Shopify is the fastest growing e commerce platform in the world. This is mainly due to its ease of use in allowing small businesses, in particular, to build their online stores and make online sales as independently as possible. Whilst building a site using Shopify may be relatively straight forward, these efforts will be in vain unless the site can be accessed by your customers. Improving your Shopify SEO and consequently its ranking is the best way to reach more customers and sell more products online. This post will delve into how to optimise your Shopify site using SEO techniques and which tools to use to aid this process.

Growth Shopify
Shopify has grown into the largest e commerce platform in the world in the last 3 years

Shopify SEO steps

1. Optimise the site structure

Before we get into the nitty gritty, SEO, particularly shopify search engine optmisation, must start with the architecture of your site. Shopify themselves provide information on how best to structure your site.

Landing pages should contain the categories of your products, an about page, contact page and blog page to assist with a content marketing strategy. It is also important to include a search bar to aid customer navigation around your site. Shopify state that landing pages should be within 3 clicks from your homepage. This follows the principle of having a ‘flat’ rather than ‘deep’ website structure.

Site structure Shopify SEO
Comparing a ‘Flat’ and ‘Deep’ site structure

It is also very important to make your homepage visually appealing as this is the first thing that your customers will see upon visiting your site. Your homepage should indicate to your customer who you are, what service or good you offer and an option to convert instantly.

Shopify SEO Homepage

Site structure is important as Google will use bots to crawl your site and assess how it should be ranked for certain keywords. In order for this to happen, it is important that your site is verified with Google Search Console. This then allows you to submit your site map which will improve your ability to rank on Google. But, if your Shopify site is not categorised strongly and clearly prioritised internally then you are presenting a week architecture and thus relevancy. Find more information on submitting a site structure here.

2.Improve the User Experience

In order to make the most out of your Shopify site, it is crucial that the User Experience is optimised. Google wants customers to be able to find what they are looking for as easily and quickly as possible. This is why factors such as site speed, website navigation and content are so important. It is reported that 40% of users will abandon a page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. 7% of users are said to leave a page if it takes longer than even 1 second. After doing so much work to attract users to your site, you want to make sure they stay and are converted. Tips to increase site speed therefore include,

  • Using smaller images (compressing images)
  • Avoiding slider images
  • Removing unnecessary content and apps
  • Using web safe fonts that load quickly

Site speed is all the more important with the growth of M Commerce (mobile online shopping). With most customers using mobile to access e commerce businesses, sites need to be designed with mobile friendly images and content that allows for fast mobile load times.

Testing your page speed times can be done simply through tools such as Pingdom speed testand GT Metrix as mentioned in this video.

3. Conduct Keyword Research

Keywords are the backbone of any Shopify SEO strategy. Google uses keywords to determine the relevance of your site and your landing pages with the terms searched by your prospective customers. Keywords are incorporated into many areas of your site including your page title, homepage, category pages, product descriptions, meta descriptions and image tags. The importance of keywords also means that a lot of research needs to be done into what your customers want, the volume of search terms and how competitive these terms are. Let’s take a Mountain bike store for example.

  • Brainstorm some keywords based off the bike products you currently sell eg ‘Mountain bikes’, ‘bike accessories’, ‘bike clothing’, ‘bike tires’
  • Use the Keyword planner tool in your Google Adwords account or a manual search to find the volume of your search terms and any alternatives.
  • Determine if your site currently ranks for any of these terms through a manual search
  • Choose the most relevant keywords based on your customers’ queries and the products you sell.

This research can be done effectively through Google Ad Words. However, please note that you will be required to have an account for this service. Alternatively, this type of research can be done manually through a Google search in an incognito window.     

4. Optimise your product pages

Once your site is set up well and you have incorporated your keywords, it is time to optimise your product pages.

  • Your first priority is establishing a clear call to action option. This can be labelled as ‘add to cart’, ‘buy now’ or anything similar. The button needs to stand out as this is the primary goal for visitors on your product page.
Product Page Shopify SEO
  • Your image needs to be top quality. Customers do not have the chance to touch your product or test it out before purchase. This undoubtedly creates an element of risk with the buyer. A set of high quality photos are a great way of alleviating these concerns. Visit this post for more information on product images.
  • Product titles for you products need to be under 60 characters and need to accurately describe your product so customers can find what they want. This video will provide more information on back end Shopify SEO tips.
  • Descriptions are also crucial in converting customers by providing enough information to alleviate risk. Before you get tempted, please avoid using manufacturer descriptions. Use original descriptions that outline the key features and benefits to the user.
  • Finally, include customer reviews, postage, returns and sizing info into your description. These factors will ultimately aid the user experience of your site and will ensure that users spend longer on your pages, a crucial metric to Google’s search algorithm.

5. Create content based on customer based questions/issues

To top off these SEO improvements, the last step is to adopt a content based strategy. Dynamic, rich content that provides users with relevant information is useful for a number of reasons.

By posting compelling pieces in a blog section, your site has the opportunity to answer many of the queries that your customers have. These topics can be identified through Answer the public and are a great way to kick start your content strategy. Posting regularly on a range of topics will help your business rank for a number of keywords and will ensure your site stays fresh and doesn’t fall into the trap of being static. When creating content it is important to include as much information as possible by digging deep down into the topic. The idea is to deliver a complete source of information where users are not required to look at other sites for more information. A good benchmark is around 500 words for this. Your post should contain the keywords identified through your keyword research done prior. Posts should also contain strong calls to action to improve your conversion rate.

Please note that content is not limited to text. Video content, Q and A’s and infographics can also be incorporated into your strategy.

SEO Melbourne prides itself on the strength of its content led strategy. We have a team of content writers who have a wealth of experience in producing articles for a range of industries.

6. Seek an SEO expert

Shopify SEO can be a lot to digest for many business owners. If this process sounds a little daunting, don’t worry, we can help. At SEO Melbourne we are committed to delivering the highest quality service to get your e commerce site ranking #1. Contact us here to find out how we can help you with your Shopify SEO Melbourne needs.   

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