Home / News

Blog - News

Filter by tag:

Shopify SEO

Shopify SEO

Are you using Shopify as the webshop system to sell your product? Do you want to sell more products and outrank your competitors?  Then read this definitive guide on how to optimize your Shopify shop for the search engines!

 

Within Shopify there are two main area’s you can focus your efforts on while optimizing your Shopify store for SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

  1. Technical
  2. On-Page

Optimizing Shopify on the technical side largely depends on how well your theme is written by  the developing party. In this guide we will cover the on-page aspects of search engine optimization.

Contents of this guide

  1. Basic Shopify optimization
  2. Sitemaps
  3. Canonical url
  4. www vs non-wwwGeneral content optimization
  5. Product optimization
  6. Collection optimization
  7. Blog/Pages optimization
  8. SEO basics

1. Basic SEO optimization for Shopify

Before you launch your shop it is recommended to check your Homepage title and meta description. This description shows up in the search engines when someone searches for your brandname in Google.  So this:
Meta description content for Shopify
Will show up like this in the search engines:
Search results for your Shopify store

Go to Online Store -> Title and meta description to edit this for your store. Keep in mind while writing the title and meta description that you need to convince a search engine user to click on your website. So always write the meta title and meta description like you would write an (AdWords) advertisement.

2. Sitemaps

Shopify autmatically generates a sitemap for your store. This sitemap can be found at the following URL: www.myshop.com/sitemap.xml

Shopify updates the sitemap everytime you add a new product/page/blogpost/image etc.

3. Canonical url

We often get the question: “what’s a canonical url?” Well, maybe you have heard stories of how shop owners got penalty’s because of duplicate content issues. Fact is that when you have a large webshop there are often more ways to get to a product. You could just browse trough the Shopify collections for example. Or adjust a filter and then click on a product. Basically you are on the same product page but with a different url, a search engine could interpret this as duplicate content.This is not optimal beceause search engines don’t like duplicate content and you have no control on which page gets ranked for which keyword. To prevent accidental punishment you can use canonical url to let a search engine know which page is the original page with the content.

So this is where the canonical URL comes in handy. The canonical URL points to the original content so that search engines know which page they need to rank.

Luckily Shopify owners don’t have to worry about this because Shopify automatically handles canonical URLs

4. www vs non-www

Check if your Shopify settings are correct and you are redirecting your users from the non-www to wwww. To check this feature click on online store -> domains and verify that the checkbox “redirect all traffic” is checked.

5. Content optimization

Content optimization is where you can really shine as a Shopify owner. You can add unique content to your pages and make yourself stand out from the competition.

To optimize your Shopify content you need to work through the following steps:

  1. Determine which keyword you want to rank for
  2. Write search engine optimized content for that keyword
  3. Use descriptive image names
  4. Use the alt tags for image names
  5. Write your title and meta description like advertisments

Determine which keyword you want to rank for

Before you write content you need to know how your adience is searching the web. You can do this with the help of the Google Keyword Tool. This is a tool found in AdWords which let’s you see how often a search term is used on the web. For example; The term Shopify SEO is searched worldwide more than 1600 times.
Keyword research in Shopify

It would be interesting for us as ReloadSEO to rank for the keyword Shopify SEO with this article so that we can reach our audience (shopify owners). That’s why I called this article Shopify SEO and made sure that our URL uses the permalink wwww.reloadseo.com/shopify-seo.

Write content for your visitors but also for the search engines

A lot of people make the mistake to start focusing on only their audience or only the search engines. A succesfull Shopify store focusses on both worlds. Never forget that you are selling your product to humans and not computers but keep in mind that computers need to comprehend what your text is all about. How do you let a search engine now which term you want to rank for? You make the search term come back in the URL, use the search term in your headings and in a normal way in your text.

SEO specialist talk a lot about keyword density, what they mean is that if your keyword appears one time in a text of 100 words that means that you have a keyword density of 1%. A normal written text has a keyword density between 1% and 5%.

Use descriptive image names

Search engines can do a lot but they can not see. In order for them to know what is shown on images you need to use decriptive image names. This is not only important for the relevance of that specific page but gives you also acces to another important visitor acquisition channel: Image search. A lot of search engine users search for images to see what the product looks like.

Use alt tag for images

To make the web a better place search engines are all about optimal user experience. So what happens when somebody tries to load a product page of your Shopify store but the images couldn’t load properly? Then would get to see the alt tag! The alt tag is not only used for optimal user experience but also to show relevancy for that page. So if you are selling the iPhone 6s and you give your Iphone image the alt tag: “iPhone 6s” then search engines will notice that the whole page is about the iPhone 6s and thus giving you better relevance and higher rankings.

