As a Digital Project Manager, I am hired by several British Digital Agencies on a white label basis. Freelancing offers you the benefit of hiring an experienced SEO directly without the middle man. In this case study, I’ll explain in detail my process, from the initial Google audit and consultation to completion.
As this is a family company – my favourite type of client – communication was always free flowing. I found them to be very proactive, providing me with all the tools I needed to succeed in SERPs.
Keyword research, a 6 month SEO roadmap
I conducted thorough keyword research to identify the most relevant and high-traffic keywords that my client should target.
For example, the chocolate industry has Christmas, then Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Teacher’s gifts for students at the end of term time.
Together we mapped out the next 6 month’s organic SEO campaigns and prepared our target search phrases in advance. All work was documented on a Google spreadsheet.
I then worked my way through the keywords for each event. Not just for blogs, throughout Shopify products and website homepage, including in the title tags, meta descriptions, H2 header tags, and body text.
Image optimisation – Meta data and unique images for Google
My coaching also included preparation before SEO started, specifically with any new images that would be uploaded in the future.
[October 2023] Google Search now lets you check the history and meta data of images. This can be useful for tracing provenance, verifying authenticity, and learning more about context. The feature is currently only available in Chrome, but will be rolled out to other browsers soon.
Tip: Build backlinks to your images: Backlinks to your images can help to improve your website’s ranking in search results.
This includes renaming the file name on your hard drive (example:from DC0087 to your ‘sweet like chocolate’ target keywords). SEO intuition told me years ago that the photograph meta data would include date of creation, timestamp and other complicated date that’s only known to Google. It’s validating to see this new update.
On-page SEO, UX and ease of navigation
I optimised for on-page SEO by ensuring that it was well-structured, easy to navigate, and tested the contact form redirect for Google Analytics traffic reporting. We also restructured the hamburger menu on mobile devices.
For example, I created a clear and concise navigation menu, and I used relevant keywords throughout the website. I also added high-quality images with Alt text and YouTube videos to break up the text and make the website more visually appealing.
Video SEO and Link Building
This case study started in October 2020, this information was updated in 2023. In YouTube, the company video remains at the top of YouTube results for the search term “Handmade Chocolates UK”.
Technical SEO – Load Speed and Images
I used a tool called GTmetrix to test the website’s speed and performance, and worked on reducing image size on the front end to improve the website’s loading time.
Specific strategies for Shopify eCommerce blogs
In addition to these general SEO strategies, I also used a few specific strategies that are particularly effective for Shopify eCommerce websites. This was the creation and use of blog tags and categories, internal linking between blog posts and hyperlinking to important product pages. I also linked back to the homepage a few times.
Shopify Collection and Products – SEO Training
My client wanted to learn how to improve product pages for SEO by including relevant keywords in the product descriptions, eCommerce tagging, internal linking to the delivery page, about us, and related products.
Do you see there’s a recurring theme of tasks? On-page SEO is theoretically the same whether it’s a homepage, a collection, blog post or product page.
The feeling of taking on a new client via your website contact form is a positive and validating one, when a famous brand of chocolatiers get in touch for SEO help, well, what’s not to love about fresh, handmade chocolates?
Rumsey’s handmade chocolates were established in the 1980’s and are a proud family-run company boasting 2 cafes, one in Thame and one in Wendover.
Their online business reflects the same celebrations every year, when we met it was November and they wanted to rank for “Handmade Christmas Chocolates UK” which is what happened with the 30 Day SEO Booster, just in time to cash in on the festive upturn of internet traffic. As this was a 12 month contract, obviously the roadmap was planned out in advance, so there is Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Teacher Gifts and Halloween chocolate creations – before cycling back to Christmas again.
In the series of Midsomer Murders, the ‘Picture of Innocence’ episode featured Rumsey’s Chocolaterie in Thame located in the heart of the fictional village of Luxton Deeping. When filming was taking place, Rumsey’s chocolate cafe was transformed into Madrigal’s camera shop.
Fun fact: Rumsey’s Thame chocolate cafe hosted both John Nettles and Neil Dudgeon as the show’s lead character Chief Inspector Barnaby. When the filming was complete, the founder and master chocolatier, Nigel Rumsey, created a brand new recipe of the “Barnaby Bun” in celebration – and it’s still on their menu today.
Google Search Terms for Rumsey’s Chocolates
I’m sure you’re already aware of the search term I’m ranking for on page 1 of Google, this is a big wow factor for many prospective clients, if I’ve done that for myself, she can do it for me, kind of thing.
SEO Lady Client Testimonial
Rumsey’s Handmade Chocolates is a family-run company, we were established around 20 years ago. We now have two chocolateries where you can see the fresh handmade chocolates being made, whilst enjoying a hot chocolate or something delicious to eat.
We had been selling our chocolates online for a couple of years but in 2020 this become even more important. We wanted to promote that our chocolates could be ordered on our website to be sent by post, and searched online for an SEO Freelancer as opposed to a Digital Agency as we wanted someone who was highly specialised.
We found Nina at the top of Google rankings.
Sometimes a client will genuinely have no idea where to start, and this was Rumsey’s. Historically, they have attracted good footfall in both chocolatier cafes, and as a result, have sold thousands of chocolates to take away over the years. With Lockdown #1 in March 2020 the family held an urgent business meeting, and with very good reason.
