Shopify SEO checklist – Optimizing Your Store in 2020
Shopify is every small business owner’s dream – an e-commerce platform that allows them to sell online (Shopify POS also allows them to sell offline). If you are a Shopify user, you know just what we are talking about. What you may not know is that you need a Shopify SEO checklist.
But what is a Shopify SEO checklist? Is Shopify good for SEO? What is the best SEO company in San Diego that you can outsource your Shopify SEO to?
We will come to all these questions and more – our aim, by the end of this blog post, is to make sure there are no two opinions about the importance of SEO for your Shopify store.
But before that,
What is Shopify and Why is it so Popular?
If you want to understand the importance of optimizing your Shopify store so that it ranks higher, you need to understand why Shopify is so popular.
While Shopify is a good option for businesses of all shapes and sizes, it is ideal for small businesses and start-ups.
Think back to the time when you were just starting off or when your start-up was just about to be launched.
Do you remember budgeting everything to the last dollar?
You likely didn’t have the money or resources to launch your own ecommerce site.
And that is when Shopify would have come to the rescue, giving you a cheaper alternative to kick off your project with a bang.
From physical and digital products to services, memberships, lesson, and much more, Shopify lets you sell it all.
And that is exactly why Shopify is a top choice for business owners.
That is not to mention the evident popularity of online selling that is becoming harder and harder to ignore with each passing day.
Don’t believe us?
This will change your mind:
This year, 2020, the size of the online shopping market across the world is likely to reach the 4-trillion mark!
This is enough to make anyone selling a product or service realize the importance of an online sale platform.
And Shopify fits the role perfectly.
How SEO Comes into the Shopify Picture – Shopify SEO checklist
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: just having a Shopify store isn’t going to cut it – you also need to make sure that people actually visit the store and discover your products.
And while having innovative products that solve a problem for your customers is one way to ensure this, there is more you can do.
We’re talking about SEO, of course.
And this shouldn’t come to you as a surprise.
In this day and age, SEO is the weapon you cannot do without as you maneuver your way to the top, leaving all your competitors behind – especially Shopify competitors.
And our Shopify SEO checklist can make sure you have all arenas covered.
Register and Submit Your Store’s Sitemap with Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools.
Registering your site with Google Search console and Bing Webmaster Tools is a must for website owners.
And it is not any different for you, the proud owner of a Shopify store.
What you are aiming to do through this is to bring the existence of your site to the attention of these massive search engines, and verifying your ownership of them.
When these search engines know that the site exists, they will be able to crawl them and rank them in search engine result pages (SERPs).
It is important to register all versions of your site, e.g., www and non-www, as well as http and https.
You also need to submit your store’s sitemap to the Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools.
Your Shopify store with automatically generate a sitemap which will contain links to all the web pages and other elements of your site.
By submitting this to Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools, you ensure that the search engines index your site.
This, in turn, allows these pages to show in the SERPs in response to a user query.
Keywords are the KEY!
We’ve talked about the importance of keywords a million times before – we’re not about to stop now! Especially when the word SEO is right up there in the title of the blog post.
The proper use of keywords will work wonders for you.
It will lead people to your site through search engines. And the more traffic that is driven to your site, the greater the number of conversions you are likely to achieve.
So how do you do it? Here’s how!
Impeccable Keyword Research
All kinds of search engine optimization efforts begin with keyword research.
Because you need to
- Find out what keywords your potential customers are typing into search engines.
- Rank for those keywords so you are higher in the SERPs than your competitors!
So how exactly do you carry out keyword research that sets the right foundation for your SEO efforts?
We have detailed the process in previous blog posts!
Here’s where you get to learn all about it:
If, after going through these blog posts, you are still left with questions about keyword research (which we highly doubt), don’t hesitate to reach out in the comments! After all, this is one of the most important elements in this Shopify SEO checklist!
Now, moving on, here is what you need to do next:
The next step is actually incorporating the chosen keywords into the content.
(If you have read the two blog posts we have linked above, you will already have discovered the way to filter the list of keywords and select the ones for actual use).
Here are a few general tips when it comes keyword incorporation (we also touch on the content aspect of things):
- Realize the true relationship between content marketing and SEO and the role keyword optimization plays in it. This will allow you to focus all the more on getting it right.
- Keyword stuffing is a thing of the past – you can no longer rank simply by stuffing the keyword into every sentence. Instead, you need to make sure that it fits into your content naturally and the flow of the content is not disturbed.
- Choose relevant keywords for each page – if a user is searching for “sturdy dog leashes,” that is what they should find on your Shopify page that ranks for that keyword.
- Incorporate your focus keywords into the titles of the web pages (H1). This will help you immensely when it comes to ranking in the SERPs.
And while we’re talking about titles and headings, make sure they are drafted in a creative way that is attractive to readers. You need to be to the point while also conveying as much information as possible.
