The first thing to do after starting your online store isn’t marketing, its Shopify SEO. 

Shopify is inarguably packed with SEO-rich features, but you need to put in the work to generate targeted traffic. 

When you are doing Shopify SEO, don’t forget to add a page, or at least a section on Corona related keywords.

Imagine there are two product pages, A and B. A  is better optimized for SEO, and B is backed with a marketing budget. Obviously, A will perform better because of the proper optimization of the product page. 

In this post, we are going to discuss 9+ things to get your Shopify SEO and leverage your eCommerce business. 

Let’s get started 

Nine Steps to Shopify SEO

1. Perform keyword research

Keyword research is an important aspect of Shopify SEO, and it will help you rank better on search engines and generate good revenue. Keyword analysis will show you what keywords are easier to rank and how you can use them to get targeted traffic to your eCommerce store. 

One of the best keyword research tools is KwFinder. It will provide you with the most unique suggestions related to your niche. You can not only get some low-competition, high-search rate keywords, but you can also find out how easy or difficult it will be to rank for that keyword. 

Shopify SEO keyword research

KW Finder shows multiple suggestions for a single keyword. You can use it to find search volume, CPC, PPC, and keyword difficulty. Above is a quick chart for different difficulty levels.

Now, Let’s say I have an online store featuring kids’ clothing and I need a keyword to use in my product title. However,  if I search on Google for the keyword kids’ clothing, there are bigger brands in the top-ranking position, like Kohl’s and carters. It is hard to compete for kids’ clothing. So, I put the phrase into the KWFinder tool.

You can see that it is pretty hard to rank and will require quite some time to appear on the first few pages of search engines.

Kw Finder shopify

So, I will use an alternative keyword – newborn clothes (this keyword is both easier to compete with and has high search volume). Therefore, you can use this keyword in your product title and description.

Shopify keyword research

Next, to make the ranking easier, I will say look for a long-tail keyword (a keyword with 2-3 words). Long-tail keywords rank better on search engines, but when you add it to the title, make sure it reads naturally. 

2. Improve store navigation 

User experience is one of the most important ranking factors. While it doesn’t directly contribute to your ranking, it provides signals that are further used for your SERP.

A good UX is when a user is able to navigate your site with ease. One way to make it happen is by using the hierarchy structure to organize your products. You can create a primary menu with products divided into categories and subcategories

One example of categories in the main menu is Taylor Stitch. When you click on the shop, it will show you a list of categories available in the store. 

Taylor Stitch store

A more sophisticated example of category-wise taxonomy is Amazon. There you can navigate at the sub-category level under each  department section – Men’s fashion > Clothing > Shirts > T-Shirts.

Amazon shirts categorization

Now, Shopify has three things that ease navigation: collections (grouped using product conditions, i.e. tags), categories, and subcategories.

Main menu for shopify navigation

Collections – Collections can be accessed through the left sidebar Products > Collections. This option allows you to group similar products, making it easier for customers to find them by category.

For instance, if you have 5 different types of shoes and 5 different types of shirts, you can group them together under Shoes and Shirts, respectively. Now, if you have 5 different types of shoes for men and women, you can create separate collections for men’s shoes (subcategory) and women’s shoes (subcategory).

To add your products to a collection, they must have tags. So, if you want to have 5 pairs of shoes appear under the shoe collection, you must tag them all with ‘shoes’. For ease, you can do it directly via the bulk editor from ALL PRODUCTS.

After creating a collection, simply head over to Online store > Navigation and add your collection to the main menu. So, if you’ve created a shoe collection, click on add item on the navigation menu and add the shoe collection. 

For adding sub-categories, add men’s shoes and women’s shoes as new items and drag and drop them just below the shoe categories. Make sure that you slide them a little towards the right so that they appear as sub-categories and not as another category. 

You can also add multiple variables if you have hundreds of products and set up search filtering. If you want a filter sidebar that looks stylish, you can use the Product Filter & Search app

3. Connect the Google search console and submit a sitemap 

The third crucial thing about your Shopify SEO is Google Search Console connectivity. Google Search Console is a free service offered by Google to help you monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot your website or online store. 

