SEO for Shopify

Optimise your Shopify Site
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Last updated: July 2023

Optimising Your Shopify Site for Search Engine Visibility

With any website, maintaining strong online visibility is important for success. This is doubly true with eCommerce sites. In the UK, eCommerce makes up 30% of the total retail market, a figure that’s fast rising, presenting extraordinary opportunities for retailers. However, competition can be high, and getting seen by prospective customers can be difficult if you aren’t working on your SEO. With over 4 million eCommerce sites using Shopify worldwide, it’s crucial to ensure your Shopify store is optimised to its full potential.

What are the benefits of Search Engine Optimisation?

Think about the last time you decided to make a purchase. Whether it’s refreshing your wardrobe with a new pair of jeans, or big, expensive items for your home, chances are your first port of call was an online search for what you were looking for. Search engines provide a fast, convenient way to research before you buy, and make that final purchase when you are ready. For online retailers, this opens up a vast sea of online searchers who could become loyal customers – provided they can find you. This is where SEO for eCommerce comes in. Knowing how to work with search engine algorithms to increase your rankings and visibility translates into more shoppers visiting your Shopify store, and ultimately more sales to increase your business’ revenue.

The Basics of SEO for Shopify

With most websites, the process of planning your SEO looks something like this:

  1. Do your keyword research, prioritising search terms you’d like to rank for.
  2. Map your keywords to relevant pages you would like to rank and plan future content for keywords you don’t have covered.
  3. optimise!

However, with Shopify, there’s an added complication: not only do you have to optimise your collection pages, but each individual product listing to ensure you are showing for as many searches as possible. Curious shoppers are likely to be searching for the exact items they’re after using long-tail very specific search queries as well as more generic (short-tail) terms, and you’ll want to be sure that both your collection and product pages are amongst the results. For example, somebody uncertain of exactly what product they are looking for might enter a less descriptive search term. If your shop sells women’s clothes, for example, they might search for something like “formal dresses”, and ideally, your collection page should be displayed in the results. However, a shopper with a more specific item in mind might search for “floor length silk dress in navy blue”. This is the sort of long-tail keyword you will want to consider when optimising product pages.

Make sure your collection pages have a descriptive title and some informative text about the specifics for the range, and that you’re detailing the unique differentiating features for each product within the product descriptions. Letting your product names speak for themselves may not be enough to get to the top of the SERPs, but well-written and optimised content can help give your site the edge over the competition.

The Shopify interface does simplify the optimisation process with built-in SEO features, allowing title tags, meta descriptions and URLS to be easily edited, a description box to add content to each page, and automatically creating sitemaps and adding robots.txt to your site, but to truly see success, you’ll need to dive deeper.

Utilising Keywords on Shopify

When utilised correctly, a well-researched list of keywords is one of the most powerful tools you can have for informing your SEO strategy. Your keywords should closely align with search terms that you would like your products and collections to rank for. For example, if your Shopify site sells kitchenware, you shouldn’t be targeting keywords relating to bathroom accessories, or if you only serve your local area, you’ll want to make sure you’re excluding keywords that fall outside of your geographical location.

On Shopify, there are several key positions where you can place your keywords when optimising: The URL, title tag, meta description, and infused throughout your content. You’ll also want to make sure you’re thinking about variations and modifiers of your keywords to ensure you’re optimised for as many search terms as possible. Your keywords will inform your on-page SEO, so it is important to revisit your list regularly and update it as needed.

You can also use these keywords to organise your products into collections, another feature of Shopify that you should be utilising to make your site easy to browse for customers and help them find what they need as quickly as possible.

Put Your Customers First

With any SEO strategy, it can be tempting to play to the algorithm to achieve success. However, don’t forget about the real people who are going to be using, and buying from, your site. You don’t just want to get traffic to your site – you want to make sure when they arrive, they stay there and ideally buy something. A user-friendly experience is key to improving sales, and in turn, engaged users provide valuable search signals that can give you a further rankings boost. Spend some time navigating around your Shopify store, paying particular attention to your site structure, speed, and how easy it is to use across multiple devices. Are your collections easy to explore, or do you need to jump through multiple hoops to make a simple purchase? These are questions you should be asking, and can make all the difference when it comes to your online success.

Get Support With Your Shopify SEO

Now you know the basics, you’ll likely want to know more about how to take your Shopify SEO to the next level. Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to SEO strategy, and there are many variables to consider based on your unique business and position in the market. If you’d like more information, or to get started with your custom SEO strategy, feel free to get in touch with a member of our team.

If you have any comments or questions about this post, or would like to discuss a specific issue with your site, please get in touch using the form below.

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Magnus Linklater SEO Consultant

Author: Shanna Doherty

As a digital marketer, Shanna has a wealth of SEO and online marketing experience. A passionate content writer, she prides herself on keeping up to date with the latest news and updates in the marketing world.

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