March 15, 2024
SEO Tips

SEO Rocket: Driving Growth: A Comprehensive Guide to SEO for Shopify

Taking control of your SEO is a key part of driving traffic to your Shopify store. Discover how to boost your online store's presence with powerful search engine optimisation strategies.

James Laden
CMO at Effer Ventures. Digital Marketing and sales expert. Co-founder of ttagz and The Affiliate Monkey
Table of contents

The best method of driving more business to your online store is to embrace the power of SEO. While Shopify ranks among the top e-commerce platforms, getting the most out of your Shopify store still requires some comprehensive SEO work. 

Despite the powerful e-commerce platform handling some basic SEO practices from the get-go, it won’t be enough to take you straight to the top of Google. You’ll still need to take charge of your search optimisation strategies and dive into the intricacies of on-page optimisation, technical SEO, and more. 

Don’t fret. We’re here to assist. In this article, we’ll go deep into the world of SEO for Shopify and tell you exactly what you need to do to get your SEO where it needs to be. 

The Shopify SEO Basics 

First things first, you need to take care of some preliminary work before diving into the more intricate aspects of SEO. 

Choose a mobile-friendly website theme or a responsive design that adjusts to different screen sizes. Google uses a mobile-first indexing system, so it looks at the mobile version of your store first when storing content in its database for search results. 

Next, you should install Google Analytics on your Shopify website to track site traffic and user behaviour. Additionally, you should install Google Search Console to review your site’s performance. 

Technical SEO 

Don’t worry, getting your technical SEO right isn’t as intimidating as it sounds. Shopify also takes care of some basic SEO elements - it creates a sitemap (a file where you provide information about the pages, videos, and other files on your site, and the relationships between them) and a robots.txt file (a text file webmasters create to instruct web robots - typically search engine robots - how to crawl pages on their website). But there are a few factors you need to consider. 

Set your preferred domain 

Choosing a preferred version of your domain is key for search engine ranking and indexing. When your online store is available under different URLs, it creates duplicate content issues and dilutes link equity. To do this, go to your domain settings. Click on your preferred domain and hit “set as primary”. 

Set up a logical store structure 

Your site structure is essentially the equivalent of the blueprints of your website. A logical site structure makes it easy for users and crawlers to navigate through your site. 

You should have a main home page that links to various categories and within each category there should be links to subcategories. Your subcategories can then link to specific products that you have for sale. In Shopify, you’ll use the “collections” section as category pages. 

One more tip: try to keep your pages four clicks away from the homepage at most - making it easy to navigate the site and find content. 

You also need to make sure that none of your pages have no internal links pointing to them. A page that has no pages linking to it is known as an orphaned page. 

Running a site audit via Semrush or Ahrefs is an easy way to quickly identify orphaned pages. You can then link to said pages from another page to resolve the issue. 

Review & Optimise Page Speed 

Shopify does what it can to keep your page speed optimal, but you should still take some steps to keep everything running smoothly. 

Page speed impacts the user experience and a search engine ranking factor - impacting your online visibility 

A few ways to maximise your page speed are: 

  • Use JPG or PNG image files as your preferred format. 
  • Compress larger images to decrease loading times.
  • Minimise code by reducing unnecessary elements in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Keyword Research

Now for the cornerstone of search engine optimisation - keyword research. For eCommerce stores like Shopify, your category and product pages are what you want to rank. 

As a first step, consider what it is that you’re selling. Let’s say you’re a music shop that sells instruments such as drums, guitars, MPCs, and more. We can use some of the products as broad keywords, and use them to find related keywords. 

You can use one of the many SEO tools to help you find related keywords. A few of the best tools include: 

So let’s use Semrush to find some keyword ideas. Since we know drum kits are one of our main products, we’ll use them to find some variations. 

From this, we can easily identify some potential categories for our Shopify store. Since we can see people searching for children's drum kits, electric drum kits, and digital drum kits, they’ll make good categories. 

We can also see that people often search for drum kits by brand - a perfect choice for subcategories. Yamaha drum kits, Roland drum kits, and Alesis drum kits all make sense for subcategories. 

When it comes to keyword research for your product pages, it will only be relevant if you sell unbranded products. For example, if you’re selling a Yamaha DTX402K Electronic Drum Kit, you can’t not target that keyword. 

