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Shopify SEO: Proven Strategies to Enhance Online Visibility

By: Julian Wong

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SEO Shopify

01 Feb 2024

Shopify SEO strategies to enhance online visibility - Verz Design

In the ever-expanding digital marketplace, where the success of an online store hinges on its visibility and accessibility, mastering the art of Shopify SEO has become an indispensable skill for eCommerce entrepreneurs. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the realm of proven strategies tailored specifically for Shopify stores, aimed at not just elevating online visibility but also optimizing for sustained growth. From unlocking the intricacies of on-page and technical SEO to navigating the nuances of international and off-page optimization, this article serves as your roadmap to enhancing your Shopify store’s presence in the vast landscape of search engines. Join us as we explore the crucial facets of SEO that can propel your online business to new heights, ensuring your products don’t just exist but thrive in the digital spotlight.

Retail eCommerce sales worldwide 2021-2027

Summary

  1. What is Shopify SEO?
  2. Why is SEO Important for Your Shopify Store?
  3. On-Page SEO for Your Shopify Store
  4. Technical SEO for Your Shopify Store
  5. International SEO
  6. Off-Page SEO for Your Shopify Store
  7. Shopify SEO Apps
  8. External SEO Tools
  9. A Step-by-step Guide to an Effective SEO Plan for your Shopify Store’s Growth
  10. Go Past the Difficulties with a Shopify SEO Agency

What is Shopify SEO?

Shopify SEO refers to a set of strategies and techniques used to optimize your Shopify eCommerce store for search engines like Google. The goal is to improve your store’s visibility in search results, increase organic traffic, and ultimately boost your online sales. Effective SEO for your Shopify store involves on-page SEO, technical SEO, international SEO, off-page SEO, and the use of SEO apps.

Why is SEO Important for Your Shopify Store?

SEO is essential for your Shopify store because it helps potential customers find your products and services when they search online. Here’s why it’s crucial:

  • Increased Visibility: Proper SEO practices help your store rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), making it more likely for users to discover your site.
  • Enhanced User Experience: SEO encourages a well-structured, user-friendly website that improves the overall experience for visitors.
  • Organic Traffic: SEO drives free, organic traffic to your store, reducing the need for paid advertising and increasing your ROI.
  • Credibility and Trust: High-ranking websites are often perceived as more credible and trustworthy by users.

In this guide, we’ll explore various aspects of Shopify SEO to help you optimize your eCommerce store for better online visibility and increased sales.

On-Page SEO for Your Shopify Store

Keyword Research

Keyword research in SEO is all about finding the right words that people use on search engines. It helps your website show up when someone looks for something related to what you offer. By using the right key terms in your content, you can improve your website’s visibility and how high it appears in search results.

How People Use Keywords in Search Engines to Buy Products?

When people search for products online, they use specific keywords and phrases to find what they’re looking for. For e-commerce stores, this might include product names, model numbers, or descriptive terms like “best running shoes.”

Guidelines for Choosing the Right Keyword:

  • Relevance: The keyword should be directly related to the products you sell.
  • Search Volume: Target keywords with a reasonable search volume to ensure visibility.
  • Competition: Consider the level of competition for each keyword.
  • Long-Tail Keywords: These are longer, more specific phrases and can be valuable for niche products.
  • Keyword Tools: Utilize keyword research tools to find relevant keywords.

How to choose right keyword guidelines

Optimize your heading tag

The heading tag (H1) plays a crucial role in on-page SEO. Optimizing it can significantly impact how search engines understand and rank your content. Crafting compelling and keyword-rich headings can direct users to what they are looking for, improving your Shopify store’s visibility and enhancing the user experience.

