Shopify SEO Checklist 2022 [Rank Your Shopify Store]
Struggling to drive organic traffic to your site? Follow this all-inclusive Shopify SEO checklist to never miss anything.
Organic traffic is essential for the growth of any eCommerce store; let it be on Shopify or any other platform. It is totally free and the most sought-after channel of marketing for businesses. The increasing number of online businesses has made it challenging for store owners to book their first positions in the Google search engine ranking pages.
Ranking your Shopify store on the top pages is difficult but not impossible by using the right on-page and off-page SEO strategies.
Let’s unveil the secret Shopify SEO checklist that your SEO service provider has been hiding from you.
The Ultimate Checklist for Shopify SEO
- Add a Custom Domain & Configure it
- Install an SEO-Friendly Shopify Theme
- Set up Google Search Console & Google Analytics
- Install Essential Shopify SEO Apps
- Product Keyword Research
- Write User-Friendly URLs
- Optimize Page Title & Meta Descriptions
- Enhance Website Content
- Avoid Duplicate Content & Keyword Cannibalization
- Compress & Optimize Images
- Add Product Reviews
- Add Structured Data
- Use a Logical Site Structure
- Create Helpful Blog Posts & Resources
- Interlink Web Pages
- Build Relevant & Quality Backlinks
- Regularly Audit Your Website
“Search engine optimization is the art of making your website shine on Google SERPs, and I am here to share the secrets of this art.”
Add a Custom Domain & Configure it
Custom domain is one of the prerequisites of SEO for Shopify.
You can connect or transfer your existing domain or buy a new one from Shopify itself. If you are purchasing a new domain, ensure that your domain is:
- Related to your business and industry
It would also be a plus if you’d include a keyword related to your business in your domain, but that’s not mandatory.
Shopify plans also allow you to add up to 10 domains and sub-domains to your store. These are the subsets of the root domain with different prefixes, such as www.example.com and blog.example.com. You can easily create the sub-domains for your Shopify store from the Domain settings in the admin panel if your domain is provided by Shopify. In the other case, you need to create sub-domains through your domain provider and connect them to your store.
By default, Shopify allows you to set the primary domain to redirect the customers to the main domain. This is important from the Shopify search engine optimization perspective. Go to Shopify Admin > Settings > Domains to update your primary domain. Otherwise, search engines can really get confused between different versions of your site, such as:
Install an SEO-Friendly Shopify Theme
Do you know a sluggish theme can be DETRIMENTAL to your Shopify SEO?
It is a fact now that website loading speed and user experience significantly affect the rankings.
Google takes this seriously. It rewards websites that are fast loading and work very well across device types. You need to ensure that the Shopify theme that you’re using is responsive and blazing fast to nail Google’s core web vital test.
Some features of an SEO-friendly Shopify theme are:
- Passes Core Web Vitals Test
- Clear Navigation Menu
- Highly Responsive
- Structured Data Support
- Option to Add Metadata
- RTL Support (If you are thinking of translating your store to RTL languages)
It can be also a plus if your Shopify theme supports other features such as image compression and social sharing.
Set up Google Search Console & Google Analytics
Search console by Google is one of the most essential tools you need to make your Shopify store ready for better rankings. Setting up Google Search Console with Shopify can help you find the indexing & crawling issues and measure the SEO performance. The tool helps you submit your website to Google for indexing and control it.
Google Analytics is a powerful tool to analyze your website traffic, users, and overall performance to make data-driven decisions. The latest version of the tool, i.e. Google Analytics 4 supports event-based tracking. It lets you collect more crucial data and improve search engine marketing strategies.
Install Essential Shopify SEO Apps
Shopify is an SEO-friendly eCommerce platform, but sometimes you need extra functionalities. This is where the SEO apps come to rescue you!
There are many paid and free Shopify SEO apps in the app store you can install to improve your store’s SEO. Listed below are some of the SEO apps that you’d require for your Shopify store:
- Booster SEO & Image Optimizer
- Smart SEO
- Yoast SEO
- SEO, JSON‑LD, Schema
- Push Down & Hide Out of Stock
- The AMP app
Install these apps in your store for improving Shopify SEO.
Product Keyword Research
Search engine optimization is an inbound form of marketing and understanding your customers and target audience is essential to nail it.
