When it comes to modern optimization, there is no denying the value of the content that is being provided. You don’t necessarily need to have a lot of words on your site, but you do need to have words that contain some sort of value to your reader. People put searches into a website like Google because they want answers.
That’s your job. You must provide the answers that people in your target demographic need.
Shopify offers a number of wonderful SEO tools that can help get your website noticed and your traffic levels boosted. Here are the tips that you’re going to want to consider including for your site so that you can maximize your online presence.
1. Edit Your URLs
Value comes in a number of different forms. Many will give the advice to put value into your content, but not expand that thought into other areas of your site. One of the easiest ways you can add value to your online presence is to use the edit URL feature that Shopify offers in all plans. When you make a URL friendly, then you’re creating a subject heading that will help people understand the basics of the content, even if they don’t see a headline on your site. It also helps the search engines be able to sort data into value rankings for keywords.
2. Take Advantage of the Sitemap
Shopify also includes an automatically generated sitemap.xml on all plans. Having a good sitemap is important because it adds value to the user experience. Imagine being placed in the center of a large city and told to find a specific deli. You’re not given any direction. You’re just told to go get a sandwich at this deli. Finding it would mean:
- Asking others for directions.
- Spending extra time trying to find it.
- Running the risk of never being able to find it.
That’s the problem with websites that don’t have a sitemap.xml installed. No one knows what the flow of your site is supposed to be. When that happens, it is seen as less valuable. In the world of SEO, less value almost always equates to a lower search ranking in all of your preferred keyword searches.
3. Give the Tail Some Love
The important of longtail SEO has greatly increased over the past few years as the emphasis on value has increased. Search engines are no longer satisfied with the answers of some generic question. They want to be able to provide people with specific answers to their specific questions. This is where a focus on longtail keywords with Shopify can really help you out.
What Shopify does is give you the power to edit your title tags, meta descriptions, and ALT tags for your images. Longtail keywords are search terms that are generally 4-5 words in length and form a question or an extended description. By including the specific keywords into your tags and descriptions, you’ll be able to maximize the value of what you’re offering because even your descriptions are going to answer questions for searchers.
4. Eliminate the Clones
Maybe you’ve heard about canonical URLs. In short, your website has duplicate content. All websites have it. Archived content creates duplication, but so does something as simple as the non-www version of your website [http://yoursite.com is different than http://www.yoursite.com]. Instead of dealing with the coding to put in your canonical tags, Shopify has made the process simple. It automatically generates the URL tags to help prevent search engines from seeing duplicates of your content.
This means you can focus on making sure the actual content you’re posting isn’t directly duplicated either. If you are using content from another source, then cite it appropriately. Include links to the original content. Never claim duplicated content as your own original work. If you do, then Shopify doesn’t have any tools to help you with the penalties that might occur.
5. Keywords vs. Content
Shopify recommends that you include the keywords you’ve chosen for your online presence be included in every bit of content that you post. This would include blog posts, collection pages, product pages, and your home page. They also recommend keyword placement in meta descriptions, page titles, main headlines, and sub-headings that you may create.
The danger of doing all of this is that you might be viewed as “keyword packing.” This is an old black hat SEO technique where people would literally repeat the same keywords, over and over again, so that the search engines would see that there would be more “value” to the site. Algorithms have changed over the years and now the flow of the content is just as important as the keywords.
If you can naturally fit a specific keyword into your content, then do so. Just don’t misinterpret the Shopify SEO tips and try to fit as many keywords into your content as possible without regard to how that content [even tags and meta descriptions] read. If you do, you may never fully optimize your website.
6. Know Your Limits
There are two character limits that you’ll want to keep in mind for SEO purposes. The first is the title tag limit. Most search engines are only going to display the first 70 characters of a title. If you have more than that, then the 3 periods of extension will cut off part of the title to indicate that it is longer than allowed. Value to the average internet user means being clear and concise with your data, a feature that search engines are recognizing. Keep your title short and precise to maximize optimization.
The description of your website is also important. Keywords that are within your description that are searched for by a user with be displayed in bold under your title. The more specific your keyword term that was found, then the higher the levels of bolded font that will be displayed underneath your title. This small change might seem pointless, but it serves a purpose to the internet user who is skimming. More bolded font equates to more value and potentially a click-through.
Keep your description under 150 characters to maximize its value.
7. Think About Linking Patterns
Have you ever driven down a one-way street in the wrong direction? It seems thrilling at first, but then you realize that there’s some danger to what you are doing. You begin to feel uncomfortable. Then you begin to look for an exit off of the road to make sure you don’t get caught or you whip a U-turn so that you begin traveling in the right direction.
Your linking patterns matter when it comes to your Shopify SEO. You need incoming and outgoing links, but you need to do more than just provide a link. You need anchor text that makes sense to the average reader. Most anchor texts say things like “click here” or “check out this link” and that’s pointless. Anchor text needs to reflect the content that people will find if they click the link.
Without a good pattern and informative anchor texts, users will feel like they’re on a one-way street. A U-turn means they’ll hit the back button on their browser.
8. Take Advantage of the 301
Are you thinking about migrating your website? Then the best Shopify SEO tip to follow today is to utilize the 301 redirect. When you bring your site over to Shopify, it’s possible to keep a majority of your traffic and rankings even though you’re with a different host. This is where the power of the 301 redirect comes into play.
Shopify offers 301 redirects that will instantly transfer people and your accumulated search engine SEO “credits” to the new site. You’ll get about 90% of the total PageRank and domain authority, but you’ve also got work to do. Inform links about your website change so that people don’t inadvertently get lost while trying to find you.
9. Track Your Data
Search engine optimization isn’t something that you do just once and then can forget it about it until the end of time. It’s an ongoing process that requires adjustments as times change. This means you need to be tracking your data through analytics to make sure you’re providing the right amount of value to your targeted demographic.
Do certain products or pages have higher than average bounce rates? Are people only spending a few seconds on a certain page and then leaving your site? These are indications that visitors aren’t finding the levels of value they believed they were promised. Adjust these pages when problems like these are found and you’ll have more consistent results.
Shopify SEO tips might seem pretty basic to some, but that’s the beauty of using this platform. Many of your tasks have been automated for you. Take a few moments, use these tips to improve your site, and you just might be able to improve your search engine rankings at the same time.