Shopify SEO Checklist: The Only Guide You Need!

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SEO checklist

Last Updated: April 2024

Welcome to the ultimate Shopify SEO checklist – the comprehensive guide you’ve been searching for to supercharge your online store’s visibility and performance. 

With over 4 million live e-commerce websites built and powered by Shopify the competition in the online marketplace is more intense than ever. 

Thus, in this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through the essential strategies and best practices to optimize your Shopify website for search engines. 

Let’s dive in!

Understanding Shopify SEO

Shopify SEO refers to the strategic practice of enhancing a Shopify website’s performance in search engine results. 

While the principles of SEO can be applied universally, Shopify SEO is specifically tailored to empower e-commerce businesses. It helps those using the Shopify content management system to secure higher keyword rankings and increase their organic traffic.

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Shopify SEO Checklist: Tackling Common Challenges for E-Commerce Websites

In the e-commerce world, there are common challenges that can harm how well your website shows up on search engines:

  • Limited Content: Google prefers detailed, longer content, but product pages often lack that depth, making it tough to rank higher in search results.
  • Repeated Content: Many e-commerce sites deal with repeated content problems because they have lots of similar product pages.
  • Tricky Website Layout: Google favors user-friendly websites, but e-commerce sites, due to their numerous pages, can become structurally confusing.
  • Not Using Schema: Using product schema helps Google’s crawlers understand your products and showcase them better.

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The Ultimate Shopify SEO Checklist

The checklist presented below is categorized by optimization type, but you can follow it sequentially.

General SEO 

1) Consider a Personalized Web Address

Opting for a personalized web address by investing in a custom domain is typically a wise move. By doing so, you can remove the “myshopify” part from your web addresses.

You have the option to purchase custom domains from Shopify itself or from a third-party domain provider. Following this, simply include your custom domain in the Settings > Domains section of your Shopify account.

Source: Search Engine Journal

2) Opt for a Swift and Mobile-Friendly Theme

Approximately 70% of consumers acknowledge that the speed of a webpage affects their inclination to make a purchase from an online seller.

While fancy themes may seem attractive, it’s wiser to select a theme optimized for speed and overall performance.

Furthermore, your chosen theme should exhibit strong performance on mobile devices, as Google primarily indexes the mobile versions of your web pages.

Source: Search Engine Journal

To gauge your current Shopify store’s speed relative to others, refer to your dashboard or utilize the PageSpeed Insights report.

Recommended: 7 Best Shopify 2.0 themes for your store in 2023

3) Set Up analytics

Google Analytics and Google Search Console are indispensable for website owners, and they come at no cost.

Once you’ve created your accounts, follow these key steps:

    • Submit the automatically generated sitemap from Shopify to your Google Search Console account.
    • Insert your Google Analytics tracking code into your Shopify store.
Source: Pagefly

4) Utilize Useful Shopify SEO Applications

Various Shopify SEO applications are available to assist you in adhering to SEO best practices throughout your website.

    • Plug-In SEO: It’s akin to Yoast SEO for WordPress and assures compliance with best practices.
    • SEO Pro: Ideal for implementing schema and handling more advanced optimizations.
    • Smart SEO: A cost-effective choice offering substantial SEO benefits.

For more options, check: 10 Best SEO Apps for Shopify in 2023

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On-Page SEO

5) Conduct Thorough Keyword Research

Before optimizing your content, identify keywords relevant to your products that can attract quality traffic.

Source: Search Engine Journal

The primary keyword metrics to focus on include:

    • Search Volume: Choose keywords that receive a reasonable number of monthly searches.
    • CPC (Cost Per Click): Elevated CPC values indicate greater conversion potential, especially for commercial and transactional keywords.
    • Keyword Difficulty: Select keyword targets where achieving a page 1 ranking is feasible.

Each webpage in your Shopify store should target unique keywords.

6) Enhance Your URLs

Follow these URL best practices is crucial for enhancing your Google rankings:

    • Keep URLs concise.
    • Incorporate your desired keyword.
    • Omit superfluous terms such as “and,” “or,” “the,” etc.
Source: Search Engine Journal

You can conveniently modify URL paths using the Search Engine Listing Preview located at the bottom of any page in the Shopify CMS.

7) Polish Your Page Titles and Meta Descriptions

While optimizing your Search Engine Listing, also fine-tune the title tag and meta description seen in your search results. Follow best practices: use keywords, stick to character limits (60 for titles, 160 for descriptions), and maintain natural, descriptive content. 

Source: Search Engine Journal

Avoid keyword stuffing; Google recognizes related terms.

Source: Pagefly

8) Utilize a Content Optimization Tool for Product Descriptions

Prevent thin content on your product pages by crafting original, detailed descriptions with relevant keywords, synonyms, and related terms.

