Ranking high in search results on Google is like being found the right way. Obtaining a good ranking with relevant keywords can bring potential customers to your site without investing in long-term advertising. To achieve this, however, it is essential to spend time on optimising your Shopify shop for search engines, aka SEO. There are many ranking factors that influence Google's algorithm and these are constantly changing.
In this guide, we will explore key strategies for improving the visibility of your Shopify shop.
Table of contents
- What is Shopify's SEO?
- Is Shopify well equipped for SEO?
- Advantages and disadvantages of SEO for Shopify
- Recommended onpage SEO optimisations on your Shopify shop
- Product and category pages
- Recommended off-page SEO optimisations on your Shopify shop
- Apps and tools
What is Shopify's SEO?
Shopify provides valuable SEO tools to expand the reach of your online shop. Still, effectively using these tools to increase visibility can often be a challenge for you as a business owner.
Shopify, a global e-commerce giant, allows you to launch your online shop even if you are a SME. With its simple, browser-accessible administration interface, you have many customisation options. Furthermore, as it is a cloud-based platform, you get rid of worries related to the technical infrastructure behind your shop. With a modest monthly fee, Shopify takes care of all the complex technology needed to run your shop.
Improving your site's ranking on search engines through SEO optimisation is vital. Even if the exact criteria are kept secret, there are known factors that influence Google ranking. Shopify's platform offers built-in options for SEO optimisation as well as the integration of dedicated applications for this purpose.
Is Shopify well equipped for SEO?
You are sure to be impressed by the user-friendliness of Shopify. When it comes to search engine optimisation, you will also find several useful functions for placing keywords. However, SEO success goes beyond the mere placement of search terms in keywords. Hence, we offer you some tips on how to optimise your Shopify shop:
- optimise page structure
- improve user-friendliness
- identify the right keywords and place them on product and category pages
- create links to your shop
- create content marketing and
- integrate Shopify applications useful for SEO
Advantages and disadvantages of SEO for Shopify
Despite possible drawbacks, search engine optimisation (SEO) remains an essential strategic element for business success, providing long-term and sustainable benefits. We have prepared a summary for you on the pros and cons of this practice:
Benefits of SEO for Shopify
Increase visibility: by having an optimised SEO strategy, a Shopify shop can be found more easily in search engine results, which leads to greater visibility and increased website traffic.
Cost savings: in comparison to other marketing methods, SEO is more cost-efficient and offers long-term benefits as organic visibility increases over time.
Qualified traffic: SEO aids in attracting qualified traffic, since those searching for relevant keywords already have an interest in the products or services offered.
Reliability: well-positioned pages are often considered more trustworthy, which can strengthen the brand image.
Long-term effect: when established, rankings can generate constant traffic over long periods of time, without the need for continuous investment.
Drawbacks of SEO for Shopify
Time required: it takes time for SEO results to develop. It can take weeks or even months for improvements in rankings to become visible.
Constant changes: the algorithms of search engines are constantly changing. Therefore, SEO requires continuous adaptation of the strategy to remain relevant.
Competition: having many companies using SEO, competition is high. It can be difficult to achieve good rankings in competitive markets.
No immediate results: contrary to paid advertising methods, SEO efforts do not offer immediate results. It takes time for positive effects to manifest themselves.
Recommended onpage SEO optimisations on your Shopify shop
There is one fundamental concept you should always remember: your website must be designed for the customer. You probably experienced this yourself: if a website is not intuitive, you are likely to quickly abandon it without even having a look at the products. This is also crucial for your shop. Site, page and content organisation plays an important role in search engine optimisation. A cluttered sitemap structure may prevent Google's crawlers (tools that analyse your site and report to Google what they find) from visiting all pages, resulting in a lower ranking of your website. Simplicity is key.