Interestingly, 49% of the customers begin their product hunt on Google. That’s almost half of the customers!
But how do they search? What terms they use to find products?
The answer to this quest of getting into the shoes of your digital customers and finding the terms they are using to discover products on search engines is Keyword Research.
Keyword research is one of the most crucial parts of on-page SEO that defines what keywords or terms you’ll be targeting on your web pages.
The number one tip for Shopify keyword research is to think like a customer. Think about the terms you’d search on Google if you are looking to purchase that product. Here is a quick way to perform keyword research for your Shopify store:
- Go to Ubersuggest and click on Keyword Ideas on the left panel.
- Enter a term to find related keywords.
- Make a new sheet and paste all the keywords data.
- Filter out the unnecessary keywords, and sort them by search volume to find popular search terms.
You can also take help from tools such as Google keyword planner, Ahrefs, and Semrush for your keyword research.
Write User-Friendly URLs
The next thing to optimize in your Shopify store for search engines is the URL structure of the web pages.
A short and relevant URL structure can help the search engines and users better understand what the page is about.
Look at the following URLs, for example:
Which one looks clean and is more readable? Of course the second one! We use a similar structure of URLs at Meetanshi. You can consider our URL practices ideal while optimizing your Shopify store for SEO. 🚀
Some of the best practices to write user-friendly website URLs are:
- Keep them short.
- Follow a consistent URL structure.
- Include primary keyword.
- Do not use any special characters other than a hyphen (-).
Optimize Page Title & Meta Descriptions
The metadata of your web pages are important for SEO. Search engines such as Google use this metadata to understand the page.
Thanks to the built-in features of Shopify that lets you edit the title & meta description of the webpages from the admin panel. You can edit this information from the following paths for different pages:
- Homepage: Shopify Admin > Sales Channels > Online Store > Preferences
- Products Pages: Shopify Admin > Products > [Select the Product] > Search Engine Listing
- Collection Pages: Shopify Admin > Products > Collections > [Select the Collection] > Search Engine Listing
- Other Pages: Shopify Admin > Sales Channels > Online Store > Pages > [Select the Page] > Search Engine Listing
Here are some of the best practices to follow while writing titles & meta descriptions for your web pages:
- Write unique and catchy titles.
- Keep it simple & understandable.
- Include the primary keyword in the titles & meta descriptions.
- Create a hook and add a CTA.
Make sure that all the pages on your Shopify store have unique titles & meta descriptions.
Enhance Website Content
Your website represents your brand and so does the content on it. Content provides context for the search engines to understand the page. It is important from the users’ point of view. Good & interesting content can help you increase the conversion rate and sales in your store.
There are several things to take care of when optimizing your website content for SEO. Some of the useful tips are provided below:
- Do not use multiple H1 tags on a single page.
- Make sure that H1 is catchy & relevant to the web page.
- Follow a logical hierarchy of headers: H1, H2, H3 & so on.
- Split longer paragraphs and sentences for more clarity.
- Add keywords in image ALT tags.
Avoid Duplicate Content & Keyword Cannibalization
Google loves fresh and unique content that provides real value to the readers. It gets confusing when it finds content that is similar to other sources on the web or within your domain.
This can hamper your website’s overall search engine optimization.
It is a rule of thumb for websites to avoid using the same content on multiple pages at any cost. Write unique content for each of the pages of your Shopify store.
There can also be technical issues with your Shopify store that create multiple versions of pages. This also leads to content duplication and affects your SEO. It can be duplicate product URLs, duplicate category pages in pagination, etc.
Compress & Optimize Images
Images are an essential part of your Shopify store that makes it interesting. But oversized and redundant image files can slow down your store and hurt the core web vitals.
There are dozens of Shopify apps available in the app store for that. For example, the SEO, Speed & Image Optimizer by TinyIMG makes it easier for store owners to optimize the images for SEO.
You can optimize the images in your Shopify store by adding relevant filenames and ALT tags. This can help you win the top positions in Google images. Include the keywords naturally in the ALT attributes of the images.
Key points to consider in Shopify SEO image optimization are:
- Compress images to optimum sizes.
- Use PNG images.
- Add descriptive image names & ALT tags.
- Use responsive images.
Add Product Reviews
Product reviews are conversion-boosting factors for the online store. They act as social proof for the customers and help them feel confident in your store and products.
