How to Optimize Your Shopify Store
Search engines, SEO, and ecommerce website optimization. How sellers can optimize their Shopify stores. Keywords, store structure, product tags, user experience, and customized web page. Optimization hacks for store owners
If you’re stuck not getting sales on Shopify, it’s time to learn how to bring customers to your online store. This article explains how search engines affect traffic and what SEO tools will help with your small business’s growth.
Search engines display many websites in response to one query. It means that users choose between multiple pages, and their attention might be hijacked by your competitors instead of your own Shopify store. To get the top position in search rankings and get more visitors, your ecommerce website must be optimized.
So keep reading if you want to figure out how to boost your Shopify store using SEO tools. But first, let’s answer one fairly common question:
How do search engines work?
Search engines (Google, Yahoo, Rambler, etc.) are special software programs designed to find information on the Internet. Since there are many pages on the web, search engines assign certain sites a position in the results, essentially ranking them from most relevant to least. The higher a website’s position, the more likely users will click it.
This ranking is based on search engine algorithms. They determine how useful a website is in relation to a particular search query and, consequently, which position it should take in search results. Key factors are website safety, its content quality, popularity among other visitors, and so on.
To improve a website’s position in search engine rankings, webmasters use SEO. Search Engine Optimization is a set of measures intended to move a website up in search results. By utilizing SEO, sites can increase the number of clicks and attract more traffic incoming from search engines.
What is SEO for Shopify?
Search engine optimization can be used for Shopify store promotion in order to improve their rankings. Apart from traditional SEO tools, Shopify-centered optimization takes into account unique and special features of the Shopify platform. For example, the search engine optimization of a Shopify store would put lots of emphasis on removing non-original content, image duplicates, and plagiarism.
Q. What factors are important for Shopify store ranking is SERPs?
A. Here are the key factors that go into assessing the relevance of a particular Shopify page:
- Number of backlinks leading to it
- The website’s authority
- Store structure
- Domain age
If your Shopify store is not optimized for search engines, it will not be shown in the results, making you lose potential sales. It’s especially important to make sure that your Shopify store is off to a good start with Google. Almost a half of shoppers use it to look for products they want.
In a sense, SEO is any store owner’s long-term investment. At first, it will take some time and effort to fully optimize your Shopify site for the requirements of search engines. But as soon as your store ranks in SERPs, you will start receiving free traffic — a stable influx of new customers that bring you more money.
Can I optimize my Shopify store alone?
If you do not have enough financial resources to hire SEO specialists, you can optimize it yourself. Although it takes time and certain skills to enhance your store’s position on your own, there are lots of helpful articles and videos on the Internet that you can research.
Before you fully delve into SEO, learn the basic terms in order to absorb the material faster. Try to understand what benefits you will get after you optimize your store — it will boost your motivation to work on your own.
However, it is worth noting that there are many SEO options that are difficult to figure out alone since they require special skills and knowledge. If you have a more advanced business and it makes sense to start using some more refined tools, it’s better to turn to professionals for their expertise.
Now, let’s get deeper into website optimization. To grow your Shopify traffic, you need to complete these 5 steps.
Step 1. Add keywords to grow your Shopify store
Keywords are a set of words that users use to search for the necessary information on the Internet. For example, if a Finnish person wants to know the price of electric cars, they will write a query, “buy electric car in Finland.” Based on this key phrase, search engines crawl websites looking for matching words. The more synonymous phrases appear on a page, the higher the relevance of this website.
In other words, keywords that appear in the content of your Shopify store help search engines determine which queries your website might be relevant for. If you intend to increase the position of your Shopify store in the SERPs, your task is to optimize the content by adding keywords.
How to find keywords relevant to your business
You need to start by researching the theme of your website that correlates with user search queries.
Q. What is the website’s theme?
A. For example, if you sell tobacco products, then your store theme is limited to only that. But if you deal in nicotine patches and electronic cigarettes, then your theme will expand — and the number of keywords along with it.
Once you have determined the theme of your store, you can move on to the initial keyword research. You can do this using the following tools (all of them are free, but you can also consider paid solutions).
- Keyword Surfer
- The Google Keyword Planner
Using these tools, you can check certain keywords to assess user demand and potential competitors. After that, start collecting a list of keywords and phrases that might bring potential customers to your store.
Ideal keyword length
SEO experts recommend using key phrases that consist of three or more words. For example, ‘buy hypoallergenic dog food.’ The point is that generalized keyword phrases like ‘buy dog food’ are less likely to get your Shopify store listed in the SERPs.
Q. Why are generalized phrases not as effective?
A. These generalized phrases appear on thousands of other web pages, and they all will be listed in search results. It means that instead of narrowing down your competition, you end up expanding it.
Also, long keyword phrases are better suited for ecommerce stores because consumers are often interested in specific features and functions of products. For example, those who want to be environmentally responsible type in something like, ‘buy eco-friendly facial products.’ This distinction matters to them. If you happen to sell lots of ‘green’ skin care, you can get into the search results of your target audience by specifying your store’s keywords.
Using keywords in your content
Relevant keywords should be included not only in page content but also in meta descriptions, titles, and tags. This helps search engines determine what content is on that page and whether it matches the user’s search query.
Be sure to use keywords in the same way as they would be used in natural speech. Don’t try to insert them into the text randomly. Noticing that the text on your page does not make sense, search engines will ignore you. Also, your potential buyers might consider it unprofessional and leave.
Step 2. Optimize your Shopify site structure
The structure of any ecommerce website typically includes category and product pages. This creates a multi-level structure where users need to make several clicks between pages in order to get to a product they desire. However, online shoppers want to find products quickly. The best way to make their experience as easy as possible is to make sure that the structure of the online store is streamlined and logical.