Write your title and meta description like advertisments

So you’ve done everything right and your Shopify store starts to rank but wait a minute! Even though you are ranking high a lot of people click on your competitors website. This is often beceause of dull title and meta descriptions. This is a incredible missed oppertunity! Write all your title and meta descriptions like (AdWords) advertisments. Make sure that you use a call to action at the end of the meta descripition to activate the search engine user and let them click on your website.

ReloadSEO for easier Shopify SEO

Image if there was a quicker way to optimize your product pages, blog, normal pages and collections. Well now there is! With the ReloadSEO app for Shopify you can do all of the above and more. Check out the ReloadSEO app in the Shopify App Store.

Product optimization

Ranking on your products is essential for the succes of your webstore. Search engine users who search for a product name are often higher in the buyin ladder than users who search generic terms . For example: Which search term is more intended on buying something? “phone” or “iphone 6s”. Exactly

To optimize each and every product for the steps above can take a long time. To speed up this process we’ve developed ReloadSEO. ReloadSEO makes it possible to do direct keyword research from the Shopify back-end and helps you optimize your content in a quick and fun way to speed up things.

Collection optimization

A little bit lower in the buying ladder are category pages (called collections in Shopify terms). These collections are the doorway to your products so you’ll want the mto rank high in the search engines. The volume on these search terms is often more than on individual product keywords. The competition is therefore also higher. Use the plan as mentioned above to start optimizing your collections and rank higher than your competition.

Pages/Blog optimization

The blog functionality within Shopify often gets overlooked and this is a downright shame! In the land of SEO there’s a saying: “Content is King”. This is simply due to the fact that search engines can index content the best and thus content is still the main factor for ranking on a keyword.

The blog function is one of the best inbound traffic generators you can put on your store. Start writing articles for your blog like; product reviews, collection of best products out there, buyers guides or tutorials. It is a great way to display authority, get more traffic to your store and your customers will thank you for all the good information.

Shopify SEO basics

There are some terrific resources out there that make optimizing your Shopify store a lot easier than you think. To start off we recommend reading through the MOZ basic SEO guide which can be found here:

https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo

After reading the moz guide you can pick up some more SEO information for your Shopify store over at:

https://docs.shopify.com/manual/settings/general/search-engine-optimization

Also don’t forget to participate in the Shopify fora over at:

https://ecommerce.shopify.com/c/ecommerce-marketing

So you’ve made it all the way down here in our definitive Shopify SEO guide? Then what are you waiting for, start optimizing your Shopify SEO store today with our ReloadSEO app.

Search engine optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of getting your website to show up as a top result on Google and other search engines.

Shopify includes powerful SEO features in all plans, including:

  • editable title tags, meta descriptions and URLs for your pages
  • editable ALT tags for all images, customizable image file names
  • automatically generated sitemap.xml and robots.txt files
  • automatically generated canonical URL tags (to stop duplicate content).

This article will cover some advice and suggestions for beginners that will help you improve your Shopify store's SEO and show up on Google, Bing, and other search engines. If you are new to SEO, then you might want to read the Beginner’s Guide to SEO from Moz.

For more advanced information, have a look at the SEO for Theme Designers guide.

SEO basics

In the world of SEO, they often say "content is king". That means if you want people to find your website on Google, you need to have lots of words on your website, and those words should be the keywords you think people would be looking for on Google.

Keywords

Keywords are the terms that people use to search for things on the web. As a shop owner, you want to know exactly what keywords your customers are using so that you can target them. Say that you are selling leather shoes; you need to know if people who might be searching for your product are looking for "leather shoes", "dress shoes", "leather boots", or maybe even all of those.

A useful tool to help you brainstorm and discover the most popular keywords is the Google Keyword Planner. This tool helps you determine the most popular keywords by comparing search volumes.

Keep in mind that the more traffic your keywords get, the more difficult it will be for your store to show up at the top of searches because you'll have more competition.

Now that you know which keywords you are looking to target, you need all of your online store's content to include those words. The content you should setup for SEO includes your homepage, and any and all product pages, collection pages, blog posts, and regular web pages.

There are five primary places on any given web page where you will want to think about placing keywords:

Page title

The title tag is one of the most important elements of on-page optimization. The title tag can be set for pages, products, collections, and blog posts using the Shopify admin. The title appears as the clickable link on the search engine result, likeSell Products Online - Start & Create an Online Store - Shopify in this example:

Search engine optimization 1

The content of the title tag is used by the search engines to determine what your page is about. Here are the basics:

  • Keywords: Include your most important target keywords in your page title.
  • Length: 70 characters is the maximum number of characters that most search engines will display.
  • Branding: If you want to include your store's name, it's a good idea to do it at the end of the title.
  • Readability: Make sure your title tag is readable. Potential customers won’t click on an unclear title or a jumble of keywords.