Your category pages are likely where search volume will be the highest, as people tend to want to browse through choices. 

Once you’ve identified all of your relevant keywords, it’s time to map keywords to existing pages and create new pages for the rest. 

On-Page SEO 

Okay, you’ve taken care of the technical SEO and you’ve identified your target keywords. Next up, let's take care of the on-page SEO for your website. 

Meta titles and meta descriptions 

A meta description is an HTML tag you set for a page or post on your website. You can use a meta description to describe what the page or post is about with a limit of around 155 characters. Google then shows this description underneath the page title in search results. 

Shopify makes it easy for you to find and edit or add meta descriptions. Just follow these steps.

  1. First, click on a product or category. 
  2. Scroll to the search engine listing preview option. 
  3. Click on edit meta information.
  4. Scroll to the meta description box and make the edits you please. 

Be strategic when crafting your meta description, and consider incorporating the following to get the most out of your SEO:

  • Put your target keyword in the meta title. 
  • Add long-tail keyword variations. 
  • Keep meta descriptions at around 150 characters.
  • Keep meta titles at around 60 characters. 
  • Add your unique selling point in the description.  

Keyword-focused and captivating meta titles and descriptions are pivotal for search engine optimisation. 

Add compelling category and product descriptions 

Remember to keep your keywords in mind as you craft your category (known as collections in Shopify) and product descriptions. Never duplicate product or category descriptions as this will negatively impact your SEO ranking.

You can easily navigate to the product and collections descriptions within Shopify’s dashboard. Just scroll to the description box and make the edits needed. 

Consider the following tips when crafting your category and product descriptions: 

  • Answer any potential questions that visitors may have.
  • Keep it short, sweet, relevant, and simple. 
  • Add your keywords, but don’t force it in.

Additionally, your product pages should include the following: 

  • A title of the exact product 
  • A description that includes related keywords 
  • High-quality product images 
  • Links to any variants 
  • Links to any related products. 
  • Shipping information
  • Reviews and ratings
  • FAQs 

Schema Markup

Schema markup, or structured data, is the language search engines use to read and understand the content on your pages. It is a semantic vocabulary (code) that helps search engines characterise and categorise the content of web pages.

Schema markup helps your snippets stand out in a sea of search results. A compelling snippet leads to more traffic. Pages with a schema markup have a much higher click-through rate than those without. 

Adding a schema markup to your product page enables rich product results with additional information such as price, availability, and review ratings.

Luckily, all themes on Shopify support schema markup from the get-go. You just need to fill in the necessary information and the e-commerce platform takes care of the rest. 

Add alternative text to images 

A simple but effective SEO strategy is to add alternative text to your images in line with your target keywords (if relevant). 

Alternative text assists search engines to better understand the subject matter of an image and helps users with screen readers. 

Adding alternative text is quick and easy. All you need to do is click on an image and hit the “add alt text” button. 

Content Creation 

Once you’ve taken care of the technical SEO, on-page optimisation and keyword research, it’s time to prepare your content strategy. 

Content marketing is pivotal to the success of your Shopify store. Creating captivating SEO-driven content can help you drive much more traffic to your website. But how exactly do you do this?

Create blog posts 

If you’re under the impression that the blog era is over, you have been misinformed. Blogs still play a huge role in content marketing and are one of the main contributing factors to website traffic.

The blogs you create should answer questions your customers may have or be related to topics they’re searching for on search engines. 

For instance, if we go back to the earlier example of a music store, good blog content would be content that an audience passionate about making music would be interested in. 

A compelling blog title would be something along the lines of “The Best Electronic Drum Kits for Beginners” or “Choosing Between an Electric Guitar vs an Acoustic Guitar” - both titles target topics your audience may be interested in. 

You can effortlessly add blog posts to your Shopify store. Just click “blog post” on the sidebar and then hit “Add blog post”. Easy as that. 

Create video reviews 

Video content continues to grow increasingly popular, and product reviews are among the most popular of them. As a Shopify store, there’s probably a high chance that people are searching for reviews of your products. 

Consider uploading review and comparison videos to YouTube as a method of directing traffic back to your site. Good video content is short and straight to the point, so don’t spend too much time on introductions or irrelevant topics. 

