Shopify SEO Guide 2022

Shopify is exploding in popularity. On their own About page, they claim that 1.7 million businesses use their services. Other estimates reveal that Shopify may be being humble – or that it’s been awhile since they updated their page. BuildWith estimates that over 3.2 million websites are using the platform. And W3 shows that, while Shopify isn’t nearly as popular as platforms that aren’t dedicated to e-commerce, like WordPress, it tends to be used by high traffic websites

 

Okay, you get the point – a lot of people are using Shopify. And if you’re reading this, chances are you’re using it, too. It’s a wonderful e-commerce platform – easy to use, secure, and it does a lot right out of the box.

 

But you know us – we’re always looking for how we can optimize sites, and that includes e-commerce sites running on Shopify. This is the ultimate Shopify SEO guide. It’s going to help you improve your Shopify site’s rank on Google and other search engines.

 

We’ll go beyond the basics, too. By following this guide, you should not only see your rank increase – customer satisfaction will increase too, as we make your site easier to navigate, faster loading, and more relevant to your customers’ wants and needs.

 

A warning – this guide goes fast, and aside from the “Start with the basics” section, we’re assuming you’ve got a decent base of technical knowledge. We’ll be throwing out technical terms and abbreviations – for that reason, this is an intermediate guide. This is especially true of the more technical sections – “Duplicate content, crawling, and indexing” and “Improving site speed”. Relative beginners with some knowledge of SEO who aren’t comfortable with the technical stuff can skip those sections. 

 

If you’re looking for something more basic to start with, we recommend our Local SEO Guide (less relevant to e-commerce stores, but incredibly beginner-friendly and full of great tips). Our Technical SEO Guide is a great place to start, too – you’ll encounter a lot of the terms you’ll see here that are explained in greater detail there. 

 

There is a lot to cover here, so let’s dive right in.

Table of Contents

 

 

 

Start with the basics

All the SEO work in the world won’t amount to a thing if you don’t have a solid foundation. We’re going to go over the absolute basics – without these things, none of our other recommendations will amount to much.

 

If you’re fairly confident you’ve already got the basics down, feel free to treat the headings as a checklist and skip over the bulk of this section. Or don’t skip over anything and nod your head as you reaffirm what you already knew. Whatever floats your boat – we don’t judge. 

Register a great domain name

This one’s pretty obvious – if you want to rank, you need a domain. Make sure you’re automatically paying for your domain name every year, and take the time to pick a good one! Note that the TLD you use has a negligible influence on SEO – you can use .com, .net, .whateveryourcountrysTLDis. 

 

If you’re stuck on a domain name, Shopify has a domain name generator you can use. Great for brainstorming! 

Use the paid version of Shopify

Perhaps this goes without saying – but we’ll say it anyway. The basics, remember? If you’re only on a trial version of Shopify, all the hard work we’re about to put into your SEO will disappear once the trial’s over. If you’re just experimenting, feel free to use the trial, but if you want lasting results – it’s gonna cost a bit of money. 

Use Google Analytics 

Google Analytics is one of the most important tools for all things SEO. Data gathering and SEO are deeply linked – if you don’t know what keywords are being searched for, who is accessing your site, and the methods they’re using to find you, you really can’t optimize very well.

 

We may, at some point, run an article on setting up and using Google Analytics – let us know if that’s something of interest to you! For now, check out Shopify’s Google Analytics setup guide

Use Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools

Google Search Console (GSC) is an invaluable tool in the world of SEO. GSC can alert you about issues with page speed, mobile friendliness, bad redirects, and a whole lot more. Bing Webmaster Tools can do much of the same – but only for Bing, a search engine that’s used much less frequently.

 

You should use both. Why? Both are free, and easy to set up. Plus, you’ll need them to upload sitemaps, which we’ll discuss later. 

SEO apps and SEO agencies

There are plenty of free and paid SEO tools and apps you can use to find issues on your Shopify site. As you’ll soon learn, there are reasons to avoid the apps – the more apps you have, the more performance issues you can encounter. Nonetheless, if you’re new to SEO and you need a lot of guidance, apps like Plug In SEO might help. 

