This article will introduce the importance of Shopify SEO basics and uncover the fundamental principles and strategies that will propel your online store to new heights of visibility and success. We’ll start by exploring the importance of keyword research and on-page optimization. Then, we dive into mastering technical SEO aspects, such as site speed and mobile optimization.
We’ll also discuss the significance of high-quality content and effective link-building. Finally, we’ll touch on the ever-changing landscape of Shopify SEO and offer tips on staying up-to-date with the latest trends. So, grab your apron, and let’s dive into the essential ingredients to help your Shopify website rise through search engine results.
Section 1 | General SEO Basics
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the “natural” or un-paid (“organic”) search results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from users who do not have any commercial intent to buy products or services at that very moment.
If you’re a DTC (direct-to-consumer) brand selling products online, you’re already aware of the importance of SEO. SEO is optimizing your website to rank well in search engine results pages (SERPs). This is important because the higher your website ranks in search results, the more likely people will find and buy your products.
It’s not just about getting traffic–it’s about converting that traffic into customers!
Shopify is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms today, with over 1 million merchants using it to sell their products online. If you’re one of those merchants, you need to know how to optimize your website for SEO.
On-page SEO refers to everything you can do on your website to improve its performance in organic search results.
On-page factors include:
Content (the words on your page)
Structure (how those words are organized)
Backlinks (links from other sites pointing back at yours)
In this article, we’ll discuss the basics of Shopify SEO and provide some tips on getting started. But first, let’s create the recipe for success with a solid website foundation.
Section 2 | Technical SEO: Creating a Solid Foundation
Technical SEO plays a crucial role when optimizing your Shopify website for search engines. This aspect focuses on the behind-the-scenes elements that impact the crawling, indexing, and overall visibility of your site. By handling technical SEO, you’ll set a solid foundation for better search engine rankings and improved user experience.
In this section, we’ll cover three essential components of technical SEO: creating a site map, setting your preferred domain, and utilizing a logical store structure.
Creating a Site Map
A site map is like a menu for search engines. It helps search engine crawlers navigate and understand the structure of your website easily. Creating a site map ensures that search engines can discover and index all your website pages.
To create a site map in Shopify, you can use built-in features or install a third-party app from the Shopify App Store. Once you have a site map, you can submit it to search engines like Google through their webmaster tools to ensure efficient crawling and indexing.
Setting Your Preferred Domain
Having a consistent domain is essential for SEO. Shopify allows you to choose between using your own custom or default domain.
To set your preferred domain, go to your Shopify admin, navigate to Online Store > Domains, and select the primary domain you want to use. This helps avoid duplicate content issues and ensures that search engines recognize your website as a single entity.
Utilizing a Logical Store Structure
A logical store structure is like organizing your pantry to make it easier to find specific ingredients. A well-structured website improves user experience and helps search engines understand the hierarchy of your content.
Start by categorizing your products into relevant collections or categories. Each collection should have a concise and descriptive name, making it easier for customers and search engines to navigate. From there, organize your products within these collections, using clear and consistent URLs, and adding relevant metadata like title tags and meta descriptions.
By creating a logical store structure, you’ll offer a more user-friendly experience while also optimizing your website for SEO.
Taking care of these technical SEO elements sets the stage for better search engine visibility and user experience. By creating a site map, selecting your preferred domain, and utilizing a logical store structure, your Shopify website will be well-equipped to climb the search engine ranks.
Section 3 | Defining On-Page SEO Terms
Just like a well-prepared meal, optimizing your website for search engines requires the perfect blend of ingredients. This section will define critical on-page SEO terms to help you create a mouthwatering website. Grab your apron, and let’s dive into this delectable menu of on-page SEO terminology!
Title tags are one of the most important elements of on-page SEO. They’re what you see in the top left corner of a browser window and tell search engines what your page is about. Title tags can also help you get more traffic by increasing click-through rates and improving rankings in organic search results.
Some title tag best practices:
Add a variant color page to the title
Avoid adding the brand name in the front of the title
Include the primary keyword
Avoid repeating the brand name in the title more than once
Make your page titles compelling by adding something unique and extra
Add the main product feature to the page title
Title tags should be no longer than 60 characters to ensure they are fully displayed in search engine results.
Meta descriptions are the snippets of text that appear under your website’s title in search results. These short descriptions help searchers understand what they’ll find on your site, and they can also be used to entice them into clicking through to your page.
