Improving Shopify SEO

Having organic traffic to your store is one of the most important factors in building your online presence.

Sure you can use social media or paid advertising to generate traffic, but without proper SEO you lose out on relevant traffic to your Shopify store. Since there are many factors with SEO,  let’s cover some common practices that you can do right away. 

SEO what?

In short SEO (search engine optimization), is how search results are found on search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. These search engines try to rank content based on what is relevant to the user’s search terms. Depending on your market and what is being searched, showing up at the top of this result can be challenging. 

The key is finding ways to be the “expert” on what market your store is selling in. For example, If you store is clothing, start creating articles around clothing topics. Since search engines love main subject pages, these are what usually show up! Rating and reviews on products help in getting found when someone searches.

Making sure your content has good SEO is important to the growth of your business. Having a content strategy will help in the long run for getting found in search results!

Shopify built-in SEO

Shopify has some built-in SEO tools that do help. These tools are basic and some additional tweaks will be needed to really make sure your site is using good SEO.

Shopify includes:

Edit Website SEO

This located at the bottom of products, collections, pages and blog posts

Sitemap 

This is found by going to yourstorename.myshopify.com/sitemap.xml 

robots.txt

This is found by going to yourstorename.myshopify.com/robots.txt

Edit Image Alt Tags 

You can edit alt tags on images. Here are several ways to edit alt tags:

Mouse over product images and click “alt”.

 

When adding an image to the rich text editor

Clicking an image in the rich text editor

Using the built-in tools can help in building your search engine presence. Let’s go through the SEO checklist to make sure your store is ready! 

Google Webmaster & Analytics

Google webmaster & analytics are the industry tools to keeping an eye on your store. The best flow is:

Create Google Analytics account: https://www.google.com/analytics/ and create your web property: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1042508?hl=en

Create Google Webmasterhttps://www.google.com/webmasters/ and add the site: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/34592?hl=en, during that process you can verify using your Google Analytics account. Sometimes alternate methods will still need to be used to connect.

Submitting a sitemap will tell Google to start indexing your store. Sometimes this action is immediate or it is indexed later.

Once these steps are done you can add your Google analytics codes to your Shopify Store: https://help.shopify.com/manual/reports-and-analytics/google-analytics/google-analytics-setup#enable-universal-analytics.

When Google is crawling your store, you will get an email from Google webmaster on any crawl errors that are found.

Duplicate Titles

Even with the robots.txt and canonical urls, Google can report duplicate titles. One way to fix this is putting code into the theme.liquid file on your store. Usually you can find this at the top of this file.

{% if template contains ‘collection’ and current_tags %}
       <meta name=”robots” content=”noindex” />
       <link rel=”canonical” href=”{{ shop.url }}{{ collection.url }}” />
{% else %}
       <link rel=”canonical” href=”{{ canonical_url }}” />
{% endif %}

This is how it looks with the Debut theme:

One error you can possible see is “Duplicate meta descriptions”. The best way to avoid this error is adding a description to each of your collections. Use the Edit website SEO tool to update this.

Your Site Structure

Planning out your site navigation helps improve your user experience and SEO. Using a type of site tree can help figure out how your products will be found. Keeping collections simple and linked in your store navigation will cut down SEO problems. 

Here is a sample of one way to setup a store navigation. The idea is to think about how both search engines and user will land on a section of your store.

To get to t-shirts the search engines would index the flow: home > catalog > t-shirts > t-shirt product

Page Load and speed

One thing that a lot of stores forget to consider is page load and speed. There is 3 main things that will affect this: theme, images, apps.

Using a tool like Google Pagespeed or Pingdom can help to test your site. Important: It is very hard to obtain 100% score for performance grade.  Your goal is watching the load time and page size.

 

Only using apps that are necessary for your business, will help with this.  Optimizing images before uploading them, is also a great step in reducing page size. You can still have a 1200 x 400 px image as long as it isn’t a large file size

Other image services for optimizing:

Shopify has a great article on Image optimizing and tool that can be used: https://www.shopify.ca/blog/7412852-10-must-know-image-optimization-tips. There are Shopify apps that can help directly and have various prices:

Note: The apps and website services are suggestions and experiences can vary. We do not guarantee results.

SEO will take practice. It is important to have a plan for your store and content strategy. Depending on how you market, it can take time for your store to see traffic from search engines.

Categories Shopify

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