What is Shopify SEO? How do you get your e-commerce store to rank well on Google and attract good traffic? Read this guide and learn our very best strategies!
SEO is probably the most talked about topic in digital marketing. Every business wants a good share of traffic from Google. Today, Shopify SEO is going big especially as we head into 2021.
Every store wants more (real) traffic thus fights for the same search traffic. And I’m guessing that’s exactly why you’re here.
To learn how to grow your traffic and business as a whole by ensuring you optimize your site properly.
The case isn’t different for you as a Shopify store owner. Most SEO strategies on the internet do not touch the specifics of SEO for Shopify store owners but with the help of this guide, you’ll improve your store’s traffic and SERPs.
But before we move on, let’s understand what Shopify SEO means?
SEO as we all know it means Search Engine Optimization. And Shopify is simply an all in one commerce platform to help you start and grow a successful online store. And if you’re wondering, this doesn’t matter whether you drop-ship or sell your inventory.
Shopify as a platform offers a vast number of features aimed at ensuring the success of its users. For example, the ability to create blog content or redirect certain URLs.
Shopify SEO is the improvement or changes that you make on your Shopify store to get the best out of search engines for your online store.
I mean, if you could get Google to double your traffic, then you could also double your sales, purchases, and customer acquisition rate.
So in this guide, we’ll be talking to you about some of the best and strategic SEO tactics to double your store’s traffic and boost your search engine performance.
Ready? Let’s get in…
What are some tips for Shopify SEO?
Companies out there pay $10,000s monthly on search engine optimization. When done properly search engine optimization can be one of the major pillars of your business online.
Unlike what SEO used to be decades away, it’s completely changed and there are a couple of things you need to understand to be able to get your SEO game right.
Just a few years ago, your website or business could thrive online just by creating a domain name and a few pages. Today, it’s a lot more than that.
Social platforms like Pinterest and Instagram are starting to act more like search engines and less like social media networks.
Also, there are more websites today than there ever was in 2010 or 2000.
In fact, according to Pingdom, there were 255 million websites as of 2010. This number has sprouted to over 1.7 billion as of January 2020.
That’s a huge increase in the number of entrepreneurs, people, businesses, companies, agencies, etc. going after search or organic traffic.
I’ve been around SEO for more than a decade now and I can say it’s changed so much that you could lose your website if you don’t continuously follow Google’s ever-changing algorithm and it’s terms and conditions.
Your website can lose its organic traffic by breaking Google’s terms for good SERPs.
This shows you to succeed online at search or organic traffic, you must be able to stay on top of trends to get the best practices from those who are continuously trying and testing different things regarding SEO, Social or Ads.
Hint: that’s Us 🙂
So let’s get into the real deal; a peek at some of the best Shopify SEO techniques to implement right away!
Before that, let’s quickly go through why Shopify as an e-commerce platform is great for SEO. And I’m also going to share the only thing I would want to be improved when it comes to getting the best from search engines as a Shopify user.
Is Shopify good for SEO in 2021?
Here are a few features that help with SEO on Shopify.
- Easy Backend Administration: Shopify is great for SEO because it is super easy to use. The dashboard, apps, and features make the whole experience seamless even as a beginner.
- Highly flexible to your preference: I’ll prefer WordPress when it comes to flexibility (though more complicated) but Shopify is also truly great. You can do a lot of things with your Store that can help you grow your traffic and brand authority.
- Easy to use /saves time & money: Unlike WordPress or most platforms, Shopify is easier to use this saves a lot of time. Just like I’ve mentioned, WordPress might have more features for websites which makes it more complex and time-consuming to use. Shopify on the other hand doesn’t require as much time to manage or build.
- Has advanced & fantastic SEO features: Shopify also has advanced Shopify features available for its users. It has advanced SEO apps you can use. Most of which are free for premium users. Some of these apps are SEO BOOSTER by Secomapp, SEO OPTIMIZER by Booster Apps, and AMP by Shop Sheriff.
