Easy-to-use Shopify SEO Checklist to Get Higher Rank in 2022

Has your Shopify store lost its ranking?
Are your customers returning without purchasing?

You may argue that you are doing everything, from redesigning to overhauling your products and organic marketing to paid marketing, but nothing seems to work. Ask yourself, “When did SEO audit your site last?”

If our question made you raise your brow, you know where the problem exists. However, there could be multiple problems contributing to the issue; therefore, we have prepared a Shopify SEO checklist to help you get past it.

Shop SEO Checklist – Get a higher rank

But first, let’s dive into the reasons that make an SEO audit extremely essential for Shopify stores like yours.

Why do Shopify stores need to audit SEO

When adopted as a regular activity, an SEO audit helps an eCommerce owner leverage several benefits, including putting up against the competition around. 

Main reasons for SEO audit of Shopify store:

  • Algorithm changes

Search engines—Google, Yahoo, and Bing, keep updating their algorithms to produce better search results. As a user, you have to stay aware of the new changes and align your website with the proposed updates.   

  • Webmaster guidelines

Webmaster tools of Google and Bing are constantly changing. So make sure you stay compliant and make your website appealing, interactive, and navigable.

  • Website errors

Broken links or error messages affect the performance of the website badly. An SEO audit reveals the status quo of the Shopify website. Then, you can use it to redirect the errors and recover the lost traffic. 

  • Titles and metadata

The first things noticed by a customer on a website are its title and the meta description. Make them relevant and helpful for the users.

  • Outdated content

Search engines hate outdated content. Provide fresh and relevant content to the customers so that they keep coming back. One way to evaluate it is: if your customers are not visiting it for more than six months or so, consider updating your website.

How to setup SEO on Shopify for beginners

To start an SEO audit on your Shopify website, you need a few things: Google Search Console, Bing Webmaster, and Google Analytics.

We will talk about Google Search Console here. Read about Google Analytics later in this Shopify SEO checklist.

Submit your sitemap to Google from the Search Console account

Step 1: Verify your domain

Before submitting your website to the Google Search Console, verify your domain. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Enable Google Analytics (follow the procedure below)
  • In theme.liquid, paste the copied meta tag below the opening line on the blank line.
  • Click on “Save”
  • Return to Google Search Console. Click on “Verify”
Note: Shopify stores using international domains should repeat this step to verify each domain.

Step 2: Submit your Shopify sitemap to Google.

Now, help Google find your store with the sitemap: 

  • Go to Google Search Console
  • Click on “Sitemaps”
  • In the Sitemap section, enter the sitemap file name of your domain. Then, click on “SUBMIT.” Make sure the format is something like this, or else you may get an error message.
How to connect your Shopify store to Google Search Console

Step 3: Check for any crawling errors with Google Search Console. 

Pick any day of a week and take a look at your crawling report. You will see a list of crawl errors. However, developing a habit of inspecting them every week will tell you that the errors are recent. Fix them before you get penalized.

Some of the most common crawl errors you may encounter include:

  • Server Error 500
  • Not found 400 and 410
  • Access denied 403
  • Not followed 301
  • Other errors 405 and 406

Submit your sitemap to Bing Webmaster

Submit your Shopify store sitemap to Bing Webmaster Tools in the following simple steps:

  1. Open a Bing Webmaster Tools account. It is free.
  2. Verify your account:
  • In the left navigation, check the add and verify section 
  • Select the option best for you
  • Follow instructions to add multiple sites.

Once verified, you will see a green tick mark or a red mark denoting an error. 

  • Create Sitemap. Upload it
  • Use Adding Sitemaps to tell Bing about your site URLs as Bing supports different formats:

Integrate Google Analytics to the Shopify store 

Step 1: Check if you have Google Analytics enabled already

Enabling Google Analytics more than once can result in inaccurate data. So, if you are sure, you haven’t done this before, follow the steps below:
Go to Shopify Admin. Online Store > Preferences

  • In the Google Analytics section, check the box Paste your code from Google here. It should be empty, only then proceed to the next step. If you notice a code beginning with UA-, it means Google Analytics is already enabled. 
  • Click on Themes

Click on Actions > Edit code

How to check Google Analytics connection on Shopify by code - SEO checklist
  • Go to the Layout section, Click {/} theme.liquid.
  • In this file, check if there are Google Analytics tracking tags: dc.js, ga.js, gtag.js, or analytics.js. The presence of any of the tags indicates that Google Analytics is already present.
How to check Google Analytics connection on Shopify by code -  SEO checklist

Suppose there is no tag on the Preference Page of the Google Analytics section or no tracking tag in the theme.liquid. Then get yourself a Google account. 

