How to do SEO for Shopify Websites in 2024?

Just as organic food helps grow the natural potential of someone’s health, SEO keeps a Shopify website search engine friendly and enhances its natural potential Organically with the intent to create a long-term growth cycle for the eCommerce business.

Here we will be discussing how to optimize a Shopify website using good Search Engine practices and the latest SEO trends, which is essential for both eCommerce business owners and SEO beginners.

How to Optimize Your Shopify Websites?

Use Shopify SEO Apps

The benefit of Shopify as an eCommerce platform is that it has tons of ready-to-install SEO apps that can help you optimize your Shopify websites, including SEO apps with free membership plans where you can use the app without any cost till a certain number of products or website growth, which is quite useful if you are a startup so you can switch to a paid membership as the business grows.

Shopify SEO apps can help you in the following areas of SEO:

  • Meta Tags Optimization
  • Optimizing Broken Links and setting up Redirects
  • Compression Images
  • Image SEO
  • SEO Audit Reports
  • Website Speed Optimization
  • Automation of the SEO process
  • Implementing AMP Pages
  • Structured Data Implementation

You can check a compiled list of the most useful Shopify SEO apps here along with their pros and cons and the membership plans, to help you make a quick decision on which app to choose based on your Shopify website SEO needs.

Technical SEO

Technical SEO is a part of SEO best practices to improve the technical aspects of a website, to make it more search engine friendly in terms of crawlability and indexability; thus, helping the Shopify website increase its user experience and visibility. For a Shopify website, the following technical aspects of a website are necessary.

Use Structured Data and Schema Markups

Structured Data helps search engines provide more context about a web page to its search users; thus, helping them make an informed decision on which website to visit.

Hence, just by implementing structured data using schema markups on your website code, you can leverage this benefit and make your web pages more noticeable in search rankings.

Although structured data may not be a ranking factor, it has reportedly helped increase websites’ click-through rates by 1.2 to 4.5 times, ensuring that optimizing it can directly impact your CTR.

It can simply be implemented using most Shopify SEO apps or manually using the J-SON LD Schema Markup generator.

Keep Page Speed Under 2 Seconds

Page Speed is a critical technical factor and can directly impact your conversions. Even if you rank in the top positions, slow page speed will increase your bounce rate; thus, indicating to search engines that the website has a poor page experience and decreasing your sales in the process. Ideally, a good Shopify website with a load time under 2 seconds converts better.

Tools like PageSpeed Test and Lighthouse by Google and GTMetrix help you measure the core web vitals of your Shopify website and tell you exactly what you can improve to increase the website’s speed.

Apart from that, you can strategically load media files at the search users’ end by using Lazy Loading. Or, even use content delivery mechanisms like CDNs which lets you deliver the media files to a user’s end from its nearest server; thus, decreasing the time to deliver the content at the user end and helping you increase your page speed.

Keep the Website Structure and Navigation Simple

Build a hierarchical website structure, ideally, a 3 or 4-level, so the website is easily crawlable for search engine bots as well as website visitors. A simple website structure also helps in avoiding long web page URLs and reflects in breadcrumbs.

Apart from that, focus on creating a simple navigation that follows the website structure, i.e., the users can find the products on the website in just two to three clicks and is easy to navigate.

Optimize for Mobile Devices

Ignoring optimizing your Shopify website for mobile devices can be the difference between a successful and failed business, resulting in about 57% of your potential sales and still growing.

Mobile SEO is more than just delivering fast results. It also focuses on mobile-friendly website designs and page elements that are placed strategically to improve page experience, from unique navigation to image optimized for mobile devices

Block unnecessary pages from Robots.txt

Being an eCommerce website, Shopify websites naturally consist of many pages that don’t need to be indexed, such as the checkout page, cart page, Wishlist page, and even customer profile pages.

By customizing the robots.txt file, you can simply block these pages and hide them from Search Engines.

Avoid Long Slugs for Category and Product Pages

Shopify URL structure by default is quite long since Shopify puts “/collections” in collection URLs and “/products” in product page URLs, and only lets you customize the slug of it.

So, if a product page is https://www.example.com/products/mocha-ribbed-knit-halter-neck-maternity-fitted-dress then you are only allowed to customize the “mocha-ribbed-knit-halter-neck-maternity-fitted-dress” of the product page URL.

On-Page Optimization

On-page SEO is a collection of optimizing the pages on a website to make it friendly to search engines, with a primary focus on optimizing the content using selected Keywords and achieving high rankings for them.

For a Shopify website, the following on-page aspects of a website are necessary.

Unique Meta Tags for Category Pages and Hero Products

As a small eCommerce business owner with only a limited number of products, it’s easier for you to optimize every page individually with unique meta tags.

However, it becomes a huge task if you’re selling hundreds or thousands of products, such as a clothing ecommerce brand with hundreds of products with different variants.

In that case, you can simply focus on writing unique meta tags for hero products, i.e., the products that are high in demand on your Shopify website. For other products, you can simply set up a structure for meta tags to help you optimize them in bulk, which can be set up in Shopify easily without even using any Shopify Apps.

However, you can use a suitable Shopify SEO app for Meta Tags Optimization which helps you measure your meta tags on the latest SEO metrics and even provides you with an SEO health indicator for your web pages to easily identify the pages that need your attention from an SEO perspective.

Keep Emphasis on User-Centric Keywords over High Search Volumes

When discovering which keywords to target and optimize for your Shopify website, you should focus on keywords with clear user intent (long-tail) instead of focusing on keywords that have high search volumes since high search volume keywords or “Seed” or “Head” keywords are highly competitive and not good for conversions.

