Oberlo predicts the global e-commerce sales for 2021 to be in the neighborhood of $5 trillion. It’s time for you to carve out a tiny slice of this pie.
Shopify, with a whopping 23% market share, is an excellent way to get going in your endeavor. It is a scalable platform with hundreds of features and excellent plugins.
For your new Shopify site, it is crucial to rank at the top of the search engine page. Otherwise, how are customers going to locate you?
At the start of your e-commerce venture, you perhaps would resort to paid search results. Initial publicity for a brand new site is important and SEM is an ideal way to obtain it.
In the long term, SEM might become unaffordable for most businesses.
The only way you can get to being numero uno on Google search (after all, the giant hogs almost 92% of the search market) is through good old search engine optimization.
In this article, we shall explain all that you need to know to promote your Shopify website to the top.
Best SEO Tips for Shopify Site in 2021
The structure of your site has to be tailored, keeping the customer in mind.
The best structure is Home Page → Categories Page → Product Page/Catalog.
Let’s say you have an apparel store and a customer is searching for men’s sweaters.
The best navigation sequence would be Home Page → Categories (e.g., Men, Women, Kids, Beauty, Furnishing, and other miscellaneous categories) → Men’s Sweaters.
To make it simpler, you could have the Men, Women, Kids (second-row navigation) as tabs on the Home Page. That makes it barely two-level navigation to get to any product list.
Once the customer gets to the third row (sweaters), the filters for cost, color, discount, brands should be easy to locate.
This makes it effortless for search engines to figure out the site architecture and index your site.
A good UX that exhibits proper use of hierarchy would mean a lower bounce rate. Customers would have no trouble understanding how to buy a towel after they added the sweater to the shopping cart.
These are critical factors for a search engine to rank your site. If most users hit the back button after a minute, Google will assume after a few weeks that your site is not good enough.
2. URL Optimization
The page URLs have to be short and precise.
Keeping to the same example, the ideal URL will be mybestclothingstore.com /mens-sweaters followed by a short product description /bonobos-red-solid-men’s-pullover/ (the taxonomy includes the brand name, product, color).
This not only is a smart way to include more keywords without getting accused of keyword stuffing but allows a more precise search.
It’s not a good idea to include product codes such as mybestclothingstore.com /mens-sweaters/132310/ as many site owners tend to do. The numbers (usually product ID) do not help SEO efforts at all.
To further optimize the site, use a properly composed meta-description that would show up below the search result. It informs the visitor and the search engine at the same time.
3. Use Schema
Adding structured data or schema is another way to tell a search engine all the details about a page.
You have to realize that the search engine – essentially a complex algorithm running on a computer – does not understand the difference between a dog food recipe and a men’s cardigan.
The more you describe the page contents, the better. Schema is an excellent way of doing that with minimum fuss.
Google calls this type of information “explicit help” to allow them to understand your site and has published extensive guidelines on how to use it correctly.
Moreover, with a little bit of tweaking, structured data can create Rich Snippets – results that are highlighted on a search page and produce a higher CTR.
4. Eliminate Duplicate Content
When writing product pages, most Shopify site owners take a shortcut and publish the description given by manufacturers.
This has two problems:
- Generic and thus uninteresting to read
- Verbatim use by another retailer for a duplicate page
The second is a problem when it comes to SEO. If a dozen websites carry the same exact product description, which is Google supposed to recommend?
Very often, the description is copy-pasted from the manufacturer’s website.
Of course, the specifications of the product cannot be tampered with. What helps is a short hundred-word content highlighting why the product deserves to be purchased.
The extra effort would give you a leg up in getting to the top of the search ranking.
Effort = Results when it comes to SEO.
5. Site Speed
Site speed ranks high when it comes to criteria that push a site up in rankings. Customers hastily exit sites that take a while to load. 40% of customers are willing to wait for no more than three seconds.
The key to quick loading is to select a lightweight Shopify theme. Try to keep the size of the Home Page under four megabytes for optimal results.
Shopify Content Delivery Network provides quick download under any network conditions.
However, it is best that you provide the lazy loading feature. It is a programming technique that allows critical elements to load first and defers others. All you have to do is add a few lines of code to the top of each page.
An additional feature of lazy loading is that more of the page loads as the user scrolls down instead of doing it all at once. This saves data (at both ends) and computing resources. After all, if a customer finds his favorite cardigan in the top ten results of the catalog, why load all 100 images?
Use the WebP format for images since they are far smaller and load faster.
6. Broken Links and Permanent Redirects
A product is not going to be available forever. It might last for a few months and then be withdrawn.
However, the search result will still show up in Google search, and the customer would land up to find it is unavailable. You should avoid providing customers with a dead end.
It is best to replace these links with a 301 permanent redirect that takes the customer to the closest possible product (based on keywords).
Shopify has made it easy to handle this task. You can access URL Redirects from the admin dashboard and quickly replace links.
Doing so frequently and pointing the customer to a new page that closely resembles the old would allow you to maintain the page ranking.
How to Make It All Happen?
It’s necessary to remember that SEO does not happen in a day. Or, for that matter, even a week.
It would take 2-3 months before you make it to the first page and another quarter before you find a place in the top five ranking.
This blistering pace is possible if you continually employ best practices for optimizing your Shopify site. On an ad hoc basis, it may take a few years.
As an entrepreneur, it is highly unlikely that you would have the time for SEO responsibilities.
Do you really want to spend hours on Github and Stack Overflow trying to understand the difference between asynchronous loading – native vs. progressive vs. on-demand?
That is why it is best if you hand it over to experts. Simply put, it’s time to hire a Shopify expert and let them work their magic.
Uplers offers the best Shopify specialists who would provide highly targeted traffic to your e-commerce store.