how to do SEO on Shopify

How to do SEO on Shopify

Last updated: June 24, 2024

Did you know... only 6.05% of Shopify traffic comes from paid sources...

That means traffic to Shopify stores is almost entirely organic, emphasising the importance of maintaining a strong SEO strategy to help attract customers to your online store. The higher your Shopify website's position in search engine rankings, the more visitors your store will get, resulting in increased sales numbers. So, how do you improve SEO on Shopify?

Shopify comes with a number of SEO-friendly features out of the box, but there's still a lot more you can do to improve your search engine rankings. While keywords are important in search engine optimisation, getting your site to rank higher requires more than merely sprinkling keywords aimlessly throughout your website. In this Charle guide, we will go through everything you need to know about how to do SEO on Shopify effectively to maximise results within search engines and increase visbility of your online store today.

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Optimise your Shopify Site’s Hierarchy

The first stage in our guide on how to do SEO on Shopify is optimising your Shopify site’s structure. The organisation of the content on your page is critical to SEO success. When customers can discover what they're searching for quickly and simply, they're more likely to stay on your site longer and view more pages, metrics that can directly benefit your search engine rankings. It’s recommended to make your website as user-friendly as possible to make the user journey more efficient.

Simplifying your site’s hierarchical structure by minimising categories and subcategories means that search engines can crawl and rank your products and pages more easily with a simpler site layout/sitemap. Organising your content is easy with Shopify. One of the most effective site structures is simply: Homepage -> Category Pages -> Product Pages. Or if you have a multitude of products in different categories then add sub-categories into your category pages. Generally, the fewer clicks it takes for a customer to reach checkout results in higher conversion rates, which is a great addition to strengthened search engine optimisation.

Keyword Research

Next in our guide on how to do SEO on Shopify is keyword research. Keyword research is the basis of SEO success, and no Shopify SEO guide would be complete without it. But where do you go for the best keywords to drive traffic to your store? Put yourself in the shoes of your customers and do some searches. What would you type into Google to find the things you sell? Keyword research will help you optimise your pages for the search terms that your shoppers are actually using. This attracts ready-to-buy customers and informs Google about your business.

Using tools such as Semrush be invaluable to dive into keyword research analytics, such as search volumes, keyword difficulty, and competitors who are ranking on keywords that you’re thinking of targeting. Generally, the more niche the keyword the better as these are not diluted by the competition, making it difficult to rank. Of course, being too niche can also be a problem if search volumes are lacking, so it’s good to take time in finding the right balance so that you know how to do SEO on Shopify effectively. Other tools such as Google Search Console are great to track the progress of your search engine optimisation in real time and, identifying strong areas of your site as well as helping flag any issues on the way.

Add keywords to your Shopify website

Now that you’ve identified which keywords you want to target, the next step in our guide on how to do SEO on Shopify is to use your chosen keywords to strategically optimise your store's pages. Start with your most important pages. Your homepage, top-selling product pages and any other pages within your site that generate the most engagement are good places to start. Be sure to use your keywords in titles, headings, and in the body of your text whenever possible. It’s important not to ‘spam’ your keyword too many times throughout your pages though, as this can sometimes signal to search engines that your content is spam rather than something that adds value to the visitors of your website.

Optimise Titles, Meta descriptions, Alt tags and URLs

Next on our guide on how to do SEO on Shopify is optimising titles, meta descriptions, image alt tags, and URLs. These areas are just as important as including keywords within your product collections and pages etc. so make sure to not miss any of these more technical sections.

Titles should always include the keywords you’re looking to target for your Shopify store and should be relevant to the page’s content. Meta descriptions should be informative and include your targeted keywords. Meta descriptions shouldn’t be too long, generally around 155-160 characters is the sweet spot. All images should have appropriate alt tags/alt text which describe what the image is, and URLs should be specific to each individual page of your website.

Technical Optimisations

Optimising the technical aspects of a Shopify store for SEO involves implementing a range of strategies to improve its visibility in search engine results. One crucial area to address is site speed, as slow loading times can significantly impact SEO rankings. This can be achieved by optimising images to reduce file sizes, leveraging browser caching, and utilising a content delivery network (CDN) to distribute content efficiently. Additionally, selecting a lightweight, responsive theme can enhance overall performance and user experience, particularly on mobile devices, which is increasingly important for SEO. Mobile responsiveness is another key factor in SEO optimisation for Shopify stores. Given Google's emphasis on mobile-first indexing, ensuring that the store is optimised for various screen sizes and devices is essential. This includes employing responsive design principles and testing the site's functionality across different devices to provide a seamless user experience.

