Many website owners might be familiar with WordPress SEO, but feel overwhelmed when attempting to SEO their Shopify site for the first time. As a result, I’ve written this blog for those new to the Shopify platform.
Why do i need Shopify SEO?
Search engines are used more in online purchases than any other source of traffic such as social networks, apps, or deal websites.
Shopify SEO is becoming increasingly important to boost e-commerce sales.
If your Shopify site isn’t listed on the first page of Google, you’re losing sales to your competitors. Simple as that.
If you are new to the Shopify platform, or setting up your Shopify store for the first time, this guide will get you on your way to SEO success! In the interests of brevity, this blog only covers on-site SEO. Off-site SEO, https, minification etc are not covered.
WordPress SEO vs Shopify SEO
Shopify, in many ways is very similar to WordPress from a SEO perspective.
Replace the term “Plugin” with “App” and there’s only minor differences in SEO between the WordPress and Shopify platform. Sure, the SEO plugins are different, but the concepts and approach to SEO is very similar.
Personally, it’s also somewhat refreshing working on the Shopify platform again. In many ways Shopify is simpler and more intuitive than WordPress.
As always, there’s downsides, as it’s not as easy to configure the platform as WordPress. There’s also fewer free apps than the vast array of free plugins in WordPress.
I liken the comparison to iOS with it’s intuitive interface and ease of use vs Android which offers more customisation and flexibility.…
How to setup your Shopify SEO
The first step is to Install a SEO app in your Shopify site. Many apps in the Shopify app store (including SEO apps) need to be bought via a paid subscription on a monthly basis.
After significant testing, I recommend Plug in SEO, as it’s free and simple to setup and use.
Install Plug in SEO
The app installation in Shopify is extremely simple.
Start configuring your on-page SEO
Once the Plug in SEO app is installed, go to each page or blog in the Shopify store and click “Edit website SEO”
You’ll then see the screen below that lets you configure your page title/URL and meta description:
You’ll see a live preview of your SERP snippet at the top also.
Unlike WordPress and the fabulous Yoast plugin, there’s no focus keyword as such in the plug in SEO app (or live SEO analysis in the free version). The reason is the focus keyword is embedded in the page title (which kind of makes sense).
So, for Shopify, you need to include your SEO keywords in the names of your products, pages, or blog posts. The names are often used as a web page’s H1 heading tag also.
For example, if you are selling recovery compression devices, you’d set Compression Therapy for Athletes – Company Name. This will make your page more likely to show up in Google when people use any combination of those search phrases.
The other difference is that the closer to the start the keyword is, the higher the term will rank in search engines. The first word in the title tag ultimately becomes the most important.
As with WordPress, ensure the meta descriptions encourage searchers to click your links in the search engine results page to graduate from an impression to a click. Ensure you keep the meta descriptions clear and don’t stick with the default text truncation that many websites use.
Image ALT Text
Ensure you set this field on your images, so they are indexed accurately by Google. These tags are becoming increasingly important. For visually impaired users and those running popup blockers. Without ALT Text, the computer doesn’t know what the image is. Once you’re finished setting your SEO properties, use the Apps drop down to “Check for SEO problems”. This provides an overview of any serious SEO issues and recommendations on how to correct them.
Unfortunately the “Check for Keywords” option isn’t available in the free edition of Plug in SEO, so you’ll need to use another tool to check your on-page focus keywords. For this, I’d suggest using the awesome Website Auditor from SEO power suite.
Create a new project by entering the URL you wish to analyse.
After Analysis has completed, click content audit -> Page audit
You then have the ability to tune your SEO until you get a great on-page ranking (similar to Yoast’s traffic lights).
Plug In SEO is also missing flesch reading score which I find useful. You can check your ease of reading copy here, or keep in the back of your mind to write your text at the reading level applicable for an eighth grade student. Short sentences and simple wording. You get the idea.
In this blog, I’ve touched on the differences between WordPress SEO and Shopify SEO, for those that are new to the Shopify platform.
In summary, Shopify is easy to use, fast to setup and a robust platform. The downside is the lack of customisation/flexibility and the reduced quality of free SEO apps available in the Shopify store.
Both platforms have their pros and cons and I enjoy working on both! Do you agree? Let me know in the comments below.
Feel free to click the links to find out more information about our Shopify SEO or WordPress SEO services, or contact us to find more.