Not getting enough traffic to your Shopify store?
Without traffic, you cannot expect your website to make conversions or sales. You need traffic if you want to transform your online store into a thriving passive online business.
One of the easiest ways to get traffic is by ranking your website on the search engines.
Anyone who is looking to buy something would often visit the search engines to look for stores that sell the product that they are interested in.
But these people can only find you if you did the hard work of optimizing your website to rank on the front page of the search engines.
Today, you’ll learn some tips on how to optimize your shopify store for higher rankings. But I have to warn you, these tips are not the common ones that you have seen everywhere. There will be nothing about keywords here. Instead, it contains practical tips on how you move past your competitors in the search engines rankings.
5 SEO Tips for Shopify Stores
For this, I have come up with 5 strategies.
TIP #1: Check Your Site Speed
TIP #2: Create a Robots.Txt File
TIP #3: Sort Out Your Website Architecture
TIP #4: Submit a Sitemap
TIP #5: Optimize Images
TIP 1: Check Your Site Speed
Ranking starts with site performance. When a search engine robot visits your website and it found that it hits a roadblock ( Ex. it takes a while for your website to load), it will return the message that your website is not very user-friendly and tag it for lower rankings.
And it is not just for search engines. It seems that a website’s speed can also affect its sales.
According to Kissmetrics, website speed can greatly affect the bottom line. In fact, they found out that website abandonment increases as the loading time increases.
Ideally, you’ll want your website to load faster. But you may be wondering how.
Here are some things that you can do to get a faster loading time.
1. Compress Images
If you run an Ecommerce website with thousands of products, you’ll know how images can take up the bulk of your file storage. The same is true when you store it on your online server. When you store too many images at a particular time, it can slow down your server and have an effect on your site speed.
The solution? Compress your images. This will allow you to get the exact image but with a lower KB. What this means is that you get the image with almost the same quality but taking a lot less memory than when it was uncompressed.
2. Enable Browser Caching
When someone visits your website, they crawl it not only to read it but also to save some information from it. Some website owners can be afraid of this ‘caching’ system thinking that it can have a bad effect on their website. What they don’t know is that this is actually good. Why? Well, if the browser has already cached a website, there is no need to load it again. This frees up the online server of extra work resulting to a faster loading website.
3. Use a CDN (Content Delivery Network)
Having a CDN means having a network of computers storing your website information at a time. In fact, it is defined as ‘a system of multiple computers that contains copies of data stored at various network nodes’.
The result? Better bandwidth and website latency. Content can vary from applications, web objects, data objects, media and database queries. This allows users to have access to large amounts of data without slowing down the website.
4. Simplify Your Code
Did you know that your code can also slow down your website? Highly complicated codes can return an error that prevents websites from displaying well. When this happens, a website can either hang or shut down — not good if you are trying to get more people into your website.
Checking your website speed is easy. You can use a tool called Google’s PageSpeed Insights.
Visiting the URL will take you to this page which will ask you to input your website.
It will then analyze your website for factors that affect its site speed. It will return a page like this.
This page contains suggestions on how to improve your website’s site speed.
You can also get an overview of the theme you’re using by using tools like GTMetrix. In here, you can put the URL of the theme that you are planning to purchase and it will automatically generate an overview for you.
If you are looking for a really fast theme, you may look at the Turbo Shopify theme. True to its name, it may be the fastest Shopify theme in the market right now. What makes it special is its ability to cut loading time by as much as 75%. And this is even cut lower for lean and clean themes. In fact, some clients report that their websites load by as little as 5 seconds.
TIP 2: Create a Robots.Txt File
If you want the search engines to rank you higher, you should look for a way to communicate with its robots. The best way to do that is through a robots.txt file — the file that search engine robots first go to when they visit a website.
What is a robots.txt file?
You can understand the robots.txt file if you view it as a user manual for search engine robots. When a search engine robot first visits your website, he will usually not know what to do. But once he finds a robots.txt file, he will know how to crawl the website.
Why go through the trouble of creating a robots.txt file?
Well, it conserves the so-called crawl budget. Here is what a crawl budget is according to Google.
