Optimising Your Shopify Store
Guest post by Jack Rubinstein:
Shopify is a popular platform for ecommerce businesses. Shopify has more than one million active users and over $46 billion worth of products sold to-date, it is a ready-made site for entrepreneurs and small business owners who want to sell their goods to customers who are already there and looking to buy.
However, as with any ecommerce site, there’s a right way and a wrong way to set up your Shopify online store in a way so as to draw in more customers. One of the right ways is to use search engine optimization (SEO) to your advantage as often as you possibly can. Here are some ways to do just that.
Validate your HTML
The World Wide Web Consortium, referred to simply as the W3 Consortium, sets HTML standards. You should ensure your HTML codes comply with those standards so the page is validated as error-free. This means checking for any HTML errors you may be able to find, as well as looking at the codes to also sure that they will provide your desired results.
The W3 Consortium does provide a free online validator you can use to accomplish this task if you want software that takes care of this for you. This particular validator enables you to search by URI, file upload, or direct input—so you can choose the one that works best for you.
Write effective title tags
If you want to increase your rank in your consumers’ search results, one super effective way to achieve this goal is to write effective title tags for your Shopify store. Title tags are the tags that show up in the top tab of their web browser, and search engines use them to help people who are looking for a specific item.
Because title tags are so important, you benefit from taking the time to create the best ones. That being said, tags that can improve your Shopify SEO are 50 to 70 characters in length, have keywords toward the beginning, and your store’s name at the end. Do this for every product or page and you’ll show up higher in the search results.
Create detailed product descriptions
When you use good descriptors with your images on Shopify, it not only makes them easier for search engines to find, but easier for your customers to find as well. For instance, instead of labeling a necklace as just a “gold necklace,” you’d want to label it with more detail, such as “18 inch 14k gold flat mariner chain with lobster clasp.” This way, you can easily lead buyers looking for this exact product directly to it.
The key to making this suggestion work is to think in terms of keywords your customers are likely to use to search for the items you sell. The more of these you can use in your product descriptions, the better, for both you and them.
Optimize your images
Another easy way to improve your Shopify site’s SEO is to optimize your images. This involves compressing their size so they download faster, improving your rank because this is one factor Google looks at when determining where your page or product should fall within a person’s search results.
There are a few free online image optimizers that can help you with this, like Image Optimizer or Kraken.io. Many others exist and fourteen image optimization solutions are summarised here in this blog post on Conversion Uplift. As well as some paid versions or companies who will take care of this for you, so it’s just a matter of choosing the one that you feel most comfortable with.
You can also better optimize your images by using alt tags to describe the contents of the picture. This increases the likelihood that they’ll show up in searches conducted using Google Image. It’s easy too. Just click on the “ALT” link below your product image and enter the text there.
If you want your target market to find you easily, you need to use the same keywords on your Shopify website that they’d use when searching for your business or product line. Put these words and phrases in informational headers and use them naturally in your articles and blogs. Search engines will pick up on them and make it easier to connect you with your ideal customer base.
Where a lot of business owners stumble in this regard is by trying to use them too much (called “keyword stuffing”) or using them in a way that is unnatural. The search engines are smart enough to pick up on this though and can actually penalize you for this type of behavior. So, use them often enough to be relevant, but not so much that someone feels like they’re just reading a bunch of keywords strung together as opposed to stellar product descriptions or interesting, yet informational blog posts.
For more information on how to do keyword research check out this post on Conversion Uplift.
Create a sitemap
A sitemap is basically a search engine’s navigational map for your Shopify website. It tells it what pages are on your site so it can rank them more accurately, increasing the likelihood that you’ll show up in your consumer’s search results.
If you know how to code or are willing to learn via an online tutorial, you can create a sitemap for your own website. There are also various online sitemap generators that can assist you with this task. Alternatively, you could also hire this service out if you want someone else to do this for you.
Improve your SEO on Shopify and it’s like creating a road map that leads your ideal client directly to your door. They’re looking for you anyway. You might as well help them find you.
To ensure your Shopfiy site and merchandise ranks as high as possible in search engines it is wise to follow the above advice. Validating your HTML will confirm if your code complies with W3 standards. Setting appropriate title tags will assist search engines to find specific merchandise on your site. You will further help yourself and your customers by providing detailed and unique product descriptions. If you only use manufacturers product descriptions the danger is that search engines won’t be able to differentiate between your site and your many competitors.
Many sites forget to optimize images by compressing files, but this can again help your ranking in search engines as they often penalize sites that are slow to load. It is also important to consider what terms or phrases customers use to search for your site or the merchandise you sell. By identifying relevant keywords you can ensure you use them naturally in your content and this will again help your search engine ranking. Finally, make sure you create and submit your Shopify sitemap to each major search engine as this helps them understand how to navigate your site.
About the author: Jack Rubinstein is a happy father and Entrepreneur. Jack has been at the forefront of the revolutionary eCommerce industry. Working mainly through Amazon, Jack has successfully founded an online eCom company which was acquired in 2013 for well over 14 million dollars. Jack is now a part time eCommerce Consultant and a full time father. He eats and sleeps eCommerce and likes to discuss his kids with anyone and everyone.