Shopify is a great platform that can make selling products to the masses easier than you might first think. But how do you get people to find your stuff?
SEO extends far beyond this article but, here at Jambi, we’ve put together five simple steps that we think every Shopify site should consider. None of this requires any coding and you don’t even need to install any Shopify Apps. It can all be done out of the box and is almost guaranteed to have a positive impact on your site’s page rank.
Register your site with Google Search Console and submit a sitemap
Registering the site with Google Search Console and submitting a sitemap is essentially telling Google that your site exists and has a number of pages you would like to come up in search results. There’s a good chance that Google would find your site and those pages anyway, but it can’t hurt to give it a helping hand.
There are some nice instructions here showing how to do this, but if you need a hand just give us a shout.
Check image size and alt text
It’s highly likely that your Shopify site will have a bunch of images across it. It’s important to make sure that each image is properly sized and has the ‘alt text’ property filled out.
The image size is important because, generally speaking, Google likes sites that load quickly and would prefer to return those speedy sites in search results. Large images can really slow down the page load times making it more likely that Google will pass up returning your site in a search.
The ‘alt text’ field is a little bit of text that tells Google a bit more about the particular image. Think of it as describing an image to someone who can’t see it. Again, Google likes to return sites that it knows about and alt text can really help with that.
You can edit both of these things by double-clicking an image in one of your Shopify pages. Doing so will bring up this box where you can easily edit both:
Make sure your site is using an SSL certificate
An SSL certificate beefs up your site’s security, gives it the little padlock in the address bar, and pleases Google no end.
Luckily, Shopify should do this automatically, but if you think there are any issues with it it’s well worth checking in with the Shopify support team and getting it sorted.
Also, did you know we add SSL certificates for free to all sites we host, Shopify or otherwise? There’s a bit more about our hosting plans here.
Check page titles, descriptions, and URLs
Page titles and descriptions are shown when your site is returned in a search:
These are also referred to as meta titles and meta descriptions. The more descriptive the meta fields are the more Google will love your site and will prefer to return it in search results.
By default, Shopify will take the product title and the first paragraph of text and use those fields for the meta title and description. But Shopify makes it dead easy to edit this information as well. You may wish to edit it when you want the meta fields to differ from the main product fields. Have a look at this box towards the bottom of each page in your site:
You can also edit the URL here. Shopify is a little restrictive with its URLs, so you don’t have complete control over how it looks, but it’s a good idea to make sure they’re short, snappy, and accurately describe the page itself.
is way better than:
Keep your headings neat and tidy
Web pages use a number of different heading types. They’re similar to a Word or Google document – you have Heading 1, Heading 2, Heading 3 etc.
When used on your web pages, these should follow some kind of logical order. For example, if you have several sections on your page, all of roughly the same importance, they should all be declared with Heading 2. Any sub-sections enclosed within should use Heading 3. It’s often a good idea to only have a single Heading 1 on each page too.
You can do this manually, but there are also tools online that will give you a nice report of headings across a page. Editing the headings should be really easy using the Shopify text editor.
SEO is a rich world with a lot of possibilities, but we think this is a great place to start. Everything listed here will have a positive impact on your site and can be done without spending any money. There are plenty of SEO subjects that are pertinent to Shopify sites that we haven’t spoken about here. Things like Google Ads, content strategy, and backlinks. If you feel you’re in a place where they could be beneficial to your business don’t hesitate to get in touch – I’m sure we can help.