Best Shopify SEO Tips: Rank Higher on Google (2024)
If you’re looking for the roadmap for Shopify’s success in the digital world, you’re in the right place. So, you’ve set up your Shopify store, but how do you make sure it doesn’t get lost in the digital noise? This is where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes into play, your secret weapon to shine on Google’s search results.
Keep reading; we won’t drown you in jargon. Instead, we’ll walk you through the steps that make your Shopify store visible and skyrocket it to the top with the help of Shopify Experts. We’ve got you covered, from optimizing your site structure to embracing automated SEO features and effectively using apps. Let’s get started!
What Is Shopify SEO?
In simple terms, Shopify SEO is like giving your online store a unique map that leads customers straight to you. SEO, short for Search Engine Optimization, is a set of clever tricks and strategies to ensure your Shopify store shows up on Google when people search for products you sell.
It’s like turning on a spotlight, so everyone can see your products. The goal? More people visiting your store, more eyes on your product, and more sales.
Can you do SEO on Shopify?
Absolutely, and it’s not rocket science! Shopify is already packed with practical tools for SEO, such as blogs and easy ways to redirect visitors. Sure, there are challenges like duplicate content and tricky URL setups, but don’t worry.
By following some smart SEO tips and making the most of what Shopify offers, you can give your store a VIP pass to the top of search engine results.
Typical SEO Challenges Faced by E-Commerce Websites:
Running an online store on platforms like Shopify is like guiding a digital jungle. While the field offers endless opportunities, there are some tricky things you need to watch out for:
- Duplicate Content: One big hurdle e-commerce website often face is the challenge of duplicate content. Having the same information repeated in different corners of your store tells search engines the same thing twice. For SEO success, addressing these content duplicates is crucial. It’s about presenting a straightforward, singular narrative to search bots.
- Product Page Optimization: Making your products stand out in the digital marketplace is like showcasing the shiniest treasure. Optimizing product pages is a common challenge for e-commerce stores. It involves writing descriptions and details that appeal to potential buyers and catch the keen eyes of search engines. It is giving your products a spotlight on the SEO stage.
- Crawl Errors: Crawl errors are like unexpected roadblocks in the journey. These errors hinder the bots from exploring everything your online store holds. Fixing crawl errors is similar to clearing the path, ensuring that the bots smoothly navigate and index every nook and cranny of your store.
- Mobile Optimization: Nowadays, everyone’s glued to their screens, so having your Shopify store ready for mobile users is non-negotiable. If your store isn’t optimized for mobile devices, it’s parallel to have a sign too small to read – potential customers might just stroll away without discovering what your store has to offer.
Automated SEO Features In Shopify:
Using the platform’s automatic SEO tools, making your Shopify store more visible to search engines is simple. These features act as your silent partners, making the optimization journey smoother:
- SEO-friendly URL Structures: Shopify makes creating URLs that work well with search engines easy. It automatically creates clean and SEO-friendly URLs. These URLs guide both human visitors and search engines through your online space effortlessly, like signposts on the road.
- Sitemap Generation: Your Shopify store is a vast library, and the sitemap is the index. Shopify automatically generates the digital map, helping search engines navigate and index your site efficiently.
- 301 Redirects: As your store evolves, so does its structure. Shopify simplifies this evolution with easy 301 redirects. These redirects are crucial for maintaining the SEO value of your pages when you make changes.
- ALT Tags for Images: In online shopping, images speak volumes. Shopify encourages users to add ALT tags for images – a simple but powerful detail. These tags improve image search rankings, making your products more visible.
A streamlined site structure is your secret weapon when boosting your store’s visibility. Follow these actionable steps:
Steps to Rank Your Store on Google: A Detailed SEO Checklist
Step 1: Get the Right Tools to Help Your Shopify Store Rank Higher on Google
The first thing you need to do to make your Shopify store the top result on Google is to use the right tools to track and understand how your website is doing. You need to determine where your website traffic is coming from and how well your SEO strategy works to know how to improve it.
So, how do you track who visits your online store and what they do? You need to use the right tools that help with tracking and indexing, like Google Search Console and Shopify Google Analytics.
Let’s break it down:
Google Search Console is a free tool that is a must for keeping track of your Shopify store’s performance on Google. It helps you see how many people find your website through Google searches and suggests ways to improve your search rankings. With this tool, you can:
- Get detailed information about your Shopify store’s pages, like how often Google looks at them.
