You’re not the only one struggling to improve your Shopify SEO. Search engine optimization can be confusing. You must also keep up with your search engine optimization to increase your brand’s visibility and remain at the top in the search results.
We want to address every aspect of Shopify SEO. This includes notifying search engines about your presence and fixing your URL structure. Continue reading to find out the top areas you should focus on to boost your Shopify SEO. Also, be sure to bookmark this SEO guide and return to it from time to check for ongoing SEO maintenance.
What are the most important areas to cover to improve your Shopify SEO?
All website builders have their own SEO tools. Shopify’s ecommerce platform is no exception. It’s important to note that Shopify doesn’t provide its own SEO elements. This does not mean that search engines will cater to what Shopify offers.
Although search engines evolve over time, Bing, Google and other search engines such as DuckDuckGo still need similar things. They expect you to optimize your search engine results with the correct keywords and provide valuable content.
The idea is that you should never stop working on technical SEO because you have completed the Shopify fields. It’s not enough.
These are the areas you should focus on to improve your Shopify SEO. These topics will be expanded upon as we provide actionable SEO tips to help you get the best search engine results.
- Linking Shopify to Search Engines The first step in linking Shopify to Search Engines is to notify Google and Bing about Shopify. This will open up tools to track your success.
- Optimization Text and Images SEO is essential for every page. This includes keyword research and implementing them in product descriptions and images.
- The URL Structure and the Focus Shopify’s URL structure is quite complex. Your goal is to simplify it and optimize.
- Create an Easy and Useful User Interface Make Shopify responsive. Think about menus and how it makes it easy to find products.
- Content Marketing Everything from video creation to blogging.
The Best Ways to Increase Your Shopify SEO Today
It’s now time to break down the primary areas into steps and processes that can be used to make your ecommerce store stand apart from the rest.
Submit your Shopify site with Webmaster Tools
Before you do any SEO work on your online store, ensure it is indexed by all the major search engines. Yes, Google, Bing, and other search engines scan the web to locate your ecommerce site. There is an easier and more efficient way to track, improve, and manage your search engine results as well as your target keywords.
Contrary to what many may believe, there are still search engines . It’s not just Google. Google is the market leader in market share but millions of people use Bing, Yahoo and other search engines such as the privacy-oriented DuckDuckGo.
While you can certainly go through the search engine list and use each of the webmaster tools, we recommend at least starting with these:
Google Webmaster Tools
Bing Webmaster Tools
Webmaster tools are not available for many other search engines. This is a disadvantage because you won’t get the analysis elements. However, it’s also a benefit that you don’t have to do any work in order to get your site indexed. You can also visit the Yahoo Suggest Site Tool. DuckDuckGo indexes your website automatically.
This example will only include Google Webmaster Tools, but it is very similar for Bing.
Log in to your Google account by going to the Sitemaster site. You will need one if you don’t already have one.
Choose the area in which it asks for you to add a home.
You may need to click the dropdown menu if you have properties already under your account to see the Add Property option.
Next, enter the URL of your store. Next, enter your URL in the field asking for your domain. This will register your online store’s URLs on the entire domain including subdomains.
To continue, click on the Continue button
Verifying that your domain is owned is the most difficult part of this process.
To verify ownership, carefully follow the steps. You can verify your ownership by calling Shopify to have the TXT record added to your DNS. You can also do this yourself if you are skilled with this type of stuff.
When you’re done, click on the Verify button.
The dashboard will open for you to inspect URL problems and check site performance on Google. You can also submit your sitemap.xml to facilitate website scanning.
We recommend bookmarking Google Webmaster Tools to help you make benchmarks and assess your progress.
Shopify SEO Keyword Research
Search engines can’t scan your site and instantly know what you’re selling, unfortunately.
They won’t be able to see the details in your images and creative descriptions of your products may not convey much beyond the fact that they’re selling shoes.
Idealistically, you can do more.
There are many tools online that can help you find the right keywords for your store. These tools are useful? Yes, they are useful, but you can still think of keywords that will be relevant to your site based upon your industry research and customer feedback.