- Similarly, adding the keywords to the headings on the page will also help your SEO efforts.
Whatever you do, don’t create copy that has no headings – nobody will read long chunks of text that go on without a break. It is also displeasing from an aesthetic point of view. Long story short: use headings!
- Your Meta tags should be optimized with the keywords, while also being descriptive in the limited characters allowed. The better the title and meta description, the greater the chances of a potential customer clicking on the link.
Your aim should be to convey as much information (that would be attractive to a potential consumer) in a creative way without surpassing the character limit
- Optimize the images on a certain page by incorporating the chosen keywords for that page into the ALT tags of the images.
- The URL of the page should preferably have the keyword, on top of being clean, clear, and to the point.
It should convey to the user, in a single glance, what the page is about. Technical URLs, with a lot of symbols and unnecessary elements, should definitely be avoided!
All of these techniques can easily be put into play from the admin panel of your Shopify store.
The need for speed is undeniable.
The amount of time it takes for your Shopify page to load can make or break your business.
If your page takes more than three seconds to load on a mobile device, 53% of the visitors will leave.
This means that you will have lost more than half of your potential consumers to slow speed – and the fewer people that visit your page, the fewer conversion you will be able to unlock.
But that’s not the worst of it.
According to Kiss Metrics, 52% of online buyers state that whether or not they remain loyal to a site depends on the time it takes to load.
The reason for this is simple.
The quicker the load time, the less the time that is wasted, and the better the customer experience.
So it’s decided: You need to enhance the load time of your Shopify site.
But how do you actually do that?
Here are some steps you can follow:
- Analyze and test – Only when you test the speed of your website and analyze the results will you be able to discover where you stand and what you need to do next.
- Use AMP – With more than half your customers accessing your store through their mobile phones, you need accelerated mobile pages to give them the best possible experience.
- Choose the right theme – Always go for a theme that guarantees a fast load time.
- Shrink your images – Heavy images can really slow your page down – compress your images to ensure faster loading.
- Switch to a Hero Layout – Sliders tend to make the site quite heavy, often without making up for it in value; use a hero layout instead.
- Keep the apps in check – If you’re not using an app, it shouldn’t be on the site – get rid of it.
- Get help! – What we have discussed up until now were the more basic things you can do to speed up your site. Other things, such as reducing redirects and broken links and organizing your tracking code and minimizing HTTP requests can be a little more complicated. For these things and others, reach out to a top SEO company in San Diego or elsewhere and let them take charge.
You can read all about these steps in a lot more detail here (we found this blog post to be extremely helpful):
SSL will help you rank higher.
Websites that use SSL, or secure socket layer, are characterized by “https://” before the web address, as opposed to “http://”.
But what exactly is SSL and why does it help your site perform better?
SSL, as we have already given away in the name, signals to the fact that the website or webpage is secure.
This security, understandably, is what prompts search engines to rank your site higher than if it was non-secure.
But there is an angle to this beyond search engine result ranking. When a site isn’t secure, your consumer’s browser will give them a warning of such.
And as an internet user yourself, you know that people avoid non-secure places, especially on the internet.
The reason? Because as a visitor of a site – especially one where you intend to make a purchase and share your personal and credit card information – people require a security guarantee to proceed.
And an SSL certification gives them that.
An SSL certificate, thus, does two things for you:
- It helps search engines rank you higher so that your site is visible to more and more people.
- It ensures your consumers aren’t scared away. This means that people actually visit and stay on your page long enough to convert.
And getting an SSL certificate as a Shopify store owner is not hard. You can simply activate it by going to your dashboard and clicking on Sales Channels, then Online Store, and then Domains.
As easy as 1, 2, 3!
For a more detailed look into SSL and your Shopify store, check out this insightful blog post:
One way to bring traffic to your site is to create backlinks to the site.
That is, you should encourage people to link back to your site in their own content.
Why is this important?
Backlinks will redirect traffic from others’ sites to yours, creating an additional inflow of traffic – something that is always welcome.
But how can you achieve that?
The first, and more obvious, way is to provide an exceptional product that people – even influencers – recommend to others. They will, while they are praising it, link back to your site.
Another foolproof way is to create top-notch content.
By covering topics and talking about things that are popular, relevant, fresh, and of interest to people will help you remain part of the conversation.
And when you do that, people will link back to you.
So whether you do that by creating evergreen content or using other techniques to drive traffic and optimize conversions, your content marketing – and, hence, link-building – game should be on point.
It’s Time to Get to Work!
Now that you have your head wrapped around the basics, it is time to take action!
This Shopify SEO checklist pretty much answers the question of ‘Is Shopify good for SEO?’
And the answer is that a Shopify store really can’t do without SEO in these competitive times.
So whether you plan to go about ticking items off this Shopify SEO checklist one by one yourself, or you are thinking of brining a top SEO company in San Diego or elsewhere on board, we suggest you start today.
And start strong!