A Beginner’s Guide to Shopify SEO
Jun 17, 2022 | 9 MINUTES TO READ
Summary: If you have an online Shopify store, professional SEO services from a digital marketing agency can help you grow and get found. Learn more here!
Whether you sell your own products or distribute products for other companies, opening a Shopify store is one of the easiest ways to sell items to customers all over the globe. However, doing so puts you in competition with countless other businesses doing the same thing.
Search engine optimization (SEO) holds the key to making your Shopify website stand out. But what is SEO, and how can you use it to your advantage? In this post, we will cover all of the basics of Shopify SEO to help you get started on this critical marketing process.
What is eCommerce SEO?
eCommerce SEO is the practice of optimizing your eCommerce store for high search ranks. When people search for specific keywords related to the products you sell, your website should be one of the first they see.
Some of the things you can do to improve your Shopify website’s SEO include:
- Adding keywords to your webpage copy and product descriptions
- Removing duplicate URLs from your internal site structure and adding structured data
- Arranging your site to make it easy to navigate
- Compressing product images and removing extraneous apps
- Creating valuable blog content
We will cover these topics and more in further detail below.
8 Steps to Shopify SEO Success
If you have a new or existing Shopify site that you want to promote, designing the site according to SEO principles should be your first goal. Follow the steps below to help your website and tour products get seen by a larger audience.
1. Optimize Your Shopify Site Structure
Search engines favour websites that are neat and organized. To that end, your Shopify site should be as simple and easy to navigate as possible.
To do this, condense the number of categories and subcategories your products are broken into. You should have a handful of major categories (for example, a clothing store might organize their wares into sections for men, women, and kids) with a manageable list of subcategories in each of them. You can make searching for specific items easier by including a search bar on your website and tagging each of your items appropriately.
All of your site’s webpage and product pages should be only a few clicks away from your homepage. If a page is difficult to find, look for a way to integrate it more naturally into your site structure or consider deleting it altogether.
2. Improve Your User Experience
Once your Shopify website is more organized, you can start working on your user experience. There are two major ways to provide a better user experience in your store:
- Boost your site’s loading speed. Use a simple, mobile-friendly theme and optimize the size and resolution of any images you include. You should also remove any apps that are not needed for your current site design.
- Use responsive design. Responsive eCommerce website design elements allow a website to automatically resize and rearrange its elements to suit any device. This makes it easier for mobile users to browse your website without needing to zoom in or scroll awkwardly.
3. Attend to Your Technical SEO
Technical SEO refers to elements that help Google’s web crawlers and algorithms better understand your website. Many Shopify experts report that technical SEO is one of the important factors in achieving high ranks. To improve your Shopify website’s technical SEO:
- Use canonical link elements to let search engines know which pages you consider to be main pages.
- Use structured data markups to display important information like prices and customer ratings directly on the search results for your products.
- Create an XML sitemap and submit it to Google Search Console. You can use Shopify’s tools to automatically generate a sitemap you can use for this purpose.
- Fix any site errors you discover. If a feature is broken or certain actions lead to bugs, correct these issues immediately.
4. Research Your Target Keywords
SEO relies on keywords to make its mark. Targeting the right keywords will allow you to secure leads with genuine interest in your products and improve your chances of making a sale.
Begin by brainstorming a list of topics that will interest your customers. Think about which terms they might use to find products like yours. If you were shopping for the kinds of items you sell, what would you search for? In addition to general keywords, you should also come up with some keywords for each of your products. This gives you more opportunities to promote your products to interested leads.
When you have a few ideas listed, you can turn to other sources of information. You might get some ideas from buyer personas, social media and forum comments, or the keywords your competitors are using. There are many SEO tools available to help you access this information, but it is still a good idea to hire a digital marketing company to help you interpret the information they provide and use it to your best advantage.
5. Optimize Your Shopify Products Pages
When you have finalized a list of keywords, begin adding those keywords to your webpages.
Start with key pages like your home page or your star product pages. Any page that generates a substantial amount of traffic for you should be tweaked to improve its keyword density.
