Shopify SEO Checklist: A Step-by-Step Guide to Ranking Higher

When aiming to attract motivated visitors to your Shopify store, there is no other digital marketing approach as cost-effective and influential as search engine optimization (SEO). For online sellers, dedicating time to guaranteeing that your web pages are thoroughly optimized can significantly amplify your organic traffic, which translates to more prospective customers exploring your merchandise.

Dissimilar to Google Ads or advertising on social media platforms, SEO tactics can generate website traffic to your Shopify store even after your ad budget is used up. Therefore, capitalizing on SEO is one of the most favorable digital investments a Shopify proprietor can undertake.

Understanding What Shopify SEO Is? 

The process of improving the performance of a Shopify website in search engine results is known as Shopify SEO. While SEO can be applied to websites in general, Shopify SEO is specifically designed to assist e-commerce retailers who use the Shopify Content Management System in achieving higher rankings for keywords and increased organic traffic.

Top SEO Challenges Faced by E-Commerce Websites

Typically, online stores are prone to facing specific difficulties that could have an unfavorable effect on their search engine rankings.

Lengthy and Comprehensive Content: In order to rank well in search results, Google favors comprehensive, lengthy content. This presents a challenge for product pages which tend to have less substantial content, making it more difficult to improve their rankings.

Duplicate or Copied Content: Numerous e-commerce websites encounter problems with duplicate content due to the presence of multiple product pages that are either auto-generated or too similar.

Unoptimized Site Architecture: An optimized site structure that allows for easy navigation is favored by Google. E-commerce retailers with numerous web pages may encounter issues with their site architecture, leading to poor signals.

Not Making Use of Schema: The usage of product schema is crucial for Shopify retailers as it helps Google crawlers to comprehend their products and then endorse them accordingly. Neglecting to utilize schema can prove to be a colossal mistake.

To ensure that your e-commerce website does not encounter the usual difficulties, which are often faced by such sites, the ecommerce SEO audit checklist presented below is an excellent resource to commence with.

Some of the Best Automated SEO Features In Shopify 

The Shopify platform incorporates a few SEO functionalities that alleviate the SEO burden faced by website owners. These functionalities consist of automatically produced “rel-canonical” tags that prevent duplicate content penalties, automatically produced robots.txt and sitemap.xml files, and automatic SSL certificates that Google prefers to rank secure pages with HTTPS protocols. The platform also generates page titles that incorporate the store’s name. Nevertheless, SEO is an extensive and diverse domain. Relying solely on the Shopify platform to handle your SEO tasks is unlikely to yield optimal outcomes.

Add These Important Tasks To Your Must-Do Shopify SEO Checklist 

It is important to understand that SEO is an ongoing process that requires consistent effort and the following checklist is categorized according to the type of optimization required, but it can be completed in a sequential manner. While certain optimization steps are a one-time effort, most of them will need to be repeated each time you add new products or web pages to your online store.

Try Investing In Custom Domains 

It is advisable to consider investing in a personalized domain and eliminating “Shopify” from your URLs. The reason for this is that the URL path is prominently displayed to users at the top of the SERP result. By using custom domains, your website looks more professional, which attracts users and leads to a higher click-through rate (CTR), resulting in better SEO performance. One can obtain custom domains from Shopify or any third-party domain provider. Once you have acquired a custom domain, you can easily add it to the Settings > Domains menu of your Shopify account.

Go For a Responsive and Fast Site Theme 

Achieving a good ranking on Google requires fast page speed and load times, especially after last year’s page experience update. While flashy themes may seem attractive, prioritizing a theme that is optimized for speed and performance is a better choice.

Your theme should also be mobile-friendly, as Google indexes the mobile versions of web pages. Assess the speed of your current Shopify store in comparison to others through your ecommerce SEO report. If your scores are low, it may be affecting your ability to rank highly so try switching to a more SEO-friendly site theme.

Do Strategic Keyword Research 

To optimize your content, it’s essential to first identify the keywords that are highly relevant to your products and will drive quality traffic to your website. With hundreds or even thousands of ways users could be searching for products similar to yours, using a keyword tool can help you discover what exactly users are searching for. However, not all keywords are equal. As part of your SEO strategy, it’s important to identify which keywords present the best opportunities for your store. The most crucial keyword metrics to consider are search volume, CPC, and keyword difficulty.

