DropInBlog Review: How Does It Improve Your Shopify Blog?
Whether you’re just starting a blog for your Shopify store or an existing blog needs an upgrade to optimize it, the native Shopify blog solution has its limitations.
It’s relatively basic and, like many things related to selling on Shopify, it can be enhanced with a little “app help”.
DropInBlog has emerged as one of the strongest apps for helping store owners create compelling content that stands out in the search engines, improves the shopping experience, and makes content shoppable.
Ultimately, this means more traffic to your store, more leads, and more sales.
In the DropInBlog review, you’ll discover everything you need to know about the app and how it can help you improve the blogging experience for both you and your customers.
Just before we get into the nuts and bolts of DropInBlog, a quick reminder of why blogging is such an important part of content marketing activity for ecommerce store owners:
- It positions your brand as a leader in your product field
- It helps you build a loyal following
- It generates traffic, leads and sales
Blog content can inform, educate, and inspire your followers into purchasing your products. And with the help of the best blogging apps, you can make it easier for potential shoppers to purchase directly from blog posts.
According to a study published on HubSpot, websites with blogs receive 55% more visitors. Most ecommerce store owners can’t ignore that huge boost in traffic.
Limitations of the native Shopify Blog
The free native blogging tool that comes with Shopify has a visual and text editor, the capability to insert images and videos, and automatic SEO for each blog title and description.
As part of your Shopify store, readers can easily be funneled to your shop.
The in-built blogging tools also make it quite simple to manage and maintain content from the admin tool that looks after all content in your store/blog. It’s simple to schedule posts, manage comments and tags, etc.
The main limitations of the native Shopify blog center around its lack of advanced features when compared with dedicated blogging platforms.
DropInBlog helps you achieve a similar level of blogging prowess as a dedicated blogging platform while remaining within the Shopify hosting environment.
Because of the seamless integration with all Shopify themes, DropInBlog allows you to do much more with your blog posts than the native Shopify blog. Let’s get into a few details about the advantages it provides.
What is DropInBlog? A quick overview…
DropInBlog is a cloud-based app that was released on the Shopify app store in February 2020. It provides a complete blogging solution that plugs into Shopify.
You can embed a blog into Shopify in only three minutes. But not only this. It helps you write and manage your blog content, get it seen in the search engines (with advanced in-built SEO) and make content shoppable.
The app is highly rated by Shopify store owners, maintaining close to a five-star rating on the app store despite being a paid app.
Users like DropInBlog because of its advanced features and greater “shop-ability” compared to Shopify’s native blog, as well as its greater flexibility with URLs and (unlike a WordPress blog) it needs no hosting.
Without the need for a WordPress blog, you also save on the need to customize themes to fit your branding and the hassle of updating/security patches. All that is done for you with DropInBlog.
Another of its greatest assets is that shoppers don’t need to click away from a blog post to read information about a particular product mentioned in the article. They can view information and add it to the cart from the blog post. Fewer clicks like this are usually great for conversions.
DropInBlog review: A rundown of the main strengths
Let’s look at a few of the standout features and points of difference with DropInBlog…
Includes as-you-type SEO analysis to improve content rankings
The SEO analyzer makes it easy to optimize your posts for higher search engine rankings (which leads to more customers):
- Receive customized SEO tips as-you-type
- Implement the suggestions to increase your SEO score
- Makes building your on-page SEO easy
Matches your site theme out-of-the-box
DropInBlog automatically uses your store’s colors and fonts so that there are no “clashes” with your branding and your blog simply appears as an extension of your store.
The styles are inherited, using the CSS from your theme to blend into your existing site design, without any extra code or setup, though you can customize the look if you prefer.
Customers can “Add to Cart” products embedded in posts
Products can be embedded into any blog post directly from the post editor and the “Add to Cart” button means that to purchase a product they read about, shoppers just have to click the button and it’s in their cart.
With the Shopify native blog, a shopper would need to click away from the blog to the product and then add or cart and then click back to the blog post to continue reading. So, DropInBlog means fewer clicks and a better conversion rate.
More domain/URL flexibility
DropInBlog runs on the same domain as your Shopify store and offers a cleaner URL structure for blog posts than the built-in Shopify blog.
This may have important SEO advantages for your content. Complicated URL structures are often penalized in search rankings but with DropInBlog, the simple and relatable URL structures make your content easy for the search engines to index and rank accordingly.
Easy blog writing experience
The DropInBlog editor is simple to use, helping you focus on writing rather than complicated interfaces. It features a simple control panel that makes it easy to manage content too.
Easy image uploader
Images are critical for creating engaging blog posts so it helps if the blogging platform you use makes it easy.
DropInBlog does that with an easy, intuitive image uploader that improves on the native Shopify blog. You can add featured images to any post and it’s easy to manage all your images.
Excellent customer support
The standard DropInBlog plan (see below) provides responsive human support. You can reach out for help through online chat or email.
Whether just setting up or working through the customization options, this helps Shopify store owners get things working just how they want.
A few of the other key features of DropInBlog include:
- Can schedule posts
- Posts optimized for mobile and desktop
- “Related blog posts” feature
- “Highlight to share” feature
- Includes a read progress indicator
- Post Authors feature
- Google Preview available
- Fast-loading pages
The DropInBlog app is updated regularly with new features. Since its launch, the developers have listened to their customers and added a variety of enhancements. For instance, in 2021 the following capabilities were added:
- Filter posts from the admin panel by title/category and display blog categories how you like
- Control the action (Add to Cart or View Product) of product embeds along with the exact text for the action (greater customization)
- Blog search
- Add background images and description text to blog home and category page headers
Another interesting element for Shopify store owners is that because DropInBlog integrates with other major ecommerce platforms (such as BigCommerce and Big Cartel), if you ever switch ecommerce platforms from Shopify, it’s easy to take your blog with you.
DropInBlog review: Any weaknesses?
No app is perfect.
Compared to WordPress, DropInBlog is slightly less customizable (WordPress has so many themes and plugins available for adding extra features).
This is a tradeoff you’ll need to decide to make for an easy life with blogging. You do save a lot of headaches with DropInBlog.
There is also a cost factor for Shopify store owners. It’s not free like the native Shopify blog offering. But the benefits in terms of traffic, leads and sales generation should make the low monthly fees (especially on the annual plan) a triviality for any merchants who are serious about content marketing.
Besides, don’t forget that with WordPress, you have the extra costs of third-party hosting of your blog as well as potential developer costs to get your blog looking and behaving how you want (with robust security). You have none of these concerns with DropInBlog.
Pricing is simple. Two different DropInBlog plans offer unlimited posts and blog categories. As you will see, both plans offer the standout features of the app but the more advanced plan offers many of the extra features you’ve read about above:
$24/month for the Lite Plan ($19/month with annual billing) and $49/month for the Standard Plan ($39/month with annual billing) represent great value.
Compared with the alternative — getting set up and hosting a WordPress blog — you will save money, hassle and time.
Free trial of DropInBlog: Zero risk!
With DropInBlog, the 14-day free trial on offer means you can try it with no risk.
So, if you’re looking for a solution that improves on the native Shopify blog (Shopify is wonderful at many things but it is not first and foremost a blogging platform), this could be your time to give one of the best alternatives a try.
It’s easy to get up and running and will support your blog as it (and your store) grows.
By consistently publishing valuable content with DropInBlog, you will inform and engage your audience, inspire them to spend more time in your store and boost trust while improving search engine rankings.