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The Insightful 2024 Guide to a Winning Shopify Blog Table of Contents

Published on Sep 29, 2023

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Updated on Feb 08, 2024

Julien Mamalian

CEO, Bloggle

Introduction

If you're scratching your head over how to enhance user engagement for your e-commerce store and boost your SEO rankings, look no further. A Table of Contents isn't just an optional add-on; it's a powerful tool that solves multiple challenges at once. It streamlines navigation, making it easier for your readers to find what they're looking for, and it's a secret weapon for SEO improvement.

In the sections that follow, you'll learn the ins and outs of how to add a table of contents to Shopify. You'll also discover some of the best practices that most overlook. Whether you're looking for a new and easy way to add table of contents to your shopify blog, or looking to replace the existing ways to add a table of contents through the native Shopify templates, this blog has something for everyone.

Why Trust Us?

  • We're the creators of Bloggle, a dynamic Shopify blog builder available on the Shopify App Store that fills the gaps in native Shopify blogging capabilities.
  • We're a global force: 2000+ merchants across 60 countries have trusted us to amplify their voices.
  • Your peers adore us: We have a stellar 4.9/5 rating on the app store.
  • We've already empowered 55,000+ blogs written using our versatile app.
  • Under our guidance, users have reported up to a 10x boost in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) traffic and revenue.

So, if you're a merchant looking to elevate your Shopify experience, you're in expert hands.

Table of Contents

Benefits of adding a Table of Contents for bloggers

When we think of a Table of Contents, most of us harken back to the dry, uninspiring lists found in textbooks or manuals. Yet, the digital age has breathed new life into this age-old tool, transforming it into a dynamic asset for any serious blogger. Let's break down why you should be paying attention to this seemingly straightforward element.

Making your blog easier to navigate for readers

Navigation in a blog without a Table of Contents can be a maze. A Table of Contents acts as a roadmap, helping your readers find what they're looking for without getting lost. This is especially important when considering how to use table of contents in a Shopify blog, where articles often contain a wealth of information.

Boosting your blog's Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engines appreciate well-organized content. A structured Table of Contents makes the Shopify blog posts more SEO-friendly. It also helps Google understand your blog better, increasing your chances of ranking higher in search results. In simpler terms, it's a way to show Google what topics you cover, enhancing your visibility online.

“A well-optimized TOC improves user experience—something Google values above all else”

- Clearvoice

Increasing reader engagement and Dwell Time

When readers find what they're looking for quickly, they're more likely to stay on your blog. A Table of Contents enables this by allowing readers to jump directly to sections that interest them, keeping them engaged and on your page for a longer time.

Dwell Time Definition - “The amount of time that a website visitor spends on a page from the search results before returning back to the SERPs.”

- Backlinko

Reducing Bounce Rates by improving user experience

The average human attention span is merely 8 seconds. High bounce rates on your blog and product pages indicate that visitors leave your site quickly, which is never a good sign. A well-designed Table of Contents gives your visitors a reason to stay longer in your Shopify store, by signaling that your content is well-organized and easy to navigate.

Improving Click-Through Rates (CTR) with 'Jump-to' links

Some search engines, like Google, display 'Jump links’ in the search results, allowing users to go directly to specific sections of your blog content. This not only increases your blog article's visibility but also improves the click-through rate by enabling users to find exactly what they're looking for.

Jump links on SERP

Source

How to add Table of Contents to a Shopify blog: A step-by-step tutorial

1. Via Shopify

If you want to add a Table of Contents to your Shopify Blog using Shopify, it’s completely dependent on your website theme. Or you will have to code the full feature. Very few themes come with ‘Table of Contents’ support, so you might have to make wholesale changes to your entire website theme if you want to add a Table of Contents to your blog.

The Plak theme (Grass) has a Table of Contents built in. Here’s how you can use it:

Step 1

Download and install the Grass theme 

Step 2

In the theme editor, navigate to ‘Blog post pages’ in the dropdown

Step 3

Select the checkbox ‘Enable’ and voila, you’ve added a Table of Contents to your Shopify blog! Feel free to play around with the CSS elements like text size, container background, button background, color, and more.

The drawbacks of this approach are three-fold:

  1. You need to change your whole website theme just to incorporate a Table of Contents
  2. Themes that support a Table of Contents are usually pretty expensive. For instance, the Plak theme costs $295 for a single-site license, with pricier tiers for multiple-site support
  3. The design of the Plak Table of Contents is quite basic - just a table with some links and some very basic CSS. We wouldn’t recommend it for the rest of your website too as the design looks plain and outdated.

Instead, you can choose to use a free table of contents app or a free tool to generate a Table of Contents for your blog. The advantage of this approach is that this works with any Shopify, Wordpress, or HTML site and won’t require coding skills.

