Step by Step Shopify SEO Guide for 2021

Step by Step Shopify SEO Guide for 2021

Optimizing the SEO for your Shopify store is key for ranking higher on SERPs and getting discovered by potential customers.

However, if you have never optimized your online shop’s SEO before, this task may seem daunting. The good news is that in this blog post, we are going to share a step-by-step guide to optimizing your website’s SEO, starting from the product pages.

Product pages are a good place to start as most of your customers will find you searching for a specific product online.

And bringing in customers organically is great for two reasons:

  1. It's free. Instead of increasingly expensive paid ads, you can use SEO to bring free organic traffic to your site. That means more profit for you.
  2. It boosts sales. Organic traffic is not only cheaper than paid, but it also converts better too. That's because the organic visitors to your site are genuinely searching for the products you have to offer; they didn't just click an ad that popped up. So they are more likely to make a purchase.

By following the steps provided in this guide, your product pages will start to perform better in Google search rankings. And that means more free organic traffic and higher sales.

Continue reading to learn everything there is to know on the topic.

What is Shopify SEO?

Put it simply, Shopify SEO is a set of tweaks that make your website more unique compared to others.

Such definition can include various things, from high-quality, valuable, and interesting content to little details such as optimized meta titles and descriptions.

When it comes to SEO, most of its practices are applicable for both desktop and mobile. However, if you’d like to learn the specifics for your smartphone, read our article on mobile SEO.

To implement some of the Shopify SEO practices, consider the following:

  1. Optimize meta descriptions and meta titles.
  2. Remove duplicate URLs.
  3. Research the most appropriate keywords for your Shopify store.
  4. Avoid keyword stuffing, and provide users with high-value information.
  5. Optimize your product images.
  6. Optimize ALT titles of your images.
  7. Add structured data to your product pages.
  8. Constantly review and update the content on your Shopify store.

Would you like to know how you can improve your Shopify store SEO? TinyIMG app can help you with that!

Get started Now!

Improve your website’s structure

Site structure affects how high (or low) you are ranking in the SERPs. On top of that, the way you structure your Shopify store’s pages directly affects the user experience (UX) and helps your website’s visitors decide how long to stay.

Therefore, your task here is to improve your site structure as much as possible.

It is always easier to start on the right track than fix mistakes. Therefore, when setting up an online shop, consider the following tips:

  1. Simplify your online shop’s structure as much as possible.
  2. To make your life easier, use the Shopify product page template.
  3. Leave some space for any needed improvements (e.g., adding a new page or two in the future).
  4. Ensure your users can get back to the Home page from wherever they are on your Shopify store.
  5. Use simple and clear fonts in user-friendly colors. In other words, make sure that your content is easy-to-read.

Here’s an example of how a simple yet powerful website structure could look like:

How to structure your website

TinyIMG app helps improve Shopify website structure

You can always make your life easier and let apps like TinyIMG take care of your website’s structure.

TinyIMG creates JSON-LD Schemas for every product, blog post, website, and online store itself. All of that enables Google to analyze your website’s data more efficiently and find everything it needs to see.

As a result, Google gets to understand more about your online shop. Using that data, Google can generate featured or rich snippets that can increase your website’s traffic.

JSON-LD helps search engines to understand better what your website is about. Search engines like Google can also use the data to generate rich snippets that display visuals and additional information.

Optimize URLs on your product pages

A well-crafted URL provides both search engines and human visitors with a clear idea of what your page is about. Therefore it is likely to improve your search rankings and also make potential shoppers more likely to click.

Here are some of the best practices to stick to if you want clear and consistent URLs:

Consistency

All your URLs should follow the same formatting rules. For example, you could decide always to use lower case letters or use slashes to separate folders. This way, you will avoid creating duplicate pages and damaging your website structure.

Keywords

Keyword use in a URL can act as a ranking factor for your site's search visibility. Building your URLs around your main keywords is a great way to make search engines consider your page more relevant for a specific search query.

Avoiding special symbols

Symbols such as &, %, $, or @ make your URLs harder to read. Also, do not forget that spaces in your URLs will be converted to %20, which does not look appealing. If you need to separate words, use hyphens.

Short URLs

A URL specifies the location of a resource on the internet.

If your URL is already less than 50-60 characters, you're all good. But if you have URLs pushing 100+ characters, you need to rewrite them. Why?

Shorter URLs are easier to parse, copy, paste, and share. Try cutting down on stop words, such as and or but, and the number of folders.

Here’s how a good URL could look like:

How to write a good url

As you can see this food blog has a short, yet understandable URL. It is clear that a user can expect to find soup recipes after clicking on the link.

Optimizing metadata

Meta titles and meta descriptions may seem like something not as important to take care of. However, the truth is the opposite. Optimizing your meta titles and meta descriptions can improve your website’s SEO and help you rank higher in search engine results.

