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One trend we’ve noticed at Go Fish Digital is that more and more customers are using the Shopify platform. While we initially thought it was just a coincidence, we can see that the data tells a different story:

The Shopify platform has gained popularity over the years. Looking at the BuiltWith usage statistics, we can see that CMS usage has more than doubled since October 2017. Currently, 3.16% of the top 10,000 sites and 2.2% of the top 100,000 are using Shopify.

Since we’ve worked with quite a number of Shopify stores, we wanted to share our process for common SEO improvements we help our customers with. The guide below should describe some common settings we make in Shopify stores.

Shopify SEO Expert


Shopify SEO simply means SEO improvements that are more unique to Shopify than other sites. While Shopify stores come with some SEO-friendly stuff, like a blog and the ability to redirect, they can also create SEO problems, like duplicate content. Some of the most common Shopify SEO tips are:

Remove duplicate URLs from internal linking architecture
Remove duplicate paginated URLs
Create keyword blog content with informational intent
Add the structured data “Product”, “Item” and “BreadcrumbList”
Determine how to manage product variation pages.
Compress images using crush.pics
Remove unnecessary Shopify apps
We will discuss how we handle each of these recommendations below:

Duplicate content
In terms of SEO, duplicate content is the top priority issue we’ve seen Shopify create. Duplicate content occurs when there is duplicate or similar content on two separate URLs. This creates problems for search engines as they may not be able to determine which of the two pages should be the canonical version. Also, link signals are often split between pages.

We’ve seen Shopify create duplicate content in several ways:

Duplicate product pages
Duplicate pages in the library using pagination
Duplicate product pages
Shopify creates this problem on product pages. By default, Shopify stores allow you to view their / products / pages in two different URL paths:

Canonical URL path: / products /
Non-canonical URL path: /collections/./products/ Shopify takes this into account by making sure that every page in /collections/./products/ includes a canonical tag on the associated / products / page. Note how the URL of the address differs from the “canonical” field:

The URL in the address bar is different from the canonical link
While this definitely helps Google consolidate duplicate content, a more alarming problem arises when looking at the internal link structure. By default, Shopify will link to the non-canonical version of all of your product pages.

Additionally, we’ve also seen a Shopify link to non-canonical versions of URLs when websites use internal “sample” links pointing to other color variations.

Therefore, Shopify builds your site’s entire architecture around non-canonical links by default. This creates a high priority SEO problem because the website sends mixed signals to Google:

“These are the pages we link to internally most often”
“However, the pages we link to most often aren’t the URLs we really want to rank for on Google. Index these other URLs with some internal links “
While canonical tags are generally respected, remember that Google treats them as suggestions rather than guidelines. This means that you trust Google to judge whether or not the content is duplicated every time you crawl these pages. We prefer not to leave it to chance, especially when it comes to large-scale content.

Adjustment of the internal connection structure
Fortunately, there is a relatively simple solution for this. We were able to work with our development team to fine-tune the code in the product.grid-item.liquid file. By following these instructions, your Shopify site’s collection pages point to canonical / product URLs.

Duplicate collection pages
Additionally, we’ve seen many Shopify sites create duplicate content through site pagination. Specifically, a duplicate of the first page of the collections of a given series is created. This is because once you are in a URL paginated in a string, the link to the first page will contain “? Page = 1”:

Is the first page in Shopify related to pagination? Page = 1 link
However, it will almost always be a duplicate page. A URL with “? Page = 1” will almost always have the same content as the original URL with no parameters. Again, we recommend that a developer modify the internal link structure so that the first paginated result points to the canonical page.

Product variation pages
While this is technically an extension of Shopify’s duplicate content from above, we thought this justified its own section because it’s not always necessarily an SEO issue.

