With SEO, you can affordably drive highly qualified traffic to your Shopify store. For e-commerce retailers, creating well-optimized web pages can help increase traffic to your site.
SEO strategies can continue to drive traffic to your Shopify store long after you’ve stopped spending money on traditional PPC ads. One of the best investments you can make for your Shopify site is to optimize it for search engines.
To understand more about promoting eCommerce websites, read our article.
If you want your store to rank higher in organic search results, follow this Shopify SEO checklist to get started.
Firstly let’s understand, What Is Shopify SEO?
Shopify SEO is a collection of techniques designed to improve the visibility of Shopify websites in search engines. SEO from Shopify doesn’t just apply to any site—it’s customized for e-commerce merchants using the Shopify platform.
Common SEO Challenges For E-Commerce Websites
When running an e-commerce business, you’ll face certain challenges that can affect your search engine performance. Likewise
- Thin Content: Product pages tend to be thin content, making it difficult to boost their rankings since Google prefers long-form content.
- Duplicate Content: E-commerce sites often face the problem of duplicate content across multiple similar product pages.
- Poor Site Architecture: Google prefers websites that are easy to navigate. E-commerce retailers must ensure their site structure is user-friendly.
- Not Utilizing Schema: Schema enables Shopify store owners to control how Google displays their products and helps make products stand out.
To help e-commerce sites avoid these common pitfalls, the article below provides a good starting point for the Shopify SEO checklist.
Automated SEO Features In Shopify
Shopify has basic SEO features built in that can streamline a site owner’s SEO work.
Here are some features:
- Auto-generated “rel-canonical” tags: This helps prevent duplicate content penalties!
- robots.txt and sitemap.xml files are Auto-generated
- Automatic SSL certificates: Google gives higher rankings to secure HTTPS web pages.
- Store names are included in auto-generated page titles.
While Shopify helps you establish a website, counting on the platform alone won’t produce the best SEO results.
19 Tasks You Must Add to Your SEO Checklist
Remember to keep SEO work in mind when you are developing your store and reapply SEO tactics on an ongoing basis.
The following is a checklist of optimizations that you can use in any order. While some of these steps are one-time optimizations, most should be performed every time you add a new product or page.
Choose a Custom Domain
Generally, it is better to purchase a domain name that reflects your business name and drop the word “myshopify” from the URL.
Custom domains appear on the search results page because the URL path is visible to users. Therefore, it leads to higher CTRs, which means better SEO performance.
Can purchase Custom domains from multiple third-party domain providers. Add your custom domain in your Shopify account’s “Domains” menu.
Select a fast and responsive theme
Fast page speed and load time are a must for any site that wants to rank well on Google.
It’s better to choose a theme optimized for speed and performance over one that looks flashier but is slower.
You should also optimize your theme for mobile devices, as Google will begin indexing the mobile versions of web pages. Speed matters for ranking in Google search engine results. Shopify PageSpeed scores are a good indicator of site performance.
Establish your analytics tools
The Shopify Analytics dashboard gives you a general idea of your e-commerce metrics. However, to gain more in-depth data about your website traffic and conversions, you must use additional tools.
Google Analytics and Google Search Console are free tools that all site owners should implement.
Once you have created accounts, here are some other steps you’ll want to take:
- Submit sitemap: Shopify generates a sitemap for you in your Google Search Console account. (point under establishing your analytics tools)
- To properly track your referral traffic, you must add your Google Analytics tracking code to your Shopify store. (point under establishing your analytics tools)
Many Shopify SEO apps are available to help you meet SEO best practices. Some of them include:
- Plug-In SEO: Plug-In SEO is a WordPress plugin that helps optimize your content for search engines. It is similar to the Yoast SEO plugin used in wordpress.
- SEO Pro: for advanced schema and semantic tagging.
- Smart SEO: a very affordable way to market your business.
Research your Keywords
Before optimizing your website, you need to determine which keywords will be most relevant to your business. Keyword tools enable users to uncover the search terms used to find products like yours.
Some SEO keywords are easier to rank for than others. Evaluate which keywords offer the best opportunities for your store.
Keyword metrics to pay attention to include
- Search Volume: You should ensure that your keyword targets get a reasonable number of monthly searches.
- CPC: Higher costs-per-click values are most likely tied to commercial or transactional keywords.
- Keyword Difficulty: High-ranking keywords will be more difficult to rank for than low-ranking ones. Choose keyword targets where you really can make page 1.
It is best to optimize your product and category pages for keywords most likely to lead to conversion because users with these types of queries often have a higher purchase intent. To get an insight on On-Page SEO, go through our On-page optimization checklist article.
URLs must be Optimized
There are several effective techniques for improving your Google rankings, including certain URL best practices.