- Secured Payment Gateway and HTTPS: One of the things Google loves about any website is its security. Today, there are millions of SPAMMERS and Frauds all over the internet and these make web usage risky especially when you make payments online. So the more secure your website is, the more likely your website will be recommended by search engines. This also helps increase the average time spent by a user on your website. Shopify has built apps for users to help keep their users or customers safe.
- Web content management system to update your website and one store: One of the most powerful ways to grow your organic traffic is by creating content consistently. Shopify offers a content management platform that is super important in building your SERPs quickly.
- Finally, Shopify meets the full W3C standards!
7 Actionable Shopify SEO Strategies for Your Ecommerce Store.
Let’s look at some of the most effective Shopify SEO strategies for Shopify Users.
1. Tweak Your Online Store’s User Experience, First!
The first thing that I tell Shopify users who are trying to grow their organic traffic is to focus on improving user experience (UX).
Why’s that so?
The way your website visitors behave on your online store hugely affects your search rankings.
Think about it…
What if a lot of visitors engage with your page?
What if most always drop a comment on your pages?
What if most of your visitors stay for at least 3-5 minutes before leaving your website?
All of these are different ways that your users engage or behave on your website and I believe is the true thing we need to focus on when it comes to great search rankings.
I see this taking over the SEO game completely especially as we head into 2021.
Search engines would pay more attention to user experience and less on metrics like backlinks, domain age, domain authority, etc.
Now do not get me wrong.
These metrics (backlinks, domain age, domain authority, etc.) still pay a huge role in today’s SEO. But if you’ll agree with me, we’ve seen thousands of websites try to hack these.
For example, you have a lot of black hat SEO websites selling backlinks that are cheap and will only clearly hurt your Shopify store.
We strongly believe the comfort of your visitors will start to hold the biggest weight when it comes to ranking on search engines.
Now, how do you improve your Store’s user experience?
There are several ways that you can improve your website’s user experience but here are specific strategies to try out (really effective!):
- An organized website or structure for your online store.
- Use Crazyegg to tell what your users are doing on your store’s website.
- Collect customer feedback.
- Display social proof (followers, testimonials, etc.).
Site or store structure is one of the most overlooked ways to better improve your website and business. A lot of businesses out there never plan out how their site should look like.
Most online stores simply plan out all the products, get a good name for the store, get your branding right, create social media channels, and then hire someone to build their Shopify store.
Now, that’s not completely bad but the only problem we have with it is that you don’t get to build your website structure.
What will users see first when they land on your website?
How fast does your page load?
Which menu should display on the menu and which should be displayed on the desktop only?
What icons, features, or blocks should be optimized for mobile and which should be removed?
What buttons should you use?
How do you keep your potential customers to stay longer on your website?
Have a proper design of what pages you want your store’s website to have and exactly how.
This would ensure a systematic experience between your potential customers and your websites.
Remember, the longer your visitors stay on your website, the better chances you have at selling them plus the more chances you have of growing your organic traffic quickly.
2. Build backlinks to your store.
Yes, I know you’ve probably heard that the number of links to a page was the factor that had the highest correlation to high Google rankings yet according to this research on Ahrefs, 55% of pages have zero backlinks pointing to them.
That’s awful looking how powerful it can be in generating organic traffic.
Building backlinks to websites can be overwhelming, frustrating and most times difficult to execute.
I mean, the reach outs, emailing, building relationships, etc all add up to the dirty work of reaching out.
Most times, your emails or messages would even be deleted, ignored, or sent to the SPAM folder.
But what’s the easiest way to build backlinks to your online store?
It’s simply through content!
Why’s creating content such a huge strategy to generate backlinks to your online store?
Well, a study proved that content receives over 77% more backlinks to web pages.
We’ve used content to build 1000s of backlinks within a relatively short period on different websites that have gone to rank up high on Google.
How do we do that over and over again?
We simply create good content and then promote it.
Not just good content but content our target customers are probably searching for on Google.
