Shopify is one of the most popular choices for aspiring ecommerce entrepreneurs to power their online store. If you wish to reach the biggest possible number of potential customers, you need to implement a solid SEO strategy.
The comprehensive set of strategies you will use as part of your SEO mission will have to include all those on-site and off-site techniques needed to achieve and maintain the best possible highest search engine rankings.
Shopify is offered with a galaxy of in-built SEO tools besides a number of third-party app integrations to let you rank better. When you want to get started with Shopify checklist, you will find this guide very helpful.
If you are an established brand aspiring to dominate your niche, it is good that you opt for a professional Shopify SEO services. Nevertheless, the pointers in this guide will help beginners create a solid foundation to increase SEO rankings and generate organic traffic.
Preliminaries you must know
Every SEO strategy must be based on a solid keyword strategy. Whether you have plans to use a free to use tool like the Google Keyword Planner or would choose to work on an advanced keyword research platforms like Ahrefs, you must adopt a research based approach that will identify the most important keywords in terms of relevance to context, difficulty level and volume search.
Once you are with the right search terms you will want to target on each of your Shopify store pages, you are ready to implement the strategy.
While choosing a theme for your Shopify store, you must deem load time and mobile-frienliness as the top SEO factors for Google.
1. Choose a Shopify Theme
The first thing you must focus on while building your Shopify store is to choose the right theme. This is a design template that will help determine the looks and orientation of your store. Shopify themes are a mixture of both playful and professional themes to choose from.
These define the physical appearance of a website and they also have some role to play with regard to SEO. For instance, we can talk about two important factors like load speed and mobile-friendliness which Google deems as important for ranking sites.
The theme you choose also need to play a vital role in user experience, which can significantly impact your search rankings. If the users spend more time on your site, search engine algorithms will not fail to notice it.
Steps to choose the best Shopify store theme
Open the Shopify dashboard. Under the ‘Online Store’ menu, click on the Themes Link
If you have a pre-designed on purchased Shopify theme on your computer, Click on the ‘Upload’ link. Alternatively, you can also search and explore the hundreds of unique Shopify theme options.
After adding a theme to your library, go back to ‘Themes’ menu and select ‘Actions’ and then publish your new theme.
Tips to choose an SEO-friendly theme for Shopify
It is good to avoid free themes on Shopify. Premium themes are optimized better and are also professionally aesthetic.
Go for a minimalist theme that looks uncluttered. Such themes will be pleasing to visitors and also will have fewer elements that will impact the page load time.
2. Customize your Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
Title Tags and Meta Descriptions of your store pages are very important aspects among the on-page factors to land on good search engine ranking.
When a search for your product or service is done, your Title Tag and Meta Description appear in search engines. The title tag refers to your page title and Meta description refers to the text that accompanies it.
Title tag and Meta description have an important role as they suggest the purpose of the page to search engine and also the visitors. Google takes hint from the title to know what the page is about. Title is a known on-page factor that will influence the search engine rankings of a page.
Meta Descriptions help convey what the users might expect to find on your page. Meta Descriptions might not be as impactful as the optimized title. However, the description gives more information to searchers and make them visit your page.
How to optimize the Meta data of your store
To customize the title tag and Meta description of your homepage, click on ‘Preferences’ menu you will find on the left column of your Shopify dashboard.
Fill out the fields that are marked as ‘Homepage Title’ and ‘Homepage Meta Description’. For customizing the metadata on any other page, select the page you want from the ‘Pages’ menu in the column on the left. If you want to create a new page, click on ‘Add Page’. To access the Metadata fields, select ‘Edit Website SEO’.
Tips to create titles and descriptions that are SEO focused
Ensure that each of the title tags contain your primary keyword for the page.
Your Meta description can contain either secondary keywords or the synonyms of the primary keyword.
For testing titles and descriptions, you may use a snippet optimizer. You must ensure that they do not get cut off at the end. While majority of title tags can accommodate around 60 characters, majority of Meta descriptions can take in around 150 characters.
