SEO can get rather tedious and complex, which is why we’ve put together this simple yet essential Shopify SEO checklist for store owners who just want to get past all the fluff and focus in on the most important aspects of ranking their website.
This is by no means intended to be a comprehensive guide that details every last aspect of eCommerce SEO, but rather should be viewed as a quick reference or resource if you are just starting your ranking strategy and feel overwhelmed as you look through other guides you may find online. If you manage a Shopify store, chances are you don’t have time to become an overnight SEO technician. You’re simply looking for easy-to-implement tips and tactics and a bit of guidance as to what not to do.
Your Essential Shopify SEO Checklist
- Begin by making sure your website has been added to Google Analytics and Google Search Console. If you don’t know what you don’t know, you’ll never be able to correct the problem. These helpful Google tools are essential if you want to peak at the health of your website and address its weaknesses.
- Submit your sitemap to Google.
- Address any 404s or other crawl errors. Implement 301 redirects to relevant pages when needed. Broken links and dead pages are big red flags to Google because of the way in which they impact user experience.
- Understand which keywords you want to rank for by performing the necessary keyword research. You may already be aware of how competitive eCommerce can be when trying to rank for certain keywords, which means this is an area you want to spend some time on. It’s not enough to say you want to rank for “hightop sneakers” or “gold jewelry.” You need to find long-tail keyword opportunities in your niche, through meticulous research. To make your job easier, you may want to invest in a keyword research tool such as SEMrush or ahrefs, but you can use the Google Keyword Planner and the Google Search together to get a solid idea of what you want to target.
- Begin implementing these keywords onto your website strategically. Each page of your online store should focus on one specific keyword, but avoid overuse.
- Work on your meta titles and descriptions using your keywords as well.
- Customize the URL of every page so it is concise and keyword-focused. Try to avoid URLs that feature random strings of numbers and letters, or an excess of filler words, also known as “stop words.”
- Eliminate excess from your Shopify store. Google prefers speed and efficiency over flashiness. If you don’t absolutely need a certain plugin, remove it. Make sure all of the images on your site have been at least somewhat optimized or compressed. Take a hard look at every element of your website and consider whether or not it actually serves a purpose. Everything on your site should work to help generate sales.
- Every page should have a purpose as well, and should be optimized for the user. Make sure your product pages accommodate the needs of your shoppers, and that the rest of the pages on your website are useful and informative, with accurate information, easy to read text, helpful images, and plenty of social proof.
- Create quality blog content on a regular basis that utilizes your keywords, links to your products, and provides valuable information for your audience. Your blog should be attractive and fleshed out, with all of the modern conventions such as social sharing, embedded videos, and plenty of other interactive features. Blogging is one of the most important ways to rank your website, even in eCommerce. Valuable content ranks, regardless.
- Focus on your internal linking structure. You don’t want any parts of your site to exist on an “island.” All relevant information should link to the appropriate content, whether it’s an information page, another blog, or a product. You can also link to your best blogs from your product pages in case your customers want additional or supporting information.
- Make sure your category and navigation system is intuitive and makes sense. This will benefit your users and help Google crawl your site better.
- Work on creating high-quality backlinks. One way of going about doing this is to look for guest-posting opportunities in your niche. You should already be submitting your store to local directories and similar listing services, but the best backlinks typically come from high-ranking blogs. It may take a lot of outreach to get these links, but in order to increase your domain authority, it’s an essential step in the SEO process.
If you take the time to go through each of these points on this Shopify SEO checklist, you will have a solid gist on how to build a complete marketing strategy for your business. Although ranking your Shopify website may seem arduous, you can greatly simplify the process by addressing each of these points one at a time and making sure to allot the appropriate amount of time toward your keyword research, which will help you better understand the changes you need to make with your content.
Don’t want to take any chances on your SEO or simply don’t have the time to spare for keyword research or some of these other important tasks? You may want to consider getting in touch with our Shopify SEO specialists here at Genius eCommerce®. The health of your business may literally depend on whether or not you are able to get enough traffic to your website, so this isn’t an area you want to put on the backburner.
Here at Genius eCommerce®, we excel at helping Shopify stores reach their goals by implementing well-crafted and data-driven SEO campaigns. We understand the needs of online stores specifically and know how to rank sites even in the most competitive markets. If you want your SEO handled by true eCommerce professionals, call us now at 888.982.8269.