You did it. After months of hard work, you launched your shiny new website and opened your eCommerce doors to the world. You’ve spent countless hours mulling over design, obsessing over code, uploading assets, and writing your content. You are technically ready for business, but how much thought did you or your team put into Search Engine Optimization?
Let me put it this way – what good is a beautifully designed, cleanly coded, content-rich website if your audience can’t find you?
In order to avoid an SEO snafu, here are a few checklists for your teams to run through before you hit the launch button!
The Checklist for Supercharging your SEO on Shopify Plus
1. Add meta titles and descriptions
Get ahead of the curve by adding meta titles and descriptions to all of your pages, products, collections, and blog posts. Fortunately, Shopify makes this pretty simple to do in their admin so adding these should be a piece of cake. Need help coming up with some stellar meta descriptions? Shopify has a blog post for that!
2. Serve up quality content
The days of keyword stuffing are over. Nowadays, it’s all about writing quality content that educates your visitors about your products and your story. Fill up your site with relevant content that your visitors will WANT to read, and you will be golden.
3. Match URLs to that quality content
Give your content the URL that it deserves. Shopify sets you up for success by using the appropriate subdomains consistently across each section of your site, but it’s up to you to create a handle that represents your content. Make it readable and relevant and you’ll be good to go.
4. Optimize your images
This one is really important, so don’t skip it! Optimizing your images for web reduces your site’s page load speed, which fares well with search engines. Test your site by running it through Google’s PageSpeed Insights, and I guarantee one of the heftiest charges against page load speed will be massive image files. Search engines factor pagespeed into their rankings, so take note!
1. Submit your sitemap to Google Search Console
Your sitemap is a file that contains links to every page on your store and is used by search engines to take stock of what you’ve got when you launch. Every Shopify store comes with a sitemap and there is a handy how-to on how to find your sitemap and submit it to Google.
2. Add alt tags to your images
Adding alt tags to your images will only strengthen your SEO rankings, not to mention improve accessibility. Quality alt text describes what is in the image and gives search engines the whole picture that you are trying to communicate to your visitors. You can’t go wrong.
3. Tell search engines to ignore duplicate content
Many merchants on Shopify Plus sell products in multiple currencies, and as a result of this they must have two separate stores with two different URLs out there in internet-land. When content appears in more than one place on the internet, search engines get confused. As a result, they may not know which version is the “right” version to include in search results, nor do they know which page to rank. This is likely to have a negative impact on organic search traffic. In order to avoid confusing our search engine friends, we canonicalize these URLs by using the “rel=canonical” attribute or a 301 redirect (see more on 301 redirects below).
Another situation where this would occur are the URLs created when collections are filtered by tags. These pages need to be given the same treatment!
4. Add microdata to your product pages
Adding microdata (or Schema markup) to your product pages feeds important information – such as price, description, and sku – to search engines, allowing them to further understand your content and supply it to humans surfing the web. This serves up information-rich search results and ultimately produces better click-through rates.
5. Add microdata to product reviews
Product reviews are BIG in e-commerce. If you want to get fancy, you should be adding microdata to your reviews, just as you would for the rest of your product page. If you are using a review app like Yotpo, they provide a great support article on adding this microdata to review markup. Adding this data to your markup means that review information will show in search engine results, again resulting in better click-through rates.
6. Leave a trail of breadcrumbs
Breadcrumbs give visitors a trail of where they’ve been, allowing them to easily visualize their experience on your site. They are also a solid SEO win as they supply search engines with that sweet structured data they love so much. To harness this power to the fullest, set up breadcrumbs on your pages, products, collections, and blogs and label them using microdata. Once your done, test your breadcrumbs using Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool so you know you’re good to go.
7. Upload 301 redirects
A 301 redirect is a redirect from one URL to another. Think of it as a forwarding address for your mailman – these redirects tell search engines where they can map your old URLs to your new URLs. As you can imagine, 301 redirects are particularly important if you are replatforming, as the last thing you want is for search engines to not be aware that you’ve moved. Once you have prepared a list of old paths matched up with new paths, you can easily upload a CSV of your 301 redirects using a tool like the Transportr app.
Apps and Third-Party Tools
1.Leverage powerful apps from the Shopify app marketplace
There’s a host of Shopify Plus apps built to give you SEO superpowers. Using an app like Kit in conjunction with SEO Meta Manager will set you on the right track.
2. Measure your SEO success
Don’t forget to hook up your Google Analytics account to your store so you can keep an eye on how well (or not-so-well) your site is performing when it comes to SEO. Keep an eye on organic search traffic and see which pages are your SEO superstars that get visitors to convert.