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Shopify SEO Guide – How to Optimize Your Store for Search Engine Rankings

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Do you seek a Shopify SEO guide to increase your store’s traffic and sales?

The phrase, “If you build it, they will come,” may have held in the past, but in the current digital era, simply creating an attractive online store is insufficient to attract shoppers.

While selecting a suitable Shopify eCommerce platform is crucial, it is equally essential to consider how to reach potential customers and convince them to choose your store over your competitors. After you have built and launched your website, developing strategies for attracting and retaining customers is imperative.

What Do I Need for Shopify SEO Optimization?

Optimizing SEO for Shopify is a significant undertaking, which is why a comprehensive Shopify SEO guide is essential to ensure an effective approach. Our guide covers all aspects, including website speed and content quality, aiming to enhance your search engine visibility and increase clicks, gain traffic, and, ultimately, sales.

Once you’re done, you’ll have a well-optimized eCommerce store poised to dominate SERPs and lure customers. We believe your product should be noticed, and we’re committed to making that a reality.

Key Takeaways

  • About Shopify search engine optimization
  • Steps to optimize SEO for Shopify store
  • Optimizing for mobile
  • Best practices and tips for better reach

Is Shopify Good For SEO?

Is-Shopify-Good-for-SEO

Shopify provides a solid foundation for implementing sound SEO practices. It offers several in-built SEO features you can customize, including meta tags and titles with image alt texts. Additionally, Shopify creates a “robots.txt” file containing vital “Disallow” commands.

Furthermore, Shopify employs a first-rate Content Delivery Network (CDN), which is essential for ensuring excellent store performance speed. Another benefit is that Shopify sets images using the WebP file format whenever supported by browsers, resulting in faster loading times.

It may sound like many points have been covered, especially for those who seek Shopify SEO for beginners. So do you need to do work on anything else?

Initially, it’s crucial to address certain SEO concerns on Shopify, such as copied content, title, meta description, or enforced URL structure. However, your ultimate objective should be to gain a competitive advantage and surpass competitors by utilizing similar SEO benefits from Shopify.

As a professional Shopify development services firm, we want you to get the best out of your Shopify SEO optimization and give you the answer to “how to do SEO on Shopify.”

How to Optimize SEO for Search Engines

How-to-Optimize-SEO-for-Search-Engines

Although Shopify optimization is tricky and needs practice, we have listed important steps in this guide to set your foundation and proceed accordingly.

Step 1: Optimize the Structure of Your Shopify Store

Organizing your content effectively on a webpage is crucial to achieving SEO success. When customers can easily find what they are looking for on your website, they are more likely to spend a longer time on your site and view more pages. This, in turn, can positively impact your search engine rankings.

How do you make your store structure user-friendly?

The answer is to simplify and avoid too many categories and sub-categories. A simple structure makes it easy for search engine crawlers to rank accordingly. 

A simple structure that works best for Shopify SEO optimization looks like this:

shopify website seo friendly site structure

As depicted in the diagram, your products can be accessed with just a few clicks from your homepage. This makes it convenient and swift for customers to find the products they desire and also facilitates the search engines to easily navigate your site.

We recommend using the following structure to make your Shopify store easy to navigate and SEO-friendly:

  • Homepage >>>> Category Pages >>>> Product Pages
  • Homepage >>>> Category Pages >>>> Sub-Category Pages >>>> Product Pages

Apart from the product and category pages, it’s essential to have an About and Contact page on your website. These pages are crucial in building trust and credibility among customers and search engines, and skipping them is not advisable.

Additionally, adding a search box to your website may not directly improve your SEO, but it can help visitors find what they need easily. It’s a crucial aspect of eCommerce optimization that can lead to increased sales and revenue from the existing traffic on your site.

Step 2: Optimize User Experience for Improvement

The second step in the SEO Shopify optimization guide is to improve the user experience that helps your page to rank higher and engage better. Some of the ways to improve user experience include:

  • Boosting Site Speed

The accessibility of your website greatly depends on its speed. A fast-loading website that’s easy to navigate reduces the chances of visitors getting frustrated. As a result, they are likely to spend more time on your site, exploring its various pages and offerings.

You can boost page speed by lowering image size, using a mobile-friendly theme, removing useless apps, and avoiding sliders. If you’re struggling to optimize your store’s speed, you may want to consider hiring someone to build your Shopify store for you.

  • Using a Responsive Design

With responsive design, your Shopify store will look visually appealing on all devices, including desktops, tablets, and smartphones.