Link building  

Link building forms a key part of SEO strategies, but it can be difficult to secure links going directly to your product or category pages. It makes more sense for you to link to other pages or blog posts, and from there you can add internal links to products and categories. 

We know, link-building can be frustrating, especially when you’re just starting, but consider the following link-building strategies to help you out. 

Find out who’s linking to your competitors 

If you have insights into which sites are linking to competitors, you have a list of brands to reach out to request a partnership or link exchange. 

The power of SEO tools comes in handy here. You can use Ahref’s Link Intersect tool to find this out. Type your domain into Site Explorer, go to the link intersect tool and add a few of your competitors. Next, change the search mode on all URLs to “URL” and click on “show link opportunities”. 

A list of websites that link to competitors will then appear, and you have your leads. You’ll still have to review the sites and determine which presents the best opportunities for link exchanges. 

Do guest blogs

Writing guest blogs is a great way to build links. You’ll need to find websites that cover similar topics to yours and reach out to inquire about guest blogging. 

A few ways to find guest blog opportunities include: 

  • Find lists of websites that accept guest blog posts: Just Google “list of - your keyword - blogs that accept guest posts”, and you can start compiling your list.
  • Google your search terms: Type your keywords into Google and add “guest post”, “guest blog” or “guest author” to find some possible guest blogging opportunities. 
  • Search your competitors' domains: Quickly identify where your competitors are posting guest blogs by searching the domain and adding “guest post by” or “guest contribution by”. 
  • Use SEO tools: Use audience overlap, social listening, and content research tools to identify guest blogs by competitors. 

SEO Agency for Shopify

You may be going through this blog and thinking “Nope, too much work”, but fear not, as there are SEO agencies that can assist. 

An SEO agency is basically a team of search engine optimisation specialists. When you hire an SEO agency for Shopify, they’ll take charge of your entire SEO strategy and optimise every aspect of your site. 

From the technical SEO aspects to on-page optimisation and content marketing, partnering with an SEO agency is a reliable method of boosting your visibility and driving more traffic to your Shopify store. 

Who you partner with can be the difference between success and failure. We’ve gone over a few considerations to remember when you’re searching for an SEO agency to work with. 

Expertise and experience

An experienced and qualified SEO agency is what you need. Finding an agency with a proven track record of spearheading Shopify SEO strategies and techniques is ideal. 

Testimonials and case studies 

Always check for testimonials, reviews, and case studies to give you insight into previous clients’ experiences with an SEO agency. 


Communication and transparency are key to a smooth process. Ask the agency to explain their approach to SEO in detail and question how communication will take place. The last thing you want is to end up with an agency that you’re struggling to get a hold of. 

Understanding of Shopify 

Don’t partner with an agency that still needs to figure out how to navigate through Shopify. Familiarity with the Shopify SEO best practices is essential for effective optimisation.

White-hat practices 

White-hat SEO refers to any practice that boosts your search engine optimisation while maintaining your site’s integrity and staying within Google’s terms of service. Not obeying the terms of service can lead to penalties and fines, and ultimately damage your SEO. 

Stay within budget 

Clearly define your budget and communicate said budget to agencies. Discuss how the agency plans to ensure a positive return on investment. If the pricing is unclear or subject to extreme and unpredictable changes, stay away and look elsewhere. 

Continuous learning 

An SEO agency that offers hard guarantees should not necessarily be trusted. SEO agencies should understand that constant testing, reviewing, and refining of strategies is the only way to successfully oversee an SEO strategy. 

Contract terms 

Always review the terms of the contract before signing. Some agencies will offer month-by-month terms, but some may require you to sign a long-term contract. A respected agency should be willing to discuss the details and clauses within the contract. 

Don’t rush into anything. Consider your different options, and make a choice that aligns with your long-term goals and desired growth rate. 

Summing up 

SEO remains crucial in 2024. While Shopify has some built-in tools to assist, you’ll need to do a lot more to take your store to the top of Google’s rankings. From on-page optimisation to well-thought-out content marketing strategies, it all makes a difference. 

If SEO is just not your thing, it may be best to reach out to an SEO agency to assist. At SEO Rocket, we take charge of your SEO strategy so you can focus on every other aspect of your business. If you’d like to learn more about what we do, book a call today and speak to one of our expert team members. 

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