The Complete Shopify SEO Guide To Rank Your Website On Google In 2023
Are you a Shopify store owner looking to maximize your online visibility and improve your website’s search engine rankings in 2023?
Search engine optimization (SEO) can help you generate more organic traffic, attract qualified customers to your site, and boost conversions.
But SEO for Shopify is a nuanced process that requires attention and practice – this makes it tricky for many store owners who don’t have the time or resources to dedicate significant effort towards SEO.
In this blog post, we’ll give you a step-by-step SEO guide for 2023, so you can get started without any prior knowledge of the subject!
We cover everything from keyword research tools, content marketing strategies, link building tactics to technical optimization methods – read on to
What Is Shopify SEO?
Shopify SEO is the process of optimizing your Shopify store for search engines so that it can rank higher in organic search results and drive more traffic to your website. It involves a variety of tactics, such as creating content that’s optimized for keywords, building backlinks, and making sure your website is optimized for technical aspects like page speed, mobile optimization, and structured data.
When done correctly, Shopify SEO can help you generate more organic leads and qualified customers, boost conversions, and increase your overall web presence.
Ranking Your Shopify Website In 2023: A Step-By-Step SEO Guide
Now that you understand what Shopify SEO is, let’s take a look at the steps you can take to rank your Shopify website in 2023.
1. Register Your Shopify Store On Search Engines
Google and Bing are the two most important search engines, and it’s essential to register your Shopify store with them. This will help search engines discover your website and crawl it more often, improving your chances of ranking higher.
You can register your Shopify store on Google by creating a Google Search Console account. You can also submit your website URL to Bing Webmaster Tools, which will enable you to track how well your shop is performing in Bing search results.
Besides appearing in search engine results, registering your website with Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools will get you notified about possible technical issues related to crawling or usability.
2. Optimize Your Shopify Store Structure
With the right keywords and metrics identified, it’s time to optimize your Shopify store structure. Optimization means ensuring your website is organized so that it is easy for search engines to crawl and index your content.
Plus, you need to make it convenient enough for Shopify visitors to browse your website.
Online shoppers want to find the products they’re looking for quickly and easily.
So, your Shopify store should be organized in a way that allows customers to find what they’re looking for without any help. This means having a clear navigation system, using categories, and labeling product pages appropriately.
Also, try to keep each category accessible with just two or three clicks from the home page.
For example, Home > Category > Sub-category > Product — that’s it. Adding more and more layers might make the visitor feel lost, which could ruin the experience.
Also, add a search bar so customers can easily find out what they’re looking for.
Tip: Add About Us and Contact Us pages — they might not seem so useful for a shopping experience, but they help build trust with your visitors.
For Search Engines
Search engine spiders need to be able to crawl your website easily in order for it to rank higher in organic search results. For that, you need to create a Shopify sitemap of your online store.
A sitemap is basically a list of all the pages on your website that you want search engines to crawl.
It should include all of your product pages, category pages, blog posts, and other content.
You can create a sitemap using tools like Yoast SEO or Screaming Frog to help search engines easily find and index your content. Or, you can use the Shopify automatic generator to create a Shopify sitemap. Use this link: www.yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml.
Once you have submitted the sitemap, it will be easier for search engines to “index” the content of your Shopify site.
What is “index?”
Indexing means registering your content in the database of Google or other search engines.
In simple words, indexing your category pages, attributes, product pages, or other pages means your ecommerce site will now appear on the search engine results page (SERP).
We’ll get into more indexing details in the technical SEO part of this blog post.
3. Conduct Keyword Research To Identify The Right Search Terms
The first step to SEO success is researching the right keywords to target. This involves finding out what people are searching for when they’re looking for products or services like yours and identifying the most relevant terms that you can optimize your site for.
However, first, you need to understand an interesting concept behind search queries: search intent.
You see, not everyone is looking to buy something. Some people are just looking for information. They type in keywords like “how to fix a sink” or “is it okay to wear a hoodie at parties.”
These users only need information.
Therefore, it’s important to focus on keywords that have commercial intent. These are terms that indicate a buying intent, such as “buy shoes online” or “best running shoes on sale.”
Use The Right Tools
You can use a keyword research tool like Google’s Keyword Planner or Ahrefs’s Keyword Generator to find out what keywords you should be targeting. These tools allow you to research keyword search volumes, as well as related terms and long-tail keywords that you can use to target more specific searches.
However, there’s another interesting and effective way to target high-traffic keywords, and that is using the Google auto suggest feature.
Type your main keyword into the Google search bar and wait. Google will show you suggestions based on what people are searching on the internet. This gives you a good collection of long-tail keywords you can target.
Tip: Since we’re focusing on Shopify and ecommerce in general, you can do the same with Amazon.
But if you plan on spending money on Ahrefs’ monthly subscription, you must understand what keywords to go after.
Identify The Right Metrics
Once you’ve identified the target keywords, you need to determine which metrics to focus on. This includes things like search volume, keyword difficulty, and ranking potential.