Optimize Your Shopify Product Pages Content

Add Your Keywords into the URL or Slug

Add keywords into the URL or Slug

Incorporating your target keywords into the URLs or slugs of your product pages is a fundamental aspect of Shopify SEO. This strategic placement not only provides clarity to both users and search engines but also contributes significantly to your page’s ranking. For instance, if your ecommerce store specializes in red running shoes, an optimized URL could look like “yoursite.com/red-running-shoes,” reinforcing the relevance of your content.

Optimize Meta Titles and Descriptions

Optimize meta titles and descriptions

Crafting compelling meta titles and descriptions is akin to creating an attractive storefront display in the digital realm. Include your target keywords in these elements to signal their importance to search engines. However, it’s not just about keywords; ensure your meta descriptions are engaging and persuasive, encouraging users to click through to your product pages.

Write Unique Category and Product Descriptions

Duplicate content can hinder your SEO efforts. Combat this by investing the time to create unique descriptions for each product and category. By doing so, you not only avoid potential search engine penalties but also provide valuable information to your customers. Clearly articulate the features, benefits, and use cases of each product, fostering a better understanding for both users and search engines.

Refine the categorization of your products collection to enhance customer navigation and improve your SEO performance. For example, if you are a furniture store selling dining tables, you can refine your categorization even further by creating subcategories for the style, material or size. Enhance these pages with descriptive content to provide a quick overview of the range you offer and to incorporate target keywords for SEO.

Optimize Your Images

Image optimization is a multifaceted strategy. Start by compressing images to reduce load times, a crucial factor for retaining impatient online shoppers. Additionally, use descriptive file names and alt text for images. Incorporate keywords where appropriate to further enhance the relevance of your visual content in search engine algorithms.

Add Product Video Reviews

In the era of multimedia, video content holds immense value. Embedding product video reviews not only engages users more effectively but also adds a layer of diverse content for search engines to index. This dynamic approach to showcasing your products can positively impact both conversion rates and search engine rankings.

Add a Schema Markup for Rich Snippet Eligibility

Implementing schema markup is a proactive step to enhance your search results with rich snippets. These can include star ratings, product details, and other supplementary information, making your listings more visually appealing and informative. Rich snippets often lead to higher click-through rates and improved visibility in search engine results pages.

Canonicalization on Shopify

Canonical tags serve as a critical tool for preventing duplicate content issues within your Shopify store. It’s essential to ensure that the canonical tag on each page points to the preferred version, consolidating the ranking signals for similar content. This not only aids search engines in understanding your site structure but also reinforces the relevance of your primary pages in the vast online landscape.

Voice Search Optimization

Voice search optimization is a key strategy to ensure your store stays ahead in this dynamic environment. With the increasing use of voice-activated devices and virtual assistants, users are shifting towards natural language queries. Optimizing your content for voice queries involves understanding the conversational tone of voice searches and incorporating relevant long-tail keywords. By aligning your Shopify store’s content with the way people naturally speak, you enhance its chances of appearing in voice search results.

Prioritize Customer Support and FAQ pages

If you haven’t already, prioritize your customer support and incorporate comprehensive FAQ pages into your site. A well-crafted FAQ section addresses common queries and concerns, providing users with quick solutions and building trust. This positive interaction not only contributes to a seamless user experience but also signals to search engines that your site is customer-centric and valuable

Content Updates

Consistent content updates, product additions, and page refreshes serves as a strategic signal to search engines regarding the vibrancy and relevance of your Shopify store. Regularly infusing fresh content into your platform not only caters to evolving customer interests but also demonstrates an active and dynamic online presence. Regularly updated websites are perceived as more valuable and pertinent to users. By maintaining a rhythm of continuous updates, you not only engage your audience effectively but also reinforce your site’s credibility and authority, contributing significantly to improved search engine rankings and sustained online visibility. To keep the audience engaged and improve SEO, we recommend a regular posting schedule of at least three times a month.

User-Generated Content

User-generated content, such as reviews and testimonials, serves as a dynamic and genuine representation of your products, instilling trust among potential customers. Importantly, search engines recognize the value of authentic interactions and user feedback, often rewarding websites with higher rankings based on positive user experiences.