 

You can also use tools like Screaming Frog to check the health of your internal and external links. There are more of these tools then we could possibly go over in this section – if a particular tool is relevant to one of our SEO tips during the course of this guide, we’ll let you know. 

 

Our biggest recommendation? Get an SEO agency to do everything for you. Agencies already have all the tools you could ever want – better still, they know how to use them. They’ll also have data and techniques that can only be obtained if you’ve been in the SEO business for a long time. You can save a lot of time and money by outsourcing to the experts.

 

That covers the basics – let’s get to optimizing! 

Keywords and content optimization

There are a lot of technical things you can do to improve your Shopify site’s SEO – and we’ll get to those. But first, let’s start with one of the most important pillars of the practice – content optimization.

 

Here’s the basic idea – to draw people to your site, you need content. You’ll need more than just product pages (though we’ll optimize those too) – you’ll need blogs. All the content on your site needs to be unique and useful. 

 

But before we start writing brand new content for your site, we need to understand what the people who are interested in your products are searching for.

 

That means we need… 

Keyword research

This is the first step of any worthwhile SEO content strategy. You’re going to find terms that people are searching for – terms that are directly related to the products you sell. Keywords all have attributes that we can track. These attributes include:

 

  • Search volume: how many people are searching for the keyword
  • Competition: how difficult it is to rank well for the keyword
  • Relevance: how relevant the keyword is to your business
  • Intent – which we’ll discuss next

 

While relevance can tell you whether or not a particular query is likely to be made by someone who is interested in your products, intent tells us why they’re making a particular search. This can help you determine what part of the sales funnel a user is in – and to tailor-make content for that part of the funnel.

 

Search intents are:

 

  • Informational: Usually top-of-funnel, these queries are made by people who want to learn more about a topic
  • Navigational: These people are using search engines to reach a specific site. You don’t really need to optimize for navigational intent – they’re basically Googling your home page.
  • Transactional: These people are typically bottom-of-funnel – they want to buy. Product pages will be optimized for transactional intent.
  • Commercial: These people are typically middle-of-funnel – they’re comparing “best”, “cheapest”, and that sort of thing. Listiciles and posts that are designed to move the needle toward your product are best for these keywords. 

 

To do keyword research, you’ll want keyword research tools. You’ll also want to brainstorm the kinds of keywords you think potential customers are likely to search for.

 

The best keywords are highly searched, and highly relevant, with little competition. Obviously, those keywords are few and far between. For this reason, it’s often best to pursue what are called long-tail keywords. These are low competition keywords that are often searched for less frequently, but that are highly relevant to your business and the products you sell.

 

Once you start building up long-tail keywords, your site will gain more authority in search engines, and your pages will start turning up towards the first pages. From there, you can start targeting shorter, more competitive keywords. 

Meta titles and meta descriptions

The image you see above is a listing for our company, First Rank, on UpCity. It’s a search result from Google. Highlighted in red, you see the page title, while in green, you see the meta description.

 

Shopify has a page explaining how to add meta descriptions and titles to your pages. Your keyword research is already going to start paying off – you’re going to include the keywords you’re targeting in both your page title and meta description.

 

Making great titles and meta descriptions isn’t as easy as just throwing in as many keywords as you can, though. In fact, loading too many keywords sends a signal that you’re keyword stuffing – and that can have seriously negative impacts.

 

Include your target keyword in the title – preferably at the start of the title. From there, consider adding your brand toward the middle, and a click magnet like “Free shipping” or “On sale” toward the end.

 

We’re going to talk about headings in a bit – outside of extremely niche circumstances, your page title and H1 should be the same. Shopify should do this automatically, though, so you don’t need to worry too much about it.  

 

Think of your meta description as your elevator pitch – a quick summary of your page, including target keywords and a call to action. Keep it brief – 160 characters or less is best, with your keyword and best copy found within the first 120 characters or so.

 

Feel free to play around and be a bit creative here – meta descriptions aren’t an exact science. A well placed joke or something else that makes you stand out can help.  If you have variant pages, you can even multivariate test your meta descriptions. 

