Shopify has gained its marketplace in the eCommerce space as more and more businesses are opting to choose this platform to run their business online.
Whether you are a business owner or an SEO consultant it’s always handy to go through the Shopify SEO checklist to ensure the store is optimised to its best to achieve the desired ranking.
It’s always handy if you have your SEO plan handy before starting the Shopify eCommerce website design as the implementation can start right at the design phase which will speed up the search engine optimisation process.
Table of contents:
- Shopify website architecture
- Shopify theme selection SEO
- eCommerce keyword research
- Shopify category Optimisation
- Product optimisation
- Product review
- URL optimisation
- Image optimisation
- Meta tags optimisation
- Blog content strategy
- Internal linking
- Shopify search
- Mobile SEO
- Search snippets & structured Data
- Quality link building
Shopify Website Architecture
Before you think of doing Shopify SEO, getting the website architecture right is critical. You may have the best content and links but if your architecture is not right then you will struggle to do SEO optimisation to its optimum level.
The Shopify website architecture is important from the SEO and customer journey point of view.
It’s always good to avoid too deep, multi-level category as it can be confusing for customers and it will be difficult to optimise for internal links.
Pay special attention to website structure and it will have a long term SEO impact.
Shopify Theme Selection & SEO
Shopify is one of the richest eCommerce platforms with theme choices from free to high-quality premium paid themes.
Shopify theme selection will play an important, the right theme selection will complement your website architecture planning.
Before you choose the theme make sure to check it from various angels like:
- Mobile display optimisation
- Website speed test
- Homepage, category, product and checkout pages display
On-site SEO is driven by building high-quality content using text, images, videos etc. Make sure to choose the theme which will support the SEO needs.
Shopify store can be optimised to its potential by doing keyword research and make a list of primary and secondary keywords list and applying those keywords in relevant categories, products and blog pages.
Google keywords research tool is by far the best platform for keyword research.
For blog topic and content ideas, you can use ahref.
Keywords research is the foundation of SEO planning, before you finalise Shopify collections/categories, you must plan appropriate keywords for those categories.
Shopify Category Optimisation
For any online store, optimising categories are key for the overall SEO success and Shopify is no different.
Depending on the product range, you should create categories with search volume/keywords in mind so that once the website will be live you can speed up the SEO optimization process.
Here are some key factors you should consider while optimising the Shopify store:
- Make sure you upload SEO optimised product images
- You should also aim to have some text in your category pages as it will boost the SEO signal
- Also, check your category page size and speed test
Shopify Product Optimisation
Generally, product pages optimisation is kept with a low priority.
Depending on your niche and the number of products you may have on your Shopify site, you can create a plan to optimise your products.
If you may be selling products in thousands then it will be almost impossible to give personal SEO touch to each product pages and hence some level of automation will be needed.
But if you have limited products in your Shopify store then you should try and optimise individual products.
Tips for optimising Shopify product pages:
- Have a descriptive page title
- Write a custom meta title and description if you deal with limited products
- Make sure to keep the page URL short and descriptive with the main keywords in it
- Uploaded SEO optimised images with proper ALT tag
- Add product description keeping keywords in mind
Shopify offers a product review tool that is very handy for buyers to share their experience to help other potential customers to influence their purchase decision.
While there is no direct SEO benefit or review feature to boost the ranking but it can plan an important role to increase the click-through rate if products rating can be added in the google search snippets.
Always encourage your customers to leave feedback on the product they purchased.
Shopify URL Optimisation
Shopify offers a clean user-friendly URL which is handy from an SEO point of view.
But here are few things that you can do to take your URL optimisation to the next level.
Example of Shopify Product URL
Shopify URL optimisation tips
Make your URL short and descriptive.
Add relevant keywords in the URL
Shopify Image Optimisation
Images are key for any eCommerce store and hence you must consider having high quality, well-optimsed images for your Shopify store.
The image quality should be good enough so that features like zoom can work as needed and making sure the image size is not so heavy.
Make sure to name your image properly and add ALT while uploading images.
Poor example: 13223222.jpg
Good Example: bose-noise-cancellation-headphone-model-colour.jpg
Learn more about how to optimise images for SEO.
Meta Tags Optimisation
Meta title and description optimisation are extremely important.
Make sure to keep your meta title character limit in check. Google will display excess lengths with … which may look ugly and it may not leave a strong impression on users.
Shopify has a feature to add meta title and description, make sure to add a descriptive meta title and description. Add your primary keywords in your title and secondary in your description.
Blog & Content Strategy for Shopify
These days, the blog is critical for SEO. Acquiring natural links for business and product pages are the hardest things to do in SEO and hence the importance of a blog comes into the business.
Blog helps you to build secondary level content which may be a problem-solving article related to your products and service. You will increase the chances of acquiring natural links with the help of high-quality blog posts.
It is highly recommended to have a blog on your Shopify store.
This is critical for any website and even more important for an online store like Shopify.
Once you get some external links on your core pages like home or specific blog posts, you can create a balanced internal linking strategy to point links to relevant categories and products which will help to rank those pages.
Optimise Shopify Search
You may have the best Shopify online store with the best navigation design and usability, there will be some customers who may not find what they may be looking for and hence the power on on-site Shopify search becomes key.
Over time you will be able to capture some data in Google Analytics which you can analyse to build insights and prepare actionable items which may potentially improve your Shopify online store ranking.
In the world of SEO, no matter how best you plan and implement there are always things to learn and improve and search functionality will provide you with that opportunity to add, edit features or build content that your potential users would like to see on your website.
In simple term, users may be searching for something in your online store which they can’t find. If you can make that available then you are solving the problem and SEO is primarily about solving search problem and making the content available which your users will like to see.
Mobile SEO is important more than ever before. If your mobile experience will be poor then you will end having a higher bounce rate and fewer conversions.
Mobile SEO is not just about making the page look pretty on mobile devices.
Shopify Mobile SEO Considerations
- Choose the theme which is highly optimised for mobile devices.
- Your products should fit well on a mobile screen with features like easy navigation and checkout.
- Speed: Your website should load in a relatively shorter amount of time.
- Keep the search and navigation prominent for a user to navigate through your pages.
- Have a link on your logo to the homepage and make easy cart access on top.
Search Snippets & Structured Data
You may appear #2 to #5 spot on page 1 in Google but if your search snippets will be compelling then you may get a slightly higher click than the spot above you.
Google structured data allows you to show some cool things about your eCommerce store.
You can feature items like:
- Review count
- Star rating
and these can make a strong impression in the user’s mind to click and see your page.
You are basically solving user’s problem to show what they can expect before clicking on the search result which can potentially boost conversion and they may spend longer on time in your page which is a good signal from the SEO side.
Quality link building is by far the most powerful SEO signal to rank any website.
In recent time the importance of quality content has become extremely important but if you are in a competitive niche then the link quality and its relevance will play an important part to achieve greater success.
The link building process for your Shopify store can make or break, if done correctly then you may see quality ranking improvement. On the other hand, if it is done poorly then your ranking will disappear and it’s not the best feeling.
Some Images sourced from https://themes.shopify.com/themes