It is not uncommon to see Shopify stores where multiple product URLs are created for the same product with slight variations. In this case, this can create duplicate content problems, as many times the main product is the same, but only a slight attribute changes (the color, for example). This means there may be multiple pages with duplicate / similar product images and descriptions. Here is an example of duplicate pages created from a variant: https://recordit.co/x6YRPkCDqG

If left alone, this once again creates an instance of duplicate content. However, variant URLs don’t have to be an SEO issue. In fact, some sites might take advantage of these URLs as they allow for indexable pages that could be optimized for very specific terms. Whether or not these are useful will differ on each site. Some key questions to ask are:

Do your customers make requests based on variant phrases?
Do you have the resources to create unique content for all of your product variants?
Is this content unique enough to hold up on its own?
For a more detailed guide, Jenny Halasz wrote an excellent article on how to determine the best course of action for product variations. If your Shopify store contains product variants, it’s worth determining in advance if these pages need to exist in a separate URL. If so, you should create unique content for each and optimize it for that variant’s target keywords.

Crawling and indexing
After analyzing a few Shopify stores, we found some SEO elements that are unique to Shopify when it comes to crawling and indexing. As this is very often an important component of eCommerce SEO, we thought it would be nice to share the ones that apply to Shopify.

Robots.txt file
A very important note is that in Shopify stores it is not possible to modify the robots.txt file. This is stated in its official help documentation. While you can add “noindex” to pages via theme.liquid, this isn’t that useful if you want to stop Google from crawling all of your content.

Here are some sections of the site where Shopify won’t allow tracking:

Administrative area
check
Orders
Shopping cart
Internal research
Policy page
While it’s nice that Shopify creates some predefined reject commands for you, the fact that you can’t edit the robots.txt file can be very limiting. The robots.txt file is probably the easiest way to control how Google crawls your site, as it is extremely easy to update and allows for a lot of flexibility. You may need to try other methods of regulating Google crawling, such as “nofollow” or canonical tags.

Sitemap.xml
By default, Shopify will generate a sitemap.xml index file at the URL path “domain.com/sitemap.xml”. The Shopify sitemap.xml index file will automatically create links to secondary sitemaps that contain URLs of the following page types:

Product pages (sitemap_products_1.xml)
Collection pages (sitemap_collections_1.xml)
Blog post (sitemap_blogs_1.xml)
Marketing Pages (sitemap_pages_1.xml)
This sitemap.xml file will be dynamically updated as new pages are added / removed from the site. In general, Shopify sitemap.xml is ready to use and doesn’t need to be modified.

One thing to keep in mind is that Shopify will include all published pages in the sitemap.xml file. The most common problem we see is that legacy pages published but no longer linked to the site are included in the sitemap.xml file. It is worth scanning the sitemap.xml file to find any instances of published pages that are included in the sitemap but not relevant to search engine crawling.

Add the “noindex” tag
While you can’t wrap the robots.txt file, Shopify allows you to add the “noindex” tag. You can exclude a specific page from the index by adding the following code to your theme.liquid file.

{% if model contains ‘search’%}

{% will end if%}

Also, if you want to exclude an entire model, you can use this code:

{% if the handle contains ‘page-handle-you-want-to-exclude’%}

{% will end if%}

Redirects
Shopify allows you to implement ready-to-use redirects, which is great. You can use it to consolidate old / expired pages or any other content that no longer exists. You can do this by going to:

Online shop
Navigation
URL redirects
The most important thing to note is that you will need to delete a page before you can implement a redirect in Shopify. This means that you want to be really sure you won’t use the page in the future. To make this process a little less stressful, we recommend implementing the “Rewind Backups” application.

Log files
As in the robots.txt file, it’s important to note that Shopify doesn’t provide information from the log file. This has been confirmed by Shopify support.

Structured data
Structured product data
Overall, Shopify does a good job with structured data. Many Shopify themes must contain predefined “Product” brands that provide Google with key information like name, description, price, and so on. of your product. This is probably the highest priority structured data you can have on any ecommerce site. that’s why it’s great that a lot of songs do it for you.

