Shopify is one of the most recommended e-commerce platforms used by online sellers to set up their online retail businesses. If you are running a Shopify Ecommerce Platform and looking for some Shopify SEO tips, then look no further!
I have compiled a list of SEO tips that are fundamental for running a successful Shopify e-commerce store with great online visibility. Take a look at these easy-to-follow tips below to discover all the essentials for improving the SEO of your Shopify store.
Why you should choose Shopify Ecommerce for your online shop
- Highly flexible and tailored to your specific requirements
- Easy backend administration
- Shopify has Lots of built-in tools
- Advanced ecommerce CMS & shopping cart with fantastic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) features
- Shopify Ecommerce Platform is so easy to use with no coding skills required, you automatically save time and money
What do you get with Shopify Ecommerce Platform?
- Web-based Content Management System to update your website and online store
- Meets full W3C standards
- Fully secure payment gateway
- Easily Integrates with POS systems
- Bespoke website design and full control of HTML & CSS
- Customer support including technical help
And much more - Click here for a full overview of features and benefits
SEO TIPS for SHOPIFY Ecommerce Platform
So, you have set up the newly Shopify platform for your online store and want to implement SEO techniques. Shopify is advanced ecommerce CMS & shopping cart with built-in Search Engine Optimization elements. These SEO elements ensure the enhanced traffic and sale to your website from search engines, Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
Following are the 12 major tips that need to be covered for improving the SEO of your SHOPIFY store:
- Remove duplicate content from your store
- Create Unique Title and Meta Descriptions for Your pages
- Optimize Your Store Images
- Link your Products from the Home Page
- Technical SEO for Shopify is mandatory
- Canonical tag and Domain Canonicalization
- Add your sitemap.xml to Google Search Console
- Google Analytics Integration
- Build Quality Backlinks to Your Shopify Store
- Don’t forget to Set Up 301 Redirects for Old Product Pages
- Install the free Product Review App
- Use the blog feature in your Shopify Platform
Remove Duplicate Content from your Store
Duplicate content generally refers to the content that completely match with other web page content. For Shopify, duplicate content can be a disaster in the search engine, if Google, Bing and other search engines detect duplicate content.
Many Shopify stores have duplicate content and as a result of this, it may have an adverse effect on search engine rankings and your store will be penalized by search engines. This is a very important tip, due to the fact it has the biggest impact on the search engine.
Just in case, you should perform tests and checks as often as possible in order to make sure all of your content is 100% unique. Luckily, there are tools like Copyscape Plagiarism Checker, which will detect duplicate content.
“According to Google Content Guidelines, Google defines duplicate content as:
Duplicate content generally refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar. Mostly, this is not deceptive in origin. Examples of non-malicious duplicate content could include:
- Discussion forums that can generate both regular and stripped-down pages targeted at mobile devices
- Store items shown or linked via multiple distinct URLs
- Printer-only versions of web pages
Create Unique Title and Meta Descriptions for Your pages
Title and Meta Descriptions tags are important elements of any website for search engine rankings. The title tag and the meta description tags should include keywords related to the page content. This unique meta data helps search engine to understand what the page is all about.
Each Title and Description must be written according to SEO best practices. The minimum word count should be 60 characters for Title and 160 characters for description tag. This is a time-consuming process, but it is something you should definitely do, as it can help increase your search engine rankings.
In your Shopify store, Head to Online Store > Preferences to change your Title and Description
PRO Tip: Avoid using stop words like: the”, “an” and “a” “or”, “but” “thus” and if”.
Use this format: Primary Keyword – Secondary Keyword | Brand Name
Optimizing Your Store Images
Image Optimization is necessary for Your Shopify store to improve the website presence in Google and other search engines. All images must include the Alt tags with relevant keywords.
When it comes to using images on a Shopify website, the first thing is to optimize the images for search traffic.
While creating alt tags for your images, the key points to consider are:
- Always add a proper description, without stuffing your keywords
- Use unique alt tag
- Alt tag needs to be short and describe clearly about the image
- Don’t add alt tags for buttons and smaller images
To add alt text to Shopify, follow these steps:
- From your Shopify admin, click Products
- Click the name of the product that you want to edit
- Hover over the product image and click ALT
- Add or edit your alt text in the Image alt text box
- Click Done to save the text
Here's an article on How to add alt text to Product images
Always Link your Products from the Home Page
The homepage is the main page of the website and also most powerful page among all other pages. Creating text navigation links on your homepage gives a clear path to your site visitors from the home page and it is also useful for visitors because they can easily land to a product page instead of searching by navigating around your site.
Not to link your products from home page is a common mistake most store owners make at some point, and as a result, your important pages will be hidden deep in the store and visitors cannot find them easily.