Shopify takes care of one important task already: the sitemap. A sitemap lists all links and pages on a website so that search engines have a good overview of all content. To access the sitemap of your Shopify shop, simply add a /sitemap.xml to your Shopify domain: https://www.example.myshopify.com/sitemap.xml
What can you do to facilitate the structure of your site and make it easier for your customers to navigate? Here are three tips:
- Don't go overboard with categories! Structure your site so that it remains clear. With Shopify, you can easily organise your products and differentiate between two structures:
Homepage -> Category -> Product page
Homepage -> Category -> Subcategory -> Product page
- Also create an 'About Us' page and a 'Contact Us' page to build trust in potential customers.
- Integrate a search field in your online shop. This will help visitors find the products they are looking for and make them stay on your site longer.
Alternatives exist to boost your customers' experience in addition to ensuring a solid page structure. User experience also plays a crucial role as a ranking element, as it shows Google the value your site offers. Some of the elements that matter for UX are usability, intuitive design, loading speed, adaptability to different devices, quality content, accessibility and consistency.
Bounce rate represents how many visitors leave your site after viewing only one page. As a general rule, a bounce rate between 26 and 40 per cent is considered good, between 41 and 55 per cent is average and over 56 per cent is considered high. It is important to consider that Google evaluates your site in relation to your competitors, so figures may vary per sector. Keep users on the site and encourage them to explore more pages: this is achieved through snippets that direct to other pages and clear calls to action.
Page loading speed does not affect long-term ranking. It is crucial to ensure that the content of your pages loads quickly. Avoiding large images and heavy code is advisable. You can check the speed of your shop directly in the Shopify administration area. Go to Statistics -> Reports -> Online shop speed.
Eliminating unnecessary Shopify apps is equally important. The use of sliders and carousels can also slow down the site. Evaluate whether they are really indispensable for displaying your products and brand.
Responsive and mobile friendly
In the age of social media in particular, it is crucial that your website is displayed correctly on all common browsers and devices. A lot of people might discover your shop via platforms such as Facebook or Instagram, the more so if you are active on these channels. It is also critical to ensure an optimal user experience on mobile devices. By using a responsive Shopify theme, your content will automatically adapt to different screen sizes, enabling customers to shop from their smartphones without any difficulty.
Google's algorithm is not a complex science. The search engine just wants to present users with the most relevant results, based primarily on search terms, known as keywords. A key issue for you is to understand which keywords are relevant to your products and pages, and for which you want to appear in Google's search results. It is essential to conduct keyword research and create a list of 10-20 priority search terms and phrases to start with. But how can you identify these keywords that interest you? Here are some tips:
- Search for your products or similar items through the search engine. Put yourself in the shoes of an average consumer: what terms would you use to search for what interests you?
- Analyses the results of your rivals. What words and phrases do they use in their product titles and descriptions?
- Take advantage of Google Suggest. This tool provides search suggestions based on the behaviour of other users, helping you to understand what is searched for most.
- Take advantage of specific tools to identify new keywords. In the course of this article, detailed information will be provided on which tools may be most useful in this search.
Therefore, carefully evaluate the effectiveness of your keywords. You can do this by using tools such as Google Keyword Planner or Ubersuggest to examine how many users search for each keyword. The higher the search volume, the more frequently that word is searched for. Pay attention, however, to the competition associated with each term. If you are competing with large companies or online marketplaces, you may encounter challenges.
Finally, create a list of 10-20 keywords that you would like to focus on in the next three to six months. We suggest you monitor your page's ranking for a specific keyword every week and add it to this list.
Product and category pages
Product and page optimisation
All the information that search engine crawlers gather from Google is extracted from the code. It is essential that each page of your site has the correct elements to be well positioned. Product and category pages, however, must be organised in a way that is appealing to customers and provides them with all the necessary information. Next step is to optimise your shop pages using keywords, starting with the main pages such as the homepage, the main categories and the most popular product pages. We will examine which elements to consider.
Meta descriptions and page titles
Before publishing a new page, be it a content page or an individual product, it is essential to include relevant page titles and meta descriptions. A page title is the text displayed in the first line of search results, while a meta description appears below the header of a search result.
