It’s fair to say the general consensus among most business owners is that SEO is hard work, a long game that can take months (even years) to see tangible results – and I’d be inclined to agree with you; this method of marketing any online store is far from a quick fix.
That said, you can throw on your SEO hat for just a short period of time to give your Shopify site a once-over and bring things into line. You won’t set the world alight by doing this – most companies will be running a continuous SEO campaign with a big monthly budget – but chances are you’ll be able to sharpen up your site and bring it into a better standard of health from an organic traffic perspective.
If you’ve never even considered improving your eCommerce store to give it a better chance of ranking higher on search engines like Google and Bing, there’s still hope for you! I mean, why wouldn’t you want more traffic to your store completely free of charge?!
Successful SEO is all about implementing the correct techniques to make your store both engaging for your target audience and well organised for search engines.Tweet this now
Successful SEO is all about implementing the correct techniques to make your store both engaging for your target audience and well organised for search engines. This can be done in a variety of different ways, and we’re going to cover some of the key areas you need to attend to on your site to see a boost in rankings and bring more customers to your store.
Perform A Full SEO Audit
First things first, you need to have a good idea of where your site is in terms of its current state. Completing a full assessment of every element of your Shopify store will highlight its areas of strength and of weakness, allowing you to quickly identify priority tasks to move forward with. To go forward with any form of SEO, you need to understand the position you’re in when you begin.
Ideally, at this stage, you’ll need to check user journeys across your site, check the uniqueness of your content and really just make sure everything works as you would expect.
For the more technical SEO elements, I’d suggest making use of a tool like Screaming Frog to crawl your entire site and break down the individual areas that are important to SEO. Once you’ve completed a crawl, you’ll be able to see all the elements Google and other search engines use to rank your site against your competitors such as metadata, alt tags, header tags and more.
If this all seems very confusing and scary to you, don’t panic! You’re not alone – take a look at this brilliant guide on Screaming Frog and how to use it effectively.
Find Your Target Keywords
One of the biggest areas most sites can improve on is their focus on what keywords they want to rank for. When potential customers search for products or services on Google, which of these search terms do you want your business to appear for?
Now obviously you’ll be competing with hundreds if not thousands of other businesses similar to yours across the UK or further afield, which is why your Shopify store needs to be in tip-top shape from an SEO perspective. The way things stand at the moment, keywords define the performance of a page on your site – add the right keywords naturally throughout your content and you should see your rankings improve.
That said, you need to be smart here. Broad keywords like ‘bicycles’ and ‘wedding dresses’ will be so aggressively targeted by other bigger brands that you’re unlikely to compete. I’d suggest looking on Google Keyword Planner to find longer, more specific keywords that match the products or services you offer – chances are you’ll have much more success ranking for these than the broader terms. Sprinkle these throughout your site and you should see organic traffic increases in the long term.
Assess And Review Your Content
Following on from point 2, the content on your store needs to be the best it can possibly be. By that, we mean the content is the cornerstone of any successful and high ranking website. Google and other search engines use content to understand your site and position it appropriately within their rankings. Poor quality and outdated content have little chance of reaching the top of search engine results pages, whereas high quality and relevant content could see you hit Google’s page one.
The key here is to ensure there is plenty of keyword-focused content on your site to keep search engines happy, but also to assist your customers. All your content should be unique too; don’t go stealing from other websites as Google is acutely aware of plagiarism and your store could receive a rankings penalty.
Optimise Your Landing Pages
This might sound straightforward, but it’s important to ensure all your key landing pages are correctly optimised for search engines as well as users.
If your pages look great and already engage effectively with customers, the next step is to check over the important SEO elements within Shopify – tidy up the metadata to make them clear and easy to read, include your target keywords where natural and appropriate to do so, ensure each page is consistent in style and lastly, motivate users to interact and love your brand.
Improve The User Experience
This is something that has grown in importance over the last few years and will almost certainly continue to do so. Providing a fantastic user experience is key if you want to see your store be successful.
One of the best ways to improve the user experience on any store is to put yourself in the shoes of your target audience.Tweet this now
One of the best ways to improve the user experience in any store is to put yourself in the shoes of your target audience. What do they want to see? Can you add anything to your store to make your brand that bit better than the competition?
I’d also suggest you consider adding some persuasive calls-to-action all around your store as this will boost engagement and help you build a larger customer base over time. Also, try your store out as a customer – try and find a specific product or use the checkout to make a test purchase. Remove or edit the irritations and pain points you come across once this is complete.
Move Over To HTTPS
Security on the internet is hugely important, especially when it comes to eCommerce, and customers nowadays are much more aware of what a questionable site looks like. Certain browsers will take care of the basics but you need to do more to protect your customer information.
Moving your store onto HTTPS will not only keep confidential customer data encrypted, you’ll also see a boost in rankings as Google has stated secure sites will be moved higher up search results. Furthermore, many browsers like Google Chrome currently flag sites that don’t utilise HTTPS which can put customers off when it comes to buying products from these stores.
Check out Shopify’s handy guide on HTTPS and SSL certificates.
Start Building Links
Having a credible background in terms of backlinks has always been an important SEO ranking factor, more so now than ever.
The art of link building is hard graft, but the rewards can be fantastic from a traffic perspective. You want to ensure your Shopify store gains links from reputable sites that are already well respected and trusted in their own right.
The best way to do this is to submit guest blog posts to other relevant sites that cover similar topics to your store’s products; for example, if your store sells catering equipment, you could write a blog post on a knife supplier website or a kitchen installation company site. The possibilities here are endless.
Tackle The Technical SEO Issues
Last but by no means least, we have the more complex and technical SEO issues that can sometimes have a negative impact on a site’s organic performance. Using the information gained from your site crawl in step 1, you should be able to identify some areas for improvement, whether that be metadata or URL construction for example.
To truly resolve all these issues, you’ll need a good understanding of SEO – but fixing things like site speed and Structured Data markup shouldn’t be too challenging with the right support from your store’s developers.
If you need more guidance with Shopify or extra help with any steps on this list, get in touch with our team and we’ll be happy to offer our resources.