Shopify sites could also benefit from expanding product structured data to collection pages. This involves adding structured product data to define each individual product link on a product listing page. The Good Guys at Distilled recommend including this structured data on your category pages.

Each product on the Shopify collections page marked with structured product data
Structured item data
Also, if you use Shopify’s blog functionality, you must use structured “Article” data. This is a fantastic type of scheme that lets Google know that your blog content is more editorial in nature. Of all the informational content schemes, “Article” seems to be the one Google might prefer, as that’s the one referenced in their official documentation. However, the “BlogPosting” scheme is also another type of structured data that you can add to your Shopify blog.

Structured Data Breadcrumb List
One addition we regularly add to Shopify sites are BreadcrumbList’s internal breadcrumb links with structured data. We believe breadcrumbs are critical to any ecommerce site, as they provide users with easy-to-use internal links that indicate where they are within a website’s hierarchy. Additionally, these breadcrumbs can help Google better understand the website structure. We typically suggest adding site navigation paths to Shopify sites and marking them with the BreadcrumbList structured data to help Google better understand those internal links.

Implementing structured data in Shopify
If you want to implement structured data and have a developer on hand, it might be helpful to add the structured data types above. This ensures that these schematic elements will always be present on your site.

However, if your development resources are more limited, we have found Schema App Total Schema Markup to be an excellent choice. This will embed structured data types like the Product and BlogPosting schema into the appropriate pages of the site. In addition, you will also add the OfferCatalog scheme to mark each product within a category page. Their support is also fantastic, as their team helps you with any glitches you might encounter.

Improve the speed of the Shopify site
One of the biggest complaints we hear about Shopify is that it suffers from slower speeds. However, compared to other ecommerce platforms, we’ve found that Shopify works quite well. Out of the box, Shopify uses Fastly CDN and leverages browser caching, giving you a solid foundation for performance. In the past, we’ve compared average speed metrics for over 400 Shopify sites. Below are the average performance metrics for Shopify sites we tested on our dataset.

First painting with content: 3.8 seconds
Interaction time: 22.1 seconds
Total page size: 4.41 MB
Total image assets: 2.1 MB
Query: 171
In terms of performance improvement, here are the things we generally recommend our customers do:

Lazy loading of images with the lazysizes library
Compress images automatically using Crush.pics
Eliminate low-usage Shopify apps
Manually resize and compress large images on high priority pages
Migration of tracking codes to Google Tag Manager

Search by keywords
Searching for keywords for Shopify stores will be very similar to searching for other ecommerce stores.

Some general ways to generate keywords are:

Export your keyword data from Google AdWords. Track and optimize the ones that generate the most revenue for the site.
Research your AdWords keywords that have high conversion rates. Even if the volume is lower, a high conversion rate indicates that this keyword is more transactional.
Review the keywords the site is currently receiving clicks / impressions for in Google Search Console.
Research your high priority keywords and generate new ideas using Moz’s Keyword Explorer.
Manage your competitors through tools like Ahrefs. With the “Content Gap” report, you can find keyword opportunities where competing sites rank but yours doesn’t.
If you have keywords that use similar modifiers, you can use MergeWords to automatically generate a wide variety of keyword variations.
Keyword Optimization
Similar to Yoast SEO, Shopify allows you to optimize key elements like title tags, meta descriptions, and URLs. Whenever possible, you should use your target keywords in these elements.

To adjust these items, simply go to the page you want to adjust and scroll down to “Search Engine List Preview”:

Metadata optimization options in Shopify
Add content to product pages
If you decide that every single product should be indexed, ideally you should add unique content to each page. Initially, your Shopify products may not have unique content on the associated page. This is a common problem for Shopify stores, as the same descriptions are often used across multiple products or there are no descriptions. Adding product descriptions of best practices to the page will give your products the best chance of ranking in the SERPs.

However, we understand that creating unique content for each product you offer takes time. With customers in the past, we have taken a specific approach on which products to optimize first. We like to use the “Sales by Product” report which can help you prioritize the most important products to start adding content. You can find this report in Analytics> Dashboard> Top Products by Units Sold.