- See which Google searches bring people to your product pages.
- Understand how frequently your website appears in search results and how many people click on it.
- Check if your website works well on mobile phones.
- Keep an eye on your website’s performance and fix problems as they happen.
Shopify Google Analytics
You also need Google Analytics for your Shopify store. This tool helps you keep track of things like how many people buy stuff from your store, how much money you’re making, and where your website visitors are coming from. Don’t think you must choose between Google Analytics and Shopify Analytics – you need both. Why?
- Shopify analytics only gives you limited information based on your plan.
- Google Analytics lets you customize your reports more.
- Depending only on Shopify analytics can cause issues if you want to change to a different shopping cart platform.
- Google Analytics can track things more precisely, like how many people look at your pages differently.
Bing Webmaster SEO Tools
To make sure your Shopify store does well on Bing and Microsoft Ads, you need to use Bing Webmaster Tools. These tools help you track how your website is doing and make changes to improve its performance. They include things like:
- Reports on how well your website is doing on Bing.
- Checking where other websites link to yours.
- Finding keywords that can help your website show up in search results.
- Scanning your site for any issues.
- Extra tools to help you figure out what’s going on.
And there’s more! In addition to these free tools, you can use other Shopify SEO apps for even more advanced tracking and optimization. Some options are:
- Fat Rank: A tool for checking how well your website ranks for specific words on Google and Bing.
- Plug-In SEO: An all-in-one app that helps you analyze and improve your rankings.
- Screaming Frog: This tool checks your website for common SEO problems.
- SEO Manager: A Shopify app that includes various tools for SEO, like scanning your site and suggesting keywords.
- Benchmark Hero: A free tool that audits your site and helps you beat your competition in search results.
Step 2: Make Your Shopify Store Work Better: Review and Improve the Structure
Once you have the right tools to check how well your Shopify store is doing, it’s time to look at your store’s structure and improve it. Why? The way your store is set up and the information it has to help Google understand what your store is about and what you’re selling.
The good news is that Shopify efficiently organizes your store’s information, like products and blog posts. There’s a type called Article just for eCommerce articles, so Google knows when your blog has stories, not just things to buy. Plus, Shopify helps send all the correct details to Google, like the name, description, and price of your products.
But, even though Shopify helps set things up nicely, you still need to do some work to make it the best it can be.
Simply put, organizing your content and grouping your products is easy. The trick is doing it in the right way. This way, your customers can easily find what they’re looking for, and Google can understand your store better, helping it rank higher in search results.
So, how do you make your store structure better? Whether you’re organizing things yourself or letting Shopify do it for you, make sure your collections (groups of products) and the way your store is set up make sense.
Here are some tips from Shopify to help you:
- Every page in your store should have a link in the menu.
- The words in the menu should match the titles of your pages.
- It should take only a few clicks to go from your homepage to any page in your store.
- Arrange your menus in a way that makes sense.
- Be clear in your menu titles so customers know what’s on the page they’re going to.
- And remember images and links. Use names that describe your photos and links that make sense.
Step 3: Make Your Shopify Store Faster: Test and Improve Speed
Now, you need to check the speed of your store and make it faster. Testing is easy. You can use a free tool to see how quickly your store loads. This helps you know if your customers and Google will be happy with the speed.
Improving the speed might take some effort, but it’s important if you want your Shopify store to be at the top of Google searches. A common reason for slow stores is big images and videos. Even though Shopify has some protections, they might only sometimes be enough. If you think your pictures are making your store slow, here’s what you can do:
- Check how you’ve optimized your images.
- See if having too many pictures in slides is causing the issue.
Or you can use tools like the Benchmark Hero Shopify app to do this automatically. There are other things you can control to make your store faster:
- Fonts: Some fonts can slow down your store, especially if they are uncommon. Use fonts that most people already have.
- Themes: Pick a theme that doesn’t make your store slow. You can also turn off features you don’t need or test the speed with simpler fonts.
- Apps: Some apps you add to your store can make it slower. Remove or change things you don’t need.
- Code: If your store’s code needs to be simplified, it can slow things down. Shopify suggests using a tool to check or asking an expert for help.
Step 4: Make Your Shopify Store Better: Update Content and Optimize Images
After checking the speed of your store, it’s time to update your content and ensure your store images are in good shape. Let’s talk about both.
When it comes to store content, it’s essential to update it and fix any duplicate content issues regularly. These things can harm your store’s performance in search engines and overall rankings.