Step 2: Generate a Google Account

If you have Google products such as Gmail or Google Ads, you can use the same account to create Google Analytics. In case you don’t, then sign up for a Google account. Once done, make an Analytics account.

You’ll find a detailed guide from Google here

Step 3: Enabling Google Analytics

To enable your Google Analytics account, you should devise a Universal Analytics Property and add this to your Shopify store. 

  • Open the web browser. Sign in to your Google Analytics account.
  • Click on Admin
  • Go to the Account column, choose the correct account
  • Go to the Property column, click on Create Property
  • Add a name
  • Choose “Create a Universal property only.”
  • Click on “Next”
  • Choose the right settings
  • Click on “Create”

You’ll find a detailed guide from Google here.

  • Copy “Universal Analytics Property” to the clipboard. You can do so by highlighting the text and press command+C on Mac or ctrl+C on PC.
How to setup Google Analytics on Shopify - copy code
  • Open Shopify admin in a new browser tab.
  • Open Online Store > Preferences
  • In the Google Analytics section, paste “Universal Analytics Property” into the “account field” of Google Analytics.
How to setup Google Analytics on Shopify - paste code - SEO checklist

Step 4: Enable eCommerce tracking

You can perform Google eCommerce tracking in two different manners:

Additional Step: (Google Analytics JavaScript)

Perform more customization by adding Javascript code to the Additional Google Analytics Javascript Section. 

Note: The code won’t make any functional or visual changes to the checkout process. 

Shop SEO Checklist – Get a higher rank

Let’s check what you have done!

How to improve your Shopify store ranking

Now comes the significant part, “How to rank your online store?” We will tell you about the Shopify SEO checklist for auditing a little later as there is something more substantial – KEYWORDS. 

You may ask, “where to find them?” Read below to know about the research tools and find some quick tips to make killer SEO moves.

Keyword Research Tools

Amidst available several keyword research tools, the best tool is Ahrefs. Some find it more helpful than the Google Keyword Planner and other available tools.

AHrefs crawlers crawl the search engines and present the keywords concisely, even the unique ones that you should target. A bonus is that it is available for $7 for a 7-day trial. You can get all the information from the Keyword Explorer section.

In your Shopify SEO checklist, do add at least one of the following tools:

Free keyword research tools:

Paid Keyword research tools:

Keyword Research Tips

Read below some practical tips to achieve more with your keywords:

  • Build a list of localized keywords

Conduct initial keyword research to decide the most relevant keywords for your Shopify store. Then, make sure you insert them in a manner that they don’t look spammy.     

  • Know your niche

Not identifying your niche market will make you compete against pages from top players in the market. Therefore, your main goal should be to fulfill specific market demands; this strategy will help you increase your visibility. How? Use long-tail keywords. 

  • Use long-tail keywords

Long-tail keywords comprise 91.8 percent of searches every month. Though they have low search volume, ignoring them is like missing a golden opportunity. As there are fewer searches for them, they have less competition. Use it to your benefit for a higher ranking.

  • Check out the “People also ask” section on Google. Take advantage of Google Suggest.

To nail keyword research, you don’t have to be a Shopify expert. Instead, make a list of all the relevant keywords (for every product) and use the following tips:

  1. Research “People Also Asked” and “People Also Search For“ boxes on Google. It appears when you type a question in the search bar.
  2. Check Google’s Autofill suggestions.
  3. Perform Competitor research to confirm keywords in use.

Lastly, run the list of keywords you have prepared to see which one is performing better. You may like to try the Shopify tool Stackbear for this purpose.

  • Try using an SEO toolbar.

Many SEO tools and toolbars can help you conduct SEO keyword research in addition to helping you understand your customers and their preferences. Mozbar is an example. With it, you can research both local and national searches to understand search engine users.  

