Search Engine Optimization or SEO – as it is commonly referred to – is the process of optimizing your website so that it appears at the top of search engine results pages (SERP). Similarly, Shopify SEO consists of all those methods, which aid in making your Shopify eCommerce store visible to your customers. With the help of SEO, you – as an eCommerce exec – are able to target your audiences by putting your website at the top of SERPs.
Google has been continuously developing and improving its algorithms so that the search engine can become a more sophisticated platform that learns as it grows. The more it learns, the lesser is the human interference to make it more unbiased. By reinforcing SEO, Google ensures that only quality content is uploaded on the Internet – something that readers would love to engage with. But before we delve into Shopify eCommerce SEO or learn how to add SEO to Shopify, we need to understand SEO.
What is SEO?
In simple terms, SEO has been defined as the process of helping search crawlers and algorithms gain maximized access, understanding, and formulaic confidence that “this page is the best choice for this search query.”(Alan Bleiweiss, Good to SEO) . Through SEO, you are basically helping your users to discover you and your brand in the most organic way possible. It is about valuable content and meaningful long-term relationships. In order to win the SEO battle in 2019, you need to provide useful, original and relevant information to your users.
SEO is the process of helping search crawlers and algorithms gain maximized access to your website – Tweet This!
In order to apply Shopify store SEO right, you need to know:
- WHO is your target audience?
- WHAT are they searching for?
- WHEN are they searching?
- WHY are they searching?
- WHERE are they searching?
- HOW are they searching?
When you have the answers to the above, you will know how to do SEO on Shopify.
SEO with Shopify: Does Shopify have good SEO?
As an SEO company, Shopify is considered as one of the best SEO eCommerce platforms. More than 600,000 online businesses are now on Shopify. Shopify comes with a host of attractive templates to choose from, is packed with features, and makes selling products rather easy.
Before we go any further talking about SEO and Shopify, we need to answer a question I get asked a lot: “Is Shopify SEO friendly?” or “is Shopify good for SEO?” The answer is a strong “Yes”. Shopify as a platform was conceived and developed with SEO in mind; and many eCommerce sites owe it to Shopify for the latter’s ranking abilities on Google. However, it does not mean that you have to do nothing. There are few things you need to do as well to boost Shopify SEO and enable it to rank your store even better.
How to improve SEO on Shopify?
While conducting Shopify SEO for your eCommerce store, there are primarily three things you need to focus on:
- Technical SEO
- On-Page SEO
- External factors
These are discussed below in depth along with some Shopify SEO tips.
- Technical SEO Shopify
Technical SEO is one of the most important things that one must do for their Shopify SEO. Technical SEO is that side of SEO which is directly related to your website design and construction. It sits in your code base, and under your load times and page layouts, and often goes unnoticed. If not optimized, this can kill your page rankings and organic traffic.
You must keep in mind that 30% of all eCommerce traffic comes from search, and it is very crucial that your website design and construction is aligned to your SEO. To ensure this,
- Get your URL indexed by keeping your products organized
- Make your website pages “easy to crawl” for search engines by implementing best practices while building your overall site architecture.
- Make sure your eCommerce page loads fast by ensuring a better balance of quality images and optimum page load time. You could also ensure a fast loading site by optimizing your CSS delivery and minifying your code.
- Include your target keywords in the most important sections of your webpage – these being the title tags, meta description, H1 tag, main content body, alt image text.
- Fix duplicate contents.
- Identify and resolve missing titles, descriptions and alt text issues.
- Provide high-quality content.
- On-Page SEO
For on-page SEO for Shopify sites, you need to optimize your category and product pages. Apart from knowing how to do keyword analysis for SEO, there are 5 things you need to keep in mind here:
- Choose the right keywords to optimize
- Optimize your pages for those keywords
- Improve your site structure and navigation
- Perform an SEO audit to fix any errors
- Monitor your results
- Backlink building
One of the most important external factors that guarantee a good SEO for Shopify stores is how many people are linking to you and who are these websites/businesses. Both quality and the quantity matter here. It is also known as “link popularity”. Ideally you would want “deep links” from other websites. This means that the links not just link back to your homepage, but also to internal pages of your Shopify store which may be within directories and subdirectories. These links also need to be “contextual”, which means they need to come from websites with related topics and with surrounding text that talks about the main subject of your page(s).