Moreover, when distinguishing which long-tail keyword to target for which pages, you can categorize the keywords based on their nature – Informational, Transactional, Navigational, and Commercial.

For product pages, you should always focus on keywords that match website users’ intent to buy the products, such as Transactional Keywords (or Commercial Keywords).

For category and subcategory pages, you should always focus on Commercial keywords. And, for content pages like blogs and articles, focus on informational keywords.

And, if you’re a popular eCommerce brand or have a product that is already well-received by your target customers, you should focus on Navigational (Branded) keywords.

Add Reviews and Testimonials

Asking your clients for reviews on buying your products is not only important for improving your products but also provides you with free promotional content and gives a lot of insights about your products to new website visitors.

Apart from that, you can collect testimonials and customer stories from your regular customers and showcase them on your website, which creates a lot of trust for new customers in your brand and products.

Image SEO

Being an eCommerce website, it’s natural that you have lots of images of your products that are crawled by search engine bots. Optimizing your images by adding an ALT tag to them helps you provide a context of your products to the target customers and also helps you rank on image search engines for the target keywords.

Apart from that, you should focus on optimizing the size of your images, i.e., compress the image size since there might be hundreds or even thousands of images on your Shopify website which normally results in low page speed. You can simply use a Shopify App and configure it based on your needs to help you automate the process.

Resolve Duplicity Issue

Being an eCommerce brand, you might have the same products in different colors, sizes, materials, and even product tags. With almost similar product information, these pages create duplicity issues when crawled by search engine bots and also create confusion for search engine users. To resolve this issue, you can focus on setting up rel=”canonical” tags to tell search engines which pages are to be considered variants of a product.

Apart from that, the paginated collection pages also create the duplicity issue where https://www.example.com/collections/maternity-fitted-dresses can have paginated duplicate pages like https://www.example.com/collections/maternity-fitted-dresses?page=2 or https://www.pinkblushmaternity.com/collections/maternity-fitted-dresses?page=3.

Off-Page Optimization / Link Building

Off-page SEO is a collection of brand promotion strategies to help you gain high domain authority using link building techniques.

For a Shopify website, the following off-page aspects of a website are necessary.

Get backlinks from your material suppliers

As an eCommerce business, you might be purchasing some raw materials from some suppliers or getting business-related services from a service provider. You can try reaching out to these suppliers and service providers and ask them to give you a link back to your website.

Try to Get Backlinks from Your Distributors

Just similar to backlinks from your suppliers or service providers, you can also ask your distributors or delivery partners to provide you with a link back.

Get backlinks from Marketplace websites like eBay, Amazon, and Flipkart

If you’re selling your products on other marketplaces as well like eBay or Amazon, then you can try to backlinks from there.

Get backlinks by guest posting to niche-relevant websites

Find niche relevant websites with genuine traffic and good domain authority, and request backlinks from them by providing guest posts as bait.

Get backlinks from niche forums by starting discussions

You can also set up profiles on public forums where people are having discussions about similar products and strike up a genuine conversation about your brand or products to generate backlinks.

Get backlinks from brand or product mentions

You can reverse search your brand name or the name of popular products on Search Engines and look for websites that have mentioned your brand/product name on their web pages but haven’t linked out to you yet.

Local SEO

Google/Bing Maps Listing

Create Map listings on popular websites like Google Maps or Bing Local using your physical address and set up your local profile along with business information.

The Dos and Don’ts of Shopify SEO

Shopify is a unique platform built specifically for eCommerce brands in mind. Here are some Dos and Don’ts of Shopify SEO.

The Dos

Leverage Brand Power Wherever Possible

If your eCommerce brand is well-known among your target audience, then you must leverage its benefit by mentioning your brand name in page tiles as well as by optimizing pages for branded keywords.

Keep Conversion in Mind

You should always remember that your end goal is to sell more products. Thus, investing in strategies for conversion rate optimization can be a good investment toward long-term success for your eCommerce brand.

Use Keywords in Product Page Slugs instead of Product IDs.

You should always use relevant keywords in product page slugs over product IDs. It helps make URLs readable to the website visitors who are the real consumers of your products, instead of using product IDs to use as unique identifiers for search engine bots.

Add Related Products sections

Internal links are a great way to internally connect your product pages. Adding a “Related Products” section is a smart way to internally link your product pages especially when product pages generally don’t have a lot of content on them.

The Don’ts

Don’t Remove Products if Sold Out/Out-of-Stock as well as the Seasonal Pages

If some of the products are sold out, then you don’t have to delist the products from your Shopify product management or add “sold-out” in its slug. These are bad practices.

Instead, you can simply mention that the product is sold out in the product information and update it whenever the product is available in stock.

Similarly, you don’t need to remove the seasonal pages like product deal pages that you think will be needed in the future. You can simply revoke them from indexing.

Don’t use Weak Calls to Action or Overdo them

Call-to-Actions are a good way to encourage your target audience to click on your Shopify pages. You can leverage this benefit easily.

However, avoid overdoing it since the web pages would start appearing as spammy.

Avoid URLs trailing Slash

Always ensure that all your indexed Shopify pages have no trailing slash, i.e., end with a forward slash “/” at the end of the page URL slug.

Although Shopify pages by default have no trailing slash, nonetheless, not redirecting the URLs with trailing slash to their non-trailing counterparts creates a duplicate page issue for you since Google considers such pages unique. Thus, it is better to force page URL versions with a trailing slash to a non-trailing slash version from the website structure.

Since Shopify doesn’t provide an efficient solution to this issue as of now, you can set up canonicalization for such pages, which can be impossible to track for every page.

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