Question: How do I rank my Shopify store on Google and drive traffic with SEO?
Answer: To rank a Shopify website in a higher position, besides keywords and content, you need to deal with many featured SEO issues. SEO for Shopify is more specific and unique than for other platforms. With Shopify, you also have to get used to many different built-in apps for better SEO execution.
To help you have a closer look, this article gives you the most fundamental but vital SEO tips. You can use these tips to start SEO for your website or enhance your SEO effort and improve traffic. They are the most important part of our SEO checklist.
Now let’s dig in.
Table of Contents
12 Shopify SEO tips that help your stores improve rank
Make use of Shopify SEO apps and tools
As your stores have lots of pages and products, it’s time-consuming to do every-SEO-thing manually. Meanwhile, tools give you accurate results and various metrics to estimate your work. Imagine you had 30 products with at least 60 product images, and all of them required optimized alt text. Can you spend time adding each image’s alt text? What will you do if an error or mistake occurs?
We’ve spent a long time working with Shopify and have come up with some simple but effective SEO tools. Just jot them down and explore each one.
|Ubersuggest Chrome extension||Keyword Research||Free up to 30 keywords|
|Semrush||Keyword Research||From $119.95/month|
|Ahrefs||Keyword Research||From $99/month|
|Bulk Image Edit||Image Optimization||Have free plan|
|Judge.me Product Reviews||Customer Reviews||Have free plan|
|Smart SEO & Image Optimizer||Meta tags Optimization||Have free plan|
Always start with SEO keyword research
Keywords are the foundation of SEO. With keywords, Google understands what your page is about and can rank it for relevant search queries. A set of connected keywords helps create topic authority for your site, hence boosting your target product ranking.
With these simple steps, you can easily nail the keyword research:
Step 1: Use these sources to explore your potential keywords:
- Google Suggest or Google’s “Searches Related To”
- Youtube Suggest
- Topics on Reddit or Quora
- Third-party tools like Semrush, Ubersuggest, Ahrefs, Keyword Everywhere, Keyword Surfer
Step 2: Create a list of keywords and prioritize them using the following criteria:
|Monthly search volume||How many times do people search for a specific keyword per month?|
|Keywords difficulty||Do you need very insightful content with lots of qualified backlinks to get ranked in the top results?|
|CPC||Do people tend to pay when searching for that keyword?|
|Search intent||What do people want to see when searching for that keyword?|
|Keywords trend||Do more or fewer people search for that keyword?|
|Relevance to your products or services||Is that keyword relevant to your products or services?|
Step 3: Determine which keywords will be used on the homepage, collection pages, product pages, and blogs.
Build a Shopify site structure based on keywords
The site structure is good for both search engine bots and users. In particular, it helps Google understand your site and lets users navigate it easily.
Make use of your keyword research to build an optimized site. Select main and related keywords for all of your site’s pages and connect them with internal linking.
Helmboots is a Shopify store that mainly sells footwear, shoe care products, and accessories. The below image partially sketches how they organize their site structure with keywords.
Add SEO keywords to all Shopify pages
To tell Google what your pages are about, some elements on your pages need to contain keywords. They include titles, meta descriptions, headings, body text, image alt text, and URLs. Each element has its own set of keywords, requirements, and practice to execute.
You don’t need to use only one main keyword in all elements. Instead, you can use similar or related keywords that support your main content. You can also use LSI keywords in your headings to make your page well developed with rich content. LSI keywords are search terms with more contextual words added to the main keyword.
Write unique and convincing product descriptions
A well-crafted product description is good for SEO in various ways. It makes visitors engage and stay longer on the page. If your message resonates with customers’ pain points, they are more likely to move through the conversion funnel, for example, send you some questions or add the product to their cart. Product content also shows keywords and helpful insight to Google for better rank.
According to research by Baymard, common information users sought out in testing included ingredients and materials, product dimensions, and compatibility.
However, you will need more content to convince customers to buy. That’s why your product description should also answer these questions:
- Which problems does your product solve?
- What are the benefits of your product?
- What makes your products stand out in the market?
With such a long and detailed description, you had better divide it into different product tabs to improve the user experience and readability.
Optimize your Shopify product images for SEO
There are many criteria for evaluating a product image.
Firstly, your image should have enriched alt text and a title. This is due to the thriving development of Google Image, which accounts for nearly 23% of all web searches. When people search for a product image, your product has a higher chance of being seen and clicked on.
Secondly, high-quality visuals will attract more customers and increase both the click-through rate and the conversion rate. The best practice is to have all your product images have the same background and colour.
In order to maximize the quality, you can carry on product photography and picture your product from various angles.
