Koshy Mathew Talks About Core Web Vitals & Shopify Themes

August 22, 2023 | Interview

Welcome to Marketing Lego Thought Leader Interview. Today we will have a word with Koshy Mathew, CEO of KMC Consulting Services, about his journey and how he came up with his consulting services agency. We will also talk about the valuable insights on Core Web Vitals, Shopify theme, optimization apps and more.


Hi, everyone. My name is Harshit. I’m the Director of Business Alliances of two amazing marketing SaaS tools, RankWatch and WebSignal. I’m so excited to welcome you to today’s marketing legos thought leader interview because we have a brilliant marketer with us. His name is Koshy Mathew, and he’s the CEO of KMC Consulting. Welcome aboard, Koshy, how are you doing today? And thanks for joining us.

Wonderful. Welcome. Thank you very much, Harshit. I’m doing great. I hope you’re doing the same.

Let me give you a brief introduction about Koshy. So, Koshy basically started KMC Consulting back in 2017 at Charlotte, North Carolina. The agency basically has its expertise into website design and development. You name the platform and they do it: Shopify, WordPress, JetNet, PSP, Droco, Blockchain, Maginto. You can find a really amazing, inspiring portfolio at website design. kmcconsulting.org. KMC is also into logo design and is a full-service SEO agency. One of the biggest expertise, again, is LMS, and they provide virtual platform solutions as well. Koshy, I would love it, and we would also, I would love to know about your journey so far, how you got to where you are today, and how was this journey before KMC Consulting and what made you start KMC altogether?

Okay, so it’s a long journey. Let me start from where I started. I started my banking background. I started from HSBC, from the banking sector. I worked there. I learned a lot of things about global culture and all this stuff. From there, I moved to a typical IT company, which is Idexcel, typically into IT, IT solutions. They have IT, ITAB. They had their own tool, testing, automation framework tool. They also were into IT testing and also IT staffing. I was handling the entire operations there for the ITABs.
Then I moved into a company which is completely into SaaS, software as a service. Into a virtual platform and LMS. Then that was not in the peak because out of the last two years, these recent two years, with COVID, the virtual platform has got a lot of mileage. But at that time it was just catching up. We were selling to SaaS.

Was it your source of starting the LMS vertical with KMC as well? Like a source of inspiration?

Yes. At that point of time, what happened was the company was getting relocated to a different location and I was not willing to go to that location because of family and a lot of other factors which I don’t want to go to that location. So, I was thinking what to do next, I gained a lot of expertise in the LMS and virtual platform. I loved it so much. I thought this would be the factor in the near future because eventually technology is taking steps and leaps and bounds. I thought definitely this LMS or the virtual platform will be the tool in the future. Exactly that’s what happened in 2020 when COVID got hit, a lot of people went to the virtual platform.

Yup. That’s actually probably where it got a good boom up.

Yes, that’s how I miss being back. That’s the time I started with LMS and virtual platforms. My customers are asking not in the LMS and the virtual platform, but also they wanted the development side, moving to development. Then when I was doing development, the customer said, Matthew, what do you need to do? Because we don’t want to hire another SEO guy to handle two, one or vendors. Why don’t you do that? Then I started that. Then a few clients came and said, Matthew, we want a logo. We don’t want to go to somebody else. Why don’t you do a logo for us? That’s how whatever services we are catering right now it’s because of customers pushing us rather than I normally, my tether. So, customers were happy. The end of the day, if customers are happy and we are willing to provide them the service is what they are requesting for, right?

Yeah. From job to starting the agency, what was the thought process? What was your source of inspiration to basically start your own agency? What was the prime push that you got?

See, when you’re a savvy person, you have that working mentality. To become a business person, it takes a lot of courage because it’s not easy. There are a lot of people in the same market, especially the market which I chose, a lot of players in the field, a lot of players. But the one thing which I understood about that was, if you’re playing with a niche area, then it is good. Not too many players in the market for the niche area. That’s why I thought, Okay, let me get into the LMS and the virtual platform. A lot of people were giving up on LMS, which is already built, but they don’t do much customization. What I did was I provided them a customization, customized the LMS.
Right from the word go, the entire user journey. That means the student or anybody comes right from registration till the end of the course certification and all that stuff. Our business person can tell me, okay, Mathew, this is what I want. This is what I want to close the user journey. We would build them according to their wishes. I got a lot of money because they are very unique. Those customers are really good customers. That’s the reason I tell all the people who would like to start a business, not in any field, but identify a niche which is very strong doing the work on that first, start building that platform, then you can spread your tentacle, take any direction which you want.


