Shopify Tags SEO: Complete Guide

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In the world of e-commerce, Shopify Tags SEO can make or break your online store’s success.

Shopify tags are like digital signposts for your products. When used strategically, they can make your items easy to find on search engines. That means more potential customers discover your store.

This guide will break down Shopify Tags SEO into simple steps, helping you understand their importance and how to use them effectively. Get ready to level up your online store and make it stand out in the crowded e-commerce arena!

What are Shopify Product Tags?

When you’re setting up or updating products in Shopify, you’ll encounter a feature called “Tags.”

Tags serve the purpose of organizing and categorizing products. Additionally, they enable visitors to refine their product searches on your collection pages.

shopify tags seo
logeix.com/

In many cases, a single collection may contain a substantial number of products, ranging from 20 to 100 or even more.

Tags simplify the process of filtering products for your visitors, making it possible for them to use a filter menu like this:

shopify tags seo
logeix.com/

Furthermore, tags offer versatility by allowing you to implement additional functionality, like hiding products using Shopify Apps or other settings.

Why are Product Tags Bad for SEO?

With each product tag added to your Shopify store, Shopify automatically generates a new page for each collection it’s associated with. 

Imagine you have a product tag like “colour_red,” and it’s assigned to products across five different collections. This results in the automatic creation of five distinct pages, albeit each one is a duplicate, lacking the option for customization.

You’ll recognize these pages by their URLs, which resemble this:

shopify tags seo
logeix.com/

This accumulation of pages can become overwhelming, as exemplified by this store:

shopify tags seo
logeix.com/

A closer look reveals that the page titles are unattractive for users searching online. For instance, “Mens T-Shirts Tagged ‘colour_red'” is unlikely to entice clicks.

But the bigger issue arises when you navigate to these pages, as illustrated here:

logeix.com/

The circles indicate that you’re on a tag page, yet the page heading and content are identical to the parent collection. In essence, these tag pages are exact duplicates of the parent collection, except for the filtered products.

This duplication extends to crucial elements like the H1 tag, collection description, content, and meta description, all of which significantly impact SEO. The drawback is that Shopify lacks built-in functionality to customize these elements.

This situation gives rise to three problems:

  1. Thin Content – In SEO, “thin content” is a term used for pages that diminish the overall SEO quality of your website, such as duplicate content pages.
  2. Wasted Crawl Budget – Search engines expend valuable crawl resources on these tag pages, potentially resulting in the neglect of more important pages.
  3. Missed Opportunities – Some of these pages might have excellent keyword potential, but, by default, they cannot be customized for SEO optimization.

Is the Website’s SEO affected by this?

If you’re utilizing product tags, chances are that they are being indexed by search engines. To confirm this, follow these steps:

1. Conduct a Google search using the “site:” and “intitle:” operators:

Type in “site:example.com/collections/ intitle:tagged” in the search bar.

This search will provide you with a list of all the product tags that have been indexed. If you find no results, it’s essential to manually inspect your collections for filter options.

2. Open the tag page and inspect the source code:

Right-click on the tag page and select “view page source.

3. Look for a Canonical Tag or Noindex meta tag:

Use the “ctrl + f” function to search for “canonical” or “noindex.” If you can’t find either of these tags, they are not present on the page.

4. If there is no canonical or noindex tag, check your Robots.txt file:

Go to “yourwebsite.com/robots.txt” and check if there is a rule disallowing access to “/collections//.”

If you don’t find any such rule, it means that your product tags are both crawlable and indexable by search engines.

Fixing Product Tag SEO issues

There are various approaches to address this issue, and the choice depends on your specific store and objectives.

1. Canonicalise

The initial method involves implementing a canonical tag that directs to the main collection page, and it will be structured like this:

<link rel=”canonical” href=”https://example.com/collections/mens-t-shirts” />

To execute this, you will need to modify your theme.liquid template file and replace:

<link rel=”canonical” href=”{{ canonical_url }}” />

With:

{% if template contains ‘collection’ and current_tags %}

  <link rel=”canonical” href=”{{ shop.url }}{{ collection.url }}” />

{% else %}

  <link rel=”canonical” href=”{{ canonical_url }}” />

{% endif %}

In essence, this action informs search engines that the current page is a duplicate of another, recommending they index the designated canonical URL instead. 

