In the age of the global pandemic, online stores have become one of the primary sources of goods for people. In response, brands are focusing on their e-Commerce websites and pages to meet the demand of their target consumers, utilizing various platforms like Shopify to establish their online presence. In fact, the platform has had a surge in usage as data shows its subscribers increased in number since October 2017.
But with so many brands going on Shopify to establish their online stores, there’s bound to be competition. Businesses must continuously adapt to efficient methods and strategies to not get left behind. One such method is search engine optimization (SEO) for Shopify Stores.
If you’re a beginner in the field of SEO, here’s what you need to know and how it can help boost your Shopify store.
Why SEO is Important for Shopify Stores
Search engine optimization or SEO is the process of optimizing a website through various methods to rank high on the Google search results. This is done in order to increase the number of people seeing the website link when they search for the relevant keywords.
SEO solutions benefit not only a brand’s website traffic but also their profit. According to SearchEngineJournal.com, stores get almost twice as much traffic on their websites when they rank first compared to the one ranking second. While higher traffic is not the direct cause of increasing profit, there is a correlation. With more traffic comes more customers that will buy something from your store and add to your sales.
Adding keywords to your Shopify store
Your ranking can be affected by the following factors:
- Natural links leading to your page from other websites
- Engagement-based website authority
- Domain name age
- Optimized website structure and content
While the first three are hard to control, especially when you’re just starting, the last part can be done with the use of good keywords on your website. When choosing them, certain factors should be considered. Namely, what are your competitors ranking high on, and what types of keywords to target.
Experts recommend checking competitors’ keywords to get an idea of what the competition is doing and what keywords to target. It also helps to analyze why precisely these competitors are ranking high and why your shop isn’t.
Another thing to consider when choosing keywords is if certain ones are easy to rank on. For example, most shops use the long-tail form because it’s more specific and targeted. In addition, it’s easier to rank on due to low competition. Still, shops must learn to consider the customer’s search intent or why they’re searching that phrase. Whether the intent is informational, transactional, commercial, or navigational, the keywords you’re targeting should match the content on your website.
Applying SEO to home, product, and collection pages
The best way to apply SEO on your Shopify page is to use keywords into the following:
- Meta titles – The search engine checks your title tag and your content to see if they match.
- Meta description – This is the quick summary of what your content entails and can be seen under the meta title when the page appears on your search results.
- Image alt text – As the search engine can read text but not images, alt texts are necessary so they can be crawled.
- Page content – The recommendation is to use unique, readable content with the keywords integrated seamlessly.
All of these should be done for the home, product, and collection pages. Make sure that the meta titles and meta descriptions are SEO-friendly and persuasive enough to attract people.
For the product and collection pages, keywords must be inserted in the alt text of the product, collection, and featured images. Add rich snippets or structured data to inform users of more product details and entice them to click.
Moreover, other measures to help optimize a website are to put descriptive file names on the images, match the link text of internal links to the page they’re linking to, submit a sitemap to Google for verification, and hide content that might negatively affect SEO through robots.txt. While Shopify has automatic features that you may not need to optimize structure or create your own robots.txt file, you can still make an effort to improve things manually. For the robots.txt file, you can allow or prevent certain URLs from being crawled, block specific crawlers, and more.
Fixing the page loading times of your store
With all the efforts to optimize your Shopify store, you can run into different kinds of issues. A common one is the site speed, usually caused when loading images featured in collections pages. A slow loading time is a bad thing, as 47% of online shoppers typically expect a 2-second load time. Otherwise, they’re likely to leave your site in favor of others.
Fortunately, there are ways to fix this through Shopify’s platform. For one, selecting a lightweight Shopify theme can do wonders, as some take longer and shorter than others. You can also optimize the images themselves, using .JPG files over .PNG as the former’s file sizes are smaller. Lastly, you can use the lazy loading function so that the images load as you scroll down, therefore decreasing the time it takes to load. By doing these, you’ll be able to reduce the bounce rate, the percentage of users leaving your site after only viewing a single page.
Sample SEO projects
LeapOut has done various SEO work for a variety of clients. Such high-profile clients include Sports Central, an online store apparel in the Philippines, and Crate & Barrel, a high-end home decor store.
For Sports Central, the website visibility is 8.88% as of January 2022. This is a good improvement from the initial visibility at 7.32% last July 2021. Moreover, from an authority score of 16 last June 2021, the website increased to 35. Its scores last November and December were 38 and 36, respectively, with the drop associated with the migration to a different domain. Otherwise, LeapOut is forecasting improvements in the coming months.
As for Crate & Barrel, the website has also experienced significant improvements since the start of its SEO campaign with LeapOut. From the initial 13k users and about 19,000 sessions last July 2021, the increase as of January 2022 is at 37k users and 51k sessions. The month of January yielded the best revenue for the campaign so far.
From the data above, we can see just how important SEO is in promoting your Shopify website. Follow the pointers given to increase your chances of ranking organically when your target market searches for the relevant keywords. Always remember that this strategy takes time, so while you’re optimizing your website and posting blog articles, do make an effort to promote on other platforms to ensure your brand’s visibility in the most relevant channels.
Looking for experts to do all the nitty-gritty technical work? Check out our SEO Services Packages.
If you’re from an agency, you may also check out our white label SEO services to help you offer Shopify SEO services to your clients without the hassle of building an internal resource team.