Meta descriptions should be written with a human audience in mind; don’t use jargon or complicated language, as this will make it more difficult for people unfamiliar with SEO terminology (or even those who are) to understand what you’re trying to convey. Instead, keep things simple.
If you’re curious about the slug, An SEO slug is a URL component that designates a particular website page or post.Learn more here!
Meta descriptions should be no longer than 155 characters to ensure they are fully displayed in search engine results.
Headings are an important on-page SEO factor that can help search engines understand the structure of your content. Use descriptive and concise headings that accurately reflect the content of each section. This will help both users and search engines quickly and easily understand what the page is about.
Use heading tags (H1, H2, H3) to organize your content and indicate the information hierarchy. Including relevant keywords in your headings is also essential, as this can help improve your rankings for those specific terms.
Image optimization is the process of adjusting your images so they load quickly and look good in search results. Image optimization can help you rank higher in search results because Google prefers fast-loading websites with high-quality content over slow-loading ones.
Here are some tips for optimizing images for SEO:
Use descriptive filenames that include relevant keywords
Compress your images to reduce file size and improve loading times
Use alternative text to describe the image and its purpose.
Include captions or other descriptive text to provide context for the image
Use high-quality images that are relevant to the content on the page
Use image sitemaps to help search engines understand the images on your site
Internal linking is linking from one page on your site to another. The goal is to make it easy for search engines to understand which pages are related and how they should be ranked. Internal links are also crucial for users, as they help them navigate through your website quickly and efficiently. It’s important to note that internal links don’t need to be text-based–you can also use images or videos as anchors (or “clickable” elements).
URL Optimization is the process of making your URLs more user-friendly and search engine-friendly. URLs are the web address for each page on your website, so they’re essential to optimize because they tell search engines what each page is about.
For example, instead of using a URL such as https://example.com/product?id=12345, you could optimize it to https://example.com/blue-shoes. This makes it easier for users and search engines to understand what the page is about and can help improve your rankings for relevant search terms.
Content optimization is a strategy that helps ensure your content is relevant and useful to the user. This means that the content of your website should be written in such a way that it answers all of their questions and provides them with the information they need. Content optimization also helps you rank better in search engines by making sure that the keywords used on your site are relevant to what you’re trying to sell or promote.
Structured data is a set of tags that can be added to your website’s HTML code. These tags help search engines better understand your site’s content, which improves their ability to display it in search results. The most common types of structured data include:
Reviews and ratings
Section 4 | Shopify SEO Basics
Shopify has its own set of SEO settings that you can use to optimize your store. Just like the perfect recipe, optimizing your Shopify website for search engines requires the right ingredients and techniques. Mastering Shopify SEO will help your online store reach the top of search engine rankings, whether you’re selling cupcakes or gourmet cuisine.
Ensure you’re familiar with these critical variables before diving into on-site optimization.
Shopify allows you to set a page title for each product page, which will be displayed in search results and on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. This is also known as the “title tag” in technical terms because it’s a specific HTML tag that tells search engines what the page is about (i.e., what keywords should be included).
It’s important because it tells people what they’re looking at and because Google uses this information as part of its ranking algorithm. So if someone searches for [blue shoes], they’ll see yours if they have an accurate title!
These are short descriptions of each product that appears under every listing when someone searches for something related to yours on Google or Bing (for example).
Meta descriptions can help boost clickthrough rates by giving users more information about why they should buy from your site rather than a competitor.
Content optimization is crucial to improving your Shopify store’s search engine ranking. High-quality content appeals to users and signals to search engines that your website is relevant and authoritative. To optimize your content, research and incorporate relevant and strategically placed keywords throughout your product descriptions, blog posts, and category pages.
Additionally, focus on creating engaging, informative, and unique content that provides value to your audience. Use clear headings and well-structured subheadings to aid in readability and break the content into easily digestible sections. Lastly, ensure that all images have descriptive alt tags and that the content on your site is regularly updated. By following these content optimization best practices, you can improve the discoverability and visibility of your Shopify store, leading to increased traffic and sales.
The first step in on-site SEO is creating a clean and well-organized site structure. This makes it easier for people to find what they’re looking for when they see your store in Google search results.
Creating SEO-friendly content (i.e., using keywords strategically)
Optimizing URLs (making them shorter, using keywords strategically)
Structured data is a way to add extra information to your website that search engines can use to understand better what your site is about. This makes it easier for users and search engines to find the information they’re looking for on the web and helps you rank higher in organic search results.