2. Via Bloggle - a Shopify App

Step 1

Navigate to your Bloggle Dashboard on the homepage.

Step 2

Create a New blog post / Open an existing one

Step 3

Click on ‘Add Content’ on the bottom left

Step 4

Scroll down and click on ‘Table of Content’. You can also search for it from the Search Bar

Step 5

In the Content tab, you can customize the Title, HTML tag, and Text Style of the Title of your Table of Contents

Step 6

Click on Auto Table and Bloggle will automatically fetch the headings of your blog and create a Table of Contents for you. Click on ‘Add manual link’ toad and  link to other sections in your Table of Contents manually. You can edit the anchor text of your manual link.


Step 7 

In the Design tab, you can edit the look and feel of your Table of Contents. Feel free to play around with the border-radius, background color, margin, padding, and more.

Step 8

Click on “Save” and done.

Congratulations, you just added a Table of Contents to your Shopify blog!

Pro Tip: But wait…there’s more! Not just Table of Contents, Bloggle also lets you add products, related blog posts, sidebar, videos, and more to make your blog look professional and stylish.

Best practices: How to add Table of Contents to Shopify for maximum impact

Having a Table of Contents is good; having one that's optimized for both user engagement and SEO is even better. It's not just about listing your headings; it's about creating a navigational experience that serves both your readers and search engines. Here's how to do it with precision:

Insert SEO keywords into your table of contents

Your Table of Contents is a goldmine for SEO if used correctly. Instead of generic headers like "Introduction" or "Conclusion," consider integrating keywords relevant to your content. For example, if your Shopify blog is about sustainable fashion, a heading like "The Rise of Sustainable Fabrics" is far more impactful than simply "Fabrics."

Position your Table of Contents at the beginning

Placement matters. Your Table of Contents should be one of the first elements your readers see when they land on your page. This enables them to quickly assess whether the article contains the information they're seeking, encouraging them to stay and explore further.

Placing Table of Contents at the beginning of the blog

Source

Make your Table of Contents clickable with interactive elements

Interactive elements aren't just for aesthetics; they're functional. Use expand/collapse buttons for subsections to make your Table of Contents less overwhelming. This enhances readability and offers a more interactive user experience. Most table of content generators and table of contents makers offer this feature, so make sure to utilize it.

Clickable Table of Contents

Source

Nested structure for a layered approach

A flat Table of Contents is like a one-level supermarket; it might have everything, but finding specific items is a chore. On the other hand, a nested structure with subheadings creates a multi-level experience, guiding the reader through your content in a more organized manner.

Nested Table of Contents

Source

Use visual cues for better navigation

A little color or a simple icon can go a long way in making your Table of Contents user-friendly. For instance, you could use a different color for each section or incorporate icons next to headings to indicate the type of content (e.g., video, text, images).

Visual Table of Contents with icons

Source

Manually override for special cases

Sometimes, automated table of content generators might not get it quite right, especially when your article has unconventional sections or specialized terminology. In such cases, don't hesitate to manually edit your Table of Contents. A little human touch can fix what automation may overlook.

Conclusion

By now, it should be abundantly clear that a Table of Contents is far more than a simple list at the beginning of your blog. It's a dynamic tool that serves multiple purposes, from enhancing user navigation to boosting SEO. When implemented with best practices in mind, a Table of Contents becomes a cornerstone of a high-performing blog. So whether you're using Shopify's native theme features or a specialized app like Bloggle, the addition of a Table of Contents is a step you won't regret taking. As we've outlined, the key is not just in having one, but in optimizing it for maximum impact.

FAQs

1. Should a blog have a Table of Contents?

Absolutely, a Table of Contents offers manifold benefits, including improved navigation, SEO advantages, and better user engagement metrics like dwell time and bounce rate.

2. How do I add a Table of Contents to my Shopify blog?

You have two main options: you can add it manually through Shopify's native features, depending on your theme, or you can use a dedicated Shopify app like Bloggle. Both methods have their pros and cons, which we've detailed earlier in this guide.

3. Does Table of Contents affect SEO?

Yes, they do. A well-structured Table of Contents helps search engines like Google understand the layout and relevance of your content, which can result in a higher ranking. Moreover, specific section links may appear in Google search results, improving your click-through rate.

Julien Mamalian

CEO, Bloggle

After an exciting 5 years of designing and optimizing Shopify sites for well-known French startups, I launched Bloggle. Our mission? To assist merchants worldwide in crafting compelling articles that rank high in SEO and truly engage their audience. In just 3 years, over 2,000 clients have trusted us, publishing more than 55,000 articles through Bloggle. Thanks to them, I’ve learned the keys to success and the pitfalls to avoid

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