Are you looking to start your online business in 2021?
Shopify and other eCommerce platforms have made it incredibly easy for the sellers to build a fully functional and feature-rich store online.
But what happens when your website is built? How do you improve your online store's visibility in front of the search engines?
How do you reach your prospects and get them to shop with you instead of your rivals? That is where search engine rankings come into play.
Admittedly, creating and sharing valuable content is a good thing, but it doesn't guarantee that customers will find your store online whenever they use Google or any other search engine.
The key here is to improve your online store's visibility and increase website traffic by leveraging the best SEO practices for 2021.
We have created this Shopify SEO checklist to help new and seasoned sellers increase their website traffic by implementing some of the best SEO tactics.
Understanding Shopify SEO
The biggest advantage of SEO for Shopify is that it gets people to your website and even helps them turn into paying customers.
The good news is SEO for Shopify is easier than you think. With some basic understanding, anyone can increase website traffic and yield terrific results.
SEO is a broad concept that revolves around many strategies. While Shopify offers a few SEO features, there's so much you can do to improve your online store.
Unlike in the past, when SEO was confined to keyword research and optimization only, today's SEO is all about creating an all-in-all positive user experience.
Your goal as an online seller should be to make your website more relevant to your target audience.
Remember, the more relevant your website is, the more likely Google will rank it higher and recommend it to other users.
Shopify SEO is a little different from SEO for generic websites and blogs as you're not optimizing the general content but product listings for increased visibility and conversions.
Why Is SEO For Shopify Stores Important?
There are many reasons why every Shopify store owner should benefit from the best SEO practices to help increase website traffic to the site and grow sales. We're going to discuss a few of them down below.
It’s A Free Form Of Advertisement
The competition in the digital space has made customers more picky and sophisticated. Before making a buying decision, most people conduct thorough market research, compare different options, ask hundreds of questions from customer support, and then make a purchase.
Some customers, on the other hand, trust the recommendations of their friends and family and read reviews before they buy anything online for themselves.
What SEO does is allows your target audience to find your brand on search engines. As a result, more and more people can see your brand online without having your business invest inexpensive marketing strategies.
So instead of allocating a huge portion of your annual budget on paid ads, you should perhaps keep your focus on improving your SEO.
It Helps Position Your Brand
Research suggests that more than 72% of customers use digital channels to make a purchase. The same study also indicates that only 28% of consumers use newspapers and other conventional marketing forms to buy their required products.
While more and more people prefer digital channels to buy their desired things, most of them don't even bother to check the second or third pages of Google.
A Moz study reveals that the first page of Google receives 71% of traffic compared to the 6% of traffic received by the second page.
Boosts Sales And Conversions
When you get more traffic to your Shopify store, you're on your way to increasing sales and conversions. In other words, improved SEO provides Shopify store owners a chance to convert visitors into leads and then eventually customers.
Increases Customer Reviews
That goes without saying that when you turn more prospects into customers, you also get more feedback in the form of reviews and testimonials.
More customer reviews mean more sales and conversions.
Improves Customer Loyalty
This benefit is also somehow connected to the customer reviews. According to the Local Consumer Review Study, over 91% of consumers go through the customer reviews before trusting any local online business.
Getting more reviews not only fuels your conversion process but also results in more recommendations that lead to improved brand affinity and customer loyalty.
So you see, SEO is extremely important to increase your website traffic and sales. Now you must be wondering how to create a foolproof SEO strategy for your Shopify business that converts.
Read on to know 12 proven tactics you can use right away to improve your online store's search visibility and website traffic.
12 Ways To Optimize Your Store To Get More Traffic In 2021
1. Get Your On-Page SEO Right
You may want to reconsider your approach if you think that on-page SEO is all about keyword research. Yes, keyword research forms the foundation for on-page SEO, but there are so many other equally important things you need to pay attention to before you even think about getting started.
Conduct Keywords Research
First things first, you have to create buyer personas based on the demographics (age, gender, location), likes, and buying preferences of your target audience.
The next step is to conduct keyword research using any of the tools available online. Go after high search volume to see how many people are searching for your products and services.
Continue to look for all long-tail keywords and phrases currently trending in your area of expertise.
Optimize Meta Titles And Meta Descriptions
For SEO, it's also critical to optimize all the meta titles and meta descriptions for individual website pages. This strategy, if done right, can go a long way as it will help you rank higher on SERPs.
Another essential on-page tactic that many online sellers forget is to optimize their images. The process is simple too. All you need to do is add an alt tag to the images available on your site so that search engines can categorize them easily.