Optimizing URLs

Shopify does a pretty decent job of creating URLs for you, but you might find that a URL they create doesn’t suit your needs. When this occurs, it’s relatively easy to change the URL. You can change the URL in the same place you change the page title and meta description.

 

It’s worth noting that Shopify URLs will often contain /products/ or something similar – you can’t actually edit that part of the URL. While that might not be optimal for SEO, the only workaround is to start hosting your site on another platform and only using Shopify for its ecommerce functionality – not ideal, by any stretch. Don’t worry, though – having /products/ or /blogs/ in your URL isn’t a SEO killer by any stretch of the imagination.

 

Your URLs should also exactly match your page title. It keeps users from bouncing because they think they’ve landed on the wrong page, and it ensures that your targeted keyword will be in the URL and the page title. 

Optimizing product descriptions

Product descriptions are the bread and butter of keyword optimization in Shopify. You’re walking a bit of a tightrope, since you want your product descriptions to be engaging and keyword dense. You may also want to include anchor text in your product description.

 

That’s asking for a lot – fortunately, your product descriptions can be as long or as short as you want them to be. Now, we’re going to give you a piece of advice that may seem contradictory:

 

If you have to sacrifice SEO principles for clarity, do it.

 

Your number one concern should be making sure a potential buyer understands – and wants to purchase – your product. If every buyer who lands on your page buys what you have to sell, that sends very positive signals to Google that people searching for particular keywords want your product.

 

Here’s the good news: a well-written product description almost never sacrifices SEO principles. It’s going to be keyword dense because your potential buyers are looking up those keywords, and your product provides an answer to their questions.

 

Here’s an example. Let’s say you run a clothing store that uses high-quality, ethically sourced fabrics. You’re making a simple cotton tee. You might be targeting keywords like “ethical fashion” “best cotton t-shirt” 

 

It’s easy to see how your product description might include those terms. “In our quest to become the most ethical fashion label on the planet, we’ve crafted what we believe to be the best cotton t-shirt. Made in America, this 100% cotton shirt is breathable and light – layer it to dress up, or sport it as is for a more casual look”.

 

With this description, we’ve told our customers about the product, what makes it special, and how it can benefit them – we’ve even told them a bit about our brand. All of this, and nothing looks out of place – even though we’ve included several possible keywords.

Use blogs to bring more people to your shop

While product descriptions are our bread and butter, sometimes it takes something a bit more flavourful to get people into your shop. That’s where blog posts come in.

 

Blog posts are mostly used to target top-of-funnel (and some middle-of-funnel) buyers. They’re perfect for people who are completely unaware of your brand, and for those who are a bit curious. Best of all, we can use them to target informational keywords.

 

Product descriptions, you see, are best suited to transactional and commercial intent keywords – we want to target people who are ready to buy, in the hopes that they’ll click your product page, love it, and add it to the cart immediately.

 

With blog posts, we can target keywords questions like “What makes fashion ethical” and “Why is fast fashion so problematic”. These are the long-tail keywords we talked about earlier – things that aren’t searched for often, but that are directly relevant to your line of business. 

 

If someone’s looking up these questions, and we’re running an ethical fashion shop, it’s extremely likely that they’re into ethical fashion. By answering their questions, we’ve already given them a service – for free. That means they’ll have a positive first interaction with our brand – and that could make them more likely to buy.

 

That’s all superb, and it gets even better. Blogs are long – they take awhile to read. So if you’ve written an interesting blog (and it’s got a good title and meta description), people will click it and stay on the page for a while. That sends good signals to Google. If your internal links are well placed, they’ll read even more blogs – and that sends even better signals to Google.

 

Blogs are like product descriptions, but they require less sales copy. Write well, write what you know, and include keywords where and when they’re relevant.  Generally, you’ll want each blog to target a single keyword (often long-tail) – but you can target multiple keywords if it makes sense.

 

You should post blogs regularly – at least once a month, though it’s better still if you can post once a week. Updating your site tells search engines that your business is active, and it gives you more opportunities to create engaging, keyword-optimized content. 