People will guide you. The way they guided me, customers are definitely giving a customer delight to them. Definitely, customers will guide them, will come and approach and then why don’t you do this then? Definitely then you have a lot of options to take.

Perfect. Since you mentioned customer satisfaction, please tell us a bit about how the client lifecycle is at KMC Consulting, like from the onboarding to the service delivered, how exactly is the journey and what processes do you have in place that basically helps you even to scale as well?

In KMC Consulting, whenever we get a customer, the first thing we find out is that what is that actually they want to build or what is that goal? That somebody may come, I’m a handyman or I’m a doctor or I’m a real estate guy, I’m a trainer, I’m a life coach, whatever it could be. We have a session with an Identifier. What is your goal? Then comes what website are you looking for? How many pages do you want? What is the platform you want to use, for example? Some people depend upon the budget. We don’t ask them the budget at first because what we want to understand from the customer is what is his requirement? What does he want? How does he want his business to be shown to his customers? We understand all that stuff. Then we give them options. Okay, you can build on the WordPress platform. You should have templates. WordPress, which is totally customized.
But if it’s an e-commerce site, you have options like Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Magento, a lot of options are there. Also, depending upon if it’s a large customer, a lot of products they have to sell, a lot of things they have, then there’s a different approach to it. If they’re very small, just starting, we give them a different approach. People want to build on a PHP. There are customers who want to build a PHP. They want to build a narrow e-commerce site. We take that input and also that we tell them this is the thing and this is the budget, then they try to open up further saying that they have few budget constraints or this is the budget for this web chain. So, then we give them a required solution saying that okay, this platform is best for this budget. When you grow, then you can definitely add answers. For example, you can have unlimited products.

Makes sense

It depends upon the different packages they have. They also provide you with good. Bigcommerce is the same. The more the product they have additional different packages. If you want to build a custom based, you can build a custom based on each of these platforms on which you choose the price differs. Not only the price, there are other different factors.

Even the development cost will be different for each platform.

What we do is we make the site search engine optimization friendly. Very key these days. Also we make it very responsive. We have to make the site responsive on all the browsers, most of the gadgets these days. Otherwise the user experience goes for a toss.


Nobody has time, right? Everybody wants a quick fix. Everybody wants to get their work or job done as quickly as possible.

How exactly does client handling happen? Do you have a project management team or account managers?

Yeah, we have a business development guy who takes care of the clients. When the client comes, he or she explains to them what will be happening after their discussion goes to the developer, the project of my team. They have a discussion. Then the client would be given a platform where they can see the progress of the website. They also will be given a platform where they can put the content, they can put their images and all the stuff. Also, they can write the notes where they want to put the content, where they want to put the images, how they want the layout to be. For example, a few customers would give us a URL, also a different website or a competitor website, they would say that, Okay, this is how it is, but we wanted something better than this. They get our platform and based on that, the developer and the client, the coordinator and the business development guy, all three are there. The partner that tells the execution is done. Then after that, once the project is done, that’s all that we show to the client and the client is happy, we make the sidelines.
Then certain customers have their own hosting platform. Most of them we deal with, prefer our hosting because hosting is also one of a very critical factors for your website ranking up in the research, the factors your website has to be yours.

Hosting has to be and everything like all the correlates.

You have shared hosting, you have dedicated hosting, you have a cloud, depending upon what business you’re running.
How many products you’re selling out, how big is your website? Depending upon that, we have to choose the right hosting platform. I know the hosting guys, they come up with a very starting, I would say the starting offer price like $3, $5. Don’t fall for that because your business is a face of your services or your product. You have to really be careful with the hosting services which you choose because that hosting company you would be spending a lot of time or it will be a long term you would be associated with the hosting company. Price one, the good one, should have you stick around with them for a long time so that we have to jump from one hosting company to another one. It’s a big headache.

