Shopify & SEO: Full Guide to  Ranking Your Shopify Site

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Slinky Creative

SEO has several purposes. However, the fundamental purpose of SEO is positioning you as the solution to a searcher’s need. What does that mean?

Google processes 40,000 searches every second. People are always searching for answers, a product, or a solution. They will only find you if your page is optimized enough.

Search engine optimization is especially necessary to boost sales on e-commerce sites like Shopify. Research shows that Shopify has grown remarkably since 2020 and has over 2 million online stores. Whoop! That’s a lot of competition.

Despite the competition on Shopify, there is a way to stay ahead. This guide aims to show how to maximize the SEO possibilities on Shopify.

What Features Does Shopify Have to Support SEO?

Shopify and SEO are pretty intertwined. This platform is highly SEO-friendly, and it boasts a wide array of features to prove this.

All these features are integrated into the platform, making it easy for beginners to leverage SEO. As a beginner, maximize these features:

  • Mobile-friendliness
  • Meta tags and metadata usage
  • Adding canonical tags
  • SSL certification
  • Auto-generated robot txt file for instructing web spiders
  • 301 redirects
  • XML site maps and automatic sutemaps
  • Well structured data

Why You Need SEO for Your Shopify Store

Shopify growth stats look good. This means it’s a reliable e-commerce platform, but it also means you need to put in the work.

Your store is just one out of millions. The only way to stay afloat is through SEO. Let’s explore other reasons you need search engine optimization for your Shopify store.

Reaching Target Demographics

One essential point that most people don’t get is the difference between high-volume and high-quality traffic.

Let’s give an illustration.

Your store generates 1 million traffic monthly, and you make about 500 sales monthly on average. That looks good on paper—you are doing well. Your competitor has only 650 traffic monthly, but they make about 620 sales on average.

Which of these two stats is better in the long run? Of course, the latter!

It’s not enough to just attract visitors. SEO ensures you attract the right people to your page.

Increasing Visibility

Picture this: you have a store in a bustling market. About 10 other stores around you sell similar products.

That’s how e-commerce stores are.

SEO gives you a better shot at standing out. It makes sure clients notice your stores in the bustling market. That’s a huge plus, especially if you deliver quality.

Impact on Organic Search Results and Customer Acquisition Costs

A working SEO strategy is that discovery that keeps giving. It brings you high traffic and great sales, making customer acquisition costs budget-friendly. And that’s because you don’t necessarily need to pay for ads.

Moreover, you’ll appear higher on organic search engine results. When you rank high, you have a greater chance of getting clicks because top-ranked pages are more credible to potential customers.

Step-by-Step Guide to Rank Your Shopify Store

We’d be shocked if you didn’t want to learn how to rank your website on Shopify. So, we’ve provided a detailed guide below.

Keyword Research for Shopify

Every excellent SEO strategy starts with keyword research. To attract quality traffic, you have to make yourself more visible through the right words. The right keywords simply mean search terms that potential clients use often.

Luckily, you don’t have to play a guessing game to find these words. You can rely on tools like Ahrefs, Google Keyword Planner, and SEMrush to offer insights into volume, relevance, and competition.

Using these tools is like gaining foresight into how scalable certain keywords are. That way, you’ll only focus your energy on terms that can generate the traffic you seek.

Moreover, it helps you avoid futile efforts. What we mean is that some keywords have high search volumes but are difficult to rank. It’s best to focus on search terms that are easier to target and have substantial volumes.

Intent Matching

We can’t mention keyword research without emphasizing intent matching. Every keyword has an intent behind it, which reveals the level of a potential customer on the sales funnel.

For instance, a customer searching “what cappuccino coffee” has a different intent than someone searching “ where to buy organic cappuccino coffee online.”

The latter is more likely to purchase and requires different information, while the former is pretty much at the beginning of a sales funnel.

Optimizing Your Shopify Store Structure

Site structure affects SEO immensely. Your site structure also affects user experience by making search engines and humans understand your page better. The more search engine understands your page, the better your chances of ranking. We have a few suggestions in terms of store structure:

Hierarchical Structure Best Practices

We suggest creating a logical, organized hierarchical store page. Have a home page that organizes your category pages in an order that makes it easy to find what you need.

