- By: Ricky Hayes July 2, 2020
How to do SEO Right for Your Shopify Store
In the beginnings of eCommerce, there were a few online stores – prompting proprietors to focus their energies on making aesthetically attractive stores and wait for customers to find them.
However, with the advent of technology, several people have gotten in on the game. Additionally, the industry has become saturated with online stores because of the low entry requirements to sign up on eCommerce platforms.
Using attractive Shopify themes to reel in your target market just won’t cut it anymore. To get your Shopify store noticed, you need to implement savvy marketing techniques.
One of the ways to do this is by utilizing SEO marketing strategies. After building your site, you need to actively promote it and also use other methods to push your brand to the top.
In this article, we take you through the various steps of optimizing your Shopify store for search engines so that customers can find it easily.
7 Steps to Optimizing Your Shopify Store for Search Engines
Having great products listed on excellent Shopify themes won’t bring in the amount of traffic that you need to make your store profitable. To take your books into the black, you need to engage in SEO marketing.
To stand head and shoulders above your competitors, you need to appear ahead of them in search engine result pages.
Here is how you can utilize SEO marketing to boost traffic to your online store.
1. Get Started with the Recommended Tools
Before you can get into the nitty-gritty of doing SEO marketing for your store, you need to set up some tools and register your site.
First off, you need to register your site with Google Search Console. This ensures that Google knows about your website. Although the majority of web users search for things through Google, there’s a significant percentage that uses other search engines like Bing.
You, therefore, need to submit your site to Bing Webmaster Tools so that this search engine is also aware of your Shopify store.
Additionally, set up Google Analytics so that you can keep an eye on traffic behavior in your store.
2. Refine Your Site Structure
Create a store structure that’s logical and intuitive. This means that your site’s structure should follow a logical model, enabling all pages to be found easily without too much thought going into the process.
The way your site is organized enables the search engine’s bots to easily crawl your site, noting where everything is. Additionally, a well-organized site helps your customers to easily find what they’re looking for.
From the Home page, you’d want to list the different categories with subcategories underneath them and finally the product pages.
3. Provide A Smooth User Experience
Search engines consider your site to have value if they find that customers stay longer on it and find what they want. The search engine’s goal is to provide web users with value so that they can keep using it.
So, they’ll rank your site high in the results if they deem it to provide value to the users who visit it.
One way to increase your site’s dwell time is to ensure that it loads very quickly and is highly responsive. When choosing Shopify themes, ensure that you select one whose features don’t hinder your site speed.
Additionally, you can provide a good user experience by ensuring that your Shopify store is well-optimized to work on mobile devices without any glitches or additional actions required from the customer.
4. Research Your Target Keywords
Keywords are the words or phrases that you believe your prospective customers type into a search engine when looking for the products you offer. However, your competitors are also eyeing those same keywords.
This leads to a situation where there’s too much competition for that word, making it impossible for your Shopify store to rank first, let alone on the subsequent pages.
The solution to this is to research keywords that have less competition but still bring in a sizeable amount of traffic to your site.
Tools like Google’s Keyword Planner show you the words you’re interested in and the search volume they generate. This helps you to winnow out the highly competitive terms and focus on those that you can properly rank for.
If you don’t have the budget to pay for the more sophisticated keyword tools, you can use your buyer personas to guess what they would ask when they want your product. Additionally, you can google your product and examine the “People also ask” section to see the alternative phrases you can optimize your pages for.
SEO marketing also involves using different keywords and phrases for the various product pages, categories and blog posts.
5. Optimize the Different Product Page Elements
To increase the SEO strength of your Shopify store, you need to optimize the different elements of your product pages. These elements include the various titles and headings, meta descriptions, alt text, file names and links.
Optimizing these various elements includes the use of the keywords you settle on after your research. Furthermore, you need to follow your aforementioned site structure when you’re optimizing the elements. This acts as a guide of what you’ve already done and what’s pending.
