Despite what you’ve heard, your store fails or succeeds based on one simple factor…
Your ability to get consistent sales.
Drive more sales and your store will flourish. Struggle to generate sales and it puts your store in a risky position.
That’s what makes Shopify SEO so important.
SEO is one of the most underused and powerful strategies available to you as a Shopify store owner. It’s the best way to drive high-quality organic traffic to your website 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
And the best part?
Organic traffic is free and has high conversion rates.
What Will I Learn?
Ready to take your Shopify SEO to the next level?
Implement each of these Shopify SEO steps to rank your online store.
Shopify store owners underestimate the importance of store structure.
Store structure has a significant effect on:
Store structure will either give you a big SEO boost…Or become a huge problem that stunts your rankings. It can also affect your overall sales and conversions rates.
Bottom line – it’s something you need to take care of.
The first thing you want to review is your store’s hierarchy.
This is what separates your Shopify store’s home page from product categories and product pages listed under each category.
But no matter which structure you have (silo structure or flat structure), remember that as a general rule of thumb, you want visitors to be able to get from your home page to any product page within 3 clicks.
Home page > Category Page > Product Page.
Focussing on designing your Shopify store structure this way makes it easier for humans to navigate. As a bonus, it also makes it easier for search engines to crawl your websites.
You kill two birds with one stone.
The easiest way to review your store’s current structure is with Screaming Frog. It looks complicated to use but it’s actually pretty easy.
Download the free version of Screaming Frog and crawl your site with it.
Now click the directory tree icon in the Internal tab.
You can see that Shopify puts everything neatly in folders for:
This is a big bonus because Shopify has taken care of organising your site hierarchy folders on the back end making it easy for Google to crawl. You just need to ensure that each page’s click depth is less than three clicks from the home page.
Screaming Frog SEO Spider can help with that too.
You’ll notice a window that shows the overview, site structure, response time, and API on the right-hand side.
Change this from overview to site structure.
This brings up a super helpful graph to show you how many clicks it takes to get from your home page to each page on your site.
Notice with this example above that most pages are just 2 to 3 clicks from the homepage – this is a great website structure.
If yours doesn’t look similar to this, you’ve got some work ahead of you.
Store structure is like laying an SEO foundation for your Shopify store. Make sure it’s solid now so you can build on it later.
Google has said it time and time again…
Your rankings will suffer if you don’t pay attention to user experience.
In September 2021, Google made user experience even more important with the Google page experience update.
These metrics measure the quality of user experience your Shopify site delivers.
The pre-existing signals were:
The Core Web Vitals are:
Get these metrics right and your user experience will be crushing it.
While Google gives you all the free SEO tools you need to ensure your user experience is top-notch, Shopify, in general, takes care of the pre-existing Google experience items.
The main thing you will need to check is the mobile-friendly version of your Shopify store.
To do so, just use the Google Mobile testing tool to ensure that your store’s mobile version is fully optimised.
Next, you need to get a full report of your Core Web Vitals. The easiest way to do that is with the Core Web Vitals report inside Google Search Console.
The report categorises every URL on your website into 3 categories:
Every URL needs to be categorised as Good. If you have any poor URLs, tackle these first and then work your way down the list.
Click on the report to get an even more detailed list of each URL.
This tells you exactly what’s wrong with each URL so you know what needs to be addressed.
(Check out my advice to create the best permalink structure for your site).
Google Search Console will update your URLs every now and then. If you want a real-time look at your core websites and your site’s overall speed – use the Google PageSpeed tool.
Based on the results, you can follow my shopify speed optimization tips to increase the speed of your e-commerce store.
Overall, this tool will allow you to dive deeper into what’s affecting each part of your core web vitals. It also tells you exactly what needs to be addressed.
It can be as simple as compressing a few images in some cases.
Follow this user experience update checklist to get a complete list of everything you need to optimise.
All searches start with words.
You also need to know what keywords relate to which part of the buying cycle.
Let me explain:
There are two core keyword types:
… are what customers search for when gathering information about a product or topic.
… are what customers use when they are finally ready to buy a product or a service.
Understanding what keywords are being used is important.
So you give the customer what they want at the right time.
Generally, you should be ranking your product and collection pages for commercial keywords (also called buyer keywords). Then target informational keywords by creating great content.
This way, you always provide your customers with what they need at the right time. Your search visibility improves and sales increase as well.
