SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of improving the visibility and ranking of your online store in search engine results pages (SERPs). It’s a complex and ever-changing field, but there are some basic principles that all Shopify merchants can and should follow to improve their SEO.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Shopify SEO, from keyword research to optimizing your product pages for organic search. By the end, you’ll have a solid understanding of how to increase your traffic and sales with better Shopify SEO.
Let’s get started!
What is Shopify SEO?
Shopify SEO is the process of optimizing a Shopify store for better search engine visibility. It involves optimizing your website’s content, structure, and on-page elements like titles, metatags, and anchor text.
There are a number of benefits to optimizing your Shopify store's SEO. Perhaps most importantly, it can help you attract more organic traffic to your website. Organic traffic is visitors who find your site through a search engine, without being directed there through paid advertising. In other words, these are potential customers who are actively seeking out what you have to offer.
Improved SEO can also lead to increased brand awareness and higher conversion rates. When your store appears higher up in SERPs, potential customers are more likely to click through to your website. And once they're on your site, if they can easily find what they're looking for and have a positive experience, they're more likely to make a purchase.
Investing in SEO can be a big undertaking, but it can pay off big time in terms of increased web traffic and conversions.
Troubleshooting your Shopify store for SEO
Some of the important checkpoints to ensure a robust SEO performance for your Shopify store include -
- Check for duplicate content/pages
Duplicate content can occur for a number of reasons, but most often it's because you have multiple pages on your site with very similar or identical content. This confuses search engines and can split your page rank between the pages, diluting your overall SEO efforts.
To check for duplicate content on your site, start by doing a site:search in Google (example, site:zevi.ai) This will show you all the pages from your site that are currently indexed by Google.
Next, take a look at each of these pages and compare their content. If you see a lot of duplicated text, titles, or descriptions, then you likely have some duplicate content issues that need to be addressed.
- Check for broken links/duplicate URLs from the internal linking architecture
Broken links can occur for a variety of reasons, but usually it's because the page you're trying to link to no longer exists. This can happen if you've changed the URL of a page without redirecting the old URL, or if someone else has linked to a page on your site that doesn't exist. Either way, broken links will hurt your SEO as they create a poor user experience.
To fix this, you'll need to go through your website and check all of the links, both internally and externally. Make sure that all links are pointing to the correct pages and that there are no duplicate URLs. If you find any broken links, redirect them to the correct page. And if you find any duplicate URLs, choose one of the pages and add a canonical tag to inform engines of the master copy. This will help resolve the issue of duplicate content linked to multiple URLs.
- Check your keyword usage
Once you've identified some potential keywords, take a look at how often they're used on your site. If you're using too many or too few keywords, it could be affecting your ranking. Try to strike a balance between using enough keywords to be relevant and ensuring that your content is still readable and informative.
If you think you may be overusing keywords on your site, consider sprinkling them throughout your content more sparingly. Use synonyms and related terms to mix things up and keep your writing fresh. And remember - quality trumps quantity when it comes to SEO, so focus on creating great content rather than cramming in as many keywords as possible.
- Analyze your website's loading speed
One of the most important aspects of SEO is website speed. A fast website will not only improve your search engine rankings, but will also provide a better experience for your customers. Here are some troubleshooting tips for improving your Shopify store's loading speed:
- Check your Shopify theme
- Minimize HTTP requests
- Use a content delivery network (CDN)
- Optimize images
- Upgrade to a faster hosting plan
- Use caching
- Review your website on mobile devices
If your website isn't appearing as it should on mobile devices, there are a few things you can troubleshoot to try and fix the issue. First, check to see if your website is responsive - that is, whether or not it automatically adjusts to fit different screen sizes. If it's not responsive, you'll need to make some changes to your site's template.
Next, take a look at your content. Is all of your text legible on mobile devices? If not, you may need to make some font size adjustments. Are your images too large or small? You also need to optimize your website's speed on mobile devices. A slow loading website can be a major turn-off for users, and it can also negatively impact your SEO.
- Manage Robots.txt files
The Robots.txt file tells search engines what they can and can't index on your site. If it's not set up correctly, it can prevent your store from being properly indexed and ranked in search results.
To manage your robots.txt file, log in to your Shopify admin and go to Online Store > Preferences. Under the Search Engine Optimization section, you'll see a text box where you can enter your desired robots.txt rules.
4 Ways to level up your Shopify SEO
No matter what product you’re selling through your Shopify store, you want to make sure that people can find it when they search online. That’s where SEO comes in. By optimizing your shop for search engines, you can increase your chances of appearing in the top search results and driving traffic (and sales!) to your store.
1. Optimize your internal site structure
Your site structure plays a major role in driving your SEO performance on Shopify. Here are some things you can do to optimize it -
- Optimize your website's title and meta tags
- Use keyword-rich descriptions for products and collections
- Structure your website hierarchy using proper category organization
- Generate sitemaps to help search engines index your pages
- Implement 301 redirects to maintain optimal website traffic
- Use Shopify’s built-in SEO features to further optimize your site for search engines.
2. Use strategic target keywords
Research what potential customers are searching for and make sure your website appears as a high-ranking result for those queries. You should also consider the competition for each keyword as well as the search volume.
Once you've identified a list of target keywords, you'll need to integrate them into your website's content. This can be done through blog posts, product descriptions, image alt text, and more. It's important to use keywords naturally and not stuff them into your content.
3. Focus on getting quality backlinks
This means that you should avoid link farms and other low-quality link directories. Instead, focus on getting links from high-quality websites that are relevant to your niche.
Link building is a process of acquiring links from other websites to your own. The more high-quality links you have pointing to your website, the higher your website will rank in search engine results pages (SERPs).
4. Optimize your site structure
A well-organized website is easy to navigate, which helps users find the information they're looking for quickly and without frustration. It also makes it easier for search engines to index your site, which can lead to better search results.
Some of the ways you can streamline your site structure are -
- Use a logically organized navigation menu.
- Use descriptive URL slugs.
- Create a sitemap.xml file.
- Structure your product pages in an easy-to-navigate way.
- Use keywords throughout your website, including in page titles, headings, and image alt tags.
- Optimize your website for mobile devices.
- Ensure that your website loads quickly.
Your Shopify store's SEO Performance directly impacts your online sales
Search engine optimization is a critical part of any ecommerce marketing strategy and can help you attract more organic traffic and improve your conversion rate. It works in alignment with your site search performance as well as your visibility. Both of which are unequivocally important while building a successful Shopify store.
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