Koshy, what is, like the nature? Because you’re much more focused on website development. So, what is the nature of the client, I would say, revenue cycle. Is it recurring? Is it more of one time? How exactly?

Good question. It’s a blend of everything.


Blend of recurring. We do maintenance under the recurring. We do search engine optimization. That is recurring. We also do what you call website development. We do that. We do LMS. Also, that is also part of search engine optimization. But recurring, if you say it’s like search engine optimization, maintenance, and hosting, these are the things which are recurring. The rest is like sales. It could be a logo designing or one-time optimization for a customer.
Loving a site, a website for them, or fixing a site for them, or broken sites for them. I think it would be. That’s how the revenue was being generated.

I think since you mentioned one-time optimization, I think it’s time for us to move to today’s topic. Sometime ago, Google caused quite a bit still by announcing a new ranking factor for 2021, which was page experience. A big part of it was Core Web Vitals. Earlier somewhere mid-June, basically the rollout started happening across the globe, completed by the end of August 2021. Let’s address Core Web Vitals and one of the biggest e-commerce platforms, Shopify. How exactly we help solve the mystery of optimizing a Shopify site with Core Web Vitals. Please, Koshi, share your thoughts about Core Web Vital and why you think it is important and how exactly do you measure it?

Yeah, Core Web Vitals is very critical. I think this year, May ending or of June, put into action they were saying that this is because it talks about user experience. It’s all about when a customer visits your site, the experience you give them. It’s dissatisfaction, satisfaction, or a customer delight. You can give customer satisfaction and customer delight. There’s a difference between satisfaction and delight. You want to give them delight or you want to give them satisfaction.
So, the Core Web Vitals talks about three things which are three factors which are very critical. One is the LCP, which is the Largest Contentful Page. That means when you click on a website and it slowly opens up and it takes time for the front page, the first page to show up, the biggest the hero image or what I will call a Slider image, the biggest image to show up. That’s called the largest content in the page. The sooner your website pops up and shows it to your potential customer, it’s good for you. Because as I told you, nobody has time these days.
If I store and I want to purchase something and I’m going to click on a product, it’s taking its own time to show the image, then comes the content, they don’t have time to do that. They’ll jump into the next customer they want.

Definitely. Nobody’s going to wait for 5 seconds, 10 seconds you know.

Yeah. As per Google, your LCP, that’s the Largest Contentful Page, should not be exceeding more than 2.5 seconds. And third seconds before that your first home page has to be up. It should be visible to your customers. Anything between 2.5 to 4 seconds they say is okay, moderate, but anything above four is a disaster. What happens because of this is even though your site is really good in the SERP, search engine result page or the search engine optimization, you are ranking, the site will not be visible on the first page of Google, so you will be marked down on that. These days it’s a very tough competition when you have competitors neck to neck competing.


They’re selling the same product and more or less the same price. But at the end of the day, if the customers are not able to see you on the first page, you have to lose them.

Even compared to competitors, when it comes to SEO, you can’t even miss out even one single writing factor. You’re gonna make sure that your content is better. You wanna make sure that you have better authority. All those technical elements of which like Core Web Vitals again, like you mentioned, is a big part now and we definitely clearly made this out and been quite some time in the news as well.

One of the factors which slows down is again, I told you about the server. The first very important factor is your server. You have to check whether your server is a very good server. You’re having a server which can lift your load off the website. Are you having a dedicated server? Are you a shaped server? Is it good? You need to know? Have a look at it. Before this I would say server, because we are talking about Shopify at this point of time, the theme, which is light, doesn’t fall… A lot of customers I’ve seen fall prey to a theme which is jazz-based, which has a lot of CSS, nice. Oh, my God. Beautiful, Matthew. I want this. But we don’t understand that because a lot of the jazz is coming in, then a lot of codes are getting inside it. A lot of plugins are getting inside it, a lot of stuff. What happens because of that is it reduces the speed of your site.

So Koshy at this stage, I’m curious, when you’re recommending a theme to your prospect, to your client, how exactly at that stage you basically measure the Core Web Vital factor or a broadly speaking, the page speed, all of those metrics, and then tell a customer like Yeah or Neah for a particular theme. Are there any parameters?

