Published On: 17 Aug 2023
Are you struggling to reach your potential customers despite building a visually attractive ecommerce Shopify store?
Shopify is a renowned ecommerce store builder website. It allows online store owners to set up their shops easily and sell their products in different marketplaces and social media platforms.
Shopify is used in over 175 countries, with the U.S.A. being its biggest market. Currently, Over 4.12 million ecommerce stores are built on Shopify. Many brick-and-mortar stores have switched to Shopify because of its simplicity and scaling opportunities.
While Shopify empowers small business owners and provides them a global selling platform, it also invites cut-throat competition. The best way to stand out in Shopify among millions of competitors selling the same type of product is to understand Shopify SEO.
For ecommerce business owners, we share an actionable Shopify SEO checklist of DIY strategies that can help you strengthen your organic presence and increase sales opportunities.
With appropriate Shopify SEO best practices, you can optimize your ecommerce store, improve its ranking and get more relevant traffic to your website.
Shopify already comes with a set of built-in SEO features for your ecommerce store that you can incorporate. These include :
Search engines look for your root domain while crawling your website. A custom domain reflects your brand's identity and adds value to your SEO strategy.
Shopify offers a general domain called myshopify.com when you build your ecommerce store on this platform. However, one of Ecommerce Shopify SEO's best practices is buying a custom domain for your store. This will help you appeal to more customers.
You can buy a custom domain from Shopify store. It will cost $14.95/year.
You can also buy your domain from third-party stores like GoDaddy. In that case, you must connect the third-party domain with your Shopify store.
Follow these steps to install Google Analytics 4 to your Shopify store:
To migrate audiences to GA4, read this guide.
One of the easiest and most effective Shopify SEO tips is to use a responsive theme for your ecommerce website. A responsive page loads faster, is optimized for all mobile, tablet, desktop and laptop devices, and creates a seamless browsing experience for the customers. Also, Google indexes a responsive Shopify website faster.
Below is an example of a responsive Shopify website: Sophie Ratner.
Here's why this theme is responsive:
GSC helps Shopify store owners track and manage their website's visibility on Google search pages. With GSC, you can:
GSC is a free service offered by Google, and here's how you can set it up for your Shopify store:
Step 1: Verify all properties in your Shopify store
Step 2: Integration with Shopify store
Make sure to have a concise structure for your ecommerce store. A clear store structure will help the search engines to crawl your website faster. Furthermore, it will help your browsers navigate different product categories easily.
There is no one-size-fits-all structure for your Shopify store. However, here is a simple suggested structure that you can adopt:
The jewellery store Sophie Ratner follows an easy-to-navigate store structure.
The purpose of a product schema is to add precise content to your products. This can be particular product categories and specific attributes. With product schema, these attributes will also rank in the search engines as your page appears in SERPs.
Note that you can add product schema manually to your Shopify store. Go to Themes, click Action, and then Edit Code.
As your ecommerce store starts scaling, the number of product pages on the website also starts increasing. The possibility of multiple products going out of stock simultaneously also increases. In that case, those pages are removed from the website and added as broken links to your Shopify store.
As per Shopify SEO guide, too many broken links are wrong for your website as search engines start crawling and ranking these websites. To avoid this, use an SEO tool such as Ahrefs to identify these broken links and redirect them to active pages.
Keyword research is an integral part of your Shopify SEO checklist. Your potential customers are typing their queries into search engines, and to appear in their search results, you need to identify the most relevant keywords for your ecommerce store.
The secret to effective keyword research is identifying the intent behind your target audiences' search process. The search queries of your target audiences can be of three types:
All these search query groups represent different stages of your potential customer's buying journey. Accordingly, here's how you can start keyword research to improve Ecommerce SEO on Shopify:
When your web page appears on the Search Engine Ranking Pages (SERPs), the first things that catch their attention are your page's meta title and meta description.
Hence, a major part of your Shopify SEO checklist should be to write engaging meta titles and descriptions and optimize them with focus keywords to encourage the users to click.
Here is a checklist to write keyword-optimized meta titles and descriptions:
Note that Shopify auto-fills the meta fields. However, as one of the Shopify SEO best practices, it is good if you can optimize it to match your target customers' intent.
A great way to improve SEO on Shopify is by adding unique product categories and descriptions. Both product category and description play a key role in the decision-making process of your target buyers.
Your product category and description should be specific enough to help the users understand how the product will help them. Otherwise, customers will likely leave your store and look for similar products elsewhere.
Below is a Shopify product description from Taylor Stitch that caught our attention:
Similar to Taylor Stitch, some product description best practices for Shopify SEO checklist you can replicate are:
Source - Self
Search engines crawl both texts and images of your Shopify store's website. Therefore, as a Shopify ecommerce SEO best practice, you should also optimize the images of your store.
