Shopify SEO Guide: How to Optimize Your Shopify SEO?

Shopify SEO

If you’re running a Shopify store, you need to be aware of SEO. Optimizing your Shopify site for search engines will help you get more traffic and make more sales.

Shopify has a number of features that can help you with SEO, and there are a few tricks you can use to boost your ranking. Let’s examine the definition of Shopify SEO. 

What is Shopify SEO?

As we know, search engine optimization is the process of optimizing a website for Google and other search engines. When done correctly, SEO can help a website rank higher in the SERP, which means more traffic. 

Shopify SEO is a little different from traditional SEO because it focuses on optimizing eCommerce stores built with Shopify and therefore considers features of the CMS.

By optimizing your Shopify store, you can improve your visibility on search engine results pages and attract more customers. 

Shopify screenshot

Why is Shopify SEO Important for Your Business?

If you’re running an online business, you probably know how important it is to have a strong SEO presence to reach your target audience and make it easier for users to find your product.

Due to Shopify vs. Etsy comparison, optimization of the store on the Shopify marketplace requires more effort than on existing online stores like Etsy.

Moreover, Shopify stores may even be more vulnerable to SEO factors since they aren’t as well established as other eCommerce platforms. That’s why it’s so important to ensure that your Shopify SEO is on point.

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Factors to Consider While Doing Shopify SEO

There is no doubt that Shopify is a great eCommerce platform. It offers users and store owners a wide range of features such as customization, dropshipping, local selling, and others. However, just because you have a Shopify store does not mean that it will automatically rank high in Google search results. Here are some factors to consider while doing Shopify SEO: 

#1: Register a custom domain name through Shopify

If you want to improve SEO for your Shopify store, one of the first things you’ll need to do is register a custom domain name. This will make it easier for customers to find and remember your website and also help your site rank higher on the SERP by using the right keywords. Shopify makes it easy to register a domain name through their platform. 

#2: Set up Google Analytics

As soon as you install Google Analytics (GA) for your Shopify Store, you will be able to track your website traffic and see how well your SEO efforts are paying off.

Google Analytics provides in-depth data on all aspects of your website traffic, including the channels your users come from (you’re interested in organic traffic to analyze your SEO efforts), their demographics, and how they behave on your website. GA is also necessary for e-commerce websites to track the purchase flow. 

Shopify makes it easy for you to connect to your GA account. All you have to do is paste your unique tracking code into a special field, as shown below.

Google Analytics Setup in Shopify screenshot

#3: Set up Google Search Console

Another good step is to set up Google Search Console (SC). You can use SC to track your website’s organic performance, what search queries your Shopify website is shown for, any technical issues your webpages have, and backlink data. 

To add your website to SC, click on the ‘Add a Property’ button and enter your website’s URL. As soon as you’ve added your site, you’ll need to verify the Shopify domain to assure service you are the owner of the Shopify Store. Upon confirming your site, you’ll be taken to the Search Console dashboard. There, you can see information about your site’s impressions, clicks, and click-through rate in Google search results. 

Google Search Console screenshot

#4: Consider a third-party SEO management tool

When optimizing a Shopify store, having the right tools can make all the difference. We have already mentioned Google Analytics and Search Console, your must-have tools. They are free tools provided by Google, but they have many limitations. Meanwhile, several third-party services can help you with your Shopify SEO. They can help you track your website’s position in the SERPs, the overall health of your website, and your backlinks with more data available. 

You need third-party SEO tools because they usually have more features to analyze your e-commerce website and your niche, find the right keywords and backlink opportunities, and monitor your competitors.

One such platform is the SE Ranking SEO management tool that offers many features such as a ranking tracker, keyword research, automated site audit, competitor analysis tools, etc. It is not free but has all the data GA and SC provide and many additional essential features for building an SEO strategy and tracking the performance of your rivals.

SE Ranking Rank Tracker screenshot

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8 Shopify SEO Tips to Help Your Customers Find You 

If you’re running a Shopify store, then you know how important it is to make sure your customers can find you. Here are some tips on how to improve your visibility online by optimizing your Shopify store for search engines:

1. Optimize Shopify products pages

By following a few simple tips, you can optimize your pages for better search engine rankings:

Keyword Research

To optimize Shopify products pages, it’s imperative to do keyword research to know exactly what search terms your pages should be shown for. By targeting the right keywords, you can direct more traffic your way and increase conversions. 

When it comes to keyword research, you can use Keyword Planner by Google, although this tool was initially created for running a paid campaign in Google Ads. To use the Google Keyword Planner, you’ll need to create a Google Ads account by heading over to the ‘Tools’ menu and selecting ‘Keyword Planner.’ Google will then generate a list of related keywords.

SE Ranking offers a more SEO-focused keyword research tool that enables you to quickly and easily conduct keyword research. It has a separate module where you just need to enter a keyword (it’s better to enter a general keyword), and you’ll get a list of related keyword ideas. It also provides a range of other useful features, such as keyword difficulty scores, search volume data, and SERP features data.