Since the length is not based on character count and it depends on pixel width. Therefore, the number of characters they can accommodate can vary.
To encourage clicks, you can include compelling calls. It is said search rankings can be influenced by higher click-through rates.
Include the main selling points for the given page which can also include the unique features of your products, perks and deals you would want to give.
3. Get your Store URLs Optimized
By using keywords in your Shopify store’s URL, you can let the users navigate your site easily. It will also appear as a better SEO value in the eyes of Google.
The page URLs of your site provide highly valuable keyword opportunities. It is therefore good to include the product name in the URL like http://www.my-shopify-statinery-shop.com/office/gel-pens
Shopify can automatically customize every URL using the words found in your page title. For instance, if your page title is ‘Gel Pens’ for instance, the slug will automatically read as “/gel-pens’. However, there may be times when you might want to customize your slug when you pursue a longer-tail keyword advantage.
For example, let us say your page title is ‘Gel Pens’, but the products are specifically targeted for executives. In this case by customizing your URL to http://www.my-shopify-statinery-shop.com/office/gel-pens, you still have the link value ‘gel pens’, while you are targeting a more specific long tail advantage.
How to update the URLs on Shopify
For customizing a page URL, select the page you want from ‘Pages’ menu. You may also create a new page by clicking on ‘Add Page’.
Select ‘Edit Website SEO’ (you will also see this option on product pages). You will find the URL field under the title and also Meta fields.
Tips to make Shopify URLs search engine friendly
It is good to keep your URL slugs direct and short.
For each URL slug, use the page title or a relevant primary keyword.
Separate each word with a dash.
Use only numbers and letters and not special characters and punctuation marks.
4. Connect Shopify with Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a very useful platform to gain very valuable insights into how different channels drive traffic and sales. You will also know how visitors navigate your online store.
Google Analytics should be the focal point of any SEO campaign to be successful. Google Analytics can give you very valuable insights into the traffic and sales trends and will help you make important decisions to enhance your rankings.
You can access the Shopify Analytics menu from the left column. However, the information you will find is very limited. It lets you know how much revenue you have made and how many repeat customers you have been able to attract.
It does not give you other practically useful data like which search engine brings you the most traffic and how well your content marketing performs in driving sales. You will not get hundreds of other data points that will help optimize your marketing efforts.
Shopify Analytics is connected to sales, whereas Google Analytics helps in understanding how the users navigate your site and how you are able to generate traffic.
How to set up Google Analytics on Shopify
Go to ‘Google Analytics’ account and copy the tracking code. Now get back to Shopify and click on ‘Online Store’ and then ‘Preferences’ in the left column.
Scroll down to ‘Google Analytics’ and paste the Google tracking code into the box.
Click on ‘Save’.
How to benefit from Google Analytics to grow your Shopify store
You need to turn on ‘Enhanced Ecommerce tracking’ to get the majority of user behavior information. Update to the latest version of Google Analytics so that the tracking can take effect.
Visit your Google Analytics dashboard regularly. Check the vital SEO metrics such as Keyword Rankings, Organic Click through Rate, Organic Search traffic and Referring Domains.
Tools like SEMrush will be useful for enhanced keyword rankings. It lets you track the performance of your target keywords. In this area, Analytics falls short of.
Ensure to connect your store to Google Search Console. It will help find out if there are any accessibility issues and crawling errors and you can gain a lot of insights for your organic search performance.
5. Get your homepage optimized
Homepage is a great opportunity for you to generate potential traffic. Therefore, optimizing it pays you in the long run. The right place to get started with optimizing your homepage are title tag and Meta description. Also, you need to optimize the on-page content.
On Shopify, it is very easy to add content. You can do this by clicking on ‘Add Page’, ‘Add Product’ and insert your content in the editor box.
How to optimize your Shopify Homepage
Enter your Themes menu by clicking on ‘Online Store’ and Themes.