Shopify revenue report by product
By taking this approach, we can quickly identify some of the highest priority pages in the store to optimize for. Then we can work with a copywriter to start creating content for each individual product. Also, keep in mind that your product descriptions should always be written from a user-centered view. Writing about the product features that matter most to them will give your site the best chance of improving both conversions and SEO.

Shopify blog
Shopify includes the ability to blog, but we often see it missing in a large number of Shopify stores. It makes sense, as revenue is the main focus of an ecommerce site, so the initial site building is focused on the product.

However, we live in an age where it is becoming increasingly difficult to rank product pages on Google. For example, the following screenshot illustrates the top 3 organic results for the term “washable nappies”:

SERP for the keyword “cloth diaper”.
While many assume that this is primarily a transactional query, we see that Google ranks two articles and a single product listing page in the top three results. This is just one example of a major trend we’ve seen where Google is starting to prefer positioning for more informative content over transactional content.

By excluding a blog from a Shopify store, we believe this translates into a huge missed opportunity for many businesses. Including a blog allows you to have a natural place to create this informative content. If you see that Google ranks multiple types of blog / article content for the keywords assigned to your Shopify store, your best bet is to go out there and create that content yourself.

If you have a Shopify store (or any ecommerce site), we recommend that you do the following:

Identify your keywords with the highest priority
Manually run a Google query for each
Take note of the types of content that Google ranks on the first page. Is it primarily informational, transactional, or a combination of both?
If you see mostly mixed or informative content, evaluate your content to see if they have any that match the user’s intent. If so, improve the quality and optimize.
If you don’t have this content, consider creating new blog content on informative topics that appear to satisfy user intent.
For example, we have a customer who is interested in classifying the term “CRM software”, an extremely competitive keyword. Looking at the SERPs, we found that Google primarily ranked information pages on “What is CRM software?” Since they only had one product page highlighting their specific CRM, we suggested that the client create a more informative page that generally talked about what CRM software is and the benefits it offers. After building and optimizing the page, we immediately saw a significant increase in organic traffic (credit to Ally Mickler):

The problem we see with many Shopify sites is that there is little attention to information pages even though they work well in search engines. Most Shopify sites should use the blogging platform, as this will provide an avenue to create informative content that will translate into organic traffic and revenue.

Applications
Similar to WordPress plugins, Shopify offers “Applications” that allow you to add advanced features to your site without having to manually edit the code. However, unlike WordPress, most of the Shopify apps you’ll find are paid. This will require a one-time or monthly fee.

Shopify SEO app
While your best bet is likely to be partnering with a developer who is comfortable with Shopify, here are some Shopify apps that can help improve your site’s SEO.

Crush.pics – A great automated way to compress large image files. This is crucial for most Shopify sites, as many of these sites are heavily image-based.
Schema App Total Schema Markup: This app can be used if you don’t have a Shopify developer who can add custom structured data to your site.
Smart SEO: An app that can add meta tags, alt tags and JSON-LD
Yotpo Reviews: This app can help you add product reviews to your site, making your content eligible for enriched review stars on SERPs.
Rewind Backups – Create backups of your site. Great to implement before making development changes or adding redirects.
Is Yoast SEO available for Shopify?
Yoast SEO is exclusively a WordPress plugin. There is currently no Yoast SEO Shopify app.

Restrict your Shopify apps
Like WordPress plugins, Shopify apps will inject additional code into your site. This means that adding a large number of applications can slow down the site. Shopify sites are particularly susceptible to bloat, as many apps focus on improving conversions. Often these applications add multiple JavaScript and CSS files which can affect page load times. You should make sure that you regularly check the applications you are using and remove any that do not add value or are not used by the site.

Customer results
We have seen some success from our customers using Shopify stores. Below you can find some of the results we have been able to achieve with them. However, keep in mind that these case studies don’t just include the recommendations above. For these clients, we have used a combination of some of the recommendations described above, as well as other SEO initiatives.