Understand how headings work

Headings tell readers – and search engines – all about the structure of your page. You will only have one H1 per page – that tells everyone what the page is about in the broadest sense. H2s then break down that topic into sections, while H3s break down the topic even further.

 

Your H1 and your page title should match. Your H2s and H3s should include keywords. They should also tell readers what to expect in that section – optimally, by reading only the H2s and H3s, readers should know exactly what kind of content is contained within the H2 and H3. 

 

For example, if you read the heading “Understand how headings work”, and you already understand how headings work, you’ll know that you probably don’t need to pay much attention to this section. 

 

Using the heading of what you’re reading right now as an example of a useful heading? I’ve heard of meta descriptions, but this is ridiculous!* 

*That was a bad joke and I’m very sorry.

Don’t forget image optimization

We’re going to talk more about image optimization as we get to the more technical sections of this article – more specifically, we’ll talk about compressing images. Right now, however, we’re going to talk about naming images and alt text.

 

The idea is simple: you should add alt text to all of your images. Alt text tells people what an image is if the image fails to load – it can also help people with visual impairments navigate your site more easily. Best of all (for SEO purposes), it tells search engines what your image is.

 

Don’t keyword stuff, here – just use an accurate description of what the image is. That alone may hit a keyword or two – after all, if you’re advertising your brand of cotton tee, using the alt text “OurBrand’s cotton tee” is a good description and might fulfill your keyword needs.

Building external links

We’ve targeted keywords and built a ton of high-quality content for your Shopify site. What comes next?

 

Let’s take a brief detour – you’ll understand why in a moment. If you’ve ever written an academic paper, you know how important it is to cite your sources. Sources are, oftentimes, other academic papers, which themselves cite other academic papers. When a particular paper gets cited very often, it becomes a well-reputed source – you might say it has a lot of authority.

 

Google was built on the same principle – if a lot of web pages link to a particular page, it must mean that page is useful. That gives the page more authority – and helps it rank higher. Pages share some of their authority with the site they’re on as a whole. In other words, if one page is ranking highly, the whole site is more likely to rank highly.

 

That means we need other sites – preferably sites that are themselves high authority – to link to your pages. Here’s how we do it. 

Getting links to product pages

Links to your products can happen organically – social media, in particular, is great for this. When people enjoy your product, they might post about it on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, or any other site.

 

You can also get links by actively asking influencers to review your product – send them a free sample, and they’re likely to link to you. This is a great option for sites that are in the same niche as your business. 

 

Want to go with a less expensive route? You can look for mentions of your brand online that don’t link to your website, then ask the people who mentioned you for a link. Ahrefs has a comprehensive (but simple) guide to turning mentions into backlinks

Getting links to blogs

We’ve already discussed how useful blogs are for attracting users to your website, but they serve another purpose – getting links to your site.

 

Product page links can be difficult to obtain – getting links to blog posts is often much easier. That’s because while people will only link to your products if they think other people should buy them, they’ll link to your blog if it’s informative and interesting. It takes a lot less to convince someone to read a blog than it does to convince them to buy a product, so it’s a lot easier to get links.

 

You can get links from other companies in your industry or niche, as well as from websites in your niche that aren’t looking to sell anything. A fashion blog, for example, might link to a blog post about “Why fast fashion is harmful” on your Shopify page. That fashion blog might not link to your products if they haven’t tried them yet. 

 

Remember – pages pass authority to the rest of your site. Plus, if a blog starts to get traction, you can link from it to a product page – something you should already be doing, as we’ll discuss in our “Site navigation” section. 

Guest posting, skyscraper content, and more

Guest posting and the skyscraper technique are both tried and true methods of building links to your blogs. They’re a bit outside of the scope of this article, but those links should help you learn more – we cover both techniques in our guide to local SEO, as well. 

Duplicate content, crawling, and indexing

One of the biggest problems with Shopify – and almost any other CMS – is that it will generate URLs spontaneously. Shopify, in particular, also handles canonicalization in some strange ways. Optimizing your site is going to involve a hands-on approach to these problems. 