To take advantage of structured data, you must add some code to the HTML of your page(s). This code tells Google what kind of content each section contains (like “title” or “description”), so when someone searches for something related to one of those terms in Google Search or another platform like Bing/Yahoo!, you’ll show up higher than other sites with less accurate descriptions in their meta tags.
Analytics and Reporting
Analytics is one of the most essential parts of your Shopify SEO strategy. You need to know what’s working and what isn’t so that you can adjust accordingly. This means tracking things like:
By regularly analyzing and interpreting data from your website, you can gain valuable insights into the performance of your online store and make data-driven decisions to optimize its success.
Utilize tools like Google Analytics or Shopify’s built-in analytics to track crucial metrics such as website traffic, conversion rates, bounce rates, and average order value. Set up customized reports and dashboards to monitor key performance indicators and identify areas for improvement. Additionally, use A/B testing to experiment with different strategies and measure their impact on your store’s performance.
Regularly review and analyze these reports to understand customer behavior, identify trends, and fine-tune your marketing strategies accordingly. You can continuously optimize your Shopify store and drive better results by harnessing the power of analytics and reporting.
On-Site Link Building
Link building is acquiring links from external sites to your website. It’s one of the most important aspects of SEO and can be done organically (through content creation) or through paid methods (via services like Google Ads).
In this section, we’ll cover how to leverage internal links. Other tactics like external links and using link-building tools are also important.
On-site link building is the process of creating internal links within your website. This can be done by linking to relevant content from within your pages, such as a product page from a blog post or a category page from a product page. By doing this, you can help search engines understand the structure of your website and which pages are most important.
To get started with on-site link building for your Shopify store, consider the following tips:
Create a clear, intuitive site structure that makes navigating and finding what they want easy for users.
Use descriptive anchor text when linking to other pages on your site. This helps search engines understand what the linked page is about and how it’s related to the content on the current page.
Link to relevant pages within your site whenever possible. For example, if you’re writing a blog post about a new product you’re offering, link to the product page so users can quickly learn more and make a purchase.
Use internal links to help guide users through the customer journey. For example, if you have a category page for “dresses,” make sure to link to individual product pages within that category so users can easily browse and find what they’re looking for.
Remember that on-site link building is just one aspect of a comprehensive SEO strategy. It’s essential to also focus on creating high-quality content, optimizing for keywords, and building external links from reputable sites. A holistic approach to SEO can improve your site’s visibility, attract more traffic, and ultimately increase sales.
Mobile optimization is a crucial part of SEO for DTC brands. You can optimize your website to be mobile-friendly, making it easy to read and navigate on a small screen. In addition, if you’re using Shopify as your eCommerce platform, there are some additional ways to optimize for mobile:
Use AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) to speed up page load times and reduce bounce rates by ensuring users aren’t waiting for pages to load in their browser.
Ensure all images are optimized so they don’t take too long or use too much bandwidth when loading on mobile devices; this includes removing unnecessary metadata from photos like watermarks or text overlays.
In the competitive online business world, mastering SEO is vital for achieving visibility and capturing the attention of your target audience. Throughout this article, we took a deep dive into Shopify SEO, covering everything from on-page optimization to technical elements that lay the foundation for success. Now, armed with a pantry full of SEO knowledge, it’s time to put it all into action.
On-page optimization is like seasoning – use it strategically to make your website appealing to search engines and visitors. Don’t forget to sprinkle in some food puns for extra flavor.
Technical SEO is the backbone of your website’s performance. Creating a site map, setting your preferred domain, and organizing your store structure are essential for success.
Regularly analyze and improve your website’s performance through tools like Google Analytics. This will help you understand your customers better and fine-tune your SEO strategy.
Stay up to date with the latest SEO trends and algorithm updates. Search engines constantly evolve, so ensure your website’s SEO efforts stay fresh and relevant.
Monitor your competitors’ SEO strategies and adapt accordingly. Stay one step ahead by understanding the keywords and tactics they are targeting.
Remember, SEO is a continuous process that requires patience and persistence. By implementing the strategies outlined in this article and keeping your eye on the latest SEO trends, your Shopify website will be well on its way to top rankings and increase organic traffic.
So, go ahead and plate up your SEO strategy – it’s time to serve a delectable online experience that search engines and customers won’t resist. Are you interested in learning more about SEO basics from our team of digital nerds? Click here to connect with us today!