Shopify Optimization: The Guide to Optimizing Shopify

If you’re looking to sell your products online, a great platform you should consider is Shopify. Used by 500,000 customers in 175 countries, it has helped its store owners achieve $40 billion in sales.

While Shopify has many robust features, such as enhanced security and discounted plans, it is not without SEO pitfalls.

So, if you’re looking to improve site sales and organic traffic, follow these tips on how to make your Shopify store well-optimized:

Make sure to remove duplicate content.

Duplicate content — or having the same content in two different links — can direly affect your SEO. That’s because the search engine is unable to differentiate the canonical version from the non-canonical one.

To make matters worse, the link signals can be split between the two pages.

In terms of internal linking, Shopify links the non-canonical version to all product pages. However, this can send conflicting signals to search engines like Google.

To minimize your store’s chances of being flagged for duplicate content, you should try and adjust the internal linking structure. This can be done through the product.grid-item.liquid.file. With this, you get to direct all the product pages to the canonical version.

Another duplication problem that can affect your Shopify SEO can be found in your collections pages. As this can result from pagination, it’s necessary to have this internal linking structure adjusted, too.

Determine if your products’ variants need another URL.

Similar to the problem above, Google may flag your Shopify store for duplication due to the products’ variations. That’s because Shopify devotes a separate URL for your blue hat and its red variant, even though they’re essentially the same thing.

While this is not a significant search engine issue than what was mentioned above, it’s important to know if you want different URLs for each variant. Should you go with this, each one should have its own brand of content and keywords.

Add the noindex tag.

One of the downsides to having a Shopify online store is that you won’t be able to manipulate the robots.txt file. Sadly, this is a good way for you to control how search engines crawl your site.

As such, what you should do is to add the noindex tag. By adding this to your theme.liquid file, you can exclude a product page from being indexed by search engines.

Enable redirects.

Shopify allows its customers to implement redirects, making each store more SEO-friendly. You can access this by going to the Shopify app and heading to Online Store > Navigation > URL redirects.

Apart from improving user experience, redirects can help you optimize your online store. With this, you can group expired and old pages — as well as those with non-existing content — and redirect them to another suitable product link.

Expand the product structured data to your collection page.

One of Shopify’s best practices is that it allows product marks straight out of the box. With this, Google can get all the site information it needs, such as product names, descriptions, and prices.

While this feature is available in most themes, you can boost search engine optimization by expanding this to your collection page. You can do this by adding the product data to each link on the listing page.

If you have a blog, use the Article structured data.

Having a blog is a great way to improve search engine optimization. And thanks to Shopify’s Article data, you can exploit this opportunity.

With this, you can let search engines know that your blog boasts of editorial content. This can increase your chances of being spotted by customers on the Interesting Finds page.

Do good research.

Like you would do in other sites, you need to find the top keywords to improve your Shopify SEO.

Here are some research techniques you should keep in mind:

  • Get the data from Google Adwords to see the keywords that greatly help your online store.
  • Find the Adwords that yield a high conversion rate.
  • Use keywords that get a lot of impressions or clicks.
  • Use free keyword-generating apps to find words that may help optimize your site.
  • Use free apps such as MergeWords to come up with numerous keyword variations.

Keyword optimization is key.

Now that you know which keywords convert, you should proceed to use them.

The same SEO practices apply in Shopify, and that means using the keywords in links, title tags, meta descriptions, alt text, and content. You can do so by going to the Search Engine Listing Preview option.

Optimize the most popular page first.

Using unique and informative content can help improve your SEO. But if you’re dealing with thousands of products in your store, optimizing every page can be a nightmare.

That said, a practical approach is to optimize the most important product page first. To learn which item performs best, make sure to read the Sales by Product report.

Andrea Parker

Andrea Parker is a reporter for Zobuz. She previously worked at Huffington Post and Vanity Fair. Andrea is based in NYC and covers issues affecting her city. In addition to her severe coffee addiction, she's a Netflix enthusiast, a red wine drinker, and a voracious reader.

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Andrea Parker

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