15 Essential Shopify SEO Tips to Drive Traffic and Create Customers
- 1 1. Become a Keyword Research Pro
- 2 2. Optimize Product Pages and Descriptions
- 3 3. Create a Site Hierarchy
- 4 4. Image Optimization
- 5 5. On-Page Optimization
- 6 6. Internal Linking
- 7 7. Optimize for Mobile-First
- 8 8. Implement Structured Data and Schema
- 9 9. Implement Video and Graphic Content
- 10 10. Prioritize User Experience
- 11 11. Add Your Sitemap to Google Search Console
- 12 12. Build High-Quality Backlinks
- 13 13. Get Consistent With Blogging
- 14 14. Optimize Your Site According to Core Web Vitals
- 15 15. Tracking Results
- 16 Final Thoughts
When it comes to driving traffic to your Shopify store, what’s your plan? Do you consider yourself a paid ad wizard? Maybe you’re really good at creating a buzz on social media?
SEO might be your best option if you don’t fit into either of those boxes.
You can increase your traffic and generate more revenue by ensuring you have a properly optimized Shopify store.
In this guide, I’m covering 15 simple but important Shopify SEO tips to drive your store toward the money and away from the frustration.
1. Become a Keyword Research Pro
If you’ve spent any amount of time in SEO, you understand that keyword research is one of the most impactful aspects of SEO. Keyword research is identifying keywords that users search for when they want to trigger a certain result in the search engine.
For example, if someone is looking for hip waders for fishing, what types of things might they search for?
- Best hip waders
- Good hip waders for fly fishing
- Best hip waders for staying dry
If we head over to the Ahrefs Keyword Explorer, we can see some examples of keywords that people look for revolving around this topic.
So, if we have a hunting and fishing Shopify store, we can assume that these would be some keywords of interest for us.
By understanding keyword research, we can find opportunities for creating content, product descriptions, and product pages based on the items we know people want because they search for them.
2. Optimize Product Pages and Descriptions
Regarding Shopify SEO best practices, I feel that your product pages are a highly underutilized area of an ecommerce store.
Many SEOs don’t believe in the importance of optimizing them, but I think it’s possible to outrank some big names like Amazon and Walmart with a well-optimized site.
Start with your images.
Make sure you’re using high-resolution product images and providing multiple angles and pictures to give customers a great idea of what they’re purchasing.
This is especially important in high-ticket items. A video would be even more helpful.
Take your previously learned keyword research skills and put them to the test. Work as many natural keywords into your product descriptions and titles as you can.
In the example above from OpenGoaaalUSA.com, you can see a bunch of bolded keyphrases.
Don’t forget your call to action. Sometimes a sale is as simple as being direct and straightforward about what you want. Literally tell the reader how they can buy it, what they need to do next, and ask them to do it.
3. Create a Site Hierarchy
A highly misunderstood Shopify SEO tip is site structure and why it’s important. While it’s important for user experience, it’s also important for SEO.
A site that is easy to navigate is easier for Google to crawl. This means it’s easier for Google to find keywords on your site that better tell the search engine what the site is about, what you sell, and who your audience is.
Think of site hierarchy like a family tree. I talked about this in my internal link audit article.
In the example of a gardening website, you might have a number of product pages and at the top of the page are your main topics: vegetables, flowers, and fruits.
From there, you can break it down into additional categories. This makes the site easy to navigate, easy for users to find what they’re looking for, and great for Google to crawl and pick up on your offering.
In addition to the simple design, there is a technical side to this as well with your URL structure. Make sure you’re breaking the site down into proper categories. For example:
If your site is mygardeningwebsite.com, you want to create a clean and efficient structure by creating overarching categories as I mentioned above.
Mygardeningwebsite.com/vegetables could be your overall product page with other pages beneath that look like this:
Don’t add too many layers or overcomplicate this. Create main product pages and build off of that.
Check out this page on fish finders as an example.
4. Image Optimization
Optimizing images is important because it can affect site speed, mobile optimization, and overall SEO performance. To some, this is an outdated Shopify SEO tip but it’s so quick and simple that I think it’s still worth the effort.
Here are some of the things you’ll want to do to optimize the images on your Shopify store:
Resize your images: Large image files can slow down your website’s loading time, so it’s important to resize your images to the appropriate dimensions before uploading them to Shopify. Aim for a file size of 70-100KB.
Use descriptive file names: Use descriptive file names for your images with relevant keywords. This will help improve your search engine rankings and make your images easier to find for users.
Use alt tags: Alt tags are important for accessibility and can also improve your SEO. Make sure to include descriptive alt tags for all of your images.
