Guide to Shopify SEO
You have built your Shopify store and are now open for business. But how will you reach your target customers? You need to rank in the search results where the shoppers can find your store. The higher you rank in the search results the more traffic you will get and this will lead to an increase in your sales. For this, you need to follow SEO techniques.
Shopify comes with several SEO features. Shopify SEO is a set of formats that are unique to the Shopify platform.
These are the ways you can apply SEO techniques to your Shopify store:
1. The structure of your website is important for your SEO success. If the shoppers can easily find what they are looking for then they will spend more time on your store. For this, you should make your website easy to navigate. Use a simple site structure as it will be easy for the search engine to crawl your website and rank your products.
You can use structures like
Homepage >> Category pages >> Product pages
Homepage >> Category pages >> Subcategory page >> Product pages
Add the About us page and the Contact page as these pages tell the search engine that your website is credible and trustworthy. To help users find what they are looking for quickly, you can add a search box.
2. To rank higher in the search results you should offer a good user experience. If your site loads fast and the users can find everything quickly then they will have no cause for frustration. They will spend more time in your store.
To make your Shopify store faster you can use a fast and mobile-friendly theme, use smaller and optimized images, delete the apps you are not using and avoid using sliders.
Use a responsive design for your website as it will help your store look good on any of the devices used like desktops, laptops or smartphones. A responsive theme can improve the user experience and keep the visitors on your website longer.
You should ensure that your store works on mobile as more and more shoppers are using mobile.
3. You should find the right keywords to get traffic to your store. One of the ways is to use keyword research tools like Moz Keyword Explorer. You can make a list of at least five topics that your customers care about and are related to your product or service. To find topics you can look at your buyer's personas, forums, social media hashtags and the titles and meta descriptions used on your competitor’s website.
Find keywords that generate the highest revenue, keywords that have a high conversion rate through their volume may be less but are transactional and keywords for which your site gets clicks and impressions.
4. You should optimise your store’s page by using the keywords. You can begin with pages with the products that create the most buzz and next with the pages with products related to the most searched keywords.
Use keywords in a consistent way like
Keyword A -- Shop for Keyword B -- Store name
White T-shirt -- Shop for White T-shirt -- The store
Write titles and meta descriptions for products and categories. Use original content for both. Use the keywords naturally in the copy. Optimise your images and use Alt-text with all the images.
5. Backlinks are used by search engines to determine how your website is valued. To get backlinks you can email your manufacturers and suppliers and request them to link to your store. You can reach out to industry leaders and influencers for an interview which will help you earn links and content.
Find all your mentions without any links. You can use mention.com to find the mentions. You can email them and ask them to link to your store.
You can search for broken links for products and services similar to yours. Once you find them, reach out to the owner of the site that has a broken link and ask them to link to your website. Broken links can hurt SEO so this solution is mutually beneficial for both parties.
6. For Shopify eCommerce stores the product descriptions are usually considered enough content. You should create original content that can add value to the overall user experience. You start by making a list of things your customers ask and want answers to. This is not just product information. Through your content, you can tell your customers about your brand. This is the easiest way to rank for relevant keywords and earn backlinks.
7. Shopify includes the ability to create a blog and allows you to create informational content. If you find Google is ranking blogs/articles type of content for the keywords you use then you should also create blogs and articles.
Shopify - Duplicate content
Duplicate content is the highest issue created by Shopify. Duplicate content occurs when two or more URLs have similar content. The search engine may not be able to decide which one is the canonical version.
Shopify creates duplicate content in different ways like duplicate product pages and duplication collections pages through pagination. This can be accounted for by using the canonical tag. In the internal linking structure, Shopify links to all the non-canonical versions of all the product pages.
Shopify creates duplicate content through the website’s pagination. It creates a duplicate of the first collections page in a series. For this, the first pagination page can point to the canonical page
In Shopify stores usually, multiple product URLs are created for the same product with a slight variation. This can create duplicate content issues. For this, you can create unique content for each and use the variant’s target keyword.
Shopify - Crawling and Indexing
Shopify creates a ‘Robots.txt’ file by default for your store with a few ‘Disallow’ commands. The default file works for most of the stores. It disallows crawling of policies pages, internal search, checkout, orders, shopping cart and admin area. You cannot adjust the ‘Robots.txt’ file but Shopify allows you to add the ‘noindex’ tag.
Shopify can generate an XML sitemap at the URL path domain.com/sitemap.xml. This file will update dynamically as the new pages are added or removed from the website.
Shopify allows you to implement redirects and you can use it for any old content or for content that does not exist anymore. You will have to delete the page before you can apply redirects on Shopify.
Shopify - Structured data
Shopify offers good support for structured data. Most of the Shopify themes contain ‘Product’ markup that provides Google with key information about the product like product name, description, price and more. If you use Shopify blog functionality you should use the ‘Article’ structured data, it lets Google know that your blog content is more editorial.
You can use Breadcrumbs structured data to add Breadcrumbs internal links. Breadcrumbs can be used to provide users with easy-to-use internal links.
Shopify - Speed
To improve the speed of your website Shopify uses CDN and browser caching. To improve the speed you should use lazy loading with images, automatically compress images, remove low-usage Shopify apps, resize and compress large images and manage tracking codes to Google Tag Manager.
Shopify Apps and Tools
These are the Shopify apps and tools that can help you with SEO:
SEO Image Optimiser
Schema App Total Schema Markup