Within Shopify there are two main area’s you can focus your efforts on while optimizing your Shopify store for SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
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
- Basic Shopify optimization
- Canonical url
- www vs non-wwwGeneral content optimization
- Product optimization
- Collection optimization
- Blog/Pages optimization
- 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:
Will show up like this in the search engines:
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.
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:
- Determine which keyword you want to rank for
- Write search engine optimized content for that keyword
- Use descriptive image names
- Use the alt tags for image names
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
After reading the moz guide you can pick up some more SEO information for your Shopify store over at:
Also don’t forget to participate in the Shopify fora over at:
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.