How you organize the content of your Shopify store is important not only for users’ comfort but also for your rankings in search engines. Good UX directly affects the SEO of each page. To create a positive user experience, it is recommended that your website structure only has a few simplified categories. There’s no need to take customers too far from the main page — each product should be no more than three clicks away.
The ideal option would be this one:
Main > Category > Product
This store architecture not only simplifies navigation, helping users find the pages they need, but also directly affects buyers’ conversions and duration of visit sessions. It also can grow your Shopify traffic and increase the ranking of your store in search results.
Step 3. Start using product tags on Shopify
Shopify product tags are used to search and filter store’s selection. You can add more than 200 tags to a single product. Tags are also used in keywords, titles, meta descriptions, and URLs.
Store visitors use tags to filter and find products in the store. Shopify merchants can also tag customers, orders, and blog posts, as well as facilitate product tags to create collections.
You can use tags in product descriptions, page content, meta descriptions, and URLs.
- Tags listed in your product descriptions are a part of this page’s content. It means they can affect your store’s ranking in the SERP. By the way, you can make these tags clickable so that users can sort the selection based on the parameters they are interested in.
- Tags in page content unrelated to product descriptions are also good for SEO, as long as you don’t spam them — else it might harm your success with search engines.
- Product tags can also be added to Shopify** meta descriptions**. A meta description is a short note that appears under your website’s name in search results.
- Each new tag gets its own URL. When creating collections, it is important to make sure that your tags do not repeat. Otherwise, the content that you wanted to be displayed separately will be shown under the same tag.
Step 4. Improve user experience of your ecommerce store
People pay not only for the products you offer but also for their interaction with your brand. In other words, what you sell is user experience (UX). Apart from foods, customer support, and other important factors of customer journey, this rule applies to the quality of web resources. For an ecommerce business (including, of course, Shopify stores), user experience starts with how convenient it is to use websites of this brand.
Q. How UX affects ecommerce stores?
A. Almost 9 in 10 online shoppers would leave a website if they have a bad experience with it. Depending on the effectiveness of your store’s UX, you might notice significant fluctuations in revenue, turnover, and repeat purchases (factors essential for a Shopify store promotion). Therefore, it is necessary to invest in UX and strive to improve every interaction with your visitors.
Web designers say that in order to improve UX, websites should be as simple, understandable, and clean as possible. Overall, there are three ways of simplifying your ecommerce website: removing distracting elements, reducing selection, and adding strict categories.
Method 1. Removing distracting elements
You need to remove superfluous features and only focus on the most important things. For example, by deleting unnecessary elements that distract user’s attention (text, colors, images, etc.), you will ensure that your store will load faster. It will make the process of browsing your goods faster, thus encouraging users’ purchasing decisions.
Method 2. Reducing the assortment
Another way is to reduce the assortment. There is a curious conversion paradox: the more options you give, the more profit you lose. You can observe this paradox with A/B testing. For example, if you sell cakes, try offering 5 varieties of cakes one week and 20 varieties the next. Most likely, you will see that the first offer will generate more sales. No one is talking about offering only one product, of course, just remember: having too many options confuses your store visitors.
There are exceptions 1) when you are working with narrow-field specialists who are familiar with a wider range of products and 2) when users themselves are interested in a wider range. Therefore, the number of offers in your store depends on the desires and needs of your target audience.
Method 3. Categorization and hierarchy
The third way to simplify a website is to use categories, sub-categories, and strict hierarchy. So revisit Step 2 of this article and make sure you’ve got it covered.
Step 5. Customize product page in your Shopify store
Store visitors make their purchasing decisions while interacting with product pages. It is practically the basis of ecommerce. Hence, the better you design your product pages, the higher your conversion rates.
In order to encourage users to shop at your store, you need to provide high-quality content that informs your audience about the advantages of each product. Here are a few options you can apply to customize your product pages:
- Add some high quality photos. The audience decides whether they want to purchase an item based on its images. Remember that product pictures should look attractive, capture it from different angles, and be of high resolution.
- Provide a unique text description. You can talk about the materials from which the product is made, describe its main characteristics and functions, and so on. This way, users will be able to understand if the product meets their needs and/or solves their problems. Be sure to include sizing information, return policies, and similar details.
- Show product options. If your store offers products in a variety of colors and styles, add these variations to your product page. Link them together so that store visitors can view all product options and choose the one that best suits their needs.
- Add client reviews. Statistically, 95% of online shoppers look at product reviews before making a purchase. 67% of consumers don’t trust a high rating unless it’s backed up by a lot of customer testimonials.
You can also customize product pages so that they display a block of recommended blog posts at the bottom. This is especially useful if you’ll be posting reviews of new product collections, ratings of the best products, and other goods-related articles. For example, if you sell smart house appliances, make a top 10 list of robot vacuums composed of items present in your store selection.
Q. Is Shopify good for blogging? A. Indeed, Shopify has a built-in blogging tool that you can use to post news and promote your goods. However, some users say that when compared to some other ecommerce blogging solutions in the market, Shopify blogs leave much to be desired.
If you want to see your Shopify business’s growth, follow these SEO tips:
- Embed keywords in your store’s content
- Optimize your store’s structure and categories
- Implement product tags
- Enhance user experience
- Improve product pages
If you’ve completed all steps of optimization and now wonder how to get more sales on Shopify, try Collabica — a convenient platform that connects Shopify brands to help them with gainful partnerships. It’s a smooth, easy tool that you can use to add other brands’ products to your own store.
Cross-store selling is a known way of boosting your Shopify AOV and attracting more customers. Also, users of the Collabica platform earn commission fees from each sale of their partners’ goods. So don’t hesitate — join our community and start selling cross-store now!