3.1 Connecting Shopify with GSC

Connecting your Shopify store with Google Console will help you keep track of every technical and non-technical aspect of your website. For doing this, head over to the GSC page.

Google search console

You can either verify your site via the domain method or the URL method. The first one will watch both the HTTP and  the HTTPS versions of your site. Go to Online store > Domains > Manage domains > DNS Settings > Add a custom record > TXT record and copy paste the record to the txt value and under the name section put @ and save, then click on verify. 

Sometimes it might take a day or two to verify your domain. Alternatively, you can use the below video for verifying your domain using the URL method. 

3.2 Submitting a sitemap for your Shopify store 

You can easily submit your sitemap from GSC once your store is verified. All Shopify stores automatically generate a Sitemap.xml file. This file helps Google bots crawl your website and show it on search engines. To view your sitemap, simply add “sitemap.xml” after your domain name.

https://yourwebsite.com/sitemap.xml

For adding a sitemap, go to the sitemaps section on GSC and submit this URL. Don’t forget to replace the domain name in the above URL with your own domain name.

4. On-page optimization 

On page optimization is a part of SEO that marketers are using from a long time, and it still works.

4.1 Optimize your product page

Guitar shop

SEO is about optimizing your store to appear better on search engines. This means you need to make it useful to both customers and Google bots. 

To do this, you need to optimize your product page. Start by adding a keyword with a high search rate in your title. Try to add it as the first two words of your title. For instance, if you sell kids’ clothing and your keyword is newborn clothing, your title can be newborn clothing handmade T-shirt. 

Next, add multiple images for your products and add alt text for each. Alt attributes help the search engine to know what your image is about. Use unique optimized product titles and high-quality images. 

When you write your product description, make sure that it clearly describes everything about your product and optimize it for the targeted keyword. Using it 2-3 times will be fine, but do not over-optimize. 

Lastly, add a product review option just below the product page so your customers can publicly offer valuable feedback.

4.2 Create a rich snippet 

Along with many other factors, CTR also helps Google decide the SERP and affects the conversion rate of your store. Write copy in your meta title and meta description, and embed keyword at least once in your meta. 

Clothing store seo on google search

Additionally, you can add ratings along with your meta description (also known as rich snippets). Rich snippets have higher conversion rates and will also help you know more about the product. You can easily find an SEO app from the Shopify app store and add a rich snippet. 

5. Set up social media pages

Shopify SEO shown by social media

Social media pages help with SEO. There is correlation between social signals with Google ranking factors. Setting up social media profiles will also help you generate more traffic and spread brand awareness. 

Create social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. The good thing is, you don’t need to individually design or resize your logo and timeline image. You can use Shopify’s free logo maker to create logos with multiple resolutions. 

6. Improve and optimize performance 

The first thing your visitor will notice is your landing page. You can use the Shopify stock photo library to get eye-catching images for your online store. 

Next, make sure that you optimize your store for performance. Here are a few quick pointers to speed up your website:

  • Optimize product images – Use the JPEG image format instead of PNG. They take up less space. Next, you can either optimize your images manually before uploading with TingPNG or install a Shopify app like Crush pics to handle the optimization from the store end. 
  • Use a fast Shopify theme – A Shopify theme isn’t something you necessarily need to change, but if you don’t want any loose ends, you can either customize your theme and remove some functionality or buy a new Shopify theme like Fastest
  • Add a CDN service – A content delivery network (CDN) is a region-wise distributed group of servers that reduces the content loading time and offers a faster loading product page. You can use a free CDN service like Cloudflare for your Shopify store. 
  • Shopify caching – Using a Shopify cache app will speed up your store and improve performance. The cache is a temporarily stored version of files at a location that makes it easier to access the data quickly. 

Along with the above, you can also remove some non-essential Shopify apps. Installing a lot of Shopify apps could affect your site speed to an extent. 

If none of these options help much, try JavaScript and CSS minification. 

