Owning a Shopify store has many advantages over having a traditional storefront business, not the least of which is the incredibly low overhead. You can start a Shopify site for virtually nothing and establish a custom Shopify store for a few thousand dollars. Contrast that with the price of building out a storefront and you can see why this platform has become so popular.
But one of the biggest advantages of owning a store on the Shopify platform is that search engines, like Google and Bing, bring customers to your store 24-7, including holidays and weekends. But this is also the part that many entrepreneurs find intimidating. After all, you’re not the only store on the web, so how do you get yours to rank on search engine results pages (SERPS) and start making you money? The answer is Shopify SEO.
SEO for Shopify
If the terms “SEO Shopify” or “SEO optimization for Shopify” aren’t familiar to you, you’re in luck. This is a very basic Shopify SEO guide that will give you an overview of common tips, tools, and Shopify SEO problems commonly used and encountered by e-commerce companies just like yours.
What is Shopify SEO?
Before we can answer this question, we need to answer the question “what is SEO”? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it is also the name of a multi-billion dollar marketing industry. When an individual enters a set of search terms into Google, Bing, or another search engine, they get hundreds of results ranked in a way that the search engine algorithm anticipates will be useful to the user. Statistically, most users only look at the first page results. And just like any other website, if you have a Shopify store, you need for it to appear on that first page if you want to be noticed. That’s why it’s essential to improve SEO on Shopify.
Improving Your Shopify Store’s Ranking in Search Engines
The real estate at the top of page one for search results is very valuable. In fact, there’s an $80 billion industry that’s built around achieving those rankings. With this in mind, all Shopify SEO campaigns—any SEO campaign for that matter—takes patience and careful planning to build. There are, however. some Shopify SEO tips that we’ve found effective when it comes to launching a Shopify store or improving the performance of an existing one.
Google Search Console Setup
Begin by setting up Google Analytics and Google Seach Console. This is an essential step in that it allows you you to track data, detect errors, and measure performance. These tools are free, and we find that they are invaluable to any successful Shopify SEO campaign.
Identifying and implementing the proper keywords and keyword phrases is a fundamental concept in SEO. If someone is searching for a product or service you offer, you want to make sure that your store shows up on the SERP. That means that you want Google to recognize that your Shopify Store sells the product that matches the search query.
Your pages should be appealing to both the individuals landing on them and the search engines that they used to find you. Here are a few optimizations that every e-commerce site should employ:
- Only use one H1 header per page. You can use multiple H2s, H3s, etc., but there should be only one H1.
- Keep your page title under 60 characters so that all of it shows up in the search engine preview.
- Use no more than 160 characters in your meta description. Search engines don’t preview any more than that. Also, try to use a call to action when appropriate.
- Include a keyword in your page URL.
- Use descriptive alt-tags and filenames for your images.
Inbound and outbound authoritative links are an important factor in Google’s ranking criteria. You should use links from highly authoritative sites to boost the authority of your own page. Something that may even be more valuable is external pages pointing to your site as an authority. There are Shopify SEO tools to build authority through links that go beyond the scope of this page, but one of our expert Shopify SEO specialists can walk you through those processes.
Content and Avoiding Duplicate Content
The content that you put on your page is of the utmost importance when it comes to improving your SEO on Shopify and to the overall user experience, but it must be unique. Unlike a shopper who might only visit a few of your pages, Google scours the entire site. If you have content that matches or nearly matches other content, Google will lower your ranking. Content should be clean, useful, well-written, and unique, so be careful not to be redundant when describing similar products.
Structured data is a standardized format to mark up the information about each web page. It serves to assist search engines like Google, Bing, and others to better understand what the web page is about. With proper structure data, search engines are able to determine the purpose of your page and decide whether or not it’s appropriate for the search criteria.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the differences between optimizing a website and optimizing a Shopify store?
Despite the fact that the formats are different, the optimization process is largely similar. Certain aspects of a Shopify store, however, are unique to the platform, such as product descriptions, payment pages, et cetera.
Can I improve SEO on Shopify?
There are absolutely things that you can do to improve the SEO on your Shopify site. For instance, you can make certain that your page is navigable, that your content is coherent, and that all of your links work. When it comes to more involved campaigns, you should partner with an experienced Shopify SEO company, like On The Map Marketing.
What is the Best SEO App for Shopify?
At On the Map Marketing, our Shopify SEO experts, use a variety of commercial SEO tools to examine websites, develop strategies, and monitor products. Some of the programs that we use are AHREFS, Screaming Frog, and Google Analytics, but there are many others.
How Does Google Rank Shopify Stores?
Google’s algorithms are proprietary, so no one outside of the company is certain of their ranking criteria. However, the same techniques that work with non-Shopify websites also work with Shopify stores. We have been very successful in building Shopify campaigns that propel Shopify stores to the top of search engine rankings.
To discuss improving the performance of your Shopify store, contact a marketing agency that has been working with search engine optimization since its inception. Call On The Map Marketing today.