5. On-Page Optimization
On-page SEO refers to the steps you take to optimize the text and images used on your website. For this example, I want to focus on your page titles, headers, and meta descriptions.
Your page title or H1 is the overall title of the product page or blog article. In the example above, the title is for a blog article on internal link audits.
You want to make sure your title:
- Includes your main keyword
- Has a maximum of 60 characters
- Includes some sort of “buzz” phrase to create excitement
From there, we’ll scroll down the page and look at the headers or H2, H3, and H4s. You’ll likely have a lot more of these in a blog article than on a product page so let’s go back to our ecommerce example with the soccer goals.
With your headers, you want to include keywords wherever possible and help break up the text to make it skimmable. Backyard soccer goal is likely a very popular keyword for this site, so they’ve included it here.
Lastly, we have our metadata which is what shows up on Google search results when you search for a specific phrase.
You need to make sure that your title is between 60-70 characters and your meta description is between 145-155. This ensures that it doesn’t get cut off (like above.)
Make sure it contains your main keyword and helps tell the reader a little about what they’ll learn or see when they click through.
6. Internal Linking
One of the best SEO tips for Shopify that I can give you is to pay attention to internal linking. Just because you’re not building a huge blog or affiliate site doesn’t mean you can forget internal linking.
Proper internal linking ensures that users navigate the site more easily, which will help them find related products and content revolving around something they might want to purchase.
This improves the user experience and increases dwell time which is good for your rankings.
Orphaned pages are also bad for your SEO. These pages are not connected to your website through internal linking, they have zero links pointing to them.
This is where a tool like the Link Whisper Shopify app comes into play. Link Whisper can help you immediately identify any pages on your site with no internal links.
The ultimate goal of internal linking is to connect all of your pages with other relevant pages to make the site easy to navigate for users and easy to crawl for Google.
Broken links are another issue, and these occur when a link gets changed or removed, so you end up with a link on your website that takes users to a dead page.
The Link Whisper Shopify app can help you identify broken links on your website and provide alternatives to fix them quickly and easily.
7. Optimize for Mobile-First
When I say “mobile-first,” I mean – optimize your site to look good on mobile and prioritize that over how it looks on desktop.
Google indexes websites based on mobile-first optimization because more users are shopping on mobile devices than on desktop computers. Optimizing your Shopify store for mobile can help you reach a wider audience and increase your chances of making a sale.
Since Google has shifted its focus to mobile-first indexing, it relies more heavily on your mobile site to determine your search engine rankings. A mobile-optimized Shopify store can help improve your search engine rankings and visibility.
8. Implement Structured Data and Schema
If you’re unfamiliar, this Shopify SEO tip might put a knot in your stomach. Don’t worry, it’s so much simpler than it sounds, and schema is just a fancy word with a basic description.
Structured data is a way to provide additional information to Google to make it easier for the search engine to understand what your website is about. This can include information about products, hours of operation, timely events, product reviews, and more.
In the image above, you’ll see that these search results have extra information baked into the bottom about what types of products are available, how much they cost, and you can even click the links to jump right to them.
This is the result of structured data and schema that you can add to the code of your website. Google breaks down how to do this here.
9. Implement Video and Graphic Content
92% of shoppers say that visuals impact whether or not they purchase something from a brand. Videos and images not only grab the attention of users who may otherwise overlook you, but they create additional opportunities to rank.
Videos that are descriptive and provide value can rank on their own in Google’s video search. This creates new opportunities for you to drive traffic to your ecommerce store.
Video and graphic content can also help boost conversions by providing a more detailed and informative look at your products. This can help customers make more informed purchase decisions and reduce the likelihood of returns or dissatisfaction.
Now, I want to make it clear that you don’t need to go out and spend a ton of money on professional video equipment if you’re just starting out with your ecommerce journey.
Start somewhere even if that means taking pictures and recording videos of yourself using some of your products. In some cases, content like this is even more popular because it shows that you’re a real person and not a huge brand trying to make a quick buck.
10. Prioritize User Experience
I think this tip goes pretty hand-in-hand with the previous one but you want to make sure you’re providing value to your users and making their experience as pleasurable as possible.
I love to think of an ecommerce store like a real store. What happens when you walk into a store at your local mall?
Someone usually comes to you and asks if you need help finding anything, right? While this can sometimes be annoying, it can also be helpful.
How do we create this type of experience in a Shopify store? Usually through the form of live chat. A live chat feature is a great way to improve UX and increase sales because you can provide assistance to customers who may not have purchased anything if you weren’t available to help them.