Yeah, you have a good question. You take up any theme file, look at the size of this file. The bigger the size of the file, it means it has a lot of stuff going inside that. The size is less that a lot of things are not going into it. There’s a video or videos are rendering. There’s a pop-up thing. There are a lot of sliders, like four to five sliders. A lot of customers I’ve seen, they put the sliders. These sliders don’t add much value, it’s only 1%, as per Google— Google and what they call… Google…?

Page speed insights.

Yeah. I did a survey. Only 1% of customers actually spend time and have a look at the sliders which are moving. It doesn’t add any value to the search engine optimization. But then at the end of the day, what they scroll, the product, the price, the description, how the pages are moving, it’s quick. Is it rendering correctly? All that matters. But that visual look, if you can follow that because of getting a good ranking, I would say definitely have only one slider, only one hero image, the main image. That is one important factor. Choose themes which are light and using the latest technology and it’s the latest theme, which is responsive in nature and uses minimal apps. The next thing is that not many apps also will be the speed of the vaccine.

Got it.

That is very critical.

Yeah. Koshy, I think we stopped after one element of Core Web Vitals. Please, can you define the other two as well? Then let’s move to much more distinct stories and experiences related to Core Web Vitals.

After the LCP, the next is the First Input Delay. What happens is that okay, now the home page pops up within 2.5 seconds. You’re happy, you’re good. That means your site is happy. Your site is good. The next is the first input delay. That means when the site has… I’m trying to click on any of the menu items or no more quotes here, click here some items. When they are about to click nothing happens. So it’s not talking to me. The website is not talking to me, right?

Yeah. It’s not interactive.

Yeah, it’s not interactive. So, when I input, that is when I click on it. After you’re talking to me, not interacting with me. That is the First Input Delay. It has to be less than 300 milliseconds. It has to hit 300 milliseconds. Most of the websites I’ve seen these days because of the technology, they are almost there.

Why are they a bit complicated?

Yeah, but again, if your site is not responsive, then you have a tough time. Three hundred milliseconds, if your site is okay, the client is able to interact with the site or the customer is able to interact with the site, then no issues. Otherwise again, Google stuck green lights in you.

That’s quite interesting and quite a benchmark, I would say. Koshy, in your experience, do you have any horror stories after the rollout ended in August 2021? Any experience? Any of your clients whose ranking basically stumbled because of this factor?

Let me be honest. I have never come across anything like that till now. There was a client at that point of time that ranking went down. It went down a couple of hours, and there were no numbers down, but that was not a big thing.
We won the rolled out initially, but they were not very, what I would say, they were not actually penalizing me. It took little time when they started doing it when the customer started noticing it, actually.
But for those websites where the three factors which were spoken about in the first two or the three factors which were really drastically bad, definitely the ranking came down. Definitely, the ranking came down for that drastically. If somebody was on the first page or on second or third, ranking came down to 15 or 12, suddenly you’ll see a lot of emails coming. What happened to my ranking? Why didn’t it go down? All the stuff.

What did you do here in these scenarios? Optimized this site and then gradually did it come back. How exactly did you handle it?

We had customers coming from a different competitor saying that we’re happy, Matthew, and all this stuff. They came back. Any development we do for our website or existing customer, also a new customer, we do all these basic things we need to check. We need to get into GDP metrics and find out where they actually stand. You need to fix this because the image is too big, the videos are too big, or you have a lot of codes which are unwanted. That makes your site light, so that it pops up quickly and not only on desktops but also on mobile, smartphones, 85% to 90% people these days are using smartphones. It has to be on a mobile phone. You have to be quick. Your speed has to be fast. The site has to be fast on a mobile phone.

Yeah, mobile responsive, mobile speed, all of those things. Nowadays it matters a lot.


Yes. Completely agreed. Let’s talk a bit more about Shopify because that’s some of the requests that I’ve been getting. How exactly do you optimize the Shopify website with respect to Core Web Vitals? Are there any optimization apps that you would recommend that people can go for or their test trial? Because a lot of Shopify apps basically offer a seven day trial or some of them have much better duration for a free trial. Let’s talk about that. I would love to know your views.