Implementing structured data markup, such as markup, can provide search engines with additional context about the content of a Shopify store. This can include information about products, reviews, pricing, and availability, enabling search engines to display rich snippets in search results, which can improve click-through rates and visibility. Regularly monitoring and addressing technical issues, such as broken links, crawl errors, and indexing issues, is essential for maintaining a healthy and well-performing Shopify store. Utilising tools like Google Search Console can help identify and resolve these issues promptly, ensuring that the site remains accessible and optimised for search engines. By implementing these technical optimisations and continuously monitoring and refining SEO strategies, Shopify store owners can improve their site's visibility, attract more organic traffic, and ultimately drive sales and conversions. The variations in examples for technical optimisations are plenty, and in this sense they can be applied throughout many pages of your Shopify store. Whether you've got too many product variants, heavy JPG files or other image sizes, or slow plugins etc. These should all be at the front of your attention when it comes to increasing the performance of your website.

Analytical Tools

Analytical tools play a vital role in improving SEO for Shopify stores by providing valuable insights into website performance, user behavior, and search engine visibility. Here's how you can leverage analytical tools effectively:

Google Analytics: Integrating Google Analytics with your Shopify store allows you to track key metrics such as website traffic, user demographics, and behavior. By analysing this data, you can identify high-performing pages, understand user engagement, and uncover opportunities for optimisation. For SEO purposes, you can track organic search traffic, referral sources, and user interactions with specific pages to gauge the effectiveness of your SEO efforts.

Google Search Console: Google Search Console provides valuable information about how your site is performing in Google search results. It offers insights into search queries that drive traffic to your site, the number of clicks and impressions for specific keywords, and any technical issues that may affect your site's visibility. By regularly monitoring Search Console data, you can identify opportunities to improve your site's SEO, such as optimising meta tags, fixing crawl errors, and addressing indexing issues.

Shopify Analytics: Shopify's built-in analytics dashboard provides detailed reports on sales, traffic sources, and conversion rates. While primarily focused on e-commerce metrics, Shopify Analytics also offers insights into website traffic and user behavior. By analysing data such as top landing pages, referral sources, and conversion funnels, you can identify SEO opportunities to optimise product pages, improve site navigation, and enhance the overall user experience.

Keyword Research Tools: Utilising keyword research tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs, or Moz can help you identify relevant keywords with high search volume and low competition. By conducting keyword research, you can uncover valuable insights into search trends, competitor strategies, and content opportunities. Incorporating targeted keywords into your Shopify store's content, including product descriptions, blog posts, and meta tags, can help improve its visibility in search engine results and attract organic traffic.

Heatmap and Session Recording Tools: Tools like Hotjar or Crazy Egg provide visual insights into user behavior by tracking mouse movements, clicks, and scrolling patterns. By analysing heatmaps and session recordings, you can identify areas of your website that receive the most attention from users and areas where users may encounter usability issues. This information can help you optimise your site's layout, navigation, and calls-to-action to improve user engagement and conversion rates, ultimately benefiting your SEO efforts.

Backlink Analysis Tools: Backlink analysis tools such as Majestic, Moz Link Explorer, or Ahrefs' Site Explorer allow you to monitor your site's backlink profile and identify opportunities to acquire high-quality backlinks from authoritative websites. By analysing your competitors' backlinks and identifying relevant linking opportunities, you can develop a strategic link-building strategy to improve your site's authority and search engine rankings.

Rank Higher With Content Marketing

Next in our guide on how to do SEO on Shopify is content marketing. People visit your website for the content. As the owner of an Shopify site, you may be tempted to compromise on content or believe that product descriptions are sufficient by themselves. Take the effort to generate fresh material that enhances your overall user experience, and you'll have a lot more success in your search engine optimisation strategy.

It may be difficult, but blogging increases your ranking potential while also expanding opportunities for clients to find you. The more pages you have and the more content-rich your website, the more likely you are to appear in search results. When writing content, target users who aren't quite ready to buy and nurture them towards a sale by providing them with useful and engaging content.

Your content is an opportunity to introduce customers and potential customers to your brand in a non-commercial approach. Perhaps how-to guides or demonstrations of your products can help customers better understand and perceive your market offering so that they feel more confident in making the purchasing decision. Content marketing is not only an effective way of how to do SEO on Shopify, but it’s also one of the simplest strategies to gain more backlinks and rank for more keywords which we will go onto next.

Incorporate links

Search engines utilise backlinks to judge how well your site is regarded by the general public. Backlinks in simple terms are links added to external websites that bring customers to your website once clicked. Consider it SEO's version of word of mouth. It's an off-page search engine optimisation technique that focuses on establishing your credibility and reliability.

How do you persuade people to link to your store? A lot of backlinks are added automatically over time as you grow your brand, through mentions in brand directories, blog posts, and other sources of media. A good way to build relevant backlinks is to reaching out to brands and influencers in the industry you operate in and collaborate on content with them.

