If you are running a Shopify website, you know how important it is to get quality website traffic. A lot of Shopify store owners are dependent on ads to drive sales. While this is still an effective strategy, major platform updates like iOS 14 made advertising targeting even more difficult. Many site owners are scrambling now after taking a major hit to their sales. One option for making up for some lost sales is by being present for the phrases that your customers are searching for. This is where we introduce SEO Tips for Shopify!
In this blog post, we will discuss some tips for improving your SEO for your Shopify website. We will cover everything from Shopify Specific Technical modifications to on-page optimization to link building and more! Buckle up!
1. Resize your photos for better load times.
Page speed is a serious matter.
Google calculates that for every 1 second of load time, you can take away 20% of your conversion rate. People don’t like waiting… period.
One of the major contributors to long load times is image size. A lot of times, we take the images right from our photographers and load them right into Shopify as is. This means an image meant for a billboard is loading on your customer’s smart phone. (Yes… even though it was resized, it’s still trying to load that whole image).
I like to recommend Photo Resize to my clients. This automatically updates your images for you so that you can quickly and easily go about running your store.
One client saw his load time go from 5+ seconds per page to under 2 seconds from this alone.
2. Utilize the space Shopify gives you for content.
A lot of Shopify store owners gripe about the fact that other stores are already winning the top ranking spots because Google plays favorites.
The reality is that Google does indeed play favorites, but not the way that you’d think…
Google plays favorites with the websites that give them what they want.
And what they want is content. It’s how they know what your pages are about!
By using your catalog pages, you can essentially categorize your products and add content to those catalog pages. In a lot of Shopify Themes, the content area falls above your products so it may be necessary to modify your liquid code document.
3. Make sure your content is unique.
This is specifically for a lot of dropshippers or POD folks… It’s really tempting to just use the description you get with your products.
But… this is a fast way of getting yourself blocked by Google and you’ll never get those sales.
Take the time, even if you only get through one product per day to create new content for your site.
This will allow you to not only be in Google’s good graces, but also add some personality to your products. Do this right and it’ll resonate well with your customers.
4. Check your domain canonicalization
Alright… gonna get technical for a quick second…
For your home page specifically, there are technically at least 4 ways for Google to find it.
The options are:
Luckily, there is a setting in Shopify that allows us to fix this little bug, so make sure you have this set:
The reason you’ll want to fix this is to avoid duplicate content. When Google sees each of those different URLs, they treat them like four different pages. Again… Weird… I know, but it’s what we gotta deal with.
The same also holds true for your product pages. Let’s say that you sell t shirts and you have one design that you sell in blue and black. It’s probably not important enough to write 2 new brand new pages of content, so this would likely create some mostly duplicated content. By adding a canonical tag, you can essentially give ownership of the content of the page to one product and Google will know that it’s not intentionally duplicated content.
I’m not going to dig into the step by step of how to do that here, but here’s a great article that does just that.
5. Don’t let old products 404
Over time, you’ll likely stop selling certain products, things will sell out, or whatever else happens over time.
It may be tempting to just delete that product, but I’d advise against it.
You have two options here…
First is to just let the product read as “Sold Out”. This may be a frustrating user experience, but it will at least not show a page missing error.
The other option is to write what’s called a 301 redirect from the old product page to the catalog page. Over time, this will eventually tell Google that this page isn’t coming back and they’ll no longer store it (which is a good thing).
Either way, you want to avoid Google seeing that a page is just flat out missing. It’s frustrating to them and it’s frustrating to your customers.
SEO Tips for Shopify that aren’t Shopify Specific
6. Some SEO basics and how to get them with Shopify.
These last items aren’t Shopify specific, but if they’re not done, all the other stuff we already tackled won’t matter.
- Write unique Page Titles and Meta Descriptions for every single page and product. Tedious? Yes… The easiest way to show Google you care about creating a great user experience? Absolutely. Use these areas to write something appealing about your store, your products, and your brand. Make it as unique as you are!
- Register for and set up Search Console. Be sure to register your site at google.com/webmasters/tools. Once you sign up, you’ll get a welcome email that’ll walk you through some basics, but be sure to also make sure you submit your XML sitemap. Here’s a step by step for getting your sitemap and here’s how to save it to Search Console.
- Be sure to write all of your content with a strategy in mind. Ask yourself the question “what would I search for if I wanted to buy this?” This’ll be a great starting point for what to say in each of the elements you write. For example, if someone would search for “Blue Widgets” make sure your title tag mentions “Blue Widgets”. The more specific you can be, the better… For example “Size 10 Red High Heels” is way better than “Red High Heels”.
Next Steps for your SEO: Building Backlinks
Once your site itself is optimized, you can start getting other people to link to you, which will be the big winning factor for your SEO. Consider partnering with bloggers in the space that you’re in and get them a product to try! I’ve gotten clients hundreds of backlinks by simply getting product in the hands of someone that could use it. Not only do you get the SEO benefit, but if the blogger is any good, you get some sales from the link too!
I hope you found this post helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out. I’m always happy to help where I can!
SEO can be a bit overwhelming, but it’s so worth it when you start seeing the results in your traffic and sales.
By following these simple steps, you’ll be on your way to getting more traffic from Google.
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