Yeah, the Shopify or you take any website, not only Shopify, any website. For optimization apps, the minimum apps one uses is better for the site. We need to understand what apps need to be used to ensure what output it gives you. I would suggest to all my customers that first start with a free trial with an app where they give you free.


They said use an app. Does it add value to your site or is it not necessary because somebody has used it. It will work on my site. It doesn’t work like that. It doesn’t work like that. You have to use it, see if it works well on your site, then start using it. But there is one booster. We are talking about Core Web Vitals. There is one Core Web Vitals booster app in Shopify. When you apply that app, it definitely boosts your Core Web Vitals.
This is the re-managers in unwanted. It also tells you how much you have to reduce, all that they give you. Based on that, you have to. They’re not one of apps like Tada, SEO app, which is a free app, or Page Speed Optimizer app, which is also a free app. You don’t have to. No, this is for Shopify. Okay. What we’re talking about is an app. App is for Shopify for WordPress. It’s just like plug-ins they say. For WordPress, it’s a plugin. You have a Hyperspeed, which is paid. Again, it’s paid. Plugin speed optimizer, which is a paid one. I’m a Fuzz, F-U-Z-Z or Fuzz app, which also works really well. Again, I’m telling you, you have to use it on a trial basis, see whether it works for you or not, then start buying it if it’s a paid app.

Got it.

That’s the best way to do it. Because somebody took it and they gave a great review of what this app does. It’s good, but you’re good to read, but take one or three tries and use it, understand what it does for your site, then buy it.

I think the case differs basically from site to site.

Site to site. I mean, a small site. Small sites, they don’t need to have too many apps. For example, Shopify, you get a ready-made template, right? They need to put the product description, image, test, everything is given by the Shopify business. As you grow up, as your business grows, then it becomes difficult because you don’t want to add a lot of other stuff into your business. You want to do a lot of things. For example, you want to give appointments, schedule, you want to add a calendar, you want to add feedback, customer testimonials, all that keeps on adding up. I will take a lot of this space. You need to understand what is essential for you and what is vital for you.
If you can differentiate what is essential and what is vital, it is very important for you. There’s a thin line, but everything is essential. You need that app, but the attention put in is essential and vital. Vital, too important. You need to keep it. You cannot remove that. Otherwise you can just hold on.

Yeah, the operations cannot happen because of it, without it basically.

There’s a rocket page speed app that is good. It really speeds up your app because it minimizes the images, videos, the content, all the stuff is done. A lot of apps are there. These days people are very clever. They can just go to Google and type and get to see. But the only challenge is that a lot of fake reviews are there. A lot many fake reviews are there. I request viewers not to just blindly believe it, use it, test it, and then implement it. Without testing, I do not think they’re in any app. Sometimes what happens is a reverse effect. It’ll break down your whole complete website. So again, you have to spend money. There’s a saying that it’s better to prepare and prevent than to repair and repair. Repair and prevent and repair and repair. You just take a red trial, use it since you didn’t see how it does then implement it. Take feedback from your developer or your friends and all this stuff. Be 100% sure that this can be used and go on and use it.

We talked about some of the free apps as well as the paid version. I’m sure since Shopify is so much, unlike WordPress, Shopify doesn’t really offer goods free of cost. That would be my experience. There are really good apps, but those are not free. Free for some time, but you have to give a fee. Say, for example, the instance that you mentioned, reduces your dependency on apps. That is one of the free things that any company or a site owner can do. Similarly, are there any other elements that a site owner can look after or can take help of a developer and get those sorted without the dependency on the apps, providing risk over vitals?

