How to Optimize SEO on Shopify – Tools, Tips & Tricks

Shopify SEO: What Marketers Need to Know

Shopify has grown into the world’s dominant ecommerce platform for all businesses including custom phone case companies, phone repair Red Deer shop, and iPhone repair Calgary store. Since its founding in 2006, the ecommerce site builder has poured revenue into feature improvements, a robust API and App Store, plus competitive, accessible pricing that brought nearly 5 million storefronts to the site by 2023. SEO has been a key focus of Shopify’s most recent improvements. With new tools and changes to its Liquid template language, Shopify users can make substantial SEO gains and win valuable positions on the SERP.

More than 80% of global web traffic is generated by organic search. Shopify SEO optimization is the most cost-effective way to capture qualified customers and grow your brand. Here’s how to do it.

How to Improve SEO on Shopify: The Basics

Whether you’re just starting out or a Shopify pro, you need to address the essentials of any successful SEO strategy.

1. Index Your Content

Set up Google Search Console (and Bing Webmaster)

Google Search Console is free, easy to use and easy to verify. Google holds 87-91% of global search traffic, with Microsoft’s Bing a very distant second with 2-4%. These two platforms will allow you to verify that your content is being indexed and that users can naturally find it online. Once you verify your domain with these tools, submit your XML sitemap. Submitting a sitemap is the most impactful way to ensure these search engines index your pages and consistently register new or updated content.

2. Know Your Metrics

Set Up a Google Analytics Account

Marketers can’t afford to guess; when metrics matter, you need a tool to measure every view and click. Google Analytics 4 is free, intuitive and a lynchpin of SEO reporting and decision-making. Once you create your account, you can add your Google Analytics measurement ID to Shopify and track a range of metrics and conversions, such as organic sessions and active users.

3. Get Your SEO Tools

Consider investing in paid SEO tools like Moz or Semrush, or familiarize yourself with free tools like Surfer SEO and Google Trends. For premium Shopify users, there are several SEO apps built into the platform, including Plug-in SEO Optimizer. Optimizer is Shopify’s answer to WordPress’s Yoast SEO tool, and while it’s not quite on the same level, Optimizer covers a lot of SEO basics. These tools can help you understand what queries your site is ranking for, track keyword positions and more!

For experienced marketers rolling their eyes, remember that 4.61 million online stores are using Shopify as of January 2024. Offering Shopify SEO set-ups and content packages is a market unto itself and promises immediate results for most users.

Automated SEO Features on Shopify

Despite claims that Shopify isn’t good for SEO, the platform automates some important SEO best practices that other platforms, including WordPress, don’t.

  • Canonical tags – Shopify automatically generates canonical tags that mitigate the risk of duplicate content. This is especially useful for brands with large product catalogs with frequent photo and description updates.
  • Sitemaps – Shopify automatically generates and updates your XML sitemap. Once you’ve submitted that sitemap to Google Search Console, Shopify takes care of the rest. We recommend auditing your sitemap every 6-12 months to ensure pages are properly indexed.
  • Robots.txt – Shopify also adds pages to your robots.txt file, which prevents site crawlers from Google and Bing. This keeps administrative log-in pages and other content off the SERP.
  • Title tags – While it’s best practice to write custom title tags, Shopify will cook up a unique tag for every page once it’s published because something is always better than nothing.

For premium storefronts, Shopify may offer several additional automations or plug-ins that expand on this list. Check your account or the pricing page to see what else is offered.

Three Shopify for SEO Tips to Swear By

For as much time and budget is captured by paid and social on Shopify sites, there’s still a lot to say about SEO. For Shopify, organic traffic typically generates the most sessions, usually between 60-80% depending on your paid spend. Organic sessions also have a lasting impact compared to paid, which is crucial for younger stores with limited marketing budgets.

If you do anything for your store’s SEO, do these three things.

1. Write click-grabbing title tags and meta descriptions.

We noted that Shopify will automatically generate title tags for new pages; don’t let it. Write custom titles that include relevant product or service information and keyword targets, but keep the user in mind. Search for your product without using the brand or product name and look at the SERP to see what titles the top pages with similar content use – your metadata has to stand out amongst those results. Write something that you would click yourself!

The same goes for meta descriptions, too. It’s okay to include a soft call-to-action (CTA) and a little humor; you’re already in front of the consumer; now you need to stand out!

Keep title tags under 60 characters (or 55, to be safe) and under 155 characters for meta descriptions. We love using this handy tool to check metadata length on-the-fly.

2. Write (great) blogs.

Odds are you’re going to nail your product pages with excellent descriptions, clean page titles and meta descriptions, and stunning photography and videos. However, in SEO, keywords represent the breadth of the conversion. If you’re only talking about product-specific terms, you’ll be left out of much broader discussions in which your audience is actively participating. Writing SEO-rich and industry-relevant blogs adds words to your vocabulary and positions your brand as a participant and leader in those discussions. Target a variety of keyword types like long-tail queries and questions

Conduct a content gap analysis to see what your competitors are talking about, and don’t be afraid to ask your followers on social media what they want to hear from you!

3. Be consistent.

SEO is never done. From creating fresh content, optimizing existing pages, and identifying opportunities to improve with data-driven insight, SEO deserves a dedicated slice of your daily or weekly workload. If there isn’t time in the day to do it all, tag in an outside vendor to help. It might be the best investment your brand makes!

Is Shopify Good for SEO? Yes*

*But it’s only as good as you are. Marketers who leverage Shopify’s built-in SEO tools and put in their own work will enjoy organic success after a few months, with results that last much longer. Consider working with an SEO vendor or a consultant to get started, and let the data and dollars guide your work.

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