First, there is a crawl limit.
Then, there is also a crawl demand.
This is then affected by other factors as well.
So if you don’t have a robots.txt file in your website, it is time to create one. Creating one is as easy as saving a txt file in notepad. You can always learn from Google on the specific robots.txt file syntax.
TIP 3: Sort Out Your Website Architecture
A website’s architecture can increase or lower its chance of getting ranked. In fact, it seems that deep linking pages has a negative effect on websites.
According to Brian Dean of Backlinko, this is a structure that you should avoid.
Because it tends to dilute page authority.
You see, it seems that webpages tend to pass on authority to pages that they are linking to. If you create too many buffer pages from your backlinks, the authority will already be too small once it reach your content pages.
Not good for SEO.
The best way is to have long menus and have the content linked from the homepage if you can. If you have tons of products, you can always sort them out into categories to cut the buffer pages.
So the next time you see categories like this.
You know that there is a reason for it. The reason is SEO.
TIP 4: Submit a Sitemap
Another way to boost your new website is to submit a sitemap to your favorite search engines.
What is a Sitemap?
Basically, it is a list of all the pages on your site. You need to submit this to the search engines so that they can easily crawl your site for pages they might have missed.
Here is how Google defines a Sitemap:
“Sitemaps is a list of the pages on your website. Creating and submitting a Sitemap helps make sure that Google knows about all the pages on your site, including URLs that may not be discoverable by Google’s normal crawling process.
There are two types of sitemaps: HTML and XML. Here is the difference between the two.
1. HTML Sitemap
A HTML Sitemap is basically an HTML page that contains links to all the pages in your website. The great thing about this is that you can upload this to your server and your readers can use it to navigate your site. However, this can be quite cumbersome for people who have large websites with thousands of pages.
2. XML Sitemap
For larger websites, an XML Sitemap may be better. Unlike an HTML sitemap that is straightforward and can be viewed as a webpage, an XML sitemap is hidden from readers’ view. You can use this if you are generating a sitemap for the benefit of search engines but don’t necessarily want to use it for navigation.
Now that you know what a sitemap is, let’s get to the creation process.
How to Create a Sitemap
There are many ways to create a sitemap. You can do it manually or install a plugin if you’re operating a WordPress website and make it generate a sitemap for you. However, I will not be covering those methods in this blogpost. Instead, I will share what works for me.
To generate a sitemap in a matter of seconds, I use a tool called xml-sitemaps.com. I like this because it is pretty straightforward and does not really require a login. Plus, I love the fact that they put the instructions on the main page so it is really easy for anyone to use it.
In fact, the instruction is simple. Just input the URL of your website and hit Start. It is that easy.
NOTE: You probably noticed that the maximum number of pages that it can index is only 500. If your website is bigger, you should buy the standalone version which costs around $19. I am not affiliated with them. I am just referring to this site because I use it myself.
From here, you’ll receive all the download links to the XML and HTML version of your sitemap.
There is even an option to have all the files sent to your e-mail address. I think that’s pretty neat.
How to Submit your Sitemap to Google
Once you have your sitemap, it is time to start submitting them to your favorite search engines. In this blogpost, I’ll teach you how to submit one to Google.
Step 1: Go to Google Webmaster Tools
Be sure that you’re logged in your Google account. This will take you to your dashboard where you can add a property.
NOTE: I’ll be blurring the bottom portion as it contains some of my client websites.
Click on ‘Add a Property’ when you’re ready.
When you have clicked that, enter your site URL. You will then be asked to verify the property.
From here I usually go for alternate methods and choose HTML Tag — Why? Because it is the easiest.
The instructions you should follow is written when you clicked on the radio button.
Copy the code
Then go to your site and look for the </head> before the <body> in your website coding. In a WordPress site, you may need to go to Appearance > Editor
Click on the Main Page or Header Page on the right to find the file that you are looking for. In ordinary pages, you’ll see this when you view your HTML file as text file. Once you’re there, paste the code.
And you’re done!
Note: This article was originally published on the OSI Affiliate Blog. To see the whole article you can go here http://www.osiaffiliate.com/blog/shopify-seo/