Are you brainstorming how to do strategic SEO for your eCommerce website on Shopify but you don’t know exactly how?
Keep it up as you’re on the right track to growing your eCommerce traffic and generating maximum revenue already.
As a Shopify business owner, there’s no aim greater than generating high-quality organic traffic for your store. Strategic SEO planning is one of the most effective and cost-efficient methods to achieve your business goals.
Search engine optimisation offers numerous benefits to eCommerce store owners, especially when compared to paid advertising. Besides being more cost-effective, SEO is a more stable approach to improving your revenue than many other methods. With SEO, you can be sure of attracting high-quality clients with a higher intention to patronise your brand than with pop-up ads.
Meanwhile, eCommerce platforms like Shopify set the stage for your SEO strategies to thrive. However, while Shopify has numerous SEO features compared to other eCommerce platforms, you still need to strategically apply the best SEO tactics for the perfect business outcomes.
In this article, I’ll go through the best practices for strategic SEO for your Shopify website so if this sounds what you are looking for, stick around.
How Can I Do Strategic SEO for my Shopify Store?
SEO offers your online business too many advantages to ignore. However, using them to your best advantage may pose a huge challenge, especially without prior technical knowledge.
Fortunately, you can learn how to do strategic SEO for your eCommerce website Shopify with these 8 best practices:
Do Extensive Keyword Research
Keywords are important words that users type in search engines when searching for your products or services. When you discover those words, you can input them into your website strategically to improve your SERP ranking. Keywords are essential for SEO because they tell the search engines how relevant your content is to user searches.
You can explore keyword research tools to help you find out the best keywords for your brand. Common examples of effective keyword research tools include Semrush, Ahrefs and Moz Keyword Explorer. Those are paid tools but there are plenty of free keyword research tool alternatives out there.
After choosing your preferred tool, you are finally ready to start your keyword research.
The process is pretty simple and involves 3 steps:
- Build an extensive list of keywords that are relevant to your business
- Group the keywords in categories or ‘keyword clusters’
- Map those keywords to their relevant pages
Once you have gone through this process, you will have everything you need to start optimising your pages.
The next steps will be, in fact, to place your keywords on your website pages. Examples of some of the best places to input your keywords include:
- the URL
- the meta title
- the meta description
- the H1
- the product page’s description box
- the text of the top of the category pages
- the body content in your blog posts (where it makes more sense)
IMPORTANT: Please do not stuff your content with keywords! They need to flow naturally throughout your content. Instead, you can alternate your keywords with synonyms and semantically related concepts as search engines will be smart enough to rank your pages for that specific keyword.
Prioritise Collection Page Rankings
One of the best Shopify SEO strategies to employ is to focus on ranking collection pages more than product pages. Collection pages show all your categorised products on one page while a product page advertises just one product. While these pages serve the same function, it’s easier to rank collection pages than product pages on Google.
As such, focusing more on building links to your collection pages will give you easier and faster results. Moreso, collection pages provide more benefits for your brand as prospects will view an entire inventory instead of just one item.
Build Backlinks and Internal Links For Your Pages
To build a backlink, you’ll have to ensure that different online publications and brands create web content and link them to your page. This is important because link building is one of the ways Google rates your credibility.
When other websites link to your page, it means that they trust you, and Google will trust their judgment. So, the more links you build, the more Google thinks you’re credible. In turn, the more credible you look to Google, the more you’ll rank higher in search results.
The first step to getting backlinks is by putting out quality, relevant content that deserves linking to. This makes it easy for you to pitch to other brands because they’ll find your content helpful.
Generally, backlinks are worth more than internal links because they come from external sources rather than your site so Google considers them more trustworthy.
However, internal links are also important for SEO as they:
- keep the user on the site (engagement)
- help them better navigate your pages (user experience)
- help Google better discover your pages
- transfer link equity from important pages to less important ones
- help you get more conversions
Create an Authoritative Blog
Focusing on developing a blog that makes you an authority in your industry will always pay off in the long term.
