Merchants added more than290 million products to Shopify last year. So how do you make sure search engines can find your products in all that noise?
Shopify’s premier package, Shopify Plus, is enormously popular for the ease-of-use and customization it offers. Yet, some sellers feel that their products haven’t been shown any new love from search engines, even after investing in Shopify Plus.
They’re investing around 2k per month for this premier service, but they’re not seeing a premium boost in SEO. And if people can’t find you online what’s the point?
Who is This Guide For?
This guide is for anyone who is currently using Shopify Plus and find themselves frustrated because their products aren’t getting the SEO attention they deserve. It is also for anyone who is just starting out in Shopify Plus and wants to do things the right way from the very start. We’re here to help.
This guide is not for companies who don’t have an ecommerce site. The advice in this guide is very ecommerce specific.
Can Shopify Plus Really Help My SEO?
Yes, it can. But not by itself.
There is a misconception that Shopify Plus is a set-it-and-forget-it solution. And there is just simply no such thing in the world of SEO.
Shopify Plus is great. It provides amazing apps and plugins that can help your SEO… but you still have to do the work.
Building a Shopify page is no different than building any other page. You need keyword research to draw from, and a keyword strategy to follow. Otherwise you’re setting yourself up to fail.
Let’s take a look at the steps you need to follow.
Start with This Shopify Plus SEO Checklist
You need to treat SEO on these pages as you would any other non-ecommerce page. Everything still holds the same SEO value. In fact, you should give it more SEO attention because you’re competing against so many other similar sites.
So be sure to:
- Create an XML sitemap and submit it to Google and Bing
- Check for 404/500 errors, duplicate content, or any crawling errors
- Use only one, H1 tag on your pages
- Write page titles under 70 characters
- Write meta descriptions under 150 characters
- Ensure your keyword is in your page URL, Title, Meta, and body copy
- Add descriptive ALT tags and filenames to your images
- Avoid duplicate content, ie don’t use product descriptions from manufacturers.
- Ensure your store is mobile friendly
- Ensure your load times are quick
Avoid the Most Common SEO Mistakes People Make in Shopify Plus
1. Duplicate Content
This is particularly important if you’re selling products that come in different sizes, colors or other variations.
You want to make sure your URLs are structured in a way that’s not going to give you any duplicate content.
So if you’re selling t-shirts, make sure you’re using a parameter to separate these products in the eyes of search engines. For example, the link for red shirts include: ?color=red
2. Broken Information Architecture
This really could be a whole different paper. There is an art and science in building your site and structuring things so the user knows exactly where to find what they’re looking for.
Just because it makes sense to you, doesn’t mean it will make sense to your customer. We will get more into this in the section titled, “The Most Important Thing You Can Do With Shopify Plus.”
3. Too Little Content on the Page
You want a slick and minimalist design. We get that. But the search engines still need enough information to know what this page is, and why it should care it exists. Content still has relevance power.
You want about 250 words on each page. So be sure to write detailed descriptions for each product. And make sure they’re unique! Again, don’t use your manufacturer’s product description.
Having trouble filling 250 words? Consider adding:
- Product reviews
- Product history and the manufacturing process
If you want to keep your minimalist design, you can have this text lower on the page, so things stay image-driven at the top.
Shopify Plugins That Will Help Your SEO
You’re paying for this remarkable suite of tools. Make sure you’re using all of the avaiable bells and whistles:
- Plug in SEO (From $0.00 / month)
- SEO Image Optimizer by Booster Apps (Free)
- SEO Manager ($20.00 / month)
- SEO Doctor (From $10.00 / month)
- Bulk Image Edit by Hextom (From $0.00 / month)
- Smart SEO ($4.99 / month)
- Product Reviews – Made by Shopify (Free)
- Image Optimizer – image compression and image optimization (Custom)
- Kit – Made by Shopify(From $10.00 / month)
The Most Important Thing You Can Do With Shopify Plus
Understand your customer’s intent: The one thing that 90% of all businesses think they’re doing, but aren’t.
It’s a maddeningly simple concept: Know what your customers really want from your site and give it to them. If you do that, they will buy from you, and even tell their friends how great you are.
But if you don’t understand what they really want, you will end up focusing on the wrong things, and your users will grow frustrated and leave. Google notices when that happens, and punishes sites with a high bounce rate. They also reward sites that satisfy their user’s intent.
Understanding your user’s intent will help every single part of your marketing efforts, from SEO, to conversion rates, to offline advertising.
How This Can Help My Business Today
We’re giving you a lot of information here. But the good news is, a lot of it is completely free to implement. It’s just a matter of giving each of your pages the individual attention they deserve.
The biggest investment in time and effort is understanding your user’s intent. This is far from a simple process, and it shouldn’t be. It’s also not a destination, it’s an ongoing process. Your products will change. So will your customers’ wants and needs. So outlining how those two things line up is not something that’s achieved; It’s maintained.
But, acknowledging that you probably don’t know what your customers really want and actively looking for the answer puts you ahead of 90% of all other ecommerce sites on the Internet… Including your competition.
- Shopify Plus is awesome, but you still need to do the SEO work
- Treat each product page like any other content page
- Your site’s information and URL structure will drive your SEO success
- Use the Shopify tools you have access to
- TRULY understanding your user’s intent is what will lead to the biggest SEO wins
If you want to learn more about what causes or kills SEO success, we invite you to download our SEO playbook for free!