Learn about the crucial elements of Ecommerce SEO for Shopify websites in 2024.
When it comes to increasing traffic to your online store and Shopify website, Search Engine Optimization or SEO is an important ecommerce business strategy that should be a focus point in your priorities.
While there are other ways to increase traffic to your Shopify website, like through paid ads and a robust social media presence, search engine optimization helps you improve traffic by increasing your rank and visibility on search engine sites like Google.
When it comes to SEO, the goal is to get your webpage on the front page of the search engine results page (SERP), so you can benefit from high visibility and free, recurring traffic that lets you bring in new customers to your Shopify store.
It’s estimated that 67.60% of clicks on search engine results pages are captured by the first five results. Since the vast majority of clicks on search engine result pages go to the first five results, optimizing your Shopify store for search engines is crucial to capturing that valuable organic traffic and driving better conversions in 2024
In this article by Ecommerce Pro, we detail all the elements you need to take into consideration for improving SEO, giving you our SEO Ecommerce Guide for your Shopify website. We start by explaining what SEO is and why it’s important, before going into some tried and true strategies that will help you improve your Shopify website’s SEO. This comprehensive, yet simple guide will provide you with the insights and strategies you need to optimize your Shopify store to dominate the front page of the SERPs in 2024.
Let’s get started.
Read our article on the 15 Best SEO Tools to Boost Your Shopify Website’s Rank.
Table of Contents
What is SEO for Shopify websites?
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the strategy and practice of optimizing your Shopify website in ways that will make it more visible for search engines. If you’d like to see your website page at the top of a search result, you’ll have to tweak your site pages for SEO, which will involve enhancing your site’s overall performance and user experience.
Simply put, the ultimate goal of SEO is to rank high on the first page of search engines like Google, Yahoo, or Bing, with search terms related to your products and services. When a potential customer looks for your product online through Google, ideally, the top results will show your website.
Boosting your site’s visibility in search engines will ultimately boost organic traffic to your Shopify store. Organic traffic is considered free traffic, unlike paid ads.
Why is SEO important for my Shopify websites?
Search Engine Optimization is important for all Shopify stores that want to significantly improve their site’s visibility, traffic, and sales.
SEO is a transformative strategy that empowers you to build a thriving Shopify business, propelling you toward a stronger foothold in your target market and establishing you as a formidable force in your niche.
Comparing ecommerce sites that employ SEO strategies with those that don’t, online businesses that do tend to employ SEO strategies generate more traffic and income. So, how then can you optimize your Shopify online store for search engines?
Read on below to learn more about the top SEO strategies for Shopify websites from our ecommerce SEO guide:
1. Keyword Research
While there are many methods for SEO, SEO cannot be performed without keyword research. This is why Keyword research is at the top of our list regarding search engine optimization for Shopify websites because it is indispensable.
Keyword research is the process of identifying specific words and phrases your target audience is bound to type into the search bar of their preferred search engine when searching for your product or service online. Effective keyword research and usage can significantly improve your store's visibility in search results.
Keyword research is important precisely because it helps you understand your target customer’s search pattern, allowing you to tailor your content accordingly. To use keywords correctly, you must incorporate them into your Shopify website’s content, product descriptions, page titles, meta descriptions, and more. This will help search engines understand your website's relevance to specific search terms, leading to higher rankings and increased organic traffic.
2. Submit Your Sitemap
Submitting your sitemap to Google Search Console is crucial for boosting your search engine rankings and enhancing user experience.
When we talk about search engine optimization for Shopify websites, sitemaps tend to take a back seat for beginners and can often be puzzling at first, and this, in large, is because sitemaps don’t cater directly to the site user, instead they directly cater to search engines like Google, which use crawlers to index your site and its content. In simpler terms, sitemaps help search engines discover and understand your website’s content.
All Shopify stores already have an automatically generated sitemap.xml and we highly suggest indexing your Shopify sitemap with Google to help you improve search discoverability.
How to find your sitemap? It’s easy. Find your Shopify sitemap.xml by adding the text /sitemap.xml to the end of your root domain, as in the example yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml.
Following this, sign up for a Google Search Console account before adding your property to be indexed.
3. On-Page SEO
On-page SEO is an indispensable aspect of Shopify website optimization, and this is really where your keyword research comes into play. On-page SEO encompasses elements like page titles, meta descriptions, headings, images, and overall content quality.
When conducting On-Page SEO for your Shopify website, make sure to cover the following, ideally using keywords across:
Page Titles & Meta Descriptions
Your site pages, and especially your product pages, should have optimized page titles & meta descriptions that are rich in choice keywords that capture user attention and guide search engine crawlers. Page titles need to be concise and informative, accurately reflecting the content of the page. The meta description, on the other hand, should provide a brief overview of the page's content to entice users to click through.
Images and Alt Tags
Images across your website should all be assigned a descriptive image alt text or tag to be optimized properly. Using descriptive alt tags for images not only provides a text alternative for visually impaired users but also allows search engines to index your images correctly.