To craft your metadata, you can use handy tools like Google Meta Title & Description Length Preview Tool.

Optimizing meta titles

The meta title (also known as the title tag) is one of the most important page elements when it comes to SEO. That's because its job is to tell search engines and visitors what they can expect from the page.

Since title tags are visible on search engine results pages (SERPs), they must be well written and entice the user to click-through to your page.

They should also include your most important target keywords so that search engines can best match your page with search queries.

TinyIMG offers handy tools to help you check that your titles are optimized to include your keywords.

How to optimize metadata for Shopify store

Using TinyIMG, you can ensure that your meta titles are clear for your users and contain the most important keywords.

Here are 3 top tips to follow when optimizing your meta titles:

  1. Begin with keywords. Your title tag should contain the target keyword you want to rank for. The closer to the start of the title tag your target keyword is, the more likely it is to rank well for that keyword-based query. Making your keywords more specific by adding concrete numbers, dates, places, and years (as shown in the examples below) will help them perform better in search.
  2. Keep it short. Your meta title should be between 50-60 characters long and should not exceed 60 characters. If it does, it will be truncated in the SERP, and any information or keywords included after this point will be cut out, as you can see in the example below, while H&M’s title remains uncut.
  3. Keep your customers in mind. Your meta title is a lot like an ad for your page, so make sure it is designed to drive click-through. You should include your main selling point – something unique about your product that will compel users to click on the link. You could mention materials, design features, or something unique about your brand.

A good meta title might look something like this:

How to write good meta title

Optimizing meta descriptions

A meta description is the snippet of text displayed in the SERPs underneath the title of the page. Think of it as a mini-ad for your page that offers a preview of the page content. The meta description is your space to explain what the page provides briefly, and, if done right, it allows your listing to stand out.

Here are three essential tips to follow when optimizing your product page meta description:

  1. A well-crafted meta description should include relevant keywords.
  2. It should be written in a way that encourages searchers to click on your listing, so make the description specific and relevant, and emphasize the benefits for the user.
  3. Try using action-oriented language, including a call to action to encourage click-through.
  4. Keep the meta description no longer than 145 characters. It is important because sometimes Google might include "Date" into the description ,and if your text is longer than 145 characters, users won’t be able to read it all. To check the length of your meta description, use the WordCounter tool.

Let’s take another look at the example:

How to write good meta description

Improve website’s loading speed

When it comes to improving your Shopify store’s SEO, you have to improve your website’s loading speed, as well.

Great loading speed is important as it affects whether a visitor will leave your website immediately or linger for a while. If they choose the latter, that will increase the likelihood of them buying some of your products.

Moreover, fast pages rank higher in Google and other search engines. And when your page ranks higher, more visitors are likely to come by.

To see how fast your Shopify store is, use PageSpeed Insights on Google.

learn how fast your website is with pagespeed insights

You can also use Google Search Console to analyze your core web vitals.

Google page experience score

It’s a tool that enables you to see different factors included in Google's page experience score.

The good thing is, TinyIMG helps to improve your page loading speed by optimizing images and improving the overall SEO. To learn more, visit our services page.

These tools will provide you with data on how fast your page loading speed is. Even though there is no set number of an ideal page loading speed, you have to make sure to improve the speed as much as possible. That is because users hate waiting for too long, and if they have to do so, they would simply choose another website to visit.

Keyword research

Before posting any content on your Shopify store, make sure you complete keyword research.

Using appropriate keywords can help you get discovered by your target audience and increase the number of customers and sales.

However, it is important to remember that search engines have moved on from keyword stuffing as a positive ranking factor, so there is no need to load your content with keywords.

If Google thinks you are just cramming in keywords for better SEO, it might penalize you.

Besides that, keyword optimization is still important – so here is some keyword advice you should follow on your product pages.

Use keywords early

The first couple of hundred words of copy count most heavily for search engines and users since most users never scroll further down. Make sure to use your main keywords early.

You should also include keywords occasionally and evenly throughout your content. This should happen naturally if you stay on topic - and remember not to force keywords where they do not sound natural.

To find the best keywords, consider using the following tools:

Go beyond exact matches

Google has already learned to recognize the intent of searchers’ queries beyond the meanings of individual keywords. This means that Google gives a common answer to a number of "different-in-keywords" but "same-in-meaning" search requests.

It means you no longer need to think in terms of single keyword optimization. Instead, you should try to make your pages relevant for multiple synonyms and related words.

Be sure to add all kinds of related keywords to your page, as it will help you improve your search engine visibility and avoid unnecessary keyword stuffing.

Structured data

Structured Data is specific information that helps search engines understand what your page is all about. It is especially important for product pages as you can include very detailed product information in your Structure Data, including:

  • productID,
  • brand,
  • mpn (Manufacturer Part Number, MPN),
  • and gtin (Global Trade Item Number, GTIN).

