Shopify SEO Tutorial: 5 Pro Tips For Your Shopify Site to Rank Well on Google
Getting free organic traffic is every marketer’s and site owner’s dream. However, achieving it is becoming increasingly difficult as everyone and their dog seem to have an online Shopify dropshiping store, and competition for keywords is enormous. Still, if you know how to do SEO on Shopify, it can help your shop get relevant and even growing traffic from search engines. So, follow our Shopify SEO tutorial!
Shopify SEO tips to improve your site’s ranking
The Shopify SEO basics haven’t changed substantially for quite some time. You still need to have relevant content, headers, titles, descriptions, and image alt tags focused around the targeted keywords. As for the technical side of Shopify SEO, you can rest assured the Shopify team is carrying out that task perfectly. Still, there are some extra thoughts to help your dropshipping business succeed in getting more relevant organic traffic.
1. Target associated keywords
The days of just opening Google Keyword Planner in Google Ads and targeting your content to the queries having the greatest search volume are now gone. Wonder why? Try googling for something like ‘men’s t-shirts’ and you can easily see the point. There is no way your Shopify store can surpass such moguls as Tommy Hilfiger, Macy’s, or Nordstrom, and the rest who are populating search result pages for such high-frequency keywords.
Does it mean your Shopify SEO efforts are doomed? Not at all. You just have to be smarter in approaches on how to do SEO on Shopify and outplay your competition somehow. In a marketing sense, you may refer to AcquireConvert, who are the experts in optimizing and promoting Shopify stores. And one of the Shopify SEO tips is to find new highly-targeted keywords to create content. Your products can be more suitable to those keywords and therefore may rank better as a more relevant search result.
Let’s have a look at what will happen if you google, for example, ‘dream catcher ladies t-shirt wide neck grey’. Obviously, the results differ, as we all have different search histories and locations with Google, but for us, it looks like this right now (skipping past paid ads section). Ok, it is the 8th position, but still the first page!
It’s a Shopify shop that isn’t even on its own domain. And when we look inside, it seems like the search result was indeed very relevant – exactly the products we were looking for.
Want to get your shop to the top 10 search results, too? Sure, here are some Shopify SEO tips for picking keywords better:
- Use the best SEO tools to dig keyword ideas: the industry of finding relevant keywords has leaped far from the basics that Google Keyword Planner provided. There are many tools to do this, such as the SE Ranking Keyword Suggestion tool. It will provide you with useful keyword ideas which can come in handy for your SEO efforts. Copy them or export them to the spreadsheet software of your choice. Make sure the keyword difficulty and volume are exported too.
- Check the possible grouping of keywords: some similar keywords may produce the same search engine results page, and it means, you can target only one of them, the most powerful, not trying to compete for the rest, but you can use them too in the content for the page.
- Sort keyword ideas: practically, you want keywords with clear buying intent, great search volume, and low keyword difficulty:
- Search intent: this is not automatable, you need to look at each keyword and find the ones with commercial intent. The main principle is this: the more details there are in the search keyword, the closer the searcher is to buying. Compare ‘headlight lamps for Toyota’ and ‘headlight lamps for RAV4 2006 model year’. The other identifiers of buying intent could be words like ‘buy’, ‘how much’, ‘price’, ‘quote’, ‘discount’, ‘coupon’, ‘delivery’, etc. So when you target some keywords, you want to do it for the ones used by the hottest, closest to buying customers.
- Search volume: obviously, you want to target the keywords with the most search volume as it means that many people are searching for this item, but, as a rule, they are difficult to rank high for, and the keyword difficulty is another limiting factor.
- Keyword difficulty: this is the metric calculated by the internal algorithms of SEO tools like SE Ranking, meaning how difficult it would be to rank for this keyword. There are different opinions on what is the reasonable limit for the difficulty to try to go after, we recommend sticking with no more than 25.
- Mind keyword cannibalization: it happens when you have more than 1 page optimized for or accidentally archived with a good ranking for a certain single keyword. It will diminish the chances to get the best possible rank and you can easily spot such cannibalization in page ranking tools such as SE Ranking. Normally, you detect keyword cannibalization when you see that the target URL for a certain keyword keeps changing from one to another. The typical ways to act are to either merge your content into one page, delete the unneeded one or canonicalize/redirect.
2. Add a Schema Markup
One of the ways to rank higher through getting a higher CTR is by adding Schema.org markup to the pages. Below are the two examples of search results for a bike model, one without Schema and the with it added, and you can see that the latter variant looks more ‘interesting’ and inviting.
Schema markup can also potentially help conversions as it can get more targeted and mindful clicks which are supposed to give better CTR and in effect, help ranking higher as a more suitable result.
There are lots of fields available in the Schema markup. The following is recommended to be added for product pages for your Shopify store:
- offers > price;
- offers > priceCurrency.
As for category pages, additional rules apply – if you markup a product on the category page, then all products on this page should be marked up.
If you’re a bit uneasy with reading developers’ docs at Schema, you can get online Schema generators like the one at TechnicalSEO and experiment with it to see how different tags are added to the page’s HTML-code.
3. Find orphaned or deep pages
There may be many different issues with your eCommerce site. To spot and fix them, you can use any SEO tools for Shopify. Some of these issues are not so obvious, so in this section, we’ll cover orphaned and deep pages in detail since they influence user experience greatly but are not the first things that come to SEOs’ minds.