Use descriptive headings and categories that clearly specify the products you sell. This will make it easier for search engines to crawl your page systematically.

SEO-friendly URLs and Breadcrumbs

Make your URLs readable with primary keywords included for clarity. For example,  instead of a URL like example.com/product12345, use example.com/category/product-name.

Breacrubs boost navigation, creating an obvious pathway back to your homepage. It benefits both search engines and users. Basically, it reveals a user’s location on your website and makes it easy to navigate seamlessly.

Always remember that the more user-friendly your website is, the better.

On-Page SEO Tactics

On-page SEO strategies are also vital for better visibility. Note the following:

Optimizing Product Pages

Your product pages should each rank for specific keywords. One surefire way to boost that possibility is through metadata. Use primary keywords in your title tag and meta description. For example, if you sell shoes, your title tag can be “Buy Comfortable Gym Shoes | (Brand Name).

Your meta descriptions, on the other side, should clearly describe your products. Remember to include keywords to make it compelling for potential customers.

Use of ALT Tags

Images are crucial for any eCommerce store. But you also need to optimize them for SEO purposes. That means your images require ALT tags that describe them to search engines to ensure they get indexed. Plus, it helps visually impaired customers understand the content of your image.

High-Quality Content

Content is a core component of any successful SEO strategy. All your content should be geared towards providing value, from vivid descriptions of your products to strategically including keywords. Note that great content should solve a problem, e.g., helping customers better understand certain products’ uses.

While keywords are crucial in content, Google frowns on keyword stuffing. So, be strategic when including product keywords in your content.

Technical SEO for Shopify

This aspect of SEO affects the accessibility of your pages to search engines for indexing. Without indexing, you have no chance of ranking. You can’t help but pay attention to something that is essential.

Mobile-Friendliness

Search engines prioritize mobile-friendly websites over others. In fact, your chances of ranking are meager if your website doesn’t appear well on mobile devices.

Hence, having a responsive site on all screen sizes is a big deal. That’s because most customers actually search on mobile devices these days. And, of course, search engines aim to deliver only sites with optimal user-friendliness.

Fast Loading Times

We all know how impatient we can be when we need to purchase or get information. Generally, humans’ patience thins out the longer they spend trying to get what they need.

Slow loading times discourage potential customers. You may compress your images, use browser catch-up, and minimize heavy scripts. All of these affect your site’s loading time. Also, it’s best to monitor your loading time.

Robots.txt and Sitemap Files

Shopify has features to keep your sitemap updated, making it easier for search engines to index your page. Also, ensure you configure your robots.txt file correctly.

SSL Certificates and Secure Browsing

Online shoppers are keen on security. Mainly because they often need to input their personal information to make purchases. Luckily, Shopify offers SSL certificates to secure your site. This boosts credibility and customer trust in your website.

Link Building Strategies

Link building also improves your visibility when done correctly. We’ve got some tested techniques that could help:

Earning Inbound Links

One way to boost your visibility is through influencers and bloggers. Influencer marketing develops quality links that aid your website’s credibility. Getting quality links from reputable sites proves your site’s authority over search engine algorithms. Explore these options to enhance your SEO efforts.

Internal Linking

Internal linking also contributes positively to your site structure. We always suggest you practice healthy internal linking to distribute your authority access to all product pages.

For instance, link a high-ranking product page to a relevant page that’s pretty new and needs more traffic.

Measuring SEO Success

From using Google Analytics to Shopify reports, measuring your SEO success allows for improvement. Analytic tools break down your website’s performance. That way, you’ll know what works and what doesn’t. Measuring your SEO success also helps you build an effective SEO strategy for your store.

It answers the question, “ What drives my customers to take action?” What content works best? Am I attracting quality traffic?

Even better, Shopify has built-in analytic tools that monitor traffic sources, customer behavior, and more. Overall, you’ll better understand your customers and serve them in the best way possible.

Final Verdict

Online shopping behavior evolves, making it necessary to keep up with SEO trends. Update your SEO strategy to keep it relevant and visible. In the long run, SEO is vital for e-commerce platforms.

All the tips above will help you rank your Shopify store better and stay ahead of the curve. Remember, it’s all about getting quality traffic to visit your store.

Read more: How to Run a Shopify SEO Website Audit