How do you find the right keywords to target? Follow this simplified process…
Keyword research starts with seed keywords.
These are the base search terms that you will use to find other target keywords.
Write down the most relevant keywords you can think of related to your products. You should come up with 3-5 seed keywords.
Now it’s time to use search engines to find other valuable keywords.
Search for each of your seed keywords using Soovle. This should give you a ton of high-value long-tail keywords you can use for your campaign.
You should have a good-sized list of target keywords.
Now you want to get some real data on each of the keywords.
Type in each of your seed keywords into the search bar:
Semrush is a powerful tool and provides lots of data.
Specifically, look at reports that provide:
This provides both informational and commercial keywords you can use for your SEO campaign. As a bonus, Semrush tells you what questions your customers are asking about your product.
This gives your great content ideas to write about.
Can’t afford Semrush? Check out my list of free keyword research tools.
Here’s the truth-
Ecommerce SEO is competitive. Your competitors only rank in the top spots because they have spent a lot of time and money.
Smart SEOs leverage their competitor’s hard work to get their best keywords. This always gives us the best results for our clients.
This sheet analyses your top competitors and spits out a personalised keyword research strategy in minutes.
It also does a bunch of other awesome things like:
Think your Shopify site product pages like a salesperson in a retail store.
If anyone is on your product page, the only thing you want them to do is to buy.
That means optimising your product pages for SEO has 2 important aspects:
Finding the balance can be really tricky. But don’t make this mistake…
Your product pages should first be optimised for humans – not search engines. There’s no point in driving tons of organic traffic to your site if it doesn’t convert into real sales.
Here’s how you do it.
First and foremost, show your value proposition. Most people arrive on a product page and think:
“Why should I buy from this store?”
You need to answer that question first. Those people are on your site to buy the product you sell. You just need to convince them that you’re the store to buy it from.
Ensure that you:
This ensures that your customers have all the information they need to buy. You’ll also build the trust your customer needs to feel comfortable buying from you.
Now that your product pages are optimised for humans, it’s time to focus on Google.
Too many store owners copy and paste their product descriptions from their supplier’s websites. Don’t make this mistake.
You must have completely unique product descriptions or your pages won’t rank. It’s as simple as that.
The most important Shopify SEO elements on a product page are:
A hidden secret in Shopify SEO is optimising your images.
Tons of people will search in Google Images when looking for a specific product. Good image SEO means you’ll show up in their results.
Ensure that you add relevant and descriptive ALT text to your images.
You must also name your images appropriately using hyphens to separate words.
Don’t underestimate the power of image SEO in ecommerce.
Content is the easiest way to increase your search traffic and build relationships with potential customers.
The best part?
When you get good at consistently writing killer content, your search traffic grows and so do your sales.
You should have a list of keywords ready to go. Now you want to use those keywords to understand what content your audience wants to read.
There are 3 ways that I get more content ideas:
Take your target keyword and search for it on a forum like Reddit.
You should see a ton of threads where people are asking questions and talking about the topic. This will tell you exactly what people are interested in learning about in regards to that topic.
Now search for your target keyword in Google and scroll down to the Related Searches section at the bottom of the search results.
This section will tell you similar searches that people are making in Google and will give you some more ideas of what you need to talk about in your content.
Head over to AnswerThePublic and search for your target keyword.
This keyword scraper provides a complete list of questions people are asking related to your keyword. This is an absolute gold mine for helping you create quality content that benefits your audience the most.
Those three strategies make it easy to understand exactly what your content should include.
You can use them for your:
Whatever website content you write, you now know what your audience wants to read.
Your blog content needs to be “framed” properly.
A “frame” is a simple way of identifying how best to present your content so your audience gets as much value as possible.
There are 8 proven frameworks you can take advantage of:
Before writing a single word, choose the most relevant framework for your post. This creates a structure for your content and makes it easier to write.
After more than 10+ years of writing content…
There are some guiding principles that have proven themselves to be the most effective.
Use these principles to write content your audience loves:
You want to provide value AND be relatable.
The best way to do that is to write how you speak. Readers want to feel like they are sitting in the same room talking to you.
This is how you connect with your audience and keep them coming back for more.
Make sure you check out my complete killer website content tutorial so you can create content that attracts people.
Ecommerce SEO is very competitive. If you really want to rank in the top spots, you need to build high-quality links from relevant sources.
But don’t worry…
There are a couple of proven link building strategies that work extremely well for ecommerce stores.