Providing quality content is paramount to the success of on-page SEO. That’s why its important to create engaging and informative content in the form of product descriptions, blog posts, and other website content that provide value to your customers. When crafting content, make sure to use clear language, proper grammar, and high-quality images to enhance user experience and attract organic traffic.
4. Run a Blog
Running a blog on your Shopify website can be stellar for SEO, with the potential to contribute greatly to organic traffic. Long-form content, as in the case of blogging, has proven to be great for SEO as it is more shareable, informative, and engaging. In essence, blog posts can bring value to your target customers, as well as help you build trust and authority across your niche.
Moreover, blogging can help you dominate your target keywords, landing you front and center on the SERPs.
To enhance your search engine optimization efforts and reach a wider audience, consider diving into a diverse range of topics around your niche. For example, if you run an online health store selling herbal teas, you can publish articles on the various health benefits of different herbs that you also happen to have available on your site.
Establishing a blog can be challenging and can be a long game, but the rewards of improving SEO and website traffic will help you reach your business objectives.
Remember, today's online shoppers are savvy researchers seeking in-depth information. By creating a blog, you can establish your expertise and authority in your niche. To maintain high rankings, ensure your content remains current and reflects industry trends. Search engines favor fresh, relevant content, as well as high-quality information.
5. Internal & External Links
Another important aspect of search engine optimization lies in link building, or making use of both internal and external links.
Internal links are links on your site that redirect to another page on your Shopify website. For instance, you can use internal links in your product descriptions to direct customers to related products or blog posts that offer further information about the product.
The reason why internal links are valuable is because they help guide users through your site, enhancing the experience through better engagement and navigation. Internal links also benefit search engine optimization by helping search engines understand the structure of your Shopify website as well as the relevance of your website's content.
By strategically placing internal links, you can improve your website's crawlability and authority, leading to higher search engine rankings.
While internal links guide users within your Shopify website, external links or backlinks, direct users off-site onto another website. External links may seem counterintuitive to traffic at first, but they play a big role in establishing authority and credibility. By using external links to trustworthy and informative content, you demonstrate your Shopify website’s expertise and ties to reputable sources.
However, the most valuable type of link is links that point back to your Shopify website from other reputable sites. These backlinks act as endorsements from reputable sources, signaling to search engines that your website provides high-quality content with authority.
Because backlinks are challenging to manipulate, search engines like Google place great consideration on webpages that have backlinks, making them great for SEO and higher SERP ranking.
6. Clear Navigation Structure
A coherent site structure with clear navigation is imperative if you wish to improve your Shopify website’s search engine optimization. Not only does it enhance the customer experience, but their continuous activity and engagement on your website signals to search engines that your website is relevant and valuable.
Having great navigation on your Shopify website involves creating a well-organized menu with clearly defined categories and subcategories. A responsive search bar is also necessary to incorporate, with auto-suggestions improving searchability and user satisfaction.
Header and footer menus are key to clear navigation and should be prominently displayed to guide customers across crucial shop features, like your homepage, about page, cart, and contact information to ensure effortless navigation without any bumps along the way for users.
With that said, navigation should be clear across all devices as mobile responsiveness is a big deal with the modern shopper. While Shopify themes are designed to be responsive on all device sizes, it’s best to double-check to make sure that all your website elements have translated well across both desktop and mobile.
7. Loading Speed
Does loading speed really affect search engine optimization? Yes, it does. How fast your webpages load directly impacts your rank, as it’s one of the many factors Google takes into consideration. How fast a page loads is also known to affect bounce rate or how often potential customers leave your site because users aren’t willing to wait for all your images and content to load.
A slow website will have customers clicking off-site as they are used to better services online, often opting to leave if a site takes more than 10 seconds to load. This means that no matter how well-designed your site is or how great your products are, potential customers won’t stick around to wait for all your graphics because attention spans are only getting shorter nowadays.
To ensure faster loading times, you can compress your images so that they are optimized for speed. To check your site’s loading speed, you can go on Google’s PageSpeed Insight to see how your Shopify website fairs—the closer your score is to 100%, the better for SEO.
8. Keep Track of Your SEO Success Efforts
Finally, to cap this Ecommerce SEO Guide, it’s important to keep track of your search engine optimization efforts to see what’s working well and what you need to improve. As with all things when it comes to online business, it’s all about fine-tuning your efforts to discover what works best for your Shopify website.
There are several tools that can help you track your search engine optimization performance, including:
- Google Search Console: A free tool by Google that lets you track your site’s performance in search results.
- Ahrefs: a paid tool that provides more in-depth SEO data. This tool helps you identify keyword opportunities, track backlogs, and your site’s organic traffic growth.
- SEMrush: Similar to Ahrefs, use SEMrush to track your keyword rankings, identify keyword opportunities, and more.
By closely tracking your SEO performance, you can identify areas where you can improve and make strategic adjustments to your SEO operations. This will help you get more organic traffic to your Shopify store and achieve your business goals in 2024.
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