By utilizing responsive themes, you can enhance the user experience of your Shopify store, leading to longer visits by visitors. As Google considers time-on-page as a measure of a website’s worth, having an easy-to-use and legible website can positively impact its rankings.

Integrating the best CRM for Shopify seamlessly with your responsive Shopify store can further improve the user experience, leading to even better rankings, increased conversions, and repeat visitors – all of which are beneficial for any eCommerce website.

Currently, it’s imperative to ensure that your store is optimized for mobile devices as more and more shoppers are using their smartphones to make purchases.

Step 3: Research Relevant and Search-Friendly Keywords

Research-Relevant-and-Search-Friendly-Keywords

Before publishing any piece of content on your store, it’s essential to conduct thorough keyword research. Including relevant keywords give your website visibility and get discovered by your intended audience to potentially increase your customer base and sales. Below are some valuable points for incorporating keywords and improving SEO on your Shopify pages:

  • Choose The Right Keywords: 

Avoid the temptation to optimize for the high volume keyword relevant to your product, as such keywords are typically too broad and challenging to rank. You should rather focus on optimizing for long-tail keywords relevant to your store’s specific products or services.

Understanding the intent behind the keywords you’re targeting is also important. Identifying why someone searches for a particular query is essential for functional on-page optimization of your Shopify store. Your keyword should match informational, commercial, navigational, or transactional search intents. 

Determining the specific intent behind a query will lead to successful optimization and improve rankings. 

It’s also important to optimize keywords for context and relevance but do not stuff too many keywords onto one page. Including as many keywords as possible on a page to boost rankings is outdated and may even result in penalties. It’s important to be strategic about keyword usage and check for “keyword density”.

  • Map Targeted Keywords to Pages

To optimize pages on your Shopify store for different keywords, you should design a map with all the existing and upcoming pages on your site and assign a unique keyword to each page. This will prevent “keyword cannibalization”.

If you have duplicate content, use “canonical tags” to indicate to search engines that the version of the page content  should be ranked for the relevant keywords.

Step 4: Optimize Shopify Product Pages

Optimize-Shopify-Product-Pages

You should now have a keyword list and a well-organized website structure. The subsequent step is to optimize your Shopify store pages using your keywords.

Begin with your most critical pages, such as the homepage, primary product collections, and best-selling product pages. These pages generate the most revenue and have the highest conversion rates.

Optimizing your homepage is still crucial if you have a brand-new store. Determine the product pages that generated the most buzz or pages related to the most searched queries as a foundation for optimization. 

  • Optimize Shopify product tags for SEO

Let’s now determine how we want to name our pages consistently across the entire Shopify site now that we have identified the pages we want to optimize first.\

Use a simple formula for consistent keyword usage:

Keyword 1 >>>> Shop for Keyword 2 >>>> Name of the Store

Baseball T-shirts >>>>Shop for Baseball T-shirts Online >>> XYZ Store

The next step is to create titles and descriptions for your products and categories, which should contain original content instead of using marketing copy from supplier websites. While incorporating keywords is important, they must blend seamlessly into the text.

 If the keywords seem forced or unnatural, it may be necessary to reconsider the chosen keywords. The alt text for images can also be optimized for SEO purposes, but the text should still read naturally. Professional Shopify web development services help optimize these meta titles and descriptions to improve SEO on Shopify.

Step 5: Start Building Links to Your Store

Start-Building-Links-to-Your-Store

Search engines use backlinks to assess the perceived value of your site within the wider community. Backlinks function as word-of-mouth recommendations for SEO and represent an off-page optimization strategy that hinges on building credibility and trust.

Here are a few tips to help you gain relevant backlinks for your Shopify SEO optimization. 

  • Manufacturer or Supplier Backlinks

If you offer products manufactured or supplied by well-known companies, they might have the policy to provide links to authorized retailers. You can email them and inquire whether they will link to your store.

  • Industry Influencer Videos

You can generate links and content by contacting industry leaders and influencers for interviews.

  • Mentions

It is possible that your business is already being mentioned on various online platforms without any links. There are tools available that can help you identify such mentions. Once you’ve found them, you can reach out to the owners of these websites and request that they include a link to your site along with the mention.

  • Broken Links

To carry out this strategy, you’ll need to do some investigative work to look for broken links on sites that offer similar products and services. Once you’ve found a broken link, contact the site owner and ask them to link to your site instead. This is a win-win situation because broken links can negatively affect SEO, and both parties benefit from the solution: the site owner can fix their broken link, and you can gain a backlink.

