If you’re an ecommerce merchant, you know search engine optimization (SEO) is an important consideration for the health and well-being of your site. But if you’ve partnered with Shopify, you might be confused as to how you can make the most of your SEO using this platform.
First, it’s important to understand what Shopify is to explain your options.
A Basic Understanding of Shopify
Shopify promotes itself as an all-inclusive ecommerce site solution. When you work with Shopify, your store is hosted on the Shopify network. All you have to do is add your product pages, tracking mechanisms, images, etc. You do not have to worry about the backend of your ecommerce site because Shopify takes care of all networking aspects of being on the Internet. Additionally, Shopify ensures all your pages are HTTPS instead of HTTP, which protects your customers from online fraud and personal identity/information theft.
If you already have an ecommerce site and want to move it to Shopify, you can move your site relatively conveniently. You can also register your preferred domain name with Shopify.
The Benefits and Shortcomings of Shopify Backend SEO
The biggest advantage to Shopify is that you don’t have to worry about the nuts and bolts of setting up an ecommerce website. Ecommerce sites can be challenging to design, and Shopify gets you open much faster than if you had to create a site from scratch.
The one downside is that backend, or off-page, SEO is more limited with Shopify. You give up control of some off-page SEO opportunities. However, you can make up for these losses by making the most of the on-page — and certain off-page — SEO you can easily handle.
Ways to Build Your SEO Presence With Your Shopify Site
When you’re putting together your ecommerce site on Shopify, focus on having strong SEO from the beginning:
- Create Unique Content on Every Page. No Exceptions. Even if you have a dozen products that are basically the same, it’s important that each product have a unique description. Yes, this can be tedious, but it’s worth the effort. Google rewards unique content and may penalize duplicate content. If the task seems too overwhelming or daunting, you can always outsource it to a trusted web content management firm.
- Create Unique Meta Tags and descriptions. Shopify allows you to set up meta titles, tags, and descriptions for all your pages. These will not be seen on-page, but search engines will use them to index your site and improve your SEO for certain keywords. Therefore, you must embed your metas with keyword-optimized information. Again, always be unique. Mix up the way you say something. Switch words and phrases around. Do what you need to do to ensure nothing has been duplicated.
- Add Some Long-Form Content to Your Product Pages. Product pages are excellent places for long-form content — content that is 800+ words. Not only will you see an uptick in your SEO when you start including longer content pieces on your ecommerce site, but you’ll position your company as an authority on the products you sell. Don’t worry. You can limit some product pages to around 400 to 500 words total. Just make sure a few have long-form content.
- Include Category Pages. Looking for a way to add content but don’t want to increase the length of your product pages? Try category pages. You’ll be able to highlight categories you offer on your Shopify site, while simultaneously giving you a new page for Google to index. Be certain to add keywords and call-to-action statements in your copywriting.
- Start a Blog. Blogs are another way for you to show your expertise and add new pages to your site. Aim for a new blog post at least once every two weeks or so. To keep on track, try writing a few 500+ word blog posts ahead of time, and then set up a content calendar so you know when to make each post live. Over time, this will build your SEO presence and give you the chance for internal linking to products.
- Optimize All Your Images. Are you correctly tagging your images with keyword-rich descriptors? Images are often forgotten in the SEO mix, but they can make a subtle difference in your page rank for particular keywords.
- Make Keywords Your Anchor Text. When linking to another page on your site, use a keyword phrase as your anchor text for the link. This helps Google correctly index the link.
Now that you have a better idea of how to make Shopify perform well for you from an SEO perspective, it’s time to dive in. Remember that this is an ongoing process, not a journey with a definitive end. The more time and energy you put into your ecommerce site’s SEO, the more you’ll get in return.