Recently, most people have turned to the internet for their shopping needs, leading to the growth of platforms like Shopify as more sellers shift their businesses online. As a Shopify seller, SEO is a significant determinant of your business’s success as it determines how many people view and access your store.
Improved SEO helps rank your online store on search engines, attracting more traffic, while poor SEO results in fewer visits and little or no conversions. Although Shopify has built-in SEO to ensure search engines find your content, it is crucial to learn other ways to improve SEO on Shopify.
This article offers nine detailed steps to improve SEO on Shopify to help your site rank higher on search engines.
Read more: Improving search engine optimization (SEO)
How to improve SEO on Shopify
Follow these steps to improve SEO on Shopify.
1. Add Keywords to your Shopify Site
Keywords appear in search queries when customers search for information or products online. To rank your store higher in search engines, ensure that you identify phrases your customers are likely to use and add them to your content.
You may use online keyword tools to determine how often keywords are used in the search query. The next step after identifying the frequently searched phrases is incorporating them into your content in readable and natural forms.
With proper use of keywords, your store is most likely to appear higher in search engines, allowing customers to locate your products quickly. Below are four major areas you may add keywords to your site for improved search engine optimisation.
a. Page Titles
Search engines compare the page content with the page title to determine whether the two match. If they do, it becomes easier for these search engines to rank the information on that page.
To increase the chances that search engines will rank your pages, use descriptive page titles, incorporate keywords in the titles, use titles less than 70 characters, and ensure your title tag is readable.
b. Meta Description
Like a page tag, a meta description appears in search engine results. It is also a crucial statement for gaining potential customers’ attention. Meta descriptions may appear for web pages, blogs, collections, and product pages.
Incorporating keywords in this description allows search engines to rank your pages. Ensure your meta description is well-written, short, and informative to attract most people to click the link to your store.
c. ALT Tags
Search engines read the texts in your content but may not read the images. Whenever you upload a photo on Shopify without giving it a descriptive alternative (alt) text, the file name may appear as a string of numbers, confusing the search engines.
To avoid this, use specific and descriptive alt tags as they reveal more about the contents of the images and help search engines locate your content. When writing these tags, add keywords relating to the page under which the image appears. It is also crucial to use readable terms that explain what the image is about.
d. Page Content
Page content may include collection descriptions, webpages, or blog posts. Improve the SEO of your Shopify store by incorporating relevant and relatable keywords in your page content.
Search engines crawl the information on your page to determine the content relating to a specific search query. Whenever the search queries match the keyword used in your page, the page is likely to appear higher in search engines, increasing the chances for people to click on your store.
While it is crucial to focus on quality, not quantity, search engines prefer longer content to understand your page better. Ensure your page has around 250 words of descriptive text, and blog posts have at least 500 words for better crawling.
e. Start Blogging
You may use blogging to explore more opportunities and increase your Google ranking. Logging is also another way to incorporate keywords into your page’s content.
To achieve this, conduct keyword research using online tools to identify which keywords are more likely to lead to high traffic on your site and create informational content while incorporating these keywords.
Blogging and content marketing also enables sites to generate backlink opportunities. These are the links to your website from other websites. The more backlinks there are, the better the chances of your site ranking higher in search engines.
2. Optimise Your Online Store Navigation
The next step you may take after incorporating keywords is to optimise your Shopify store structure by optimising your online store navigation. Since most potential customers have divided attention online, ensuring that your site offers a smooth and seamless experience for customers to navigate and locate products is essential.
Optimising your online store navigation ensures your site attracts customers’ attention quickly. It also makes it easier for search engines to crawl your site and rank your content. Below are a few significant steps to consider when setting up your online store navigation:
a. Develop a Relevant and Logical Homepage Design
Your homepage allows you to grab your customers’ attention and keep it within the first few minutes of their visit. You may make a great impression on your site by introducing your products and services on your homepage.
You may also choose an attractive design that allows you to list your products and services for easier access. These will help avoid the confusion that comes with scrolling down the whole page and still getting little or no information on what the site sells.
b. Create a Site Hierarchy
Having an optimised homepage design is one thing and designing a site hierarchy is another. A site hierarchy ensures the creation of categories and subcategories that link back and forth.
You may create a number of pages and subpages following the homepage, forming a hierarchical structure. Creating a site hierarchy makes navigation easy by designing what may appear like a map of your store.
Like for customers, site hierarchy enables search engines to crawl each page and rank the most important ones driving more traffic to these pages.
c. Include Product Categories in the navigation
Including specific product categories in the navigation is another way of optimising your Shopify store navigation for better crawling by search engines. It also makes the products’ search experience easier for customers since products appear only a click away.