Yeah, without apps they can do it. Only thing, yeah, depending on our customer, he was a technical savvy guy who can read what is being shown to them and he or she can do it, then they can do it themselves. It’s not rocket science.
It can be done. But initially, if they’re not a very technical savvy person, my request would be I talk to a developer and tell them what they want. Again, essential versus desirable. Again, here it comes essential versus desirable. I desire, I want this. What is essential? So, keep those essential. Again, what we need to do, switch to a single high quality hero image. That’s a Slider, one Slider. I told you, only 1% of customers would go and look at that image on a Slider. It doesn’t give you any brownie points. Search engine optimization, everything depends upon the content you have. I spoke about how fast it vendors. Does it have the site optimized to the level which is less than 2.5 seconds? And doesn’t what we call go haywire here and there when somebody wants to click a menu or want to click any item on the shopping cart. It’s a very bad experience to a customer we’re giving. Again, choose a theme. Again, we are coming back to the same thing. We choose a theme which is highly responsive, a responsive theme, a light theme, so that they don’t have to break the heads for looking after the Core Web Vitals.
There will be a few codes which are not necessary for your site. You can eliminate those codes. Your developer knows which are the codes which need to be taken off, which are essential versus desirable. But essentially, let it be that, minimize the apps which are installed. Too many apps will slow down the whole speed of your website. We need to reduce the number of apps. But again, there’s a catch for this situation, desirable versus essential. You have to take what is essential for you and what is desirable.

All right.

Another thing most people are busy with, they don’t look at it because of broken links. Broken links are not good for your site. Because again, it gives you a very bad ranking. These are things if they look at, they can definitely… These are things actually even an app would do. In case when you’re loading a high pixel image without a 15, 20 MP file, definitely your site will be. We got the optimization tool. We can optimize the image, which will not reduce the pixel size, the clarity, everything will be nice. You can just put it. It is probably 75 kb or 100 kb.

Less than 100, I think. Experience with the custom Shopify sites, a lot of your clients might not go ahead and finalize on a theme. Do you guys do custom Shopify development as well? And is at a design level. I know a lot of agencies who have shifted their focus from a desktop design to mobile-first design. This is a trend shifting towards Core Web Vitals first design as well.

It’s already shifted.

It’s already shifted?

I’ll respond to that. It’s already shifted. I said 85%, if not 90%, all are using smartphones. You are using, everybody is using a smartphone. They’re called, hardly I would say baby boomers. There may be people who may be using a laptop or a desktop, but all the Millennium guys, all the people, all are into smartphones. Everybody, say, 85% are checking everything on a mobile device. When you build a site, you rightly pointed out, our students, that you need to start building, keeping in mind a mobile phone. How the sponsor… How it has to be keeping in mind first a mobile view. Because things are changing. They have to ensure that what would be the look and feel, how you want the look and feel on a mobile device. It looked and felt on the desktop or a laptop. It has to be on their mobile phone. How responsive is it on their mobile phone? How quickly a customer can manoeuvre from one page to another page or find a product and click, that’s called the user journey. How you’re making that user journey very effective for our customer to get a product and buy it and pay and check out as quickly as possible.
That’s a user journey you have to do. You need to understand the psyche of using a site for any product or any services. It could understand the psyche of a customer right from the user journey. Very important. The user journey is very important. If a customer visits the site, first thing, what are they going to do? Are they going to buy a product? For example, you may place an ad on Instagram to a beautiful image. I’m taking on that image, but when it comes from the site, it’s a different image or you’re taking a different page. That doesn’t make sense.
You will have to search for the product. In a waste of time, they will go back. They will go to your competitors. You lose the customer. So very important. We make it keeping in mind the mobile.

Koshy, just curious, on the design level, I understand how exactly the site will look on mobile first, then it makes sense. More viewers are on mobile. But on a design level, the elements, the design elements that the designer basically puts together, that time. Is it in the back of his head? Does Core Web Vital rings or bells? And even on a design level, the elements that he uses are actually optimized?

Developer, not at that point of the time. See, the developer is, for example, letting me know how I should put it. Somebody is building a house. A mason is building a house. His job is to put the bricks or whatever, put the cement and keep on building it. At the time he is building it, his whole focus is to make sure that he’s putting the bricks correctly and the cement is working correctly. The look factor or what we call the load, the weight of the building should be all that is already decided what end of a brick you’re using. Are you using a cemented one? Are you using a clay one? Because clay one is more low on all the stuff. Let me take it back. When you plan, you tell the customer, it’s a building of a huge site, so what platform they need to choose. It started from your planning itself, initial analysis I would call you.
Sit with the customer and analyze the whole service or product is going to give it to the customers. We analyze that and we understand that okay, this platform would be good. This platform is not good for such a product. What would be good for XYZ products but not good for A, B, C. Like that, PHP. We do an analysis, we educate the customer. When comes the question whether they have their desired budget to do that project, if they have it, then good. Otherwise, we tell them in the beginning itself this is what is going to happen. Some people, for example, don’t want to go and always update the plugin in a WordPress site. You have to do it. But they don’t have a budget, but they want to do it. They don’t have a budget and they stick to WordPress. They don’t want to go to Shopify. Such people, we need to educate them. This is what you have to do. You have to do it. You have information where you don’t have a plugin. Let’s say you’re on a PHP quote, Igniter or a lot of them don’t have to do plugin updates.