7. Improve your backlink profile 

It’s no secret that good quality backlinks help boost your SEO and help your site appear better on search engines, but the more important thing is to generate backlinks naturally. You can reach out to popular blogs around your niche and offer giveaways for your product in exchange for a genuine review. 

You can also publish guest-o-graphics (guest posts with infographics) to promote your store on various websites. 

Another great way to build backlinks is by using content marketing. Starting a blog will help you boost traffic and generate more leads. You can easily create a blog on your Shopify store, but if you want to look less promotional, use WordPress for starting a blog. 

WordPress will help you create more sophisticated content pages with dynamic functionality. Create high-quality useful posts that help attract more links. You can use statistics, listicles, case studies, and similar content to build backlinks for your store. 

8. ​Check for other SEO problems

Broken links or improper redirection can affect your site structure and ranking. If you have posted a page, say for demo purposes, and then you remove the page, you will get a 404 error. 

While a 404 is not harmful, it can certainly affect user experience. In some cases(when a page is low-quality and serves no use), Google often makes the page a soft-404, which signals the bots to no longer crawl that particular URL.

To fix this, use Broken Link Master or any other Shopify app to detect and redirect broken links to a similar post or product page. If you don’t have anything similar, redirect it to your homepage. 

Duplicate pages are another SEO concern that can reduce your ranking and even remove your listing from search engines if you are hit by a plagiarism penalty by Google. So, if you have duplicate content such as the same descriptions or product images, you need to fix it. The best way to remove this Shopify SEO issue is by updating product pages and posts with unique content. 

But if that’s not possible for whatever reason, use rel=”canonical” tag. This tag tells Google that this URL is the master copy of the page. Typically, if you have two different pairs of sports shoes with the same description and you place them in Collections, Shopify will automatically do the SEO canonicalization. If that doesn’t happen, you can add each pair manually via the theme.liquid file on your Shopify dashboard using <link rel=”canonical” href=”{{ canonical_url }}” />

Responsiveness is another important thing to check, especially if you are using a custom theme. Test to ensure that your store is responsive, i.e. mobile-friendly.

9. Design your Visual Brand aesthetics

Creating a personalized visual aesthetic is one of the most important aspects of an online store. A store that appeals have much more sales than a store with a boring, free theme. If you are looking to update, refresh, or re-brand your boutique, creating a visually unique design for engaging your audience is a must. For instance, the PINTEREST feed creates great buzz using just the visual content.

Pinterest

From SEO prespective, it will reduce the bounce rate, improve the customer’s interaction and will also affect the overall revenue to an extent.

The product images, value proposition (landing page) and product pages should look visually appealing, and reflect your niche to an extent.

For creating your brand’s visual aesthetic create your board/page and keep it aspirational, creating your dream brand.

You know how they say every brand has a unique story to tell, well that’s true, but not all brands can go on podcasts and interviews to share their stories. Therefore, you need to make a brand that speaks for itself.  Stay true to your brand and ask yourself if the piece you designed reflects your brand? You can use stock images from Shopify Burst.

If you have a fashion store, look for top fashion brands online and the design they are using on their website. To understand niche-specific visual aesthetic, here’s an example from Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters

It is a minimalistic online store, designed with a lot of white space. Their pages reflect the type of clothing they sell and reflect their brand aesthetics, i.e. what their brand is about.

You can experiment different logo designs and think about which type of design will suit the best, based on the products you are selling.

Where to find SEO experts for Shopify? 

So, that was the guide to set up Shopify SEO. I hope it helped you make your store SEO-friendly. Shopify SEO is as important as marketing. If you want a better conversion rate and growth, you must optimize your store. 

In case you want Shopify-specific help, you can always visit the experts’ marketplace. Alternatively, you can also reach out to me via the contact page. 

About the Author

Pulkit Bhardwaj

Founder & Editor

Hey! I'm Pulkit Bhardwaj - an eCommerce aficionado and Shopfiy + WordPress expert. I have been writing around eCommerce and blogging for 4+ years. If you want any help related to eCommerce, feel free to reach me out. When I'm not writing here, you can find me on starttheblog.com.

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