You should add new products or update the content on older product pages with further information or videos and keep adding new content to your site. Having a blog for your store can help improve your SEO. Also, it’s crucial to deal with duplicate content. The two most common issues are:
- Almost same product descriptions: This can happen when products are very similar or online stores make different pages for each product version. You can get creative by adding more details product-specific testimonials, expanding page descriptions, or creating original video guides to fix this.
- Duplicate product pages: This can happen when stores connect product pages to a collection. Extra URLs are created when added to multiple collections. This can be a problem, but you can fix it with canonical tags.
Here’s a simple way to understand canonical tags: it’s like telling search engines which page is the main one so they don’t get confused with multiple similar pages.
When it comes to images, make sure you:
- Think about using image sitemaps.
- Check and make images smaller.
- Add descriptions that perfectly describe the image without stuffing too many keywords.
- Use short, relevant names for your images.
- Optimize product thumbnails by varying alt text and making them as small as possible.
- Test the number of pictures and angles for each product page to find the amount needed to attract customers.
If your store has a lot of products, using a tool for image optimization and automation can be helpful. Here are some suggestions to get you started:
- Benchmark Hero’s free Shopify image optimization tool.
- AVADA image optimizer Shopify app with plans starting at $29 per month.
- TinyIMG SEO and image optimization Shopify app with monthly plans starting at $1.99.
Step 5: Improve SEO for All Pages: Invest in On-Page SEO
Now, it’s time to look at strategies to improve each Shopify store page for search engines. This is called on-page SEO, and ensuring your store ranks well is important.
In simple terms, on-page SEO means making each page on your store as attractive as possible to search engines and customers. Here are some things to focus on:
- Metadata: Create good meta descriptions and titles for each page.
- Page titles: Use main keywords and make sure they match the content.
- URLs: Keep page URLs short and user-friendly.
- Header keyword placement: Include primary keywords in headers.
- Page UX (User Experience): Ensure your page design works well and looks good.
- Image optimization: Optimize images for SEO and ALT text.
- Inbound and outbound links: Include links within your pages to other parts of your store and external websites where it makes sense.
Step 6: Improve Your Shopify Store: Make Your Keywords Better
To ensure your Shopify store shows up high on Google, it’s crucial to check and enhance your keyword strategies regularly. There’s a lot to consider when picking the right keywords, but two key things matter the most:
- Keyword difficulty
- Keyword research
When it comes to improving your keyword strategy for SEO, you want to find keywords with high potential but less competition. Here are five steps to help you find the right keywords for your store:
- Look at your most popular products.
- Check your Shopping Search query reports.
- Find successful queries in your Dynamic Search Ads.
- Use search engine suggestions to discover new keywords.
- Explore third-party tools and research sites.
Step 7: Improve Your Shopify Store: Follow Good Link Practices
Links are another important part affecting how well your store ranks overall and how individual product pages are in search engines. Four crucial parts of managing links include:
Reviewing and fixing broken links.
- Managing inbound links.
- Using proper titles for links.
- Planning a backlinking strategy.
- Let’s look closer at each.
Link Management: Fixing Broken Links
A crucial part of managing links is checking and fixing broken ones. Broken links make your customers unhappy and tell Google your store isn’t high-quality. To fix broken links:
- Use link checkers like W3C Link Checker or Google Search Console.
- Fix broken links with Shopify URL redirects.
Link Management: Inbound Links
Internal linking, which means linking related pages to each other, is another part of link management that improves Shopify SEO. If done right, this boosts sales potential and ranking. Some strategies to try are:
- Build a solid social media following.
- Have an eCommerce blog with helpful content for your product pages.
- Use different channels like live commerce, podcasts, or YouTube.
- Use email marketing to bring visitors back to your website.
- Personalize product recommendations on product pages.
Link Management: Proper Link Titles
During a complete SEO check for your Shopify store, you might notice missing titles for some links. These titles, also known as anchor text, give extra information about the page you’re linking to. To improve link titles:
- Make sure your links match the page they’re leading to.
- The text with the link should flow naturally with the rest of the content.
- Avoid tricks or gimmicks in your links.
Link Management: Backlinking Strategies
Lastly, let’s talk about backlinks. The more quality websites link to your store, the better Google sees it. A good backlink strategy involves creating valuable content (blog articles) and matching it with highly relevant content. Ways to get backlinks for your Shopify store:
- Interview influencers related to your niche.
