Useful SEO guide for Shopify stores
Introduction to SEO
In this post, we will explain to you how to improve the SEO of your Shopify store (although this information can be used for all ecommerces sites). With Clever Adwords, we make the most out of your SEM, but if you combine the Adwords campaigns we create for you with the following SEM tips, you have the formula to succeed with your ecommerce.
SEO (Search Engine optimization) is essential for ecommerce shops to flourish, and every store owner should have basic knowledge about how it works.
SEO allows your store to climb up the SERP ranking (Search Engine Result Pages), which is crucial when growing your store in this digital age. Imagine your online store sells blue shoes and your shop appears as one as the first options every time someone searches for “Blue Shoes,” this means that you are getting a ton of traffic and conversions for free!
Let’s begin with some basic information about SEO if we search for our company “Clever Ecommerce” on Google we get:
- Page Title: This is the most visible part. You should always put your primary keyword and brand name (50-60 character limit)
- URL: It gives information about where users will be redirected.
- Meta Description: This should provide practical information to the users, you should also add a call-to-action (150-160 character limit)
If you are not sure of the best way to rank your business for a specific keyword, just type that keyword on Google and see how your competitors write their page titles, URLs and meta descriptions, this can give you ideas of how to proceed.
Improve the SEO of your Shopify store
Homepage and general SEO editing
Edit the SEO of your homepage by clicking Online Store>Preferences.
Fill the blanks with the main information of your shop. Remember that “Homepage title” should contain your primary keyword and/or the brand of your business. The meta description should give your users accurate information about your shop; if you are not clear enough, users will not click on your shop or they will just click and leave because it is not what they expected. This increases the bounce rating and affects negatively on how Google ranks your page.
Make sure to put page titles and meta descriptions everywhere in your shop (collections, products, pages, blog…)
Shopify gives you the option of editing your page SEO by scrolling to the bottom of the collection/product/blog page and clicking on “Edit Website SEO”
If you want to know if your shop has any missing page titles and meta descriptions, Screaming Frog can help you. Screaming Frog scans your website, informing you of any missing pieces and if your current descriptions are too long or too short.
Products SEO Editing
Selling products is the ultimate goal of any online store, let’s look at some SEO tips on how to name and describe your items:
- Product Title: Be concise and write something that makes sense with the product and brand. Think of how to make it attractive to your potential customers.
- Product Description: Common errors are copying and pasting the description of a product from your manufacturer or copying and pasting the same description for similar products. This adversely affects your shop’s SEO. All you should do is write 300-400 words describing and trying to add the keywords in the description (add them with logic, do not add them if it’s not logical)
- Images: Always use high-quality images. For each image uploaded, you should also edit the “Alt text”, including a short description of the image, this feature is useful for people who are visually impaired.
- Tags: They are used for filtering your website, and has no larger impact on SEO.
- Collections: Add products that make sense with the different collections. Your collection titles should also make sense (avoid using too personalized collections name, it’s only good if people already know your store and your collections) For example: If you are selling “beach towels”, don’t name your collection “The Sand and the Sun Collection”, people won’t know what are you selling.
- URL: Use dashes (-) in your URL instead of underscores (_).
- Important pages and collections of your shop must be on the main page!
Page content (About us, Blog, Shipping Info…)
This is good opportunity to use original, valuable content that will help with your ranking.
- 400+ words of original content.
- Creating instructional videos and transcribing the guidelines into a blog format is an effective way to generate quality content.
- Make your pages visually appealing to your customers. Always think about the profile of your potential customers and target your pages to that audience.
Your blog is a powerful tool that can be influential to the ranking of your shop. The value of blogs, however, appears to be drastically underestimated; I have worked with hundred of Shopify stores and only a few of them had an active blog.
Use your store blog to talk about the most commonly asked questions in your industry. This way you can optimize traffic of people looking for a solution (your products) to their problem. Long tail keywords are easier to rank in order embed products in your blog. For example, if you are selling guitars and create the post “Top 10 Best Guitars 2017”, you can link your post to a specific product in your shop that matches the criteria.
- You can use tools like Google Trends to see popular topics in specific countries.
- Quora is also a nice way to see what to talk about on your blog. Look for common questions people have when you search for a specific keyword.
- StoryBase is a tool that allows you to see the most searched questions related to a keyword.
- Other sources can be Reddit, Social Media, Uber Suggest…
When ranking your website, Google also checks the speed in which your website loads its contents. If your website loads slowly, try getting rid of unnecessary plugins and lower the number of images. These are tools to check the speed of your website:
Keep in mind that your pages should load in less than 3 seconds.
As we said before, the bounce rate of your shop should be low. If you have a high bounce rate, then your page is not relevant to the keywords you are using and Google will penalize you. Make sure you are ranking with the best keywords, improve the visual aspects and navigation of your website and write clear Page Titles/Meta Descriptions to ensure that only people interested in your shop click in.
The term “backlinks” refers to anytime someone from another website links to your shop. Building good backlinks is essential for a good SEO improvement strategy.
Actions to improve your website backlinks:
- Online citations of your store
- Creating and sharing valuable content
- Partner programs
- HARO (Help a reporter out)
How can i measure my SEO improvements?
Measuring the results is the final and necessary action of any strategy. If you have applied the SEO concepts explained above, your shop should begin to climb up Google’s ranking month by month. Keep in mind that SEO is a long-term shop growing strategy, so it will take time!
Here are some tools you can use to check the evolution of your shop:
- Analytics agencies, Seopowersuite, MOZ…
- Google Search Console
- Google Analytics