Technical SEO for Your Shopify Store

Set Your Preferred Domain

Set your preferred domain

When establishing your Shopify store, make a strategic decision on whether to use the www or non-www version as the preferred domain. This choice helps prevent duplicate content issues that can arise when search engines index both versions. By setting a clear preference, you consolidate ranking signals for a singular version, streamlining your site’s presence in search engine results.

Use a Logical Store Structure

Organizing your products into logical categories and collections is a foundational aspect of technical SEO for Shopify. This not only facilitates a seamless user experience but also assists search engines in understanding the hierarchy and relevance of your content. A well-structured store encourages higher engagement and contributes to improved search engine rankings.

Implement a ‘Quick Buy’ Feature

Implementation of a “Quick Buy” Feature can significantly streamline the shopping experience for customers. This feature allows users to quickly view product details and add items to their cart without navigating away from the main page. Having this functionality enhances user experience and can potentially increase conversion rates.

Create a Logical Internal Linking Strategy with Your Menus

Harness the power of well-structured menus to create a logical internal linking strategy within your Shopify store. Strategic internal linking guides both users and search engines throughout your site, emphasizing the importance and relationship between different pages. This approach aids in distributing authority evenly across your site, positively impacting SEO.

Submit Your Sitemap to Google Search Console and Fix Site Errors

Regularly submitting your sitemap to Google Search Console is an essential practice in maintaining a healthy online presence. This action ensures that search engines are aware of your site’s structure and can effectively crawl and index your pages, as you can check if it has been submitted successfully or if it cannot be fetched.

Improve Your Website’s Navigation to Enhance Shopify SEO

Enhancing the user experience is at the core of effective SEO. By optimizing your website’s navigation, you make it easier for users to navigate through your products and information. An intuitive and user-friendly navigation system not only keeps visitors engaged but also provides search engines with clear signals about the importance and hierarchy of your content.

Structured URL patterns play a key role in achieving this harmony. For users, clear and organized URLs, as opposed to random character strings enhance navigation, making it easier to understand the site’s structure. Meanwhile, search engines appreciate structured URLs as they provide valuable insights into the content and hierarchy of your pages

Optimize Your Website for Speed

Website speed is a critical factor influencing user experience and SEO performance. Aim for a fast-loading website, targeting a load time of three seconds or less. A swift website not only reduces bounce rates but also enhances conversion rates, contributing significantly to your overall SEO strategy. Regularly assess and optimize elements affecting speed with tools such as Page Insights, to assess items such as image sizes, code efficiency, and server response times.

Structured Data Markup

Structured data markup is like giving search engines a detailed blueprint of your Shopify store’s products. By marking up structured data in the backend, you inform Google the type of page it is, such as a FAQ page or blog page, From there, search engines create more informative and attractive search results, known as rich snippets. These snippets can include extra details like product prices, ratings, and availability right in the search results, catching the eye of potential customers.

Security and HTTPS

Having a HTTPS website not only safeguards user data and builds trust in online transactions. A SSL Certificate for your Shopify store also aligns with search engine algorithms that prioritize secure browsing experiences.

International SEO

Hreflang

International SEO is crucial for businesses with multiple versions of their websites catering to different languages or regional audiences. The key considerations include:

  • Ensuring Google understands the intended audience of each page/site.
  • Making sure Google ranks the correct page/site for the correct region/audience.
  • Preventing duplicate content issues by helping Google understand the relationship between different pages/sites.

Hreflang is a mechanism used to assist search engines in understanding the intended audience of a page. It signals to search engines when there are alternate versions of a page for visitors in different languages or regions.

How to Add Hreflang to Shopify

Shopify Markets (Automatic)

Utilize Shopify Markets to display your store on alternate domains, subdomains, or subfolders, targeting different language or country combinations. Shopify automatically configures hreflang tags across each domain/subdomain/subfolder.