Whilst we’re on the subject of links, it wouldn’t be a good guide on how to do SEO on Shopify without mentioning broken links. Whether they’re broken links within your website or backlinks that direct customers to an incorrect page, having broken links can harm your SEO positioning. It involves some detective work to identify any broken links, but it’s worth the effort!

Improve the User Experience

Coming up next on our guide on how to do SEO on Shopify is improving the user experience. Strategies such as boosting your site speed, using a responsive design, and incorporating engaging media are ways to both improve user experience and also help you rank higher in search results. Improving your Shopify site’s speed will mean that visitors are likely to stay on your website longer, a metric that will help with SEO strength. You can speed up your Shopify store by using a mobile-friendly, fast-loading, and responsive theme with compressed images. It’s also a good idea to remove any unused programmes or sliders that don’t add value to the overall user experience. You can learn more in our detailed guide on how to improve Shopify site speed.

While having assets that have a large file size can reduce Shopify site speed, incorporating engaging media and videos which keep the user on the website longer can help strengthen your SEO positioning. Use video, 360-degree pictures, and customer feedback to create dynamic and compelling product pages. Customers will spend more time on your site if you use these attractive materials but make sure your media is relevant. You may improve your search engine optimisation by cross-publishing your video material on YouTube. Google will consider your product pages more relevant the more engaging they are, and average session duration will be higher. As a result, your store will appear higher in the search results.

Using A Specialist Content Creation Agency

Content creation is an effective way to keep your website's users educated on your brand and the industry in which you operate in. By creating optimised content, prospective customers can find your store more easily through search engines by searching for information such as tutorials on how to use products or advice on how to solve a specific problem. Good quality content can do wonders for your website's SEO positioning and help give your brand a competitive advantage over those that are not ranking organically. Of course, while content creation can be very beneficial for merchants, creating consistent good quality content can require a great deal of time and resources to be invested. Using a specialist content creation agency to put the work in and produce content that is professionally optimised for your ecommerce website can be very beneficial for brands that do not have their own content creation team and want to have strong positioning on search engines like Google.

How to do SEO on Shopify: Summary

To optimise SEO on a Shopify website, start by conducting keyword research to identify relevant terms for your niche. Utilise these keywords strategically in product titles, descriptions, and meta tags. Customise URLs to include keywords and ensure site navigation is user-friendly. Enhance page load speed and mobile responsiveness for better user experience, which positively impacts SEO rankings. Create unique, high-quality content such as blog posts or product guides to attract organic traffic and encourage backlinks. Utilise Shopify apps like SEO Manager or Plug in SEO to automate SEO tasks and track performance. Regularly monitor analytics to identify areas for improvement and adjust strategies accordingly. Additionally, leverage social media platforms to increase brand visibility and drive traffic to your Shopify store, further enhancing its SEO potential. Your ecommerce store will not only rank well on Google after search engine optimization, but also Bing, Yahoo and many others. Businesses are hosted on a plethora of search engines and the point is that your store name will stand out from all the other ones in the results. Users tend to click on only the first few domains when searching a query on search engines, and so this is a great starting point for new customers to land on your site on their path to making purchases.

Voilà, our in-depth guide on how to do SEO on Shopify. We hope we've given you a good overview on the case for improving your online store's SEO. This can in turn drive order volume through whatever e-commerce platforms you use. Be sure to give your website a thorough run-through of all the above to make sure you’re not missing anything out, your search engine ranking could be hindered by the smallest things you might have overlooked! We hope this guide has helped you in one way or another. If you require an expert ecommerce SEO agency to truly power your positioning, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Charle.

How to do SEO on Shopify: Additional Comments

When delving into SEO on Shopify, store owners must keep several crucial elements in mind. Starting at the beginning, it's essential to understand the context of search engine optimisation and its best practices. For example, optimising page titles, title tags, and URL structures with target keywords can significantly impact your store's visibility. This optimisation extends to elements like anchor text, breadcrumbs, and schema markup, which provide additional context to search engine bots and enhance relevance for both searchers and the target audience. Utilising SEO tools, such as webmaster tools, sitemaps, and schema markup generators, can streamline the optimisation process and provide valuable data insights. Redirects play a crucial role in maintaining domain authority and ensuring a smooth user experience, especially during domain changes or URL restructuring. Additionally, creating a comprehensive SEO checklist helps ensure that no crucial optimisation steps are overlooked.

When it comes to content optimisation, blogs and collection pages offer ample opportunities to map keywords to target audience intent. By addressing common questions and topics related to your ecommerce business, you can establish your store as an authority in your niche and build a reputation with readers and search engines alike. Furthermore, choosing the right Shopify theme and template options can impact the site's code and default SEO features, influencing its indexing and ranking in search engine results pages. It's essential to optimise not only individual webpages but also the entire ecommerce site through proper linking, canonical tags, and the creation of a sitemap.xml file.