So let’s assume that you sell iPhone accessories on your Shopify store.
You may find your potential customers searching for terms like:
- What iPhone accessories do I need?
- What cases can use wireless charging?
- How do you add favorite accessories on the iPhone?
- What accessories do I need for my iPhone 11?
Get the idea?
You could create content on these topics and then easily build backlinks to the pages.
3. Rank higher with content marketing
Talking about creating content, I decided to put out this point entirely on its own.
Because it’s a huge topic on its own.
Content marketing is king and if you want to get the best of search engines, then you need to master the art of content writing & marketing.
Now, first, you must understand the difference between content creation and content marketing.
Creating content simply involves the writing, taping, or recording aspects while content marketing is the aspect where you drive traffic, backlinks, and engagements to the content you’ve created.
So for online stores, how do you create and market your content?
In a nutshell, what’s content marketing like for online stores?
Now some of the best ways we’ve found to promote content (depending on the content type) for online stores are;
- Facebook & Instagram Ads.
- Email reach outs.
- Community groups and platforms.
- Influencers reach outs.
Facebook ads are probably the best ways to promote your store online especially if it’s new. We’ve tested Facebook ads for numerous online stores now and it’s one of the fastest ways to grow your brand’s voice, followership, influence, and customers.
But what’s the one thing most people don’t use Facebook ads for?
Most stores would probably promote products or product pages rather than a page with a headline like;
- best iphone wireless chargers
Is that correct?
But come to think of it…
If 10K-100K people search “best iphone wireless chargers” monthly and you’re able to rank blog content that mentions more than one product on your store then you should be able to drive more sales in the long run.
Think about this…
Isn’t it better to spend nothing to get a customer?
I mean, Facebook ads could generate 1000s of leads for your store but you’d have to pay for every lead.
The moment you stop paying, all your leads stop coming in.
And that’s especially bad for your online store.
But with good SEO, the older your store gets, the easier it becomes to attract traffic that converts.
I mean, create good (evergreen) content today, and rank it up. In 5 years, it’ll still have the potential of sending 1000s of free visitors to your store’s website.
Get the idea?
So instead of only promoting product pages, we also use Facebook to promote our content. And since this is good content, our visitors easily convert and engage with the pages (which then improves our search rankings).
Email reach outs are still a thing in 2020 even as we approach 2021.
Yes, they might not be as effective as it was in say 2012, but it still produces great results but you need a good approach for this to happen.
For example, for your email reach outs to work in 2020, you need to focus on building relationships and not getting a favor.
For every content that we create, we reach out to both influencers and people in that space who we think might be interested in the content that we’ve just created.
If they like it, they share it.
Key: we focus on building relationships first before asking for shares or favors.
To ensure we don’t miss out on any good traffic, we reach community groups and platforms like Pinterest Group Boards, LinkedIn & Facebook groups, etc.
4. Research the right target keywords for your e-commerce product pages and tags.
Keyword research is often ignored by online stores as they tend to focus more on “quick traffic” (Facebook & Google Ads) for generating customers for their businesses.
Nonetheless, keyword research is crucial for attracting organic traffic to your store.
I mean, you need to be going after keywords and phrases your target customers are searching for.
We do this by generally searching the Internet for frequent words, phrases, and questions asked by people that are my target customers.
Why’s this keyword research so important?
In simple words, knowing what people are searching for online will help you to provide them with their right solutions, guides, or help.
For example, if you want to go higher on Google, you’ll publish helpful pages that are related to your target keywords.
With proper keyword research, you’ll know what words to use, what questions to answer, and what headlines to use for every page you create.
Keyword research helps a lot and lets me show you quickly how to do proper keyword research for your online store step by step.
- Firstly, scout community channels for frequent words, phrases, sentences, and questions. You can use Facebook groups, Pinterest boards, Quora, Twitter, etc. to find frequent terms used by your target customers. Depending on what you sell, we find Pinterest and Twitter to be untapped platforms for keyword research.
