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Matt Campbell

SEO for Shopify: 8 Best Practices for eCommerce Success

Industry Insights, 26th January 2023

In this article, we will be diving into the world of search engine optimisation (SEO) and how it can be applied to your Shopify store to drive traffic and increase sales.


We will be covering a range of topics, including how to optimise page titles and meta descriptions, the importance of creating high-quality content, how to properly optimise your product pages, images and much more.


By following these eight best practices, you can improve your store's visibility in search results and attract more targeted traffic to your site.


Whether you're new to SEO or looking to take your ecommerce efforts to the next level, this guide is designed to provide actionable tips and strategies to help you achieve ecommerce success with Shopify.



📝 Optimise page titles and meta descriptions.

When creating page titles for your Shopify store, it's important to make sure that they accurately reflect the content of each page and include keywords where appropriate. This means that the title should clearly and concisely summarise the main topic of the page, and also include keywords that are relevant to that topic to help search engines understand the content of the page and how it should be indexed.


Meta descriptions on the other hand are a brief summary of a page's content that appears in the search engine results, and it's an opportunity to entice users to click on your link.


By including relevant keywords in the meta description, you can help search engines understand the content of the page and make it more likely that users will click through to your website.


It's also a good idea to include a call to action in the meta description to encourage users to take a specific action, such as visiting your store, purchasing a product, or signing up for a newsletter.



🔠 Properly utilise header tags.

Effectively utilising header tags throughout your Shopify store will help you to properly structure the content of a page and make it easier for both users and search engines to better understand the areas of most importance around your website.


H1 tags are used by search engines to identify the primary topic on a given page, and these tags should only ever be used once per page to avoid confusing search engines trying to index your page correctly.


In general, it's also considered best practice to ensure that heading tags are used in consecutive, numerical order. For example, H4 headings should never directly follow H2 headings without a H3 heading being used somewhere in between. Failing to do so can negatively affect the potential search ranking of your page under poor content hierarchy.


Finally, it's important to remember that header tags should only ever be used in order of contextual hierarchy, and not based on their visual appearance.


If there are discrepancies with certain headings appearing as more visually important than others, then consider amending the global styling of these headings to more accurately reflect their hierarchical context.

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💡 Create high-quality content, relevant to your users.

Creating high-quality, relevant content for your Shopify store is crucial for SEO success. This includes writing product descriptions, blog posts, and other website copy that is optimised for both search engines and end-users.


By providing valuable information that answers the questions and addresses the needs of your target audience, you can improve your search engine rankings and drive more organic traffic to your store. Additionally, regularly updating your website with new and relevant content can also improve your SEO, as it signals to search engines that your site is active and valuable.


Another important aspect of creating high-quality content for your Shopify store is making sure it is optimised for the keywords you want to rank for. This includes researching and incorporating relevant keywords into your website's meta tags, headlines, and throughout the body of your content. By targeting these keywords, you can improve your website's visibility for those specific search terms and attract more targeted traffic to your store.



🔗 Encourage building quality backlinks.

Backlinks are links that take a user from one website to another, and play a crucial role in how search engines determine the quality of content on a single page.


Major search engines such as Google will evaluate how many backlinks a specific page has as part of its page ranking criteria, and pages with a high number of backlinks from other trusted websites will typically rank higher than others.


To help you get started, we've put together a list of the three best tips you need to know when putting together a backlink strategy for your Shopify store:



Produce regular blog articles.

It’s a common misconception that blog posts are intended to provide additional information to users who are already on your website and that are already familiar with your products. In reality, blog posts should be SEO-driven content pieces that are written with the aim of bringing in traffic and introducing new people to your business for the very first time.


A great starting point is to think about the questions any potential customers are likely to search for, and then write dedicated articles around those topics in an effort to be viewed as a trusted source of expertise in this area.


Request backlinks from partners and suppliers.

For ecommerce businesses that work with a group of partners or suppliers, consider reaching out to these businesses and ask them if they'd be happy to include a link to your business on their own website.

Remember that the more popular the partner's website, the more 'points' will be assigned by search engines when determining the overall quality of the backlink. So for ecommerce businesses that work with a large number of suppliers, consider focusing your time on asking the most popular of these whether they'd be happy to write and host a dedicated article that introduces you to their customers for the very first time.


Market your products with other brands.

Similarly to the tip above, consider reaching out to businesses that either share similar values to your own or sell products that sit nicely alongside your own and ask if they'd be interested in doing a content swap. Writing guest articles like these for other like-minded businesses is a great way of reaching out to new audiences and introducing your product range to people who are more likely to make a sale thanks to their previous purchase history.