Here's a checklist to optimize the images across your ecommerce store's website:
A targeted Ecommerce content marketing strategy offers multiple benefits: starting from getting more traffic from search engines to your Shopify store, educating potential customers and building their trust, and ultimately encouraging them to purchase your products.
There are different ways to leverage content marketing, and it is common for ecommerce store owners to get overwhelmed easily while deciding which content mode will work best for them.
A great way to start your SEO journey is through blogging and product reviews.
Regarding blogging as a Shopify SEO strategy, ecommerce stores should focus on answering their potential customers' most asked questions.
Here's how you can identify what your customers are struggling with most and build a targeted content marketing strategy:
We used the search query “best kid's clothing store” and found the following queries:
Based on these results, you can decide on a blog topic for your Shopify ecommerce store. In this case, some variations can be:
It is common for your potential customers to watch product review videos before making a purchase decision. These videos inform them of the benefits they can acquire if they buy your product.
You can create such product review videos and upload them on YouTube. You can use the focus keywords in the titles and descriptions of these YouTube videos to increase visibility.
Additionally, you can collaborate with social media influencers with strong follower bases on Instagram, Facebook and other channels. Short product video reviews and reels grab the attention of their followers, increasing your chances of getting noticed by a larger group of high-intent audiences.
Generating traffic through website blogs is a long-term game and takes time to drive clicks. A great SEO tactic that can help ecommerce stores bring faster results is publishing guest blogs.
Guest posting aims to feature your content on high-traffic websites and redirect their audiences to your website. It is a popular off-page SEO technique where you can get links from websites with high Domain Authority (DA) to your ecommerce website and boost traffic.
A good starting point to start link building through guest blogs can be:
Find out online publications that produce engaging content related to your industry. Typically, these publications have a huge reader base.
As one of the effective Ecommerce Shopify SEO best practices, look for ways to get featured in these publications: in the form of feature stories about your brand, CEO interviews, product reviews, and more. Since many of your target users already trust these publications, the chances of getting targeted traffic to your website will be higher. Additionally, getting a backlink from these prestigious publications is also good from an SEO point of view.
For example, Vogue magazine has a section “Vogue Shops” where they regularly cover different DTC and ecommerce brands.
In one of their articles on Amazon Prime Day beauty deals: they cover DTC haircare brand Bed Head's product discounts.
Broken link building is another great technique to add to your Shopify SEO guide. With this technique, identify the web pages removed from relevant sites and reach out to the websites to link your content in those places.
Here is a Shopify SEO checklist to build broken links for your ecommerce store:
Passive link building combines inbound marketing and product marketing techniques to grow your business over time and attract more backlinks. Although not a textbook SEO technique, it is an integral part of any business scaling over time.
Some of the ways to speed up passive link building include:
As you start implementing the above Shopify SEO checklist in your store, make sure to avoid the following mistakes:
Ecommerce store owners often duplicate content from other web pages as they rush to set up the product pages. However, as your store grows and catches the attention of target audiences, it is a good idea to rewrite fresh content for these pages.
Duplicate content is a red flag for search engines and lowers your chances of ranking in the top SERPs.
Use tools like Grammarly and Copyscape to identify plagiarized content on your ecommerce store's website and refresh them to improve your store's ranking potential.
Setting up 301 redirects is a great SEO technique to fix broken links in your ecommerce store. With this tactic, you can find the potential Error 404 pages that can affect the user journey on your website or compromise your search engine ranking. And once identified, redirect the URLs of those pages to a more useful page that can drive your target customers to take action.
Use the following steps to add 301 redirects to your Shopify site:
Source - Self
Here's a use case to help you understand how appropriate Shopify SEO best practices can boost the performance of an ecommerce store:
About the Shopify store
A UK-based Shopify store sells heating elements and radiators in the UK. A high percentage of this Shopify store's ROI depended on ads, and they hardly had any organic traffic to their website. The Shopify store didn't have a strong online presence. The monthly organic traffic was around 1000. The Shopify store was not SEO optimized.
Shopify SEO solutions incorporated by Soar Digital
Every Shopify store aims to get maximum traffic, clicks, and ultimately nudge visitors to hit the "buy now" and these SEO tactics help achieve those results by making simple adjustments to their store structure, domains, and content strategy.
This Shopify SEO guide can be a great resource for new ecommerce store owners trying to build a solid organic presence. These DIY SEO tips are easy to understand and implement without sound SEO expertise.
Here's a quick checklist of the key pointers:
Once you implement these Shopify SEO tips and want to scale your store further, try Engage by Lifesight, an omnichannel marketing automation platform, custom-built for small and medium-sized ecommerce brands.
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