Shopify SEO Guide for Online Store
Shopify is a standalone solution, which means that your store can be ready in minutes, since there is no additional software to install. It does not have a free plan, but prices are still affordable.
There are many multi-functional e-commerce platforms, each of which has its own strengths. One of the most popular solutions is Shopify.
The platform offers attractive design, payment gateways, product options, marketing functions, SEO, various extensions and additions to further expand and improve your online store.
In this article, we will tell you about SEO for an online store for beginners and deal with basics such as keywords, site structure, and SEO on site pages.
What is SEO and why is it important?
SEO is a set of measures and works to improve the site for the growth of organic traffic from search engines. When you search for something on Google, you will see the results.
Search engine optimization of an online store means actions aimed at ensuring that product pages appear in the top search engine results.
The higher the number of your page on which the site’s results are located, the less organic traffic will be.
As a result of a study conducted by the advertising company Chitika in 2013, it turned out that only 4.8% of users go to the second page of the search engine. Until the third – only 1.1%.
Your score on the first page also matters. In the same study, it was found that the first delivery result occupies an average of 32.5% of the traffic. The second result attracts 17.6% of users. The sixth result in search results receives an average of less than 5% of traffic.
When you begin the SEO promotion of an online store, you first need to identify the valuable keywords that potential customers are looking for. You can do this with keyword research.
When you work with the Google autocomplete function, you start typing in the search, it shows you possible queries. At the bottom of the page you also see additional search options related to what you entered in the query.
SEMRush Keyword Research Tool
If you have $ 100 for a monthly subscription to SEMRush, then SEMRush is what you need. This will make your keyword list better.
For example, you are competing with the online store of T-shirts BustedTees. All you have to do is enter the domain into the keyword research tool and select “Organic Research” in the left menu. Scrolling down, you will see all the keywords by which the site belongs to the categories. You can also switch to “Competitors” and get a report about them. This will give you a large list of sites similar to this or any other website that you have visited.
You can also use Gap Analysis to see which keywords all of these competitive sites belong to. Pay attention to details and make sure that you select “Unique Keywords”.
Thus, you get a list of your competitor’s keywords.
Choose the right keywords
After all the turns, you will get a pretty long list of keywords. The list should be narrowed and focus on those words that really matter. Let’s start with the key factors.
- Frequency. The higher the frequency of search queries, the more potential traffic you have on the site. SEMRush can provide you with voluminous data, but the Google Keyword Planner tool, which is free, can also do it. However, the free version has limited private user information for advertisers who have not created or launched a campaign. Such users see the frequency of requests in certain numerical ranges.
- Competition. The lower the competition for a keyword, the more likely it is that you can be ranked by this key. You can use the SEMRush tool again to check the relationship between competition and keyword. In short, you need keys with high frequency and low competition. Of the free tools, MozBar can help you.
- Relevance. This is a very important factor in the ranking, which is often neglected. Get keywords that fit your product.
- Intent. You need to use keywords that clearly indicate the commercial purpose of the site. In addition, you can determine the goal by simply looking at the keyword.
Website structure for online store
The organization and structure of the site is affected by the ranking in search engines. The structure also affects the experience of your users. Therefore, you need to organize the site so that the products on it are easy to find for both visitors and the search engine.
As you remove or add products and categories, the site structure begins to quickly become more complex. If you manage to build the structure correctly from the very beginning, you will save a lot of time for the future. To do this, you need to make sure that the structure of your site is simple, but at the same time it is easy to scale as the store grows. And each page of your site is deleted from the main page of the site with a minimum number of clicks.
Simplicity is often underestimated. You don’t want your users to constantly press the “Back” button to return to the right place or couldn’t find the right product? Try to make the site simple, convenient and user friendly. Also, you do not need to make the site in such a way as to redo the structure later each time you add a new product category.
Your homepage has the highest trust rating. Thus, the farther the product page is from the home page, the lower the credibility of this product page. This is the base. Here are more relevant recommendations:
Use the principle of supply and demand to determine what levels of site structure (from categories to properties, brands or filters) need to be indexed and optimized, since they are in real demand.
An index is the name of the database that the search engine uses. Google has a crawl, indexing and rating. Scanning is when bots go through the pages of a site. Indexing is when pages are added to the database. Ranking is the issuance of pages from the index on demand and their distribution by relevance.
Why is this needed? One of the most common problems with online stores is the lack of content and duplicate pages. This is because the site structure has many internal levels, such as filters, property pages which have few products and they are also included in other pages.
The simplest solution is not to index these types of pages or to not canonize one of the versions. This is easier than specifically creating useful content for them.
Canonicalizing a page is a way to show Google that this link is the main version that needs to be displayed. This helps in cases with duplicate content. Without the rel = ”canonical” attribute for a Google link, it can:
- Skip unique content as you make your way through the thicket of duplicates
- Lower your rating
- Choose the wrong basic version of the page for you
First determine what you need to index. Look at the number of searches for the characteristics of a particular product, type or brand of your store. Highlight the most popular pages.
For these pages, determine if they have enough content, whether it matches what the user is looking for, or if additional efforts are needed to optimize the page. If not, and you need to optimize the pages, know that it will pay off. In the end, you have already established that there is a demand for goods on these pages and that they are often searched for.
Not every level of website structure needs to be indexed, so approach this strategically.
- SEO of the pages of the online store website
Now that you have completed your keyword search and completed your site, you need to optimize the 2 most valuable page types:
- Product Category Pages
- Product Pages
Search engines also use page meta tags to determine rankings. These HTML-tags provide structured metadata for pages of the site.
The title meta tag is the page title in the browser that appears in the search results. When ranking sites, it is taken into account by the search engine. The title meta tag determines whether the page matches the search query or not.
A meta description is a brief description of a site page in a browser that appears in search results. This tag is not visible to visitors on the site page. This meta tag is taken into account by search engines to determine page content. According to the description, the search engine distributes sites in the search results. For this you need:
- Change description and title meta tags to contain keys
- Edit the alt tag so that your keys are in the pictures
- Pay attention and make sure your file names contain keywords
Meta tag optimization is necessary for both the search engine and visitors.
Add-ons such as “Sale,” “−50%,” “Free Shipping,” and more can increase your search engine ranking. This is due to the fact that Google also considers the percentage of conversions from the search engine to the site as a ranking factor.
There are principles by which you need to organize links for optimal ranking:
- Users should understand your link. It should be easy to read.
- Use keywords in links – they appear in search results.
- Short links are better than long links. Try to keep their length at about 50-60 characters.
- The link and page title should be very similar.
- If you insert meaningless keys and repetitions into links, Google will notice this and downgrade the site.
Make long descriptions for your items
Internet search engines such as Google use the content on your page to decide:
- What keys to rank the page
- How high your page should be ranked for each key
Therefore, if you have a brief description on the product page, Google will have nothing to work with. Therefore, try to create detailed and long descriptions to help the search engine more efficiently process your pages.
If you have a huge catalog of products, focus on the most popular products or those that are ranked at the bottom of the first search page or at the top of the second.
The longer your descriptions, the more accurately Google will evaluate your page. Moreover, in long descriptions you can insert more keys.
Use LSI keys
LSI keys are any keywords that appear in the search results along with a given keyword, because they have the same meaning. They can be found using the Google Keyword Planner or other tools. You can also try running the keyword through the scheduler to get an idea of the LSI keys.
If you have traffic from the main keyword, you can also insert similar searches on the first page.