Structured Data example

Using this data, Google can match your product page with search queries for specific products.

And one of the most important features of Structured Data is that search engines can use it to generate rich snippets.

Along with URLs, meta titles, and meta descriptions, rich snippets also included visually appealing elements such as rating and images that will make your page stand out in search results pages.

Here are some important points you should know about Structured Data for your product pages.

  • Make sure you define your main page types (e.g., homepage, collection, product, blog) before adding Structured Data.
  • Be sure to add the following 3 data types: Product, Offer, and BreadcrumbList. Product, as you would expect, defines the product. Offer represents the variant on sale, in other words, any discounts or price reductions. And BreadcrumbList helps Google to categorize the information on your page.

How to fix your product page Structured Data

Fixing your product page Structured Data sounds complicated, right? The good news is you don't need to do it yourself.

TinyIMG can now improve your Structured Data for you using JSON-LD, the most common format for Structured Data.

Would you like to fix your website’s structured data today?

Get TinyIMG NOW!

Image optimization

Adding images to your product pages is essential. It keeps users engaged, and it also tells Google you have higher quality content.

Captivating product pictures can keep your site visitors engaged and showcase how your product will look and feel to use, just as this product pic from the Rebecca Minkoff shop does.

how to take good product pictures

However, if image files are heavy, they can slow down your page speed, which harms your SEO and, more often than not, negatively affects your sales.

Therefore, make sure you optimize your product page’s visuals in the following 2 ways for ultimate SEO performance.

Optimize your alt tags

Alt tags are parts of HTML code that describe your image. Search engines scan alt tags to understand what the image is about, so they provide another opportunity to include your target keyword on a page.

The best format for alt tags is a few sufficiently descriptive phrases but do not contain any spammy attempts at keyword stuffing.

For full guidance on how to write your alt texts, check out this detailed guide to optimizing your images alt text.

And don't forget that tools like TinyIMG can generate alt tags for you or optimize your existing ones. So if you don't have the time to write them yourself, no problem.

Compress your images

Downsizing your image files will positively affect page speed and overall user experience, which will help with SEO ranking. And you can get this done without lifting a finger - image optimization tools like TinyIMG can automatically reduce your image sizes while maximizing image quality.

Doing so will get your product pages loading super-fast, no matter how many images you have on your store.

For example, after optimization, the product pages on Shopify store Coast to Coast Collectibles load in just 0.7 seconds - and that's despite the fact that the site has over 10,000 images on it.

Mobile-friendliness

With people spending more and more time on their mobile devices and tablets every year, mobile-friendliness is a must!

Shopify allows you to choose a responsive template for your site and have built-in mobile commerce shopping cart features. You may also want to think about visual hierarchy for mobile and other design considerations.

Bottom line

As we can see, there is plenty you can do your Shopify product pages to optimize them for SEO. But this is a process you can take step by step - start with the basics like your meta titles, meta descriptions, and images. This will already have a big impact on your page's overall performance.

Then you can tackle more complex and time-consuming tasks like keyword optimization and structured data.

And don't forget, tools like TinyIMG can do a lot of the SEO heavy lifting for you, and they require minimal investment - just take a look at TinyIMG's competitive pricing plans.

With TinyIMG installed, just work through the steps above, and in no time, you'll have high-performing SEO-friendly product pages.

Want to see how TinyIMG can help you optimize your Shopify’s SEO?

Get started today!

FAQ

To do an SEO on Shopify, start with the product pages as they have the most potential in bringing you new website visitors. On your product pages, make sure that you: Upload optimized and resized images. Provide clear descriptions of the products. Use filename and alt texts for the products.

There are many useful apps for improving your Shopify store’s SEO, but we find the following the most useful: TinyIMG - this SEO & Image Optimizer app will help you reduce your website’s load time by compressing images by up to 70%. The good news is that there is no loss in quality. PageFly - this app will help you build excellent landing pages for all page types: Home page, Product page, Blog page, and more. It will also help with improving your Shopify store’s speed. Debutify is the highest-converting Shopify theme that is free. It will work wonders for improving your sales.

To help your Shopify store rank higher on Google, focus on these tips Optimize meta titles and metadata. Create high-value content. Optimize your images and use ALT texts as well as filenames. Improve your website’s speed. Optimize your website’s structure.

To optimize your Shopify page speed, we recommend completing these steps: Using PageInsights by Google to determine the current speed of your website. Using Google Search Console to analyze your core web vitals. Getting rid of duplicated pages. Optimizing your images with tools like TinyIMG.

About the author
Nikoleta
Content Marketing Manager for TinyIMG. When not writing awesome content, Nikoleta is reading up on the latest in digital marketing, ecommerce, and social media trends!