Note: It looks like Shopify has discontinued the Store Grader tool, but they have added more tools to their website.
Shopify released a new tool called Ecommerce Store Grader this week. The tool grades your e-commerce website (or any website for that matter) on four different marketing factors; SEO, Usability, Content & Social Marketing, and Technical.
It’s a simple tool that gives small business owners a high level view of where they stand and what can be improved. If you remember, Hubspot had a similar tool they called website grader, then renamed marketing grader.
Based on what we’ve seen so far from the Store Grader, here are some thoughts.
The search engine optimization portion of the tool rates five different factors like METAs, headings, ALTs and XML site map. While this tool is a good start, it may be misleading to think these are the only SEO factors that matter. I would like to see a few other factors, especially for e-commerce, that have a big impact on SEO. Things like URLs, inner page titles, duplicates, category naming and links are all important for commerce websites. A good start, but this analysis needs to be a little deeper.
Content and Social Marketing
The social media marketing and content portion covers more basics. This section seems good enough for most small businesses who just want to get those basics in place for social media. Lots of easy wins for social just by having these fixed.
Technical is such a big part of optimizing a commerce website, the three factors used are hardly enough to cover all that is needed. HTML errors, valid links and a CDN are important factors which may be enough for some small businesses. I would like to see a deeper technical report with perhaps 3-4 more technical factors.
Every automated audit tool has it’s pros and cons. There really is no substitute for a full website audit done by hand. Shopify has provided a good tool to get the conversation started about what can be done to fix a few glaring SEO, social media and technical issues.