Click on the ‘Customize’ button you will find next to your current theme.
To create a new element, click on ‘Add Section’. For creating a section of text content, you need to click on ‘Rich Text’. You may also add new high quality images and banners.
Using the mouse, you can drag your sections up and down in the left column. You can arrange them in the way you want them to appear.
Tips to get a well-optimized Homepage for search engines on Shopify
Ensure to include the main keywords of your site in your text headings and also descriptions.
Inside the content, add keyword-optimized images.
For easy readability, creak up your text into multiple sections.
6. Optimizingthe Images
Images help the visitors know your products in a better way. When optimized properly, they also provide additional SEO value.
It is necessary to use custom ALT tags to optimize all the images on your Shopify site. Alt text is meant for accessibility. It lets the visually impaired users hear a voice description about the image when they use screen readers.
Alt tags also add to the SEO value by helping the visitors and Google bots to know what your page is about.
The best image ALT tag must be short, descriptive, accurate, and must contain the page keyword.
Steps to update the image ALT tags
Go to “Pages” or “Products” menu that you will find in the left-column navigation. Select the page you want to update or create a new page.
Click on the ‘Insert Image’ button you will find inside the Content Box.
Select an image from the list of uploaded images or from your device and insert the text into ‘Image alt text’ box.
Tips to optimize your ALT tags effectively
Do not end up with keyword stuffing. Use only those keywords that are part of an accurate description of the image.
Do not go for attributes like “Image of…” or “Picture of…”
On Settings > Files, you can edit the stored image files from a central location.
7. Include detailed product descriptions
Google depends on text to know what your pages are about. Therefore, descriptions on your page are highly valuable for SEO.
To maximize the search engine value of your products, it is good to give as much details as possible about your products. Use the terms and phrases that will be useful to the potential users. It is highly advisable to use product titles, alternative descriptions, synonyms, product IDs, SKUs, product specifications, and unique characteristics.
Tips to optimize the descriptions on the product page
Under ‘All Products’, click on ‘Add Product’ or select the existing product you want from the menu.
In the first two fields, enter the title and description. Enter subsequent information in the sections for Pricing, Inventory, and Shipping.
Tips to make product descriptions SEO focused
Do not hesitate to refer to your competitor’s pages to understand the keywords connected to your product.
Research to find the relevant content. Every sentence must provide new, accurate and useful information of the product.
Don’t use copy and paste content from the manufacturer. Keep the product descriptions original.
Barcode and SKU fields are important and if available, include those information.
8. Use the store blog effectively with topics relevant to your store
On Shopify, it is easy to include a blog on your online store. In fact SEO focused business must deem this their top priority.
Blogs are very useful to generate organic traffic in a natural way as your blog posts concerned with your products allow you to use some long tail keywords. Blogs are also the best way to populate your site regularly with fresh content. Useful and informative content can help get a lot of valuable backlinks. Businesses that blog regularly get 97% more backlinks.
Tips to make your Shopify blog posts very effective
Go to ‘Online Store’ and select ‘Blog Posts’.
Click on ‘Create Blog Post’. Since Shopify hides new blog posts as a default process, ensure that you select ‘Visible’ before you publish.
If you can’t find your blog on the main navigation, click on ‘Online Store’ and ‘Navigation’ and select the menu where you want the blog post to display. Click on ‘Add Menu Item’ and add your blog URL.
Tips to make your blog search engine friendly
You can make use of your Shopify blog to take advantage of the related keyword opportunities that do not appear on your main product pages.
For instance, if your Shopify store is selling diamond rings, you may publish an article on ‘How to pick up the best diamond for your zodiac sign’. This is a sure way to pull in qualified buyers who might not otherwise discover your site in the organic way.
Regularly publish both short and long form content.
Create more value for your articles by sharing the links of the blogs on social media.
Click on the ‘Edit Website SEO’ link on each of the blog article pages to add a Meta title, Meta description and URL slug that are keyword optimized.