Step 6: Utilize Content Marketing for Better SEO on Shopify

Utilize-Content-Marketing-for-Better-SEO-on-Shopify

Now that you have completed the other optimization tasks, it’s time to focus on content marketing.

Content is the driving force that brings people to your site. As an eCommerce store owner, you may be tempted to cut corners with content and rely solely on product descriptions.

However, taking the time to create original content that enhances your overall user experience will greatly increase your chances of success.

Coming up with content ideas may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Create a list of common questions your customers ask or topics you think they would find interesting, and then provide real answers and insights.

Share information in your blog for customers to engage and proceed to purchases. You will improve various areas such as:

  • Improving Topic Authority

Creating a blog can help position you as an industry expert both ifor Google and your readers. As you continue to write blog posts, it can also help boost the rankings of your product pages.

  • Attracting Visitors Organically

A well-informed reader who discovers your store through organic search, particularly if your content was instrumental in addressing their concerns, is highly likely to convert.

  • Boosting Pages with Internal Links

With a well-planned internal linking strategy, people who visit your high-ranking blog pages can be directed to your product pages, resulting in more sales. You can achieve this by creating a silo structure with your main product pages as the central focus.

Your content allows customers and potential customers to get to know your brand without focusing on selling. It’s also an effective way to rank for more keywords and earn additional backlinks.

Step 7: Use the Best Shopify SEO Tools and Apps

Shopify SEO tools and plugins help improve your website performance and make SEO efforts easy. Here we will give you some of the best plugins to install in your Shopify store. You can also hire a professional shopify developer create the best Shopify themes according to your store’s aesthetics.

  • Plugin SEO

This app for Shopify can assist you in identifying and addressing SEO problems that are worth fixing, allowing you to enhance your SEO while saving time and money. It conducts automated and routine checks on various elements such as page titles, headings, meta descriptions, website speed, content, article structure, and more to ensure your site are as optimized as possible.

  • Smart SEO

With Smart SEO, you can create appropriate meta tags for various pages in your Shopify store, such as product, collection, blog, and article pages, and alt tags for product images, without needing to make individual edits. The app also helps you get your store information to search engines by using JSON-LD data that is already structured in the way search engines require. This saves you time and effort while also improving your SEO.

  • SEO Image Optimizer

To sell your products, having an ample supply of images on your site is crucial. However, high-quality images can consume a significant amount of resources, which can negatively impact your site’s speed. Therefore, an image optimizer tool, such as the one mentioned, is recommended to maintain site speed.

  • Yoast

Yoast checks all the pages and content to enhance and improve Shopify website SEO performance. It is updated according to search engine algorithms and can edit multiple pages with a single click.

Yoast makes your optimization efforts easy by using the keywords chosen and recommending them in the content. 

  • SEMRush

SEMRush helps you monitor your competition and determine the keywords they rank for. You can see the pages that receive the most searches and modify your content accordingly. SEMRush gives you an overview of unused keywords you can apply for better engagement and traffic. 

Step 8: Make Yourself Prominent in SERP

Ranking well on Google is one thing, but getting organic traffic is another. To make the most of your high SERP positions, there are two strategies you can use to improve click-through rates.

  • Optimize Images for Search

Compelling product images can help retain your website visitors and demonstrate how your product looks and functions.

But, if image files are too large, they can decrease your page speed, hurting your SEO and, more importantly, negatively impacting your sales.

  • Add Structured Data

HTML markup, known as structured data, can improve how Google understands the content on your product pages. By implementing it, you can capture rich snippets such as product pricing, ratings, number of reviews, and more. 

This way, your product pages will appear in search results with more detailed and attractive information that can boost click-through rates and attract a more qualified audience that is more likely to convert.

Step 9: Prioritize Technical SEO of your Shopify Store

Prioritize-Technical-SEO-of-your-Shopify-Store

While implementing on-page SEO can significantly boost your rankings, neglecting technical SEO may adversely affect your efforts to increase visibility on search engines. Technical SEO may sound daunting, but some simple steps make it easy for everyone.

  • Develop internal links
  • Review the rules of robots.txt
  • Check sitemaps
  • Fix redirection and broken links

 

How to Optimize Shopify for Mobile?

Most users today shop and engage on mobile devices, which gives you a huge opportunity to generate traffic, and search engines also prefer rankings for mobile-first websites. Optimizing your store for mobile is a must and should cover a few simple areas.