A common way of achieving this is offering Shopify collections. This involves grouping products to reduce the time taken for customers to locate products on your site. Applying Shopify collections also helps search engines better understand your product listings for better ranking.
Maintaining a convenient number of categories is crucial since having too many or too few categories may become problematic for mobile users. Also, taking customers so far from the home page may be a poor experience. Consider applying the home page-category-product page structure for easier access.
d. Link Each Page to Your Online Navigation
Search engines are more likely to understand the contents of your site if its navigation follows a logical order and is well-organised. One way of ensuring this order is by linking each page to the online navigation. It is also vital to ensure that pages are not over three clicks away from the homepage to reduce the time taken to reach these pages.
3. Product Page Optimisation for the Store
Once you have optimised your site structure by simplifying, organising it, and selecting some valuable keywords, now consider optimising your Shopify store’s product pages.
You may optimise your product pages by using high-quality images, incorporating relevant keywords on the product descriptions and page titles, and sharing customer reviews and testimonials of past customers.
Images and keywords help improve your product pages’ SEO, while testimonials and customer reviews help potential customers understand the credibility of your products or services. Like the homepage, having an optimised product page increases your site’s chance of achieving high click-through and conversion rates.
4. Optimise your Site Speed
A high percentage of users expect a site to load within two seconds or less, without which they are more likely to leave and try other sites. When site visitors bounce back, search engines interpret this as a sign of irrelevant content or products, leading to low ranking.
Consider optimising your site speed to ensure you maximise the number of visitors that engage with your content and products and eventually become buyers. You may achieve this by choosing a fast Shopify theme, minimising the number of applications running in the background, and compressing images to avoid delay.
Shopify SEO has quality plugins that may help you compress these images to fit the correct size.
5. Optimise for Mobile
Most Shopify sales, like other online platforms, are on mobile. As shoppers increase their reliance on phones, it is crucial to ensure your store is optimised for use through smartphones.
You may achieve this by choosing a mobile-ready Shopify theme, simplifying your design, and creating a smooth mobile checkout experience. In the case of blogging, ensure you use short paragraphs to ensure they appear short and easily understandable by mobile users.
Shopify offers you a chance to identify the number of visits that are from mobile users under the ‘Online store sessions by device type. This will help you understand the percentage of your buyers that uses mobiles for appropriate planning and optimisation.
6. Increase the Number of Links to your Shopify Store
Links to your store from other websites inform the search engines about your site’s credibility and popularity. This makes it easier for these engines to identify and rank your content.
Having other websites link to your store may also help drive traffic from these sites to your Shopify store, increasing conversion rates. To increase the number of links to your store, you may apply the following steps:
- Look for chances to list your online store and products on other websites. A common way of achieving this is by writing guest posts for other websites that direct people to your store or that link to your products or services.
- Build strong relationships with other websites and blogs to allow you to ask for a link back to your store.
- Maintain a fascinating and updated website that attracts links from other websites naturally.
- Apply affiliate marketing. Here, you pay publishers a commission for them to advertise and link back to your products and services. This ensures your products gain attention and also increases the number of links to your store.
7. Use Descriptive Text for Internal Links
Link texts are clickable words or phrases that appear in a hyperlink. These words help offer more information and direct the reader to another page. Using descriptive texts, like descriptive image names, helps search engines easily understand your content and rank it.
For example, you may replace the ‘click here’ phrase with more descriptive text related to your content. Here are a few points to note when using descriptive text to improve your SEO on Shopify:
- Try to stay on topic. It is crucial to stay on topic by avoiding using a link text that has no relation to the page’s contents.
- Ensure the descriptions are concise. Concise descriptions make it easy for search engines and readers to understand your content.
- Avoid using the page’s URL as the link description unless you need to introduce a new site.
8. Use Engaging Media on the Store
Incorporating different videos and engaging media help captivate customers and ensure they spend more time on the site. Customers are more interested in engaging with relevant media and relatable videos.
Also, engaging media increases your chance for search engines to deem your pages relevant, increasing their chances to rank higher. You can also take advantage of other video platforms and publish on them to boost your SEO; incorporating relevant video and media on your pages will increase your Shopify store’s chances of appearing higher on search engines.
9. Minimise User Frustrations
When designing your Shopify store, consider your potential customer’s interests. This will enable you to create a store that has minimised user frustrations. A satisfied user is more likely to stay longer and engage with different parts of the store, which is suitable for search signals and business.
One way of minimising user frustrations is increasing your site speed. In a world where people expect instant gratification, many potential customers will leave once the site takes over two seconds to load.
To increase the rate on your Shopify site, use smaller images that will not delay your load times and avoid slider images. You may also apply a responsive theme and design that looks good on any device, keeping in mind that customers may use their phones to visit your site.