In one example, we worked with a Shopify store that was interested in positioning themselves very competitively around the core product their store was focused on. We rate your best performing products in the “Sales by Product” report. This involved a lot of effort to work with the customer to add new content to the product pages, as they were not initially optimized. This, combined with other initiatives, helped improve front page rankings across 113 keywords (credit to Jennifer Wright and LaRhonda Sparrow).

First page keyword ranking chart over time
In another case, a customer contacted us with the problem that they weren’t ranking their brand keywords. Instead, third-party retailers who also sold their products often outnumbered them. We work with them to adapt their internal link structure to point to canonical pages rather than duplicate pages created by Shopify. We also optimize your content to better use brand terminology on relevant pages. As a result, they’ve seen a nice rise in the overall standings in just a few months.

Graph of total ranking improvements over time.
Going forward
As the use of Shopify continues to grow, it will become increasingly important to understand the SEO implications that come with the platform. Hopefully, this guide has provided you with additional insights that will help boost your Shopify store in search engines. If you are interested in learning more about Shopify, you can also check out our Shopify SEO Learning Center.

One trend we’ve noticed at Go Fish Digital is that more and more customers are using the Shopify platform. While we initially thought it was just a coincidence, we can see that the data tells a different story:

Shopify usage statistics chart
The Shopify platform is now more popular than ever. Looking at the BuiltWith usage statistics, we can see that CMS usage has more than doubled since July 2017. Currently, 4.47% of the top 10,000 sites use Shopify.

Since we’ve worked with quite a number of Shopify stores, we wanted to share our process for common SEO improvements we help our customers with. The guide below should describe some common settings we make in Shopify stores.

What is Shopify SEO Services ?


Shopify SEO simply means SEO improvements that are more unique to Shopify than other sites. While Shopify stores come with some SEO-friendly stuff, like a blog and the ability to redirect, they can also create SEO problems, like duplicate content. Some of the most common Shopify SEO tips are:

Remove duplicate URLs from internal linking architecture
Remove duplicate paginated URLs
Create keyword blog content with informational intent
Add the structured data “Product”, “Item” and “BreadcrumbList”
Determine how to manage product variation pages.
Compress images using crush.pics
Remove unnecessary Shopify apps
We will discuss how we handle each of these recommendations below:

Duplicate content
In terms of SEO, duplicate content is the top priority issue we’ve seen Shopify create. Duplicate content occurs when there is duplicate or similar content on two separate URLs. This creates problems for search engines as they may not be able to determine which of the two pages should be the canonical version. Also, link signals are often split between pages.

We’ve seen Shopify create duplicate content in several ways:

Duplicate product pages
Duplicate pages in the library using pagination
Duplicate product pages
Shopify creates this problem on product pages. By default, Shopify stores allow you to view their / products / pages in two different URL paths:

Canonical URL path: / products /
Non-canonical URL path: /collections/./products/ Shopify takes this into account by making sure that all pages in /collections/./products/ include a canonical tag on the associated / products / page. Note how the URL of the address differs from the “canonical” field:

The URL in the address bar is different from the canonical link
While this certainly helps Google consolidate duplicate content, a more alarming problem arises when looking at the internal link structure. By default, Shopify will link to the non-canonical version of all of your product pages.

Shopify’s collection page links to non-canonical URLs

Additionally, we’ve also seen a Shopify link to non-canonical versions of URLs when websites use internal “sample” links pointing to other color variations.

Therefore, Shopify builds your site’s entire architecture around non-canonical links by default. This creates a high priority SEO problem because the website sends mixed signals to Google:

“These are the pages we link to internally most often”
“However, the pages we link to most often aren’t the URLs we really want to rank for on Google. Index these other URLs with some internal links “
While canonical tags are generally respected, remember that Google treats them as suggestions rather than guidelines. This means that you trust Google to judge whether or not the content is duplicated every time you crawl these pages. We prefer not to leave it to chance, especially when it comes to large-scale content.

Adjustment of the internal connection structure
Fortunately, there is a relatively simple solution for this. We were able to work with our development team to fine-tune the code in the product.grid-item.liquid file. By following these instructions, your Shopify site’s collection pages point to canonical / product URLs.

Duplicate collection pages
Additionally, we’ve seen many Shopify sites create duplicate content through site pagination. Specifically, a duplicate of the first page of the collections of a given series is created. This is because once you are in a URL paginated in a string, the link to the first page will contain “? Page = 1”:

Is the first page in Shopify related to pagination? Page = 1 link
However, it will almost always be a duplicate page. A URL with “? Page = 1” will almost always have the same content as the original URL with no parameters. Again, we recommend that a developer modify the internal link structure so that the first paginated result points to the canonical page.

Product variation pages
While this is technically an extension of Shopify’s duplicate content from above, we thought this justified its own section because it’s not always necessarily an SEO issue.

It is not uncommon to see Shopify stores where multiple product URLs are created for the same product with slight variations. In this case, this can create duplicate content problems, as many times the main product is the same, but only a slight attribute changes (the color, for example). This means there may be multiple pages with duplicate / similar product images and descriptions. Here is an example of duplicate pages created from a variant: https://recordit.co/x6YRPkCDqG

If left alone, this once again creates an instance of duplicate content. However, variant URLs don’t have to be an SEO issue. In fact, some sites might take advantage of these URLs as they allow you to have indexable pages that could be optimized for very specific terms. Whether or not these are useful will differ on each site. Some key questions to ask are:

Do your customers make requests based on variant phrases?
Do you have the resources to create unique content for all of your product variants?
Is this content unique enough to hold up on its own?
For a more detailed guide, Jenny Halasz wrote an excellent article on how to determine the best course of action for product variations. If your Shopify store contains product variants, it’s worth determining in advance if these pages need to exist in a separate URL. If so, you should create unique content for each and optimize it for that variant’s target keywords.

Crawling and indexing
After analyzing a few Shopify stores, we found some SEO elements that are unique to Shopify when it comes to crawling and indexing. As this is very often an important component of eCommerce SEO, we thought it would be nice to share the ones that apply to Shopify.

Robots.txt file
A very important note is that in Shopify stores it is not possible to modify the robots.txt file. This is stated in its official help documentation. While you can add “noindex” to pages via theme.liquid, this isn’t that useful if you want to stop Google from crawling all of your content.

An example of a robots.txt file in Shopify
Here are some sections of the site where Shopify won’t allow tracking:

Administrative area
check
Orders
Shopping cart
Internal research
Policy page
While it’s nice that Shopify creates some predefined reject commands for you, the fact that you can’t edit the robots.txt file can be very limiting. The robots.txt file is probably the easiest way to control how Google crawls your site, as it is extremely easy to update and allows for a lot of flexibility. You may need to try other methods of regulating Google crawling, such as “nofollow” or canonical tags.

Add the “noindex” tag
While you can’t wrap the robots.txt file, Shopify allows you to add the “noindex” tag. You can exclude a specific page from the index by adding the following code to your theme.liquid file.

{% if model contains ‘search’%}

{% will end if%}
Also, if you want to exclude an entire model, you can use this code:

{% if the handle contains ‘page-handle-you-want-to-exclude’%}

{% will end if%}
Redirects
Shopify allows you to implement ready-to-use redirects, which is great. You can use it to consolidate old / expired pages or any other content that no longer exists. You can do this by going to Online Store> Navigation> URL Redirection.

So far, we haven’t found a way to implement global redirects via Shopify. This means your redirects will likely need to be 1: 1.

Log files
As in the robots.txt file, it’s important to note that Shopify doesn’t provide information from the log file. This has been confirmed by Shopify support.

Structured data
Structured product data
Overall, Shopify does a good job with structured data. Many Shopify themes must contain the ready-to-use “Product” branding which provides Google with key information such as name, description, price, and so on. of your product. Probably this higher priority structured data should have on any ecommerce site. that’s why it’s great that a lot of songs do it for you.

Shopify sites could also benefit from expanding product structured data to collection pages. This involves adding structured product data to define each individual product link on a product listing page. The Good Guys at Distilled recommend including this structured data on your category pages.

Structured item data
Also, if you use Shopify’s blog functionality, you must use structured “Article” data. This is a fantastic type of scheme that lets Google know that your blog content is more editorial in nature. We’ve seen that Google appears to be pulling “Articles” structured data content on platforms like Google Discover and “Interesting Finds” sections on SERPs. Ensuring that your content contains this structured data can increase the chances of your site’s content being included in these sections.

Structured data from the breadcrumb List
Finally, one addition we regularly add to Shopify sites is BreadcrumbList’s internal breadcrumb links with structured data. We believe breadcrumbs are critical to any ecommerce site, as they provide users with easy-to-use internal links that indicate where they are within a website’s hierarchy. Additionally, these breadcrumbs can help Google better understand the website structure. Typically, we suggest adding site navigation paths to Shopify sites and marking them with the BreadcrumbList structured data to help Google better understand those internal links.

Search by keywords
Searching for keywords for Shopify stores will be very similar to searching for other ecommerce stores.

Some general ways to generate keywords are:

Export your keyword data from Google AdWords. Monitor and optimize for those who generate the most revenue for the site.
Research your AdWords keywords that have high conversion rates. Even if the volume is lower, a high conversion rate indicates that this keyword is more transactional.
Review the keywords the site is currently receiving clicks / impressions for in Google Search Console.
Research your high priority keywords and generate new ideas using Moz’s Keyword Explorer.
Manage your competitors through tools like Ahrefs. With the “Content Gap” report, you can find keyword opportunities where competing sites rank but yours doesn’t.
If you have keywords that use similar modifiers, you can use MergeWords to automatically generate a wide variety of keyword variations.
Keyword Optimization
Similar to Yoast SEO, Shopify allows you to optimize key elements like title tags, meta descriptions, and URLs. Whenever possible, you should use your target keywords in these elements.

To adjust these items, simply go to the page you want to adjust and scroll down to “Search Engine List Preview”:

Metadata optimization options in Shopify
Add content to product pages
If you decide that every single product should be indexed, ideally you should add unique content to each page. Initially, your Shopify products may not have unique content on the associated page. This is a common problem for Shopify stores, as the same descriptions are often used across multiple products or there are no descriptions. Adding product descriptions of best practices to the page will give your products the best chance of ranking in the SERPs.

However, we understand that creating unique content for each product you offer takes time. With customers in the past, we have taken a specific approach on which products to optimize first. We like to use the “Sales by Product” report which can help you prioritize the most important products to start adding content. You can find this report in Analytics> Dashboard> Top Products by Units Sold.

Shopify revenue report by product

By taking this approach, we can quickly identify some of the highest priority pages in the store to optimize for. Then we can work with a copywriter to start creating content for each individual product. Also, keep in mind that your product descriptions should always be written from a user-centered view. Writing about the product features that matter most to them will give your site the best chance of improving both conversions and SEO.

Shopify blog
Shopify includes the ability to blog, but we often see it missing in a large number of Shopify stores. It makes sense, as revenue is the main focus of an ecommerce site, so initial site construction is focused on the product.

However, we live in an age where it is becoming increasingly difficult to rank product pages on Google. For example, the following screenshot illustrates the top 3 organic results for the term “washable nappies”:

SERP for the keyword “cloth diaper”.
While many assume that this is primarily a transactional query, we see that Google ranks two articles and a single product listing page in the top three results. This is just one example of a major trend we’ve seen where Google is starting to prefer positioning for more informative content over transactional content.

By excluding a blog from a Shopify store, we believe this translates into a huge missed opportunity for many businesses. Including a blog allows you to have a natural place to create this informative content. If you see that Google ranks multiple types of blog / article content for the keywords assigned to your Shopify store, your best bet is to go out there and create that content yourself.

If you have a Shopify store (or any ecommerce site), we recommend that you do the following:

Identify your keywords with the highest priority
Manually run a Google query for each
Take note of the types of content that Google ranks on the first page. Is it primarily informational, transactional, or a combination of both?
If you see mostly mixed or informative content, evaluate your content to see if they have any that match the user’s intent. If so, improve the quality and optimize.
If you don’t have this content, consider creating new blog content on informative topics that appear to satisfy user intent.
For example, we have a customer who is interested in classifying the term “CRM software”, an extremely competitive keyword. Looking at the SERPs, we found that Google primarily ranked information pages on “What is CRM software?” Since they only had one product page highlighting their specific CRM, we suggested that the client create a more informative page that generally talked about what CRM software is and the benefits it offers. After building and optimizing the page, we immediately saw a significant increase in organic traffic (credit to Ally Mickler):

The problem we see with many Shopify sites is that there is little attention paid to information pages despite the fact that they perform well in search engines. Most Shopify sites should use the blogging platform, as this will provide an avenue to create informative content that will translate into organic traffic and revenue.

Applications
Similar to WordPress plugins, Shopify offers “Applications” that allow you to add advanced features to your site without having to manually edit the code. However, unlike WordPress, most of the Shopify apps you’ll find are paid. This will require a one-time or monthly fee.

Shopify SEO app
While your best bet is likely to be partnering with a developer who is comfortable with Shopify, here are some Shopify apps that can help improve your site’s SEO.

Crush.pics – A great automated way to compress large image files. This is crucial for most Shopify sites, as many of these sites are heavily image-based.
JSON-LD for SEO: This app can be used if you don’t have a Shopify developer who can add custom structured data to your site.
Smart SEO: An app that can add meta tags, alt tags, and JSON-LD
Yotpo Reviews: This app can help you add product reviews to your site, making your content eligible for enriched review stars on SERPs.
Is Yoast SEO available for Shopify?
Yoast SEO is exclusively a WordPress plugin. There is currently no Yoast SEO Shopify app.

Restrict your Shopify apps
Like WordPress plugins, Shopify apps will inject additional code into your site. This means that adding a large number of applications can slow down the site. Shopify sites are particularly susceptible to bloat, as many apps focus on improving conversions. Often these applications add multiple JavaScript and CSS files which can affect page load times. You will need to make sure that you regularly check the applications you are using and remove any that do not add value or are not used by the site.

Customer results
We have seen some success from our customers using Shopify stores. Below you can find some of the results we have been able to achieve with them. However, keep in mind that these case studies don’t just include the recommendations above. For these clients, we have used a combination of some of the recommendations described above, as well as other SEO initiatives.

In one example, we worked with a Shopify store that was interested in positioning themselves very competitively around the core product their store was focused on. We rate your best performing products in the “Sales by Product” report. This involved a lot of effort to work with the customer to add new content to the product pages, as they were not initially optimized. This, combined with other initiatives, helped improve front page rankings across 113 keywords (credit to Jennifer Wright and LaRhonda Sparrow).

First page keyword ranking chart over time
In another case, a customer contacted us with the problem that they weren’t ranking their brand keywords. Instead, third-party retailers who also sold their products often outnumbered them. We work with them to adapt their internal link structure to point to canonical pages rather than duplicate pages created by Shopify. We also optimize your content to better use brand terminology on relevant pages. As a result, they’ve seen a nice rise in the overall standings in just a few months.

Graph of total ranking improvements over time.
Going forward
As the use of Shopify continues to grow, it will become increasingly important to understand the SEO implications that come with the platform. Hopefully, this guide has provided you with additional insights that will help boost your Shopify store in search engines.

contact us for Shopify SEO Services with our Shopify SEO Expert Delhi, India mail@seofreelancer.org

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