Shopify powers more than 800,000 stores all over the world.
While the eCommerce platform has become known as one of the top competitors for online stores, there’s more to Shopify than simply offering great store templates and product pages.
The platform also offers tons of merchant services, with one of the most important being SEO tools. But, how do these tools stack up to other online website builders when it comes down to the nuts and bolts of it?
If you’re the owner of an online store then you’re going to want to understand how to make sense of Shopify and SEO. And, you’re going to want to know how to use the tools they offer to your advantage.
Does Shopify Have Good SEO?
Before discussing whether or not Shopify SEO is “good,” it’s important to understand how Shopify handles SEO for their clients.
Because the platform caters to eCommerce clients, SEO is going to look a little different than it might for a non-commercial store such as a blog or simply company website.
In order to rank well, you have to factor in product rankings not just page rankings.
This is where Shopify truly shines when it comes to catering to their customers, as they direct their SEO efforts towards product rankings as well. In this way, they truly understand what an eCommerce store needs.
So, when it comes down to it, yes Shopify has good SEO tools and lots of add-ons and apps that you can use on your site to further enhance the optimization of it.
What truly makes their SEO functionalities great, though, is the fact that their interface is user-friendly, regardless of how large your store is. The SEO functions on this platform allow you to rank for shopping-specific and image searches as well as regular ones.
In this aspect, it makes SEO for Shopify stand out amongst other competitors, even the larger eCommerce platforms and big powerhouses such as BigCommerce and WordPress.
If you’re looking to build an eCommerce store completely from scratch, and have the money to do so, then this is always best.
However, for a small to medium-sized eCommerce business, Shopify is one of the best website builders that can help you with SEO while providing you with the tools and integrations you need to sell.
Shopify SEO Pros & Cons
Shopify is an eCommerce platform, so you can bet that they cater their offerings and features towards eCommerce stores.
This is probably one of the biggest pros of using Shopify for your online store when compared to other platforms like WordPress.
WordPress is great for blogs and for different kinds of websites, but the features, themes, and SEO tools aren’t going to quite measure up to what you need for eCommerce SEO.
Along with being super eCommerce-friendly, Shopify also excels in the site structure.
Search engines love to rank websites that have a strong site structure, and to build this you need to work on a platform that allows you to edit URLs and menus.
The Shopify sitemap is great in this way, and the platform lets you arrange the site in different categories.
Not only will search engines love this, but your customers will too! They’ll be able to easily navigate the store to find what they need, and fast.
It’s important to note, however, that because you’re not developing the site yourself, you don’t have access to .txt files and other backend files that might help really increase your SEO efforts.
Perhaps the only drawback about Shopify is that it’s pretty dependent on third-party applications. If you have advanced SEO needs, then you’re going to have to connect apps to your Shopify site.
While it’s great that there are a variety of apps available to you in the first place, it’s not ideal that the functions don’t come already included in the basic Shopify plan that you’re paying for.
However, when it comes to the value you get for your money, it’s hard to beat Shopify’s pricing. Even with their most basic plan, they offer unlimited products and great support.
Mistakes and Shopify SEO Tips
While the platform is already pretty SEO-friendly, there are a few helpful Shopify SEO tips that you can follow to help increase your efforts.
First of all, you’re going to want to take advantage of the on-page SEO tools that Shopify provides you with and ensure you’re filling out the title tags, writing alt text for images, and paying attention to your URLs.
When ranking a page, search engines crawl the entire page for information. The more information you give them, the easier it is for them to rank the site! So, fill out all image alt attributes and organize your H1, H2, and H3 headers.
The next big SEO tip is to ensure that you’re doing great keyword research.
Develop a strong keyword strategy that includes long-tail keywords. Your best bet is to look for keywords that have high monthly search rates but that rank as low or medium in competition level.
Don’t try to rank for words that are extremely competitive. If you sell shoes, for example, then chances are that you won’t be able to compete for the keyword “athletic shoes.” Choose something more specific and dynamic.
Once you have your keyword list, be sure to focus on using informative keywords in your store’s blog and transactional keywords on the product pages.
Transactional keywords encourage readers to take action, like buying a product or clicking for more info.
On your blog, however, using informational keywords is great. This helps you build authority and ensure that you’re giving your visitors valuable information or answers to their real problems.
If you don’t have a blog, then you need one! Every eCommerce store needs a blog.
Shopify SEO Review
Overall, Shopify is one of the best eCommerce platforms to use if you’re looking for something very user-friendly and loaded with lots of helpful tools.
Shopify is also pretty ubiquitous. Because of this, it’s hard to beat their excellent customer service, not to mention the numerous discussion boards available where you can get help from other users.
When providing a review of Shopify, it’s important to note that some users think that the SEO tools aren’t quite up to par with other websites.
The Shopify sitemap, for example, isn’t quite as great as the WordPress sitemap. However, WordPress doesn’t allow you to cater your SEO efforts towards product and image searches as much as Shopify, so it evens out a bit in that regard.
Shopify does offer their users lots of options when it comes to apps, which is great for those who want to pick and choose what to include and what to leave off their site so it doesn’t weigh it down.
In terms of site speed, however, it helps to know that Shopify uses a CDN. This is a content delivery network.
It helps with image optimization and speed, so you don’t have to download as many apps as you might on other platforms.
Because of this, sites that use Shopify usually load pretty fast and are live about 99% of the time. This ensures that you can rely on the platform to keep your site up and ready for more visitors and sales.
The themes that Shopify provides are all mobile-friendly, which is crucial not only in terms of having an aesthetically-pleasing site but in having an SEO-friendly one.
Google now follows a mobile-first indexing algorithm, so your eCommerce store needs to be mobile-friendly.
Useful Shopify SEO Apps
If you’ve taken all of the necessary steps to ensure that you’re optimizing your on-page SEO for your eCommerce website and still need extra help, you can integrate some apps with your site.
First, you’ll want to connect an app that allows you to optimize your images. This is crucial for SEO rankings as it can increase traffic from Google Image searches, which are pretty popular when it comes to online shopping.
Take a look at SEO Image Optimizer. It will help reduce the size of your images so as not to slow your site down. And, it will help you optimize your image tags for maximum efficiency.
Then, it’s smart to look for an SEO app that can help you ensure that every single one of your pages is optimized for keywords and other attributes.
For Shopify, you’ll want to check out an app like SEO Doctor or UltraSEO.
They’re both easy to use and gives you helpful tools to increase each page’s ranking. Because they’re more geared towards clients, they cater to the needs of eCommerce store owners.
They’ll let you create meta tags, add keywords to the pages, and gain more traction to your website.
SEO Doctor specifically will help you also fix broken links and optimize your title and product descriptions. This is crucial when it comes to eCommerce stores.
Getting Help with Shopify and SEO
Whether you already have a Shopify store or are looking to create a new one, there’s a lot to know about Shopify and SEO.
The eCommerce platform caters well to their customer base and provides them with tools that they need to succeed, not only in business but in terms of SEO as well.
However, because there’s so much to think of, it helps if you have a team of experts on your site working to optimize every area of your site’s SEO.
Interested in learning more about how to get help with your site’s SEO? Browse our SEO blog for more professional tips and tricks to help you grow your business.