So, you’ve migrated your business over to the Shopify platform and are enjoying the fantastic owner experience and increased usability and perks! The next step is gaining more customers and sales quickly. The word ‘SEO’ should pop up next when you ask yourself, ‘how do I improve my Google ratings?’ Read on for a quick guide to Shopify SEO.
While it’s known that most people use Google to search info on the internet, there are other prominent search engines to consider like Bing and AO. Regardless of which search engine is being used the important question is, how easy is it for potential customers to find your online store through an organic internet search? In other words, how is your business ranking and is it coming upfront on the search engine results?
Does Shopify have features to help with SEO?
Shopify does have its own SEO features. So, make sure to study and use these so that your business shoots up in search engine rankings.
Your own SEO strategy
Before divulging our quick tips on Shopify SEO, it is worth pointing out that researching and getting together with a specialist digital agency to develop a long-term SEO strategy for your online retail shop is a smart thing to do. SEO is never a quick solution but rather something that requires continuous long-term planning work.
Quick tips for Shopify SEO best performance
- Paid Shopify accounts – When subscribing to Shopify make sure to get a paid account and not a trial one. Non-paid Shopify accounts are not indexed by search engines.
- Non-Shopify SEO tools – While many of the Shopify SEO tools use Google, make sure to check out what other SEO tools are outside of the platform to add into your SEO strategy.
- Shopify SEO tools – First thing to do for your Shopify store is to set up Google Analytics. Visit https://help.shopify.com/en/manual/reports-and-analytics/google-analytics/google-analytics-setup for a step-by-step guide on how to do this.
- Google Search Console and Shopify sitemaps – Next, register your online store with Google Search Console and other major search engine tools like Bing Webmaster. By doing this your business will well and truly have a web presence. Visit https://www.stylefactoryproductions.com/blog/shopify-seo for an easy set-up guide. Next, submit your Shopify sitemap. Sitemaps are important because they talk to search engines enabling them to scan and index all your site’s info and improve your rankings. Whenever you add more product, ranges, or new webpages your sitemap will routinely update, and Google and Bing will also get the updated information.
- Keywords – Keywords matter to SEO. Many SEO specialists suggest that keywords are one of the most successful ways to find out what your potential customers in your market are searching for on the internet. The two types of keywords which are important are - the words that directly relate to what you are selling for example, ‘dark chocolate’ if you are a chocolatier. The second are the longer keyword phrases that sound more like a question someone may ask on net, for example ‘who sells dark chocolate in Melbourne?’ The words that directly relate to your online business are important because they can direct a lot of traffic to your site. While the longer phrases, are good for sale conversions and they make up over 70% of online searches.
- SSL – Because people generally trust secure browsers or https:// as opposed to non-secure http:// ones, make sure to get an SSL certificate for a secure browser. When you subscribe to Shopify, SSL certificates will be available under the platform’s Sales Channels menu. If you are migrating to Shopify from another platform making your browser secure may take more work and your developer can help with this.
- Loading speed – The faster your website loads the better your search engine rankings. The internet age has meant that people want things faster and faster, so if your website is loading too slowly you can run the risk of potential customers jumping off your site impatiently without purchasing. A good way to check your site’s loading speed is to run it through Google’s PageSpeed Insights. Other suggestions include not using popup windows, checking sizes and formats of all images, and compressing where you can, making sure all images have alt tags with focussed keywords and getting rid of some of your apps.
- Duplicate info – Search engines like Google do not like duplicate information. So, it is a must to check for duplicate information on your site or if it appears elsewhere on the web. Duplicate information means when the exact same words or phrases are used in more than one place. There are ways of finding duplicate information within your own site by setting up canonicals and 301-page redirects. To find duplicate information outside of your own website you can use specific web tools that check for plagiarism.
Unique page titles, headings, and Meta Descriptions – Page titles are good for improving your search engine rankings because the title is the main part that comes up in a search result. Page titles should be precise and feature focussed keywords.
On the Shopify platform there are two ways of editing page titles; one will edit the title for your home page, and the next will edit the titles for your other webpages. To use headings correctly on your site, make sure to use the H1, H2 etc. formats. If you don’t use these correctly then the search engines won’t index your information adequately.
Meta tag descriptions should feature keywords that are related to the webpage information. By doing this search engines can correctly process what each page is describing. You can edit page titles and description tags on the Shopify platform.
One way of being precise is keeping to the word count of 60 characters for page titles and 160 characters for meta descriptions.
- Linking Product pages – Because your homepage is the central page to your Shopify online store website ensuring that there are links from your homepage to other webpages on your site crucial. For example, creating links between your best-selling product range pages from your homepage is a particularly good idea because you can direct your customers to making a purchase quicker.
- Backlinks – Having other sites link to your online store is a good thing for SEO. The more well-regarded sites that link to yours the better. Specialist blogs suggest gaining links from businesses in your market sector for example your suppliers, your partnering businesses, clients, other brands like yours, and influential bloggers and industry media players.
Unique content and product descriptions – As mentioned before because Google and other search engines do not like duplicate information, becoming individually creative about writing your own website content and product descriptions will definitely help your SEO. SEO specialists suggest researching how to create the perfect structure and word count for say a blog that will rank well in search engines is worth your while. Digital agencies and copywriters can help you with these if online SEO writing is not your main game.
Regularly updating your content and keeping it original and fresh is also the way to go. And don’t forget about sending e-newsletters, EDMs, social media posts and so forth advertising where to find all your new information on your business and products.