By following this recommendation, search engines can resolve the issue of thin content. However, it’s important to note that this method does not conserve the crawl budget.

Important Note: Be cautious not to set these pages as both canonicalized and noindexed, as this would be contradictory since our intention is to have the canonical URL indexed.

2. NoIndex

Another straightforward solution involves configuring Product Tags to have a “noindex, follow” directive. 

This indicates to search engines that they should refrain from including this page in their search results, but they should still follow the links present on the page.

You can implement this by inserting the following code into your theme.liquid template file:

{% if template contains ‘collection’ and current_tags %}

  <meta name=”robots” content=”noindex, follow” />

{% endif %}

By adding this code snippet, you effectively instruct search engines not to index product tag pages. If these pages have already been indexed, they are likely to be removed from the index during the subsequent crawl.

It’s not a matter of being better or worse compared to canonicalization; there are no additional drawbacks. 

However, it’s worth noting that the “noindex” directive typically carries more weight than a canonical tag, as it serves as a stronger signal to search engines, rather than just a recommendation.

Nevertheless, it shares the same limitation as canonicalization, as it doesn’t optimize crawl budget preservation.

3. Block Crawl

With the recently added capability to modify the Robots.txt file on Shopify, another valuable option is to prevent search engines from crawling these tag pages entirely.

To implement this, you can edit your robots.txt.liquid file (which may need to be created if it doesn’t exist) and include an additional rule like this:

{%- if group.user_agent.value == ‘*’ -%}

{{ ‘Disallow: /collections/*/*’ }}

{%- endif -%}

This rule effectively bars web crawlers from accessing URLs structured as “/collections/any-collection/anything.” While this approach is effective in covering product tags, it may introduce complications depending on your website’s configuration.

One potential issue arises if you’re using default product links, such as “example.com/collections/t-shirts/products/name-of-product.” In this case, these links will also be inaccessible to web crawlers.

Therefore, it’s advisable to exercise caution when considering this method. It’s recommended to consult with an SEO specialist or thoroughly review the configuration both before and after making these changes.

The advantage of this approach is that it can effectively address crawl budget concerns and likely prevent the indexing of these pages. 

However, if these pages are already indexed and you want to ensure their removal, it may be wise to set them to “noindex” for a few days first and subsequently block their crawl access.

4. Use Them As Sub-Categories

If you have highly skilled developers, it is feasible (although not particularly efficient) to personalize these product tag pages by altering elements like the title tag, meta description, H1, and content.

While this approach may not be the most optimal, it does offer the advantage of creating SEO-friendly URLs.

Typically, if you had a collection for Sofas at “/collections/sofas” for instance, you’d have a separate collection for Leather Sofas at “/collections/leather-sofas.”

By customizing a product tag, you can create a page under “/collections/sofas/leather.” This results in a user-friendly and SEO-friendly URL structure. 

It’s important to mention that achieving this level of customization within the Shopify platform is a somewhat challenging task, although a handful of stores have successfully implemented it.

5. Delete them

This may not be the best choice, especially if you rely on product tags. However, it’s worth mentioning.

If you’re not really using product tags and your website doesn’t depend on them for organizing products, you can consider just getting rid of them. This would solve the issue completely.

But be cautious and make sure to set up 301 redirects to the main collection to avoid creating lots of error pages (404s), especially if the tags are already showing up in search results or have links pointing to them.

It’s good to know that there are simpler options available besides this one.

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Conclusion

In the world of online stores, knowing how to use Shopify tags for SEO can make a big difference. This guide has given you the tools to understand and use tags effectively.

By optimizing your tags, you’ll attract more customers, rank higher on search engines, and sell more online. 

So, as you work on your Shopify store, remember that tags are a powerful tool to help your business succeed and provide a great shopping experience for your customers. Happy selling!

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