Optimizing a Shopify Store – Tips for Online Merchants
by Arina Smith Sales & Marketing 19 July 2021
In recent years, Shopify has emerged as one of the leading eCommerce platforms due to the variety of benefits to prospective online merchants.
These benefits include ease of use, top-notch customer support, customizability, security, and reliability.
On top of that, the platform provides a diverse amount of tools that enable you to promote your site and products, including SEO and marketing tools.
Shopify allows you to sell in just a short time by giving practically everything you need, including a domain, hosting, shopping cart, payment options, and more.
And at the same time, the platform gives you a good measure of flexibility when it comes to promoting your site online through SEO and SEM.
The importance of Shopify SEO
You might ask yourself, “Why should I even bother to learn how to optimize my Shopify website?”
The answer is simple: because you want to get as many prospective buyers to visit your Shopify store and check out the products you are offering there.
Even if you have a product that’s truly one-of-a-kind, it doesn’t hurt to get as many eyeballs on it through the right optimization techniques.
And when it comes to promoting your Shopify store online, there are two widely accepted techniques that you should look into: search engine optimization or organic search and paid search.
Although it is possible to have some good measure of success using social media to promote your Shopify store, paid and organic search yield better results because users tend to use search engines when they are close to buying a product.
How different is Shopify SEO from basic SEO?
How different is Shopify SEO from regular or basic search engine optimization?
There are a few differences and similarities between the standard search engine optimization and Shopify SEO that are well worth looking into.
Many SEO basics can be applied to a Shopify store and its product pages.
For starters, product pages on your Shopify store should have unique meta titles and meta descriptions. Meta titles give users an idea of what the content of a particular page is. Meta descriptions, on the other hand, provide a summary of the content of a page.
And speaking of content, Shopify stores should also have unique content for each page. Simply put, duplicate content is a no-no as this can undermine your SEO efforts.
Content should be crafted to respond to user intent. When the content on a particular page doesn’t match user intent, the page visitor will simply abandon the page and check other stores.
Shopify stores can also benefit immensely from having a well-organized site structure complemented by internal linking.
Although there are similarities in optimizing a regular website and a Shopify store, there are also a few key differences that you need to be aware of.
a. Site structure
Ideally, your online store should have a unique URL for each page. That can be a challenge for Shopify SEO because of the platform’s default site structure.
To overcome this challenge, there are two things you can try. first, you can enforce a canonical directive. Second, you’ll have to make sure that search engines, especially Google, accept all the versions of your URLs.
The problem is that Google can sometimes choose the version of a URL that you aren’t trying to rank. The best way to overcome that problem is to hide the other URL from both users and search engines. Ideally, the shorter URL should be the one visible.
Robots.txt contains information about a website, including Shopify stores, which search engines can then read and interpret.
For a Shopify store, you’d want to stop search engines from crawling your checkout page. The problem is that the platform does not allow you to modify the robots.txt.
The best thing that you can do is to apply a noindex directive in your theme file to overcome this.
If you don’t want search engines, like Google, to crawl and index a particular URL in your Shopify store, you can’t modify the robots.txt.
Instead, you have to go to the theme.liquid file and then modify it using lines of code.
Pictures are an invaluable tool when you are selling products online.
For your Shopify store, you have to make sure that each product image is optimized properly. That means making sure that each image has the right size and has an ALT text.
The products and brands that you offer in your Shopify store may change over time. But one thing that should remain in your store is valuable content.
Providing prospective buyers with helpful content can help nudge them to finally making the purchase. Plus, content has always been an invaluable tool for SEO.
Optimize your Shopify store for success
Shopify is an excellent platform for people who want to sell their products online, providing comprehensive tools that can get you started in a short span of time.
Nailing your Shopify SEO is critical, not only in driving traffic to your store. Equally important, Shopify SEO can help you play on a level playing field against your competitors.
And while the platform provides multiple tools that can help you promote your store organically, mastering the basics of Shopify SEO can benefit your store over the short and long term. Master these basics before moving to more advanced SEO techniques.