Home BUSINESS Shopify SEO Guide: Seven Essentials To Boost Your Shopify Store's Google Rank

Shopify SEO Guide: Seven Essentials To Boost Your Shopify Store’s Google Rank

Do you need a Shopify SEO guide on how to increase traffic and sales for your store? Good news — you can stop your search here. This is the guide you’re looking for.

Search engine rankings play a big part in how slow or fast shoppers can find your store. The higher your rankings in search engines, the more traffic you can get for your eCommerce store. This, in turn, organically leads to better sales reports. Simply put, bigger sales numbers. So, how do you rank higher? Via Search engine optimization [SEO].

1. Google Can Find You More Easily If You Pick The Perfect Keywords

A universal rule is — locked doors can’t be opened without the right keys. By the same token, SEO virtual doors can’t be opened without the right keywords. As a matter of fact, keywords show Google what your store is all about. Just to reiterate what we’re saying here… keywords are key to Google finding your site. How do you choose the best keywords, anyway? Here’s a pro tip you can do: imagine you’re the customer and think about what you would type on the search box to find your products. Maybe you can type ‘rock t-shirts’ or ‘teen dresses’ or ‘adventure video cameras’.

We’ll introduce you to something valuable with regards to choosing keywords in this article. First thing you need to know is this: there’s what we call a sweet spot in the process of choosing the right keywords. To explain it plainly, it’s tough to rank for broad keywords such as ‘shoes’ because the huge retailers almost always dominate the game. On the other hand, a key phrase for a niche like ‘white old school tennis shoes’ won’t pick up enough searches. Instead, try something that’s in the middle of the road. A phrase like ‘tennis shoes’.

2. Place Your Keywords Strategically (Put Them In The Right Places)

a. Your page title This is the title that will appear on Google’s results page.

Did you notice how this particular store chooses to put the keyphrase ‘wood sunglasses’ before the name of his store? Unknown to many, more people search for ‘wood sunglasses’. So when you go describing your store in the title, think carefully what words you put there.

Navigate to “Online Store” then to “Preferences” to change yours.

Online store => Preferences

Hot Tip: make your title a “call-to-action” instead of just a phrase. It should be an enticing phrase that prompts shoppers to click immediately. Here’s a concrete example; an active CTA: “Shop watches online – House of Fraser”. Look below for a screenshot of a live example.

b. Meta Description The meta description is the short text that appears underneath the title. Again, put your keywords here. HOWEVER make sure that it’s descriptive and creates enough intrigue. This is your window of opportunity to convince customers to click. You’ve got to show up here. Make sure every page has a different meta description too. Again, navigate to Online Store => Preferences.

c. Headers and Titles (H1 tags) Headers are one of the priority places Google checks to see what your website is all about. Ensure your product pages all have headers that are very descriptive. Don’t skip, or in other terms don’t forget to include your precious keywords, too.

d. Product Descriptions and Copy Another important matter is to always include keywords in your product descriptions. This is to help Google find your page. Extremely essential too is that you write non-generic (meaning not yet seen before) and exciting product descriptions. If you need help with this, we strongly suggest hiring a copywriter to give you professional help with your written text. Moreover, never, ever make this big mistake: just copy the manufacturer’s description. The reason behind it is – most likely – that specific copy is copied + pasted all over the Blogosphere and Google hates duplicate copy. On top of that, your descriptions are a significant opportunity to display your own unique voice and tone to convince customers to go and buy from your store.

e. Image Description + Alt Tags Google is quite smart. However, until now even with the advanced tech that we have, it can’t see a picture of, let’s say, blue shirt. You need to inform Google it’s a blue shirt. How do you do this? Simple, just replace the name of the image file to ‘blue shirt [shop name]’ prior to uploading the image. You may add ‘alt-text’ too. That’s just the text that’s shown if a web browser can’t load the image. Make sure it’s descriptive, and includes keywords that are carefully chosen. After those small but important details, Google can now see the image, can read it, and can finally rank it.

3. Use The Blog Feature

This one is not given enough good rap as often as it should that’s why we will talk about it here. Creating content and blogging is extremely useful for SEO. By blogging you have a new opportunity to insert more keywords and generate backlinks, and organic traffic to your Shopify store. It also has the effect of keeping people on your site for longer times (another great thing for SEO) and it helps in pointing customers to your products.

