Shopify dramatically simplifies running an e-commerce operation these days – except when it comes to search engine optimization.
Sure, the bare-bones SEO options from Shopify are halfway decent and will help you hit the ground running. But if you want to learn how to improve SEO in Shopify you have to focus on keyword research, squaring away technical aspects (like robots.txt), and finding ways to optimize your content without looking silly.
That’s why we built this detailed guide.
Below we run through a handful of things that will give you outsized results when it comes to Shopify SEO. Implement these strategies ASAP and you’ll be able to boost your search engine rankings faster than you thought possible.
Can You Boost Your Shopify SEO?
Right out of the gate it’s important to highlight the fact that you can in fact do quite a bit to boost your Shopify SEO results, even if Shopify itself is a little bit limited in the ways they offer to help you expressly.
Don’t get us wrong.
Shopify is a game changer when it comes to opening up, running, and building an online business today. It’s the most popular e-commerce platform on the planet for a reason – and that’s because it “just works” and makes a lot of the technical parts of setting up shop almost effortless.
At the same time, it’s okay to acknowledge the fact that there are some real limitations when it comes to Shopify from a pure SEO standpoint.
That’s why it’s important to take the reins yourself, use the strategies we highlight below to boost your results on your own, and get a little more link juice flowing your way to push potential customers to your Shopify shop – and hopefully unlock the profit potential of your business along the way.
How to Improve SEO in Shopify
Improving SEO in Shopify isn’t as big a mystery as some would make it out to be.
Focus on these fundamentals – and really square them away – and you’ll be enjoying much better rankings almost right off the bat.
Keyword Research is Critical
Your success (or your failure) with Shopify search engine optimization is going to depend largely upon the kind of keyword research you do to kick things off.
It’s not enough to just sort of stuff random keywords throughout your Shopify page, hoping that some of them will “hit”, and you’ll get near the top of the ranks for those keywords.
Instead you need to dig deep, really looking into the kinds of keywords that your potential customers are punching into Google right now (keywords with commercial intent in mind), and then focus on them exclusively.
It’s not a bad idea to look into the kinds of keywords that your competitors are going after, either.
There are a whole bunch of tools available online (some of them free of charge) that you can tap into to do this kind of “competitor x-ray”.
That’s the type of inside information that can change the way you market completely.
All in all, make sure that your keyword research is squared away before you jump into any Shopify SEO approach whatsoever.
Take care of Robots.TXT First
The next thing you’ll want to do is make sure that your robots.txt file is dialed in and accurate, too.
This is the file that search engine spiders (sometimes called crawlers) are going to be looking for, and it’s a file that every single Shopify shop comes with as a default.
Shopify does a little bit to optimize your robots.txt file for you but you can really take things to the next level. Make sure that you cement any of your changes through the Shopify “Edit Code” tools before you submit your site to Google for a manual crawl.
On page optimization (search engine optimization efforts you do on the page directly) are highly reliant on keyword distribution throughout your content.
The trouble here, though, is that a lot of people try to stuff their content filled with keywords – including places where those keywords don’t fit naturally – only to find themselves shuffled to the back of the Google sandbox because they tried to game the system.
Don’t get sucked into that trap.
Longtail keywords (that you’ve researched earlier) can be sprinkled throughout to give yourself a boost. Try to keep your keyword density at between 1% and 3% and only use your keywords and relevant spots.
Dial in Your Site Structure
Site structure needs to be dialed in as well, especially if you want those Google search engine spiders to crawl your platform as effectively and as efficiently as possible.
At the same time, you don’t want to build the navigational structure of your site for search engine spiders alone.
Your site, after all, is a “money site” and it needs to be something that your customers can use conveniently.
If you’re getting a lot of conversions, getting a lot of people spend time in your shop, and getting traffic to stay rather than “bounce” all of that is going to get noticed by Google and you’re going to get a search engine bump, too.
Keep your structure streamlined, relatively simplistic, and customer focused and you won’t have anything to worry about.
Page optimization efforts need to be taken to get the “link juice” you want to climb to the top spots in Google, too.
Network to build back links. Always promote your content through social media with links to individual Shopify pages. Join open link trading” platforms and communities. Get people to write reviews about your shop and your products.
Whatever it takes to get links from other websites (hopefully high leverage, high influence websites) pointing directly to yours!
The tips and tricks highlighted above are going to help you dramatically grow your search engine optimization efforts on Shopify.
It may not happen overnight (search engine changes are usually pretty slow, truth be told), but as long as you are consistent, focused on achieving clear SEO goals on Shopify, and always doing something new every day to add to your search engine optimization foundation you’ll get those results sooner rather than later.
The battle to conquer search engine algorithms and keep your content and website visible and easy to find is one that never seems to end. SEO rankings and how to boost them change regularly, but one thing remains an all-important factor: keyword optimization.