By default, there is no product reviews functionality in Shopify, but you can add this feature using an app. Just open the Shopify app store, and search for Product reviews to find them.
You can also add structured data, as discussed below, to your Shopify to display the product ratings on the Google rich snippets.
Showing the product reviews on the Google SERPs can also give a smooth boost to the click-through rate, resulting in more traffic to your Shopify store.
Product reviews can also help you collect your customer’s feedback, which can help you make better decisions.
Add Structured Data
No matter how smart, search engines such as Google can’t just differentiate the web pages just by looking at them. They use structured data such as JSON-LD schema markup to understand the type of web pages.
You need to add the product schema to the product pages on your Shopify store to display additional information, such as product images, price, availability, and ratings on the Google SERP.
In order to add schema markup in your Shopify store, you can take help from the apps available in the Shopify app store or do it manually using Google’s structured data markup helper.
After adding the schema markup, you can verify it using the Google Rich Results Test tool.
Use a Logical Site Structure
Site structure is a highly important aspect of on-page SEO. Your Shopify site structure should follow a clear hierarchy of pages. It also helps you divide the link equity amongst the pages in their order of importance.
In Shopify, you can put products of the same categories in a single collection and add links to the collections on the homepage. Ensure that none of the important pages are over 2 clicks away from the homepage.
Create Helpful Blog Posts & Resources
Content and SEO go hand in hand.
Google’s recent helpful content update prioritizes content that is helpful to the end users. This has created an excellent opportunity for the websites to win the top positions on the SERPs through quality content.
You can create useful blog posts for your target customers to nurture the top and middle parts of your marketing funnel. It is an excellent method to create awareness about your business and engage more customers. This can also help you cover all the informational queries related to your products and drive more traffic to your product pages.
Resources that help customers and solve their real-life problems can truly help you in the long go by building a loyal customer base. Use tools such as Answer The Public and Ubersuggest to find out questions related to your product for your next blog post.
Interlink Web Pages
Let them be internal or external, links are very crucial to search engines for understanding the context of web pages.
Interlinking related pages in your Shopify store can boost the overall rankings of your store by helping Google understand the web pages.
Ensure that you use internal links to help the users discover useful pieces of information on your website, which can boost the UX. If you are thinking about starting a content factory, you can use the Hub & Spoke model to interlink child pages ranking on long-tail keywords for a bigger win.
Also, interlink the product/money pages from other resource pages to push the visitor down the marketing funnel for more conversions.
Keep these three elements in mind while interlinking:
- Anchor Text: It is the text that is visible to the users. Try to include a keyword that you want the target page to rank for.
- Link: Simply the link to the target page.
- Title: Text that is shown to the users on mouse over. Keep them informative for the users to understand the target page.
Build Relevant & Quality Backlinks
Your brand-new Shopify store needs backlinks to take off and fly higher on the Google SERPs. Backlinks from authoritative sites are analogous to reputed people openly talking good about you.
If you have done the Shopify on-page correctly, then building quality backlinks to your site can help you win the top positions. There are multiple ways to build relevant and quality backlinks.
Some of the famous ways to build backlinks are competitor link analysis, guest posting, HARO, etc.
Again, this is a game of quality, not quantity. You can beat a web page with 100s of irrelevant low-quality backlinks with a dozen of high-quality links from reputed and relevant sites. Do not fall into the trap of online SEO quacks selling low-quality backlinks! You can use the Moz metrics: DA, PA, and Spam Score to evaluate the quality of referring links and domains.
Regularly Audit Your Website
Search engine optimization is an ongoing process of improving your website for better search engine rankings.
Keeping your store optimized for search engines on the go is necessary to maintain the rankings, making it important for you to keep a check of SEO essentials regularly.
Your regular Shopify SEO audit should include everything mentioned above, with importance to the following points:
- Core Web Vitals Test
- Duplicate Pages & Content Scan
- Broken Links
- Page Redirects & Canonicalization
If you’re a newbie and SEO is just a three-lettered acronym for you, then get your Shopify store audited by our SEO experts.
Congratulations!! You’ve sailed across the 2500+ words of the all-inclusive Shopify SEO checklist.
I hope the SEO checklist provided here will help you go high on the Google SERPs and increase business visibility.