- Enhance your word-of-mouth and PR strategy.
- Connect with blogs in your niche and offer guest post ideas.
- Check your competitors to see who is linking to them.
- Create engaging content that people will want to link back to.
- Have your products reviewed by top-ranking sites or influencers.
Step 8: Create High-Value Content and Get More Visitors
Creating high-value content can help your Shopify store show up better on Google. Creating a blog not only enables you to appear in searches for specific things you sell (bringing more of the right people to your store), but it also opens up more chances for other things that make your store better for Google.
In simple terms, you need a plan to make content that’s good for SEO and a blog for your online store. Why?
- It makes more people stay on your site, making Google like your store more.
- It gets other websites to link to yours.
- It helps you appear longer and more specific search phrases.
- It keeps your store looking fresh to Google.
Step 9: Boost Traffic with Ads
Sure, having your store appear on Google without paying for ads is great. But it’s a slow process. To make the most of it, you should use a mix of strategies and change the words you use in ads on Google.
When you plan it well, your strategies to rank on Google without ads and the ones you pay for can help each other. This way, you get many people to see your store without spending too much money – this is called great ROAS.
Paid ads can help you be at the top of the first page while getting clicks. Clicks don’t just mean people might buy things from you. They also mean people stay on your site longer, making your store appear better in Google searches. The main thing is ensuring your ads and strategies are just right.
How can you make the most of both ways to show up on Google and ads to get more people to see your store? Here are some tips:
- Use Google Ads to tell more people about new things: While waiting for a post to get popular, ads can bring more people to see it and help your store become more important to Google.
- Be the first thing people see: When you use both ways to show up for the exact words, it helps your store be the first thing people see when they look for those words.
- Try out different words: Ads can help you find new words that might work well for you, especially with Google Shopping ads like Performance Max. They also help you see if a word is good before you spend much time and money on it.
- See what people think in new places: Before you start using ways to show up in new places, use ads to see if people are interested in your stuff there.
- Use ads to try out new content: Before you decide what to say about your store, you can try out different ways with ads to see what people like.
- Keep people who search: Even if most of the people who find your store do it without ads, using ads is important to keep helping those people find what they want, especially with the help of good ads tools.
Step 10: Choose the Right Apps and Tools for Shopify SEO
Lastly, you’ll need the correct tools and apps to improve your Shopify SEO and aim for hiring ranking on Google.
As your list of products and customers grows, doing things manually becomes more challenging. With the rise of machine learning technology, using eCommerce automation is essential to stay competitive, and the same goes for SEO.
However, as mentioned earlier, you should be moderate with apps because too many can slow down your site, hurting your Shopify SEO.
It’s a balancing act. You want to pick the right tool that suits your needs and budget. Here are some of the best SEO Shopify apps that you might find useful:
- Benchmark Hero: This is an entirely free and smart SEO, Shopify store, and image optimization tool created by eCommerce SEO, PPC, and marketing experts.
- SEO Manager: SEO Manager is a tool for managing SEO that includes a scan, meta content tools, keyword suggestions, Google Search Console connection, search analytics, and more. Plans start at $20 per month.
- Plug-In SEO: This Shopify app helps you identify SEO issues and broken links to improve your overall Google ranking. Paid plans start at $29 per month.
- Traffic Booster: Traffic Booster combines marketing experts and AI to run and manage paid campaigns, helping to increase organic traffic. There are no additional costs outside your advertising budget, but Shopify brands need to spend a minimum of $120 monthly to sign up.
- Smart SEO: Smart SEO is a Shopify app that includes SEO tag generation, fixes broken links, and manages sitemaps. Plans start at $7 per month.
To sum up, here’s a Shopify SEO checklist or cheat sheet.
- Set up the right tracking and indexing tools.
- Review and optimize your Shopify store structure.
- Test and optimize your Shopify store speed.
- Update your store content and optimize your images.
- Invest in on-page SEO for all pages.
- Upgrade your keyword strategy.
- Practice good link management.
- Invest in high-value content.
- Boost organic traffic with PPC.
- Choose the right Shopify SEO app or tool.
To sum up, getting your Shopify store to rank higher in Google takes time. It’s a plan that needs time to work. Everything in your store, from keywords to images, is important for how it works and appears on Google. Even if it feels boring, having plans for each part of your store is super important for people to find it on Google.