2. Choose The Right Shopify Theme
It may be tempting to install a Shopify theme that is attractive and comes equipped with plenty of design elements. But most of those themes fail to perform well when it comes to user experience.
Choosing the right Shopify theme could be the ultimate deal-breaker as it enables you to rank better on search engines.
A theme like Debutify can help you create an interactive Shopify store without compromising on load speed. It's mobile-responsive too.
3. Improve The User Experience
Did you know your site's search engine rankings heavily rely on the user experience you're offering to your visitors?
When a website takes too long to load, the customer will abandon the page and check out other options.
So make sure you create a store that loads within 3-seconds or less.
In addition to that, it is also critical to provide the same user experience to your web and mobile users.
For this, you have to choose a theme that is mobile responsive. Also, make your text visible and readable. Last but not least, create clear and noticeable CTAs.
For more, you can read our guide on "Top 10 User Experience Mistakes You Should Avoid For Conversion Rate Growth" to know about common user experience mistakes you should avoid for conversion rate growth.
4. Avoid Duplicate Content
Thin or duplicate content is the biggest enemy of SEO. Even if you're using multiple URLs for identical products containing duplicate content, make sure you tell Google which specific URLs to index.
Pro tip: Work with a developer who knows how Shopify handles canonicalization and filtering.
5. Integrate With Google Analytics
Google Analytics is our favorite tool when it comes to tracking website traffic info. That information includes website traffic sources and their behavior on your Shopify store.
Make sure you use the latest GA tracking code. The good news is you can also embed your tracking code into your Shopify store by going to your Admin panel.
6. Build Links To Your Shopify Store
Link building is another essential part of SEO that increases your website traffic and establishes credibility and reputation.
This tactic is also said to be the “word of mouth of SEO”. There are numerous ways you can earn backlinks for your website.
For instance, you can ask your supplier to link to your website. Also, you can reach out to famous influencers working in your niche for an interview and get content and a link.
If your business has been mentioned in different places, you can use mention.com to identify the sources for those mentions and ask them to link to your site.
7. Use The Best Shopify Apps And Tools
Fortunately, Shopify offers its users access to several SEO tools and apps that they can use to increase website traffic and conversions. Some of our favorite SEO tools for Shopify includes:
Now you don't have to write your meta tags or alt tags manually for your store. Smart SEO provides structured data to search engines that improve search results and rankings.
Yoast is another powerful SEO tool that allows Shopify store owners to check their site's SEO strength. With this tool, you can edit multiple pages with a single click.
Nothing compares SEMRush when it comes to competitor analysis and quick SEO check. This tool enables you to spy on your competitor's top converting keywords that you can use to tweak your strategy for more traffic and conversions.
8. Canonical Strategy
Canonical strategies and SEO go hand in hand. These strategies come in handy when you want to avoid Google treating your Shopify store as multiple domains.
In simple words, creating a canonical strategy enables business owners to avoid duplication and define their preferred iteration for Google or other search engines.
9. Product Reviews
Another proven trick to increase website traffic through SEO is by creating a comprehensive strategy to incentivize product reviews.
Here are a few things you can do to get this step right:
- Make sure your reviews are marked up accurately
- Use tools like Google's Structured Data Testing Tool to check how your competitors have marked up their product reviews
10. Leverage Content Marketing
After getting your on-page and off-page SEO strategies right, the next thing you may want to consider is your content marketing. Having a comprehensive content marketing plan also ensures your site ranks higher on SERPs.
Do not copy/paste descriptions you get from your supplier. Invest your time and resources in creating engaging and optimized product descriptions that hook visitor’s interest and reflect the creative nature of your business.
You must also initiate a blog to express yourself and provide your users with valuable tips and tricks.
11. Organize Your Website Structure
The way your content is organized on your website can also influence SEO. A website with a simple and navigable website structure will keep your visitors engaged, and they will spend more time on your website. As a result, your search engine rankings will be significantly improved.
As far as Shopify is concerned, you can easily organize your site structure by implementing this sequence:
Homepage > Category Pages > Sub-Category Pages > Product Pages
12. Reduce Your Bounce Rate
Did you know search engines assess their success by monitoring your bounce rate? When you make efforts to reduce your bounce rate, you'll witness improvement in your website traffic and conversions.
Here are a few things you can do to reduce your bounce rate:
- Fast and free shipping
- Interactive product recommendations
- Discount and sales pop up
- The simplified checkout process