Orphaned pages are the ones that don’t have internal links pointing to them. In other words, these pages are inaccessible from within the site. The only way to reach them is by knowing the direct link. The other problem with orphaned pages is that they usually don’t get indexed by search engines as the crawling bots simply can’t reach them.
Usually, orphaned pages are the result of something that went wrong, e.g. the page was created, but then you forgot to put the link to it from the main page or the menu. Or it could be some outdated landing page for a great sale that is no longer active, so the link to it was removed, but the page itself was not. Anyway, you don’t want orphaned pages on your site. If they’re useful, they have to be linked from some relevant page within the site. If they’re no longer used, they have to be either merged with others, deleted, or redirected, depending on the situation.
The deep pages are the ones that are more than four clicks away from the main page. Hardly anyone likes continuously clicking and clicking to reach the content they need. That’s the problem with deep pages. They may not get the attention they deserve, while there could be relevant content on them, and if people read it, it will increase their dwell time, which, in return, may cause Google to rank them higher.
Also, similar to orphaned pages, deep pages can have problems with being indexed. The reason here is called ‘crawling budget’. Crawling bots don’t want to spend eternity running each and every page of your website. They have a crawling budget which is basically a set of rules defining how many pages and which pages they can check during a specific crawling session. And they may not go deeper than level four simply because they think anything past that is not that important and they better re-check other pages on a higher level just in case something changed there.
It can be difficult to avoid deep pages altogether, but make sure none of your important pages are further than 4 clicks away from the main page. If some of your product pages still are, you can group them into collections, linking to a set of collections from the main page, and they won’t be deep any longer: Main > Collections > Collection X > Product.
4. Generate unique content for product & category pages
It has been said thousands of times that unique, relevant, and interesting content wins in Shopify SEO (and not only Shopify), and it’s still valid.
One of the great problems with eCommerce sites is that they take too much of a templated approach to creating content product and category pages. Many product pages are almost boring and have plain descriptions of the product. So, here is some advice on how to do SEO on Shopify in terms on content creation:
- Treat your product/category pages as landing pages. Let’s remind ourselves what makes landing pages great again:
- Images – be it a product or category page, images should look great and inspiring. While modern smartphones do offer great camera capabilities, a lot of artistry lies in the hands and experience of a photographer. Lights, setting, it all matters. Make sure your photos are of great quality. Put the most compelling image first, but also provide other photos to show the product from different angles.
- Titles and the leading information – the product title and the short info on your product like price, features, and customization options should be very clear to the reader.
- Product description – this is the main copy on the page. Make sure it is unique, compelling, and interesting to read.
- Product videos – in every possible situation where product videos are relevant, make sure you use them. They’re great to show-off your product and to provide a believable demo.
- Reviews and testimonials – they’re great trust-builders helping to increase conversions.
- Similar product suggestions – this is an extra way to engage your customers and offer them more choice.
- Remember the keywords. Every product or category page should be optimized for a certain keyword and you need to remember it when creating page titles, descriptions, and headings.
- Combat duplicate content. Sometimes, depending on the platform settings, you may find that there are copies of your page created by Shopify. In this case, you should use the canonical tag to ‘tell’ the search engines which is the ‘main’ page for this keyword. You can also add ‘noindex, follow’ into the Robots tag of the page you don’t want to be in the index.
5. Start your eCommerce blog
Imagine it’s you who decides which eCommerce site has more authority on a certain topic. There are two sites. One of them just sells nice products. The other one not only sells such products but regularly keeps adding new helpful posts on this topic to its blog. Which one would you pick? The answer is obvious and in line with Google’s expectations. Given other aspects are equal, the site that is constantly updated with new relevant articles has more authority. The benefits of having a blog for your eCommerce site are these:
- You keep publishing relevant thematic content, it is viewed positively by search engines, and helps rankings.
- You target a wider variety of keywords as you may not have a reasonable page to aim at keyword ‘how to choose a winter coat’ among your product/categories pages but it makes a great idea for a blog article page.
- There is more to cross-link to. Your product pages beg for some supporting information, and blog pages are great for crosslinking.
- Blog pages make great targets for back-linking, and you still need to get backlinks as a part of your Shopify SEO strategy. So, you need to create something link-worthy.
Focus on the creation of evergreen content (content which will not become outdated soon). How to choose, how to measure, how to fix, and any other how-to articles, guides, manuals, and instructions can be great evergreen content that can bring you great traffic for years to come.
Bonus Tip: Get mentions on the manufacturers’ websites
Backlinks matter for a higher ranking. Backlinks from quality websites matter even more, but getting them isn’t an easy feat. There are three major ways how you can get more quality backlinks for your Shopify shop:
- Check which sites link to your competitors. You can easily do it via SE Ranking Backlink Checker or other best SEO apps for Shopify. When you get the list, you can contact site owners offering them your content, guest post, blog article, etc., in exchange for a link to your site.
- Get into ‘where to buy’ pages of manufacturers. Some manufacturers of the goods you sell might have such pages on their site. Ask them if they can mention your site on those pages.
- Try the ‘alternative’ techniques. When you find a mention of the competition on some of the sites in their articles/blog posts, apply to the owner of the site asking to add your site as a reasonable alternative or because it could be of benefit to the reader to see more choices.
Shopify SEO Tutorial
Orchestrating proper SEO efforts for your Shopify site can be a daunting task. The competition is huge and is using the same basic principles of SEO everyone is aware of. Follow our Shopify tutorial from this article to get a winning edge and make your eCommerce site successful with great ranking and free traffic flowing in from search engines.