Shopify themes always have the main heading of each page as the H1 heading. Ensure that each page has only one main heading so that you don’t muddle up the site structure.
This also maintains the smooth experience that you’re shooting for because the H1 tag welcomes users to the product page so that they know where they are on your site.
These are the headings that appear in the search engine result pages. You need to add your preferred keyword when editing title tags so that search engines can pick it up. Additionally, when users see the title with the keyword, they are more likely to click on it because it has what they want.
Keep the title tags at about 50 to 55 characters in length. This prevents search engines from truncating it in the results pages, allowing your potential customers to read it in its entirety.
These are the bits of text that appear under the title tags in the search engine result pages. They give further information about what the page entails, enabling the user to get a better idea of what the linked page contains.
To get your point across in a concise manner, you need to limit the meta descriptions to 155 characters. Including the target keywords, you show both the search engine and users what the page is about.
For both the titles and meta descriptions, the copy should be directed at the users and not the search engine. This makes the text sound more human, leading to a higher clickthrough rate. This activity strengthens the page’s ranking in the search results.
Web Addresses (URLs)
Every single page in your Shopify store has a web address known as the URL. This is the link in the search results that points to the product page on your site.
You can optimize your product web addresses by incorporating keywords and phrases in the slug portion of the URL. If your target phrase is a long-tail keyword, you will need to shorten it so that the page’s web address isn’t overly long.
Image Alternative Text
On the surface, it appears that you can’t incorporate SEO practices on the images on your product pages. After all, it’s just an image. How can the search engine spiders tell what it depicts?
Well, the second largest search engine in the world is Google Images. You, therefore, want to make sure that your product images show up in the search results. Append text to your images to ensure that the bots can identify the objects and utilize them in assigning a rank to your page.
This means add alternative text to your images and give them file names, too. The alt text describes an image and lets the bots know what it is.
Good alt text is detailed and uses the target keyword – without stuffing – while keeping the entire description in the context of the page.
Search engines also examine the file name of the image to identify it. It is, therefore, prudent to edit the default file name that your photo processing software gives the image.
In many Spotify themes, it’s a lengthy process to change the file name. You’ll have to delete the image and rename it then reupload it. To circumvent this, name all your image files appropriately before uploading them onto the product pages.
6. Create An Off-Page SEO Strategy
The previous points are all on-page SEO actions because they include tinkering directly with your store pages. However, there are other steps you can take to improve SEO on your Shopify store without tweaking anything on the platform.
One way to get search engines to hold your Shopify store in high esteem is to have links to your site from high authority sites. If sites with a high domain authority are referencing your site, it means you have something of value to offer.
You can get these links through a concerted effort to get referring domains to mention your brand. This concerted effort of attaining backlinks is known as link building.
A sound link building strategy involves getting brand mentions in the press, guest blogging on higher domain authority sites, joining and participating in industry forums as well as engaging in influencer outreach.
You can also keep an eye on your competitor’s backlinks by using special tools. This will help you frame your link building strategy to beat out theirs.
7. Engage in Content Marketing
Many Shopify store owners are tempted to only talk about only their products when they have a chance to craft content. However, SEO marketing by using content means you have to vary the kind of creative material you offer.
Prospective and previous customers find it refreshing when you have content that talks about other issues in the same or related niche. These can be blog posts or even video content that is an offshoot of your product but in the same category.
This content provides solutions and makes your brand a leading voice in your niche. Search engines love sites that offer value to their visitors.
Coming up with the meat of the content might seem difficult. One way to find what to write about is by typing your product or general niche into the search engine. Find questions that people ask and use them as topics to write about.
Another advantage of content marketing is that you can add links to your Shopify store in the content. This increases traffic to your site and broadens your chances of making conversions.
Getting your SEO marketing strategy right requires plenty of commitment and work. This is because your competition isn’t resting on its laurels either. They’re employing similar tactics, making it a lengthy process to see any visible results.
However, you should keep at it. The benefits of doing rightly optimizing your Shopify store become apparent after some months.