You can easily integrate crucial information for search engine optimisation using Shopify. To add titles and descriptions to your shop, go to Sales Channels -> Online Shop -> Configurations.
You can also include meta titles and descriptions for your products. To do this, go to Products -> Open the product to edit -> In the Search Engine List section, select Edit.
It is recommended to incorporate keywords in both texts and to write the content of each page in an engaging and varied manner, aimed at potential customers rather than Google search engines. You should place the keywords as early as possible in the meta description, which should not exceed 160 characters to avoid being cut from the search results.
Page titles do not necessarily have to match the name of the page: think about what might attract the interest of customers.
A recommended structure for the page title is:
Keyword 1 - Shop Keyword 2 - Shop name.
If you are in charge of the page content, it is advisable to include your main keyword in the H1, i.e. in the main header. The other headings can be enriched with relevant terms. Text should be optimised for keywords without overdoing it, always maintaining easy-to-understand language and avoiding keyword abuse that may look like spam. Treat all text on the site as a way of communicating the desired ranking goal to Google. Moreover, when uploading images to Shopify, it is important to add alt text as Google cannot view the images directly and needs the alt text to understand what it is about. Here is a great place to include keywords related to the image.
Your site should create a network of pages, linking them together. It is important that each page is linked to others: some customers may not use traditional navigation to explore your shop.
Internal content strategy
Quality content is a must to improve your site's organic ranking on Google. Besides providing content for products and categories, you should consider adding a blog. This is where you have the chance to create a wide range of content, answering common questions and problems of your customers. A FAQ section can also be useful for identifying important keywords and phrases used by visitors.
Your content offers the opportunity to present your brand to potential customers in a way that goes beyond just selling. They are also one of the most effective ways to position yourself for different keywords and acquire backlinks.
Recommended off-page SEO optimisations on your Shopify shop
Backlink strategy - What are backlinks and how do I build them?
To achieve a good ranking on Google, one of the key factors is the amount of websites that refer to your site. This represents a measure of your website's visibility level: the more quality sites talk about you, the higher the relevance of your site. It could be considered a kind of virtual word of mouth for your website. That falls within the scope of off-page optimisation, as it is not a metric that you can actively implement on your site. But how can you still get links to your shop? Here are some tips:
- Links from suppliers/manufacturers: in case you sell products from well-established companies, they may have policies allowing retailers to obtain a link. Email them to ask if it is possible to include a link to your shop.
- Influencer testimonials: have your influencers give interviews that generate links and content. You can also offer them products in exchange for a link on their blogs and social media channels.
- Mentions: you might already be mentioned in different contexts without having direct links. You can use services such as mention.com to locate these mentions and then send an email asking for a direct link to your shop in addition to the mention you already have.
Apps and tools
SEO requires time and effort, but many activities can be handled independently. To simplify the work, here are the best SEO tools.
Google Search Console: this Google tool detects possible errors on your site and provides information on the search queries used by users to find your shop. It is a great way to get a detailed overview.
SEMrush: a paid SEO tool that offers data on search terms and shows the position of your competitors.
UberSuggest: proposed by American SEO guru Neil Patel, this tool helps find new keyword ideas and provides information on search volume.
Plug in SEO: this Shopify app helps solve SEO problems by optimising titles, meta-descriptions, loading speed, content and article structure, improving site optimisation.
Smart SEO: allows you to generate relevant meta tags for product pages, collections, blogs and articles in your Shopify shop, as well as provide alt tags for product images, without requiring manual editing. Submit your shop information to search engines using optimally structured JSON-LD data.
SEO Image Optimizer: this application simplifies image optimisation, increasing traffic from image searches on Google.
If you want to maximise the potential of your Shopify shop, rely on DevInterface to optimise your SEO. Maximise your online visibility and reach new heights for your business today. Learn more about how to boost your online presence with our dedicated service and contact us.
Articles you might be interested in: