In our last post this random shopify site was missing out on over $150K each year by not focusing on SEO.

Let me show you what I would do to actually win that $150K. SEO has a bad connotation to it. But honestly, it’s really not as complex as SEO agencies make it out to be. In fact, you can learn all you need to know about SEO for your shopify site in this post in under 7 mins (I timed it!).

Is SEO for a Shopify site different than SEO for other sites?

Yes and no. While many SEO strategies apply universally, Shopify has its nuances in implementation and specific best practices.

Best Practices for Shopify SEO - The 4 Pillars

There are 4 things in each Shopify sites SEO: Technical SEO, On Page SEO, Backlinks and Content. That is it. If you master these 4 for your site then you are golden. Let’s break down each one. 

Shopify SEO Best Practices

Technical SEO for Shopify

The most intimidating but also easiest to fix is Technical SEO. In a nutshell, it's about making your site user-friendly for visitors and search engines. Nailing technical SEO doesn’t necessarily improve SEO, but having issues on your site can definitely negatively impact SEO.

Best Practices for Shopify Technical SEO

Use free SEO audit tools like SEMrush to identify critical issues. There are 100+ things that we could worry about in this, but the most important things according to me for a shopify site are:

Crawling: Check if Google can see all your pages. You can view this in Google Search Console to see all your indexed pages.

Speed: Make sure your pages load fast without messing up your store vision. Most Shopify sites are very heavy on high quality images. Optimize page loading speed by compressing images and using efficient formats like JPEG or PNG.

Link Structure: Make sure that there is a way to get to all your URLs directly from the home page.

Duplicate Content: Avoid this. If you find any duplicates in the SEO audit, use a simple 301 redirect from one duplicate to the other to solve the issue.

Other: Fix broken links that point to pages that don’t exist anymore, make sure your titles are less than 70 characters, and there should only be 1 H1 per page.

Let me plug Morale Patches into an SEO audit and see what we get. Ok I found 3 real issues: Lot of H1s in the home page. There should only be 1 H1 per page. Second, the title tag in the home page is 89 characters- it should ideally be between 10 and 70 characters. Fix this by going to Preferences -> Homepage Title. Note, that Shopify automatically adds “- STORENAME” to the title. So, make it even shorter. Lastly, it seems slow on mobile. I would make sure the images in the home page are optimized.

On Page SEO Shopify

On Page SEO for Shopify is the art of using certain elements of your site to target certain keywords. Those elements are:

Title, Meta Descriptions, Website URLs, Headers, Alt Tags, Image URLS, & Website Content to just name a few.

I look at these elements like tools in your arsenal that you can use to target a specific keyword. Speaking of keywords, doing a full keyword analysis on your site is vital to figure out what you should be targeting. Check out a full walkthrough on keyword research.

Breaking down each On Page SEO Tool Specifically for Shopify:

Title: The headline displayed on Google search. Updating this on the homepage has been described above. Updating this for other pages is as simple as finding the Search engine listing section at the bottom.

Meta descriptions: Summaries that appear under the title on Google; they influence click-through rates primarily. This is updated in the search engine listings section of each page.

Website URLs: Descriptive URLs like are more effective than vague ones. This can also be found in the search engine listings section.

Headers: Headers range from H1 to H6, with H1 being the most important. Editing H1s might require updating the liquid files, but some themes make it easier by just customizing the theme -> rich text -> set as primary heading (h1). Or also having the product name automatically H1 for product pages. Adding H2’s or other headers to pages is as simple as updating that text to Header 2, or Header X.

Alt tags: descriptions added to images, used initially for users with visual impairments. Clicking on the image or underneath the image there should be an “Add alt text”.

Image URLs: Name images purposefully before uploading to Shopify; for instance, "Morale-Patches-Military2.PNG" is better for SEO than “Morale-Patches-Military2.PNG” rather than “1231284u1238913.png”.

Website content: Written content marked as "paragraph" in Shopify's text editor.