- Go after commercial keywords (not generic keywords). You may ask; what are commercial keywords? Well, unlike generic keywords, the person searching is more likely to make a purchase. That is, the Google user is more purchase-ready. I mean someone who searches for men’s shoes for weddings black, is more likely to purchase a product than someone who searches for men’s shoes.
- Use Amazon to check through products and product pages. Gotten a few keywords that you might want to target for your online store? The next step is to check Amazon (since it’s the largest) and look through some of the product pages and product listings to get the best overview of the keywords used by both your competitors and potential customers
5. Use the Best Shopify SEO Apps and Tools.
This is probably the best thing about Shopify. You can employ third-party apps and tools to help optimize your store’s SEO.
It’s similar to plugins. All you need to do is find and install then. You’re good to go!
What are our top suggestions?
Here are some of the best Shopify SEO tools for Store owners:
6. Optimize your Shopify products pages.
How are your product pages?
What do they target?
Do they even target a specific buyer or you do not pay attention to that?
Well, if you don’t, it’s time you do.
Because your customers are out there searching for YOU. How do you then reach them?
By simply using keywords strategically to locate them through search engines like Google.
Now Google bots search literally every page that is being published online. And it does this every single minute!
The Google search index machine contains hundreds of billions of pages and is now over one hundred million gigabytes in size.
Now that’s a lot but how do you get your web pages ranking at the top?
You simply need to optimize every page on your Shopify store. With the right words, phrases, questions, and answers.
Here’s how we do it…
Before we begin any keyword or page optimization, we first know and understand what buyers in our space are using to find and buy products.
This is key because you don’t want to target keywords that are not being searched for. That’s like creating products no one is demanding.
There are several SEO tools, apps, and services like Ahrefs, Ubersuggest, Google Keyword Planner, and SEMRush.
The next important thing we do in our store’s website is we go through every page and make sure it’s optimized for the right keywords. If your store is new, you want to create pages that target keywords you want your products to rank for. Here:
- We optimize all title tags for every product page we create.
- Create unique meta-descriptions for each product or page.
- Used effective keywords in all image alt tags.
- Used rich snippets.
- Always linked to other pages on our store (internal linking) and also to pages on other websites.
- Ensured there was no double pages or plagiarism.
- Lastly, we ensure that reviews and customer ratings are efficiently displayed on each page. This would also be crawled and displayed in search results.
7. Use Videos, A Lot!
Do you know that using videos in e-commerce marketing improves conversions by 85%?
The same research also reports that videos also help with SEO and increases your email open rates by a whopping 96%.
Yes, I had to create a different space for videos as they’re becoming bigger and bigger over the last couple of years. It’s so powerful, sixty-four to eighty-five percent say they’re more likely to buy a product after watching a video about the product.
Did you also know that about 50% of people selected “my products won’t look the same when they arrive” as their biggest concern when it comes to shopping for things online? Personally, that’s my biggest fear too!
Customers generally have low attention spans and you don’t want to miss that because the moment you do, you probably lose them for life.
This is possibly so because everyone is busy and will not probably have the time to read through every bit of your product descriptions and descriptions.
33% of people say they prefer to learn about a certain product through videos.
Now, what type of videos should you create? Here are a few video content ideas to get you started for your online store:
- Product video review.
- Explainer videos.
- How-to videos.
- Q & A videos.
- Testimonial videos etc.
Videos are becoming so popular they can be the pillars of your overall store’s marketing.
Finally, How Can You Rank a Shopify Store on Google?
In summary, here’s how this guide can help you rank your Shopify store on Google.
- Improve user experience
- Build backlinks to your webpages.
- Leverage content marketing.
- Research and use the best and commercial keywords.
- Use the best Shopify SEO Apps.
- Use videos in your e-commerce marketing – this can improve your conversion rates by up to 85%.
What Shopify strategies are most effective to you? Have you tried any of the strategies we’ve discussed above?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.