SEO brings in organic traffic, which is central to succeeding digitally. Our previous blog gave an introduction to the various components of SEO and introduced Off-Page and technical SEO. Shopify merchants know that Off-page SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and technical SEO play significant roles in boosting a website's visibility and performance. However the topic can seem obscure and confusing. In this article, we will explore key aspects of both along with some ideas which you can implement on your site.
1. What is Off-page SEO and what are its benefits?
2. What can you do to improve your Off-page SEO?
3. What is Technical SEO and why is it importance?
4. What can you do to improve your Technical SEO?
1) What is Off-page SEO and what are its benefits?
Off-page SEO involves all actions you take to impact your search engine ranking that fall outside of your website. Simply, off-page SEO tells Google what importance others place on your site and involves building a strong online presence through as many ways as you can.
For example, if you’ve got a lot of external websites pointing to your pages (backlinks), search engines assume that you’ve got great content that provides value for users. Off-page SEO
On-page SEO and off-page SEO are two distinct aspects of search engine optimization that focus on different elements of a website's optimization strategy. So how does it benefit you? More organic traffic! But more specifically, these are some of the benefits you get, all of which should collectively drive traffic to your website.
Improved search engine rankings:
Off-page SEO techniques, such as link building, social media engagement, and online brand mentions, can help search engines recognize the relevance, authority, and popularity of your website. This can lead to higher rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs) and increased organic traffic.
Faster indexing and crawling:
When your website receives backlinks from reputable websites, search engine crawlers are more likely to discover and index your content faster. This can help in improving the visibility and ranking of your webpages in search results.
Higher domain authority:
Domain authority is a metric that indicates the credibility and authority of your website. Off-page SEO activities, such as earning high-quality backlinks from reputable websites, can contribute to improving your website's domain authority. A higher domain authority enhances your website's overall SEO performance and increases the chances of ranking well in search results.
Increased website visibility and referral traffic:
Off-page SEO helps to increase the online visibility of your website. When you engage in activities like guest blogging, social media marketing, influencer partnerships, and online community participation, you expose your website to a wider audience. This can lead to more brand exposure, increased website visits, and potential conversions. Additionally, when others are exposed to your links and click through it, it brings new visitors who are interested in your product.
2) What can you do to improve your Off-page SEO?
So, what can you do to make your off-page SEO successful. Google’s algorithm looks at EAT – Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trust as a critical factor in search quality evaluation. Keeping this in mind, here are some steps you can take to improve your off-page SEO.
Build quality Backlinks:
Backlinks from reputable and authoritative websites are essential for off-page SEO. The more backlinks from high-authority sites a page has, the more authoritative it may seem to Google. Focus on acquiring quality backlinks by reaching out to influencers, industry bloggers, and other websites in your niche. You can offer guest posts, collaborate on content, or request a link to your website if it adds value to their audience. Introducing some terminology:
- Natural or earned links, in which editorial publishers or consumers mention your brand organically.
- Built links, which require some effort on your end, such as reaching out to publishers for link attribution or mention.
The specific text that's hyperlinked and points to your website. You want it to be descriptive and relevant, without sounding spammy.
PR & Media outreach:
Reach out to relevant journalists, bloggers, and content creators to cover your products or your story. PR contributes to off-page SEO signals in more ways than building links. A great PR campaign can increase brand awareness and branded searches, put your business in front of your target audience and help create natural / earned links which gives your brand presence in authoritative websites like news / industry feeds / etc.
Social Bookmarking and Content Sharing:
Establish a strong presence on relevant social media platforms. Regularly post engaging content, interact with your audience, and utilize appropriate hashtags to reach a wider audience. Encourage social sharing of your content and products. Additionally:
- Engage in influencer marketing: Collaborate with influencers in your industry who have a substantial following and influence. They can promote your products or create content featuring your brand, which can result in built links but more importantly increase brand visibility and traffic to your Shopify store especially on social.
- Encourage User-Generated Content (UGC): UGC helps SEO through social media optimization (SMO) on visual platforms such as Instagram and informational platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Encourage your customers to create and share content related to your products. This can include reviews, testimonials, social media posts, or blog articles.
If you have a physical store or target a specific geographical area, optimize your Shopify store for local SEO. This involves optimizing a site for local search results. For this to work, you must send signals to search engines that service consumers in local areas.
-Add your company to local business directories, like Google My Business and Yelp
-Optimize your store for local keywords, and work to earning local backlinks from relevant directories or websites.
-Encourage your customers to leave positive reviews online.
-Ensure consistent contact information across all digital platforms.
Forums and Q&A Sites:
Participating in relevant forums like Reddit, Quora, or niche-specific forums can help improve off-page SEO. Make sure you're providing valuable insights, not just promoting your products.
3)What is Technical SEO and why is it important?
Technical SEO refers to the optimization of technical elements and infrastructure of a website to improve its visibility and performance in search engine rankings. Technical SEO is important as it ensures that search engines can easily crawl, interpret, and index your website's content. Technical SEO focuses on backend aspects that impact website structure, speed, accessibility, and user experience. Technical SEO and off-page SEO are two distinct components of search engine optimization that focus on different aspects of optimizing a website.
4)What can you do to improve your Technical SEO?
The main goal of technical SEO is to improve the crawlability and user experience of your website. Here are steps you can take to improve how you fare in technical SEO:
Improve Site Speed:
Page loading speed is a crucial factor in search engine ranking. You can use tools like Google's PageSpeed Insights to identify ways to improve your site's speed. This might include optimizing images, reducing unnecessary code, leveraging browser caching or using AMP pages. Improving speed is a critical focus of Ampify. Do reach out to us if you have any questions around speed. You can read more about why speed is important and some steps you can take to improve speed here.
Ensure your Shopify store is mobile-friendly as this is a critical ranking factor for Google. Shopify themes are generally responsive, but always check how your site looks and functions on various devices.
Proper Website Structure and Navigation:
A well-structured website with clear hierarchical organization and intuitive navigation helps search engines understand the content and hierarchy of your website. When structuring your site, use descriptive navigation labels, ensure all the pages are only a few clicks away from your homepage and have an easy-to-understand hierarchy. For instance, the homepage links to category pages which then link to individual subpages on the site.
Optimize Your Robots.txt file:
Shopify generates a robots.txt file for your store automatically, but it's worth understanding what this does - it controls which pages search engines can crawl and index. Look at your robots.txt and make sure you are comfortable with the exclusions and instructions on the page.
Your sitemap helps search engines understand the structure of your site. Shopify automatically generates a sitemap.xml file for your store. Make sure it's submitted to Google Search Console.
Using structured data (Schema markup) helps search engines understand your content better, which can help with ranking. In the past, Shopify only allowed basic structured data if you didn’t use apps or couldn’t code but since then Shopify has significantly upped its structured data game. However, apps can still be very helpful as they help you manage this more easily, add specific schema types and may flag structured data issues.
Ensure your URLs are clear, concise, and descriptive. Shopify lets you customize URLs but avoid changing them often as this can lead to broken links.
Resolve broken links or 404 Errors:
These errors occur when a page can't be found. Conduct regular audits to check for and fix broken links and redirect errors. Replace broken links with updated links or by setting up redirects to a relevant page. This helps in smooth navigation for both users and search engine bots.
In summary, technical SEO focuses on optimizing the technical aspects of a website to improve its crawling, indexing, and performance, while off-page SEO involves activities outside of the website to enhance its authority, visibility, and reputation. Both technical SEO and off-page SEO are important components of a comprehensive SEO strategy and work together to improve a website's overall search engine rankings and online presence.