- No one knew how long their cafes would be closed for
- The buzzword ‘Pandemic’ was new to everyone
- The eCommerce website had been live for over a year but sales were low
- To save the business there must be a shift in priorities, from cafe footfall to internet sales
eCommerce Google Ranking – Target Search Terms
November/December 2020 – The client was extremely keen for me to work as soon as I possibly could. There was a high sense of urgency to cash in quickly on the Christmas chocolate keyword related traffic.
SEO Work Starts with Keyword Benchmarking
Before work starts a list of search phrases was compiled. Then, I taught the client how to benchmark:
- Open a new Chrome Incognito window. You can also use Private Browsing in Safari, Firefox or any other browser.
- Incognito and Private browsing strips your internet search history, cookies and data. This enables you to search for results (Search Engine Results pages, or SERPs) which will be listed for both parties to get the same results.
- From the list of target search terms copy and paste the first phrase on the list and paste into google.co.uk, the aim here is to note down the Google Page and Position Number before SEO work starts.
- Once SEO work has been implemented, this will provide the baseline to demonstrate how we the target search terms are performing in SERPs
Shopify SEO Google Ranking in 30 Days
You can see below that before SEO work started the date was the 12th November, 2020 and the Google rankings were benchmarked on this date.
Compare them with 4th December 2020, or if you fancy – check them yourself today! You’re looking for the domain www.rumseys.co.uk
|Handmade Christmas Chocolates Delivered UK||n/a|
|Artisan Christmas Chocolates Delivered UK||n/a|
|Handmade Chocolates UK||n/a|
|Handmade Christmas Chocolate Gifts UK||n/a|
|Artisan Christmas Chocolate Gifts UK||n/a|
|Handmade Chocolate Father Christmas||n/a|
|Chocolate Father Christmas||P1, pos 7|
|Handmade Christmas Chocolates UK||n/a|
|Artisan Chocolate Santa UK||n/a|
|Handmade Chocolate Santa UK||n/a|
|Handmade Christmas Chocolates Delivered UK||P1, pos 2|
|Artisan Christmas Chocolates Delivered UK||P1, pos 1|
|Handmade Chocolates UK||P1, pos 9|
|Handmade Christmas Chocolate Gifts UK||P1, pos 2|
|Artisan Christmas Chocolate Gifts UK||P1, pos 1|
|Handmade Chocolate Father Christmas||P1, pos 1|
|Chocolate Father Christmas||P1, pos 2|
|Handmade Christmas Chocolates UK||P1, pos 2|
|Artisan Chocolate Santa UK||P1, pos 1|
|Handmade Chocolate Santa UK||P1, pos 1|
The client is specifically targeting keywords including Handmade, Artisan, Fresh together with seasonal searches such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Easter Eggs, Father’s Day, Halloween and Christmas / New Year.
Shopify SEO Secrets to Google Ranking
When I speak with clients about Shopify eCommerce Google Ranking and SEO, they always want to know “How exactly do you do it, Nina?”
Here’s the answer:
It’s all about on-page SEO, whether this be a collection page or a blog post, and the home page, the page architecture for Google ranking is more or less the same across the board.
The SEO difference between a page or Shopify eCommerce ‘collection’ versus a blog post
A page or a collection is an evergreen page. Your core product lines, your stock items for sale, this is always going to be around; hence the term ‘evergreen’.
When compared to a blog post – often referred to as news – this is date or time sensitive. For example, a blog post can be about Valentine’s handmade chocolates and it’s only valid for a couple of weeks in advance of February 14th.
Using any Shopify theme, the SEO best practices are always idential for on-page targeted Google ranking exactly the same as I would rank a website in WordPress or Mangento 2 for example.
Shopify SEO eCommerce: Nina’s Top 10 SEO Tips
Before you start to write content decide on the target search phrase and keyword order
- Benchmark this search phrase and create a Google document with your list of search phrases and their current Google page and postion today
- Compose a new blog post and name the headline to begin with your exact search phrase/keywords
- Rephrase your search phrase in your H1, changing the order of your keywords to avoid repetition for human readers. This will avoid the “Oh, this blog post is written for Search Engines” feeling.
- In your blog images, all of these need to have the Alt Tag names with your primary search phrase, this includes your featured image
- You need to write 1,00 words of content to qualify as “Skyscraper Content” so make sure you’re sitting comfortably
- If you can, create a video in Movie Maker and upload to YouTube. Your video title will begin with your search phrase
- Embed this video in your blog post (do you see what I did there?)
- Add tags and categories that include your keyowrds in different orders
- Manually override the default SEO settings in Shopify, and type in your target search phrase for the meta title.
- For the meta description you repeat your phrase and end with a call to action, e.g. FREE in-site visit, FREE Google audit, FREE carpet cleaning trial patch. Everyone loves something for free, so make a big thing out of this. FREE personalised message, FREE text advice, I’m on 07786 391875.
Well, this is the end so I guess the only thing left for me to do is try to persuade you to pay me to help with your Google rankings with my proven Shopify eCommerce case study. If you want to email anyone from my client reviews list, can ask honest questions and get an honest response.
- Freelance SEO Consultant UK reviews on People Per Hour since 2009 click to read all of them
- Over 70 SEO Freelancer Google reviews, established 2008
I enjoy presenting to local businesses, and the benefits of networking, speaking to attendees in conjunction with some lovely organisations including the Federation of Small Business, and #BossIt at the Tropicana.
I’ve presented a few times for the Weston-super-Mare with North Somerset Enterprise Agency (NSEA) who helped me launch my business.