This will work when:
- You have a good and relevant content
- You have social media bookmarklets on your website
- You participate in forums and leave comments
These above-mentioned steps when done right will ensure a strong SEO on Shopify including SEO for dropshipping stores, and you will be able to ensure that you do away with all your Shopify SEO problems. If you want to know more about SEO dropshipping, this article will also help.
Practical uses of Shopify SEO
When you search for something on Google, you see certain websites returning your query. Those search results are not displayed accidentally. These results are based on what Google thinks is the best fit for your search query. But in order for Google to understand and produce the results, those websites should have used SEO.
So, let’s look at some practical uses of Shopify SEO and what the latter does to impact your eCommerce store’s visibility.
- Shopify SEO drives organic traffic
SEO being an inbound marketing strategy drives organic traffic. Shopify SEO ensures that your audience finds you. It is customer-centric and since you give your audience the information they want, you make yourself easily accessible to them.
Shopify SEO ensures that your audience finds you. – Tweet this
- It’s practically free
Apart from the time and effort you invest in your Shopify SEO, it doesn’t require an ongoing investment in terms of money. Once your SEO for Shopify store is optimized and aligned to Google’s organic ranking algorithms, your Shopify store will continue to attract organic traffic for months (or sometimes even years) after you have published it. I also need to mention that you need to update your website pages from time to time, but that’s pretty much it.
- Shopify SEO gets you more clicks than PPC
Most of the clicks for a website for any given search go to an organic result on a SERP although PPC ads appear on top of organic rankings. The most logical explanation to this is users trust Google’s algorithms and, 71.33% of searches transpire to a click on an organic result on the first page.
- SEO builds your online reputation
When you optimize your website link building efforts, you are in fact finding newer ways to get your brand in front of consumers, influencers and prominent publications which are valued by your target audience. Your website then starts featuring in industry blogs, news, other relevant online media and other important sites.
With an SEO-friendly eCommerce platform like Shopify, you can actually attract high-quality organic traffic to your eCommerce site.
SEO plugins for Shopify
Once you have your Shopify SEO in place, you can find more ways to make it sustain. It can also help you get even more value from the Shopify platform with the help of the best Shopify SEO apps that are available on the Shopify App Store. The store features some of the best free and premium Shopify SEO plugins and apps to help you grow your business and furthers your Shopify SEO optimization.
I have rounded up some of the most loved Shopify SEO tools for 2019 here, which are sure to drive some organic traffic for sales growth in this Shopify SEO guide:
Used by more than 90,000 Shopify storeowners across the globe, Plugin SEO is your very own SEO personal assistant, constantly monitoring your site and triggering an alert when it encounters an issue. Everything including meta descriptions, page titles, website speed, blog post structure and content freshness is constantly monitored by this app.
SEO Image Optimizer
This app increases your SEO ranking by optimizing the images on your store. With a one-click install, this app runs SEO improvements automatically thereafter. You can either choose from their default ALT template or create your own.
SEO Expert PRO
This is an all-in-one SEO tool which allows you to find your store’s on-page SEO issues and addresses them inside the app itself. This app is like your personal SEO manager which can also update all your product images’ alt tags with a single click. It also helps in driving organic traffic from Google Image Search.
SEO HTML Sitemap
The SEO HTML Sitemap improves your SEO rankings on all relevant search engines using an auto-generated HTML Sitemap page. The HTML sitemap updates constantly (every hour) as and when you add new collections, products, pages, and blogs are added or removed.
You can learn about what to look for in the best Shopify SEO tools here.
There is one underlying principle of getting the most out of the best eCommerce platform for SEO, and that is – “give your customers value”. If you know what your customers want and give it to them, you would have done the best SEO for Shopify automatically. Google might have its own algorithms to drive SEO, but as a Shopify storeowner, you need to keep only one algorithm in mind: Your customers – and their needs, wants and preferences. If you are able to address these, your Shopify SEO battle is half won.