  • Responsiveness

For optimal performance in the search results, all your on-page elements must be adaptable and responsive to various devices. Luckily, Shopify offers responsive templates and mobile commerce shopping cart features that enable your site to display seamlessly on any device.

  • Visual Hierarchy

Consider selecting appropriate padding, image, and logo dimensions and increasing the font size to enhance legibility.

  • Navigation

To optimize your mobile site, it’s best to avoid using dropdowns and large menus as they tend to be ineffective. Instead, aim for an efficient navigational structure with minimal layers.

  • Page Loading

Your mobile pages must load faster, or it will result in a bounce rate increase and negative ratings. 

You can hire professional Houston SEO agencies if you need more support in your marketing efforts. 

Shopify SEO Best Practices

1. Optimize Page Titles and Meta Descriptions

Each page on your Shopify store should have a unique, descriptive page title and meta description that incorporates relevant keywords. Use clear, concise language that accurately reflects the content on the page.

2. Create Unique and High-quality Content

 Ensure your product descriptions and other website copy are unique, well-written, and free of errors. Avoid duplicate content, and do not use copied product descriptions from other websites.

3. Use Clean and Readable URLs

Make sure your Shopify store has clean, concise, and readable URLs that accurately reflect the content on the page. Avoid using long, complicated URLs with unnecessary parameters or symbols.

4. Optimize Images 

Use high-quality images on your Shopify store and optimize them for the web by compressing their file size. Add descriptive alt tags to your images, incorporating relevant keywords when possible.

5. Build High-Quality Backlinks

 Gain backlinks from reputable websites to increase the authority and credibility of your Shopify store. You can create engaging and shareable content that people want to link to.

6. Use Structured Data

 Adding structured (Schema) data to your Shopify store to help search engines better understand your content. This includes using schema.org markup to indicate product information, reviews, and other important data.

7. Improve Website Speed

Use Shopify’s inbuilt Content Delivery Network (CDN) to improve website speed. You can also optimize your images and consider caching and minifying to speed up your website’s load times.

8. Leverage Social Media

Use social media platforms to promote your products and generate backlinks.

To streamline your social media efforts, consider using Sendible alternatives to efficiently manage multiple platforms, schedule posts in advance, monitor performance metrics, and engage with your audience, allowing you to maintain a consistent and impactful online presence.

Encourage customers to share your products on social media and create social media campaigns to increase brand awareness. Once you add your Shopify to social media, your efforts to optimize become rather easy.

9. Monitor and Refine

Regularly monitor your Shopify store’s SEO performance using analytics tools. Refine your SEO strategy based on the data, and adapt to changing search engine algorithms and consumer behavior.

Checklist for Shopify Website Optimization

After consulting a Shopify store checklist, consider another checklist to make your optimization efforts smooth. 

On-Site SEO

  • Keyword research
  • Meta data 
  • Image optimization
  • Content optimization
  • Content relevancy
  • Internal linking

Technical SEO

  • Simple website navigation
  • SEO friendly URL
  • Structured data
  • Responsiveness
  • Broken links and redirects
  • Store speed
  • Sitemaps
  • Robots.txt

Off-site SEO

  • Quality backlinks
  • Backlink recapturing
  • Domain authority

Pro SEO Tips for Shopify 

  • Analyze Shopify Store Performance

For the best Shopify SEO optimization and improvement, reviewing and learning from past results is essential. This includes monitoring your rankings for keywords, quality backlinks, and organic traffic weekly and promptly addressing any issues.

Technical SEO can be time-consuming, but you can use affordable apps to automate the process and get regular SEO audits. These apps can help you identify and resolve errors, such as fixing broken links and replacing missing metadata to focus on other important tasks.

  • Combine Social Media and SEO

Once you have completed all the points mentioned above and wish to enhance your Shopify SEO even further, consider exploring alternative ways.

One option is to enhance your SEO efforts and visibility within your niche through cross-channel efforts. The combination of social media and SEO efforts lead to the following:

  • Enhanced brand awareness and organic growth
  • More organic links
  • Boost in audience reach and engagement

 

While it may be difficult to quantify the direct effects of cross-channel efforts on SEO, reading our comprehensive guide on Shopify Social media and SEO will reveal the numerous beneficial actions that occur behind the scenes.

Conclusion

Optimizing your Shopify for SEO is a process that involves various steps. Begin with the basic steps, such as crafting meta data and creating content maps according to keywords then move on to more intricate tasks, such as incorporating structured data and developing internal linking strategies. By dedicating your time and effort to these tasks, you will reap the benefits of improved search engine rankings and increased traffic to your site.

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