More often than not, one of the questions that keep lurking in the heads of Shopify Store owners, especially the new ones, is how to get their products and store to their customers.
Moreover, many people who search for a particular query or product don’t bother doing it on Facebook but come mostly to Google or Bing. This is to tell you that it is necessary to be where your customers are always clustering.
Even though it might be difficult, there are chances that a brand new Shopify store can still make it to Google’s first page with the proper optimization we are about to share with you. And everything I’ll share with you is based on experience. I’m talking about growing a brand new site to start appearing on Google’s first page within two months.
In this guide on how to optimize your Shopify Store for SEO, you will learn the proper speed your Shopify store should have, the built-in SEO features, and finally, the adequate way to optimize your store for SEO.
What is a Good Store Speed?
Even though we mostly know of the saying ”patience is a virtue,” that word is not important to websites that load slowly. Take yourself as an example. When you visit a website or a store, you just want it to be as fast as light so you can finish as soon as you can and move on with other things.
In fact, Google said that the probability of a user bouncing off a webpage increases by 32% when the page takes between 1 and 3 seconds to load.
Google Lighthouse performance metrics are used to measure how fast your store’s speed is. If you have a speed score of 50, then you’re on the good side, while anything above it is wonderful.
However, as your store is increasing and more features are added to improve your store, the more the speed of your store is reduced.
Also, because you’re running an E-commerce, you always need to add images, whereas these same images are one of the major reasons your store will start slowing down as your store grows. So we will talk about how to optimize your site images to improve your Shopify Store SEO. And yes, your site speed affects your SEO too.
76% of people will stop doing business with a company after only two poor customer experiences
Does Shopify have built-in SEO
Shopify has SEO built-in features that are mostly done automatically, such as; canonical tags, robots.txt, and your website’s sitemap.xml.
The robots.txt file helps Google’s search engine know which page to crawl so it can be shown to users. So, Shopify default robots.txt is optimal for your store, especially at the beginning stage.
Now we have understood the best speed needed for your Shopify store and the built-in SEO Shopify features, let’s now learn exactly how to optimize your Shopify store for SEO.
How to Optimize Shopify store for SEO
Statistics from Brightedge show that organic search drives 53.3% of all web traffic, so it’s necessary to follow the steps we are about to show you.
1. Implement Keyword Research
Keyword research is very important in optimizing your Shopify Store for SEO because you need to add words that customers are already searching for to your title, product description, your URL, meta description, etc. Google search can help you know what people are searching for.
But, it is limited, especially as a new Shopify store, you won’t know the competition going for the same Keyword, how difficult the keyword is, and even the precise density for the keyword. Ahrefs offers free software where you can have more features like keyword difficulty and volume.
The best cost-effective keyword research tool is Keyword Everywhere, which almost gives you all the features you can use to rank on Google’s first page even though you’re just starting new.
As you can see from the picture above that the competition is high, the SEO Difficulty is high, the Off-Page and On-Page Difficulty, are both high, and the volume is also high. This information tells you that lots of people are searching for it (which is good) but it is very competitive, and this keyword needs some twisting if you must rank for it, especially if you intend to blog to your Shopify Store.
2. Start Blogging
Shopify allows store owners to blog, but this is mostly ignored because the main aim of starting an e-commerce store was from a product-focused perspective. But, SEO E-commerce is rapidly changing, and search engines are now considering blog articles in E-commerce queries.
Gone are the days when we could comfortably run Shopify stores without blogs, so if you can write good content, don’t allow this opportunity to slip away.
3. Use Shopify SEO Apps
If you are familiar with WordPress, you would know of their plugins, and how beneficial they are which most of them are free to use. The same applies to Shopify Apps, there are apps that you can use to help you optimize your Shopify store for SEO.
SEO Ranger does neat work in informing you what and what is harming your rankings.
The truth is, we can only make a knowledgeable guess on what could be affecting our ranking, especially when we have done a lot of steps that experts have given. But this app has to go deeper to analyze the exact issue.
It also goes on to add automatic JSON-LD which shows Google your content, plus so many other SEO features they provide.
Moreover, just like most WordPress Plugins, you can start with their free version, just to understand if the app is good for you, and later progress to their paid version which is just $19/month.
There are also other apps like Crush.pics, Rewind Backups, Yotpo Reviews, etc.
4. Choose a Canonical URL by Yourself
Duplicate content or page is an issue that mostly occurs in Shopify, and when you have a duplicate file existing in two URLs it because an issue for Google, Bing, or any other search engine to index. A canonical URL is a URL that Google “assumes,” is the most original from other duplicate URLs.
Remember I said “assume,” because Google might misinterpret another URL that was supposed to be a duplicate file, give it more authority it doesn’t deserve, and ignore the original URL. So it is important to choose the canonical URL yourself to tell Google, “this is the page I want my customers to see,” and “don’t waste your time and mine crawling these duplicate URLs.”
5. Improve your Store Site Speed
We mentioned the importance of site speed earlier, and a lot of people are complaining that Shopify stores are not fast. And, we also mentioned that images are one of the resources that slow a Shopify site speed, so the way to go about it is to use Crush.pics to compress these images.
The app even goes further to provide intuitive ways to optimize your images for SEO.
As you can see to optimize the Shopify store for SEO is not easy, but with a proper audit from SEO Ranger, you have a proper headstart.
P.S. Even though the free version of SEO Ranger is good, with the paid version, one of their expert developers will be responsible for auditing your store. Also, they will always monitor to make sure your ranking is not harmed.
PPS Even their free version provides you with how-to-fix Instructions.