With Shopify, most brands find it easier to integrate search engine optimization (SEO) on their eCommerce websites. Once a long and tedious task, platforms now have built-in SEO, sitemap.xml, and robots.txt that are automatically generated. Marketing tools like built-in blogs and ads are also available to market the website so that more people see it. Indeed, we’ve come a long way from the initial grueling process.
Shopify does have its limitations. While the metadata for product pages are editable, the same cannot be done for the collection pages. There’s the robots.txt file which cannot be edited and may need a consultation with a Shopify expert. There’s also the fact that even with the built-in features, brands may fail to apply methods to optimize the website. Here’s a quick guide on how to apply SEO for Shopify websites.
While certain limitations are unfixable from the subscriber’s level, there are mistakes that the brand itself can correct. Here are some Shopify mistakes shops need to look out for.
Poor keyword integration and planning
Planning and integrating keywords is a significant part of optimizing a Shopify website. But brands need to plan their keywords properly and include them on the website seamlessly. This is to increase the chances of ranking on the Google results pages.
For starters, the keywords should match your target market’s search intent and behavior and the services you offer. For example, what phrases are they more likely to search for in line with your products for example. If you’re not targeting relevant keywords in the planning stage, you’ll have difficulty getting your audience to find your store.
After getting the plan, now comes their integration in relevant parts of your website. Keywords should be included in the metadata, alt tags, and body content. In particular, for alt text, these must be put on the images for search engines. This will help you rank better when the relevant audience searches said keywords.
Confusing website navigation
Another mistake brands might fall for is making the navigation of their website too complicated. Having a website that’s confusing to use will have visitors exiting your store in frustration, which will lead to fewer users converting.
Applying the best website navigation practices rather than making it too complex or intricate. For example, grouping pages into hierarchies will make finding content on your website much simpler, but search engines will also be able to find them better. This then increases the likelihood of you ranking under relevant keywords on Google.
That said, be careful that these hierarchies don’t form content silos or clusters. When information gets too clustered, some silos might perform great and get good website traffic while others perform poorly. With this, brands should practice cross-linking between two different pages from silos that still have some similarities. A lack of cross-linking negatively affects your rankings, so you want to utilize this method to boost your store. If you need inspiration, here are the top 10 E-commerce websites in the Philippines that we liked in 2021.
Slow loading times
Another mistake brands are making is not optimizing the website speed. Consumers are more likely to exit a website when not loading fast enough. That results in a higher bounce rate or the percentage of users who leave the website after only one page.
To fix this issue, apply certain strategies that help increase speed on your Shopify speed. Compressing and integrating fewer images per page, using a faster theme on the website, reducing the apps installed, and minimizing broken links does wonders to your website speed. Make sure to also install Shopify apps that you need and uninstall the ones that you’re not using. This way, your line of codes on the backend will not be too heavy to load.
As much as you’ve fixed the internal linking in your website, you also need backlinks from high-quality third-party websites leading back to yours. The increase in ranks is essential as they represent that certain content is trustworthy and relevant enough to link to. The more websites link back to your pages, the more likely they will appear on the search pages.
This is where offsite SEO efforts come in. Brands need to write offsite content with links to your Shopify store, and you shouldn’t just post your offsite blogs to random websites. Always post on high-authority sites.
Even with Shopify’s built-in SEO, that’s only half the battle for effectively optimizing. Brands still need to exert effort to implement proper SEO practices. Otherwise, having access to Shopify’s platform will be all for nothing if brands don’t know how to use it effectively.
If these are too overwhelming, leave all of these duties to the SEO experts. Check out our E-commerce SEO service to see how we can be of help. We’ve done work for huge e-commerce businesses and startups alike, maybe we can be of use to you too.