In addition, the software crawls and audits the website for any issues holding back your SEO efforts. 

On-page Shopify SEO checklist

A Shopify store’s on-page SEO should include the following audits:

  • Page titles and meta description

Your page title tells Google what it is all about. Therefore, note that a good page title should have short keywords. The title length should not be more than 60, or else it will get truncated in the search results.

Ideally, the template for product pages should be Product Name > Product Category > Brand Name

If your Shopify Store is small (say 50 products), Shopify’s Built-in Bulk Editor. Also, use it to limit the character length as per the standard while making it interesting to improve CTR.  

  • H1 and H2 tags

Along with the title, H1 and H2 tags help Google understand the context of the page. These are considered as markups for titles and subtitles on a page. You can review the source codes manually or use online tools. 

Examine the text to ascertain the intent and to see if the targeted keywords are present. While checking the H1 tags, remember that the quality of tags may differ from page to page as a different user template is used on each page in Shopify. 

  • Images

An ALT text helps Google understand the image better. It is also shown to the user in instances when the image does not load. Since it is an SEO factor visible in Google search, people often use Google image search to find products. 

Add ALT text to images that are either missing it, or using non-descriptive ALT text, or have more than 100 characters. Remember, a good ALT text should be readable, explain the image, and contain keywords. 

Most importantly, check the external images since CDN hosts Shopify images. Smaller Shopify stores having a small SKU range can update the ALT text manually. Larger stores can use apps for bulk optimization.

  • Product and collection pages 

Is there enough product information provided to the search engines? Scrutinize it deeply. Be as informative as possible, and do not leave out anything. This will enhance your visibility and thus improve the conversion rate. 

  • Blog pages

Are you running a blog on your Shopify store? If yes, check out the blogs performing best. See what is making them perform well.

The chances are that these are:

  1. Highly informative
  2. Easy to read
  3. Relatively long
  4. Load up faster
  5. Visually appealing

Underperforming blogs should be revamped or removed immediately. 

  • Local Schema Audit

Schema classifies the primary information on all the pages for Google crawlers to understand better. It also makes the data appear organized in the search engine results pages. 

Audit it by Google Tool’s Structured Data Testing Tool. Check the table below for a few examples of rich snippets:

ProductsPicture, ratings, cost with a range
VideoVideo image
EventsEvent date, time, and location
PeoplePhotos and phone numbers
Music albums Lyrics and URL to play the song

Shopify store owners are trying to win as many featured snippets as possible to win the first rank and engage more users to click. If you haven’t got any schema, put it on your Shopify SEO checklist for early implementation.

  • Internal links

Links are essential as this helps Google understand and structure your website besides adding value to the user.

Look at Google Search Console; there is a “Links” submenu towards the left side of the screen.

You can check the internal links of your website here. 

See which pages have links to other pages. Go to Links section > Internal Links > Click URL

Tip: Use exact match anchor text while implementing internal linking. It helps Google understand what your page is exactly about. 

  • Backlinks

Link building is one of the most recognized SEO strategies. Though the number is essential, the quality of the links is also counted. Links coming from sketchy websites can hurt your rankings. If there are too many, it gives an idea that you may have bought the links. 

Before performing a backlink audit, you must know the two types of backlinks – Do-Follow and No Follow

  1. Do Follow: these are trustworthy links and allow Google bots to follow them
  2. No Follow: these are opposite to the Do-Follow links. By adding an extra attribute, you tell the search bots not to follow the links. 

Remember, no follow links are no less than red flags and are spammy. Edit these links with Google Webmaster Tools. 

Go to the tab Search Traffic>Links To Your Site>More>Who Links The Most

You will see a table. Download it. Check all spammy sites linking back to your store. Remove all the links not built by you and are potentially harmful using Google’s Disavow Tool

How to disavow spammy links to your Shopify store in SEO checklist

Next up is the “How Your Data Is Linked” section. Track the Anchor Text to the backlinks. Are they misleading links? 

Remove these spammy links (if present). Ahrefs too has a guide to help disavow links

  • Thin/duplicate content

If you are getting duplicate content warnings, do not get worried. Shopify creates some duplicate H1 tags naturally.