Source: Pagefly

A content optimization tool helps you identify powerful, SEO-friendly keywords to enhance your product pages naturally.

Source: Pagefly
Source: Pagefly

9) Enhance Your Alt Text

Chances are, your Shopify site features numerous images displaying your products. However, it’s crucial to bear in mind that Google can’t interpret images. It’s essential to convey the image content to Google using descriptive file names and alt text enriched with keywords.

Shopify SEO Checklist
Source: Search Engine Journal

10) Develop Blog Posts for Long-Tail Queries

To reach potential customers at the beginning of their buying journey, craft top-notch blog content tailored to address specific long-tail queries.

Source: Search Engine Journal

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Technical SEO

11) Design a Navigation Menu Optimized for SEO

Navigation menus are essential for guiding users and boosting SEO. Prioritize easy navigation, organized product collections, and consistency. Use the menu to streamline communication with users and provide contact information.

Source: Search Engine Journal

12) Maximize Internal Links

Internal links serve a triple purpose:

    • Simplify user navigation.
    • Aid search engine crawlers in site understanding.
    • Efficiently distribute PageRank across your site.

Avoid directing link equity to out-of-stock or underperforming items. Redirect PageRank to pages you want to elevate in search, like primary category and collection pages.

Shopify SEO Checklist
Source: Search Engine Journal

13) Add Product Schema

Your choice depends on your comfort with code editing. To manually add schema, go to Themes > Action > Edit Code.

For a more user-friendly approach, use a schema generator tool to create the required markup with essential properties. Consider utilizing Product Schemas like Aggregate rating, Brand, Category, Color, Dimensions, Model, Material, Special offers, and Image where applicable.

14) Add Product Reviews

Positive product reviews can boost clicks and sales. Use the Product Reviews app in the Shopify store to display star ratings in your SERP. It’s a game-changer for improving CTRs and driving more traffic to your store.

Source: Pagefly

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Off-Page SEO

15) Build Links for Your Shopify Site

To gain Google’s trust and rank in search results, you need off-site signals. There are simple ways to start earning links:

    • Create high-quality content and ask other sites to link to it.
    • Be featured in gift guides or product roundups.
    • Guest blog on relevant websites.

16) Prioritize Public Relations

Public relations and organic outreach lie at the core of link building and offer an effective means to acquire top-tier links from authoritative websites.

If you currently lack the time or resources for PR outreach, consider enrolling in Help-A-Reporter Out (HARO). By subscribing, you’ll receive daily emails from journalists and publishers seeking insights from experts or showcasing specific products.

Shopify SEO Checklist
Source: Pagefly

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Shopify Website Maintenance

17) Conduct Routine Website Audits

As your website evolves, due to page additions, removals, backlinks, and shifting search trends, regular audits help pinpoint top-performing and underperforming pages in search. These audits provide insights to address important content, page experience, and authority concerns.

18) Shopify Website Maintenance

Updating your product lineup or dealing with out-of-stock items might lead to the removal or unpublishing of pages on your Shopify site, potentially creating “broken links” from linked pages.

Google prefers websites without an abundance of broken links, indicating an active and well-maintained site. It’s recommended to perform a quarterly site-wide link check, employing a website crawler to identify and promptly rectify broken links.

19) Analyze Data and Make Improvements

As your online store attracts more visitors, your analytics tools will furnish you with a wealth of information regarding their behavior, traffic sources, and more.

Utilize this data to gain insights for enhancing your keyword targeting, page content, internal linking, meta tags, and other aspects of your website.

Source: Search Engine Journal

Now that you have a complete understanding of the Shopify SEO checklist, we’d also like to highlight the importance of outstanding customer service by introducing a helpdesk equipped with powerful order-tracking capabilities.

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Meet Saufter, The Best Helpdesk Tailored for E-commerce 

Saufter is a helpdesk tailored especially for E-commerce businesses and offers robust features for order tracking and customer support.

Key Features

    • Order Tracking: Get real-time updates on your orders’ status and delivery details.
    • Automated Monitoring: Receive instant notifications about potential delays to ensure smooth customer experiences.
    • E-commerce Workflow Automation: Automate repetitive tasks like returns and order modifications for greater efficiency.
    • Comprehensive Order History: Access a unified view of customer order history for personalized support.
    • Live Chat + Knowledge Base: Combine live chat and a knowledge base for customer self-service.
    • Smart Reports and Insights: Gain valuable insights on key performance metrics and order-related issues.

Conclusion

In conclusion, by diligently following these essential steps, you can enhance your Shopify website’s search engine performance, reach a broader audience, and ultimately drive more traffic and sales. 

So, put this checklist to work, monitor your progress, and keep adapting to the ever-evolving world of e-commerce. Moreover, to streamline your e-commerce workflows and elevate your customer support, check Saufter! Sign up to start your 15-day free trial now!

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