SEO Advice for Shopify Store Owners | Coding, Time and Skill NOT REQUIRED
As it is getting kind of a habit for me, I am posting here some advice I actually gave to one of my clients. I’ve already presented here some of my takes regarding multi-currency stores in Shopify and about launching an amazing store with a limited budget:
Premium Shopify Store Launch with Limited Budget (it's possible).
This is how I showed the truth to my client before the harsh reality did it for me.
However, today I will leave you some basic advice that anyone can follow if they care about their SEO ranking, regardless of skills level and amount of time and money they have to invest in it.
Even if you have no idea about SEO (or you just dislike Google), Shopify automatically handles the most important things for you in terms of technical setup. In case you don’t have the time neither the skills to create an individual title and meta description for every single page on your online store, Shopify automatically does that based on the content in each page of your store.
In terms of wishing for a better place in any search engine results, there are some things you may consider:
- what you Can do — without knowledge on SEO alchemy, without time and patience to learn it, without money to invest in it
- what you Could do — if you had the things stated above
- what you Can’t do — more about this on the last topic of this article (sorry, you’ll need to read everything or scroll down to see it 😅)
This article will address mainly what you can do.
Keep all your images as light as possible without compromising its quality
Every time you upload an image into Shopify, their system does some compression on their end, but you can enhance it a lot by taking some precautions:
- Keep your images with a not too big resolution: anything above 2048px of width is a waste of loading resources
- Before uploading an image, compress them here: https://tinypng.com
Use as little apps as possible
Never install an app unless it will be really relevant to your store. Some people install apps and don’t use them or their use is practically irrelevant for the business. You need to take into account that any time someone opens your online store, the website obligatory loads the code from all those apps, decreasing significantly your loading speed.
This is very important because the load time of your store is a very important factor in your SEO ranking. Don’t believe me?
SEO Best Practices
Google has indicated site speed (and as a result, page speed) is one of the signals used by its algorithm to rank pages. And research has shown that Google might be specifically measuring time to first byte as when it considers page speed. In addition, a slow page speed means that search engines can crawl fewer pages using their allocated crawl budget, and this could negatively affect your indexation.
Page speed is also important to user experience. Pages with a longer load time tend to have higher bounce rates and lower average time on page. Longer load times have also been shown to negatively affect conversions.
Fill your store homepage title and meta description
This can easily be done here in your store administration:
(Online Store > Preferences)
Here is some help on how to create the right content for those meta tags:
A beginner's guide to writing title tags and meta descriptions that get clicks | 123 Reg Blog
It's true: title tags and meta descriptions won't help your website magically rise to the top of the search engine…
Any content you add to your store must be relevant to your users
Any content you add to your store must be relevant to your users
If your content is simply bad and low quality, your visitors will quickly abandon your store and Google will realise your website is not relevant for many of its users (ever heard about Bounce Rate?). Keep the good content up to date in your store and improve the less popular content so it gets more relevant to your customers.
Add your website link to any established websites and social media profiles you own. Ideally, try to get other established businesses / publications / influencers to have a link to your store on their websites. This is called backlinking and it’s one of the most powerful ways to tell the search engines that you’re relevant (there’s even an SEO genius with this concept on his domain: https://backlinko.com/).
However, with great power comes great responsibilities: if many bad quality websites which have nothing to do with your customers’ interests are linking to you, you’ll get a temporary boost on organic visits perhaps, but your ranking will soon get damaged for good. This relates to black hat SEO techniques:
What is Black Hat SEO? Webopedia Definition
Black hat SEO refers to the use of aggressive SEO tactics that do not follow search engines rules. For example, keyword…
Give it time ⏲
Just as in an offline business, time builds trust and confirms value. If you keep doing the right thing, you’ll see your organic visits grow over time.
In SEO, domain age matters
How much weight does age have in SEO? They say that a site's age matters in a website's search engine rankings. How…
What you Could do
If you have money to invest in deeper SEO enhancement, hire a verified professional to do some work on it. Doing the more complicated stuff by yourself can result in a big waste of time (because you’re basically learning a new skill from scratch with too much info available and without knowing what’s good or bad). Great partners will give you great results (to give is actually a strong word- you’ll probably need to pay for it 💸).
What you Can’t do
*you actually can, but plz don’t
Trick the system. Hire a charlatan. Fall into some scam.
Avoid every single freelancer / agency / digital guru and messiah that will promise you to be #1 in Google result page. There’s no magic formula.
I can’t stress that enough: There is NO magic formula!!!
If there is some kind of formula, most probably it’s a scam or a set of black hat techniques that Google sooner or later will condemn and your temporary success will become an eternal failure, as your ranking could get permanently damaged for using such tactics.
There are many things that can and should be done to optimise your store for search engines, but ultimately those techniques should just make it easier for Google to realise that your content is the best one to show for a specific user. It should never force, neither trick the search engine’s algorithm to show you as a ‘good’ result when your website in a specific circumstance is not the best thing to be displayed.
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