You can edit the title tag of your online store in addition to setting the title tag for each product, collection, or page in Shopify. Scroll to the Search engines section to see the following options:

Search engine optimization 2

Meta description

A "meta description" is the brief bit of text that shows up on a search engine like Google after your title tag. The meta description can be set for your homepage as well as other pages, collections, and blog posts using the Shopify admin. Here's how it looks on the Settings > Online Store page:

Search engine optimization 3

Try to write an accurate description of your store. A good description will cause more people to click links to your store.

Page heading

It is important that you include your main keywords in the names of your store's products, collections, pages, or blog posts. These names are often used as a web page's h1 heading tag. For example, if you are selling a red t-shirt with your store brand on it, you'll want to set the product's name to something like "McFadden's T-Shirt - Red". This will make your web page more likely show up when people search for words like "McFadden's", "t-shirt", and "red t-shirt".

Image alt text

Google and other search engines can read words and content on your site, but computers have a hard time knowing what the content of an image is. The image's file name and alt text are used to describe a picture's contents. Having descriptive alt text can help your product images show up when customers search for images. As well, alt text is an important accessibility feature: it describes your product images to people who have visual impairments.

To set the alt text for a product image, hover over the image and click the ALT link:

Search engine optimization 4

Page content

The more content you write in your product description, collection text, or blog post, the better chance your page will be found on Google and other search engines. Try to write a few paragraphs of text with some of your main keywords included. Make sure you don't just copy and paste text provided to you by a manufacturer - chances are that same description is already on hundreds of other web sites.

  • Links

Links to your online store from other websites help Google know that your site is popular and can be trusted. Ask your friends and affiliates to link to your store, and look for places where your store can be listed online.

  • Anchor text

The text that acts as the link to your store is very important. If a website links to your online store using the words click here, then Google might think that the website should show up when people search for "click here." Instead, it's a good idea to ask people to link to your website using your store name or your main keywords. For example, Shopify might usecommerce platform or online store as anchor text.

Sitemaps

All Shopify stores automatically generate a sitemap.xml file that contains all your products, pages, collections, and blog posts. It also supports Google's Image Sitemaps extension. Your sitemap file is located at sitemap.xml at your store's URL (for example, www.johns-apparel.com/sitemap.xml).

You can use tools like Google Analytics or Google Webmaster Tools to verify your website so that Google indexes your content much more quickly.

Migrate to Shopify

If you have an existing web site using a different platform and are thinking of moving to Shopify, it's possible to do so without losing any of your existing website traffic. Shopify includes the ability to set up URL redirects inform your customers, Google, and other search engines that your website's URLs have changed.

Hide pages from search engines

Search engines like Google constantly crawl the internet in search of new data. When your site is being crawled, your store's robots.txt file blocks page content that might otherwise reduce the effectiveness of your SEO strategy by stealing PageRank.

Your online store automatically generates a robots.txt file, which you can view by appending "/robots.txt" to your store's primary domain name.

Note

When viewing your store's robots.txt file, remove "http" from the beginning of the domain, for example johns-apparel.com/robots.txt.

Although you can't edit the content of your store's robots.txt file, you should be aware of the content that it blocks from search engines. For example, the shopping cart page is included because Google indexing your cart page doesn't help potential visitors discover your home page or your products. Because the /cart page is where visitors begin checkout, logistically you want visitors to land on your product pages before the cart page, not the other way around.

The robots.txt file also disallows the checkout, orders, and admin page.

You can hide pages that are not included in your robots.txt file by updating the <head> section of your store'stheme.liquid layout file. You will need to include a small bit of code to disallow certain pages from being indexed.

To hide pages from search engines:

  1. Click the ... menu, then click Edit HTML/CSS.

    Click edit html css

     

  2. Click the theme.liquid layout file.

  3. To exclude the search template, paste the following code in the <head> section:

    
    {% if template contains 'search' %}
    <meta name="robots" content="noindex">
    {% endif %}
    
  4. To exclude a specific page, paste the following code in the <head> section:

    
    {% if handle contains 'page-handle-you-want-to-exclude' %}
    <meta name="robots" content="noindex">
    {% endif %}
    

    Make sure that you replace page-handle-you-want-to-exclude with the correct page handle.

  5. Click Save.

Learn more

If you want to learn more about SEO, check out Shopify's free Ecommerce SEO 101 video series. Watch industry expert Helen Overland from Search Engine People teach online store owners about Search Engine Optimization and give ecommerce SEO tips and advice.

Shopify's ecommerce forums include an Ecommerce Marketing category where you can ask SEO questions, swap links, and discuss other marketing topics.

