The Ultimate Shopify SEO Checklist for Beginners 2022
Shopify SEO is SEO strategies unique to the Shopify platform. There are some useful SEO features already available on Shopify, such as blogs and redirecting capabilities, but you may still have SEO issues such as duplicate content.
Here we rounded up an essential Shopify SEO checklist to make your journey smooth to achieve your business goal.
Shopify SEO Checklist
Set up the essential tools
Get a custom domain
Investing in a custom domain and dropping the “myshopify” from the URLs is a good idea since the URL path can be seen by the user at the top of the SERP.
Custom domains are more professional that attract more users while higher CTRs facilitate a greater SEO performance. You can purchase a custom domain from Shopify or from a third-party domain provider.
Use Google Analytics
Google Analytics is the best tool for monitoring traffic and conversions like sales, newsletter sign-ups, and add-to carts on your website.
You can learn a few important things from Google Analytics, including:
- The total amount of revenue earned through SEO
- Conversation rates and the total number of conversions
- Which products are bringing the most revenue through organic search?
Set up Google search console
Google provides site owners with a free webmaster tool – “Google search console.” In Google’s search results, with this tool, you can see your site performance data, such as:
- Search terms and keywords that generate the most clicks
- Click through rate (CTR) of your website in the search engine results
- Your keyword ranks over time
Use Bing Webmaster
Bing is the second largest search engine in the United States created by Microsoft.
Create a Bing webmaster tools account and make your Shopify store visible there.
Go to the “Sign-up page” to open a free Bing account, then add and verify your website.
On-page SEO Checklist
SEO Keyword Research
Keyword research is the major part of SEO. You need to know which terms have strong similarities to your product so they help bring potential traffic to your website.
There are thousands of people who might be searching in a thousand ways for products and services like yours.
Here are the four major categories of keywords to classify user intent:
- Informational intent: searchers trying to get the information they need. It can be for some answer to a question or existing information.
- Navigational intent: people want to find a particular brand or page.
- Transactional intent: searchers know what they want to buy. This intent is to complete a purchase or an action.
- Commercial intent: people search for investigating brands or any services.
- Write unique product descriptions
Manage and update your meta tags and product descriptions. Make sure you take the time to make unique, descriptive product descriptions that include significant keywords, synonyms, and related terms.
You can use a content optimizer tool that can help identify the related keywords that can generate real results and are highly relevant to your products.
- Optimize page titles
Make sure your titles are under 60 characters, so they are fully visible on SERP. Google always displays the first 50-60 characters of most page titles. For that reason, you should always include your main keywords near the beginning of your page title.
Remember that “Shopify page titles” are the default header 1 for the page if you create through Shopify. Do not create an additional header 1 tag anywhere else on the page.
- Optimize meta descriptions
A meta description is the piece of the text shown under the page title in search results. A great meta description can help improve your CTR and help you rank higher. You have to keep every meta description under 155 characters since Google frequently removes longer meta descriptions.
- Image Alt tag and filenames
Google images nowadays make up somewhere at 23% of all web searches.
To make sure your images come up in image results, you should name each file with something expressive and write meaningful ALT tags that clearly explain the image.
For instance, use a filename as “Men’s-black-shirt. png” instead of “IMG-1765458.png”
- Include keywords in the copy
Add your main keywords to the website you’re optimizing – this golden rule will never change.
Including the target keyword in the H1 of the page and the body text 2 or 3 times is fairly enough.
Read the text out loud. If it does not sound natural, then you should probably fix it down a bit.
Product schema markup
Adding product schema helps Google to understand your products or services and promote them. It’s highly recommended to add schema markup. It may result in more traffic as your page takes more space in SERPs.
For example, this is what your site looks like in search if you add schema:
Here is an example without schema:
- Use internal links
At the point when you add a link from “page A” to another on your site “page B,” that is called an internal link.
There are 3 reasons internal linking is very useful for SEO:
- They can pass a few of the SEO values from one page to the next
- They can assist Google with figuring out the content of a page
- They can assist customers with tracking down other relevant content on your site
Technical SEO Checklist
Google has a mobile-first index, which means they use your site’s mobile version to index it.
If you want to get your Shopify store on Google’s SERP, you will need a mobile-friendly design. You can get multiple themes that are great for all kinds of resolutions.