Metafields (Manual)

Manually add hreflang tags into metafields in Shopify’s integrated functionality or apps like Custom Fields. This method, although manual, is effective for large-scale Shopify hreflang management.

Add Hreflang to Shopify Via an App (Automatic)

Some Shopify apps, such as Weglot and Langify, automatically generate and add hreflang tags to your pages. However, be cautious, as the output from these apps may sometimes result in validation errors.

Add Hreflang Tags To Your theme.liquid File (Manual)

For stores with identical pages and URL handles across different domains, manually add valid hreflang tags using code in the theme.liquid file. This method involves editing website code, so it’s advisable to seek assistance from a Shopify expert.

Add Hreflang to Shopify Via an XML Sitemap (Manual)

Generate custom XML sitemaps with hreflang tags for each page if you have separate Shopify stores for different countries. Use tools like the XML sitemap generator to create a hreflang sitemap, upload it to Shopify under ‘Settings > Files,’ and ensure search engines crawl it for accurate indexing.

Off-Page SEO for Your Shopify Store

Optimize Your Shopify Product Pages Content

Implement a Backlink Strategy

A proactive approach to off-page SEO involves identifying and engaging with websites that already link to your competitors. Backlinks from reputable and authoritative sites play a crucial role in boosting your store’s SEO. Here’ how you can go about this:

Analyze your Competitors’ Backlinks

By conducting a thorough analysis of your competitors’ backlink profiles, you can uncover valuable opportunities for outreach and collaboration, enhancing your online visibility.

Quality Over Quantity

When implementing a backlink strategy, focus on quality over quantity. Look for sites with a higher Domain Rating (DR) as these sites pass more link equity, or ‘link juice’, which can significantly improve your own DR and consequently, search rankings.

Utilize a Variety of Sources

Utilize a variety of link sources, whenever they make sense. This can include lifestyle blogs, local directories and other sites relating to your industry. Having links from a variety of sources helps your site build a natural link profile, as search engines will recognise the link as a credible source instead of a spammy link.

‘nofollow’ and ‘dofollow’ Links

While “dofollow” links are generally more valuable for SEO as they pass on link juice, “nofollow” links can also be beneficial for your Shopify SEO, especially if you are just starting out. These links help support a natural link profile, and make your site more credible.

Use Both Branded and Non-Branded Anchor Text

The use of both branded (your brand’s name) and non-branded anchor text (e.g. the product you are selling) allows you to balance brand visibility with product-specific references. This can help improve both brand recognition and product page rankings.

Link to Specific Products

By having links to specific high-value or high-margin products, you can direct traffic towards these products and drive sales.

Work On Your Local SEO

Ensuring your store appears prominently in local searches requires a strategic approach. Optimize your Google My Business profile, providing accurate information about your business, such as location, contact details, and operating hours. This not only enhances visibility on Google Maps but also increases the likelihood of your store being featured in local search results. Additionally, fine-tune your local citations by ensuring consistent and accurate business information across online directories.

Social Media Integration

In today’s digital age, the synergy between social media and SEO is a crucial aspect of any successful Shopify store’s online strategy. Social media integration plays a pivotal role in complementing SEO efforts, offering a dynamic channel to enhance your store’s visibility and drive substantial traffic. By seamlessly linking your Shopify store with various social platforms, you create an interconnected online presence that resonates with your audience across diverse channels. Social signals, such as likes, shares, and comments, are increasingly considered by search engines when evaluating a website’s credibility and relevance.

Write Guest Posts

Crafting compelling and valuable content for other websites within your niche is a strategic move in off-page SEO. Guest posting not only showcases your expertise but also provides an opportunity to include a link back to your Shopify store. This process contributes to building authoritative backlinks, establishing your store as a trusted source within the industry.