There’s a lot of cons of not keeping the site updated, like the plugin is not updated and stuff like that.

I know that for Shopify and WooCommerce, it’s pretty easy. They can go and go if they like the description. But if the customer made it, the customers cannot… They have to be a little tech-savvy guys who change the code lines. You have to enter the description, you have to do pricing and all. It’s a little tricky. We recommend not the tech-savvy guy, yes, but otherwise no. Give it to a developer, the developer will take care of that job because you may be changing something here. The end result, it may be a lot of other pages.

End up creating a bigger mess than just doing a smaller business.

If it’s a small business, I would say like you asked me the question, small business, you go with a customized Shopify site or you take a WordPress, whatever, because it comes with a paid template. But if you’re having a business which is going to grow within three months, having a lot of products and all that, definitely go for a customization. The advantage of customization is that you can choose your own code, you can choose your own design, what goes in, what you don’t want, all those things you can do. The way you told me you can look at the Core Web Vitals and build it in a way that it will not hamper your search engine optimization for that site. Definitely, you can do that.

I think before even search engine optimization, I would say people should focus more on Core Web Vitals for the fact that it will help you deliver a better user experience.

Correct, yes.

That’s the whole purpose of having a site on the first plate. Please, it’s not to impress search engines. It’s for the visitors, right? For your customers.

Yeah. But see, customers are okay. Let me tell you. There’s a business and until you don’t get it on the first page of Google, nobody’s come to know about it. It’s like hiring a hen, which gives you one egg, but makes a lot of noise compared to a snake, which gives 70 eggs in the sea. Nobody knows about it. The hen is nothing but a search engine optimization. She’s telling everybody that you might lay them right to buy it, or eat that egg, something like that.

It’s a really good example.

You need to have that right? On the first page of Google, so that customers, okay, I know this brand, new brand, let me check it out. Then comes a user experience. Once they hit your website, that is when it comes to a user experience. Then it doesn’t come because then that’s very important. It has to start when you’re building the site itself. You have to make your website search engine optimization ready. You have to build from that, so that when you are doing the search engine optimization, it blends together. You’re having the right keywords and right title, right description, having the right links and all that will slowly add and you’ll get brought up in the Google search pages.

Koshy please tell me a bit more about it since it is one of the core services that KMC offers. I’m sure the technical SEO might be the first step that you do for each one of your customers. Whenever they get on board, say they have the pre-built site, then the first they have decisions you would do primarily. In your experience specifically related to the Shopify site, your team might prepare an audit report based on those 100 parameters, technical SEO parameters. On an average, what’s the level of implementation that you actually… How much flexibility does Shopify allow you to get those technical SEO elements addressed? What’s that? What’s the percentage on an average that you feel? Is this basically what this can be?

Good question, yeah, good question, Harshit. Again, it depends. If you’re having a pre-template team taken from Shopify, you can’t do much. Only thing you can minimize is what you call the apps. Much because I’m already giving it. If you look at the speed, I would say it’ll be like 45 to 50. The average optimization you would look at is 50, 55, 60. Anything above 70, 75 I would say, for Shopify sites and above 90 degrees, but mostly I was seeing between 50 to 70 is where they stand. Okay. On an average, that is where they stand. But above 70 is amazing. Because team-based, again, don’t have to let them know that team-based, make sure that you’re not having one too many apps. Only keep those apps that are necessary and look for all the local links, necessary codes, all the stuff so that it adds value to your site. It again boils down to the user experience.

Got it.

Google is looking at the user experience. But if you look at even the Google site, they’re not at the top. The ranking, I think, is around 80, 85, not even above 90, I guess. It’s a mixture of everything, essential versus desirable.

