Shopify SEO Experts: Get Your Store #1 on Google
Or that the amount of traffic to your Shopify store will jump 142 percent on average simply by going from position 11 (top of page two) to position 10 (bottom of page one)?
More traffic means more leads and more paying shoppers so SEO is a vital component of your ecommerce growth strategy.
But where are the Shopify SEO experts who can help you rank higher and get all that much-needed traffic?
There are hundreds of SEO agencies out there — the global agencies SEO services market was projected to be worth $51.25 billion in 2022. Not all so-called experts do what they say they’ll do. Maybe you’ve had your fingers burnt with a so-called SEO expert in the past?
Rest, assured, SEO professionals who can help you get results well beyond your expectations are out there — if you’re prepared to make an ongoing and consistent investment in your business.
Choose a Shopify SEO expert by following these best practices…
You’re likely to rely on the results produced by your Shopify SEO expert to grow your business. And the relationship could last for years if it works well.
So, it pays to do your due diligence before simply going with the first SEO company you find. Referrals and recommendations from other business owners are a great start but be sure to check out that they can deliver what you need.
Here are a few key pointers on how to select a Shopify SEO expert who you can work with well into the future.
Understand what you want to achieve
Before diving into setting up SEO campaigns, you need to know what you want to achieve from them. Otherwise, you’re travelling blindly down a road and will never know when you get to your destination.
- How can your website and SEO performance be improved?
- What’s failing with your SEO?
- Where would you like to end up?
- Do you need standard SEO services or other additional services like branding, voice SEO, local SEO, etc.?
For instance, if you’re not currently showing up in Google when your target audience searches for information about the types of products you sell, you may need to develop more SEO-optimized content around these products.
So, in this case, your SEO expert should be a specialist in content marketing.
If, however, you’re already producing high-quality content but it’s buried beneath inferior content on the tenth page of Google when people search for your keywords, it might point to another issue: most likely, a lack of high-quality backlinks to your site or a low domain authority score. So, you’ll need an SEO expert to work on these areas for you to get results.
This highlights how important it is to have a basic idea of what you need from your Shopify SEO experts as a first step.
Once you know what you need, you can set some realistic expectations of SEO and start looking for an SEO expert who can help you get there.
Standard SEO services should include keyword research, technical SEO and site organization, strategies to increase page-load speed and mobile friendliness, recommendations for onsite optimization, link-building, and so on.
Set realistic goals
As you’re considering your SEO goals, it’s important to be realistic. Doubling your traffic in one month is not realistic.
SEO takes time. Google’s Maile Ohye said this about it:
Other SEO experts say that it takes 12-24 months to see the full benefits of SEO. This depends partly on how competitive your niche is. If your shop sells products in a less competitive niche, you may make some good early gains whereas a crowded niche will take longer to improve rankings.
The “rankings curve” is not straight one though. Most Shopify stores find that when they invest in professional SEO, they get some ranking boosts within a few months but once they get onto the first page of Google, it takes a LOT longer to oust the competition there and claim the top spaces.
So, a realistic goal might be:
- Rank on page one of Google for three priority target keywords within one year
- Double traffic to your Shopify store within 6-12 months
- Increase sales by 25 percent within 12 months (though this is not dependent only on SEO)
If your main goal is to get instant traffic and sales through the door, you’d probably be better off finding an agency that specializes in pay-per-click (PPC) advertising with Google Ads or Facebook.
Build a shortlist of SEO experts and check credentials
Next, it’s time to build a shortlist of Shopify SEO experts who can help you correct the faults on your website, improve SEO performance and achieve the goals you’ve outlined.
You can make a start on this by researching online or by adding recommendations from fellow business owners or friends.
Any Shopify SEO expert worth his/her salt should be able to show you a long list of reviews and testimonials from clients with stellar results. Once you have your shortlist together, you can check out the credentials of each one.
Check how the results were achieved — what methods were used and was the client facing the same issues as you?
The words of previous clients will also provide good insight into how it was to work with the SEO agency. Were they easy to communicate with? How did they accept feedback and suggestions? How were reports presented? How was customer service?
Soon, you’ll narrow down your list to a few SEO agencies and then it’s time to get more granular with assessing their credentials and how they plan for success with your SEO campaigns.