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🛍 Optimise your product pages.

Optimising your product pages for search engines is a crucial aspect of SEO for your Shopify store. By ensuring that your product pages are optimised, you can increase the visibility of your products in search engine results pages (SERPs) and drive more traffic to your store.


One of the most important ways to optimise your product pages is to use product titles and descriptions that include relevant keywords.


Researching and selecting the right keywords for your products is crucial to ensure that your products appear in the search results for the keywords that potential customers are searching for.


When writing your product titles and descriptions, make sure to include these keywords in a natural and readable way. However, you should also keep in mind not to overstuff the keywords, as it could have a negative impact on your SEO.


Another important aspect of optimising your product pages is to make sure they are mobile-friendly and easy to navigate. This means that they should be easily readable and usable on smaller screens, and the layout and design should be optimised for easy navigation. This not only improves the user experience but also is a ranking factor for search engines.


Furthermore, having a good website structure, with a clear hierarchy and easy-to-follow URLs can help search engines understand the organisation of your site and make it easier for them to crawl and index your pages.


🏷 Use alt-tags for images.

Alt tags are hidden labels used by search crawlers to determine the content and relevance of any imagery utilised throughout a website. Alt tags can help search engines understand what the images are about and how they relate to your products, improving your product pages' visibility in image search results and helping drive more traffic to your store.


To help search engines gain context to the images used throughout your Shopify store, is recommended to include keywords in the alt-tag to help the product images rank better in search engines, such as "Blue T-Shirt Women's Clothing" or "Black Handbag Leather Purse".


It is also important to make sure that the alt-tag is relevant to the product and not just a generic term - try to be as specific and descriptive as possible without going into too much redundant detail.


For example, instead of using a generic term like "Product Image," the alt tag should be something like "Blue Women's T-Shirt" or "Black Leather Handbag."


Additionally, it is important to use consistent naming conventions throughout the store to ensure that all images are properly labelled and easy to identify, as this can help with accessibility and improve the overall user experience.

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🧪 Use analytics tools to measure website performance.

Analytics tools are essential for measuring website performance on a Shopify store. They provide valuable insights into customer behaviour and engagement, allowing store owners to make data-driven decisions about how to optimise their site for better conversion rates and increased revenue.


Additionally, analytics tools can provide actionable data on customer demographics, behaviour, and preferences, which can be used to personalize marketing campaigns and improve the overall customer experience.


Businesses that are looking to succeed in a competitive online market should be regularly monitoring their site's performance through analytics tools to identify any issues and track their store's performance over time.


Passive data collection can be an invaluable tool for businesses looking to learn more about their customers' behaviour and online browsing habits, and your website should constantly be evolving to suit the growing needs and requirements of your customers.



Tracking user experience on Shopify stores with heatmapping software.

Heatmapping tools such as Hotjar or Lucky Orange are a great way of tracking how users are engaging with the content of your website.


By using tools such as these, businesses are able to easily see which areas of a page users are interacting with the most, and which products or areas of their online store could benefit from further development in order to more effectively engage their users.



Sustainable alternatives to Google Analytics.

As a sustainable Shopify agency, we're always on the lookout for more environmentally-friendly alternatives to energy-intensive analytics tools like Google Analytics which are predicted to produce almost 17 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.


One of our favourite options is Cabin, a carbon-conscious and privacy-first analytics tool that focuses on a faster, lighter and greener method of tracking user behaviour.


To keep their environmental footprint to a minimum, Cabin is powered by a sustainable cloud infrastructure that runs on 100% renewable energy. What's more, far less energy is consumed by the end-user thanks to a total package size that is up to 22 times smaller in size than Google Analytics.


Another great option is Plausible, an open-source alternative to Google Analytics that promises completely autonomous data measurement without relying on tracking cookies or the collection of any personal data.



🗺 Create and submit a website sitemap.

Creating and submitting a website sitemap is an important step in optimising your Shopify store for search engines. A sitemap is a file that lists all of the pages on your website, and it helps search engines understand the organisation of your site and make it easier for them to crawl and index your pages.


One of the main benefits of having a sitemap is that it allows search engines to find all of your website's pages, even those that might not be easily discoverable through internal linking or other means. Additionally, a sitemap can also help search engines to discover new pages on your site when you add or update content, which can increase your website's visibility and traffic.


Another benefit of creating a sitemap for your Shopify store is that it helps search engines understand the importance of different pages on your site.


Sitemaps allow you to specify the priority of different pages on your site, which can help search engines understand which pages are most important and should be crawled more frequently.


Sitemaps also allow you to specify the frequency of page updates, which can help search engines to understand how often they should crawl your site to check for new content.


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