Keeping things canonical in the Shopify Cinematic Universe

E-commerce stores almost always end up with duplicate product pages. The most common cause of this are “swatch” differences – basically, colour swaps on the same product.

 

Shopify knows this, and they’ve done some handiwork to ensure that all duplicate pages refer back to the canonical product page. That means no work for you, right?

 

Sadly, that’s not quite the case. Though Shopify creates and points to canonical pages automatically, all of your pages’ internal links will default to pointing to the non-canonical pages. Why did they do this? It’s a mystery.

 

What is this telling search engines? “Hey, this is the most important canonical page that we want to show up in the SERPs, but also, we’re not internally linking to it at all”. Conflicting signals are not your friend, as anyone who has read “I, Robot” will know.

 

Fortunately, there’s a fix. Follow the steps in that help thread, and you should be able to get all of your pages linking to the canonical page. Note that some (or even most) of your product pages may already be pointing to the canonical page – this issue usually only arises with links generated for products in collections. 

Variant pages can be your friend

As we now know, variant pages generated by swatches will automatically point to the canonical product page. But there are other variant pages that might be generated with their own URLs, separate from similar products. These pages will not have clickable swatches.

 

It’s up to you how you want to handle these variant pages! You can amalgamate them together with clickable swatches, but you can also leave them separate. Separate pages can be useful for multivariate testing. They can also be handy if you know one demographic tends to prefer one variant over another.

 

You can keyword optimize for each variant – just don’t go overboard and create 1000 variant pages for every minor change in details. It’s generally not worth the effort. 

You can finally edit your robots.txt file with Shopify! 

We’re glad to be writing this article in 2021. Why? Because Shopify has finally made it easy to access your robots.txt file. That means you can disallow crawlers in robots.txt instead of having to manually add the noindex tag to a bunch of different pages. 

 

Shopify is actually pretty good at disallowing things like admin pages, carts, orders, and internal searches automatically. They may, however, have disallowed a page you’d rather see indexed, so be sure to double-check what’s been disallowed.

Double-checking your sitemap

As we briefly mentioned in the basics, you’re going to want to upload your sitemap to both GSC and Webmaster Tools. The sitemap is automatically generated by Shopify at “domain.com/sitemap.xml”, and it dynamically adds all pages from four categories:

 

  • Product Pages
  • Collection Pages
  • Blog Posts
  • Marketing Pages

 

It’s best practice to check your sitemap regularly to see if there are any old pages that should no longer be crawled. That applies to basically any page with a 3XX, 4XX, or 5XX status code – though there may be corner cases where you want to leave those sites in your sitemap. 

Site navigation

There is nothing more frustrating than a website that’s difficult to navigate. When you can’t tell how you got to the page you’re on, how to go back to where you started, or where to go next, what do you do?

 

Leave the site and find a different one.

 

That’s exactly the kind of thing that we’re going to help you avoid in this section. An easy-to-navigate site is more user-friendly. That leads to more time spent on your site, which sends positive signals to search engines. A well-designed site is easier for web crawlers to navigate, too – which means even more positive signals.

Follow the breadcrumbs

Breadcrumb navigation is extremely easy to add to your website. Every e-commerce site should use it. For reference, breadcrumb navigation looks like this:

 

*screenshot taken from bestbuy.ca.

 

You can tell exactly where you are, and exactly how you got there. Simple, useful, essential. 

 

Adding breadcrumb navigation to Shopify is as simple as a few clicks, as you’ll see in that link. If it’s not already active on your site, go add it right now.

Shallow site structures are still your friend

Crawlers can get lost on websites pretty easily – so can people. To counteract this, you’ll want to use a shallow site structure.

 

What does a shallow site structure look like? Well, a little something like this:

 

*Thanks to octopus.do for the sitemap!

 

As you’ll soon see, the exact nature of your site structure will vary somewhat from this. The point here, however, remains: you want to have a site structure that’s only 3 to 4 layers deep. Anything more than that, and it can become very difficult to navigate through your site – even with breadcrumb navigation!

 

Obviously, there are exceptions to everything. Giant retailers tend to have much deeper site structures because they need subcategories for their subcategories’ subcategories. Most SMB e-commerce stores, however, will not need to worry about overly deep site structures.

