Many startups, small and even medium sized Shopify stores make the mistake of focusing on digital marketing before they optimize their theme. Your store itself should be the driving force behind your sales, which is dependent on the quality and customization of your theme.
All of your digital marketing efforts point to one of your store’s pages. You could have the most appealing, targeted and persuasive campaign in the world, but your bounce rate will almost match user click-throughs if you haven’t optimized your theme.
Below, we’re going to take you through all the ways you should customize and develop your Shopify theme to get the best return on your digital marketing strategy.
Align Your Advertisements With Your Store’s Customization
The majority of digital marketing strategies will drive a target audience to a certain landing page. The way your landing page looks is dependent on your theme and the customization options that theme features.
Most advertising formats will give you some control over the visuals, font and images you can use, different advertising platforms will give you more customization options.
Here, it’s recommended you take every opportunity to align your advertisement with the branding of your Shopify store, or more specifically, the customization of the landing page. Your advertisement should be a representation of the landing page the user is about to see post click. Therefore, if they land on something that looks totally different, it can sometimes feel deceptive or they may feel they have misclicked.
Keeping your advertisement consistent with your landing page is a great way of establishing trust with a user and encouraging purchase. Make sure your checkout pages are also kept consistent!
Here’s every aspect you should cover when aligning your advertisements:
Color: Match or include similar advertisement colors to the colors you use on your store. If you change the color of a certain page for a specific product range or service, then use the matching color.
Imagery: Here you won’t be able to match the exact images you use on your website. Your advertisement image you choose should give a similar vibe of your landing page. Is there a specific way you edit every image you upload on your store? Do the same for your advertisement image. Whatever you do, don’t use a stock image for an advertisement! Nowadays, stock images scream illegitimacy, your advertisement will just become another part of the scroll.
Content: Your text or ad copy needs to be short, but should also match the tone of your store. If you have less visual features to play with, such as a Google SERP ad—your ad copy becomes even more important. It can be difficult to create ad copy that matches keyword searches, tells the lead they’re in the right place and ends with an impactful call-to-action (CTA). Often matching your ad with the tone of your store can be achieved with one descriptive word, whether that be something like: Wacky, Unusual, Cheap, BEST or Latest.
Other Design Accents: From advertisement to checkout page—it’s all about creating a consistent experience, do what you can to align subtle design accents with those you use in your store. This may be making the CTA button of your ad similar to your store’s ‘Add to Cart’ button or including your logo on the ad image.
Shopify Landing Pages
Common landing pages are product or service pages. After that, it’s common to use informational or blog pages as landing pages, this is especially useful if you want to make a topical advertisement.
A landing page can technically be any page on your website. It’s important you have flexibility in what you can use as a landing page, optimizing your Shopify theme gives you more options for what you can effectively use as a landing page. As well as theme optimization it’s important you fill these pages with quality and up-to-date content. This means you don’t have to go back and change your site itself every time you launch a new digital marketing campaign. This approach also comes in handy for small businesses who are short of time and don’t want to spend too much time creating or customizing any new landing pages.
However, custom landing pages are known to perform better. New landing pages encourage users to create a specific action: fill out a form, informing themselves on a product or category making a conversion. There are plenty of differences between a normal site page and a new landing page, for example usual navigation options such as a header or footer are removed, so that the user is more likely to take the desired action.
Your Shopify theme influences the quality of your landing page because of Shopify sections. Each theme has prebuilt sections that you can use to easily create landing pages. Therefore, the content you can include in your landing page, its layout and overall readability is dependent on what prebuilt sections your theme offers. This is where you may want to consider upgrading to a premium theme or developing a theme to include sections that can create high converting landing pages. To get started, read Shopify’s piece on creating custom landing pages.
Theme Customization and Digital Marketing Returns
The reality is, your theme and way it is customized directly influences the success of your digital marketing strategy. If you’re racking your brain trying to figure out ways to improve your digital marketing tactics, you’re likely looking for a solution that isn’t there.
Your customers have to cross the bridge that is your site, and how well you’ve built, designed and customized that bridge is what produces leads and conversions. Your theme of choice sets the boundaries for how good that bridge can be and theme customization is what can take that bridge beyond the initial limitations set by the theme developer.
If you’re spending a lot on digital marketing, yet lacking returns, consider that your theme or the way you’ve customized your theme is the problem. Invest some of those resources into improving your theme. Depending on where you are in business growth, you’ll likely need one of the following solutions.
- Upgrade from a free to a premium theme. Can cost anywhere between $99–5000 (USD)
- Hire a Shopify expert to customize your free theme or premium theme. This is only recommended if you’re at least a medium sized business
If you are seriously considering theme customization—I would recommend the expert development team at CodeClouds. They are an international team with 4 years experience specializing in Shopify and have over 65 Shopify developers. Hire Shopify theme developers from them if you want quality customization, they also have plenty of digital marketing expertise if you need further assistance.