New Shopify Store on The Block? 5 Ways to Use SEO to Stand Out

Posted: 25th July 2017 08:13

The number of merchants on the Shopify platform has surpassed 375,000, and that’s a staggering number, as all of these are still alive and well, making sales every day. It takes a lot of effort to stand out in such a huge crowd and live to tell the tale, especially in the light of the fact that the stores on this platform are only a drop in the sea of online commerce. So, if you’re a new kid on the Shopify block, you need to be smart, savvy and quick. You may have a great product, but in the sea of stores the prerequisite of success is getting noticed. In order to actually make revenue, you need to become visible – your store needs to be found in search engines with the greatest of ease. That’s exactly why you, as a Shopify neophyte need SEO in your life, especially of you plan to swim with the best of them.

Take full advantage of all Shopify features

As far as search engine optimization goes, Shopify can do a lot of work for you. In other words, it’s a platform that is incredibly user-friendly for a beginner. This is all thanks to the fact  that their own people are quite experienced in the whole thing and the platform is self is abundant in features your store can greatly benefit from, such as Google’s as well as Bing’s and  DuckDuckGo’s  guidelines for best practices you can follow. These features are not miracle-workers, but they are of great help when you’re ‘setting up camp’. They can help you create a decent ground for your future SEO endevours.

For starters, Shopify features editable title tags, meta descriptions and URLs, as well as ALT tags, automatically generated sitemaps and robots.txt files. If you’re feeling stuck, the platform is also here with a variety of great domain names for your store, as well as a logo maker tool, and even an attractive slogan generating tool. It basically has everything you need to establish an appealing visual presence. Even if the very concept of SEO seems like an impossible to learn foreign language to you at this point, after brushing up on the basics, you’ll get the gist and you’ll be all equipped with the basics that will give you a more than solid foundation for running a successful store. 

Start typing

Often times, Shopify store owners do not have the time to also run a blog, especially if they happen to run a few separate stores. This is a big mistake, as a blog can be a great SEO tool.

One of the biggest mistakes a great number of Shopify store owners make is not running a blog. Regardless of your, perhaps misguided opinion of blogs, when done right, a blog can be a powerful SEO tool. Now, the question that arises is – how does one run a blog ‘the right way’? Well, first of all, you need quality content; in the galaxy of blogs that exist, yours needs to stand out, and people respond well to great content. Even if they’re not exactly shopping, they’ll be glued to your blog page, which is a great signal for search engines, as this conveys to them that your website has something valuable to offer. In addition to that, a blog is a smashing way to fill your website with keywords without appearing spammy.

Your next step (which will be explored down the line) is guest posting. This is a great move and here’s why. Once you submit a guest post to an influential blog or website, your page will do much better because the people running those websites are far more comfortable with linking to a blog post as oppose to the commercial page of your store’s site. While attracting people to your commercial page is the ultimate goal, this isn’t something you can expect to happen right away, but links to your blog can be a great stepping stone towards achieving the ultimate goal.

Last but not least, is audience engagement. When post regularly, consistently and your content is innovative and enticing, your visitors will feel compelled to respond and engage in the conversation, which again, is a great sign for search engines to pick up on. 

Be clever with product images

Ok, there is a thing or two you need to be ‘in the know’ about when it comes to the product images featured on your Shopify store. The first one is optimization. When you optimize the images prior to including them on your website you automatically cut down on the uploading time, which again, is another thing search engines love. The second thing you will want to do is include ALT tags for each image of each product that you’re offering. The reason this is an important step is because machine image recognition is still not as advanced as we would wish, which in turn means that these tags have to do the job of informing search engine crawlers what the image represents.

Be mobile-friendly

Most of the new generations, especially members of the millennial generation are savvy online shoppers. This means that they’re able to do all their shopping via phone. Because of this advancement in shopping skills, you need to adapt and make sure your SEO efforts are mobile-friendly. This of course includes your shopping page as well as the blog you’ll be running. Ideally, all Shopify templates would be created equal in terms of their user-friendliness, but we don’t live in a perfect world.

Luckily, Google is here for you. It provides its own mobile-friendly test tool which will hunt the issues that might be hurting mobile users. Once you’re familiar with the issues your first task will be to fix them. Another thing you need to familiarize yourself with are the differences between desktop and mobile searches so you can adjust and alter your content accordingly. Google’s Mobile Index is not yet live, but there is reason to hope that it will be soon enough. For those who are ready and willing to take their marketing game up a notch, there is always the option of using a mobile marketing platform that best caters to your needs and goes beyond simple SEO.

Put product pages to work

One of the worst things you can do is be lazy, and here’s how:  Ideally, product pages should always contain an original product description. However, lazy Shopify store owners go for the option of simply copying the descriptions that they find on the manufacturer’s website. Your laziness can perhaps be overlooked by shoppers, but search engines aren’t as forgiving. When you copy, they pick up on this (smart rascals), and then proceed to flag your content as duplicate and penalize your store. Yes, original descriptions take more time, but they’re simply a good SEO move. When you take your time and do this step right, your product descriptions can be quite beneficial for optimizing your pages for search engines through smart keywords.

Finally, you can put your product pages to good use by implementing a review section. This is pure gold as it creates additional, organic content that is highly appreciated by search engines.

Having said all this, no SEO in the world will keep your business afloat if your product is no good. You need to give people either good value for money, or have an amazing product that people are willing to spend serious money on. SEO is a great way to get notices, but without the goods to back your visibility up, SEO alone isn’t enough to make you successful.