Search volume will tell you how often a keyword is being searched for on Google, while keyword difficulty shows the competition level of the keyword. The higher the difficulty, the tougher it will be to rank for that keyword.
Finally, you need to measure the ranking potential of each keyword, which will help you determine the keywords that are worth targeting. This can be done using tools such as Moz’s Keyword Explorer or Ahrefs’ Keyword Difficulty Score.
4. Write Content That’s Optimized For Search Engines
Once you’ve identified the right keywords, it’s time to create content that’s optimized for search engines. This means writing blog posts, product descriptions, and other types of content that contain the keywords you’re targeting.
There are two aspects to content optimization when it comes to search engine optimization.
Product Pages And Category pages
First, let’s discuss the “commercial” aspect of your content and understand how you can optimize your Product Pages & Category Pages.
Include your keywords in the following:
- Title tags, meta tags, and meta descriptions – They are the first thing that users see when they search for a keyword on Google, so it’s important to make sure they are optimized.
- URLs – Make sure that the URLs of your pages are descriptive and include keywords that are relevant to the content.
- Alt tags (or alt text) – Alt tags are added to images to function as a text alternative for search engines. This is a great way to get an extra boost in rankings for your images.
All of these are important on-page SEO elements. By optimizing them, you can help ensure that your pages are more visible in search results.
Tip: Adding modifiers such as “Coupon,” “Discount,” and “Free Shipping” in your meta description can increase clickthrough rate (or CTR), which is a strong ranking factor in the eyes of Google.
Informational Pages/Blog Posts
The second aspect of content optimization is focusing on informational pages such as blog posts.
When writing a blog post, you should focus on creating content that offers value to readers and is written in an engaging way.
Your blogs should include:
Relevant keywords – Make sure that you include the target keywords in headings, subheadings, and throughout the body text.
Internal linking – Internal links are one of the most important SEO techniques, and they help keep visitors on your site for longer. They also signal to search engines that you’re providing relevant content and help them understand the structure of your website.
External links – External links are also a great way to show authority and credibility on your site. They also help search engines understand the context of your content.
However, it is recommended that you only link to relevant and credible websites with a good reputation and avoid linking to irrelevant or low-quality sources.
With that said, also keep in mind that you wouldn’t want to link to your competitors. Why is that?
First, it will get them free traffic. Second, it can possibly help them rank better than your website, which you obviously don’t want.
Optimized images – Images are a great way to break up text and make your posts more interesting. Don’t forget to add image alt text to rank higher in Google Image search.
By optimizing your blog posts for search engines, you can help ensure that more people will find your content and click through to your website.
Important: Blogs are an important part of any brand’s content marketing strategy. So, add a blog to your ecommerce website and make sure its content is optimized for both search results and readers.
5. Monitor and Track Your Progress
The final step in the process is to monitor and track your progress using SEO tools. Why?
Because you should always be on top of how your efforts are performing and look for ways to improve.
Tools such as Google Search Console, Google Analytics, and Ahrefs can provide you with useful insights into how your content is performing in search engine rankings and how much organic traffic you are receiving.
You should also keep an eye on your competitors’ SEO efforts. Tools such as Ahrefs can help you identify keywords and content topics that your competitors are targeting. This can give you an idea of what type of content is performing well and help you come up with ideas for your own content strategy.
By tracking your progress, you can see what’s working and adjust your SEO strategy accordingly.
Shopify SEO Tips To Optimize Your Shopify Site
Now that we’re done with basic ecommerce SEO for your online store, let’s dive a little deeper. Here are some Shopify SEO tips to improve the technical SEO of your Shopify store.
1. Pay Attention To Keyword Mapping:
We’ve talked about the importance of keyword research and how it is the foundation of a strong ecommerce SEO strategy.
But it’s equally crucial to map keywords when it comes to optimized content creation.
What is keyword mapping?
It is the process of assigning target keywords to specific pages on your website based on relevance or search intent.
For example, if your ecommerce store sells men’s shoes, then your homepage should target keywords like “men’s shoes.” On the other hand, a product page should focus on specific product keywords. For example, your “men’s leather shoes” page should also talk about “best leather shoes for work” or “leather shoes for men.”
By doing this, you make sure that each page on your website is optimized for the relevant search query. The best way to create a well-sorted keyword map is to create an excel file or Google spreadsheet and list all your target keywords in it.
How does it help?
Well, keyword mapping helps you build an intuitive website structure that is easy to browse for visitors and easy to crawl for search engines.
In addition, it improves internal linking between pages on your website. When you link relevant pages together, it helps search engines understand the context of each page and also helps to boost their rankings.
On top of everything, it simply keeps your content strategy more organized and helps you track your progress efficiently.
2. Get High-Quality Backlinks
Link building is always a part of every high-ranking and reputable website’s SEO checklist because it is a crucial ranking factor.
This means getting backlinks from other relevant websites to your Shopify store.
Getting high-quality backlinks to your store or a product category page is beneficial for two reasons:
Firstly, it helps your store get more visibility as people will visit you from other websites.
