We’ve put together a Shopify SEO Guide which includes our 7 most important Shopify SEO tips to help you monitor and improve your technical SEO for Shopify! This is going to be a long one so if you don’t have one already, grab yourself a tea or a coffee and let’s get stuck in.
You’ve done it. You have a Shopify website with a beautiful homepage, collection pages and product pages. You’ve ticked all the boxes and you’re ready to sell your fantastic range of products to your target audience… but your audience isn’t discovering your website and, let’s face it, you need more orders.
So, why isn’t your audience finding your site?
Well, likely, the bells and whistles of SEO aren’t up to scratch on your website. A good-looking, CRO-optimised website is only meaningful if your audience can find your website. SEO and technical SEO can be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be!
1. Set up Google Search Console for your Shopify website
If you’re new to SEO, it’s likely that you don’t know what you don’t know (which is why we created this Shopify SEO Guide!). And what you don’t know is that there are many free, useful tools to monitor your organic performance and highlight areas of improvement on your website.
Enter Google Search Console — a staple analysis tool for improving Shopify website SEO. Google Search Console is a tool that is extremely helpful for website owners who want to improve their websites. It is a service provided by Google that allows website owners to see how well their website is performing in terms of organic traffic, see what search queries are bringing users to their website, identify crawling errors, check the indexing status of webpages, and much more.
If you wish to improve the SEO and UX of your website, this is definitely the best place to start and it will serve you well in the future.
For an extended guide on its perks and how to set it up for your Shopify website, check out this blog: How to setup Google Search Console for Shopify
2. Carefully manage your Shopify robots.txt file
Search engines, such as Google, regularly crawl the internet to find new data for their search results. A robots.txt file allows website owners to tell search engine crawlers which URLs on their website can be accessed.
The primary purpose of a robots.txt file is to prevent a website from being overloaded with requests and to preserve the crawl budget. It is important to note that a robots.txt file is not a way to keep a web page out of Google or other search engines. To keep a page out of search engines, you must prevent indexing by giving it a “noindex” attribute.
Making mistakes in your robots.txt file can be costly, as accidentally disallowing pages that need to be indexed by search engines can result in missing out on valuable organic traffic.
For a deeper dive into what robots.txt is and how to edit yours in Shopify, read on in our complete guide: How to update robots.txt in Shopify
3. Use and optimise meta titles and descriptions
Meta titles and descriptions are crucial elements that can significantly impact a web page’s SEO and conversion rate optimisation (CRO). These HTML attributes often go overlooked in page optimisation, but they play a vital role in communicating the purpose and context of a webpage’s content to both search engines and users.
What are meta titles and descriptions?
The meta title and meta description are HTML attributes that provide information about the content of a web page. They are used by search engines to understand the context and topic of the page, and they are displayed in search results to give users an idea of what the page is about.
The meta title, also known as the “title tag,” is displayed in the search engine results page (SERP) in a larger, bold font and is the first thing users see. It should be unique, descriptive, and accurately reflect the content of the page.
The meta description is a brief summary of the page’s content, displayed in a smaller font below the meta title in the SERP. It should be written in a way that encourages users to click on the page and should include relevant keywords to improve the page’s ranking in search results.
Getting them right is super important in eCommerce. Below, we’ve put together 3 quick tips to get you started:
- Keep the meta title and meta description short, with a recommended length of 50-60 characters for titles and 150-160 characters for descriptions.
- Include relevant keywords in the meta title and meta description, but avoid sacrificing readability for the sake of keyword stuffing. Remember to write for humans, as search engines may penalise pages that stuff keywords into their content.
- Use unique meta titles for each page on your website to accurately reflect the content of that page and avoid confusion for search engines and users.
4. Manage Redirects in Shopify
What is a redirect?
A URL redirect is a way of directing visitors from one page to another. Redirects are typically used in the following situations:
- A page has been removed, and you want to redirect traffic to another page
- A page is no longer current or relevant, so you want to redirect traffic to a more suitable page
- The URL for a page has been changed after it was published and indexed by search engines
- You have changed the domain of your website
There are two main types of redirects, indicated by an HTTP status code. A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect from one URL to another. A 302 redirect indicates that the resource has been temporarily changed. A 307 redirect is the HTTP 1.1 successor of the 302 redirects, and major crawlers will typically treat it like a 302.
Are redirects important for SEO?
Yes, redirects are very important for SEO. They prevent users from experiencing 404 errors, or “page not found” messages. They also prevent search engine crawlers from encountering indexing issues, which can prevent valuable pages from being discoverable in search engine results and decrease organic traffic.
It’s worth noting that approximately 90% of link equity (ranking power) is passed on to the redirected page with each redirect. This means that you need to be careful when implementing redirects, as redirect chains can be harmful.
5. Optimising Images in Shopify
Image optimisation is often overlooked as a means of improving a website’s SEO, but businesses must ensure that the customer experience is not slowed down. To improve page speed and make it easier for search engines to crawl your site, consider implementing the following five tips for optimising images in your Shopify store:
Optimise image alt attributes
When optimising alt attributes, be sure to describe images in plain language, avoid keyword stuffing, and include model and serial numbers if applicable.
Choose the right image formats
PNG images have a better colour range than GIFs and do not degrade with multiple saves as JPEGs do, but their file sizes tend to be larger. It is generally a good idea to use JPEGs for product images on your Shopify store and avoid using GIFs for large images.
Keep image names short and relevant
Instead of using generic image names assigned by your camera, consider using keywords or search queries that are relevant to your page and bring the most traffic to your site. You can use tools like Google Search Console to identify the best keywords to use.
Be mindful of decorative images
These images are important for the presentation and navigation of your website, but they can cause issues if they are not optimised. To reduce the size of decorative images, consider using CSS to create coloured areas instead of images, optimise wallpaper-style background images, and compress images as much as possible without harming quality.
6. Ensure your Shopify collection pages are air-tight
Collection pages are absolutely crucial to get right. They are the place where your audience will spend the most time browsing. Here are our picks for some of the best things you can do to improve your Shopify collection page SEO:
1. Incorporate relevant keywords into your collection page titles and URLs to improve their visibility in search engines.
2. Use descriptive and keyword-rich descriptions to help search engines understand the content of your website and increase its discoverability.
3. Alt tags, also known as alt text, describe the content of an image and can improve its visibility in search engines. Use them.
4. Utilise headings and subheadings to organise your content and make it easier for readers to understand.
5. Create a sitemap for your collection pages to help search engines index them properly.
6. Use rich snippets to display additional information about your products, such as ratings and prices, in search results.
7. Keep your product pages clean and well-optimised
Similar to the above, optimising your product pages is just as critical. This is when your audience has found which product is the solution to their pain point and is heavily considering buying. As such, reducing the reasons why a prospective customer may bounce is incredibly important.
- Use clear images to showcase your products
- Display your prices clearly and effectively
- Include compelling “call-to-action” buttons (CTAs)
- Include product reviews
- Optimise your website for mobile devices
- Offer a variety of payment options
- Use video to showcase your products
For detailed information on each of the above tips, check out this blog: 7 Great Shopify Product Page Tips
And that does it for our top tips! If you found our overview for any of these interesting, feel free to check out the dedicated blogs for each tip. For expert advice on any of this, or if you’re keen to uplift your SEO results, it’s never a bad idea to work with an expert SEO Agency, or more specifically Shopify SEO agency or an eCommerce SEO Agency!