SEO checklist for new Shopify websites
New Shopify stores can earn a lot of value by applying simple SEO techniques and following SEO best practices. Organic search traffic is important for the growth of your store. By working on Shopify SEO, you can successfully appear on the search engine result pages.
What are the best and quick ways to start SEO for Shopify websites? How should you work for it today?
The following is the SEO checklist to consider:
You need to set up the required tools like Google Search Console and Google Analytics.
Create a sitemap and submit it to Google using your Search Console account. Shopify can automatically create a sitemap. A sitemap tells the search engines about all the pages on your website and the organisation of your website.
You can use Google Search Console to find any crawling errors. Search engines use bots to crawl and index a page. When the bot tries to crawl a particular page and fails, it leads to a crawling error. You should fix such errors immediately.
Use Google Keyword Planner to get the search volume of the keywords and keyword ideas. Search volume is the number of monthly searches for a specific keyword.
Use keywords based on the type of content. Your pages can rank differently for keywords. Some of the keywords can target informational searches, like ‘What is aromatherapy? Some of the low-value keywords indicate an intent to buy, like ‘Buying aromatherapy bottles’.
Make sure that you use only one H1 tag on your pages. The H1 header tags are used for the main headline of a page and usually contain the target keyword.
In Shopify, the page titles are the default H1 tags that are created through Shopify. You should avoid adding the H1 tag manually anywhere on the page.
Google displays the first 50-60 characters of the page titles, so you should use the target keyword at the beginning of the page title. Keep your page title under 60 characters so that they do not get truncated. You can make your page titles look like a listing, editorial, complete sentence or callout and highlight key information.
A Meta description is the text that appears below the page title in the search results. Keep your Meta descriptions compelling and under 155 characters. Use your target keyword and the relevant information at the beginning of the meta descriptions.
Use page titles that are compelling and readable. The copy and the meta descriptions should clearly describe the content on the page, be interesting and use the target keyword. You need to convince the users to visit your page versus all the other options.
In Shopify, the page title becomes the default URL. You should keep your URL short and meaningful and avoid filler words in them.
Google Images also account for web searches. To make your picture appear in image results, you should use descriptive filenames and Alt-text for your images.
Google uses the number, quality and relevancy of a page to determine the rankings. You should create a link-building strategy. Links can be considered as citations that establish trust in the eyes of search engines. The best way to build links is to focus on partnership and find the publishers and the other sites in your niche that can provide you links.
Use tools like Moz’s Link Explorer and Ahref’s Site Explorer to find out what sites and pages are linking to your competitors. The main thing to understand is: Why did these sites like your competitors? How did the page make it worthy of a link? Seeing these trends can help you come up with ideas.
Look for opportunities for Press mentions and find ways to get a mention on the other websites. You can use brand monitoring tools to find the unlinked mention of your store. You then contact the writer or the publisher to add a link.
Build a content management strategy. For this, you can find the questions your customers may ask regarding your products or services. Through content, you can tell your customers how to get more value out of your product and tips and tricks which they are not aware of. Your content should match the actual terms people are using for searching.
The length of your informational content and blogs should be around 500 words and answer all the questions your customers may have. Your content should be clear, concise and valuable. Though, quality is more important than quantity.
All the content on your website should be unique and original. It should be written just for your store. For example, do not use the manufacturer’s descriptions for products instead write your own. This way, you will be better able to sell your products and services.
Try to add your product reviews to your product pages. Most shoppers read the reviews before making a purchase, so reviews are a must to build trust. Product reviews also offer information and use long-tail keywords which you can rank for.
Use the free app developed by Shopify called ‘Product Reviews’ to add SEO-friendly review scores to your product pages.
If a page on your website becomes inactive because the product you used to sell is removed, then you should redirect that page to another relevant and existing page on your website. This gives your visitors a new destination rather than a ‘Dead’ link.
You should set up your business on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and more. Registering your name on these platforms will give a place for people to find you and protect your identity. You can link from your social media account to your store.
You should use a theme that makes your website look good on mobile devices. Every theme on the Shopify store is mobile-friendly. All the pages should be readable on mobile as they are on desktop.
Speed of your website is a ranking factor, so make sure your store is fast for both desktop and mobile. You can use PageSpeed Insights to get Google’s recommendations to improve your store’s performance.
You can refer to Google’s official recommended practices in case you have a doubt. Follow Google’s guideline to avoid using any questionable practices that can get your website penalised. As the search technology is moving forward, there may be small changes, so you should stay informed.