Start with your webpage titles and product descriptions. Create titles that entice users to click on them (including the words “Sale” or “X% Off” works well). This will improve your click-through rate, boosting your SEO and providing you with more leads you can work on converting.
After this, work on your product copy. Longer, unique product descriptions are excellent for SEO, giving you more attention from Google and more opportunities to incorporate keywords.
When those areas have been addressed, move on to less visible spots. You can sprinkle keywords into things like the alt text for your images, the copy for your “out of stock” pages, and even your URLs. Remember not to go overboard, though. It is especially important to keep your URLs short, informative, and to-the-point.
6. Build Links to Your Store
Backlinks (links from other websites that lead back to your site) signal to Google that your site is considered important and reputable. They are a vital part of good SEO.
All websites benefit from backlinks, but they are particularly beneficial for eCommerce stores. Links to specific products can be used to generate interest in those products and boost sales.
To get the backlinks you need, reach out to:
- Your suppliers
- Influencers and other industry leaders
- Pages that mention your site without a link
- Pages with relevant broken links that could be replaced by a link to your site
Shopify stores with a physical location can also submit a link to their local business directory. This will improve your local SEO, a form of SEO that targets users in your geographic area.
7. Boost Your Search Ranks with Content Marketing
Content marketing may not be the first thing on your mind when you are operating an eCommerce shop, but it is definitely worth your time. Creating valuable content helps you generate more consumer interest, hit higher ranks for more keywords, and secure more backlinks for your website.
Aim to publish relevant, high-quality content on a set schedule. Many blogs upload new posts weekly, but bi-weekly or even monthly will do. Think about what kinds of information your leads might be interested in and use those ideas to generate new post topics.
When writing each post, look for opportunities to link readers to specific products that can help them with the problems they face. Drawing a clear line between your products and your content shows the reader why they should shop in your store.
8. Use Top Shopify SEO Apps and Tools
Using too many apps and tools will slow your Shopify site down, but many of them provide invaluable SEO functions you cannot do without. Choose just a few of the best ones to keep your site loading quickly without sacrificing utility. Some of the tools recommended by Shopify experts include:
- Yoast. This Shopify plugin monitors your website’s SEO and provides recommendations to improve it when necessary. It also allows you to edit several pages at once, making it easy to quickly adjust existing keywords to suit new trends.
- SEMRush. This tool by the much-loved SEMRush allows you to delve deeper into your competitors’ keywords, including which pages on their websites receive the most traffic.
- SEO Image Optimizer. This plugin allows you to easily compress any images you will be hosting on your site without compromising their quality.
Get the SEO Results You Want with Help from Our Shopify Experts
SEO is a vast and complex discipline that many small business owners find difficult to navigate even with the help of a guide. Luckily, help with Shopify in Toronto is just a few clicks away. WSI Comandix is one of the most reputable Shopify partner digital marketing agencies operating in the GTA. Contact us to get started with our expert team and begin growing your Shopify store today.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is SEO so Important for eCommerce?
eCommerce businesses rely on traffic to generate sales – if no one knows your store exists, they will not buy from you. SEO increases your online store’s visibility on search engines, generating more traffic and giving you the opportunity to close more sales.
How Do eCommerce Sites Do SEO?
eCommerce sites use keywords, backlinks, technical elements, and more to create powerful momentum that helps websites quickly rise up the search ranks. For maximum effectiveness, each product page should be optimized with its own set of keywords.
Which eCommerce Platform is Best for SEO?
With the right knowledge, SEO can be done on any eCommerce platform. However, some make it easier than others. Shopify is one of the better platforms for SEO beginners, providing a range of tools that automate some of the work involved in this process.
Does Shopify Have Good SEO?
Shopify offers many SEO tools that make the process easier, but the results they provide cannot compare to those you can achieve with real expertise. You will need to put in significant amounts of work to make SEO work to its fullest potential. If you are not sure how to do this, remember that you can always outsource this work to a Toronto SEO company.
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