You can use “Mobile-friendly Test” to see if your theme or design is missing any feature or not.
Create a global navigation menu
A navigation menu helps your traffic move easily around your online store. SEO-friendly navigators help have a great user experience while google crawlers consider them useful.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself for a killer menu:
- Can users easily find the info they are looking for?
- Can users easily get to your exclusive selections and products?
- Are your competitors structuring their navigation menus better than yours?
- Are your navigation functions mobile-friendly?
Shopify has some limitations on your URL’s structure. Make sure you create a new path that is well-optimized.
Google has already begun to give more importance to URLs by moving them to the top of each search result.
For well-optimized URLs, you should:
- Add target keywords in the URL
- Avoiding some unnecessary words like and/the/or, etc.
- Use hyphens not underscore
- Use lower case characters
Here’s an example of bad, good, and better URLs for a product page optimized for “men’s wallets.”
- Bad URLs: https://www.menswear.com/product/product-1475215978- pretty hard to remember and unexpressive.
- Good URLs: https://www.menswear.com/product/the-best-leather-wallet-for-men- the target keywords are there but very long.
- Better URLs: https://www.menswear.com/product/men’s-wallet- short and descriptive with the target keyword.
You can edit URL paths in the search engine listing preview at the bottom of any page in the Shopify CMS
Use redirects when necessary
A URL redirect is a way to redirect your visitor from a URL to another one. Whenever you change a URL on your Shopify store, you can make a URL redirect to guarantee your customers can find the exact thing they’re searching for.
For example, if you remove a product, you can set up URL redirects so that when your customers enter the URL for that product, they are redirected to a relevant product in your store.
To create redirects:
- Log in to your Shopify store
- Click on ‘Online Store’ from the menu on the left-hand side
- Select ‘Navigation’ from the submenu and then click on ‘URL Redirects’
Have a strong link building strategy
Link building is more technical but as powerful as the other Shopify SEO methods. Search engines mostly rely on the site authority to control which page ranks higher.
In SEO, the authorization of webpages and websites is primarily based on the link from another site to yours. These are some best exercises to increase your site’s authority with links:
- Try and find some unlinked mentions. Communicate and ask them to include a link and mention it on your website
- Try to get links from high-authority websites
- If you can get links from several sites, this will be better than having links from a single site
- Add your product reviews and ask them to put links to your products
Do Google My Business
Google My Business is a remarkable SEO tool for local businesses. You can add your business listing in minutes. Simple and easy to sign-up for, it assists your customers to locate your business through Google SERPs and Maps.
For registering you will need some information, like your business name, location, category, and contact details.
Once done, optimize your Google My Business Page to be visible in top search results and connect with your customers.
SEO Tools for Shopify
There are numerous SEO tools for Shopify that you can use.
You can get most of the tools for free, and here are some of the best SEO tools to try:
- SEO Image Optimizer
- SEO Manager
- SEO Booster
- AVADA SEO Suite
Top SEO Plugins for Shopify
There are some Shopify SEO plugins you can use to manage your SEO strategy, such as:
- SEO Plus
- Schema Plus for SEO
- Smart SEO
- Plugin SEO
- PageSpeed Monitor
XML indicates a list of all of your products, blog, photos, and collections. Sitemap helps Google to understand your site formation and make sure that other pages are not forgotten as you do the indexing.
Always change the site’s robots.txt file to make sure that irrelevant pages don’t get indexed and delay crawl efficiency.
Shopify creates a robots.txt file automatically for every store. It is located on your store domain/robots.txt, for example, www.labrats.com/robots.txt.
So, the content is also created automatically that you cannot edit.
You can look through more details in Google Search Central Documentation
Increase page speed
Page speed is crucial for a great user experience. It’s an official ranking factor for mobile and desktop searches. Slow loading stores increase bounce rate and make the visitors frustrated. This can have an impact on your Google ranks.
You can use a Booster-Page Speed Optimizer to tackle this issue.
Note: If you are in an e-commerce business, you should focus on achieving 0 to 4 secs to load the page.
Keep away from duplicate content
The product description is the most important factor for any product page. The product descriptions from the manufacturers are often similar that most of the stores use. That is the reason Google frequently flags them as duplicate content.
Try not to use the manufacturer’s description and spend some time creating a unique description yourself.