Another great way to improve user experience is by keeping the checkout process fast and simple. Not only does this create fewer opportunities for the customer to second guess their purchase, but it also increases the chances of them giving you a positive review and being satisfied with their purchase.
11. Add Your Sitemap to Google Search Console
While I know technical SEO can get a little boring, it’s important that you don’t skip this tip. Submitting a sitemap to Google Search Console makes your site easier to crawl and if you have a new Shopify store, this is even more important.
Search engines like Google need a roadmap to follow when landing on your site. Many of the technical SEO tips we’ve talked about so far are designed to help Google navigate the site and find more keywords to rank you for.
I believe the simplest way to create a sitemap is to automatically generate one and then spot-check it for mistakes. Most site builders have a sitemap generator built into them or at least a plugin that you can use.
Once you’ve created a sitemap you’ll want to submit it to the search console and wait for it to be accepted.
This tip is much simpler than it looks and once you’ve submitted the sitemap, you’ll never have to do it again. Don’t skip this step!
Most of us know backlinks are the key to outranking your competitors. If you want to grow your site, generate more traffic, and make more sales, you’ll need to start thinking about backlinks at some point.
I believe in quality over quantity with links so don’t go over to Fiverr and fall for the guys telling you they can get you “10,000 links for $100.”
They’re low-quality PBN and forum links that might give your store a quick boost but then penalize you in the long-run. Don’t do anything that will hurt your chances of long-term success; play the low and slow game.
The best way to build high-quality backlinks is by developing relationships and reaching out manually to see how you can provide value to other site owners.
If you have great content on your website, reach out and offer it as a resource to other people in your niche. Tell them that you think it would make a great addition to another piece of content they have and simply ask for a link.
Worst case scenario is they tell you no or don’t respond at all.
Another great way to build links which I’ll talk about below is to get consistent with content production.
If you look at this report, you can see consistent referring domain growth.
All of these links were acquired without any outreach or link building. We acquired simply from creating valuable content that ranked well enough to earn links. This leads me to my next point.
13. Get Consistent With Blogging
Blogging increases the amount of keywords on your website and boosts the overall authority of your site as long as the content is good.
Anyone can create a Shopify store, throw up a bunch of products on the site, and open for business.
The difference comes when the owner of the store actually understands their niche enough to create targeted content that attracts readers and generates attention.
The magic word here is “consistent.”
When you’re consistently creating content in a specific niche, you create opportunities to rank and show potential customers what you’re all about. Even if they’re not ready to buy something from you at the exact time they read your article, you might have just introduced them to your business.
Also, as mentioned above, blogging creates more backlink opportunities. For example, if you’re in the scuba diving niche, you can create scuba diving informational guides. If someone in the niche finds your guide interesting and helpful, they might provide you with a link.
The more valuable content you have, the more chances you have of this happening.
14. Optimize Your Site According to Core Web Vitals
Core Web Vitals are metrics that Google uses to determine the overall user experience of a website. They’re broken down into three categories:
LCP: Loading performance
FID: How long does it take for the site to react to something
CLS: How long does it take for every element on your site to load
For all three of these elements, it’s important that your site loads quickly, responds quickly to user interaction, and doesn’t jump around too much as various elements load on the pages.
The simplest way to optimize for this is to limit the amount of complicated code on your ecommerce store. With Shopify, this isn’t too difficult because there aren’t as many adjustments you can make compared to a WooCommerce store for example.
I believe in the K.I.S.S method for a lot of things. Keep it simple stupid – every button on your site doesn’t need to bounce around and not every page needs a countdown timer. These elements will slow down your site and cause a low Core Web Vitals score resulting in lower rankings.
15. Tracking Results
Our last Shopify SEO tip is to track everything you can using Google Search Console and Google Analytics.
I try to shy away from the data on tools like Ahrefs and SEMRush because they’re less accurate.
In GSC, this ecommerce store has seen 21.6k visitors in the last 28 days.
According to Ahrefs, the site averages 19.4k visitors per month.
Google Analytics is great for tracking traffic of all kinds. With Analytics, you can track social media, direct, and organic traffic.
Here you can see that this same site gets over 126,000 visitors per month if you combine all forms of traffic. You can even create actions on your site for purchases that trigger data to compile in Analytics.
Long story short, whether you use these tools or simply track your traffic in Shopify, it’s important to keep track of your progress to figure out what works and what doesn’t.
Optimizing your Shopify store for search engines can greatly increase your visibility and drive traffic to your website.
By following the Shopify SEO tips outlined in this article, such as researching and incorporating relevant keywords, optimizing your product pages, and building backlinks, you can improve your search engine rankings and attract more potential customers to your online store.
If you want to learn more, check out our Shopify SEO Guide.