The Complete Guide to Shopify SEO in 2023
February 28th 2023 | By Emma Grant
You’re all set up and raring to go with your ecommerce website. You’ve chosen Shopify, because you’re aware of its SEO-friendly features and appealing storefront designs. But competition in the world of online shopping is fierce, so making sure all your products are ranked in the search engines and easily found online is a must, as is going all-out to turn visitors into sales.
With all of this in mind, let’s delve into the subject of Shopify SEO and take a look at best practice, expert tips to get the most out of it, and the pitfalls to look out for.
Shopify is one of the leading ecommerce platforms and it’s safe to say it has its fair share of SEO-friendly features. But it also comes with a good few issues that need to be dealt with so that you can reap maximum rewards from your Shopify SEO campaign.
In this guide to Shopify SEO, we’re going to explore the key steps involved in getting the most out of your Shopify storefront so that you can enjoy top search engine rankings and sit pretty above your competition.
We’re going to cover:
- Optimising the structure of your Shopify ecommerce website
- Enhancing your online store user experience
- Keyword research for your online store content
- Shopify product page optimisation
- Shopify apps and SEO tools
1. Optimising the structure of your Shopify website
A well-structured Shopify website is contributes significantly to SEO success.
Visitors need to be able to find what they want to buy and the information they need, and fast. The more streamlined the structure of the website, the more likely a visitor is to spend time on it. And when that happens, it sends a positive signal to Google, which in turn improves rankings in the search results.
A nicely set out Shopify store also makes it easier for search engines to crawl the site and rank the products and pages. Having said that, you should always prioritise users when planning your site layout. A positive user experience will always translate as a positive for search engine success.
PRACTICAL ADVICE… the key piece of advice here is to keep things simple. You want to make sure products are only two or three clicks away from the home page, so that visitors don’t have to struggle to find what they want.
So your structure should look something like this:
Homepage > Category Page > Product Page
Homepage > Category Page > Sub-Category Page > Product Page
Bonus tip… we always recommend using Shopify Collections to enhance user experience. This is a great way to gather together products that aren’t usually hosted in the same place, making it faster for visitors to find what they want. It creates a nicely streamlined experience, whilst helping search engines better understand how your store is ordered, and how your products relate to each other.
All of this demonstrates the relevance of your website to search queries.
To ensure your Shopify website comes across as trustworthy to visitors, you should also include a contact page and an about page. These pages will boost your credibility and reassure visitors that your online store is genuine. Information about delivery and a returns and complaints policy will also provide added peace of mind.
Lastly, include a search tool on your Shopify site. SEO wise, this won’t bring much to the table, but it will help visitors quickly find what they’re looking for, which is a vital aspect of ecommerce optimisation.
2. Enhancing your online store user experience
A positive user experience is good for visitors and search engines alike.
Page speed is important here. You don’t want visitors frustrated that they can’t move through your site fast enough. If they have to wait too long for a page to load, they may well leave and head off to a competitor site.
PRACTICAL ADVICE… optimising site speed should be a priority for Shopify SEO. So be sure to keep image or video sizes down. Choose a fast, mobile-friendly theme. Remove any apps you don’t need, and avoid the use of sliders.
It’s so important to make sure your ecommerce site is mobile friendly. Huge numbers of shoppers browse online stores on a mobile device, which has led to massive growth in the m-commerce market.
According to Statista, retail sales from m-commerce in the United Kingdom are expected to surpass the £100 billion mark by 2024. This coincides with the high percentage of people using mobile devices.
In the UK, close to 100 percent of individuals between the ages 16 and 24 owned a smartphone in 2022.
3. Keyword research for your online store content
Choosing the right keywords for your Shopify SEO campaign is vital if you want to get traffic to your shop.
There are keyword research tools you can use for this step, but a good place to start is by putting yourself in the shoes of your customers and thinking carefully about the words or phrases they’d use to find your products.
Other keyword research tactics include looking at the keywords your competitors are using, checking out social media hashtags related to your products and searching online discussions on the subject of what you sell to gauge the vocabulary being used.
4. Shopify product page optimisation
Now you have your site structure pinned down, and you’ve done your keyword research, you are ready to optimise your Shopify store pages.
PRACTICAL ADVICE… start with your top level pages first. Your home page, main product collections and best-selling product pages. In other words, the money pages with the best conversion potential.
As well as making sure your researched keywords are naturally woven into your content at just the right keyword density, you will also need to target your meta tags, in particular your meta titles and meta descriptions, and your image alt tags.
Meta tags are used by search engines and visitors alike to better understand what the page content is about. The meta title is shown in the search results, and helps visitors decide whether or not the page will give them what they’re searching for.
For a meta description to work well, it needs to be unique and to the point, nicely summarising the content of the page. It should be no more than 155 characters, and a minimum of 70 characters.
5. Shopify apps and SEO tools
No Shopify SEO guide would be complete without mention of Shopify apps and SEO tools. Here are some of the most recommended by Shopify SEO experts:
This Shopify SEO app helps you identify SEO issues by automatically checking the store and alerting you of any detected problems. It scans things like page titles and headings, meta descriptions, page loading speed, content and more.
This app provides structured data to Google and other search engines to help enhance your search results. It allows you to generate relevant meta tags for your product, collection and article pages, together with alt tags for your product images, without having to edit them manually.
SEO Image Optimiser
Because images are a key selling point for an ecommerce site, it’s important that you include plenty of them. But if they’re oversized, it’s going to cause problems. This image optimisation tool takes the pain out of making sure your images are the right size so that they don’t slow your online store down.
Yoast SEO plugin
One of the most popular SEO plugins globally, Yoast SEO automatically checks all your pages for SEO strength and provides useful recommendations for improvement. The plugin is always updated in line with Google’s algorithm, and makes an easy job of optimising your site for your chosen keywords.
Finding out which keywords your competitors are ranking for is a powerful tactic, as is seeing which pages competitor sites are getting the most organic traffic. This tool will help you find overlooked and underused keywords so you can use them to boost your own traffic and conversions.
Looking for more advice on Shopify SEO?
Without specialist Shopify SEO, your online store will never be fully optimised and could miss out to competitors who ARE investing in the services of a Shopify SEO agency.
At Figment, we’ve been driving online store traffic since 2006. Our Shopify SEO experts have created considerable increases in organic traffic, and huge uplifts in page 1 rankings for many ecommerce clients.
Our campaigns are fully tailored, including the likes of product Schema Markup to promote rich, user-friendly results; keyword research; keyword mapping to every page of your Shopify store site for enhanced search relevancy; URL optimisation; technical SEO and page speed optimisation; content marketing and link building.
To discover how our Shopify SEO specialists could help boost your online store sales and support your business growth goals, you are welcome to get in touch.