You can also use free keyword research tools to confirm your research.
This is the best way to find the right keywords for your website:
- You can write ten to 20 words that best reflect the nature of your website. This can be done for specific products.
- Search for keywords in Google Keyword Planner.
- Write down or save any keyword suggestions that you haven’t thought of before. Save the keywords that get the most searches on Google. These keywords are what you will be targeting.
For other keywords, think outside of the box. To see which keywords are recommended for longer searches, use the Google autocomplete section. To understand what search patterns people use on Instagram, type in keywords and hashtags. You can create a customer profile to your store that outlines the needs, wants, and pain points of your customer. This will help you find other keywords.
Continue to use the Google Keyword Planner tool. This is the most important item in your keyword research toolbox. If you don’t get the desired search results for a keyword, try another recommendation or continue typing new keywords that might be related to your store and its products.
Keywords with too many monthly searches or too much competition can make it very difficult to rank for the keyword. It could be that your big competitors will push you down in search rankings or it might be too vague. Focus on keywords with monthly searches volumes in the hundreds or lower thousands.
After that, you will have a list of keywords to target for your ecommerce website. This list will be useful for many tasks.
Get the Shopify SEO Essentials Covered
Shopify comes with its own SEO tools. These tools are not very powerful, but they are useful for making sure that your store is targeted with the right keywords and looks professional when displayed in search engine results.
These fields are important. You don’t usually have to do this again.
Click on the Online Store option in the Shopify dashboard. Select Preferences.
Preferences’ first module is used to specify the store’s general title and description. This is the description that appears on Google and other search engines when someone searches for it online.
This is where you can start using the keyword list that you created before. While it is important to keep your store’s content relevant and descriptive, it is a good idea to include a few general keywords that are representative of your entire store. Avoid putting too many keywords into the title or description tag.
The homepage title might read, for example, Joe’s Shoes – Retro Basketball Shoes from California.
The description is a brief paragraph that describes the store in detail and includes a keyword.
It’s a good idea to set up the Social Sharing Image area while you’re here, since this technically is part of search optimization.
Scroll down to the Google Analytics section for more information. Google Analytics is similar in function to Google Webmaster Tools but has far more features that allow you to track where your organic traffic comes from and how your store performs.
It is a good idea to create a Google Analytics account here and link it to your Shopify website. If you intend to work with Facebook, it’s prudent to also set up the Facebook Pixel.
Shopify Product Pages: Add or Optimize Content
Once you have your trusted keyword list, head to Shopify and click the Products button.
You should be able to see a list of all your products as long as you haven’t added any new products. It’s a great way for you to give information to your customers and it also shows search engines that this is being done. This is a great opportunity to be creative and also list product specifications.
Target keywords should be used to optimize any content on your online store. Here are your product-specific keywords.
This is a time-consuming task that you can either outsource or do yourself. However, it requires that you go through each product and fill in all the content.
To get started, click on one of the products.
Optimizing product pages for search engines is the most important step. Fill in the Title and Description with relevant and keyword-focused information your customers will use to make informed decisions and possibly buy from you store.
It’s a combination of a sales pitch with an informative friend. You don’t need to push too hard but instead fill them in the details needed to make a purchase.
Use your creativity and keywords to complete the Title, Description fields. To make it appear natural, don’t put too many keywords.
The best thing about the description field, is that you can get really into the story of your product with additional media elements such as videos or pictures.
Scroll down to the Media section on the product page. Upload at least five photos with high resolution of your product. This is because the customer cannot hold the item and inspect it before purchasing.
After you’ve uploaded your photos, click on each one to edit the alt text.
Search engines can’t analyze a photo based on the pixels it contains, as we have already mentioned. Google will ignore a photo that doesn’t have an alt tag.
You have the option to make sure the images in your store work to improve your SEO and give search engines more information.
This is called an alt tag. It is a description that is stored with the image and tells the search engine what it contains.
Make sure you add an alt tag for each image.