4. Guest Post On Other e-commerce Blogs

In the early stages of the e-commerce vertical, this was not essential but competition has become fierce hence the inclusion of this tip.

Guest posting takes time and requires extra effort for you as a Shopify store owner, but it will go a long way. Successful Shopify owners we have talked with even went further by hiring freelance writers to do the guest posting for them. This is how potent using this technique is.

The blog feature on Shopify is a good avenue for more traffic and a way to let your customers stay longer on your site but guest posting in other e-commerce blogs is a great way of adding traffic to your store. It’s like borrowing some of the traffic of the blogs where your posts are published.

If you look at it in a deeper way, it’s a win-win scenario. That’s because the other e-commerce blogs need consistent content for their platform anyway, and you get more exposure to a wider audience. The best part is… while you help them create content, you get a wider mileage (traffic) and backlinks to your store. It’s also a way to promote your store and products in an indirect way.

What’s great about it is – most blogs pay guest posts now. That means, you earn by creating a post for them, while you also gain traffic. It’s one of the most productive activities of a Shopify owner if you think about it.

5. Optimize Your Shopify Site Structure

How you organize content on a page is extremely important to SEO purposes. When customers can speedily and easily find the products they’re looking for, most of the time, they spend more time on a website and check more pages. This can help you rank higher on searches.

How can you make your website easier to use? Simple is the word. Don’t complicate things with many categories and subcategories. A simpler website structure allows search engines to easily crawl your site and in turn rank your products.

A SEO-friendly, simple site structure might look like this:

You can see from the diagram that your products are only 2 clicks away from your homepage. This makes it easy and quick for shoppers to find what they’re looking for; also, it’s easy for search engines to crawl the site.

Organizing your content is a piece of cake with Shopify, using one of these structures:

  • Homepage => Category Pages => Product Pages
  • Homepage => Category Pages => Sub-Category Page => Product Pages

Put in mind… your website should be built with a “customers first” mentality.

To be added to product and category pages, you’ll need to include an About page and Contact page on your site. These pages let shoppers and search engines know that you’re credible and trustworthy. With that being said, never ever skip including these pages on your website.

Lastly, include a search box on your page. Will a search box help with search engine optimization? Only indirectly. But remember, it will help visitors find what they’re searching for; an important part of e-commerce optimization. Also, in this way, you can earn more money from traffic you already possess.

6. Encourage Customer Reviews

Google adores unique content; it loves regular updates which is evidence of high user activity and contentment. Add to that, customer reviews tick every box we mentioned and even assist in generating more sales. (Which all Shopify store owners should aim for.) Like we said a while ago — it’s a win-win scenario for both parties.

7. Improve Your Users Experience

Now let’s take a look at a few ways you can improve the user experience on your store, which will also help you to rank higher in search results.

Boost Your Site Speed. Site speed is all about accessibility and obviously, shorter time in looking up for things. When your site is easy to navigate and everything moves fast, visitors don’t have any reason to be frustrated. This means that in most probability, they will spend a lot of time on your store.

To make your Shopify store faster, you can:

  • l use a super fast and mobile-friendly website theme
  • l use smaller, optimized images
  • l remove any inactive apps (apps you’re not using anymore)
  • l don’t ever think of using sliders
  • You can see SEMrush’s guide to speeding up Shopify for more tips.

Use a Responsive Theme Design. In simple terms, responsive design means your Shopify store will look perfect on any device. This includes desktop, tablets, and mobile phones.

Responsive themes can significantly increase your user experience points and will most likely motivate visitors to stay on your site much longer. Since Google looks at time-on-page as an indication of a website’s value, having a website that’s easy to navigate and a joy to read can greatly improve rankings. In turn, enhanced and boosted rankings and better usability will result in having more repeat visitors and acquiring more conversions. These are all spectacular developments for an e-commerce destination.

Making sure that your store will work not only on desktop, laptop, and

on mobile is important, because shoppers are now shopping more and more on their smartphones.

Ricky Hayes
Ricky Hayes is the Co-Founder and Head of Marketing at Debutify - free Shopify theme, helping dropshippers build high-converting stores in minutes. He is a passionate entrepreneur running multiple businesses, marketing agencies and mentoring programs.

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