Competitor analysis is the most efficient way to build high-quality backlinks to your site.
Then you simply replicate your competitor’s links. Here’s why this works so well:
If a website is linked to your competitor, they will likely link to you as well.
Download my free intelligent backlink theft spreadsheet.
This is the same tool we use to build links for our clients. It automatically analyses your competitor’s backlink profiles and tells you which backlinks you should focus on replicating first.
With this spreadsheet, you’ll be able to build high-quality links at scale that actually increase your search engine rankings.
Internal linking is one of the most underrated SEO strategies.
It has the power to boost your search traffic like crazy. An intelligent internal linking strategy is especially powerful for Shopify SEO.
Internal linking gives you more control over the flow of your visitors around your website. Internal link anchor text is also used by Google to understand the importance of a page.
In other words, internal linking helps:
Ready to start building more internal links?
Watch my internal link building tutorial below to learn my top 3 strategies:
There’s one more internal linking hack that works exceptionally well for ecommerce stores: In your blog content, add relevant internal links to your product pages.
It’s the best way to move your organic traffic down your sales funnel and increase sales.
Use the relevant anchor text when linking from blog posts to product pages. This can help increase the rankings of your product pages.
Shopify stores are notorious for duplicate content.
It’s something that you have to get on top of.
“Duplicate content” is when you have multiple versions of the same page on your website with different URLs.
Why is this a problem?
Short answer: Google doesn’t know which page to rank.
When you have multiple versions of the same page, Google doesn’t know which is the original page that it should display in the search results.
Duplicate content on Shopify stores usually occurs in product pages and tags.
The easiest way to test whether you have duplicate content issues is with Siteliner.
Add your website into the search bar and click Go. Siteliner will detect and highlight any duplicate content errors you may have.
Found duplicate content error?
Fix it using canonical tags.
“Canonical tags” are simple pieces of code that let Google know that you’re aware of the duplicate content and tell them which is the right page to rank.
Shopify automatically generates canonical tags to prevent duplicate content, which works most of the time.
But sometimes – you’ll need to take matters into your own hands. Follow my canonicalization tutorial to prevent duplicate content errors on your Shopify store.
If you aren’t taking advantage of Shopify SEO tools and apps…
You are missing out!
Part of Shopify’s success as a platform is due to its app store. There are tons of great apps to take advantage of to make your SEO life so much easier.
My favourite SEO app on the Shopify store is SEO Manager.
SEO Manager is an all in one search engine optimization app that features more than 20 tools. It helps you manage your SEO needs and makes it easy to optimise your store with clear directions.
Shopify has also built some great SEO features into the platform.
Ensure that you take advantage of them to give your SEO a boost. Some of the built-in Shopify SEO features include:
These great features help you with a good portion of your technical SEO needs.
Interested in the ecommerce industry? Check out these ecommerce statistics.
Shopify offers a ton of benefits.
It’s one of the best platforms available to get your physical products online and start taking payments.
Review the following pros and cons of Shopify to decide whether it’s right for you.
There’s a lot to love about Shopify.
These are of the biggest Shopify pros:
There’s no doubt that Shopify has some amazing pros which have made the platform so successful, but… there are some cons to Shopify as well.
GROWTH ALERT: Sign up for my free video training series.
Shopify SEO can be overwhelming.
If you are not confident, I recommended getting Shopify SEO services to take care of it for you. That way you can focus on growing your online stores while letting professionals take care of your SEO.
Shopify has its own expert marketplace.
You’ll find tons of SEO experts who understand how to get the most out of the Shopify platform.
I recommend writing down exactly what you want before talking to anyone. This helps you communicate your SEO needs before you engage an SEO service.
When you are ready, look through the list of Shopify SEO experts on the Marketplace and find an agency that suits your needs. Make sure you review the feedback to ensure that the SEO service knows what they are doing.
Sometimes you just need to talk to a real pro!
As someone who’s passionate about ecommerce SEO, I have helped heaps of Shopify store owners grow their traffic and revenue with SEO.
I know the huge benefit that SEO brings to online store owners.
In my SEO consultations, I can help you:
And anything else you need.
If you’re ready to level up your Shopify SEO, book an SEO consultation with me here.
There you have it.
The complete Shopify SEO guide.
As you can see, SEO doesn’t have to be complicated. Just spend the time to implement each of the above SEO tips on your own store.