You’ve launched an exciting new e-commerce store on Shopify, but you’re missing a crucial piece of the puzzle; customers. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the best ways to improve your traffic, directly increasing your conversion rate. So, where do you start? Understanding how to harness the power of Shopify SEO is fundamental to your business’s growth. That’s why we’ve put together a list of 8 top tips to optimize your store.
[Read more: How To Set E-Commerce Social Media Up For Success]
What is e-commerce SEO?
SEO is the process of generating more organic traffic to your website from sites like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Your SEO affects where you sit on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP). The better your ranking, the better your visibility as a brand. It’s about getting your product pages to appear in those top ten organic search results.
SEO has the highest ROI of any e-commerce marketing tool. While social media and paid ads are all great for your brand, putting in the work to get your SEO right from the get-go will give you the free, recurring, high-converting traffic you want.
How can you optimize your Shopify SEO?
1. Identify Your Keywords
Keywords are the building blocks of SEO, so it makes sense to start there. Think of keywords as the words or phrases that a shopper might use to search online.
Create an extensive list of keywords for your website and product pages. Use a keyword tool like SE Ranking or Verbolia to make sure they’re relevant to your brand, regularly searched by shoppers, and specific enough to be achievable.
Keywords should focus on the following factors:
- Volume: The higher the search volume, the better.
- Competition: The lower the competition, the more likely you are to rank for that keyword.
- Relevancy: How relevant is your product page to the search term?
- Intent: Does your keyword show commercial intent from the customer?
Don’t stop here. Take it a step further by introducing long-tail key phrases. These are highly specific, consisting of three or more words. They may have less traffic, but they make up 70% of online searches, making them an effective strategy for smaller e-commerce brands. Long-tail keywords have less competition, generate more qualified leads, and allow you to create more targeted content.
2. Make sure your site structure is on point
Site architecture also referred to as site structure, is a vital component of Shopify SEO. It includes critical SEO foundations like internal linking and improved user-experience.
Use Shopify Collections to help users find your products online. By grouping them into categories, you can funnel traffic to the right place without the user having to explore your entire range. You can always add more collections to your site. Remember to focus on overarching categories that make sense from a consumer’s perspective.
Incorporate a hub page into your site. It’s essentially a central location that links internally to multiple pages related to your topic, almost like a table of contents for your product. Internal linking like this is a great way to increase your SEO strength and relevance, keeping customers online for longer.
3. Optimize your products on-page SEO
Once you’ve set up your collections, uploading all your product information, imagery, descriptions, and titles, you need to optimize them for SEO. Access Shopify’s built-in SEO features to get the basics right.
- Canonical tags
- Your sitemap.xml and robots.txt files
- A title tag generator
- Social media linking and sharing options
Put your new skills to work by editing the title tags and meta descriptions to include your keywords. Ensure there is alt text for all your images and make sure your file names are littered with keywords too. Spend some time choosing your URLs for blog posts, product pages, and collections.
4. Don’t forget about your product descriptions
Poor product descriptions directly affect purchases. A report from the Nielsen Norman Group revealed that a whopping 20% of customers failed to convert purely because of the product descriptions. Leaving your shopper with unanswered questions and uncertainty is a sure way to hinder conversion.
Use the product page as an opportunity to communicate everything there is to know about your product. Answer any questions consumers may have, address pain points or problems, and convince customers that your product is the solution. Don’t just highlight your product features; spend time explaining its benefits. Incorporate keywords into your descriptions wherever possible.
5. Register your store with Google and Bing
One of the quickest ways to get search engines to know about your site is to tell them.
To verify your store with Google and Bing, you need to:
- Sign up to Google Console and Bing Webmaster Tools
- Verify your store by meta tag or HTML tag
- On your Shopify admin, go to Online Stores > Themes > Action > Edit Code > Layout > theme.liquid; and paste the code generated by Google or Bing.
- Click Verify
It’s one of the quickest ways to get your e-commerce store on their radar.
6. Add a blog
Now that you’ve got the basics right with your tagging and linking, you need to take it a level deeper to optimize your SEO. You can’t rely on your products alone to drive traffic to your site. Merge content marketing and SEO for the best results.
A blog is one of the top ways to increase your brand awareness. It’s another way to incorporate keywords, generating more traffic to your site. Most consumers don’t convert on their first visit to your website and blog content is one of the best ways to get them back to your page.
Some of the best topics to focus on include:
- Questions around your product
- Product comparisons
- How-To articles that subtly mention your product
- Top Tips articles framing your products as a solution
Blog content isn’t sales-focused. It’s an opportunity to establish your brand as an authority in this space, driving more organic traffic to your store.
7. Boost your site speed
Your site speed directly affects your SERP ranking. Preference will always go to fast-loading websites, so increase your speed using the tools provided by Shopify.
Use the compression tool to reduce your image sizes, update your fonts to be web-safe, keep external code to a minimum and use Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) via plugins. Take a look at Shopify’s content delivery network (CDN) to help reduce page load times no matter where in the world your customers are browsing.
8. Build links
Link building to your Shopify store is as crucial as site structure and content creation. It will help you drive relevant traffic, building your domain authority through other high authority sites.
Your link building should revolve around your products and blog content. Get reviews from other bloggers in your niche, attracting high-quality leads who are engaged. Offer guest posts on authority sites, including one or two links to your products, blog posts, or homepage. Explore an affiliate program, integrating with platforms like Refersion. Link building is a great way to take your SEO to the next level.
There are so many reasons you should optimize your Shopify site, but ultimately, it comes down to sales. As an e-commerce platform, it’s essential to do everything in your power to improve your conversion rates, and optimizing your SEO is a cornerstone for a solid digital strategy. There’s no doubt that SEO requires work and dedication, it’s not a one-time deal, but the benefits far outweigh the work required.
Image source: unplash.com
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