Run a PR Campaign

Harness the power of public relations to elevate your store’s visibility. A well-executed PR campaign can secure media coverage, resulting in positive mentions and links from news articles. This not only enhances your online reputation but also significantly impacts your SEO by generating high-quality backlinks from reputable sources.

Broken Link Building

Identify broken links on other websites within your industry, reach out to the site owners, and propose your content as a suitable replacement. This collaborative approach benefits both parties involved – you provide a solution for broken links, and, in return, gain valuable backlinks to your Shopify store. This method not only aids in improving your SEO but also fosters positive relationships within your online community.

Utilize Customer Engagement Strategies

Boosting customer engagement is like creating a thriving community around your Shopify store. Personalized recommendations, where you suggest products based on individual preferences, make customers feel understood and valued. Email marketing keeps your audience informed about new products, promotions, and updates, fostering a lasting connection. Loyalty programs encourage repeat business, turning one-time shoppers into devoted customers.

Shopify SEO Apps

What are the Benefits of Using Shopify SEO Apps?

Expert Guidance and Tips

Shopify SEO apps come equipped with expert guidance and tips to navigate the complexities of search engine optimization. These tools often provide valuable insights and recommendations based on industry best practices. Whether you’re a seasoned eCommerce professional or a beginner, having access to expert advice within the app can streamline your SEO efforts and ensure you’re implementing strategies that align with the latest trends and algorithms.

Advanced Features and Functionality

One of the primary advantages of utilizing Shopify SEO apps is the inclusion of advanced features and functionalities. These apps are designed to extend the native SEO capabilities of your Shopify website, offering tools for in-depth keyword analysis, competitor research, and performance tracking. With features like backlink monitoring, on-page optimization, and analytics, these apps empower you to implement sophisticated SEO strategies that go beyond basic optimization.

Pre-made Templates

Shopify SEO apps often come with pre-made templates that simplify the process of optimizing your online store. These templates are crafted to meet SEO best practices, covering essential elements such as meta titles, descriptions, and structured data. Leveraging these templates not only saves time but also ensures that your store’s SEO elements are well-optimized and aligned with the latest SEO standards.

Seamless Integration

Integration is a key benefit of Shopify SEO apps. These tools seamlessly integrate with your Shopify store, eliminating the need for complex installations or configurations. The user-friendly interfaces of these apps make them accessible to all levels of users, allowing you to seamlessly incorporate advanced SEO functionalities without the need for extensive technical knowledge. The integration ensures that your SEO efforts are seamlessly woven into your overall eCommerce strategy, contributing to a holistic and effective online presence. Here are some apps for your consideration.

SEO Manager

SEO Manager venntov shopify application

Price: $20 a month
SEO Manager aids in creating custom metadata, provides performance feedback in search results, and offers pre-made templates for Shopify SEO. Additionally, it includes a mobile integration test feature.

Plug in SEO

Plug in SEO shopify application

Price: Free plan available, with $30 and $50 plans offering more features. A premium plan is available at $80 per month.
Plug in SEO offers professional advice to improve SEO performance and Google rankings. It provides insights into driving organic traffic and increasing conversions.

TurboSEO

TurboSEO shopify application

Price: $30 one-time charge
TurboSEO is a robust Shopify app that adds markup to your code, making it easier for search engines to read and display relevant information in search results. It enhances visibility with rich snippets.

SEO application for shopify store

External SEO Tools

To empower your SEO journey, several external tools bring advanced functionalities and insights. These tools cover everything from comprehensive website audits to strategic content planning and competitor analysis, providing a comprehensive toolkit for optimizing your online presence. Oftentimes / , these tools may seem to come with a hefty price tag, however, if you enlist the help of a SEO Agency well-versed in Shopify SEO, they will already have these tools at their disposal and you will not need to incur any extra costs.

SEMrush

SEMrush

SEMrush is a comprehensive SEO toolkit that empowers you to conduct in-depth website audits, plan content, perform keyword research, and execute various SEO practices. Its versatile features are designed to optimize your Shopify site and achieve favorable organic rankings.