- Keep sentences brief and to the point
- Target keywords must be included
- Avoid unnecessary words
Customize your page titles and meta descriptions
When you edit your search listing, optimize the title tag and meta description visible in SERP results. When writing your title tag and meta description, include your target keywords and meet SEO best practices by keeping them within the character limits.
Google uses metadata to decide what your content is about and when to show it. A meta description can also affect whether searchers click on your result. Google is powerful enough to understand the terms and phrases related to a keyword; there is no need to stuff multiple instances of your primary keyword on the page. The words contained in your meta tags should reflect the words contained on your page.
Utilize a content optimization tool for product description
Thin product descriptions can hurt e-commerce websites. Ensure you have clear and accurate product descriptions that include relevant keywords, synonyms, and related terms.
Use a content optimizer tool to find strong keywords related to your products and incorporate them in product descriptions to improve your page ranking.
Optimize your Alt Text for SEO
The images on your Shopify website showcase your products, but they cannot be “seen” by Google. Therefore, it would be best if you communicated to Google the content of those images through descriptive file names and keyword-rich alt text.
Prepare blog material for long-tail keywords
To reach potential customers at the top of the sales funnel, create high-quality blog content optimized around your best long-tail keywords.
By answering the customers’ questions, you can build brand awareness and expertise. In addition, it increases the number of keywords your Shopify store ranks.
Create a user-friendly navigation menu
A search engine-friendly navigation menu is among the most important components of your online store’s navigation system. Not only will this design help users retrieve products and services, but it will also boost your Google ranking.
Some SEO tips for navigation:
- Make sure your site is easy to navigate.
- It is important to organize your products into collections.
- Maintain the same navigation throughout a page.
- Use the navigation menu to help users contact you or your support team.
Link to internal pages
Internal links help people navigate your site and distribute PageRank throughout your website. The links you include in your nav menu should be strategic, as most of your website’s PageRank will be on your homepage.
Do not create links to products out of stock, seasonal, or unlikely to rank well in search results due to thin or unoptimized content.
Instead of pushing PageRank to specific pages or entire websites, focus on optimizing your primary category and collection pages.
You can add structured data to your Shopify store manually in the code of your store’s themes. To add it, go to Themes > Action > Edit Code.
Can use Schema generator tools to generate markup input with all required properties.
The following Product Schemas are recommended for Shopify users
- Average rating
- Product Brand
- Category type
- Theme Color
- Website Images
- Special offers
If you don’t like editing HTML, there are plenty of Shopify plugins that let you use product schema with ease.
Adding Product reviews section
Positive reviews can encourage users to click or buy. To appear in Google SERPs, download Shopify’s Product Reviews app. They can boost conversion rates significantly, resulting in more clicks to your store.
Shopify Website Maintenance
Audit Your Website Regularly
Over time, your website will change — your content will evolve, you may add or remove pages, and search engines will find more or less value in your pages.
A regular website audit can help you identify which pages are most heavily visited by your readers and which pages might need revising.
A website audit can help identify weaknesses in your content, site navigation, or domain authority that can prevent you from achieving your goals.
Fix broken links
When you change your product offering or stock runs out, you can remove web pages from your Shopify Store. However, it could break links to those pages on other parts of your website.
Google does not like to rank websites that have excessive broken links. Therefore, it’s a good idea to run a site crawler across the entirety of your website once every three months to identify broken links and repair them.
Study the data and revise
Analytics tools can provide you with data about how customers behave on your website, including how they discovered it.
Analyzing the search data will help you refine your keyword targeting, content strategy, internal linking, meta tags, and other technical components of your site.
A web presence that includes off-site signals can convince Google to rank your site, thus driving more visitors to your store.
Link building is perhaps the most difficult aspect of SEO since you have no control over whether webmasters choose to link to yours. To get an insight on Off-Page SEO, go through our Off-page SEO techniques article.
There are some simple techniques for earning links to your website
- Develop high-quality content, such as blog posts, and encourage site owners to link to it.
- Be featured in gift guides or product roundups to increase sales.
- Write guest blog posts for relevant sites.
Public Relation Investment
Public relations and organic outreaches are important elements of a link-building campaign and the best way to earn high-quality links from authoritative websites.
Try signing up for Help-A-Reporter Out (HARO) to get more publicity for your product. It will send you daily emails from journalists and publishers looking to receive quotes from experts or to include your product in a story.
SEO helps increase customer traffic to your website, which lowers customer-acquisition costs.
If you understand the basics of Shopify SEO and take the necessary steps, your store can outrank and outperform competitors.
You’ll most likely boost your rankings and increase site traffic using the tips above. To get more input on this topic, you can reach us at Ahbiv Digital Agency for further information.
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