app recommendations, when Google believes that a specific app can answer a user question or fulfill a need, or when the user’s verbal command is the “action phrase” for the Assistant app itself.