SE Ranking Keyword Research screenshot

Buyer Intent

To identify which keywords to target, owners of Shopify stores need to know buyer intent. Buyer intent refers to the motivation behind a consumer’s search query. Understanding buyer intent is key to driving targeted traffic to your website and improving your SEO strategy. 

When defining buyer intent, it’s important to understand the mindset of your target market and what needs or wants they are looking to fulfill when making a purchase. Knowing this information is essential to crafting content and messaging that resonates with potential customers and ultimately helps you close more sales. The most effective ways to do this are to interview your customers, check CRM data, analyze customer behavior on your website, and conduct competitor research.

Meta Title and Description 

The meta title and description are essential SEO elements that tell search robots what your web page is about. This snippet of text is displayed in the search results and can be a great way to lure in potential visitors. 

The title and description are places where you should include keywords you want to rank for a while describing your page, so use promising queries from keyword research. 

Google search results screenshot

Shopify dashboard screenshot

Here are some other tips for creating a compelling title and description:

  •  Keep it short and to the point: A title tag should be no more than 60 characters and a description less than 160 characters, including spaces. Any longer, and you risk the snippet being cut off in the search engine results pages.
  •  Use keywords relevant to your niche. This will help your site rank higher and attract targeted traffic.
  •  Use words that accurately describe your content. This will ensure that your site comes up in the search results for the right reasons.
  • Use keywords with high search volume and low keyword difficulty. Long-tail keywords can also be a good idea, especially for creating a meta description. 

Product Descriptions

If you’re looking for ways to improve SEO on Shopify, you may be wondering about product descriptions. 

Shopify dashboard screenshot

And, since Google and other search engines use them to determine what your site is about, they can have a big impact on your ranking. Here are some tips for writing effective product descriptions:

  1. Use keywords — When writing a product description, use keywords relevant to the product described on that page. But make sure you don’t overstuff them. 
  2. Make it unique — Don’t use product descriptions taken from other sites without any changes, and try not to use the same product description on several product pages. This might be a sign for Google that your content is poor quality.
  3. Keep it short and readable — Don’t try to stuff too much information into your product description while highlighting the product’s benefits. Also, try to use simple language and avoid jargon.
  4. Use proper heading tags H1-H6 with keywords included. Headings help you structure the content on your product page and give crawlers an idea of what your page is about.

Images

The success of your Shopify store depends on making a great first impression with your customers. One way to do that is by uploading high-quality product photography. First, it allows potential customers to understand better what your products look like. In addition, high-quality product photos can make your store look professional and credible.

Optimizing alt text and image file names is an often overlooked practice that can significantly impact your Shopify store’s SEO. 

An image filename is the name of the image file that you upload to your Shopify store, which reveals more about the image’s content. Before uploading these to Shopify, make sure to rename the files because you can’t change file names in Shopify.

Alt-text is a brief description of an image used by search engines to understand what an image is about. When adding images to your Shopify store, you should always include alt text with descriptive keywords relevant to the product. For example, if you have a photo of skinny cropped jeans for women on your page, use this keyword or its variation ‘women skinny cropped jeans’ as your alt. 

2. Structure your Shopify store

Structured data is a standardized format for providing information about a page and describing the content on a page. This information can help you improve your visibility in search results and ultimately increase sales.

There are a few recommended mappings that need to be in place for Shopify stores:

  • The first mapping is ‘Product’ structured data used to specify the product’s name, price, and availability.
  • The second mapping is the ‘Collection’ structured data used for categories. It tells search engines about the products in a particular collection and are thus related.
  • There is also ‘Article’ or ‘BlogPosting’ structured data for mapping your Blog Posts.
  • You should also use BreadcrumbList structured data to show your e-commerce pages’ hierarchy (e.g., what category a particular product page is from).

You can manually add the data markup code to your Shopify templates. Another method is using a tool like Schema & Breadcrumbs, which automatically generates the code. JSON-LD is another way to structure your data. You can add JSON-LD directly to the HTML of your web pages, or you can include it in your JavaScript code.

 If you want to check the structured data on your website, you can use Google Search Console. To do this, simply go to the ‘Search Appearance’ tab and click on ‘Structured Data.’ You can fix any errors by editing your website’s code if you see any of them.

Search engines also use structured data to generate rich snippets and short summaries of web page content that appear in search results with additional information about the page, such as ratings, prices, and location data. To test your webpage, use the Rich Results Test by Google. This tool will help you validate your code and ensure that your website is showing up correctly on the search engine results pages. 

Rich Results Test tool screenshot

3. Avoid Duplicate Content 

If you are running a Shopify store, it’s important to be aware of the risk of duplicate content, as this platform can automatically create two of the same URLs for a single product. 

One of the ways to avoid duplicate content is to use canonical tags. Canonical tags tell Google which version of a page is the ‘master’ or ‘original’ version. If you have multiple versions of a page on your store, it tells Google which one should be indexed and ranked in search results. Fortunately, Shopify will automatically add canonical tags to your pages for you.