For instance, URL formats such as and will create the exact page two times. No worries, as Google will index the /products/ page and not /collections/products/. This will save you from keyword cannibalization or becoming your competition in the Google search results.

  • Online reputation audit

Check the number of reviews left by the customers on different platforms such as Facebook, Yelp, and Google monitor the average ratings. 

If you can afford to, invest in some tools such as:

  1. Synup (for monitoring reviews)
  2. Trackur (for monitoring web connections)
  3. Social Mention (for monitoring social media)

Once you locate the reviews, answer them back. Offer your gratitude to all, even the critics. Promise them good service. Such an attitude can calm, even the angriest soul. Lastly, don’t forget to answer all the questions as customers often use these channels.

  • URL audit

First off, see that the URLs under the radar are not parameterized. Second, check their readability. A URL should be readable to a user as it helps in easy navigation. 

Long URLs are unavoidable if your website has too many dynamic pages. There is an easy way to verify. Extract the URL sitemap with Screaming Frog or xml-sitemaps

The best way to organize URLs is using dashes (-) that separates words making them readable. Second, your website should have a flat structure. (Flat structure means that all the website pages are just one click away from the homepage). This makes your website easily navigable from the homepage and other category pages. 

However, if the structure is not flat, the website will be clumsy with broad and vague categories. 

  • Website content audit

Content is not created for the search engine bots but the users. Make sure there is no duplicate content on the pages. Use tools like SiteLiner or Copyscape. Add relevant keywords only. Do not mix content, instead use variations. The simplest method of keyword research is Google’s instant research. 

Off-page Shopify SEO checklist 

  • Citation audit

Online stores should have an online reference to build trust with web visitors. It includes the ‘Name,’ the ‘Address,’ and the ‘Phone Number (NAP).

First, check NAP details on directories. Look on Google for the following:

  1. Alternate business phone numbers
  2. Alternates for your existing business name 
  3. Search for professionals’ names. 
  4. Or search with directory names. Skim top directories and local/niche directories before cross-checking the information for accuracy.

Some of the directories you can use include Google, Yellow Pages, Yelp, Citysearch, DexKnows, and Superpages. 

  • Google+ page audit

Before you audit your Google+ page or Google My Business page, see the dashboard and verify whether your profile is 100 percent complete or not. In addition, businesses need to verify their phone number, and they should be connected to your website. 

Check if a +1 button is visible on the website? Is customization allowed? There should be no keyword stuffing on the business description. And lastly, add Call-to-action to send your viewers to the desired pages. 

  • Missing E-A-T

Another debatable off-page element in our Shopify SEO checklist is the lack of E-A-T information. E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trust. Social media profiles, About Us information, and contact numbers are parts. If not added, it doesn’t take much time to set them up. 

Shop SEO Checklist – Get a higher rank

To make sure that you don’t miss any important things. Let’s check what you have done!

Technical SEO checklist 

  • Page speed

It is a nightmare to handle scores of images, scripts, and also third-party apps. No wonder page loading speed goes down faster. But as we know, page load speed is a ranking factor. Hence, it is indispensable in our Shopify SEO checklist.

Your page speed is directly proportional to the revenue generated and measuring speed helps in improving the user experience. First, diagnose them and then fix them. You can use any one of the following methods to improve page speed:

Google Analytics Site Speed Insights. It can identify five or more slowest images. 

Page Speed Insights. Enter the page URL to check which page needs optimization.

How to check your Shopify loading speed with PageSpeed Insights in SEO checklist
  1. Then, use Browser’s network and performance diagnostics. It shows clearly what is loaded. 
  2. Optimize images in format (Wep!) preferred size and loading style.
  3. Remove apps and scripts not needed.

How to improve speed depends entirely on the analysis. 

Tip: Minimize the number of images and apps. 

  • Duplication

Usually, Shopify’s canonical tag system fixes the duplicate content itself; therefore, you don’t have to worry much about it. 

  • Google Analytics Implementation Audit 

How do you ascertain that your data is actionable and accurate? Google Analytics Audit can establish the facts. To perform it, you first have to set it up properly. Use GAtective to confirm the proper setup. 
Further, you may use a Google Chrome extension, Google Tags Assistant, on a specific page to see if the tracking code is working well and provide suggestions.