10 Crucial SEO Tips for Ecommerce Entrepreneurs

10 Crucial SEO Tips for Ecommerce Entrepreneurs

How can you sell anything if customers can't find you? SEO, which is short for Search Engine Optimization, is really important for your ecommerce store. In a nut shell, SEO is the process of improving the visibility of a website or online store in search engines. Why is that important? Because the higher you rank in search engines, the more traffic and potential customers get driven to your store.

There is no one size fits all strategy for SEO, and online store owners need to carefully assess their site to develop a customized SEO strategy and action plan to improve their search engine presence and traffic to their online store.

Here are 10 crucial SEO tips for ecommerce stores:

1. Don’t Rely Only on Pay Per Click (But Also Don't Forget it)

While many ecommerce sites fall back on a pay per click (PPC) strategy to create visibility for their store, the truth is that PPC costs continue to go up and once you stop paying for placement, your online presence disappears.

Also, some customers have an inherent distrust of sponsored links, banners, and other online ads. Ecommerce stores cannot solely rely on a PPC strategy and need to also implement organic SEO practices to help with their online visibility.

That said, recent Google research shows that when some web sites stopped using AdWords, 89% of the paid clicks did not shift over to organic, SEO clicks. So make sure you do use pay per click in addition to SEO.

2. Avoid Duplicate Content

Duplicate content is the enemy for search engines. However, since many ecommerce stores have a large amount of duplicate content as a result of product descriptions and lists, ecommerce sites tend to get penalized by search engines.

Therefore, online store owners need to assess their website and look for ways to reduce the amount of redundant and duplicate content that is present on their website. Careful usage of the rel="canonical" tag can help avoid these problems as well.

Shopify themes can automatically insert the rel="canonical" tag on all pages using one line of code. Learn how to use canonical URLs with Shopify.

3. Have a Content Strategy

Consistently adding unique and high quality content on a regular basis to your ecommerce site will not only add additional value for users, it will also help with your search engine ranking. Consider using your and add content that's related to the products and services that you sell.

All Shopify stores automatically include a fully functioning blogging platform that you can use to publish such content.

4. Don’t use the Manufacturer Product Descriptions

Building your product database can be a time consuming process, and in an attempt to save time, many online store owners simply copy and paste the manufacturer’s product descriptions onto their website.

This is an SEO no-no! Always re-write every single product description to ensure that it is unique and search engine friendly. Remember to use several words that people are most likely to search for.

5. Optimize Product Images

Image search has become a very popular function that internet users are increasingly using to find products online. Therefore, ecommerce websites need to add related keywords into the ALT tags of every image on their website. Here's ablog post on how to setup ALT tags on Shopify.

For optimal effect, make sure that every keyword used for an image is directly relevant and avoid stuffing keywords into the alt tags.

6. Have Unique Meta Descriptions for Every Webpage

When it comes to onsite optimization, many ecommerce stores think that it's enough to use the same meta descriptions for each page. However, this is another SEO faux-pas! The meta description should be written for humans with the goal of helping your store get clicked once it shows up in search engines.
Shopify themes can automatically generate meta descriptions for each page. Click here to learn more.

7. Include Product Reviews

Since unique content is extremely important when it comes to SEO, having a field for users to add their product reviews is a great passive way to generate unique content for your ecommerce store.
The Shopify App Store includes several great product review apps for your store.

8. Link to your Products from the Home Page

A common error made by many ecommerce sites is burying their product pages deep within their link structure. This will not only make it more difficult for users to find products, it will also impact the product pages PageRank score, making those pages less likely to appear high in search.

Having product content only a link away from your home page will make them easier for both the search engines as well as your customers.

9. Optimize the Anchor Text

Adding keywords to the internal links on your website will help to enhance your stores visibility in search engines. Rather than using the typical “click here” link, link from text that includes the keywords the page you are linking to is trying to rank for. For example, instead of writing "click here to visit Shopify, the best ecommerce platform," write "visit Shopify, thebest ecommerce platform."

Also, consider adding keyword rich links within the product descriptions to link to other similar products on your website.

10. Organize your Online Store for SEO

The way that you structure your store will impact its visibility. Consider structuring your ecommerce store so that it includes a number of landing pages. These pages can be specific to a brand or product type. Doing this gives you the opportunity to optimize for multiple pages and keyword groups, which will increase your site's visibilty in search.
Shopify includes content management (CMS) functionality, such as the ability for you to create such pages.

Bonus Tips

If you offer coupon codes for your customers, consider promoting them on coupon web sites and coupon forums. This should also help with creating free links to your store and can also help you get sales.
Also take the time to create a company profile on review sites such as Amazon, ConsumerSearch, Yelp, and Epinions. This will help easily build inbound links to you site and will help build legitimacy when people search for "yourstorename review".
Have any SEO suggestions that worked well for you in the past? Share them with other reader by leaving a comment below.
SEO Supercharged SEO Supercharged