4. Avoid Broken Links 

If you’ve ever deleted a page from your Shopify store, you’ll probably face an issue with 404s or non-existing URLs. This is bad for search bots as you spend their resources on crawling broken pages and also for users who feel frustrated in this case.

You need to create a 301 redirect to send traffic from the old URL to the new one to fix these issues. This is especially important if you have external or internal links to your deleted page, as those links will no longer work correctly if not redirected. This way, you don’t hurt your SEO and keep users satisfied. 

5. Start a Shopify Blog

One of the best ways to increase traffic to your store is by writing helpful or informative blog posts that can help you target more keywords and potentially bring more visitors to your site. It’s easy to do with Shopify’s built-in blog feature. 

Shopify dashboard screenshot

In the blog, you need to target informational queries like ‘where,’ ‘what,’ and how-to.’ You can start by thinking about the questions your target customers might have and then write posts that answer those questions. For instance, if you offer mountain bike shoes on your website, you can make a series of blog articles like ‘How to choose mountain bike shoes,’ ‘What makes good mountain bike shoes,’ etc., with links to your product pages offering mountain bike shoes. As mentioned earlier, you might also need to do keyword research to find such blog topics. 

6. Gain links to your store

In search engine optimization, backlinks are still one of the most crucial ranking factors. The quantity and quality of links pointing to your site affect your ranking in the SERPs, as search engines will consider your website trustworthy. Here are some tips for getting links to your store: 

  • Publish guest posts on high-authority websites. This approach can help you get your content in front of a larger audience while also increasing the number of links pointing to your website. 
  • Reach out to bloggers and ask them to review your products. If you have a new product that you would like to promote, don’t be afraid to ask if they would be interested in doing a review.
  • Get links from your product manufacturer. The manufacturer may have a page on their website specifically for listing dealers or distributors. If your store is not listed, contact the manufacturer and ask if they would be willing to add your store’s information. 
  • Gain organic backlinks by maintaining updated and engaging content to increase your website’s traffic and get more links. If other website owners see that your site has great content, they will be more likely to link to it from their sites.
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7. Make regular technical SEO audits

Keeping your Shopify online store technically healthy is crucial for long-term success. You need to perform technical SEO audits regularly to identify and fix any potential issues that could be hurting your ranking on Google or even preventing your website from appearing in search engine results. For this task, you will need a third-party tool—SE Ranking Website Audit in our case—which automatically runs an audit and displays a list of all the technical issues, the pages where they occur, and how to fix them.

When creating or updating a website, check the robots.txt file and meta robots tags so that bots can crawl the site. Issues with your robots.txt file or meta robots can lead to your website not being properly crawled and indexed by search engines. 

Moreover, developing a sitemap.xml file and submitting it via Search Console is beneficial to your Shopify store. A sitemap.xml file is a listing of all the pages on your website, and it helps search engines to crawl your website more effectively. 

To check your robots.txt file, sitemap.xml, and meta robots tags, run an audit with SE Ranking and visit the Crawling section.

Redirects and broken links can wreak a lot of havoc on your Shopify store. To identify such pages, check the HTTP Status Code section in the audit report. Redirects are marked as 301 or 302 URLs, while broken links are 404 pages. Also, don’t forget to ensure that your canonical tags are set correctly.

SE Ranking Website Audit screenshot

Finally, check your heading tags, meta title, and description with the automated audit tool by SE Ranking.

8. Boost Your Site Speed

A faster loading website means happier visitors and higher search engine rankings. With more and more elements to load, it’s no wonder that site speed is becoming an issue. So how can you speed up your website? 

  • Image Optimization
    The smaller an image file size is, the faster it will load on a visitor’s screen. One method is to choose the correct file format for your images. Generally speaking, JPEG and PNG files will result in smaller file sizes than GIFs. 
  • Compression of files
    This means reducing the size of your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files. This is a method of compressing files to take up less bandwidth (and are thus faster). You can also use caching to store your compressed files. 
  • Use a lightweight theme.
    They are optimized for faster loading sites and won’t bog down your site’s performance. 
  • Reduce the number of apps installed on your website. This is because each app has to load its own files and code. So if you’re not using an app, get rid of it! This will help to declutter your site and speed things up.

You can check your website speed and related metrics with PageSpeed Insights or the Search Console Page experience report.

Conclusion

Attracting a large amount of traffic is at the heart of optimizing your Shopify store for search. To reach this goal, you should implement SEO on your website. This includes optimizing your Shopify product pages for search engines, structuring your store, and avoiding common issues in Shopify, such as duplicate content. Furthermore, it would be beneficial to start a Shopify blog, increase the number of links to your site, and improve website speed. And don’t forget to perform regular technical SEO audits to keep your Shopify store technically healthy and optimized for search engines.

About the author

Ra Karthik

Ramachandiran Karthik is the Digital Marketing Manager at Adnabu. He loves to help Shopify stores grow their business with Google Shopping & Google Ads, using advanced features like multi-currencies, multi-languages, Metafields. Karthik has a lot of experience in digital marketing and enjoys exploring new ways to make advertising more effective for both advertisers and customers.

By Ra Karthik

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