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12 Important SEO Tips for Shopify Ecommerce Platform

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12 Important SEO Tips for Shopify Ecommerce Platform

Ashok Sharma
12 Important SEO Tips for Shopify Ecommerce Platform

Shopify is one of the most recommended e-commerce platforms used by online sellers to set up their online retail businesses. If you are running a Shopify e-commerce Platform and looking for some SEO tips for your Shopify store, then look no further! I have compiled a list of SEO tips that are fundamental for running a successful Shopify e-commerce store to increase online visibility. Follow these easy-to-follow tips below to discover all the essentials for improving the SEO of your Shopify store.

 The Reasons Why You Should Choose Shopify E-commerce for Your Online Store:

  • Highly flexible and tailor to your specific requirements.
  • Easy backend administration
  • Shopify has lots of built-in tools
  • Advanced e-commerce Platform with fantastic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) features.
  • Shopify e-commerce Platform is easy to use with no coding skills required; you automatically save time and money.
  • You can visit the Shopify e-commerce feature list here: https://www.shopify.in/tour/ecommerce-cms.

What do you get with Shopify E-commerce Platform?

  • Web based Content Management System to update your website and online store.
  • Meets full W3C standards.
  • Fully secure payment gateway.
  • Easily Integrates with POS systems.
  • Customized website design and full control of HTML & CSS.
  • Customer support with technical Advisor help.

And much more- Click here for a full overview of features and benefits.

SEO Tips For the SHOPIFY E-commerce Platform

So you have setup the newly Shopify platform for your online store and want to implement SEO techniques. Shopify is advanced e-commerce Content Management System & shopping cart with built in Search Engine Optimization elements. These SEO elements ensure the enhanced traffic and sale to your website from search engines (Google, Yahoo, and Bing).

 Following are the 12 major tips that need to be covered for improving the SEO of your SHOPIFY store:

  • Remove duplicate content from your Shopify store.
  • Create unique page title and write meta descriptions for your pages.
  • Optimize your store images.
  • Link your products page from the home page.
  • Technical SEO for SHOPIFY is mandatory.
  • Canonical tag and Domain Canonicalization.
  • Add your sitemap.xml to Google Search Console.
  • Google Analytics Integration.
  • Build high-quality backlinks to your Shopify store.
  • Don’t inadvertently neglect to set up 301 redirects for old product pages
  • Install the free Product Review App.
  • Configure the blog feature in your Shopify Platform.

Remove Duplicate Content From Your Store

Duplicate content generally refers to the content that completely matches with other web page content.  For any Shopify website, duplicate content can be a disaster in a search engine, like Google, Bing, & Yahoo and others, identify duplicate content.

Many Shopify stores have duplicate content, and this may have an adverse effect on search engine rankings, and your store could be penalized by search engines. The duplicate content removal tip has gained a great significance, due to the fact it has the biggest impact on the search engine.    

Just in case, you should perform tests and checks as often as possible in order to make sure all of your content is 100% unique. Luckily, there are tools like Copyscape Plagiarism Checker, which will detect duplicate content.

“According to Google Content Guidelines, Google describes duplicate content as:

Duplicate content generally refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely matches other content or are appreciably similar. Mostly, this is not deceptive in origin. Examples of non-malicious duplicate content could include:

  • Discussion forums that can generate both regular and stripped-down pages targeted at mobile devices.
  • Store items are shown or linked via multiple distinct URLs.
  • Printer-only versions of web pages. 

Create Unique Page Title and Write Meta Descriptions for Your pages

Title and Meta Descriptions tags are important elements of any website for search engine rankings. The title tag and the meta description tags should include keywords related to the page content. These unique page meta data helps search engine to understand what the page is all about.

Each Title and Description must be written according to SEO best practices. The minimum word count for Title should be 60 character and 160 characters for description tag. This is a time-consuming process, but it is something you should definitely do, as it can help increase your search engine rankings.

 In your Shopify store, head to Online Store > Preferences to change your Title and Description.

shopify-title.jpg

shopify-description.jpg

PRO Tip: Avoid using stop words like "the”, “an” and “a” “or”, “but” “thus” and if”.
Use this format: Primary Keyword – Secondary Keyword | Brand Name 

Optimize Your Store Images

Image Optimization is necessary for your Shopify store to improve the website presence in Google and other search engines. All images must include the proper Alt-tags with relevant keywords.

When it comes to using images on a Shopify website, one thing that must be our first thing is, optimize the images for search traffic.

While creating alt-tags for your images, the key points to consider are:

  • Always add a proper description, without stuffing your keywords.
  • Use a unique alt-tag.
  • Alt-tags need to be short and describe the image clearly.
  • Don’t add alt tags for buttons and smaller images

To add alt text to Shopify, follow these steps:

  1. From your Shopify admin, click Products.
  2. Click on the product name that you want to edit.
  3. Hover over the product image and click ALT:

    alt.png

  4. Add or edit your alt text in the Image alt text box.
  5. Click Done to save the text.

Here is an article on how to add product images and add alt text. 

Always Link your Products page from the Home Page

Your home page is the main page of the website and also the most powerful page among all other pages. Creating a text navigation links on your homepage gives a clear path to your site visitors from the home page, and it is also useful for visitors because they can easily land on a product page instead of searching by navigating around your site.

Not to link to your products pages from a home page is common mistake most store owners make at some point. As a result, your important pages will be hidden deep in the store and visitor cannot find them easily.

PRO Tip: Make sure all of your product pages or important pages are visible at the top of the homepage via text navigation. By doing this, you literally serve them in front of your visitors. You can include a search box also.