Thirdly, remember to keep your image at a minimal size. This increases the loading speed of the image and hence reduce the bounce rate. For SEO, we recommend images under 100KB.
|Image Type||Size (Width x Height)|
|Favicon||32 x 32|
|Menu images||360 x 360|
|Newsletter||425 x 575|
|Video placeholder image||1600 x 900|
|Gallery||800 x 800|
|Testimonials||1600 x 1000|
|Logo||450 x 250|
|Product image||2048 x 2048|
Remove duplicates issues
Duplicate content is the highest priority issue on Shopify since search engines cannot determine which pages to rank. So, removing duplicates will surely improve your target page rank in search results.
To be quickly explained, duplicate content occurs when different URLs show almost the same content. With Shopify, this usually happens with paginated pages, tag pages, product variant pages, or product pages entered from the collection page.
Not all Shopify themes engage with this problem, but the best way to deal with it is by using a canonical tag. This instructs search engines to consider a particular page as if it were a clone of a specified URL. As a result, all links, content metrics, and “ranking power” are attributed to that specified URL.
The canonical tag is usually added to the theme.liquid file, between <head></head> tag. You can view the canonical tag of any particular page by right-clicking on any space and choosing “view page source”. The format you see will be <link rel=”canonical” href=”the target specified URL”>
Make Shopify website mobile friendly
Mobile responsiveness is a basic SEO requirement. More than half of Google’s organic searches are from mobile devices. A seamless and friendly Shopify mobile experience will decrease the bounce rate and increase time on site.
Here are some tips to create a great mobile design for Shopify users:
- Don’t use the navigation bar
- Optimize and minimize file size
- Link phone numbers and addresses
- Make popups more friendly
- Optimize Forms for Mobile
- Utilize Collapsible Sections/Accordions
- Customize the size of the banner
For more details, you can access our descriptive guide on how to make your Shopify website mobile friendly.
Make Shopify store load faster
We have mentioned that quick and reliable online experiences are always expected. Statistics show that 79% of buyers won’t return to a site to buy again if it takes too long to load.
If your store is loaded slowly, people are going to leave right away. This will tell Google that your site isn’t related to the search phrases used. Consequently, it will be pushed down in the rankings.
Use various types of content
Not only users, but Google also does not prefer only-text content. This applies to any page on your site, including the homepage, product pages, blog pages, etc.
When you search for any term on Google, the search results will show you diverse features based on searcher intent: blogs, videos, images, FAQs, etc. The more kinds of content you show, the more searcher intent you match, the higher the rank your pages will get.
Different content types also make visitors stick around. Create dynamic and engaging pages with video, 360-degree photos, and customer reviews, especially on your product pages. Why? Visitors who watch product videos are 73% more likely to make a buy. 72% of customers won’t take any buying actions until they’ve read reviews.
Build qualified backlink profile
Even until 2022, there is no better way to help your site rise faster than a strong backlink profile. Your backlinks should not be out-of-nowhere links coming to your site. Instead, they should be as qualified and relevant as possible. If your Shopify store is brand new, you should not create too many backlinks in the first place, as it will be deemed abnormal by Google.
Some types of backlinks you can benefit from are:
- Guest blogs = You reach out to other relevant, authoritative websites and offer them free content in exchange for a link to your site
- Citations = A direct online mention of your business with a link to your site. Citations usually appear on some listing/comparison pages, or directories.
- Niche links = You reach out to other websites and ask or barter to get a contextual link added to a relevant post.
- Social accounts = Add Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. accounts to spread your brand presence on multiple channels.
- Web 2.0 = Community websites where you can freely create content, including social media, Wikipedia, WordPress, Blogger.com, Tumblr, Quora, Reddit, etc.
An effective way to build your own backlink strategy is to analyze your competitors’ earned links and mentions. From there, you will find valuable opportunities for linking and outranking your competitors.
Speed up your Shopify SEO effort with a companion
Some of you will be overwhelmed by the time you hit this line. SEO is not an easy game; it requires knowledge and proficiency. We have learnt and practised for many years before becoming specialists in this field. However, we never stop updating and upgrading day by day. Experience pays off with fast delivery and expected results.
However, amongst a variety of SEO service providers, how can you decide who is suitable? There are five criteria you should take into consideration while choosing your companion, as SEO is a long-term process with at least a 3-month execution.
- Budget Friendliness
- Experience in Your Business Niche
- A Proven Track Record of Assisting Shopify Businesses in Growing
- Organic Shopify
- SEO Solutions
- Transparent Communication
Because customers never stop searching for information on search engines, SEO never loses its importance. Implementing all our mentioned SEO tips will bring more organic traffic to your Shopify store.
If you are still confused about where to start, get your detailed SEO audit and trial execution from HappyPoints experts. Start your free Shopify SEO project today.