Are you one of the nearly one million businesses powered by Shopify? If so, you already know the platform offers a wealth of features designed to make your eCommerce store a success.
But that doesn’t mean the site automatically works to get your store ranked on Google and Bing without any effort. There are still a few steps you need to take to ensure your website is fully optimized. Here are a few of our best Shopify SEO tips to help your store outrank the competition.
Use an SSL for Added Security
One of the most important first steps to take when optimizing your Shopify website for SEO is to use a secure sockets layer or SSL. Essentially, this is that little “s” on the end of the “http” when someone types in your web address that signifies you’ve added an extra layer of protection to keep shopper information safe.
Not only does this make customers feel more secure about typing in their address and credit card information, but it can also improve your overall search ranking. Most algorithms favor secure websites, so it is possible to get a small boost in SERP once you’ve turned this Shopify feature on.
Submit Your Shopify XML Sitemap to Google Search Console
Perhaps the most important item on your Shopify SEO checklist is submitting your sitemap to Google Search Console. While it is possible for search engines to find your site eventually, it can take a mighty long time if you don’t let them know you’re out there.
Think of it like throwing a party and not giving any of your friends your address. They might eventually make it in time for cake, but chances are slim that they would ever even show up. Submitting your sitemap directly to search engines lets them know your Shopify store is open and ready to rank.
Optimize SEO Tags Appropriately
While Shopify offers a whole host of features to make running an eCommerce store simple, you still need to follow the standard best practices. These include:
- Making sure all title tags, meta descriptions, and header tags include pertinent keywords.
- Adding image alt tags to all graphics.
- Researching the best keywords possible to ensure you’re matching these elements to what your customers are looking for on Google.
Not sure where to begin? Shopify gives you specific areas to place these elements. If you’re having trouble or don’t know how to start, get in touch with our team to learn more.
Generate Quality and Engaging Content
In general, most eCommerce sites tend to be thin in terms of content. That means there’s plenty of opportunities to help rank above your competition who fails to add quality and engaging text to their Shopify site continuously.
For example, you should be looking to add keyword-optimized content in the form of custom product descriptions, category and collection page content, and more. Even adding a blog to your site can help your search engine ranking immensely.
Technical SEO and Monthly Re-Scrapes Allow for a Smooth User Experience
On the other hand, there are still a few technical details you need to address for improved Shopify SEO. These should be done monthly to help keep a positive rank stable and prevent any further issues from occurring.
Create canonical tags to let search engines know that they have indeed indexed a master copy of a page. While you’re at it, remember to address any 404 errors, which is what happens if there’s a bad link on your site. If you recently made changes to the pages of your site, you need to update all links accordingly or include 301 redirects to keep this from happening.
Use a Clean and Simple URL Structure
It is also advised to use a clean and simple URL structure for improved Shopify SEO. The platform tends to add unnecessary prefixes to URLs that can be distracting for shoppers and don’t give the full information needed. Instead, use the “edit website SEO” feature inside of Shopify to help customize your links. And don’t forget to utilize appropriate keywords when doing so.
Improve Your Website Speed
Another Shopify SEO tip is to consistently work to improve your website speed. Google places a high priority on fast-loading sites that offer a better user experience, so a slow load could hurt your ranking for the long haul.
Instead, utilize some of the many features Shopify offers to make this happen. You have the option of adjusting the image loading time by using compression tools. Another solution you can employ is AMP content. Google, in particular, likes it because it is ideally suited for mobile devices, which is how many shoppers now search for items they want to purchase.
Build Quality Backlinks
Another practice that far too few Shopify site owners take advantage of is building quality backlinks. This can be done by working with bloggers or influencers in your niche to create posts around the products you’re offering. In turn, they allow you to place a link to your website from their own, which can ultimately increase your ranking. This is also a great way to improve overall exposure and find new customers.
Of course, these are just a few of the many elements needed to run a successful Shopify store. If you don’t know how to move forward or handle some of the more technical aspects, please get in touch with our Zero Gravity Marketing team today.