Use collections to make navigation easier

“Collections” is what Shopify calls categories. It goes without saying that you want to categorize the items in your store. Let’s say you’re a clothing store – you’ll probably want collections for children’s, men’s, and women’s clothing. 

 

You can build collections manually, and multiple items can appear in multiple different collections (though that can result in some strange internal linking behaviour, which we’ll address later). 

 

The best way to build collections in most cases, however, is to create them automatically. You can tag each product in your store with different tags, then automate your collections to include items with a particular tag as soon as they are added. Tags have a lot of functionality that go beyond the scope of SEO and site structure, but we highly encourage you to learn how to use tags

 

Consider your internal linking strategy

Internal linking serves two major functions in the SEO world. First, properly placed internal links make your website easier to navigate – more user-friendly, more bot-friendly. Second, internal links can serve to send traffic from one high traffic page to another, lower traffic page.

 

Say, for example, you created an amazing blog post on why you use a certain textile in all of your clothing. This blog post is well-written and informative, and its visibility skyrockets – you get the post retweeted by Vogue’s Twitter account, and everyone starts talking about it (the dream).

 

What can you do with all of that traffic? Well, you might consider including a link to one of your product pages (with appropriate anchor text, of course) on that blog. Now, all of a sudden, traffic flows from your blog post to your product page. That sends great signals about the product page to search engines – and it will probably mean a lot more sales for you, too.

 

Every blog post on your site should contain a link to a page you want to boost – typically a category page, product page, or your homepage. You can also include links from blog posts to other blog posts where relevant – keep your buyers in a network of interesting blog posts, and you’ll be sending great signals to Google. 

 

You should be evaluating your internal links on a regular basis. Check which high traffic pages could be used as springboards to other pages. Link blog posts to other blog posts on your site on a regular basis (as we’ve done here) – you can also link blog posts to your product pages.

 

There are even opportunities to link product pages to one another. Say you have an item of clothing that needs to be washed with a very gentle detergent – and you happen to have a very gentle detergent in your shop. Link from your product page to the detergent – your buyers will be happy you did, because it means they don’t have to go hunting around for the product they need.

Use redirects where appropriate

Shopify makes it pretty easy to redirect traffic from one page to another. This is extremely useful when you have a lot of links to a certain page, but the information on that page is outdated. It can also be useful if you have a product that you’ve phased out and replaced with a similar product.

 

Simply follow the instructions on Shopify’s URL redirects page. 

 

Structured data

You want your site to get rich results on Google. To do this, you need structured data. Shopify will automatically structure some of your data, but not all of it. Let’s take a deeper dive.

Adding Product structured data

Shopify automatically provides markup for all of your product pages in most themes. You can improve on this by adding product data to all of your collection pages, marking each product link with product markup data. 

Structured data for blogs

You should use “Article” or “BlogPosting” markup for all of your blogs – “Article” may be best, as that’s what Google has documentation on

Structured data and product reviews

The Shopify Product Reviews app automatically adds the “Reviews” markup to all of your product reviews. One less thing to worry about if you’re using that app! 

Are your breadcrumbs structured? 

Probably not. Though Shopify gives you the option to implement breadcrumb navigation automatically in most themes, their breadcrumbs do not come with the Breadcrumb List markup automatically implemented. It’s worth adding – breadcrumb navigation can appear on search results.

Implementing structured data

If you’re reading this, and you’re a Shopify pro, you probably already know how to implement structured data!

 

On the flip side, if you’re reading this, and you’re not even quite sure what structured data is – don’t worry. There are apps that can automatically implement structured data for you – check out Schema Plus for one good option. 

Improving site speed

No one likes a page that loads slowly. Shoppers hate it, bots hate it, search engines hate it, you hate it, we hate it – so let’s fix it. 

 

Shopify will do their best to keep your site loading quickly. They use a very solid CDN, so you’re all set on that front. At the end of the day, Shopify can only do so much – you’re the master of your own domain. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to improve the loading times on all of your pages.