An authoritative blog gives you topical relevance and remains one of the best ways to rank high on search engines. Besides achieving better search rankings, an authoritative blog will draw in high-quality traffic, increase brand awareness, and position you as an expert in your industry.
To create a blog with authority in your niche, start by creating short content pieces with informational keywords. Next, create relevancy by linking your post to matching collection pages. This also improves your collection pages’ rankings.
Pro tip: avoid long, extensive writing and replace it with short and precise content paragraphs as they tend to rank better.
Use Keywords in Meta Titles
Generally, SEO results are not immediate, and it may generally take from 6 to 12 months to notice significant progress.
However, many Shopify store owners who strategically included keywords in meta titles have witnessed significant improvements. Adding keywords to each meta title may be one of the fastest ways to achieve your SEO goals.
So, use the method we discussed earlier to add relevant and well-researched keywords to every meta title. Your sales team will thank you for it.
Remove Duplicate Content
Duplicate content can mar your SEO efforts by making search engines index the wrong pages.
A wise Shopify SEO strategy will have to include the removal of any duplicate content and the creation of only unique and high-quality content.
You can check your URLs to determine if you have a duplicate content problem. For example, if your URL ends with 2, 3, 4, and so on, that may be a clear indication that you have duplicate pages.
Fortunately, you can remove duplicate pages easily by using canonical tags or 301 redirections on Shopify. Themes from Shopify stores come with in-built canonical URLs that automatically stop duplicate content from appearing in search engines as well as ways to redirect your duplicate page to your original one.
Pro tip: don’t forget to update all your internal links to point only towards your original pages and not the duplicate ones as otherwise the link equity will be spread among multiple versions of the page.
Improve User Experience
Besides giving users relevant content, Google aims for them to have a positive experience on their highly ranked pages. As such, the better your site’s user experience, the higher it will rank on search engines.
Some metrics Google uses to determine user experience include mobile friendliness, HTTPS, safe browsing and no intrusive interstitials.
You can also improve your customer experience through smaller image files and improved page speeds which Google suggests measuring through their Core Web Vital metrics.
To check your site’s mobile-friendliness on Shopify, use Google’s mobile testing tool to verify that your store has a fully-optimised mobile version.
Meanwhile, Google Search Console offers full Core Web Vitals reports in poor, good, and “URLs need improvement” categories.
Optimise Your Shopify Store’s Structure
Shopify structure refers to your method of organising your site’s content. In other words, it’s all about how you group, link, and present your content to your users.
Your store’s structure is important because it can significantly affect your user experience and make or break your SEO rankings.
One of the first things to consider when optimising your store’s structure is your store’s hierarchy. Ensure you have a clear category/sub-category structure for your URLs and make sure you include similar pages under the same categories and subcategories.
Pro tip: Make sure to interlink pages in the same categories/subcategories but also from the subcategories to their parent category and vice versa. This will ensure a steady flow of link juice among your site pages and will help Google to better discover and rank your most important pages.
Why Do I Need a Shopify SEO Strategy?
A Shopify SEO strategy is a detailed plan that factors in various aspects of SEO to improve your Shopify store rankings in search engines like Google. It’s a laid-down process for maximising your SEO opportunities for your Shopify store.
Effectively, Shopify SEO encompasses all the various SEO practices you can use to get more traffic to your Shopify store.
More than just adding a bunch of keywords to your pages, it’s important to be strategic about how you optimise for search engines and users as this will be key to achieving your business goals.
Here are a few reasons why you need to be strategic about your online store’s SEO:
Helps You Stay On Track
Content marketing is one of the best ways to enhance your Shopify SEO. It helps to build quality relationships with your target audience and makes them trust you.
Content marketing is the soul of SEO. It involves putting out valuable and entertaining content that is relevant to your audience.
Content marketing improves your SEO by making your prospects stick longer on your page and helping you generate better leads. It also improves your visibility and increases your chances of conversion. To get the best out of content marketing, you must create consistent valuable content without fail.