That’s true. That’s true. Koshy, in general, they’re basically a lot of things. A lot of people actually struggle when it comes to Shopify and implementing technical new things. One of the things you can’t basically control is the robots or TXT file pages. They just index, not index. Category pages are commonly known as collection pages, putting content or making tag changes onto that. Tag pages are tricky to optimize all of them. I wanted to know, as a SEO-friendly platform, I know WordPress gives you a tremendous amount of flexibility when it comes to doing anything, I would say. But with respect to Shopify, how much do you feel with respect to flexibility and SEO implementation does Shopify allow you?

Compared with other sites, I would not say great because Shopify gives you everything under one umbrella. Whatever they give you, you have to lip it. Simple as that. If you want to go beyond that, then you have a lot of options. But with Shopify, you are limited. If you go with customization, you can build to an extent where you’re very close to what we want, up to the search engine or whatever we are talking about the port web writers. But if you get the template for small business, small templates to buy all the stuff, it’s not possible.

Okay. Let’s think, Koshy, that you would recommend saying, I’m a Shopify customer of yours and not quite happy with the SEO specifically. I’m a decent size e-commerce company with good hundreds of products in place. What would you recommend to me ideally if I have to switch a platform that is much more dynamic?

A lot of options are there. You have BigCommerce, you have WooCommerce. WooCommerce is very friendly. You can have your own hosting. Again, with Shopify, I have told you a little bit that they give you shared hosting. Depending on the plan, what you’ve chosen because of the shared hosting, the speed, a lot of other things are in a box. With WooCommerce, everything is open source. You can choose your own hosting company. You can have products, unlinked products. Pretty simple. I would even say they can go and change the images and add a content, a description, name, price, everything. It’s as simple as that. They need to live with the plugins because you need to keep on updating the plugins. If you’re happy doing that, it’s not a really big thing to do, updating a plugin because one way it is good that at least you get into the back end of the site, keep looking at what exactly is happening, all the stuff. One way I would say that to my customers is good. Rather than getting all the things automated, what happens? How do you go at the backend?
Only when you want to do some minor changes do you go and look at the back. You have your own products, you have your own stuff. You have WordPress, which is good. You have BigCommerce, which is again like a Shopify competitor. You have everything in place. You have their own hosting, all the stuff. Personally, I like WooCommerce. I like it because you have a lot of ways to customize it. A lot of different plugins are there. A lot of different ways to make it and present it to your customers the way they would like to see this then.

All right. I think we’re coming to an end here, Koshy. I’d like to have a quick rapid fire with you. The first question will be, what’s the greatest piece of advice you ever received? Anything.

Better prepare and prevent than to repair and repair.

What’s your next goal in life?

Next goal in life is that there are two things. One is monetary goals for my business, and one is personal. The goal is that I want to retire by 55.

Okay. That’s nice. What’s your hobby?

Hobby these days is just reading articles which are into technology. I don’t get much time, to be honest, to do all this stuff. A lot of our customers are going to have a discussion, getting into different things. Initially, I used to have time doing all the stuff, reading books and reading stuff, technology or banking because I’m inclined to banking also as a stock. Now I don’t get much time. So whatever time, again, I spend it with my family.

That’s good. What is the funniest thing that you’ve witnessed during a Zoom meeting? Is there any because when we started working from home what happened?

Yes, it happens. It happens with everybody. I’ve had one colleague who thought we put it on mute, but started talking about his personal life.


So, he got a call and he was talking to his friends about what was happening. I really heard what he was going through. It was funny. It’s nothing serious, but it’s been funny. The way he was narrating the story to his son was very fun. And it was recorded.

It’s a lot of post-lockdown. A lot of trending topics, Zoom meeting, students talking funny to teachers and whatnot, like office Zoom meeting calls and crazy.

I like the dress code where the half is like well-dressed, but the rest of it like they are in their hearts.

It was wonderful, Koshy. I really appreciate all the input and the precious time that you took out for us today and all our viewers. Thank you so much for adding so much value. I hope whatever your business goals as well as family goals are, you meet those and make KMC reach to all your greed heights.

Thank you very much, Harshit. I believe that same thing would happen to you and your future aspirations, and may God bless you.

Thank you so much. Have a good time. Bye-bye.

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