6 SEO tips to help your Shopify ecommerce store rank well

Ecommerce is having an undeniable moment. According to Shopify, the global e-commerce market is expected to reach $4.89 trillion this year – and there are no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Of course, having a Shopify website can help you hit the ground running with your ecommerce business. But you can't expect your products to sell if your customers can't easily find them.

That's where your SEO strategy comes in. Optimizing your Shopify site for search engines can help your products appear more prominently in search results. 

Even if you know a bit about SEO already, you may not know how to apply it to the Shopify platform. Here are just six tips that can get your Shopify ecommerce store ranking in search results.

SEO tips to help your ecommerce store
Images are legally sourced from Storyblocks 

1. Optimize your product images

Chances are that you've got a good amount of products listed in your Shopify store. Not only do you need to optimize your individual product pages, but you should also take the time to optimize your product images.

One of the simplest ways to accomplish this is by using alt tags. Alt tags basically serve as written descriptions of images, which can add context and understanding for the search engines that crawl your site. 

As a bonus, using alt tags can help to improve your site's accessibility. Since these descriptions can be understood by screen readers and other technologies, visitors with visual impairments can more easily use your site without interruption.

When adding alt tags, be sure to describe the image accurately. While you can use keywords where appropriate, don't go overboard. Your main focus should be to create a concise and appropriate description that reflects what customers might search for in Google if they were looking for a product you carry.

It's fairly easy to add alt tags to your images. From your admin screen, click on "all products" in the products menu. Then, simply select the product you want to optimize, hover your cursor over the image, click the three dots, and edit and save your alt text. 

Optimize product images

2. Establish a website hierarchy

A website that's simple to navigate will always be better for SEO. But your navigation menu isn't the only aspect of your site's structure that you'll want to pay attention to.

Your site needs an established "hierarchy" of pages in order for Google's crawlers to work as efficiently as possible. If you inadvertently create a lot of "orphan" pages or you don't take advantage of categories and subcategories, search engines will have a more difficult time finding their way around your site and figuring out which pages matter the most.

Ideally, you'll want your homepage to link to a handful of category pages. These category pages might include your about page, your contact page, your blog, and your largest product categories. Those categories, in turn, should all link to subcategories that fall under those umbrellas. 

Not only can this help your customers more easily locate what they're looking for, but it can also signal to search engines which pages are a top priority. Ultimately, that can ensure pages are indexed properly and allow Google to deliver the most relevant results to users – improving your SEO in the process.

3. Conduct thorough keyword research

Keyword research is an essential part of optimizing any website. It's particularly important for ecommerce platforms because these sites generally have more opportunities for optimization.

When you perform keyword research, search volume might be the metric that stands out the most. This number is an estimate of how many web searches are performed for a given keyword within a month.

Say your Shopify store inventory includes women's dresses. When you use a keyword search volume tool, you'll find that the monthly search volume for this term is around 386,000. That means there are a lot of potential customers looking for products like those you sell.

But keep in mind that search volume doesn't always tell the whole story. Picking a highly competitive keyword can backfire if the keyword isn't aligned with a customer's intent. You'll need to consider intent when selecting keywords, as some may be more geared towards informational searches versus purchase-oriented ones. Other competitive keywords may simply be too broad to result in conversions.

In this same example, you may want to consider optimizing for a keyword like "womens midi dresses," "womens wrap dress," "womens swing dress," or "womens casual summer dress." These keywords have a lower search volume, but they're more aligned with purchasing intent. They're also more specific to the products you sell and are therefore a bit more valuable in the end.

In many cases, starting with less competitive keywords can allow you to climb the ranks in Google more easily. Once you improve your rankings, you can then build on your progress by switching up your strategy.

4. Write better meta descriptions

When you're looking to implement Shopify SEO for beginners, you'll want to include meta description optimization. (This is true for non-Shopify sites, as well!)

Meta descriptions are the short summaries of sites that appear in search results. They help users to understand what they can expect from your page or your site before they ever click on the link. 

Meta descriptions can also provide valuable information to search engines; if Google understands what your webpage is all about, it can decide whether it'll be relevant to a web user.

Metadata includes each page's meta description, as well as its title tags. You'll want to optimize both your meta descriptions and your title tags with relevant keywords. This additional context can help drive traffic to your site ‚Äì especially if you limit your meta descriptions to 155 characters or fewer! 

Be sure to make your meta descriptions captivating to web visitors, as well. You need to convince them to click with just a few words! To avoid some common writing mistakes, check out what not to do when writing your meta descriptions.

While you're at it, add schema markup to your webpages. This type of microdata can add even more context for search engines. If you do it right, you might appear as a "rich snippet" in SERPs, which can increase web traffic, rankings, and overall brand awareness.

5. Publish blog content for your site visitors

Some Shopify store owners assume that because they have so many product pages, they don't need to create additional content. But even with ecommerce, content continues to be king.

In other words, you need a content strategy for your online business. And undeniably, blogging should be part of that strategy.

Remember: your blog needs to be educational, not advertorial. Rather than doing a hard sell in your blog posts, aim to provide useful content that can enrich the lives of your customers. 

Make sure the content you create is relevant to your web visitors. Solve a problem, entertain them, or provide something useful. This can build trust, strengthen brand awareness, and position you as a leader within your industry. Additionally, publishing new blog posts on a regular basis can allow you to optimize new content – something we know that search engines love to see.

Fortunately, Shopify has its own blog feature. This means it's easy to start writing and creating new pages for Google to index.

6. Use a plugin or app

Using an app like CartHook can help you increase your average order value once your customer completes the purchase. But you need to get visitors to your site first.

In addition to trying the ideas mentioned above, it's also a good practice to use an SEO plugin for your Shopify site. Selecting the best SEO plugin for Shopify can make it even easier to optimize your site properly and outpace your competitors in search engine results pages (SERPs).

There are numerous SEO plugins you can use for Shopify. Some are free, while others require an affordable subscription fee. SEO is definitely worth investing in, so don't be scared off by the idea of paying $10 or $15 a month on the best SEO plugin for Shopify stores. Most paid options come with a free trial so you can test out the service before you take the plunge.

Try these SEO tips for Shopify to improve search rankings

The ecommerce industry continues to grow. If you want your online business to grow along with it, your site needs to provide value that search engines and customers can easily see. Whether you're looking to advance beyond Shopify SEO for beginners or you don't even know where to start, you'll be set up for success if you keep these SEO tips for Shopify in mind. 

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