Google Tag Assistant

Or, use Google Drive. Then, export the Google Analytics information to a spreadsheet to check the data and streamline it with the business goals.  

Lastly, track the campaigns you are running. The easiest and effective method is to make use of Campaign Tags. Add a unique URL for every campaign. The strategy helps monitor traffic coming from these URLs and understand what is working and what is not.

  • Responsive design

Responsiveness is one of the ranking factors. To check if your Shopify theme is mobile responsive or not, use Google’s Mobile-friendly Test tool. As more than half of Google’s organic searches to Shopify stores are from mobile devices, your SEO checklist should also priortize this element.

Run preview. If nothing appears, move to a new theme. 

  • www vs. non-www

Duplicate content is seen as spam by Google bots. To avoid this, you must ensure that all the non-www URLs are redirected to the www version of your site. 

Go to Online Store > Domains. Choose “Set as Primary.” Do not forget to check the “redirect all traffic” box. 

  • Site structure URL optimization

The native URL structure of Shopify depends on the rel=canonical tag and is messy. The problem arises when the user moves to a product page via collection page; the URL structure appears as:

But the canonical version appears as:

Prevent duplicate content issues as the product could be listed in multiple collections. 

The issue arises when it ignores the rel=canonical tag and indexes several versions of the same page. Thanks to Google’s damping factor, if Google notices the canonical tag, each version of the page may end up losing some link authority.

How to resolve the issue?

Edit product-grid-item.liquid file. This will disable it from referencing the collection in the URL. 

Note the markup: {{ product.url | within: collection }}

Edit it to: {{ product.url }}

This updates all your URLs telling them to refer to the top-level product version of this page only.

  • Redirects

On other platforms, technical professionals having admin access can update the .htaccess file. In addition, it helps in performing rule-based redirects and fixing content issues such as duplicates. Sadly, with Shopify, access is prohibited, fearing inexperienced people may jeopardize and lock them out with no access to the admin.   

What can you do?

Build a checklist of redirects in the spreadsheet in collaboration with a Shopify app created to take care of redirects. 

Either crawl your Shopify website or use the URL listing database. Copy them to an Excel sheet. Then, apply rules to the URLs using Excel formulas. You can even ask a developer to write a script in technical language to produce the redirect list.  

Try Shopify app Transportr to fix the redirects. It is faster than most other passes in bulk redirects. 

  • Robot.txt limitations

Shopify does not facilitate editing the robots.txt file. This implies that you will have to use a “noindex” tag to help deal with duplicate content issues to block pages. However, it does not support the fixation of crawl budget issues. 

Capitalize on the Shopify ability to block URLs with the “+” sign. You can edit the themes or pages to add the “+” sign in the URL for all the website pages you would have required robots.txt for. But the benefits of this audit hack are not much. 

Shop SEO Checklist – Get a higher rank

To make sure that you don’t miss any important things. Let’s check what you have done!

Site performance measurement 

Our Shopify SEO checklist would be incomplete without apprising you of measuring your site performance. While you may like to use tools such as Google page speed insights, Pingdom to measure your Shopify site performance and these are undoubtedly good. However, we recommend Shopify Analyzer

Check your site performance by Shopify Analyzer in SEO checklist

The app can scrutinize your Shopify website, and present you with a detailed report of the product photos. With it, you will know what is wrong, where and how to fix it. 

How to use it? Follow the steps below:

  • Click on the “Analyze shop” button
  • Wait for some time for the analysis
  • Click on “Fix photos.” 

Download the report. Optimize the images using the Wizard Tool or share them with your teammates. 

Final thought 

Search engines are evolving and will continue to do so. Search Engine Optimization is an ever-ending race. Once you stop, your competitors may overcome you.  

But it isn’t an easy competition, especially for store owners who handle many jobs at the same time. You may have less advantage with big businesses, which have employees in charge of SEO. Even though you have SEO knowledge to implement it, you may burn out because there are many things to do. That’s when our Shopify SEO checklist helps you overcome those dilemmas.

Let’s do it together then you’ll have much time to focus on main activities such as sales, marketing strategy, operations. Try out our FREE package NOW!