In the world of ecommerce, understanding search intent is paramount and optimising your store's search engine optimisation (SEO) is crucial for success. Starting from your store's name and domain choice, down to the details of page types, every aspect plays a vital role in attracting attention and driving traffic. Themes and visuals on your home page, along with dropdown menus and navigation choices, need careful consideration to enhance user experience (UX) and ensure that search engine crawlers can easily index your content. The admin account gives you control over various SEO elements, such as meta tags and H1 headings, which should be optimised according to SEO best practices. Be mindful of common SEO issues, such as duplicate content or broken links, and take actions to address them promptly. Link building is another important aspect that can't be overlooked - it's the hand-in-hand process of building connections with other websites to turn more eyes towards your store. Pay attention to the queries and phrases people use in search boxes, as they provide valuable insights into user intent. Providing clear answers and solutions to common problems can set your store apart and attract lots of attention. Remember, there's a variety of page types and models to choose from, each with its own set of SEO tips and considerations. Avoid common mistakes, such as keyword stuffing or neglecting mobile optimisation, and instead focus on creating a seamless experience for your audience across all devices. Whether you're selling products for men, women, or somewhere in between, your store's SEO strategy should cater to the needs and preferences of your target audience. Keep an eye on industry news and trends to stay ahead of the curve, and always be willing to adapt and evolve your approach to meet the ever-changing demands of the e-commerce landscape. By aligning content with the intent behind search queries, you can better serve your audience and improve the likelihood of conversions. This involves analysing keyword ideas, studying competitor strategies, and adapting your content to match the varying intents of searchers. Ultimately, SEO on Shopify is an ongoing job that requires store owners to stay updated on industry trends, algorithm changes, and new optimisation techniques to maintain a competitive edge in the ecommerce market.

How to do SEO on Shopify: FAQ's

1. Why is SEO important for my Shopify store?
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is crucial for increasing visibility and driving organic traffic to your Shopify store. It helps improve your website's ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs), resulting in higher visibility to potential customers and increased chances of conversions.

2. How can I conduct keyword research for my Shopify store?
Start by brainstorming relevant terms related to your products or services. Use keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Ahrefs to identify popular keywords in your niche. Focus on long-tail keywords with lower competition for better chances of ranking.

3. What are some best practices for optimising product pages on Shopify for SEO?
Optimisse product titles and descriptions with relevant keywords. Use high-quality images and optimise their file names and alt text. Customise URLs to include keywords and keep them concise. Encourage customer reviews and testimonials to add unique content to your product pages.

4. How can I improve the speed and mobile responsiveness of my Shopify store for better SEO?
Choose a lightweight and responsive Shopify theme. Compress images to reduce file sizes without compromising quality. Minimise CSS and JavaScript files to reduce page load times. Use Shopify's built-in tools or third-party apps to optimise for mobile devices.

5. Are there any Shopify apps specifically designed for SEO optimisation? Yes, there are several Shopify apps available for SEO optimisation, such as SEO Manager, Plug in SEO, and Smart SEO. These apps can help automate various SEO tasks, provide insights, and offer recommendations for improving your store's SEO performance.

6. How can I track the effectiveness of my SEO efforts on Shopify?
Utilise Google Analytics to monitor website traffic, user behavior, and conversions. Use Shopify's built-in analytics tools to track key metrics such as organic traffic, keyword rankings, and bounce rates. Regularly review performance reports from SEO apps or tools to identify areas for improvement and adjust your strategy accordingly.

7. Can social media impact the SEO of my Shopify store?
While social media signals themselves do not directly influence SEO rankings, active social media presence can indirectly benefit your SEO efforts by increasing brand visibility, driving traffic to your website, and generating backlinks from shares and mentions.

8. How often should I update my Shopify store's SEO strategies?
SEO is an ongoing process, and it's essential to regularly review and update your strategies to adapt to changes in search engine algorithms, industry trends, and customer behavior. Aim to conduct periodic audits of your website's SEO performance and make adjustments as needed to stay competitive.

9. Can I optimise my Shopify store for local SEO?
Yes, you can optimise your Shopify store for local SEO by including location-based keywords in your content, meta tags, and URLs. Create a Google My Business listing for your store and ensure that your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) are consistent across all online platforms. Encourage customer reviews and testimonials, and list your business in local directories and review sites to improve local search visibility.

10. How long does it take to see results from SEO efforts on Shopify?
The timeframe for seeing results from SEO efforts on Shopify can vary depending on factors such as the competitiveness of your niche, the quality of your content, and the effectiveness of your optimisation strategies. Generally, it may take several weeks to months to see significant improvements in search engine rankings and organic traffic. However, consistent and well-executed SEO efforts can lead to long-term benefits and sustainable growth for your Shopify store.
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