Secondly, it helps Google understand that other sites with high domain authority trust your store, so it should rank higher in SERPs.
You can get backlinks by guest posting on other websites, building relationships with influencers and bloggers, submitting your store to online directories and forums, and more.
But the most important thing is to only get backlinks from websites relevant to your niche. This way, you’ll be sure that all the links you get will be relevant and helpful for your store’s technical SEO.
By getting high-quality backlinks, you can get more traffic to any specific page of your Shopify store and ultimately rank higher in the SERPs.
3. Counter Duplicate Content
Duplicate content can be a big issue for Shopify store owners. How?
You see, many products can fit into multiple category pages. For example, “running shoes” can fall under the “sports” category and also be listed in “men’s shoes.”
This kind of structure can confuse search engines as it will be considered “duplicate content” and might not get featured on the search engine listing preview.
There are two ways to tackle this issue:
- Don’t index duplicate pages at all. You can use Robots.txt files and stop Google from crawling duplicate content.
- Use canonical tags to canonicalize specific pages to other pages. What does it mean?
A canonical tag is an HTML element that highlights a page URL as the “master copy” of duplicate or near-identical pages (or URLs).
This ultimately saves you from a lot of trouble because things could go very wrong without canonical tags. For instance, Google might:
- Skip unique content while crawling a sea of duplicate content.
- See it as a “black hat” SEO technique or plagiarism, and dilute your ranking.
- Select a wrong master copy on its own.
Thankfully, Shopify automatically creates and adds canonical tags to product pages and keeps the stress of duplicate content away.
Still, if you find any issues, you can learn how to create canonical tags in Shopify – it’s easy.
In the admin panel, go to Sales Channel > Online Store.
Select the theme you want to edit. Go to Themes > Action > Edit code.
Then, under Layout > theme.liquid
4. Avoid Thin Content
When there is not much text on a page, search engines treat your content as “thin.”
This mostly happens to ecommerce sites as they have less content compared to blogs or other sites.
It might sound harmless at first, but when random product filter pages and attributes create numerous content pages, that becomes a problem.
Now, these pages might list one or two products, but the lack of words makes them seem like thin content — Google doesn’t like it.
So, how do you tackle it?
For every product page with less content, add a blog post or product description to beef it up.
You can also add FAQs, customer stories, related products, and other relevant information to make your thin content rich.
By doing this, visitors will find it easier to search for relevant information and also help your pages rank higher on Google.
5. Add Schema Markup
Google loves data. And they are getting smarter at structuring and understanding the content on your Shopify store better than ever.
But how do you make that happen?
Using a structured data markup. It’s basically just a code added to your HTML that helps Google and other search engines understand the content structure of your Shopify store.
By adding schema markup to your products and category pages, you can help Google easily identify the product name, price, availability, reviews, and other relevant details, which can help it rank better.
For example, you can mark up the rating of products, the type of product, its category, and more.
This will help Google understand what your page is about, making it easier for it to crawl and get the information it needs. Plus, you can also add rich snippets to your product pages for more visibility on SERPs.
6. Improve User Experience
Google puts a lot of emphasis on UX and uses it as one of the ranking factors.
If your Shopify store has a slow loading speed, poor navigation structure, outdated design, or is difficult to use — visitors will leave your site quickly, and that’s not good for SEO.
So, make sure you optimize your store for improved user experience by:
- Making sure your website is responsive and mobile-friendly.
- Adding a search bar on the homepage for easier navigation.
- Using small-sized images and other media for faster loading speed.
- Removing any unused apps on your Shopify admin panel
- Adding easy payment options, like PayPal and other digital wallets, to make checkout easier and faster.
By doing these things, you can make your online store more user-friendly and help visitors stay long enough to convert into paying customers. It will also make Google happy, which will eventually help you rank higher.
7. Leverage The Best SEO Apps For Shopify
No matter how effective Shopify’s built in SEO features are, the best way to take your store’s rankings to the next level is by leveraging top SEO Shopify apps and SEO tools.
From on page SEO to image optimization and keyword research, there are a number of Shopify apps that can help you optimize your store for better rankings.
Yoast SEO, Plugin SEO, and (Avada’s) SEO Image Optimizer are one of the best SEO plugins for Shopify.
In addition to the above, you will find hundreds of SEO apps available on the Shopify App Store that can help you optimize your store for better rankings.
And that’s a wrap!
These are some of the best Shopify SEO tips that you can use to rank higher on Google and get more traffic to your store.
Stay On Top Of Your SEO For Shopify Efforts
SEO for Shopify is a key factor when it comes to selling online. By making sure that you are aware of SEO best practices, keeping content fresh and up to date, and monitoring your ecommerce store’s performance, you can ensure that your store will rank higher on search results pages.
However, staying on top of all this work without outside help can be an arduous undertaking for any business owner.
That’s why it is a good idea to consider hiring an experienced digital marketing agency like Mongoose Media to improve your Shopify SEO.
Head over to Mongoose Media’s ecommerce page now and work with one of our experts in Shopify SEO optimization so you can start enjoying more organic traffic and sales today!