Key Features:

  • Full website audits for comprehensive insights.
  • Content planning tools for strategic content creation.
  • Keyword research capabilities for targeted optimization.
  • Outreach features to enhance your link-building efforts.

Cost:

SEMrush offers a Pro subscription priced at $199.95 per month, providing access to advanced features for an all-encompassing SEO strategy.

Ahrefs

Ahrefs

Ahrefs is another powerhouse tool that streamlines SEO tasks for improved efficiency. From backlink audits and keyword research to competitor analysis and rank tracking, Ahrefs offers a range of features to guide your ecommerce website toward success.

Key Features:

  • Backlink audits to strengthen your link profile.
  • Keyword research tools for identifying impactful keywords.
  • Competitor analysis for strategic planning.
  • Rank tracking to monitor your SEO progress.

Cost:

Ahrefs provides a Lite subscription at $99 per month, making it an accessible yet powerful solution for Shopify store owners.

Screaming Frog

Screaming Frog

Screaming Frog is an advanced SEO site audit tool designed to crawl websites of various sizes. This desktop-based tool extracts valuable data insights to aid in optimizing your Shopify SEO strategy.

Key Features:

  • Site crawling for comprehensive SEO analysis.
  • Data insights for informed decision-making.
  • Advanced features for in-depth website audits.

Cost:

While a free version with limited features is available, the paid version of Screaming Frog comes at £149 per year, offering an extensive range of functionalities for ecommerce SEO.

A Step-by-step Guide to an Effective SEO Plan for your Shopify Store’s Growth

Effective SEO plan for Shopify Store's Growth

Crafting a robust SEO plan is essential for sustainable growth. Here’s a step-by-step guide, for you to check off on your Shopify SEO journey.

1. Conduct a Comprehensive SEO Audit

Evaluate your current SEO status.
Identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Analyze competitor strategies for insights.

2. Keyword Research and Mapping

Research relevant keywords for your products and industry.
Prioritize high-impact keywords.
Map keywords to specific pages on your Shopify store.

3. On-Page Optimization

Optimize product pages with targeted keywords.
Enhance meta titles, descriptions, and product content.
Implement schema markup for rich snippets.

4. Technical SEO

Set preferred domain.
Establish a logical store structure.
Create a strategic internal linking system.
Submit a clean sitemap to Google Search Console.

5. International SEO

Implement hreflang tags for multilingual and multinational targeting.
Choose the appropriate method for adding hreflang tags based on your store’s structure.

6. Off-Page Strategies

Build backlinks through competitor analysis and outreach.
Contribute guest posts for authoritative backlinks.
Run PR campaigns for media coverage.
Leverage broken link building opportunities.

7. Utilize Shopify SEO Apps

Select and integrate SEO apps that align with your goals.
Leverage advanced features, templates, and expert guidance.
Seamlessly integrate apps to enhance overall store performance.

8. Continuous Monitoring and SEO Audits

Practice of regular SEO audits to identify areas for improvement.
Track your store’s performance, and stay ahead of any issues that may arise.
Use competitor analysis tools to gain insights into your competitors’ SEO strategies and identify any areas for improvement.

Go Past the Difficulties with a Shopify SEO Agency

As you have learnt by now, mastering Shopify SEO involves navigating a multifaceted landscape of strategies, techniques, and ever-evolving algorithms. As your ecommerce venture strives for online visibility and success, it’s crucial to leverage not only powerful tools but also expert guidance. A Shopify SEO agency like Verz Design can be your ally in overcoming challenges, implementing proven strategies, and staying ahead in the competitive digital realm. With the right expertise by your side, your Shopify store can transcend difficulties and emerge as a frontrunner in the online retail space. Contact us today, and we can be your strategic partner in propelling your store to new heights, increasing visibility, and driving sustainable growth.

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