You want to ensure that your keyword targets receive a reasonable number of searches per month, as optimizing for no one defeats the purpose. Additionally, higher CPCs indicate stronger conversion potential, especially with commercial and transactional keywords. Finally, higher keyword difficulty scores mean the keyword is more challenging to rank for, so it’s crucial to choose targets where you can realistically rank on page one.

For best results, each of your Shopify web pages should target a different keyword or keyword cluster. On product and category pages, prioritize optimizing for keywords that demonstrate transactional intent, as these users are more likely to make a purchase. On the other hand, for blog posts, target informational queries to capture users near the top of the funnel.

Optimize Your Site URLs, Page Titles, and Meta Descriptions 

To boost your rankings in Google, follow these key URL best practices:

– Keep URLs brief and to the point.

– Consider adding your target keyword to the URL.

– Eliminate extraneous words such as “and,” “or,” “the,” and similar terms.

– Edit your URL paths using the Search Engine Listing Preview feature found at the bottom of any page in the Shopify CMS.

On the other hand, when editing your Search Engine Listing, it’s important to optimize the other meta tags that appear in your SERP result, such as the title tag and meta description. To ensure optimal results, follow best practices by including relevant keywords and meeting SEO standards, specifically regarding length. Your title tag should be no longer than 60 characters, and your meta description should not exceed 160 characters. Google relies on this metadata to comprehend the subject matter of your content and when to display it. Since the meta description may appear as a search snippet, it can impact whether or not users choose to click on your result.

It’s not necessary to overload these on-page elements with the same keyword repeatedly, as Google understands related terms and phrases. Your meta tags should be written naturally and accurately to describe the content on your page.

Make Use of Optimization Tools For Product Descriptions 

E-commerce websites may face setbacks due to inadequate product descriptions on their pages. It is crucial to invest time in creating unique and informative descriptions that incorporate pertinent keywords, synonyms, and associated terms. Employing a content optimizer tool can prove beneficial in identifying related keywords that bear significant SEO influence and exhibit strong relevance to your products.

It is imperative to incorporate these keywords seamlessly to enhance the ranking potential of your product pages. Strive to include them naturally to optimize their effectiveness.

Develop a Perfect SEO-Friendly Navigation Menu 

Navigation menus are important as they allow users to navigate throughout your website with ease. By creating an SEO-friendly navigation menu, not only will it look better to Google crawlers, but it will also improve the overall user experience. Here are some tips to optimize your navigation menu for SEO:

  1. Prioritize clear and easy navigation to ensure that users can find what they are looking for quickly and easily.
  2. Organize your products into collections to make it easier for users to browse and find what they need.
  3. Keep your navigation menu consistent across all pages of your website to avoid confusion and frustration for users.
  4. Use the navigation menu to help users easily contact you or your support team. This will improve the user experience and increase the likelihood of customer satisfaction.

Create Links To Your Shopify Website 

As an online store owner, building off-site signals is crucial to gain Google’s trust and improving your search engine rankings. Unfortunately, this can be a challenging aspect of SEO since you cannot force other websites to link back to your site. Nevertheless, there are some simple tactics you can employ to generate more links:

Produce exceptional content, such as blog posts, and ask other website owners to link to it.

Secure a spot in gift guides or product roundups. Additionally, write guest blog posts on relevant websites.

Regular Site Audit 

As time goes by, your website undergoes changes due to the addition or removal of pages, accumulation of backlinks, or changes in the search landscape. Conducting a regular Shopify site SEO audit enables you to determine the pages that are excelling in search and those that are not performing well.

The valuable insights obtained from the audit can help you pinpoint critical issues such as content quality, page experience, and authority that require prioritization and resolution.

Repair Your Unoptimized or Broken Links 

As you make changes to the products you offer or certain items become unavailable, it’s probable that you’ll take down or remove pages from your Shopify website. This can result in “broken links” if the page was previously linked to other areas of your site.

Having too many broken links can negatively impact your website’s ranking on Google, as it appears inactive and not well-maintained.

To prevent this, it’s recommended that you conduct a thorough site crawl every quarter to locate and fix any broken links across your entire website.

Takeaway! 

In conclusion, it is important to keep in mind that SEO can significantly reduce the costs associated with acquiring new customers in the long run. Understanding the fundamentals of Shopify SEO and implementing the necessary measures can make all the difference in surpassing your competitors in terms of rankings and performance. By following the aforementioned checklist, it is highly probable that Google will reward you with increased keyword rankings and higher levels of site traffic.

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