 

Watch your apps

People love their apps, whether they’re using WordPress, Shopify, or something else. Apps make everything a lot easier for people who aren’t technically inclined, and they can provide a lot of useful customer-facing functionality.

 

We’re not telling you that you shouldn’t use apps. We just mean you should experiment – see how page speeds are affected when you disable and enable certain apps. Should you find that a particular app is considerably increasing load times, or that if you go above a certain number of apps load times become unacceptable, start to think about whether or not the functionality is worth the sacrifice to speed-related ranking signals.

Lazy-load and compress images (note to myself mention getting rid of sliders in favour of one image in this section)

Lazy-loading is one of the most effective ways to reduce load times for your pages. Shopify has a guide on lazy-loading – it’s a bit outdated, since it uses Slate for its examples (support for which has been discontinued). We linked it anyway because the lazy-loading design principles they discuss are still quite useful.

 

Looking for a great lazyloader? Try lazysizes.

 

You’ll also want to optimize your images by resizing and compressing them. Shopify offers a free tool to help with this – their online image resizer. If you find that’s not doing the trick, or that you have too many images to resize/compress, you can try an automatic image optimization app like Crush Pics. Not all apps are bad for page speed!

 

On a related note, you’ll want to avoid using image sliders in favour of one great image where you can. For some products you’ll want a slider, of course, but it’s best to avoid sliders where one image will do. 

Optimize your fonts

You’ll also want to avoid using too many fonts. Yes, fonts can be fun, and can draw the eye, but too many fonts can create a ton of clutter and make your site harder for users to understand.

 

That’s not even the main point, though – fonts need to load, and too many fonts can add to your loading times. Opt for web safe fonts wherever possible. 

Scrap everything and make your own theme

If you’ve tried all of these optimization tips and things still aren’t loading fast enough for your liking, you can go with the nuclear option – creating your own Shopify theme. You can build custom themes with the explicit intention of getting fast loading times.

 

Obviously, this is something you’ll only want to pursue if you have Shopify and web design experts on your team. It’s the most expensive and time-consuming option, but design-from-scratch can lead to some huge dividends when it comes to page speed and SEO. 

What Shopify does well (and how you can improve it)

We’ve talked a lot about how we can improve Shopify – now let’s take a moment to appreciate the things the platform does well.

 

In truth, Shopify does a lot well – even when it comes to SEO. That’s one of the reasons their platform is so popular. We’re going to highlight three things we really appreciate about Shopify – but, as always, we’ll help you optimize these things, too. 

Easy-to-access analytics

Shopify offers a ton of data for you to analyze – and as we’ve discussed, data and SEO go hand-in-hand. Here, our recommendation is simple – use Shopify to find high priority product pages to optimize. You can do this by looking at your top products by units sold. If there are products that are underselling, you can consider optimizing them first. 

 

Alternatively, optimize the products that are already selling well to ensure they keep selling well – then consider linking from those product pages to product pages that are underselling.

Mobile-friendly

One of the reasons Shopify is doing so well is that their themes are all mobile-friendly out of the box. That’s huge – and by implementing the speed optimization tips we’ve already given, your site will be incredibly easy to use on phones, tablets, and PCs.

 

Our one last mobile tip is this: if you have any forms on your site, keep them as brief as possible. One or two fields per form is best in most cases – other than checkout. And even your checkout forms should be kept as short as you can. 

Conclusion

We’ve covered a lot of ground here – everything from the most basic to the most technical parts of Shopify SEO.

 

If you can tackle this all on your own – more power to you. As you can tell, there’s a lot that goes into optimizing a site, and the more effort you put in, the more you’ll get out of it.

 

Here’s the thing: SEO is not a one-time effort. From updating your blog every week and developing an external linking strategy to ensuring your structured data is up to date and revamping your sitemap, you’re going to need to optimize every time you add a new piece of content to your site.

 

That’s a lot of work, but you don’t have to do it alone. In fact, you can let us handle all of it. We’re Shopify experts, and our e-commerce SEO services include everything we’ve discussed here – and a whole lot more. 

 

You’ve made it to the end. Thanks for reading – now go out, and optimize your site!