If you are running a Shopify store, you will know that getting more traffic from search engines is essential to your success.
It can be hard to figure out where to start when you decide to improve the SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) results for your website.
With the constant changes in how search engine rankings are calculated, it can be challenging for anyone to keep up. But there are still ways to improve your overall ranking by optimising content, using keywords, and setting up a Google Search Console.
We have created this blog post to help you improve your SEO results for your Shopify store and help guide you on some SEO basic principles.
The goal of SEO is to get your site to be found by as many people and search engines as possible.
Let’s first start off by defining what SEO is:
Search Engine Optimisation: Commonly referred to as SEO, it is the process of optimising your website to improve the quantity and quality of traffic.
In simple terms, it’s the process of making sure that the right people are able to find your website by ranking it as highly as possible on Google or whatever other search engine your clients are using.
Shopify SEO: This is the process of optimising your Shopify website’s traffic. This is a little bit more niche than general SEO because the emphasis is on eCommerce businesses and their unique challenges.
Below is a checklist of all the essential steps to make in setting up your Shopify store.
- Buy A Custom Domain
- Set Up Google Analytics
- Set up Google Search Console
- Set up Google My Business
- Keyword Research
- SEO Apps
- Optimise URLs
- Optimise Page Title and Meta Descriptions
- Site Structure – Mobile-friendly, Speed
- Page Optimisation/ On-page SEO
- Set Up a Link Building Strategy – External and Internal Links
- Product Schema
- Broken Links and Duplicate Copy
- Create Content Consistently
- Robots.txt File
- XML Sitemaps
- HTTP Status
1. Buy A Custom Domain
A domain name is a digital address that people use to reach your website. Domain names were created to make it easy for humans to find and visit sites.
Buying a custom domain name is essential when creating a website and business! When you buy a custom domain, it helps build trust, makes it easy for people to discover and access your website, and it also helps drive traffic towards your site.
Shopify’s domain name generator can give you a list of creative ideas.
Check out our article on how to get your domain name set up.
2. Set Up Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a free tool that lets you track and monitor the behaviour of those who visit your Shopify store – from traffic to conversions.
Go to analytics.google.com, click the “start measuring” button and follow the account setup instructions. Once this is set up, Google will begin collecting data from your website.
Shopify has an in-depth guide on how to set up Google Analytics.
3. Set up Google Search Console
Google Search Console is another free tool that lets you track and monitor the performance of your Shopify store onGoogle. The focus here is on search engine optimization.
Go to Google Search Console, click the “start now” button and follow the account instructions. Once this is set up, Google will begin collecting data from your website.
4. Submit your Sitemap using Google Search Console.
Google Search Central defines a sitemap as “a file where you provide information about the pages, videos, and other files on your site, and the relationships between them.” They go on and say that “search engines like Google read this file to crawl [scan] your site more efficiently. A sitemap tells Google which pages and files you think are important to your site and also provides valuable information about these files. For example, when the page was last updated and any alternate language versions of the page.”
To access your sitemap, type in https://www.domainname.com/sitemap.xml
Read our in-depth guide on how to submit your website to search engines.
5. Set up Google My Business
Google My Business is another free tool for local businesses where you add your business information to Google.
Here, you can add your address, phone, opening hours, and other relevant information that prospects might be searching for. This makes it easy for people to find you when they search online.
Customers can write reviews and share photos, and you can respond.
6. Keyword Research
Keywords are what users type in to search for information online.
Keyword research helps you understand what keywords people use to find your products.
Enhance your content with the right keywords and tags to ensure that it appears in organic searches, which will increase traffic and improve conversion rates.
There are 4 types of search intent keywords
- Navigational: These are used when searching for a website or page.
- Informational: These are used when searching for the answer to a question.
- Commercial: These are used when searching for products and services.
- Transactional: These are used with purchase intent.
7. Optimise URLs
URLs should be as descriptive and straightforward as possible. They not only tell search engines what your content is about but also the viewer.
A URL should include words relevant to its contents.
Source: Google Search Central
For example, the URL below has the same name as the article.
Google Search Central has an in-depth guide on URL Structure.
8. Title and Meta Descriptions
A page title is: The title of your page.
A meta description is: A brief description of the product or contents of the page. This is meant to get the viewer interested in clicking the link.
9. Page Optimisation/ On-page SEO
10. Link Building
If you want to rank higher on Google, link building is an integral part of SEO!