For our site, my most important keyword is: “Morale Patches” for the homepage. Update the title, meta description, and header (H1), perhaps also an H2 in a subsection.

It’s important to use the keyword naturally within the content and utilize alt tags on relevant images. We don’t want it to look like keyword stuffing.

It’s kind of like telling your first crush that you like them. You want to be direct (like giving them extra attention and a sincere compliment), because everyone in that age is so oblivious to signs, but you can’t be too over the top (like posting a billboard-sized 'Will You Be Mine?' near the school gates – trust me).

Shopify Backlinks

Backlinks were Google's secret ingredient to becoming the top/only search engine when lots of search engines were popping up in the 90s. The way academic papers get more authority if they're cited by others, Google used the same logic to rank websites.

So, if your site is being linked to by many sites, Google uses that as a ranking indicator today. Each link you get is not equal. Sites that link to you which are high authority and/or related to your specific niche have a larger impact. It's like your site is a party, and when other sites vouch for you by linking to your site, it's as if they're saying, 'Hey, you should check out my friend's party – it's awesome!'.

How to add backlinks to Shopify

There are some easy ways and some not so easy ways. Easy things are like signing up for social media sites or directory listings. These are like singles in baseball – might not turn into something but it’s progress.

Homeruns are like getting proper PR or getting a large website in your niche to send a link to you. There are many different strategies to get these homerun links but for the most part they are usually pay-to-play and requires a lot of cold outreach.

For Morale Patches I have a list of a few thousand easy to link to sites from my experience, and I would just do a few each day to build some progress. In due time, we can aim for those home runs. My recommendation on backlinks is to get the easy singles now, and home runs later. If you would like 50 free backlinks feel free to receive this complimentary gift from Nuerrify (scroll to the bottom of the page and fill out your details).

Finally, Content

Content is king. Even basic websites with no budgets or links can beat big rivals with awesome content.

Here's the deal: Content isn't just vlogs, daily diaries, or random posts. It's about finding what people want and giving them the best answers.

Your job? Answer the questions people ask in a better way. Step one is keyword research to find out what people are searching for but not getting satisfactory answers to yet.

Then, the tough part: write content that nails those questions related to your topic. While writing this use On Page SEO tools above to target that specific keyword. This is called SEO Optimized content.

Best SEO Practices for Shopify

Start a blog – it’s a game-changer. Shopify’s URL structure is pretty bad, it has to be[NAME]. A lot of people do articles or news.

When creating a blog, include a featured image and at least 1 -2 images in the article itself. This makes it easier for your content to be read, and also adds a place for you to update alt text.

You can update blog theme settings by clicking on customize template at the bottom of a blog page. Here you can remove the featured image from showing at the top of your header. Also, you can add a featured collection at the bottom or a hero product.

So, for Morale Patches one content piece we are targeting is “military morale patches” (590 searches per month). I would create a content piece highlighting the history of veterans using morale patches. Also share a few examples of popular morale patches used in the military.

In the content piece, I would also have “Military Morale Patches” somewhere in my h1, my title, my meta description, and one of the H2s. That’s it- one blog done. Lastly, I would make sure there is some way to get to my overall blogs page from the home page, like adding it in the footer where other site links are.

When one of our content pieces ranks high, it's not just about that one page. A rising tide lifts all boats. When Google sees one piece performing well, it boosts our site's overall authority. This can lead to improved rankings for other targeted keywords too.

It usually takes about 50 content pieces before we start seeing real progress on the site. The most important thing is consistency and keyword research. But this is it. Technical SEO, On Page SEO, Backlinks, and Content.

Shopify SEO Best Practices Summary

Do Technical SEO (ensuring site friendliness for visitors and search engines), On-Page SEO (optimizing specific elements for chosen keywords), Backlinks (obtaining site referrals for higher authority), and Content creation (crafting informative, keyword-targeted material) to improve online presence.

November 10, 2023 — Vineet Baid

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