Check that the agency has ecommerce-specific SEO experience
SEO, to some degree, is SEO. The same strategies work across different industries. But how hard and how long you’ll need to fight for rankings is dependent partly on how competitive your niche is.
Most ecommerce sectors are highly competitive and so you need an SEO expert with experience in fighting this battle.
There are also certain areas that ecommerce SEO needs to emphasize more than with standard SEO, such as:
- Focus on optimizing product and collection pages
- Optimizing product images for page-load speeds (most ecommerce sites are image and video-heavy)
- Internal linking for easy navigation for shoppers as well as SEO
- Rich snippets for standing out in product searches through the search engines
Some Shopify SEO experts may even be able to help you with ecommerce conversion rate optimization too.
Check who will be working on your SEO campaign and what they’ll be doing
After you share information about your business and your SEO goals, beware of SEO companies that immediately send quotes and try to sign you up.
The best ones will want to audit your website and provide recommendations on the path forward.
During this process, be sure to ask who’ll be driving your SEO campaign and how they plan on getting you to where you want to go.
Many companies think SEO is about smoke and mirrors or some voodoo/magic. More than anything else, it’s about taking consistent and battle-tested steps to improve your rankings.
The best SEO experts have done this time and time again and know how to plan for success. So, your candidates should be able to tell you precisely what they’ll do to get your website performing in search and how they’ll meet your goals.
Ask who will be doing what and when? Who’s responsible for the strategy, execution and account management of the campaigns?
This should help you assess how each SEO agency will live up to its promises.
For instance, if you find out that the lead SEO expert who will work on your website has written well-reviewed blog articles on the topic and has a good standing in the wider SEO community, you can be more confident that he/she will deliver results for you.
Check that pricing is affordable and transparent
As you narrow down your list of SEO experts to two or three, you’ll need to discuss pricing and ensure that it fits your budget.
SEO is not your only marketing expenditure as a Shopify store owner so you’ll need to cut your cloth according to your size. However, if services appear too cheap, it should be a warning sign that corners may be cut and unethical techniques used to get results — avoid!
There’s no standard pricing for SEO, which may mean that you encounter a wide range of options. Make sure you know what’s covered, what’s not and that there are no hidden costs.
According to Ahrefs 2018 industry study, SEO experts charge from $75 to $150 USD per hour.
However, most SEOs charge a month retainer rather than hourly rates. In the US most agencies charge $2.5k to $5k USD per month for SEO. Ahrefs also determined the cost of 1 backlink to be $361.44 USD in 2018.
Check that your contract includes deliverables
Before you sign any paperwork with a Shopify SEO expert and grant access to your digital assets, make sure that there are clear deliverables stated in the contract.
Ensure that the people in your company who will be working with the expert are aware of the deliverables in detail as well as the terms and conditions.
If you have a legal department or access to legal counsel, run it past them too. After you’re sure that everybody’s clear on the scope of the work to be done, timelines, what the expected results will be, and any limitations imposed, the onboarding process can start.
Why hire an SEO expert? Can’t you DIY?
Some Shopify store owners go it alone with SEO. That’s a tough gig unless you have considerable experience in ecommerce SEO and access to the right tools. It takes a commitment of time and effort that most store owners don’t have.
There are several good reasons to leave it to a Shopify SEO expert:
- Ecommerce SEO is highly competitive: it’s tough for an ecommerce store to rank on the first page of Google for its priority keywords but doing so can be incredibly lucrative. It’s worth entrusting this to SEO pros, who have the knowledge and experience in getting higher rankings and generating traffic for Shopify stores and helping stores grow.
- Free up your time: by hiring Shopify SEO experts to look after the time-consuming SEO processes, you free up your own time for other important tasks, such as developing your marketing plan to promote sales in your store and managing day-to-day operations.
- Expertise in other areas: your Shopify SEO expert may be part of a larger marketing agency that can look after other requirements for your store, such as branding, PPC, email marketing, social media, and so on.
Vet your Shopify SEO expert before hiring…
Organic SEO is crucial to the level of traffic, leads and, ultimately, sales revenue of most Shopify stores. That’s why you may need a specialist Shopify SEO expert to optimize your store’s search performance.
Depending on your needs, this may be an expert working alone or a team of experts in a digital marketing agency that provides a range of other marketing services too.
The success of your Shopify store will depend on how well you bring all these components together but SEO is usually one of the best places to start. But be sure to vet your SEO expert before you hire.,..