An alt tag tip: Write what is in the image. While it’s fine to add keywords to images from time to time, having generic text or keywords across all images is not what search engines want is a good idea. This could cause problems for your Shopify SEO.
A Search Engine Listing Preview is located at the bottom of each product page. One of these previews is available for each page on your website. It shows what the URL and meta description will look like on Google.
The page title and description will be taken from the product description and title. You can adjust the page title and description if they don’t look right or if you want to add a keyword.
Organization is the final section to be taken care of on product pages. You can also add labels to the product type, vendor and collection.
These are all meant to guide customers through your online store, and make shopping easier. This is a key part of search engine optimization. Search engines like user experiences that are more enjoyable.
For easy reference, you might consider adding each product to a category. Label them all with the appropriate tags, manufacturers, and product types.
For better Shopify SEO, Strengthen and Simplify your Site Navigation
There are many ways to navigate your site. Although it may seem great to make your site navigation a huge mega-menu, this is only possible if there are thousands of products and the menu design doesn’t create more confusion.
The following elements should be added to your store’s navigational system:
- A search bar
- A menu.
- Navigation with breadcrumbs
- Footer links.
Your Shopify theme usually includes a search bar. Make sure you have that theme. There are also fancy search bar apps available that will recommend products to customers when they enter keywords.
Your menu is the main way for customers to search through products and collections. It’s best to keep your menu short and include collections when your product list becomes too long.
Go to Online Store > Navigation Shopify. To create and modify your menus, click here. This will display a list all the menus on your website. You might have a footer and a main menu.
Name the menu and include everything you want in it. Shopify allows multi-level menus. This means that you can have multiple collections appear when the user scrolls to the Shop Now menu option. This page can be used to create the text for the menu. Then, link each menu item with a page, collection or custom link.
Breadcrumbs act as site outlines. They log the customer’s journey to reach a product and show the past pages in a list with links. Breadcrumbs make it easy for customers to go back a few steps.
Amazon always provides breadcrumbs to customers. The breadcrumbs are logged every time you search for a keyword. Every filter or category that you click on is added to the breadcrumbs. If I wanted to return to the list that was only filtered for “4 Stars & Up”, it would do so.
Shopify also allows you to create footer menus from the Navigation area. This is the same as a main menu, except that it’s located at the bottom of your website. It usually links to additional resources that might prove helpful for your customers.
It is common to display customer support links on your knowledgebase and forums pages. The footer menu allows you to link to pages that you don’t want to include in your main menu, but which are still essential to user experience and SEO.
Make sure you clean up your Shopify URLs
Shopify URLs are a subject of love and hate by SEO professionals.
Shopify does a good job in one respect. It generates clean URLs based on what page and post titles are written.
Shopify adds unhelpful text by default to your store URLs. Here are some examples:
- All product URLs include /products/.
- All post URLs include /posts/
- All page URLs are added with /pages/
- Similar configurations are available for category pages and collection pages.
This creates more complex URLs and is not the standard way that most content management systems generate URLs. However, search engine ranking factors are much more important. These Shopify URL extensions can still help you rank high.
There are however ways to make sure URLs aren’t more complicated than they appear.
Your goal is to review each page, post and product URL to make sure they are simple, clear, and optimized for your target keyword. Although it may seem tempting to include all the product information in your product URLs (or even more), you should limit yourself to just a few words that refer to the primary keyword.
For instance, this is a bad URL: www.yourwebsite1.com/products/t334-red-shoes-retro-292.php?ref=293829size.
A better alternative would be www.yourwebsite1.com/products/retroshoes.
Clean up URLs by going to any page, post or product page in the Shopify admin panel.
Find the Search Engine Listing Preview. Make sure the page title, description and URL are complete. Then look at the handle and URL to see what’s happening there.
A URL modification won’t likely cause problems if the page hasn’t been online for a while or hasn’t been indexed yet by search engines.
Older posts could be linked to from outside sources and indexed.
Make sure to check the box that says Create URL Redirect.
This will redirect all URLs to the new URL and reduce confusion and broken pages.
