SEO For The Shopify Ecommerce Platfrom That Gets You Traffic
This blog post will focus on SEO factors related to on-page issues with the Shopify Ecommerce platform and some specific strategies that can be used to your advantage if you are on or considering using the platform. It is important to understand that you even if your on-page efforts are done exceptionally well you will still need to generate inbound links to your website in order to have the authority to outrank your competitors. On-page factors are only part of the equation, but are extremely necessary to get the most out of your store.
Parts of this blog post will provide tips that are relevant to any ecommerce store, and other will focus on the Shopify specifically.
Use Shopify’s Built In Features…..USE THEM!
This falls under my cover the basics category. Shopify is actually an incredibly SEO friendly Ecommerce platform out of the box when compared to many other out there, but that doesn’t mean anything if you don’t use the basics. Here will discuss how which to use and how to use them.
Title Tag Editor
Title tags are the most important on page element on a website when it comes to SEO optimization (experts can elaborate on technicalities of this when combined with all factors, but nobody will disagree its extremely important). The more
Most companies simply upload the information in their product excel files or feeds and call it a day. This is a great way to ensure you get minimum traffic. Instead, check analytics or think about how people search in your industry. We have a client that sell car electronics. They used to have their products names by the part number which when most of the people searching for their product didn’t know the part number of the part they were looking for. They would use their vehicle make and model. By rename products to how people were searching for them traffic increased by over 250%. All we changed was the title tags (on 250 products!). It was a lot of work, but nothing compared to what the rewards were.
Tip that good enough to copy without me rewriting for no good reason…
The words used in the title are used by search engines to determine what a web page is about. Here are a few things you need to consider when writing your title tags:
- The closer the most important keywords are to the front of the title, the more helpful they will be for ranking.
- The first keyword spot in a title tag is very important, so if your brand doesn’t have any weight, it may be best to place it at the end. However, if people recognize your brand, having the brand name at the beginning can help with getting you more clicks.
- 70 characters is the maximum number most search engines will display on their search results page.
- Make sure your title tag is actually readable! You don’t want it appearing as a just a bunch of search engine optimized keywords; your search results will just end up looking spammy.
One thing that wasn’t in this info I wanted to point out was that Shopify will turn the title of your page into your Title Tag by default. Pages like category pages that only have 2 words should almost always receiving custom title tags. The example below on a development site shows how to input Title Tags on the new shopify admin platform.
Earn bonus points by filling in a good description of 140 words or less for important products. Your description won’t help rankings, but a strong one will get your more click thru’s than if Google decides to pickup jiberish.
Optimizing Your Images
In competitive markets you give yourself every advantage your possibly can. Putting the proper text into your alt image attribute can make that difference. It will also provide you with traffic from Google Images. It’s not the best converting traffic, but it is free regardless. Click the alt tab next to your images to an alt image attribute. An easy way to do this for a lot of product
Warnings for SEO and Shopify.
If you are using a custom design for your shopify store make sure the programmer keeps these features. It is common for coders to skip adding these elements back in to save time. The result is a shopping cart theme that reduces the effectiveness of your website. You will know if this is happening to you if you add info into these fields and do not see the changes on your live website.
Broken Links & Redirects (especially important if you are migrating to Shopify)
Shopify has a built in redirect tool to make sure your site gets all the juicy authority it should be getting. It is very common for developers and designers to sever links to old pages without ever redirecting them to their new homes. This is also common when page urls are changed. Old pages that no longer serve a purpose but could potentially have links pointing to them should be redirected to a new helpful page on your site. We have seen sites that delete pages with thousands of visitor going to them, and they don’t think twice about it. Unfortunately, that means you could also be severing valuable links that are building your authority and ability to rank for competitive keywords. Use the url redirect tool to redirect old links to new pages and save your authority from going to the slaughter house. You can also use this to send authority from old promotional pages to new ones or to important pages on your site.
Example: You have a promotion you did for Christimas 2012. Instead of deleting, redirect it over to your new 2013 page and get a head start on ranking power for this year.
Site Architecture Planning
Most sites simply fail to think about how they will structure their products in the store. With an ecommerce website, the deeper the pages are in the linking structure of the website, the less authority and ranking power they will receive. Shopify has a strong natural link structure with the following layouts.
Collections, product titles, and tags are your main weapons for adding relevance to your site with proper link architecture. If you own a website where people could potentially use multiple paths to find the information they are looking for your should consider making collections to group similar products together in ways people would naturally search.
Example: You have about a dozen products that would make good wedding anniversary gifts, but that is not their primary focus and you don’t want to name those pages to focus on wedding anniversaries. In Shopify you could create a collection page that puts these products together with information about on various anniversary gifts. The collection page would have an excellent chance of ranking for wedding anniversary gifts as long as your website had enough authority compared to other search results in that niche.
Links are by far the most important factor in how Google calculates authority for a website and its internal pages. The more interlinked a specific page is on your website, the higher its authority will be.
Invest In Better Content
This has nothing to do with Shopify, but everything to do with Ecommerce and SEO. The more indepth the content is on your site for a particular product, the better it will rank SEO wise, and the higher your conversion rate will be. We tell our clients constantly to get as much information about a given product onto the page as they possibly can. Product reviews from client, video’s, specific uses, size, weight, color, etc. The more you can get on a page the better off you are. Many people don’t search for a particular product. They search for solutions to their problems. I recently bought a knee sleeve to help protect my knees while doing squats and olympic lifts during crossfit. I didn’t just search for just knee sleeves. I searched “best knee sleeves for crossfit”. Of course the ones I ended up purchasing weren’t specifically designed for crossfit, but I found information that made me confident they would fit my specific needs for the product so I bought them.
Better content isn’t just detailed descriptions. It’s Q&A’s links to articles to give people more information on a particular topic, video demo’s of the product so they can see it in action, reviews from other customers is also extremely valuable. Consider offering a discount to anyone who leaves a reviews. They go a long way to setting a store apart from the crowd.