PRO Tip: Make sure all of your product pages or important pages are visible at the top of the homepage via text navigation. By doing this, you literally serve them in front of your visitors. You can include a search box also.
Technical SEO for SHOPIFY is mandatory
Technical SEO refers to any SEO activities/elements that do not include the content part. In technical SEO webmaster need to ensure the followings elements with proper search engine guidelines:
- Checking a robots.txt file so bots can crawl the site
- Ensure the site have sitemap.xml file and add sitemap.xml to Google Search Console
- Create a Google Webmaster Tools account and verify your ownership
- Create and Install Google Analytics
- Validate HTML and CSS
- Correct any crawl errors and redirect issues
- Proper use of Heading tags (H1, H2 H3 and so on)
- Canonical tag and Domain Canonicalization
- Run the URL through a tool like GTMetrix and Google PageSpeed Insights to Analyze the site’s speed on all devices
- Canonical tag and Domain Canonicalization
Canonicalization refers to merging pages when there are multiple. Any Shopify store can have three to five versions:
- http:// example.com
All of the above pages are working with the same content, and none of these are redirected to a single page. This can result in duplicate content issue on Google, and you can face penalties.
In your Shopify store, Head to Online Store > “Domains” then select “Redirect all traffic to this domain”:
Canonical tag: A canonical tag ("rel canonical") is a way of telling search engines that this is a preferred version of the URL you want to appear in search results. Proper usage of canonical tag will help to prevent duplicate content issues from search engines.
The same product page has dynamic URLs as below:
among the above URLs 3rd should be markup the canonical tag
<link rel="canonical" href="https://www.example.com/dresses/green-dresses-are-awesome " />
Steps to add canonical tag:
- In your Shopify admin, click Online Store, and then click Themes.
- Find the theme you want to edit, click Actions, and then click Edit code.
- Under Layout, click theme.liquid.
- Paste the following code on the line above the closing tag:
- Click Save.
Add your sitemap.xml to Google Search Console
A sitemap is a file where you can add all pages of your website to tell Google and other search engines spiders to crawl/index the website pages efficiently on regular basis. Shopify stores automatically generate a sitemap.xml file that contains all links to all your website including products.
You need to submit your sitemap to Google Search Console or Bing webmaster Tool so that your site can be easily crawled and indexed by Google. In Shopify, the sitemap is located at the root directory of the store e.g., example.com/sitemap.xml
To submit the sitemap to Google Search Console:
- Sign In to Google Search Console
- Click on your website URL
- On left side click on sitemap and Add/Test Sitemap
It may take a few days to process your request.
Google Analytics Integration
Google Analytics integration is a must to track and report website traffic.
Pro Tip: Always add Universal Analytics code, which is the latest version of Google Analytics.
Open your Shopify store Admin > click Online Store > click Preferences> Paste your tracking ID code snippet into the Google Analytics account field
Build Quality Backlinks to Your Shopify Store
Do you want to enhance the number of visitors for your Shopify store? Quality backlinks is a very popular and good tip for everyone. You can get quality and targeted traffic quickly by creating a profile of your store on Amazon, Yelp, and multiple other websites, and you will get strong backlinks as well as traffic in return, which will be a booster for your website.
Have a look at the comprehensive guide on link building strategies in 2017.
Don’t forget to Set Up 301 Redirects for Old Product Pages
In Shopify, if your product goes out of stock and you want to tell the search engine that my page is no longer available and permanently moved to new page, 301 redirections are the perfect solution.
Main Problem: In any case, you have deleted your out of stock pages and not redirected them to a new page, there might be some potential customer drop. The solution for this to Create a URL redirect from your Shopify admin.
Online Store> Navigation> URL Redirects:
When to Use 301 redirection:
- Pages/products that goes out of stock or removed
- Domains that are permanently moved
- If there are 404 pages and expired content
Install the free Product Review App
There is a variety of Shopify Apps to help you to optimize your store. There are free as well as paid apps; you can search all the apps here: https://help.shopify.com/manual/apps
Shopify Product reviews is a free app to engage with your customer and add the product reviews to your online store. You can get this product review app for your store.
Benefits of using this free app:
- It helps to Increase the sales of your products
- Add your product review scores to your Google search results
Use the blog feature in your Shopify Platform
Your Shopify store comes with a built-in blog feature. Blogging is a great way to build your audience, earn more exposure, and drive more traffic and sales for your online business. It is highly recommended to add fresh/quality content regularly.
A nicely written post on How to Add/Edit your Shopify blog.
The above 12 tips may not include everything you should know about Shopify SEO, but by following the above tips, you'll be definitely ahead of the other competitors and will likely see significant SEO traffic from search engines.
P.S. Just to make sure you get SEO Website Templates in the right place.