Unfortunately, it’s easy to derail from high-quality content and just “go with the flow” when it comes to Shopify SEO.
Luckily, strategic SEO practices will prevent you from going off track. SEO strategies provide a roadmap to ensure you are posting content your target audience is actually searching for.
This helps you avoid low-performance content that is only based on the feeling that your customers may like them instead of facts.
Personalises Your Approach
The truth is that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to Shopify SEO.
As such, implementing methods for your online store just because your competitors do them may spell doom for your brand. Every brand has special needs, strengths, and shortcomings. So, every Shopify store requires a personalised approach to SEO to thrive.
Shopify SEO strategies ensure that you don’t stick with only the general SEO tactics to grow your online store. This is because while general SEO best practices can take you through the initial stages of your business, you’ll need a personalised plan to make complex SEO decisions as your brand grows.
Doing strategic SEO ensures that you use the approaches customised to your brand to get the best results. This way, you can be sure that you’re making the best decisions to improve your brand’s profitability and ROI.
Improves Brand Awareness and Authority
One of the advantages a strategic SEO plan offers you is the ability to build your brand awareness seamlessly.
This is important because your business can hardly get by without brand awareness. Strategic SEO gives you the perfect approach to ensure that your audience constantly sees your store pop-up when they search for your services. From providing you with the best methods for keyword research, content creation, user experience, etc., strategic SEO makes sure that you’re always seen.
Strategic Shopify SEO is also important for improving your brand authority by making your audience see your brand as an expert in your industry.
Employing a strategy that involves building brand authority, gives your audience a good reason to trust and stick with your brand over your competitors.
Ensures That Your Success Is Measurable
More than just helping you follow best practices, strategic SEO helps ensure that you get the best results for your online Shopify store through regular tracking and analytics.
An excellent Shopify SEO strategy prioritises KPIs and metrics for measuring the success of your SEO campaign.
It tracks your backlink earning efforts, your internal linking, your keyword performance, your content engagement, etc., to ensure that they perform optimally.
As such, you can detect problematic and low-performing areas on time before they transform into huge, irreversible, and costly mistakes.
By making you make the most out of essential tools like Google Analytics, strategic SEO prevents you from running your business blindly.
Helps You Strategically Outrank Your Competition
Maintaining your position as an industry leader entails always staying ahead of your closest competitors.
Strategic Shopify SEO takes you from following your competitors’ every move to blazing the trail in your industry. This gives you a competitive advantage that puts your business rivals many steps behind you.
The first way strategic Shopify SEO helps you outdo your competition is by helping you maximise your chances of ranking first on search engines. Besides this, it also helps to control your website’s quality by improving load time, navigation, mobile-friendliness, etc.
Also, the best Shopify SEO strategies also prevent 403 errors to guarantee that your clients have the most enjoyable experience on your site.
Lastly, by giving your prospects a better user experience than what they’ll find on competitor sites, strategic SEO helps you beat them at all times.
Ready To Build A Strategy For Your Shopify Store?
When it comes to Shopify SEO, you cannot underestimate the importance of an excellent strategy in achieving the results you desire.
A proper SEO strategy includes a plan for maximising all essential SEO aspects, including the fundamentals, technical SEO, homepage, collections, and products. It also contains a plan to enhance blog posts, site speed optimisation, and backlinks.
While Shopify remains one of the best eCommerce platforms for SEO, it also comes with its unique challenges. As such, you’ll need to hire a Shopify SEO expert to help you develop the best SEO strategies to maximise the advantages and successfully work around the pitfalls.
SEO experts are essential for their vast SEO knowledge and problem-solving skills. They’ll help you grow your traffic and generate more revenue for your Shopify store through personalised SEO strategies.
Look no further if you are looking for a reliable Shopify SEO consultant. With my over 6 years of experience in SEO and content marketing, I’ve helped numerous Shopify stores across the world to unleash their full potential. From content marketing to technical SEO, keyword research, international SEO, etc., my aim remains to help your store build effective SEO strategies. This will enable you to the traffic and sales that your online store deserves.