The main thing search engines look at when determining your website’s authority is the quality of its links.
Set Up a Link Building Strategy for External and Internal Links:
Internal linking: This is when you link to other pages on your website.
For example, in this blog post, we added an internal link to one of our other blog posts for those who wish to learn how to submit your website to search engines.
For eCommerce, you can link to related products.
Internal linking increases authority because Google can index the content by distributing good SEO from one page to another and making it easier to share relevant resources with your audience.
External linking: This is when other websites link to your website.
For example, in this blog post, we added an external link to Google My Business so you can easily access it to set up your business on Google as opposed to searching it yourself.
External linking increases authority because search engine algorithms can see that other sites value your content enough to link to it.
11. Product Schema
schema.dev defines a product schema as a “markup code that is embedded in your website. It is the structured data of your product that publishes alongside your product in search results. Its purpose is to help search engines provide better results to users. Utilizing product schema markup is a way that companies can use their websites to stand from their competitors in terms of SEO.”
Product schema allows you to enrich how your products appear on search engine results. This can be in the form of price, star ratings & availability.
For example, Neutrogena has rich data sharing the price, ratings, and available stores. This enhances the customer experience both search wise and visually.
Here are some additional resources:
12. Broken Links and Duplicate Content
Broken links are when you click on a link at it directs you to a 404 error page. This shows that the page doesn’t exist.
This can reduce the experience on your site because users are promised ar resource only to find it doesn’t exist, and it also affects your link building strategy.
Also when Google crawls your page and finds a broken link, this will affect your authority.
Duplicate content is as it sounds. This is when you have multiple copies of the same type of content. This can hurt your SEO results since Google doesn’t know which one to rank.
For eCommerce products, pages are the biggest culprits of duplicates.
Use a canonical URL to notify Google which one to rank for duplicated content you want to keep or to hide that content.
Here are some tools to find broken links and duplicate content.
13. Create Content Consistently
To increase your online store’s popularity and success rates, you should create relevant content for your products. You can do this by encouraging other websites to link back to your site (this intertwines with your link building strategy).
Consumers have become more intelligent, and the internet has made the world a much bigger place (more competitive!) This has changed the landscape. Brands have to add VALUE before they can sell.
This is where content creation comes in. It’s all about creating content that will intrigue those browsing online while providing the solutions they need.
14. robots.txt File
Google Search Central states that “a robots.txt file is used primarily to manage crawler traffic to your site, and usually to keep a file off Google.”
Essentially these are web pages that you don’t want to be crawled, for example, repetitive pages or pages that don’t have value.
Note however that a robot.txt file is not meant to protect sensitive information like addresses and bank details. Here’s a resource on how to block content from being crawled.
Here are some tools for further elaboration:
15. HTTP Status
Thawte defines an SSL certificate as ” a bit of code on your web server that provides security for online communications.”
A website with an SSL certificate becomes HTTPS as opposed to HTTP.
SSL certificates are essential because:
- An SSL certificate protects user data like passwords and credit card numbers.
- It is also used to verify your ownership of the site and protects you from scammers creating copies of your website.
- When someone searches for your website online and they see HTTPS they know that they can trust your website as opposed to HTTP.
- According to Global Sign, “85% of online shoppers avoid unsecured websites.”
16. SEO Apps
There are many apps out there to help with your SEO results.
Here are a few SEO Apps:
Ubersuggest: Domain overview, top SEO pages, keyword suggestions and content ideas.
BuzzSumo: Discovery, research, influencers and monitoring.
Ahrefs: Site audit, site explorer, keyword explorer, content explorer and rank tracker.
Moz: Site audits, rank tracking, backlink analysis and keyword research.
Keyword Surfer: Chrome extension for content and keyword research.
keywordseverywhere: Key metrics and analytics.
All of the above can help guide you in improving your SEO results for your Shopify store, as well as providing valuable feedback on what is working and what isn’t.
Google hasn’t shared their algorithm with the world, so our best bet is to work within best practices and guidelines.
SEO is a long-term investment that can pay off with steady traffic growth over time. But it’s a slow process – there are a lot of factors to consider, and even small changes can take weeks or months to show results.
That’s why we put together this comprehensive checklist to help you prime yourself for success, track your progress and make sure you haven’t missed anything important.
We hope you find it helpful! Have you tried any of these techniques to improve your website ranking?
Ready to do Shopify the easy way? Book a call with KAMG!