To improve Shopify SEO, start a blog
It’s not important to blog according to the “must start blogging” trend. That will result in boring or forced content that won’t connect with anyone and is a wasteful use of your time.
You might want to skip blogging if you don’t have the budget or time to hire a professional writer.
However, this means that you are missing out on tremendous potential in customer outreach and SEO.
Here are some ways blogging can benefit you:
- You can add more pages to your website, increasing your chances of people landing there.
- This content can educate or convince people about your product, which could lead to sales.
- You can also use blog content for conversion purposes like building an email list.
- Your website is viewed by potential customers as a trusted resource for information about a product or industry.
- If your blog post contains relevant, high-quality information, other blogs, companies and marketers might create backlinks (for linking building).
Although the Shopify blogging section is not as good as WordPress’s, it does the job for most online shops.
You can start blogging in Shopify by going to the Sales Channel tab, and clicking on Online Store.
Click the button for Blog Posts.
A list of all the blog posts will appear once you have created them. You can create a blog post by clicking the Create Blog Post button.
Your imagination is your only limit after that! Write a catchy title and add high-quality images or videos to your article.
Blog posts can also be uploaded with featured images and optimized for search engines.
Once you have been blogging for some time, you can begin to distribute your content on social media sites like Facebook or Instagram. Forums are also a popular way for stores to share useful content.
Reaching out to other marketers and bloggers who might find your content useful for their work is also a good idea. You can either offer to guest blog on their site or they may link to your page for free.
Don’t get discouraged by blogging at the beginning. It’s tedious and not for everyone. But, a skilled writer who understands your business will help you to make a difference in the long-term, especially with traffic and information seekers.
Add Essential Shopify SEO Apps
Apps help Shopify customers by expanding functionality and implementing tools that weren’t already built into the system.
The article will explain that while you don’t want apps to be too extensive, there are some that can help with analyzing and improving ecommerce SEO.
This is not a complete list. Here are some recommendations for essential SEO apps.
- A web image optimizer such as AVADA – Automatically shrinks and resizes images uploaded to your store. This will allow for a quicker loading experience.
- A SEO-friendly booster app such as SEO Optimizer. – Automate SEO elements such as alt-text creation or meta information.
- Rich snippets creators like the SEO, JSON LD, Schema apps – Rich snippets increase SEO by adding visual elements (often ratings, reviews) to your search engine results. These apps often include other features such as the Google Search Console or sitemap submissions.
Your SEO apps should be kept at a minimum. You can often find free versions of SEO apps that won’t increase your monthly costs.
Make sure to clean up the apps
WordPress or any other content management system and website builder, you might have heard that too many plugins can slow down your site, and create security vulnerabilities.
While Shopify is not as talked about, it’s still true.
Shopify’s apps create a new site file for each one you install. Many of these files are quite large.
Your search engine optimization is largely influenced by site speed. Google doesn’t like websites that take too much time to load. Your customers will not either.
We recommend that you go through your Shopify app list and keep only the essential ones. If you are having trouble deciding which apps to keep, consider the ones that bring in revenue for your company. Keep them.
You can also cut apps that do not provide the same functionality, or have it coded directly into your website by a developer.
Shopify’s social media apps are, for example, not essential. Third-party programs can do the same thing but without adding to your site.
You should go through the list and get rid of any that slow down your site. It’s hard to know which apps may cause problems with your site’s coding or simply be too large for your site.
Check for Broken Links and Fully Responsive Designs
Test the site to ensure that you have a solid Shopify SEO strategy.
It is easy to assume that your theme runs smoothly and that the user interface works as you expect. Building a website involves many logistical links. You’ll likely encounter issues between apps, design flaws and broken links.
As a customer, you should navigate through your store the same way. Share the link with your friends and colleagues.
Note everything. For example, duplicate content, or links that lead to an older, broken page.
To improve your Shopify SEO, keep working at it
Store owners should conduct a quarterly or monthly review of their SEO lists. Ask yourself questions about how to improve your SEO and do manual testing to find SEO problems with your site structure.
We’d love to hear from you about Shopify SEO.