Technical SEO for SHOPIFY is Mandatory

Technical SEO refers to any SEO activities/elements that do not include the content part. In technical SEO, a webmaster needs to ensure the followings elements with proper search engine guidelines:

  • Checking a robots.txt file so bots can crawl the site.
  • Ensure the site has a sitemap.xml file and add the sitemap.xml to Google Search Console.
  • Create a Google Webmaster Tools account and verify your ownership.
  • Create and Install Google Analytics.
  • Validate HTML and CSS
  • Correct any crawl errors and redirect issues.
  • Proper use of Heading tags (H1, H2 H3 and so on).
  • Canonical tag and Domain Canonicalization.
  • Run the URL through a tool like GTMetrix and Google PageSpeed Insights to Analyze the site’s speed on all devices.

Canonical Tag and Domain Canonicalization

Canonicalization refers to merging pages when there are multiple versions of the same thing. Any Shopify store can have three to five versions:

  • http://example.com
  • http://www.example.com  
  • https://example.com  
  • https://www.example.com  

All of the above pages are working with the same content, and none of these are redirected to a single page. This can result in a duplicate content issue on Google, and you can face penalties.

In your Shopify store, Head to Online Store > “Domains” then select “Redirect all traffic to this domain”:
 

redirect-all-traffic.png

Canonical tag: A canonical tag ("rel canonical") is a way of telling search engines that a particular URL is the preferred version you want to appear in search results. Proper usage of a canonical tag will help to prevent duplicate content issues from search engines.

The same product pages have dynamic URLs as below: 

  • https://www.example.com/products?category=dresses&color=green
  • https://example.com/dresses/cocktail?gclid=ABCD
  • https://www.example.com/dresses/green-dresses-are-awesome

Amongst the above URLs, the 3rd should be marked up with a canonical tag.

<link rel="canonical" href="https://www.example.com/dresses/green-dresses-are-awesome " />

Steps to add a canonical tag:

1 - In your Shopify admin, click Online Store and then click Themes.

2 - Find the theme you want to edit, click Actions, and then click Edit code.

3 - Under Layout, click theme.liquid.

4 - Paste the following code on the line above the closing </head> tag:

<title>

{{ page_title }}{% if current_tags %} &ndash; tagged "{{ current_tags | join: ', ' }}"{% endif %}{% if current_page != 1 %} &ndash; Page {{ current_page }}{% endif %}{% unless page_title contains shop.name %} &ndash; {{ shop.name }}{% endunless %}

</title>

{% if page_description %}

<meta name="description" content="{{ page_description | escape }}" />

{% endif %}

<link rel="canonical" href="{{ canonical_url }}" />

5 - Click Save.

For more information on this, visit this help page.

Add Your Sitemap.xml to Google Search Console

A sitemap is a file where you can add all the pages of your website to tell Google and other search engines spiders what to crawl/index on the website on a regular basis. Shopify stores automatically generate a sitemap.xml file that contains all the links to all the page of your website, including products.

You need to submit your sitemap to Google Search Console or Bing Webmaster Tool so that your site can be easily crawled and indexed. In Shopify the sitemap is located at the root directory of the store, e.g., example.com/sitemap.xml

 To submit the sitemap to Google Search Console:

  1. Sign In to Google Search Console.
  2. Click on your website URL.
  3. On the left side click on sitemap and Add/Test Sitemap.

    google-search-console.png

It may take a few days to process your request.

Google Analytics Integration

Google Analytics integration is a must to track and report website traffic.

Pro Tip: Always add Universal Analytics code, which is the latest version of Google Analytics.

Open your Shopify store Admin >click Online Store >click Preferences> Paste your tracking ID code snippet into the Google Analytics account field.

google-analytics.jpg

Build High-Quality Backlinks to Your Shopify Store

Do you want to enhance the number of visitors for your Shopify store? Quality backlinks is a very popular and good tip for everyone; you can get quality and targeted traffic quickly by creating a profile of your store on Amazon, Yelp, and multiple other websites. And, you will get strong backlinks as well as traffic in return, which will be a booster for your website.

Have a look at this comprehensive guide on link building strategies in 2017.

Don’t Inadvertently Neglect to Set Up 301 Redirects for Old Product Pages

In Shopify, if your product goes out of stock and you want to tell the search engines that a page is no longer available and permanently moved to a new page, 301 redirects is the perfect solution.

Main Problem: In any case, you have deleted your out of stock pages and not redirecting to a new page, there might be some potential customer drop. A solution for this to Create a URL redirect from your Shopify admin.

Online Store> Navigation> URL Redirects:
 

url-redirects.png

When to Use 301 redirection:

  1. When website pages/products are removed/moving to a new location and goes out of stock.
  2. Domains that are permanently moved.
  3. If there are 404 pages and expired content.

For more information on this, visit this help page.

Install the Free Product Review App

There is a variety of Shopify Apps to help you to optimize your store. There are free as well as paid apps, and you can find something by looking here: https://help.shopify.com/manual/apps

Shopify Product reviews is a free app to engage with your customer and add the product reviews to your online store. You can get this product review app for your store.

Benefits of using this free app:

  • It helps to Increase the sales of your products.
  • Add your product review scores to your Google search results.

Configure the Blog Feature in Your Shopify Platform

Your Shopify store comes with a built-in blog feature. Blogging is a great way to build your audience, earn more exposure, and drive more traffic and sales for your online business. It is highly recommended to add fresh/quality content regularly.

A nicely written post to help you with this is How to Add/Edit your Shopify blog.

Final Thoughts

All of the above mentioned 12 tips may not include everything you should know about Shopify SEO, but by following the above tips, you will be definitely ahead of your competitors. And, hopefully, will see significant traffic from search engines.

Ashok Sharma is a writer, blogger, Digital marketer and social media enthusiast. Ashok currently hold the position of Digital Marketing Manager at GrayCell Technologies. Follow him onTwitter, LinkedIn
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